April 24, 2014
I am pretty sure they already have.
What he means is that immigration reform could pass this year if Democrats allowed the Republicans to destroy the bill and shape into a bill that is un-American and discriminatory at best.
Paul actually suggested keeping the undocumented immigrants perpetually disenfranchised. From The Hill:
Paul envisions that compromise as some sort of legal status — “status and a place for people here so that they can come out of the shadows, let them begin paying taxes, let them not be locked up and having them run from the authorities,” he said. But he said that status would not include the voting rights “that everybody wants.”Sounds so CNMI-ish. Keep those foreign workers doing the hard, low paying jobs that few residents would fill, but deny them of basic civil and human rights.
That is exactly the proposal in the House right now concerning the extension of the flawed CNMI-only Guest Worker Program that regards foreign workers as labor units rather than as future citizens.
Instead of a pushing for legislation that would grant permanent residency status to the legal, long-term CNMI nonresident workers, politicians from all sides of the aisle push to keep them disenfranchised for five more problem-filled years. We are talking about foreign workers who have lived most of their adult lives in the CNMI and call it their home. Foreign workers who have given their loyalty, skills and dedication, even as they have been repeatedly attacked, cheated of wages and abused. The majority of the workers have lived and worked in the CNMI for 10, 20 or 30 years or more.
Extending a flawed guest worker program is an inhumane proposal for the very people who built the CNMI and keep the economy thriving. Under the CNMI-only guest worker program all foreign workers must exit the CNMI by December 2014 or the problem-ridden program must be extended. The intent was to train the U.S. citizen population to take the labor-intensive jobs that pay under $6.00 an hour. There was just as much chance of that happening as there is of Americans filling the jobs in our nations fields where immigrants toil under perilous conditions and do not earn a wage that even comes close to minimum wage.
Politicians and business owners admit that the CNMI economy would collapse without the foreign workers. They whine that without an extension there are not enough U.S. citizen workers to fill the private sector jobs of which over 90% are filled by nonresident workers. They insist that the only way to save the economy is by extending a flawed guest worker program.
That is not just disingenuous, inhumane, self-serving and cowardly, it is a bold-faced lie. If the U.S. Congress wants to get the nonresident worker population down to zero, all it has to do is grant the legal, long-term nonresident workers green cards or U.S. citizenship.
Courage is choosing to do what is right rather than choosing to do what will advance a political career. Our Congress lacks courage.
Paul and any other politician who are promoting disenfranchisement and the implementation or extension of a guest worker program that lacks a pathway to citizenship are cowards. They may want to consider where their food comes from, who does the cleaning, serving, landscaping and performs all of the other low paying jobs that are essential to their life-style and existence. Any guest worker program that lacks a pathway to citizenship is a step above slavery. The cowardly members of Congress need to own that.
Speaking of cowards, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has held up a vote for comprehensive immigration reform, and yet he blames fellow Republicans for his own cowardly action.
He actually said,
"We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to. They'll take the path of least resistance."Does forget to include himself in that statement? Boehner needs to walk the talk and put this important legislation on the floor for a vote. Watch here:
If you want to weigh in on the extension of the CNMI-only guest worker program you can send testimony for the April 29, 2014 hearing on H.R. 4296 to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to the committee members.