Peter DeFazio is a liberal Democrat (from Oregon) in the U.S. House, who believes we should reduce immigration. There are many people who seem to think it is an oxymoron to be "liberal" and want to "reduce immigration."
Yet, Peter DeFazio was one of the Democrats who voted against the Iraq war. Also, in February 2003, he was the sponsor of the emergency resolution that would have stopped the Iraq war.
record of House votes on the Iraq war - emergency resolution to stop the war
Also, Peter DeFazio was one of 39 members of a task force to promote universal health care. Some others on the task force include such illustrious liberals like Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers.
task force on universal health care
The Task Force will (1) work to develop and pass legislation to achieve comprehensive, affordable, and high quality health care for all, (2) eradicate disparities in our health care system; in particular those impacting the African American, Hispanic, Asian, and other communities of color.
Also, Peter DeFazio was one of only 10 members of Congress to cosponsor legislation to withdrawal from the World Trade Organization in the year 2005. Furthermore, only 86 out of the other 435 members of the U.S. House had the courage to vote along with DeFazio to withdrawal from the WTO.
House votes on withdrawal from the WTO
Also, Peter DeFazio votes against all the free-trade agreements.
recent, important trade-related votes
Also, Peter DeFazio teamed up with Paul Wellstone to support increases in foreign aid.
One idea is the Tobin tax, named after Yale University economist James Tobin, which would target transactions in the foreign currency markets that currently total between $1.2 trillion and $2 trillion a day.
Supporters call the Tobin tax the "Robin Hood tax" because it supposedly taxes the rich nations to benefit the poor.
But it would also affect the IRAs, Mutual Funds and pension plans of ordinary Americans that have money invested abroad.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Senator Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., introduced a resolution on April 11, 2000, calling for implementation of Tobin-style taxes. A "Tobin Tax Campaign" in the U.S. also counts the AFL-CIO, Friends of the Earth, and the World Federalist Association as supporters.
This effort to increase foreign aid clearly shows that Peter DeFazio is concerned about alleviating the economic distress experienced by many of the world's poor.
Yet, Peter DeFazio is a practical individual, and I think that's why he also voted for HR 4437, which is otherwise known as the "Sensenbrenner" bill.
vote-smart --- house clerk
This bill HR 4437 is the bill that was passed by the U.S. House in December of 2005 and has often been criticized for being too harsh on illegal immigrants. Yet, there's a Zogby poll that shows that a majority of rank-and-file Democrats and hispanics support this bill.
New Poll: Americans Prefer House Approach on Immigration
"Support for the House approach was widespread, with 81 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents, 57 percent of Democrats, and 53 percent of Hispanics saying it was good or very good idea."
Though there are provisions that almost everyone disagrees with, at least some of HR 4437 would work to better enforce our immigration laws and to reduce immigration.
One of the provisions in HR 4437 was to stop the "visa lottery" which randomly hands out 50,000 green cards every year. This lottery was created in the year 1990, as part of an on-going Congressional effort to increase immigration.
wikipedia HR 4437
Eliminates the Diversity Immigrant Visa (also known as Green Card Lottery) program. (House Amendment 650, authored by Bob Goodlatte)
Barbara Jordan also called for the elimination of the "visa lottery" during the 1990s. Barbara Jordan was appointed by Bill Clinton to head up a commission on immigration reform. She said that we need to reduce immigration in order to protect America's poorest working families. And one of the things she recommended was stopping the "visa lottery."
bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform
(By the way, Barbara Jordan was the first black woman to be elected to Congress from the "Deep South" during the 1970s. In 1994, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.)
In Barbara Jordan's words:
"Legal immigration ... has costs, as well as benefits. Immigrants with relatively low education and skills may compete for jobs and public services with the most vulnerable of Americans, particularly those who are unemployed or underemployed. Jobs generated by immigrant businesses do not always address this problem. Concentrated and/or rapid entry of immigrants into a locality may impose immediate net costs, particularly in education, where expenditures are required to meet the additional and special needs of newcomers. Concentration of new immigrants can exacerbate tensions among ethnic groups. ... Unless there is a compelling national interest to do otherwise, immigrants should be chosen on the basis of the skills they contribute to the U.S. economy."
Another part of HR 4437 would make it more difficult for employers to hire illegal immigrants.
wikipedia HR 4437
Mandates employers to verify workers' legal status through electronic means, phased in over several years.
The electronic means
refers to the "Basic Pilot" program, which was created in 1996 to assist employers in verifying that their job applicants have a legal right to work in this country. The problem is that so far this program has been a voluntary system, which of course, means that employers who believe they have a right to break the law are not going to volunteer to use this system. So, making this system mandatory would help.
"Basic Pilot" program
This program enables employers to electronically verify the work eligibility of newly hired non-citizens directly with the appropriate federal agencies using the Internet, and is considered one of the most promising and effective tools available to encourage compliance with immigration laws. Employers now using the web-based program report that it is easier to use than the current paperwork-reliant system, and brings virtually no disruption to employers and legal workers.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an important enforcement bill, H.R. 4437, known as the Sensenbrenner bill which, among other things, would gradually require all employers nationwide to use the Basic Pilot Program to verify that their workers are eligible for employment.
Three pilot programs were introduced in 1997 and the most successful, known as Basic Pilot, was reauthorized and expanded by Congress in 2004. An independent evaluation carried out by Temple University's Institute for Survey Research and the private research firm Westat found that Basic Pilot did reduce unauthorized employment among participating employers (the program is currently voluntary).
Also, HR 4437 does have language which recognizes that when people are illegally in this country, they should be deported.
wikipedia HR 4437
Refusing to accept immigrants from countries which delay or refuse to accept the foreign country's citizens deported from the United States
This would be keeping with Barbara Jordan's view of what all Americans should be able to expect from the enforcement of our immigration laws. In Barbara Jordan's words:
"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave." "...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."
About 40% of illegal immigrants are illegal residents because they have overstayed their visas. Many of these people are not desperately poor and thus would not suffer great hardship if they were forced to return to their countries-of-origin after their visa expired. But the government is not enforcing the law at all.
With respect to those who would suffer economic hardship, this is what foreign aid is for.
I was watching C-Span a couple of weekends ago and Nobel-Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said the following (paraphrasing):
The U.S. signed an agreement to give 0.70% of our GDP in foreign aid. But now, we're still only giving 0.15% of our GDP. The Scandinavian countries give 1.00% of their GDP. By this standard, the U.S. is one of the stingiest countries in the world.
Also, I've heard that France gives 0.70% of their GDP in foreign aid.
When the investor/executive class talks in sympathetic terms about providing more opportunities for immigrants to come to America for a better life, they are really just motivated by self-interest. If they really cared, then they would lobby to have their taxes raised to increase foreign aid. But instead, over the last month, the rich have been lobbying to get rid of the estate tax, which affects only the wealthiest of Americans. The rich in America only care about helping poor foreign citizens in ways which also help the rich, such as getting greater access to cheap labor.
www.StopGlobalism.com ........... www.VOIDnow.org