The Left’s Solution to Border Crisis: Just Give Everyone Work Permits!
One hallmark of the left is its repetitive adherence to party talking points. Defection from the official narrative is much frowned upon. Thus, now faced with the staggering costs and consequences of an epic border surge — of their own making — mass immigration advocates at every level of government have begun uniformly parroting the inane idea that issuing work permits for all migrants is the cure for the current crisis.
- During a recent press conference at New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan — now converted to emergency housing for migrants — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y demanded work authorizations so that, “folks in here can get to work and start supporting themselves as soon as possible. They are prevented from getting jobs. The faster that folks can access the work that they’re asking for, legally, the better we can solve this problem.”
- New York Governor Kathy Hochul is considering state legislation that would issue work authorization for asylum-seekers. Hochul said the state has “no choice”… while acknowledging it would require federal approval.
- In a statement to the New York Post, Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I’ve publicly pushed the administration to accelerate and expand work authorization so that immigrants can support themselves and have repeatedly communicated this to the White House.”
- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson are, “calling upon the federal government to streamline work authorization for non-citizens to remedy the migrant crisis by expanding work permits.” Meanwhile, Maine Governor, Janet Mills, signed a bill directing Maine’s labor commissioner to petition the federal government for a waiver allowing asylum seekers to work while awaiting final determinations on their claims.
- In response to rising pressure, the White House said that, “administration officials are committed to launching a national campaign that’s the first of its kind — for individuals who are work-eligible but have not yet applied for work authorization — with information on how to apply for employment authorization.”
With expanding unity, the left repeats its expedient “Bada Bing, everyone gets a work permit” quick fix for the mess they made, which makes it very hard to ignore H.L. Mencken’s wry quip, “There is always a solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.”
Wrong, because loosening the federal requirement on work permits guts the very reason that law was put in place. In 1996, Congress agreed that asylum seekers had to wait six months after they filed their asylum application before they could apply for permission to work in the United States. Doing so prevents foreigners from abusing the asylum process as a backdoor mechanism to get into the country and work.
This waiting period also reduced application fraud by allowing more time for officials to properly adjudicate each case. It made sense in 1996 and makes even more sense now given the enormous growth of crossings — 2.86 million encounters so far in FY2023 – and the fact that most migrants claim protected status when caught.
Desperate to justify their demand for changing the law, open-border advocates imply that giving migrants instant access to jobs will reduce their government dependency and make them a net tax benefit to the public. It’s an extremely dubious claim; quickly getting a job as a housekeeper means a migrant is working minimum wage – or even below – resulting in a level of poverty that makes them eligible for a bevy of other federal, state, and local welfare benefits. Thus, the applicant would not be a net contributor to the tax base, but rather quite the opposite.
Granted, if they go straight to work as a systems analyst for Hewlett Package, that’s arguably a different matter, but also a ludicrous assumption given that 46 percent of Central American migrants into the United States have less than a high school diploma.
Unfortunately, the left is all singing their same flawed “solution” and as usual — on anything immigration related — they’re out of tune, and out of touch.