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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Immigration Subcommittee: Ranking Member McClintock Opening Statement House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration

April 28, 2021
Speeches
Congressman McClintock serves as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration.  The Congressman delivered the following opening statement at a hearing held on April 28, 2021:
 
Opening Statement
Congressman Tom McClintock
Ranking Member, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration
April 28, 2021
 
Madam Chairman:
 
On March 4th, the Ranking Member of the Full Committee along with all six Republican members of this subcommittee wrote to you requesting a hearing on the border crisis caused by President Biden’s decision to stop the MPP program, abandon the border wall and instruct ICE not to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.  
 
We received no response. On March 12th, I reiterated that request to you in a subsequent letter. I received no response. 
 
I wish to make that request to you once again.  The situation is deteriorating rapidly and the implications for every American community that will soon see its schools heavily impacted by non-English speaking students, its hospital emergency rooms filled with illegal aliens demanding basic health services and its safety compromised as gangs proliferate and as criminal illegal aliens are released into our neighborhoods rather than to be deported.  
 
Worse than ignoring this crisis, the majority seems to be working overtime to make it worse.  In the last few weeks, the House has moved legislation to make it harder to keep terrorists out of the country and harder to stop illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband from breaching our ports of entry.  And now we are holding this hearing aimed at flooding the labor market with low-wage labor just at the time that working Americans are trying to regain the prosperity they were enjoying under the Trump policies.
 
Those polices secured our border and for the first time in decades, the income gap between rich and poor began to narrow as blue-collar wages surged.  Unemployment reached its lowest rate in 50 years, the poverty rate plunged to its lowest rate in 60 years and wages recorded their strongest growth in 40 years.   The labor participation rate began to increase after years of decline as workers who had given up hope of work began seizing opportunities. 
 
I hope the majority will listen closely to Mr. Law’s testimony.  He will tell us how flooding the market with low-wage labor does enormous economic harm to working Americans.  He destroys the myth that programs like the H1B and H2B visas fill gaps in the American labor market.  What they actually do is to allow employers to fill positions at wages substantially less than the domestic labor market would otherwise command.  Wealthy corporate interests get richer by paying less than the Americans require to do those jobs, immigrant labor gets paid more than they could get in their own countries – and all this at the expense of working Americans whose wages stagnated for decades as the immigrant share of the population TRIPLED.  
 
As he points out, it is the blue-collar American workers who lose and lose big.  I particularly want to note this passage: “There are no jobs Americans won’t do. There are only wages and working conditions they are not willing to accept for the work. Nor should they. By refusing to offer higher wages or conditions to entice Americans to come to work for them, employers create a mirage of a labor “shortage” and point to importing foreign workers as the only solution. Circling back to supply and demand, employers want to flood the market with labor supply to drive down wages.”  That’s the game they’re playing.
 
Of particular note is the Optional Practical Training program that allows foreign students to work here for three years after graduation.  Unlike their American classmates, they are exempt from payroll taxes, making them much cheaper than American graduates to hire.  If your family’s recent college graduate can’t find work, there’s a simple reason. 
 
It’s not that these policies put foreign workers at parity with American workers.  They put American workers at considerable disadvantage competing for jobs and market wages in their own country – and it is their own representatives that are doing this to them.  
 
The crisis at the border is beginning to awaken Americans that their futures are very much at stake – their simple ability to make it in their own country is now being jeopardized by officials they trusted.  I think that’s why some of my colleagues would rather virtue signal to each other about their charity for strangers in a strange land than to fix our open border and lax immigration laws to restore the American dream for American families.  
 
I yield back.