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Aaron Schock's treacherous, out-of-touch immigration comments

On the video below, Rep. Aaron Schock (GOP of Illinois) makes immigration comments that are nearly as treacherous as some George W Bush made. But, the hallmark of Schock's comments is not so much how un-American they are, but how out-of-touch they are.

Most supporters of comprehensive immigration reform couch their bad policies in pro-American verbiage, acknowledging most Americans in word if not deed.

Schock isn't even trying. Schock makes clear where his loyalties lie: with business interests and foreign citizens. The interests of most Americans don't seem to be on Schock's mind.

Here's a transcript of the video, followed by a detailed discussion of many of the ways it's wrong:

We all know the current system is failing the many hard-working men and women who want a chance for a good-paying job. And we know that small businesses, family farms, and nearly every employer in the state are burdened by the legal and political hurdles required to hire good workers.

The problem is most acute when it comes to getting visas for various agricultural and high-skilled workers and without enough workers the crops don't get harvested, the assembly lines don't run, and the manufacturing supply chain breaks down.

Quite frankly, I think if a man or a woman likes their American job - wherever they were born - they should be able to keep that job.

We need a clear path to citizenship for workers who are already here and a fair and efficient on-ramp for those who want to come here.

We should never forget that we are all a nation of immigrants. At some point either we or our parents or grandparents came to America for opportunity: a chance to make a decent wage and the freedom to pursue happiness.

It's been 30 years since Congress took any significant action to address our immigration laws. Some workers have been waiting 10 years for permanent status. That's long enough.

With your help, we can fix what's broken and help renew the promise of America for a future generation of immigrants and their children.

1. Schock made the video for the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, a group closely linked to the very pro-illegal immigration Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. That group's former president (Juan Salgado) admitted to having divided loyalties and has a series of links to the Mexican government.

2. The current system is failing the millions of unemployed Americans who could do jobs currently done by foreign citizens and with what would be a net economic gain, all things considered. But, those unemployed Americans aren't the group Schock is concerned with: his "hard-working men and women" clearly refers to foreign citizens. Rather than giving unemployed Americans a "chance for a good-paying job", he wants to give that chance to foreign citizens.

3. Schock's first sentence is related to the system is broken stock talking point; see that page for the details.

4. Regarding Schock's claim about "without enough workers", how out of touch is he? The U.S. doesn't have a worker shortage: earlier this year around 92 million Americans were out of the labor force, the lowest labor force participation rate in 35 years [1]. Where do Schock's loyalties lie? Clearly not with unemployed Americans or Americans out of the workforce entirely. Is Schock demanding that growers and others hire Americans? Is he pushing a program that would make it easier for Americans to do farm and other lower-skilled labor [2]? No, his concern is only with foreign citizens and their employers.

5. Regarding crops not getting harvested, see the crops rotting in the fields page for several examples of how deceptive that talking point is.

6. See skilled immigration for the downsides of that. The problem of de facto age discrimination in Silicon Valley and among other high tech employers is known, with workers over 50 of all types being unemployed longer than younger workers [3]. As is consistent with the rest, their situation is off Schock's radar. He wants employers to be able to import younger, more pliable foreign labor rather than encouraging them to hire unemployed Americans.

7. The "I think if a man or a woman likes their American job" bit is as borderline-treasonous as the rest of Schock's comments. If someone comes here illegally and gets a job, they should be able to stay? The concerns of American citizens don't matter: Schock would transfer control over immigration from American citizens to foreign citizens. There's an excellent chance that an unemployed American could step in and do that job, but Schock doesn't care.

8. See the nation of immigrants page for why that talking point is wrong.

9. While Schock does mention "the freedom to pursue happiness", the main reason he thinks people should come here is "for opportunity: a chance to make a decent wage". Many fiscal cons and libertarians see the U.S. not so much as a country but as a shopping mall; their primary motivation is money and they think everyone else is the same. They think that coming to the U.S. is like renting space at a swap meet.

10. Regarding "[i]t's been 30 years since Congress took any significant action to address our immigration laws", whether that's a factual statement or not depends on your definition of "significant" [4]. In any case, simply not having done something for a while is no excuse to do the same thing again. Especially since the 1986 amnesty he refers to was a failure for most Americans and an example of how today's Comprehensive Immigration Reform would fail. As with the 1986 version, any version today would at least not halt illegal immigration [5] and there's an excellent chance it would make the problem worse.

11. Regarding "[s]ome workers have been waiting 10 years for permanent status. That's long enough.", the policies Schock supports would make that even worse by adding even more people to an overburdened system. Either it would take years to process those waiting in the "immigration line" (which isn't really a line at all) and millions of the current illegal aliens, or people - including among them some number of criminals and potential terrorists - would be waved through the process with few safeguards.

All that said, I can fully understand why crooked businesses that want to hire illegal aliens, businesses that prefer foreign citizens to Americans, foreign citizens, and Americans with divided loyalties would continue to support Schock: he's on their side. However, if anyone not in those groups isn't convinced that Schock's comments are un-American and treacherous I want to hear about it. Tweet me the details of what's not clear to @24AheadDotCom_ .

If anyone wants to do something about this, send the link to this page to any Schock supporters you can find on social media and other sites. Or, simply make the points above to them. (@RepAaronSchock is only rarely used, so search for those tweeting at him or by searching for "Aaron Schock").

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[1] dailymail.co . uk/news/article-2537585/More-Americans-not-working-92-million-people-workforce.html
[2] In the U.S., almost all lower-skilled labor is subsidized. For instance, someone making $24,000 a year with two kids in public schools is only paying a small amount of the schooling cost. Schock wants to provide growers and others with subsidized foreign labor. The idea of subsidizing Americans working those same jobs is off his radar.
[3] nytimes . com/2013/07/27/your-money/unemployed-and-older-and-facing-a-jobless-future.html
[4] For instance, the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996" might be considered significant by many.
[5] The CBO report also predicts that the Senate bill would only reduce illegal immigration by 25%. The political dynamics need to be taken into account too: amnesty would give more power to the very groups and people who currently fight against immigration enforcement. If amnesty passes, groups like the National Council of La Raza will get much more power, and no one in their right mind thinks they wouldn't keep on opposing most forms of immigration enforcement as they do now.

See video

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:47 · Importance: 4