Immigration Watch Canada provides readers with two significant recent news releases:
(1) An item from the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. which indicates that the immigration issue will be a big factor in upcoming U.S. elections. Canadian politicians who continue to ignore the effects of mass immigration should take careful note. Their hour will come. Full results of the polling are to be released on Monday, October 16.
(2) An item from ESR Research in Indianapolis which reveals that Chinese contractors are about to be used to import labourers from China. The labourers are to be used to do work in towns damaged last year by Hurricane Katrina. This seems to show that the cheap Chinese labour mistake which led to displacement of host population workers, hostility against cheap Chinese labour, and widespread labour turmoil in Canada, and to Chinese Exclusion Acts in both the U.S. and Canada has not been learned.
Poll: Immigration Could Decide Tight Races
Issue Could Be Decisive in Many Battleground Contests
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 10, 2006) — A new poll examines the views of likely voters nationally and in 14 contested Senate and House races. The findings show strong majorities of Americans want immigration laws enforced and illegal immigrants to go home. One of the strongest findings is that the public overwhelmingly opposes increases in legal immigration of the kind found in the bill passed earlier this year by the Senate.
The results are surprisingly consistent across the country, both in terms of how voters see the problem, and what they want done about it. Unlike many other polls, the survey uses neutral language and avoids terms like amnesty and illegal alien. The survey was done by the polling company inc. for the Center for Immigration Studies.
In addition to a national poll, detailed polling on immigration was done in four contested Senate races — Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Montana — and in 10 contested House races: Arizona 5th, Connecticut 4th, Indiana 8th, Kentucky 4th, Pennsylvania 6th, Texas 17th, Louisiana 3rd, Georgia 8th, Colorado 7th, and Ohio 6th.
The results are embargoed until Monday, October 16, at 9:30 a.m. Advance copies are available to the media. The data will be available online at www.cis.org
The Center will formally release the report at a press conference on Monday, October 16, at 9:30 a.m. in the Murrow Room of the National Press Club. Kellyanne Conway, President of the polling company, and Dr. Steven Camarota, the Centers Director of Research, will discuss the findings. The briefing is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 or email@example.com, or Kellyanne Conway at (202) 667-6557.
Below are the results of the Poll conducted by the Center For Immigration Stidies. The results were released on October 16, 2006.
NEW POLL: IMMIGRATION KEY ISSUE IN CONTESTED RACES
Public Wants Illegals to Go Home, Enforcement, No Immigration Increase
Contacts: Steven Camarota (202) 466-8185
Kellyanne Conway (202) 467-6557
WASHINGTON (October 16, 2006) — A new poll, using neutral language, finds intense voter concern over immigration in 14 tight congressional races. The surveys were conducted by the polling company inc. for the Center for Immigration Studies.
In addition to a national survey, detailed polling on immigration was conducted in four contested Senate races: Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Montana; and in 10 contested House races: Arizona 5th, Connecticut 4th, Indiana 8th, Kentucky 4th, Pennsylvania 6th, Texas 17th, Louisiana 3rd, Georgia 8th, Colorado 7th, and Ohio 6th.
The complete results are online at www.cis.org. Among the findings:
* Immigration is a big issue throughout the country. Of likely voters nationally, 53 percent said immigration was either their most important issue or one of their top three issues, while just 8 percent said it was not at all important. With the exception of CT-4th, in races surveyed only about 10 percent of voters said it was not important at all.
* When told numbers, voters want less immigration. When told the actual number of immigrants here (legal and illegal) and the number coming (legal and illegal), and asked to put aside the question of legal status, 68 percent of voters nationally thought immigration was too high, 21 percent about right, and just 2 percent thought it was too low. In every congressional race surveyed, the share who said overall immigration was too low was in the single digits.
* Voters less likely to vote for immigration-increasing candidates. Experts agree that the bill passed by the Senate earlier this year would at least double future legal immigration, yet 70 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to double legal immigration. Overwhelming majorities in every battleground race feel the same way.
* Voters reject both extremes — legalization or mass deportations. Some previous polls have shown support for legalizing illegal immigrants. But those polls have given the public only a choice between large-scale deportations or ”earned legalization,” and not the third choice of across-the-board enforcement, causing illegals to go home. This third option, which is the basis of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, is voters’ top choice.
* House immigration plan by far the favorite. Enforcement approaches with no increase in legal immigration were the most popular policy option — 44 percent wanted enforcement that causes illegals to go home, the House approach, and another 20 percent wanted large-scale deportations. Just 31 percent supported legalization of illegal immigrants.
* Intensity greater among enforcement supporters. Nationally, 32 percent of voters said they would be much more likely to vote for a candidate who would enforce the law and cause illegals to go home, compared to just 15 percent who said they would be much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports legalization. This same pattern holds in battleground House contests.
* Voters skeptical of need for unskilled immigrant labor. More than 70 percent of voters nationally agreed that there were ”plenty of Americans to do low-wage jobs that require relatively little education, employers just need to pay higher wages and treat workers better to attract Americans,” compared to 21 percent who said we need immigrants because there were not enough Americans to do all such jobs. The results were very similar in all the contested states and districts surveyed.
* Voters think lack of enforcement is reason for illegal immigration. Three out of four voters in the nation agreed that the reason we have illegal immigration is that past enforcement efforts have been ”grossly inadequate.” Voters strongly reject the argument that illegal immigration is caused by overly restrictive legal immigration policies. Strong majorities in every battleground contest surveyed felt this way.
* Numbers make a difference. One key finding is that when told the scale of immigration (legal and illegal), voters overwhelmingly thought it was too high. Also, when told how much the Senate bill would increase legal immigration, voters tended to reject it. This would seem to undermine the argument that voters are only concerned about illegality and not the level of immigration. The levels of immigration used in the questions are those widely agreed upon by experts based on government data.
For more information, contact Steven Camarota (202) 466-8185, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kellyanne Conway (202) 467-6557.
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Center for Immigration Studies
1522 K St. NW, Suite 820
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076
National Data, By Edwin S. Rubenstein
“Foreign Labor Contractors” a.k.a. GangmastersThe New Immigration Paradigm?
Weve all heard stories about Mexican immigrants doing the heavy lifting after Hurricane Katrina. But Chinese immigrants?
Thats right2 to 3 thousand Chinese immigrant workers may soon help rebuild sewers, houses, and water systems in small towns along the Gulf Coast. Local officials claim the Help Wanted sign has been out for months, but big U.S. contractors are simply too busy to work in the affected area.
The Chinese workers wont hop on a plane or take a slow boat from China in hopes of landing a job in New Orleans or Gulfport. They wont enter illegally. If the deal closes they will be hired, en mass, in China by Tangdu International Enterprisesa Chinese labor contractor. When they arrive, theyll work for two large Chinese companiesBeijing Construction Engineering Co., Ltd., and Beijing Urban Constructionand smaller local partners.
To add insult to injury, these companies say theyll use Chinese building materials in order to avoid the higher-priced, but sturdier, American products.
What does this portend for structural integrity in a future Katrina? Or, more importantly, for the integrity of (whats left) of our immigration controls?
For this anecdote is of more than local interest. It exemplifies a new model of immigration.
Traditionally immigrant workers negotiated directly with their U.S. employers. In the new paradigm, labor contractors like Tangdu hire immigrant workers for many U.S. employers simultaneously. On VDARE.COM, these employers have been called “gangmasters”.
One of the largest contractors is an outfit called Global Horizons. Its website describes it as
“the first company to establish a new and improved labor-recruiting, labor providing business model to meet the temporary and permanent needs of employers worldwide.”
“Recruiting quality workers from diverse places like Thailand, India, Nepal, Israel, as well as Eastern and Western Europe, Global Horizons brings these workers to any economy where domestic labor is in short supply because of the “economic evolution” occurring in that particular country. This, of course, includes the United States of America.”
Global Horizons was founded in 1989 by an Israeli, and is currently headquartered in Los Angeles. At any one time it has 3 to 4 thousand farm workers under contract in up to 28 states.
Contract labor is increasingly the norm in agriculture. In 2002 43% of Californias farm workers were supplied by third-party contractors, the rest were hired directly by farmers. In 1983 only 28% were hired by contractors. [Farms Increasingly Rely on Subcontracted Farmworkers, Petoskey News-Review, AP, July 14, 2006.]
Farm workers are brought under the H-2A visa program for seasonal agricultural workers. To earn a visa, employers must show that theyve tried to recruit US workers first, and provide free, DOL-approved housing for all temporary hires.
But western farmers do not like the H-2A program. They say it is too inflexible for “perishable western agriculture” because it requires farmers to certify their need for workers 60 days before hiring them. The housing requirement is also regarded as onerous.
Enter the labor contractor.
In 2004 Global Horizons brought in hundreds of H-2As from Thailand to work in Washington States Yakima valley. The workers were housed in overcrowded motel rooms that violated local health regulations for human habitation. There were no kitchens or laundry facilities. Global Horizons workers were paid less than the wage for which they were contracted.
Washington State fined Global Horizons for violating labor laws, and in 2005 forced the firm to pay complete financial restitution to workers and the state totaling $230,000. The employers didnt pay the fineGlobal Horizons did.
Similarly, if Global Horizons had brought in illegal aliens instead of H-2As, they would have absorbed the fines that would otherwise have been levied on the employers that hired them.
There are other advantages of hiring via contractors. Contractors enable employers, in effect, to outsource their HR departments, reducing the expenses involved in vetting new employees and applying for their visas. Some contractors even provide equipment for their workersa big savings for employers.
But the big draw is the avoidance of legal liability. In the words of U.C.-Davis economist Phillip Martin, labor contractors act as “..risk absorbers, absorbing fines that could otherwise be levied on the farms where the workers were employed in the event of immigration enforcement.”
In theory, the workers can also benefit. Theyre more likely to have stable employment with a large contractor. The United Farm Workers supports the H-2A visa programclaiming that H-2A status makes farm workers more likely to join unions and press for wage hikes.
But in a global economy, these gains are elusive at best. Economic differences among countries are wideningencouraging migration from low to high wage countries.
In 1975, for example, the per capita income gap between rich countries (defined as those with $9,300 or more per person per year) versus poor countries (below $750 per year) was 41 to 1; by 2000 this gap had grown to 66 to 1. [Phillip Martin, “Managing Labor Migration: Professionals, Guest Workers, and Recruiters,” United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development, July 6-8, 2005.]
International contractors can round up crews from all over the world, and then negotiate with U.S. employers on behalf of the entire crew. There inevitably is a race to the bottom, with Mexicans (per capita GDP $10,000 per year) displacing Americans ($42,000), and Chinese ($6,800) displacing Mexicans. Even Chinese income levels would look good to an Indian worker ($3,300) or a Bangladeshi ($2,100).
The wider the income gap between the native and immigrant workers, the more profitable labor contracting becomes.
No one knows this better than the federal officials who administer the H-2A visa program.
In fact, several ex-administrators of the H-2A visa program have left the Department of Labor to open their own labor brokerages. They became labor contractorsapplying to their former colleagues for visas.
Surprise, surprise: the number of jobs certified as requiring H-2A workers rose sharply after they left. Not to mention the fees collected by the new labor contractors.
We dont allow military brass to leave the Pentagon one day and work for defense contractors the next. Shouldnt we have the same safeguards for officials who administer our immigration laws?
This is moral hazard, pure and simple. Yet its apparently all legalas are the immigrants this corrupt system brings into the country.
Legal, that is, until Congress wakes up. Or is woken up.
Edwin S. Rubenstein is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.
Chinese “Contract Labour” And Canada’s Immigration Catastrophe
Posted on November 2, 2006
November 02, 2006
National Data, By Edwin S. Rubenstein
Chinese “Contract Labor” And Canadas Immigration Catastrophe
My recent article on Chinese “contract labor” being brought in for post-Katrina rebuilding inspired a Canadian reader to recount his countrys experience. Dan Murray, of Immigration Watch Canada, writes:
“I was particularly interested in your article because I have done a considerable amount of research on the Chinese Head Tax issue in Canada. You may wonder what the connection is. To put the matter briefly, the Chinese Head Tax (and eventually Canada’s Chinese Exclusion Act) were responses to Chinese contractors (mostly Chinese businessmen already in Canada) bringing cheap Chinese labor to Canada. This created an enormous amount of hostility which has been glossed over by the media today (most of whom know nothing about the history) as being rooted in racism. The central point is that economic factors such as underbidding for jobs caused much of the hostility against the Chinese.” [e-mail to Ed Rubenstein, October 10, 2006]
The Canadian government was under extreme pressure to cut costs incurred in constructing the countrys first transcontinental railroad in the 1880s, and cheap Chinese labor was seen as crucial. At its peak, about one-third of British Columbias labor force was Chinese.
When Canadian workers complained about unfair competition from the low-wage Chinese, the response of the Canadian government was familiar:
“.When Prime Minister John A. Macdonald heard complaints about the unfair wage advantage the Chinese enjoyed, he repeatedly (but likely inaccurately) pointed out that Canada had allowed Chinese laborers to enter the country solely because there was a shortage of labor in the early 1880’s. The Chinese, he said, would be leaving when construction had been completed. B.C. laborers should just be patient” [ April 5, 2006: Some Conclusions About The Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Laws, ImmigrationWatchCanada.org]
Of course, the Chinese influx continued even after the railroad was built. This prompted the first Chinese Head Tax, a fixed fee levied on each Chinese immigrant, set at $50 in 1885. Subsequent Administrations increased the tax to $100, and in 1904, to $500. (For five hundred dollars in the early 1900s was enough to purchase two homes in Montreal.)
Yet even this high level of tax did not restrain Chinese immigration. From January 1904, when the tax was increased to $500, until the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923, 42,444 Chinese paid the Head Tax to come to Canada. In the prior 18 years (1885 to 1903) 39,925 Chinese paid the Head Tax. [ Chinese Head Tax Issue Speech to the 12th AGM of the National Congress of Chinese Canadians, Senator Vivienne Poy]
How could they afford it? The answer, of course, is that the tax wasnt paid by the laborers themselves, but by their contractors a.k.a. gangmasterswho “loaned” them the tax payments in return for their indentured servitude. “Later, to have workers repay their debts, they collected pay from employers and then deducted an appropriate amount each pay day from each laborers wages,” Murray writes.
The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which barred Chinese immigration, was the only recourse.
Fast forward to 2006.
Canada currently admits about 250,000 legal immigrants annually, or approximately 83 per every 10,000 residents. By comparison, the U.S. is almost xenophobic: we admitted 1.12 million legal immigrants in 2005, or roughly 38 per every 10,000 Americans. On a per capita basis, Canadian immigration is the highest in the world.
Most Canadian immigrants come from China (still), India, the Philippines, and other Asian countries. Dan Murray informs us that many of the recent arrivals have been sponsored by false refugee claimants who arrived earlier and were granted refugee status. In effect, illegal immigrants are driving much of the current legal influx to Canada.
So what is the Canadian government doing re immigration?
On June 22, 2006 Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to Chinese immigrants for the countrys treatment of Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923. Harper pledged financial restitution.
(This despite being allegedly influenced, while a student, by Peter Brimelows book on Canada! And, for the record, this is what Brimelows Alien Nation reports is the response if you ask how you can go about immigrating to China today:
Chinese Embassy Official [laughs]: “China does not accept any immigrants. We have a large enough population. A foreigner can visit on a tourist visa that can be extended for up to six months. Then you must leave. To apply for a temporary work permit, you must first have an official letter of invitation from a company authorized by the Chinese government.”)
Chinese-Canadian groups expect the Canadian government will offer a multi-million-dollar compensation package to survivors who paid the Head Tax, their widows and their children.
An update from Dan Murray:
“By the way, just heard a news item about a talk our Prime Minister gave to a group in Vancouver’s Chinatown last night. [PM addresses Head Tax and lauds accomplishments of Chinese Canadians] He told a sentimental story about his wife’s connection to the issue and then said that compensation checks for the Chinese Head Tax would be in the mail by November of this year. I believe he knows nothing about the economic reasons for the Head Tax and does not want to hear anything that might disturb his sleep.” [e-mail to Ed Rubenstein, October 11, 2006.]
Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.