House Hearing on Guest Workers Provides Few Surprises

“Republicans and Democrats said Tuesday that farmers should be allowed to hire foreign workers more easily as Congress reworks U.S. immigration laws. But there was some disagreement on how it should happen,” the Washington Post says.

“Lawmakers and witnesses at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing said the visa program that lets farmers hire foreign agricultural workers is so unwieldy it accounts for only a very small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of farm workers hired in the U.S. Half or more of agriculture workers are here illegally, experts agree.”

McCain Says Obama “Understands” Border Security

President Obama understands Republican concerns about the need to link improved border security to changes in immigration law, two key Republicans involved in the effort said Tuesday after a White House meeting with Obama,” the Washington Post reports.

“Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) said they covered a variety of topics in the unusual meeting with Obama, including a robust discussion of how to reshape the nation’s immigration laws.”

Cheap Labor Isn’t So Cheap

A new study by the Cato Institute attempts to make the case that the use of welfare by immigrants is not really so high or costly . . . This is an appealing message for those who, on the right as well as the left, seek to legalize the current illegal population and to increase future immigration, but there are several problems with this analysis,” says Steven Camarota of CIS.

“First, even though the data were available, the authors chose to exclude a number of costly programs, including free or reduced school lunch, WIC, and subsidized and public housing. Second, welfare use by immigrants who have become U.S. citizens is not low. By comparing non-citizens with all citizens, naturalized immigrants as well as the native-born, they obscure the issue.”