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Guest worker amnesty program: worst possible thing for America










By Michael Cutler
November 9, 2009

A news report appeared on a Texas television station, WFAA this past Thursday (November 5th)

I was told about this deplorable situation by an old friend and a current special agent at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) who as a member of management at ICE was infuriated by the insanity that passes for the enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

I have often taken DHS to task for its many failings to effectively address missions that are the responsibility of that agency, at time referring to DHS as the "Department of Homeland Surrender." But let me make this as clear as I can- I often speak to the employees of ICE and CBP and just about everyone I speak with are extremely unhappy with the lack of resources that hamper the work that their agencies are supposed to be doing on behalf of our nation and our citizens.

There is a wonderful Yiddish expression I have quoted (having translated it to English) in the past and feel it is appropriate to quote now: "When a fish goes bad, it smells from the head!"

The bottom line: if there is a problem see who is charge. President Harry S. Truman certainly understood that concept and he acknowledged it by placing a plaque bearing a simple, yet eloquent four word phrase on his desk in the Oval Office: "The Buck Stops Here!"

As you will see when you read the news article, a decision was made to hire an Italian company to construct a bridge in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, the company was permitted to bring their own welders to the United States to assemble that bridge, depriving American construction workers the opportunity to get jobs they desperately want and need.

The last sentence of the news report sums it up succinctly:

"And the jobless Texas welders trying to find a way to put dinner on the table tonight don't have anyone to plead their case."

I have made the point that immigration has an impact on so many areas of concern for our nation and certainly the impact that failures to secure our borders against the unlawful entry of the millions of illegal aliens who are currently living and working in our country is an area of great concern. The Italian workers who are doing the work Americans want to do, did not run our nation's borders but were, in fact, granted business visas in order to enter our country and supplant American welders.

The B-1 visas that they were granted are supposed to be used by business people who come to the United States to attend conferences, make purchases of equipment and conduct other functions relating to their businesses. Foreign workers can used Bi1 visas to repair equipment but B-1 visas were never intended to be used by foreign workers coming to our country to replace American workers on construction jobs.

Workers who possess skills that are unavailable to an employer in the United States in a particular city are supposed to apply for visas such as H-1B and H-2B visas. As it now stands, the H1-B Visa Program for skilled workers is loaded with fraud and there are nearly no investigations being routinely conducted about these egregious examples of crimes that harm American workers. H-2B visas are supposed to be used for construction workers but this time an employer has apparently found a way to circumvent the H-2B process altogether by getting the United States Department of State to issue the welders discussed in this article, with B-1 visas and somehow the inspectors at a port of entry simple admitted them into the United States and on to the payroll of a company that, by all right, should have hired American workers!

As I read the article I was compelled to recall how when the administration and the "bobble heads" in the Congress passed the "Economic Stimulus Package" and touted the many "Shovel Ready" jobs that were set to get underway if only the money was made available. I guess I was mistaken as to who was supposed to be doing those jobs!


As you many know, if you have been reading my commentaries for awhile, my dad was a construction worker- he was a plumber. He died more than 40 years ago, in his mid 50's of lung cancer I believe was attributable to his pack a day cigarette habit exacerbated by his exposure to asbestos as a construction worker and as a worker on Navy warships during the Second World War- a job he did because the military refused to accept his offers to enlist. He was determined to contribute to the effort to enable our country to win that war, but I can recall as though it was yesterday, how many times he would come through the door with a dejected look on his face because he had been laid off from work. My mom's eyes would well up with tears and we resorted to eating tuna fish sandwiches for dinner and put off buying new coats and setting the thermostat at a lower setting- doing whatever we could to cut expenses. My mom, who could not drive, would often walk to supermarkets that were far from our house because she could save a little money because those stores charged less for bread or milk than the stores that were closer to home.

My dad and his buddies in the construction trades were (and always will be my heroes!) Blue collar Americans personify the "Can do" spirit that built this great nation- doing dangerous, filthy and backbreaking jobs.

Today the government reported that the national unemployment rate had risen to 10.2%, the highest it has been since 1983. This report did not note how many more Americans had given up looking for work. This report did not discuss how many Americans are now being "under employed."

The GAO has recently reported that one in six Americans are now living below the poverty line!

While there are economists who are predicting that the economy is turning around- I disagree! No country can be said to be doing well when its average citizens are not doing well!

Today other men and women, just like my dad, are facing a bleak economic reality. They are unemployed. They don't know how they will pay their bills or feed their kids. They fear they will lose their houses to foreclosure.

When I read about their plight, I am reminded of my early years and my parents' valiant struggle to keep their heads above water!

As more Americans lose their jobs they have less money to spend. Their failure to make purchases threatens the jobs of other Americans creating a vicious circle in which more Americans become unemployed, spending less money, causing still more Americans to lose their jobs! Not addressing the impact of foreign workers on the American worker is insane!

As I have stated before, the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws had been the responsibility of the United States Department of Labor prior to the Second World War because back then the concern was that foreign workers would undercut American workers. It would appear that our government does not really give a damn about the average American today!

So much for "Government of the people, by the people and for the people!

According to the article, eleven Italian welders are assembling the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Texas. But the article notes that "tens of thousands of man hours of labor" is being done by foreign workers that should be done by Americans.

You may not think that 11 workers are a big deal when you consider that there are millions of illegal aliens in our country. The point is that I believe that this is the tip of a huge iceberg. As I have noted when I have testified before Congress and when I have testified before legislative hearings conducted on the state level, and at other venues, I have made the point that our nation's entire immigration system is utterly dysfunctional.

The biggest thing that is wrong with the immigration system is not that the immigration laws are bad, it is that those laws are not being enforced!

A job freed up by removing an illegal foreign worker creates a job for an American worker. This is the principle behind worksite enforcement. It is entirely appropriate to penalize employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens but ICE needs to address the other side of the equation- alien workers found to be working illegally need to be arrested, detained and removed from the United States. The stated policy of the current administration of only going after the employers and not the illegal alien employees does not deter illegal immigration.

Furthermore, statements made by the President, members of his administration and members of Congress who speak about their intentions to legalize all of the millions of illegal aliens who are in our country creates a huge incentive for many more aliens to seek to enter our country in violation of law in the hope that they will be able to participate in Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

In 1986, when the first amnesty was enacted, its proponents claimed that no more than 1.5 million illegal aliens would participate in that program that was supposed to be a "one time" program to finally get all of the illegal aliens "out of the shadows." By the time the bureaucratic dust settled, between 3.5 and 4 million illegal aliens availed themselves of that opportunity to be granted lawful status.


Fraud was rampant in that program because the INS lacked the resources to conduct field investigations and we were dealing with aliens who had no way of proving their true identities. There was no way of substantiating their identities or when, where or how they entered the United States.

If the INS was overwhelmed by "only" 3.5 million illegal aliens in 1986 to effectively administer the amnesty of 1986, what will the beleaguered and inept USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) do when 20 million or 30 million applications land on its adjudicators' desks?

I fear that any massive Comprehensive Immigration Reform program would entice many millions of additional illegal aliens to run our nation's borders and claim that they were present in our country for whatever the requisite period of time would be required in order to participate in this duplicitous program.

Here is something else to consider: an issue that further exacerbated the issue of fraud was a provision that prohibited INS agents from sharing information contained in the amnesty files with other law enforcement agencies regardless of what crimes these aliens might have been suspected of committing! Even if an alien who had acquired lawful status through that amnesty program was wanted for drug trafficking, murder, rape, child molestation, etc., etc, INS agents were ordered to not provide that information to any other law enforcement agency! The purported rationale was that our "leaders" did not want illegal aliens who violated our borders, violated our laws and violated their victims to be intimidated and not come forward to get their green cards and, ultimately, United States citizenship!

Two years ago, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation contained the same provision!

On September 1, 2006 I testified at a field hearing conducted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives at Dubuque, Iowa on the topic:


Here is the link to the complete transcript of that hearing:

Here is a segment of my prepared testimony at that hearing:

That piece of legislation (the 1986 Amnesty) led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our Nation. Fraud and a lack of integrity of the immigration system not only flooded our Nation with illegal aliens who ran our borders, hoping that what had been billed as a one-time amnesty would be repeated, but it also enabled a number of terrorists and many criminals to enter the United States and then embed themselves in our country.

A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status through this process. During the 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for various violations of law and he ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our Nation's generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages inflicted on that iconic, ill-fated complex. America had opened his doors to him so that he might participate in the American dream and he turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our Nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our Nation's kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then hide in plain sight among us.

As I recall, when IRCA was proposed, one of the selling points was that along with the amnesty for what was believed to have been a population of some 1.5 million illegal aliens would be a new approach to turn off what has been described as the magnet that draws the majority of illegal aliens into the United States in the first place, the prospect of securing employment. In order to accomplish this important goal, IRCA imposed penalties against those unscrupulous employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. My former colleagues and I were pleased to see that under the employer sanctions of IRCA, the unscrupulous employers of illegal aliens would finally be made accountable, or so we thought.

Of course, we now know that the relative handful of special agents who were assigned to conduct investigations of employers who hired illegal aliens made it unlikely that employers would face a significant risk of being caught for violating those laws and they would face an even smaller chance of being seriously fined. Furthermore, the way that the amnesty provisions of the law were enacted simply created a cottage industry for fraud document vendors who provided illegal aliens with counterfeit or altered identity documents and supporting documents to enable the illegal alien population to circumvent the immigration laws of the United States. Ultimately, approximately 3.5 million illegal aliens emerged from the infamous shadows to participate in the amnesty program of 1986.

Our nation's leaders have mortgaged our children's and our grandchildren's futures by siphoning an incredible sum of money out of our economy to supposedly create new jobs to jump start our economy.

The unemployment rate continues to climb and yet there are those "leaders" who still want more foreign workers to come to our country and undercut Americans whose only goal is to pay their bills and support and feed their families!

Those who are pushing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform know that the law, the facts, commonsense and morality are all against their position so they play the only card they have left. They engage in lying and engaging in name-calling. They claim that anyone who wants to secure our nation's borders are "nativists." They use the term "racist" to describe anyone who calls for securing our borders against unlawful entry of illegal aliens and the creation of an immigration system that has real integrity.

Hear is the reality they don't want to hear (and that they don't want you to hear): America is not a "white" country. Our nation is arguably the most ethnically diverse nation on the face of this planet. As a New Yorker, I can tell you that my home town is home to people of all races, religions, ethnicities and cultures.

Enforcing our nation's borders against illegal entry is not about racism but it is about security and commonsense.

Many of the workers who have become unemployed are members of various minority groups. In fact, it is the minorities who are getting hammered the most by our nation's continuing failures to secure its borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity.

The most likely victim of ethnic organized crime groups and pernicious gangs is a member of the immigrant community. This is true for immigrants from every country and of every ethnicity.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.

Next year each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Next year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.

I implore you to get involved!

Any American who has lost his job certainly has enough time on his (her) hands to get involved!

Any American who fears the loss of his job must make effective use of his spare time to make certain he keeps his job!

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If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional "Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them.

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

2009 - Michael Cutler - All Rights Reserved

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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.

He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.

Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.












Today the government reported that the national unemployment rate had risen to 10.2%, the highest it has been since 1983. This report did not note how many more Americans had given up looking for work. This report did not discuss how many Americans are now being "under employed."