minnesota: Page 1
# In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.
# Immigrant households’ use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Their use of cash and housing programs tends to be similar to native households.
# A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.
# Immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, even before the current recession. In 2001, 50 percent of all immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program, compared to 32 percent for natives.
# Households with children with the highest welfare use rates are those headed by immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent).
# The states where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62 percent); Texas, California, and New York (61 percent); Pennsylvania (59 percent); Minnesota and Oregon (56 percent); and Colorado (55 percent).
Some immigrant-advocacy groups criticized the report, saying it was engineered to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment by making an unequal comparison between immigrant households, which tend to be low-income, and all native households, including low-income and high-income households.
Immigrant households use welfare programs at about the same rate when compared with the low-income native households, said Jonathan Blazer, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center an immigrant-advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
Since that appears to be the best argument that opponents can offer, CIS's report must be solid. Why are we allowing millions of poor people to immigrate here when we already have more poor Americans than our social welfare programs can apparently handle? Especially since the future for those poor immigrants and their children doesn't look very promising, as even Obama admits? What's going to happen to our social welfare programs as the children of those poor immigrants and their children retire?
WSJ and SEIU complain about immigration audits, show no concern for American workers (Miriam Jordan, Harvard Maintenance, Minnesota) - 03/15/11
As an alternative to the showy immigration raids conducted during the George W Bush administration, the Barack Obama administration has been conducting "paper raids" (see this for an example with the downsides noted; the guidelines were discussed here).
Needless to say, any form of immigration enforcement doesn't sit well with those who seek to profit or enable others to profit from cheap illegal labor. Thus, Miriam Jordan of the Wall Street Journal offers "Immigration Audit Takes Toll/Janitorial Firm Harvard Maintenance to Lose Over Half of Minnesota Work Force" (link). It features the WSJ highlighting complaints about that audit from the Service Employees International Union, without mentioning the fact that the raid might have opened up hundreds of jobs for American citizens and legal workers. The SEIU gets untold millions in dues from illegally-earned paychecks, and illegal aliens also give them poliltical power. Supporting American workers over illegal aliens isn't in their best interests. For the WSJ, supporting American workers over cheaper, more pliable illegal aliens isn't in the interests of those they serve.
Excerpts follow; see if you can find anything supportive of American workers either below or in the whole article:
Harvard Maintenance Inc., a national janitorial company, will lose over half its Minnesota work force after an immigration audit, making it the second major business in that state to be hit by an Obama administration crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants.
The audit by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will result in about 240 workers losing their jobs, the Service Employees International Union said on Monday...
...Harvard Maintenance began issuing dismissal letters to employees in early March and is in the process of terminating workers, according to the SEIU, which represents the workers...
..."Our community is traumatized," said Javier Morillo, president of SEIU Local 26 in the Twin Cities. He estimated Harvard Maintenance has 350 workers in the state. Mr. Morillo said following the audit the union worked with Harvard Maintenance to keep the workers employed as long as possible...
...DeAnne Hilgers, an attorney who advises Minnesota companies, said the business community there was shocked by "what appears to be a surge in audits." She said 10 of her clients in the construction and restaurant industries were being investigated by ICE, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. "These audits are of great consequence to their businesses" because they result in lost workers and thousands of dollars in fines, she said...
...About 11 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S., according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group. Without illegal immigrants, business executives in industries like construction, agriculture and restaurants say they would be forced to radically change how they operate.
3/19/11 UPDATE: Morillo of the SEIU has issued a statement (excerpt from here). He's partially correct, albeit for the wrong reasons:
Under the leadership of Secretary Napolitano the federal government has become an employment agency for the country’s worst employers. With each I-9 audit, the government is systematically pushing hardworking people into the underground economy where they face exploitation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports targeting egregious employers that exploit workers – but it’s become increasingly obvious that this policy is nothing short of lip service. Let’s be clear: I-9 audits, by definition, do not go after egregious employers who break immigration laws because many of them do not use I-9 forms. Human traffickers do not ask their victims for their social security cards.
Secretary Napolitano, Director Morton and the agencies they represent are at the forefront of a damaging policy shift in this country – one in which good, hardworking people are hand-delivered to the underground economy. SEIU fights for economic justice across this country, and we can no longer sit silently while communities are devastated by reckless policies.
As this site has been saying since they started, the "paper raids" simply put illegal aliens back in the labor pool, and many of them will simply find work at other, less-reputable employers. So, Morillo is correct about that, at least partially. What he, the SEIU, and the DHS aren't correct about is the solution to the problem. Those groups want to legalize illegal aliens. The solution that supports U.S. workers is to deport illegal aliens and take them out of the labor pool so that U.S. workers can take those jobs. Due to unemployment and other factors, that would be a net financial gain. The SEIU's idea of "economic justice" is perverse, involving obtaining dues money and political power from those here illegally who are depressing wages and taking jobs from American workers. The SEIU's loyalty is to themselves and to illegal aliens and not so much to American workers.
3/24/11 UPDATE: More from Morillo (link):
"The janitors of the Twin Cities that are in the union, they're not depressing wages for janitors. They're the highest paid janitors," said Morillo. "There are janitorial companies that pay much, much less that actually depress wages that are not being targeted for ICE audits."
Morillo claims ICE targets companies that already check the paperwork of their employees. Employers who pay under the table wouldn't get caught in this net. That underground economy is where he says most of the former janitors will go.
SEIU has tracked the ABM janitors who lost their jobs in 2009. Morillo says hardly any of them have returned to their home countries.
Obviously, Minneapolis only needs so many janitors so the illegal aliens that the SEIU is protecting are taking good-paying jobs away from Americans who might be forced out of work or who might be forced to take lower-paying jobs. And, the last paragraph underlines how Napolitano's "paper raids" simply add illegal aliens back into the labor pool.
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is reaching out to the tea parties and doing it in big, crazy ways. Over the weekend, he appeared at the Teaparty "Patriots" summit in Phoenix, Arizona and said among other things this completely false statement (video: peekURL.com/vNQNJUT ):
"I'm here to say thank you for standing up to the ruling class" [meaning: "liberal power brokers, guardians of the status quo and the royal triangle of greed: big government, big unions and big bailed-out businesses"]
In fact, the teapartiers are having their strings pulled by one set of the "ruling class", specifically the Koch family and those who fund Dick Armey of FreedomWorks. They're mostly pawns of one very wealthy group against another, and they aren't opposing the "ruling class" on issues where the "ruling class" is aligned.
No Teaparty "policy" (to the extent that they articulate specific policy ideas at all) would discomfort the "ruling class", and none of their actions would take on the "ruling class". If they wanted to actually take on the "ruling class", they'd highlight issues like immigration and trade rather than ignoring them or being on the wrong side . And, instead of acting like children and waving loopy signs or playing dress-up, they'd find the few smart people among them to do things like question authority.
But, wait, there's much more and it gets crazy.
Now, Pawlenty has released the video below. It includes someone playing dress-up at :15 (the tricorner hat), a Gadsden flag at :22, and a "ram it down our throat/we'll shove it up your ass in November" sign at :25. Then, it gets even more nuts with portions of a Pawlenty speech:
"We, the people of the United States, will rise up again. We will take back our government. This is our country. Our Founding Fathers created it. Americans embraced it. Ronald Reagan personified it. And Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. Now as ever, this nation under God should have a new birth of freedom. Our government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. And America will remain the greatest country the world has ever known."
Memo to Pawlenty: we are not in a Red Dawn scenario. And, the idea that teapartiers are the only True Americans is implicitly anti-American: those who pretend to be True American Patriots think everyone else isn't a patriot. Pawlenty and his teaparty buddies are denying election results and are no better than those who used phrases like "pResident Bush". Of course, whether he actually believes any of this isn't clear. But, it's clear that he isn't fit to be president of the U.S. since he doesn't think that anyone who isn't in the teaparties is a legitimate American.
 At the Teaparty "Patriots" conference in Arizona where Pawlenty spoke just 4% of their events were about immigration despite that state being the immigration epicenter in recent months. And, out of four panelists at one of those sessions, one was Ali Noorani and two others support comprehensive immigration reform. The position of the fourth is unknown.
Ohio, Illinois, NY, NJ, Penn to lose political power due to massive immigration (House seats; also: IA, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO) - 11/19/09
According to a new study (americasvoiceonline.org/pages/the_new_constituents), due to massive immigration particularly by Latinos, the results of the 2010 Census - used to apportion congressional districts - will result in the following changes (chart from the HuffPost article discussed here):
States losing House seats: Ohio (-2), Illinois (-1), Iowa (-1), Louisiana (-1), Massachusetts (-1), Michigan (-1), Minnesota (-1), Missouri (-1), New Jersey (-1), New York (-1), and Pennsylvania (-1).
If you're located in one of the states in the latter group, that means you're going to lose power. In that case, organize a local effort to take smart action to reduce immigration.
Toothless Obama admin immigration enforcement: 100s janitors fired, not deported (+how many SEIU members are illegal aliens?) - 11/09/09
In Minneapolis, Minnesota earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security sent no match letters or a variant to around 1200 janitors employed by the major corporation ABM informing those employees that there was a mismatch between their Social Security numbers and other information. They were required to provide documentation by October, and when all or almost all didn't, ABM fired them; presumably all or virtually all are illegal aliens (link). However, rather than trying to deport them, DHS simply concentrated on the company. Needless to say, that makes it easy for a fired illegal alien to go to work down the street, while waiting for the Obama administration to push for amnesty:
John Keller of the Immigrant Law Center says of the 1,200 fired janitors, about 10 might have a path to citizenship under existing laws. The rest, he says, will probably try to wait it out, hoping for the laws to change so they can work herelegally.
The article also says that "ABM janitor jobs make up one-quarter of SEIU's membership"; whether "membership" means just the number in Minneapolis or of the Local involved or is a national figure isn't known, but in any case a large number of SEIU members are here illegally; that means that a portion of the money that the SEIU receives in dues is earned illegally. That would be a good thing to ask them.
And, as with other cases, Americans or legal foreign workers have filled the jobs previously taken by the illegal aliens. It would also be a good thing to ask Democrats, Republicans, pundits, major bloggers, and the like why they aren't calling for more enforcement in order to free up jobs for Americans (and take them off unemployment insurance).
It's apparently open season on Michelle Bachmann , so TPM TV - run by Josh Marshall  - offers the attached misleading video entitled "The Bachmann Effect". Leaving the other two segments aside, the middle segment takes her comments out of context and shows how little Marshall/TPM understand about immigration issues.
Consumers could see the price of fruits and vegetables double if the nation does not address a looming farm labor shortage in the wake of tightening immigration enforcement, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said [collinpeterson.house.gov].If the price of lettuce shot up, fewer people would buy lettuce. It's not like it's an essential part of our diet. Other, less serf-labor-intensive crops would take its place. And, foreign producers would see an opportunity and start shipping their product to the U.S. Likewise for all the other types of fruits and vegetables that would be affected.
Peterson, D-Minn., told producers attending the Kansas State Fair this weekend that the agriculture committee will focus on the immigration issue as it strives to do its part to make sure there is adequate labor. He said some crops will not be harvested this year unless something is done...
Other than normal inflation, I think it would be extraordinarily difficult for those prices to double, and I suggest that all those who would vote for him remember that he's willing to lie to support corrupt businesses.
11/10/09 UPDATE: I should have linked to this academic study showing how little fruit/vegetable prices would rise without illegal immigration.
I'm left with the distinct impression that the New York Times is a Mexican newspaper after reading "Way North of the Border" by Eduardo Porter and Elisabeth Malkin.
Here's the paragraph on which they construct the rest of their story:
Minneapolis (AP) Gov. Tim Pawlenty has asked the city councils of Minneapolis and St. Paul to reconsider laws that limit situations in which police officers can ask about a person's immigration status...
Pawlenty asks each city to amend or repeal "an ordinance which effectively prohibits police officers from inquiring about immigration status if such an inquiry is the sole basis for questioning or detaining an individual."