United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Legal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 online

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On the first point, analysts can help to refine the choices that are reflected in iin-
migration trade offs by making the considerations transparent. In the case of immi-
grant farm workers and food costs, the trade off between high farm wages and
cheap food may not be as significant as is sometimes asserted.

The average American family spends about $500 annually on fresh fruits and
vegetables, of which farmers receive about $150, and farm workers about $50. Even
in the extreme case that farm wages doubled as a result of reducing the influx of
immigrant farm workers, and even if all of the wage increases were passed on to
consumers, the family's bill for fresh fruits and vegetables would rise only 10 per-
cent, from $500 to $550 per year.

And, with free trade or technological changes in how crops are produced, retail
food prices might not rise at all. It is important to remember that, since the Bracero
program was ended in 1964, production of the processing tomatoes that were picked
primarily by Bracero workers has quadrupled, and the real cost of tomato products
dropped sharply.

There are also other considerations involved in trade off calculations. Today, a
continued influx of immigrants into the fields encourages farm workers and their



96

children to move to urban areas to improve their lot, and the farm labor market
becomes a revolving door through which unskilled immigrants begin their American
journey. This raises the question: how much should US immigration policy be driven
by the trade ofTs involved in farm worker wages and food costs?

Let me mention a second example of trade offs. Cultural enrichment and ethnic
divisiveness are another pair of competing considerations that arise when there is
large-scale immigration. American music, movies, poUtics and religion — as well as
cooking — have much more variety today than they had in the 1950s, in large part
because of the immigration of the 1970s and 1980s.

But high level of immigration can also produce ethnic rivalry and divisiveness.
Most immigrants today arrive without English. When newcomers of various origins
are crowded together, neighbors often cannot communicate with each other. Until
they command English, residents of mixed neighborhoods have trouble forming via-
ble communities. Yet monolingual enclaves present other problems: Hispanic chil-
dren are now more likely to attend "majority minority" schools than are black chil-
dren. And many Spanish-speaking immigrants settle in places where Spanish suf-
fices for daily life.

Each of us may weigh these choices differently, and thereby come to different con-
clusions about which competing choice is most important. But we should remember
that these trade offs cannot be avoided.

ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS

There are many voices that argue that US economic needs should play a larger
role in US immigration policy. As you know, economic reasoning is based on a few
simple principles.

The starting point for the economic analysis of immigration is that rational indi-
vidugds are trying to maximize their well-being by moving from one country to an-
other. With average US wages after the Mexican peso devaluation now 12 rather
than 8 times higher than average Mexican wages, an economist would predict that
more Mexicans would try to immigrate to the US. For economists, legal and illegal
immigration from low to high countries is not a siu-prise, since such migration is
exactly the rational behavior that is expected.

Second, economists beUeve that economies and labor markets are flexible. This
means that, if immigrants arrive seeking jobs, they will make a place for themselves
in the labor market and economy. The normal way in which a flexible economy
makes room for immigrants is through lower wages. Immigrants most often arrive
during periods of economic and wage growth, so that wages rise more slowly than
they otherwise would, but this wage-depressing effect of immigration can be gdmost
invisible in a growing economy.

If immigrants arrive in a stagnant economy in which wages are falling for reasons
such as slow productivity growth and international competition, the presence of visi-
ble immigrant workers can make the wage depression more noticeable to native
workers, and permit the immigrants to become the scapegoat for the several factors
depressing wages. During the early 1990s, California lost over 700,000 jobs as a re-
sult of defense cutbacks and the national recession, while unskilled immigrants —
whose taxes flow primarily to the federal government, but whose young families re-
quire education and other services that are paid for primarily by state and local tax-
payers — continued to pour into California, setting the stage for Proposition 187 in
November 1994.

Third, economists can only try to make more precise the real choices that underlie
trade offs between goods. Most Americans want to both increase the number of jobs
and to reduce pollution, and the fact that there are tradeoffs between these compet-
ing goods means that there are inevitable differences over which of the two desir-
able goods to emphasize.

REFORM CONSIDERATIONS

As you consider legal immigration reform, I urge you to remember that Americans
have always been of two minds about immigration. On the one hand, the United
States is proud to be a "nation of immigrants", celebrating the theme of national
renewal and rebirth embodied in the story of newcomers starting over in the land
of opportunity.

On the other hand, Americans have worried since the days of the founding fathers
about the economic, political, and cultural effects of newcomers. These concerns
have been reflected in legislation that Umits the annual entry of immigrants, and
by a preference for those who have relatives here or possess needed skills.



97

Legal immigration reform is being considered in a climate in which there are a
remarkable number of often contradictory claims made. However, it seems to me
that three generally agreed facts should be kept in mind:

First, measures of the flow of immigrants differ. By one measure, the so-called
rate of immigration, or the number of immigrants arriving annually per 100 resi-
dents, immigration is lower today than it was at the beginning of the century, sim-
ply because 1 million immigrants annually produces a higher rate in a population
of 90 million than in a population of 260 million.

By another measure, the contribution of immigration to population growth, immi-
gration is at an all-time high. About 30 percent of US population growth is due to
immigration today, versus 20 percent at the beginning of the century.

As you consider elusive concepts such as the immigrant absorptive capacity of the
United States, it is important to bear in mind that, for many Americans, the rate
at which the population changes because of immigration — the second measure — may
be more important than the rate of immigration, the first measure.

At the turn of the century, for example, when both American and immigrant
women had high fertility, there was a shared concern for building schools to educate
children. Today, if immigrant children are the reason why additional schools must
be built, an issue such as taxes to pay for education may divide rather than unite
immigrants and natives.

Second, today's immigrants differ from the American citizenry, both in their eth-
nic origins, and in their education and skills. While earlier waves of immigrants
were mostly Europeans, today's immigrants are primarily from Latin American and
Asian countries.

Ethnic differences are compounded by differences in economic prospects. If ranked
by the single best predictor of economic success — years of education — US-bom
adults would form a diamond shape, with 20 percent lacking a high-school diploma,
almost 60 percent having a high school diploma, 20 percent a college degree. This
diamond-shaped pattern produces a big middle class.

Immigrants who arrived in the 1980's, by contrast, tend to be bunched near tiie
extremes of the education spectrum. Over 40 percent do not have a high school di-
ploma, one-third have a high school diploma, and one-fourth have a college degree
or more. This pyramid shape helps to explain why current immigration patterns re-
inforce other factors promoting economic inequality.

Third, we know that immigrants have and wiU play an important role in reshap-
ing the nation, but it is important to bear in mind that immigrants are very con-
centrated in a relatively few areas and parts of the economy. There are, for example,
fewer than 15 million foreign-bom workers in a labor force of over 130 million. In
only three major US occupations are a majority of the workers arguably immi-
grants — janitors (3 million total employees), farm workers (2.5 million), and maids
and nannies (1 million). This means that, as with so many other difficult trade offs,
the long run national interest may differ from the interests of what are pockets of
the economy in which immigrants are concentrated.

A CONCLUDING NOTE

The us has been and can continue to be enriched by immigration. Immigration
has economic effects and, as with all economic phenomena, immigrants create trade-
offs between good or desirable ends. Economic analysis can help by making more
transparent the likely effect of various alternatives but, in the end, value judgments
have to be made by politicians and others who exercise power in society.

Even if economists could measure exactly the economic effects of the 10 to 15 mil-
lion immigrants in the US labor force they, like everyone else, can only speculate
on the really important question — how do we use today's snapshots of data to create
the motion picture that tells us how immigrants and their children are Ukely to be
perceived over time?

Many predictions about the long-term effects of immigrants have been spectacular
failures. Benjamin Franklin in the 1750s complained that German immigrants could
never learn English and be fully integrated, yet today one-fourth of all Americans
trace their origins to Germany.

On the other hand, the story of the dying Indian chief reminds us that, by the
time we are ready to act to change immigration policy, it may be too late. The young
braves gathered around the death bed asked the chief to name his generation's big-
gest mistake, so that the next generation could avoid it. His reply — we had a lousy
immigration policy.



98

APPENDIX— IMMIGRATION MATERIALS



of each are attached.



99



MIGRATION NEWS



June 1995



Volume 2, Number 6



NORTH AMERICA

Qimca Propocali to Reduce Inunigrmooa . 1
Westcn Growen Aik for Guest Workcn .. 2

GiMnunJuno Cubuii to Enter tbe US 2

Republicuu Divided on Inunigntioo 3

Women ind Ajyium ...„ „ 4

EUROPE

[uly. ASbuoM Tftckk Dkgil Immigniiao .. S

Muiliffl Imnuynnti in Europe 6

Afylum Seckert in Gennany 6

Bridifa ImmicnQoa Cndtdown » »6

ASIA

Asun Maids 7

Fofcign Woriccti in Sing^xxe 8

More Foreign Worken for Taiwan 8

lapan'i Worker Training Prognm 8

OTHER

Qlegal Immigrants on the SubccotincDi — 9
Palestinian Worken — „ 9

RESOURCES

Woikihap CO Gucfl Wotken 10



NORTH AMERICA

Clinton Proposals to
Reduce Illegal Immigration

On May 3. 199S, Senatots Kennedy
(D-MA), Boxer (D-CA). and Simon
(D-IL). fonnaUy introduced President
Clinton's proposals to deal with illegal
immigration, S7S4, the Immigration
Enforcement Improvements Act of
199S. The Administration bill is simi-
lar to the proposal of Senator Simpson
(R-WY). S 269. increasing the likeli-
hood that immigration reform will be
enacted in 199S.

The administration'sproposal would
permit US border communities as a
"local cation" to impose a $3 per ve-
hicle fee on border crossers, with the
funds used to add staff and crossing
points that would speed legal crossings
and deter illegal immigration. Other
featuresoflheproposal include: testing



Migration News summarizes the most important immigration and integration
developments during the Receding month. Topics are grouped by region: North
America, Europe, Asia, and Other.

There are three versions of Migration News. The paper copy has about 8,000
words: the email version 12,000 to 14,000 words; and the gopher version 14,000
to 18,000 words.

The purpose of Migration News is to provide summaries of recent immigratioo
developments that can be read in 60 minutes or less. Many issues also include a
special rqxKt, abstracts of selected papers, and articles and information on recent
research publications.

Distribution is by email. If you wish to subscribe, send your email address to:
Migration News

Current and back issues can be accessed via gopher in the Migration News
folder at: gopher//dual.ucdavis.edu.

There is no charge for the email Migration News. A paper copy of Migration
News is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign. Make checks payable
to UC Regents and send to: Philip Martin, Department of Agricultural Economics,
University of California, Davis, Davis California 95616 USA.

Migration News is produced with tbe suppon of the University of California-
Berkeley Center for German and European Studies and the German Marshall
Fund of the United States.

ISSN 1081-9908



a pilot worker identification system,
adding 1,500 INS employees over the
next three years, reducing the appeals
permitted to aliens in deportation pro-
ceedings, and allowing the use of rack-
eteering laws to wiretap and prosecute
alien smugglers.

The administration proposal would
double employer penalties for hiring
unauthori2ed workers if the employer
was al£0 guilty of violating other laws,
such as not paying the minimum wage.
The While House also plans to increase
the number of inspectors who investi-
gate immigration and wage-and-hour
violations.

The number of documents that a
new employee could present to an em-
ployer to prove authorization to work
would be reduced from 26 to six: resi-
dent alien card or "green cards," em-
ployment authorization issued to other
work -authorized aliens, a Social Secu-
rity card, a U.S. passport, a driver's
license, or a state-issued identification
card. US birth certificates would no



longer be acceptable to jHove authori-
zation to work.

Clinton acknowledged that the US
"was built by immigrants," but he as-
serted that the US "won't tolerate im-
migration by people whose fust aa
is to break the law as they enter the
country." An April 1995 Tunes Mirror
poll found that 62 percent of all Ameri-
cans, up from 58 percent in March
1994, believe that the US is losing
ground in dealing with illegal immigra-
tion.

On May 6. 1995. President Clinton
pledged to expedite the deportation of
criminal aliens from the US . Under US
law, there must be a separate proceed-
ing to determine whether convicted
"criminal aliens" should be deported.
The US deponed about 40,000 aliens
who had been convicted of crimes in
1994, and there is a backlog of another
100,000 awaiting deportation.

US Attorney General Janet Reno
announced on May 22 a one-month



Editor Philip Martin



Managing Editor Cecily Sprouse



Associate Editor Sergio O'Cadiz



100



pilot piogram at the Men's Centnl Jail
in Los Angeles that would place 46 INS
agents at the facility to detain aU illegal
inunigrants upon their release. The
inmates will be taken into federal cus-
tody, transported to a special inunigia-
tion court, and promptly deponed, most
on the same day they are released from
jaiL

The INS expects to depart 1,500
illegal aliens through this program in
June 1995. About 20 percent of the
inmates in Men's Central Jail are ille-
gal immigrants, according to the
SherifTs Deparunem.

In Congress, there are IhUs pending
to require that aliens apprehended twice
in the US be returned to at least 300
miles from the US border. State and
local governments would be required
to cooperate with the INS or lose fed-
eral funds. Rep Elum Gallery (R-CA)
heads the Congressional Task Face on
Immigratica Reform that is expected 10
make recommendations to reduce ille-
gal immigration to the House subcom-
mittee in June 1995.

"DepotunoD plm aoveUad." SacnoieDio Bee,
Miy 23. 199S. Tom Koivonliy. 'Cliaum to
Pnu Ouiur of ISef al Immigfwiu Omifed
wiik Chmei." Wuhingun Poo. May 7, 1995,
A4. PuridLMcDoaDcU. "INS lofct Tough
wilh Employen,'' Los Angelu Tioies. May 7,
1993. Suuo KncDa. 'VehScaDoa:
Admkuitraaai'f InmuKniuii Bill Would
Reduce Emfloyer Pipowoik Buitei,* Daily
Labor Repon, May i, 1995. Naiioad PnhliE
Radio. May 3, 1995 -Cbnioa hndf Cai«m
propoaal lo figtu illegal iumiigiMi op," Afcacc
Fmoe Preue, May 3, 1995.

Western Growers Ask for
Guest Workers

The proposed crackdown on illegal
immigration has led California's grow-
ers to call for a guest worker program
that would permit them lo legally hire
foreign woriters. Senator Jon Kyi (R-
AZ) is expected to introduce in June
1995 a 3S-page proposal billed as a tool
to "manage roigraiion." A similar mea-
sure is expected to be introduced in the
House.

The growers' proposal would sutv



stitnte anestaiiaB for certifkaiion to de-
termine whether foreign worken are
needed. Instead of requesting permis-
sion to import foreign workers bom (he
US Department of Labor, and then wait-
ing for DOL 10 certiiy that the grower
tried to recruit US workers at prevailing
wages and with offers of &ee housing,
transportation, and contracts for work,
growers would simply assert that they
had taken these steps, and DOL would
be required to approve their applications
unless the applications were obviously
incomplete or inaccmau.

Under one scenario, fanners would
fax applications that include promises lo
recruit local workers and to pay |Rcvail-
ing wages to the US Depaitroent of La-
bor. DOL could review the request for
completeness and accuiacy, but not ini-
tiate an investigaiion unless diere was a
ccmplaim.

Unless DOL disapproved within
seven days, growers would be fiee lo
employ foreign woricen. either wotken
in the US, or those ab(t>ad. Details on
bow foreign workers would obtain what
would be a new work authorization visa
are sketchy.

Growers assert that Iheir new pro-
gram would encourage foreign workers
to leave the US when there is no work,
but they have not yet spelled out bow.

Most of the arguments in favor of a
new guest worker program are familiar.
Cheap labor it necessary lo have che^
food. Americans won'tdo farm worit, so
there is no correlation between US un-
employment rates and the availability of
farm workers, and it is well known that
agriculture relies heavily on recently-
anived immigram workers, so the US
sbouU openly deal with the reality of
immigrant farm workers.

The counter arguments are also well
established. Most begin with a restate-
ment of economic theory — there is no
shortage of workers, only a shortage of
wages. Wages have stagnated in agri-
culture, and if immigrant farm workers
did not continually arrive, farm wages
wouU rise, and more US workers would



seek or remain &rm workers. Because
of the higher wages, the demand for
immigrant farm workers would taU —
farmers would learn how to produce
food with fewer workers, or the US
might import more labor-intensive
crops.

UndCT current law, growers antici-
pating labor shortages can bring to the
US non-immigrant workers under the
H-2A program. The H-2A program
requires growers to ask DOL ID certify
their need for workers at least 60 days
before the shortage is anticipated. The
H-2A program also requires recruit-
ment in places where US workers are
found, and requires that growers offer
to US and foreign workers housing
and round-oip transportation.

About 3,000 US faimeis requested
17JX»H2-A workers in FY94. About
470 California fanns and ranches ap-
ply for H2-A workers annually. Most
of the H-2A farm workers in Califor-
nia are sheepherders, primarily from
Chile, Mexico and Peru.

California Attorney General Dan
Lungren renewed his appeal for a guest
worker program on May 3. Lungren's
proposal would require foreign woik-
eis to deposit a portion of their pay in
an escrow account to encourage them
torelunihome. Lungren distinguishes
his proposal from the Bracero pro-
gram because, he says, it would not
require foreign workers to stay with
one US employer, thereby limiting
exploitation.

Maraoi BreUB, "Growen cuhivMiag aew
push for inunignm labor." Saoamcnlo Bee,
May 29. 1995. Al: Miduel Doyk. "Ciowen
already have a prognm to impoit woiten."
Fnaao Bee. May II. 1995. Mike Doyle and
Sylvia Caisro Uribes, "Gueat vorker peognm
leviiiied," FicBto Bee, May 11, 1995; iini
Boacn. "New plea for 'gue« workcn,'"
Ficaao Bee, May 4. 1995.

Guantanamo Cubans to
Enter ttie US

After two months of secret talks
with represenialives of Fidel Castro,
the Clinton administration on May 2



101



;frwm¥ftit^nBa[Wc^



announced that the 21,000 Cubans in
Guanianamo would be admiued lo the
US, but that any Cubans headed for the
US in the future would be letumed to
Cuba. According to reviews of how 33
years of providing immigrant status to
Cubans was reversed, political and
safety conccnis fofced the change in
policy.

PoIiticaUy, it was thought that rials
in Guantanamo. cr another wave of
laften in the summer of 199S. might
hurt Clinton's chances of carrying
Florida in 1996. It was also feared that
the mostly young men held in
Guantanamo could not be held there
indefinilely, or tenimed to Cuba, with-
out violence.

The trick was to figure out bow lo
solve die problem created by the safe
haven policy established in summer
1994 without setting off mother wave
of migration to the US. The compn>-
mise was to count the 21,000
Guantanaino Cubans against the guar-
anteed 20,000 immigrant visas provided
for Cubans each year.

By counting the Guantanamo Cu-
bans against the 20,000 quota over the
next three years, fewer visas will be
available for Cubans who apply to emi-
graie in Havana. This aDeviaied coo-
cems by Floridians that diey would
again be flooded with tefiigees, bat
angered Cuban- Americans because
fewer slots are available for those wish-
ing to emigrate &an Cuba.

The administration asserted that the
policyshiftwouldsavemooey. TheUS
was spending SI million per day 10 care
for Cubans in Guantanamo, and the
military had requested $100 million lo
upgrade facilities for Cubans there.

Most Cubans who come to the US
move in with relatives, but the Stale
Depacimeiu said that it would seek $ 1 00
million for medical assistance and lan-
guage training for the Guantanamo
Cubaits.

Leading Florida politicians wel-
comed the policy shift, saying it was the
best compromise to deal with a difficult



situation. Many Cuban Americans wel-
comed the admission of Cubans in
Guantanamo, but protested die new
policy that, in the future, will have the
US Coast Guard returning to Cuba per-
sons leaving the island in small boats.
On May 9, the Gm 13 Cubans picked
up at sea were letumed lo Cuba .

Cubans blocked trafiic in the Miami
area to protest the policy change, and
on May 18. it was announced that die
While House aide who negodated die
agreement with Cuba woukl no tonger
deal in Cuban affairs. However, it was
reported that many Cuban-Americans
disapproved of the disruptive protests.

Some House Democrats and Repub-
licans criticized die Clinton adminis-
tration for "trusting the word" of Castro.
About 45 percent of the Cubans in
Miami qiproved of the new pcdicy.

There are about IS million Cuban-
Americans in the US, and II million
Cubans in Cuba.

The Cuban-American National
Foundation, the most powerful Cuban
group in the US, wants to toughen die
sanctions that the US has Imposed on
Cuba. It supports, and die Clinton
Administratian opposes, a p roposa l in
Congress to prohibit the imponaticii of
sugar from any country that buys sugar
from Cuba. Tbc US pays a premium
price for imported sugar.

Canada and Mexico. Cuba's two
largest trading partners, also oppose
tightening die sanctions on Cuba.

Supporters of the Florida version of
Prop. 187 say that the admission of die
Guantanamo Cubans should help the
passage of their initiative, which would
eliminate health, education and wel-
fare benefits for illegal immigrants. The
initiative would not affect Cuban ex-
iles, but the image of thousands of
Florida-bound immigrants becomes
blurred with illegal immigrants, say
backers of the SaveOurState initiative.

A second initiative, called FLA- 1 87,
has begun to circulate. It also calls for
making English the official languageof



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JLegal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 → online text (page 11 of 30)