Patrick Chappatte cartoon

(Patrick Chappatte illustration /

Out of all 535 members of Congress, only about 10 percent can be classified as solidly pro-American worker. Their immigration voting records prove their inexplicable indifference to American workers’ fates.

Whether the immigration category is lawful permanent residents who arrive at the rate of more than 1 million annually, refugees, asylees and employment-based visa holders, all receive work authorization.

Illegal immigrants caught and released at the border receive parole, a federal pardon that qualifies them for work permits that in turn allows them to remain in the United States and to be legally hired.

Finally, illegal immigrants that successfully get past the border often enter the black-market economy, and are hired off the books.

While some in Congress vote to slow certain immigration categories, only about 50, at most, are behind a broad-based immigration slowdown.

Proof: in 2017, Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., introduced the RAISE Act that would have eliminated the unnecessary diversity visa, slowed refugee intake, limited chain migration to a petitioner’s nuclear family, and slowed legal immigration over the next decade by about 50 percent.

The bill’s sole two co-sponsors were Cotton and Purdue, a pathetic testimonial to Congress’ cynical attitude toward U.S. workers.

Congress has at least a half-dozen ethnic caucuses that defend special interests. But nowhere in Congress is there a caucus that defends American workers. And because no such caucus exists, over decades, millions of U.S. jobs have been outsourced, and millions of U.S. workers have been displaced.

During the last week in July — in a brazen effort to promote the welfare of Indian nationals but to the detriment of U.S. tech workers’ futures — Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, made another in a series of attempts to pass an outsourcing bill that would eliminate the cap restricting the number of Green Cards awarded to each country to 25,000.

If Lee were to prevail, for the foreseeable future, Green Cards would be issued almost exclusively to Indians. In its analysis of the bill, the Congressional Research Service concluded that passage of legislation would benefit Indians, and to a lesser extent Chinese nationals, but at the expense of other overseas citizens hoping to migrate to the United States and work here.

Lee, by the way, is routinely identified as a conservative, and was rumored to be on President Donald Trump’s short list to replace the late Justice Anton Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The House of Representatives and the Senate have powerful, influential India caucuses that speak with one voice on India-related issues. The Senate caucus dates back to 2004, and today’s House caucus on India and Indian Americans was established in 1933, and is the largest congressional House country-specific caucus.

Yet, to repeat, no single congressional caucus exists to defend Americans against what is a decades-long pattern of importing foreign labor and outsourcing U.S. jobs to overseas nations.

Consistent with Capitol Hill’s disregard for the fate of U.S. workers, insiders report that nearly every Republican senator and the Homeland Security Department support Lee’s proposal. And should his proposed legislation reach Trump’s desk, the same insiders predict that, because so many corporations that benefit from cheap labor also donate to Trump’s campaign, he’ll sign it into law.

This is a complete disgrace for the candidate who promised to reform legal immigration to serve American workers and “bring our jobs back home.” Now that 30 million Americans are unemployed, the nation could sure use those jobs Trump pledged to deliver.

Trump has also joined with Congress in their mutual abandonment of E-Verify, the free, easy-to-use online system that confirms in a matter of seconds whether an employee is legally authorized to work in the United States.

Congress has kicked around E-Verify without mandating the program since 1996 when it was named the Basic Pilot program. Since 1997, E-Verify has been available to corporations nationwide. Yet the pro-donor, pro-cheap labor Congress refuses to implement E-Verify, which would protect U.S. workers from the illegal hiring scourge.

For a quarter-century Congress has been vigorous in its support of the cheap labor lobby. Imagine instead if Congress had battled as steadfastly on Americans’ behalf. Then U.S. workers’ adjusted-for-inflation wages wouldn’t have been flat for the same 25 years.

— Joe Guzzardi is an analyst and researcher with Progressives for Immigration Reform who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at, or follow him on Twitter: @joeguzzardi19. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Joe Guzzardi

Joe Guzzardi

Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated columnist writing about immigration and related social issues. A California native who now lives in Pittsburgh, he’s a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who can be reached at The opinions expressed are his own.