American Conservative Union CPAC 2017 — Videos

Posted on February 26, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Congress, conservatives, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, Heroes, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Religious, Security, Speech, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for cpac 2017  Trump Speech at CPAC 2017 (FULL) | ABC News

 CPAC 2017 – Dr. Larry Arnn

CPAC 2017 – Dan Schneider

FULL EVENT: President Donald Trump Speech at CPAC 2017 (2/24/2017) Donald Trump Live CPAC Speech

CPAC 2017 – Judge Jeanine Pirro

CPAC 2017 – Vice President Mike Pence’s full #CPAC Speech #CPAC2017

CPAC 2017 – How the Election Has Changed and Expanded the Pro-Life Movement

CPAC 2017 – Mark Levin and Sen. Ted Cruz

Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus Interview at CPAC 2017 | ABC News

CPAC 2017 – Sen. Jim Demint

CPAC 2017 – Ambassador John Bolton

CPAC 2017 – Nigel Farage

CPAC 2017 – Raheem Kassam

CPAC 2017 – Why Government Gets So Much Wrong

CPAC 2017 – When Did WWIII Begin? Part A: Threats at Home

CPAC 2017 – When did World War III Begin? Part B

CPAC 2017 – Armed and Fabulous

CPAC 2017 – Wayne LaPierre, NRA

CPAC 2017 – Chris Cox, NRA-ILA

CPAC 2017 – Prosecutors Gone Wild

CPAC 2017 – Kellyanne Conway

CPAC 2017 – A conversation with Carly Fiorina and Arthur Brooks

CPAC 2017 – The States vs The State Governors

CPAC 2017 – Gov. Pete Ricketts

CPAC 2017 – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

CPAC 2017 – Dan Schneider

CPAC 2017 – FREE stuff vs FREE-dom Panel

CPAC 2017 – Dana Loesch

CPAC 2017 – Robert Davi

CPAC 2017 – Lou Dobbs

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Tyrant Obama Provides Green Cards and Work Permits To Foreign College Graduates To Compete Directly With 20-30 Million Unemployed Americans — Deport The 30-50 Illegal Aliens That Have Invaded The United States — Vote For Trump/Cruz Ticket! — Enforce Immigration Law Especially The Employers of Illegal Aliens — Videos

Posted on December 31, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Permanent Resident Card — Green Card

Employment Authorization Card — Work Permit

Politics Of Immigration – Donald Trump & The GOP Presidential Candidates – Illegal Immigration

Chaffetz: ‘We’re Seeing A Rapid Rise In People Coming Into The U.S.’

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Report: DHS Adding Millions of ‘New Americans’ to Vote Democrat in 2016

Mr. Gowdy – USCIS Oversight Hearing

Rep. Trey Gowdy: List Of Visa Overstays Should Be Sent To Firearms Dealers

Trey Gowdy OWNS Clueless DHS “Expert” On Visa Overstays & Constitutional Rights

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

The Truth About Illegal Immigrants: Was Donald Trump Right?

Deportations Of Illegal Immigrants Drop; White House Cited Fewer Border Arrests – America’s Newsroom

Donald Trump: We will have a ‘deportation force’

Homeland Security to deport hundreds who immigrated illegally

Senator Ted Cruz vs Donald Trump – COMPARISON VIDEO Illegal Immigration Deportation

Poll: Is Donald Trump Correct in Taking Credit for Planned Immigration Raids?

Donald Trump: Undocumented Immigrants ‘Have to Go’

Trump Vows To Deport All Illegal Immigrants & Undo President Obama’s Executive Order On Immigration

TRUMP, HILLARY RESPOND TO OBAMA’S MASSIVE PLANNED IMMIGRATION RAIDS

Donald Trump: Absolute Shutdown of Muslims Entering America; Immigration; 12-7-2015

Obama Administration To Crack Down On Deportations

Rpt: Obama Admin May Planning Executive Action On Amnesty – 34M Green Cards? – America’s Newsroom

Judge Jeanine Makes Shocking Allegations Of Obama’s Plan To Destroy America

Illegals Are Obama’s Secret Army To Destroy America

Democrats Planned Illegals Invading U.S. 5 Years Ago

Donald Trump Holds Speech To For A Crowd Of Supporters in Hilton Head, SC [12-30-15]

 

Obama’s New Immigration Plan Offers Work-Permits To Foreigners Slated For Deportation

By Neil Munro

President Barack Obama’s new 181-page plan to award work-permits to at least 100,000 foreign college-grads also contains a convoluted section that would also sneak work-permits to a huge range of foreign migrants – even after courts have formally ordered their repatriation.

In plain English, the section in the rule would automatically provide updated work-permits to 15 categories of migrants who are appealing judges’ deportation orders.

In plain economics, the rule would increase the number of foreign migrants in U.S. workplaces and impose wage-cutting job competition on ordinary blue-collar Americans so that university-trained, white-collar immigration lawyers could be paid billable-hours by their due-for-deportation, work-permit clients.

“Obama is transferring the jobs and salaries of Americans to foreign nationals, including illegal aliens… [who will be] licensed to take middle class jobs,” said one Hill staffer. The pending rule “highlights the unholy alliance between progressive Democrats, progressive Republicans, and the Obama administration… [so] when it comes to finding a job in America, being native-born in America is a disadvantage,” the staffer said.

There’s little chance that establishment GOP leaders will fight Obama’s pro-migrant, anti-American rule.

For example, House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) supported an amnesty-and-cheap-labor bill in 2014, and he sneaked a new rule into the December 2016 omnibus bill that allows companies to bring in at least 100,000 extra foreign workers for jobs sought by 100,000 blue-collar Americans. Ryan defended his pink-slip plan, while he and other GOP and Democratic leaders also rejected proposed amendments to the omnibus by pro-American legislators that would have constricted Obama’s legal ability to add more foreign workers to the U.S. economy.

If the rule is not struck down by the courts, the due-for-deportation migrants who would automatically get new work-permits include many categories of provisional immigrants, such as people who falsely claim persecution in their home countries. Most of the 250,000 Central Americans who have been allowed by Obama to migrate into the United States since 2009 have claimed in court hearings that they fear persecution in their home countries.

Other categories of migrants who would get Obama’s work-permits include migrants who lied to get work-permits, or children of migrants who accused their foreign spouses with domestic abuse back in their home countries, or the parents and children of foreign religious workers, such as Saudi-trained Imams.

The document even says the federal government has the authority to give updated work-permits to people admitted under a foreign emergency, such as West Africans who were allowed to stay in the United States until the Ebola crisis had passed. This “Temporary Protected Status” can be conferred by the DHS Secretary, without any review by Congress, and so could be used to invite large group of foreigners — such as Muslims from Islam-wrecked countries — to live in the United States.

The list of to-be-deported yet work-eligible groups is listed on page 112 and 113 of the pending rule:

“Aliens admitted as refugees… Aliens granted asylum… Aliens admitted as parents or dependent children of aliens granted permanent residence… Aliens admitted to the United States as citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia or the Marshall Islands pursuant to agreements between the United States and the former trust territories… Aliens granted withholding of deportation or removal… Aliens granted Temporary Protected Status … Aliens who have properly filed applications for TPS… Aliens who have properly filed applications for asylum or withholding of deportation or removal… Aliens who have filed applications for suspension of deportation…Aliens who have filed applications for creation of record of lawful admission for permanent residence… Aliens who have properly filed legalization applications… Aliens who are the principal beneficiaries or qualified children of approved VAWA self-petitioners.”

The new regulations will also be a giant payout to Obama’s allies in the immigration-law industry.

That’s because the offer of extended work-permits to people facing deportation— including criminals and fraudulent asylum-seekers — gives them them the incentive and the means to appeal and re-appeal their deportation orders for many years.

Nationally, the backlog of immigration cases has doubled from roughly 225,000 pending cases in 2009 to 450,000 pending cases in late 2015, according to TRAC Reports. In 2009, the cases took 439 days to complete an average case. By 2015, the cases took an average of 918 days to resolve.

The new regulation will likely extend these courtroom delays, so increasing the number of foreigners improperly living and working in the United States. Inevitably, those extra migrants drive up the labor supply, and force down average wages for Americans and legal immigrants. The last time wages rose for lower-income Americans was in 1998 and 1999, when companies had to compete for workers during the dot.com boom, and amid a low rate of illegal immigration.

Much of the current courtroom backlog is caused by Obama’s decision to reduce enforcement of immigration law, and to grant novel legal rights to illegal immigrants.

Since 2009, for example, Obama has allowed more than 250,000 Central Americans migrants to cross the U.S. borders and then to file for asylum and refugee status. This was a policy choice — because Obama and his border officials have the legal authority to reject and repatriate all migrants, including the many strong young men who claim to be “unaccompanied alien children.”

Similarly, in August 2014, Obama’s deputies agreed with the ACLU to let some deported migrants return to the United States to re-litigate their prior deportation cases.

Obama also backed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) ’s 2013 immigration rewrite, dubbed a ‘comprehensive immigration reform,” by Democratic and media allies. The bill would have tripled legal immigration to roughly 33 million people over a decade, flatlining wages and salaries. The bill also contained 400 legal loopholes, and would have allowed the DHS secretary to let deported migrants — including gang members — return to the United States.

This new pro-migrant rule reflects Obama’s preferences for large-scale immigration, and his frequent description of migrant foreigners as better than Americans.

At a December 2015 naturalization ceremony, Obama told a group of new legal immigrants that “I’m proud to be among the first to greet you as ‘My fellow Americans’… We can never say it often or loudly enough: Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America.”

“You are now American. You’ve got [political] obligations as citizens,” said Obama, the nation’s organizer-in-chief. “And I’m absolutely confident you will meet them. You’ll set a good example for all of us, because you know how precious this thing is. It’s not something to take for granted. It’s something to cherish and to fight for.”

In November 2014, Obama told supporters that Americans don’t have the right to restrict migration.

Part of what’s wonderful about America is also what makes our democracy hard sometimes, because sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration. If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, well, I don’t want those folks. Even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.

Obama made his political strategy clear in 2006, when he wrote in his autobiography that immigrants can become the foundation of new political movement that transform Americans’ culture and politics, whether or not Americans want any transformations. “In my mind, at least, the fates of black and brown were to be perpetually intertwined, the cornerstone of a coalition that could help America live up to its promise,” he wrote in “The Audacity of Hope.”

But you’ve got to break some Americans to make transformational omelettes; “This huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole… [but] it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans,” Obama admitted.

In 2013, Obama used the immigration laws to being in roughly 2 million foreign workers — plus women and children — in a year when 4 million Americans began looking for jobs. Unsurprisingly, wages flatlined while profits spiked and the stock market shot up to record highs.

http://www.meetup.com/We-Are-Breitbart-Dallas-Ft-Worth/

New Year’s Surprise: Obama Regulation To Give Work-Permits To Foreign College-Graduates

By Neil Munro

As the nation prepares to ring in the New Year, President Barack Obama is preparing a colossal new executive action that could print-up work permits for a huge number of foreign white-collar graduates every year, above and beyond the levels set by Congress.

This executive action, which directly bypasses Congressional lawmakers, is likely to reverberate across the presidential race, as GOP voters look to choose a nominee they believe will most effectively roll back the President’s still-expanding agenda.  And it will certainly raise new security concerns as it covers categories of immigration utilized by migrants from the Middle East and nearby regions.

President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security plans to publish the proposed rule tomorrow, the last day of 2015.

The 181-page rule focuses primarily on giving work-permits to foreign college-grads who will compete against Americans for white collar jobs, despite the large number of American graduates now stuck in lower-wage positions and struggling to pay off college debts. The rule will also make each foreign graduate much cheaper for U.S. employers to hire than many U.S.-born college grads.

“Obama has gone the Full Monty to bust the immigration system,” says immigration lawyer John Miano. “What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the [annual] quotas… it could be over 100,000.”

The new rules to aid foreign college-graduates are an extension of his earlier efforts to bypass popular laws against illegal immigration, said Miano, the co-author of a new book about the painful impact of the white-collar guest-worker programs, titled “Sold Out.”

This executive action could have been prevented, however, had the bipartisan 2016 omnibus funding included language proposed by Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’

In April, Sessions proposed language to reduce and cap the number of work-permits — dubbed “Employment Authorization Documents” — that could be distributed to foreign workers each year. Sessions’ recommendation was rejected by GOP and Democratic leaders in Congress, and so House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)  December omnibus is enabling the president’s new executive action.
In 2012, Obama bypassed laws against illegal immigration by awarding two-year work-permits to at least 800,000 younger foreign migrants who were brought here by their illegal immigrant parents. In 2015, the courts blocked his November 2014 amnesty plan to award work-permits to roughly 5 million resident migrants who have U.S.-born children. From 2009 to 2015, Obama also allowed at least 250,000 Central American migrants into the United States to request asylum or refugee status. In 2013, Obama added roughly 2 million extra foreign workers to the economy, while roughly 4 million young Americans began looking for work.

“The objective here is to strip American workers of their protections from foreign labor embodied in the Green Card quotas” that are set by Congress, not the White House, Miano said.

The annual award of Green Cards — and vital preliminary work-permits — is limited by quotas that mostly impact the many Indian and Chinese graduates who come to the United States as H-1B guest-workers, or who first arrive as students and later start working in the United States via the Optional Practical Training and H-1B programs.

Roughly 650,000 foreign graduates are working in the United States for roughly 5 years each under the H-1B program. Roughly 120,000 foreign graduates of U.S. colleges are working in the United States for two years each via the OPT program, often called the ‘mini-H-1B program.’ Without this new regulation, most of those foreign graduates will return home after several years, forcing companies to hire U.S. graduates in their place.

The foreign graduates typically get entry-level jobs that would otherwise go to new U.S.business graduates, designers, doctors, programmers, engineers and scientists.  Also, the foreign graduates are used to replace mid-level American professionals once they seek mid-career pay-raises to help pay for mortgages and child-rearing.

According to the pending regulation, “many of these changes are primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain [foreign] high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs), while increasing the ability of such [foreign] workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with current employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.”

The new policy also creates a large economic incentive for U.S. employers to hire foreign college-grads instead of new American college-grads.

That’s because the policy will allow U.S. employers to hire foreign college graduates at very low salaries. The foreign graduates will gladly take those low-wage white-collar jobs because the new policy allows them to get deferred payments from the federal government — valuable permanent work-permits that are the first step on the golden pathway to Green Cards and citizenship.

In contrast, employers can’t pay American graduates with this combination of low-salaries plus the federal promise of citizenship — because the Americans already have citizenship.

That means employers must pay more money to hire American college-grads than they would to hire foreign college-grads. That puts a huge disadvantage on American graduates because they need higher salaries to pay off their expensive U.S. college debt.

Miano slammed the new regulations, and said they reflect Obama’s preference for foreigners over Americans.

“Notice that when foreign workers are going to lose their jobs, Obama has DHS make protecting their jobs the agency’s highest priority,” chiefly by minimizing enforcement of immigration laws, he told Breitbart News. But “when American workers lose their jobs to foreign workers, Obama does absolutely nothing,” he said.

“We have a president with a very warped sense of priorities,” he added.

The public can object to the new regulations, according to the DHS document.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before [Insert date 60 days from date of publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER].

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: You may submit comments to USCIS by visiting http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: You may submit comments directly to USCIS by e-mailing them to:

USCISFRComment@dhs.gov. Please include DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0008 in the subject line of the message.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/12/30/obamas-agency-reveals-plan-give-work-permits-myriad-foreign-college-graduates/

 

U.S. Doesn’t Know How Many Foreign Visitors Overstay Visas

 

APPREHENSIONS AND DEPORTATIONS IN THE U.S.

Apprehensions and DeportationsIllegal immigration in the U.S. has reached a boiling point. While a struggling economy has decreased the level of illegal immigration into the U.S., it has also been a catalyst for a wave of anti-immigration sentiment. Congress is in the midst of a heated debate regarding how to handle illegal immigration with Democrats and liberals advocating an approach that equitably deals with the 12 million illegal immigrants already residing in the U.S. and Republicans and conservatives pushing for tougher enforcement and tactics designed to keep illegal immigrants out. In an effort to satisfy both parties, the Obama administration has thrown its support behind legislation such as the DREAM Act while concurrently doubling manpower and financing to the U.S.-Mexico border and approving an increase in worksite investigations. These methods have resulted in a record number of illegal immigrant apprehensions and deportations. Here are some statistics concerning apprehensions and deportations.

• Since taking office, the Obama administration has seen the deportation of almost 800,000 illegal immigrants. This is a new record.

• Since the beginning of fiscal year 2011, 88,497 illegal aliens have been deported to the Caribbean and Latin America alone.

• Since the beginning of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Secure Communities program, in which only “serious criminals” were to be deported, 101,000 illegal aliens have been deported as a direct result of the program. 32 percent of them had no criminal record.

• Between October 2010 and April 2011, 215,900 illegal aliens have been deported. 109,700 were convicted criminals of which 585 were convicted of homicide, 3,177 were convicted sex offenders, and 24,593 were convicted of drug-related crimes.

• The U.S. Border Patrol estimates that only one out of four illegal immigrants is caught at the border.

• In fiscal year 2010, 30,729 illegal immigrants were apprehended at California-Mexico border checkpoints.

• At border checkpoints in all states bordering Mexico (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas), 463,382 illegal immigrants were apprehended in fiscal year 2010. Only 59,017 were not Mexican nationals. 18,406 were Guatemalan nationals, 13,723 were from El Salvador, and 13,580 were from Honduras.

• In fiscal year 2010, Border agents apprehended 663 “Aliens from Special Interest Countries.” These countries have suspected ties to terrorist organizations.

• Many apprehended illegal immigrants were from the U.S. Department of State’s country list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” 712 apprehensions were Cuban nationals, 14 were Iranian nationals, 5 were Syrians, and 5 were Sudanese. Also, from “special interest countries, “ 9 apprehensions were Somali nationals, 9 were from Afghanistan, 37 were from Pakistan, 5 were from Saudi Arabia, and 11 were from Yemen.

• U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimates that only 43 percent of the 1,969 mile-long U.S.-Mexico border is under “operational control.”

• At least 12 million illegal immigrants currently reside in the U.S. It is logistically impossible and expensive to deport them all.

The debate is indeed tricky. By all accounts, U.S. immigration agencies are working hard to do their jobs but under no circumstances will illegal immigration be completely stopped—that is until the U.S. becomes an undesirable place to live. A two-fold approach that offers some pathway to legality for the illegal immigrants in the U.S. and commits to border security and enforcement is likely the only way to deal with this issue. Comprehensive immigration reform is currently being proposed in the U.S. Senate, but provisions offering “amnesty” to the illegal immigrants living in the U.S. will make it a tough sell to Republicans even though the bill includes measures for more border security and tougher enforcement.

https://www.usimmigration.com/apprehensions-and-deportations.html

“All you black American people, fuck you all…just go to the office and pick up your check,” the supervisor at Hamilton Growers told workers during a mass layoff in June 2009.

The following season, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, about 80 workers, many of them black, were simply told: “All you Americans are fired.”

Year after year, Hamilton Growers, which has supplied squash, cucumbers, and other produce to Wal-Mart and the Green Giant brand, hired scores of Americans, only to cast off many of them within weeks, according to the U.S. government. And time after time, the grower filled the jobs with foreign guest workers instead.

Although Hamilton Growers eventually agreed to pay half a million dollars to settle the suit, company officials said the allegations are baseless. Mass firings never happened, they said, nor did anyone use racially inflammatory language. But workers tell a different story.

“We want to go to work and work all day,” said Derrick Green, 32, a father of six who said he was fired by Hamilton Growers in 2012 after only three weeks picking squash. “But they don’t want that.”

Last year, thousands of American companies won permission to bring a total of more than 150,000 people into the country as legal guest workers for unskilled jobs, under a federal program that grants them temporary work permits known as H-2 visas. Officially, the guest workers were invited here to fill positions no Americans want: The program is notsupposed to deprive any American of a job, and before a company wins approval for a single H-2 visa, it must attest that it has already made every effort to hire domestically. Many companies abide by the law and make good-faith efforts to employ Americans.

Yet a BuzzFeed News investigation, based on Labor Department records, court filings, more than 100 interviews, inspectorgeneralreports, and analyses of state and federal data, has found that many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.

A previous BuzzFeed News report found that many of those foreign workers suffer a nightmare of abuse, deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, sexually assaulted, or threatened with deportation if they dare complain.

At the same time, companies across the country in a variety of industries have made it all but impossible for U.S. workers to learn about job openings that they are supposed to be given first crack at. When workers do find out, they are discouraged from applying. And if, against all odds, Americans actually get hired, they often are treated worse and paid less than foreign workers doing the same job, in order to drive the Americans to quit. Sometimes, as the government alleged happened at Hamilton Growers, employers comply with regulations by hiring Americans only to fire them en masse and hand over the work to foreign workers with H-2 visas.

What’s more, companies often do this with the complicity of government officials, records show. State and federal authorities have allowed companies to violate the spirit — and often the letter — of the law with bogus recruitment efforts that are clearly designed to keep Americans off the payroll. And when regulators are alerted to potential problems, the response is often ineffectual.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Labor, which is charged with protecting workers and vetting employers seeking visas, said in a statement: “We acknowledge that the laws that authorize these programs are inadequate.” But the department also said that despite limited resources, it “actively pursues measures to strengthen protections for foreign and U.S. workers.”

The H-2 visa was created to address shortages in the American workforce. Although labor is indeed tight in some areas — such as North Dakota, where an oil boom has driven unemployment below 3% — there is little evidence of labor shortages in many industries that use the visas. In some cases, there is even a glut of available workers.

Landscaping companies, for example, were approved for more than 30,000 H-2 visas in the 2014 fiscal year. Yet Daniel Costa, a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, which receives some funding from unions, found that over the same period, unemployment in landscaping was more than twice as high as the national average.

“The problem with the system is that the H-2 workers who are coming in are not tied to actual, demonstrated labor shortages,” Costa said.

Companies that have difficulty finding American workers could attract more applicants by offering higher wages. But instead of encouraging or even subsidizing that, the government’s H-2 program effectively subsidizes the opposite effort — helping companies find pliant foreign labor, often at the expense of American workers.

Derek Davis outside his home near Moultrie, Georgia. Kevin D. Liles for BuzzFeed News

In the last five years, the number of H-2 visas issued by the State Department, which administers the program along with the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department, has surged by more than 50%.

Bills in Congress to expand the guest worker program have won support from both Democrats and Republicans in recent years. Business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied for as many as 400,000 additional H-2 visas per year. But the issue has been overshadowed by larger debates over the legal status of millions of undocumented immigrants.

Around the country, lawyers and labor brokers actively promote the H-2 program as a way to boost profit margins. Usafarmlabor, a labor broker serving the agricultural industry, until this month bluntly statedon its site: “Our workers actually save you money each month in a comparison with U.S. workers.”

Employers who use the H-2 program note that it entails numerous added costs, including visa fees and transportation, as well as compliance with complex rules. It requires that most workers be paid above minimum wage, sometimes substantially so.

But the guest worker program also offers numerous financial incentives. Agricultural employers are exempt from payroll and unemployment taxes on H-2 workers, for example; nonagricultural employers do not have to provide housing, but if they do they are allowed to charge their workers rent, which is sometimes extortionate.

Foreign laborers usually live at the job site, available to work at any time. They typically come alone, without families or other distractions that could cause them to miss work. The terms of their visas prohibit them from taking other jobs, so they have almost no leverage when it comes to wages or working conditions. And since they often come from abject poverty in their home countries, many visa holders put up with difficult or even backbreaking conditions without complaint to ensure they are invited to return the next year.

The visa program can be even more advantageous to the many employers that exploit their guest workers, making them work long hours without overtime pay, charging them illegal fees, or flat-out cheating them of their wages — all of which are against the law, regardless of whether workers are American or foreign.

A cotton field near Moultrie, Georgia. Kevin D. Liles for BuzzFeed News

Hamilton Growers has been cited, repeatedly, for its treatment of its mostly Mexican workforce. Even as the farm was accused of casting off American workers, government investigators found that it failed to pay foreign employees all they were owed and that ithoused them in often deplorable conditions. Hamilton Growers vigorously denies that it mistreated workers.

Americans are far less isolated than foreigners on H-2 visas, many of whom cannot speak a word of English. U.S. workers often know at least some of their rights and how to complain about abuses. They frequently have family nearby whom they can turn to for support. And, perhaps most importantly, they can’t be threatened with deportation. But the guest worker program can still have a devastating impact on their jobs, their families, and their entire communities.

In house after house in Moultrie, American workers said they have been shut out of agriculture jobs that have been available in their community for generations. Older workers talked of becoming impoverished; younger ones said their chances of financial stability have been strangled, leaving them, in some cases, with little choice but to leave town.

“They got rid of us,” said Mary Jo Fuller, referring to black workers. A field-worker on and off for most of her life, she said she was abruptly terminated from J&R Baker Farms, near Moultrie, as part of a mass firing in 2010. Unable to find other employment, the 59-year-old said she wound up homeless for more than a year. “We don’t really have jobs no more.”

Moultrie is “nowhere, really, for a young person trying to make it,” added Green. “It just makes you angry, very angry,” he said. “We right here in America, and you don’t want us to work. You’d rather get foreigners.”

For several years, Abrorkhodja Askarkhodjaev ran a temp firm based in Kansas City that relied on H-2 guest workers from the Philippines, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic and that serviced large hotels and other businesses around the country.

“Foreign people will clean two rooms in one hour. The American will not even finish in one hour one room,” he said speaking from the federal prison where he is serving a 12-year term for crimes related to visa fraud.

“Foreigners are better,” Askarkhodjaev added. “Of course I tried not to hire Americans.”

Before a company can bring in any guest workers, it must clear a series of legal hurdles to prove to the government that it has tried but failed to recruit Americans for the job.

Companies that don’t actually want Americans, however, have devised a whole set of creative tricks to get around these hurdles.


To apply for the right to import foreign workers, a company must first post at least two newspaper job ads, including one on a Sunday, “in the area of intended employment.”

Some employers have a very broad definition of “area of intended employment.”

In January 2011, Talbott’s Honey, a small honey producer, placed ads as requiredsoliciting workers for jobs in Kimball, South Dakota. The ads, however, ran in Elkader, Iowa; Dalhart, Texas; and Hobbs, New Mexico — towns that arehundreds of miles from Kimball.

Talbott’s then told the government there were no available American workers and got permission to import 12 foreign workers instead.

Reached by phone, the company declined to comment on the matter. But when asked why it hadn’t run an ad somewhere in the actual vicinity of the job, Talbott’s wrote that it had tried but the ad “somehow fell thru the cracks,” according to Labor Department records.

Sometimes the government actually abets this tactic. In North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, seasonal jobs cutting down Christmas trees in the frenzied weeks before the holiday pay well. But year after year, the state’s online job board has incorrectly posted those jobs in the wrong counties, sometimes hundreds of miles from any pine forests. As a result, workers looking for Christmas tree work close to home face a peculiar paradox: The only way to find the openings nearby is to search in a faraway corner of the state.

Lawyers at Legal Aid of North Carolina have been complaining to the state Department of Commerce about the Christmas tree job posting discrepancies for years. Yet despite repeated promises by state regulators to fix it, the issue persists, the lawyers said.

Indeed, officials in the state at times seem to make it easy for employers to avoid hiring Americans. During the fiscal year that ended this July, the state’s job bank tallied work orders seeking H-2 workers for 17,496 agricultural job openings, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. More than 7,000 U.S. farmworkers had registered with the agency actively seeking work — yet only 505 of them were referred to those jobs.

Kim Genardo, spokesperson for the department, wrote in an email that the state’s “Foreign Labor Certification program is absolutely in compliance with federal law.”

Across the country, employers have run ads that failed to list any contact information,omitted the name of the company, or excluded relevant information such as what kind of job it was, where it was located, or how much it would pay, records show.

Some simply don’t place ads at all.

For years, Linda White ran a business in Livingston, Louisiana, securing H-2 visas for hundreds of employers. Late last month, she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prisonfor creating phony receipts in an attempt to convince regulators she had placed newspaper ads for dozens of clients, when in fact she had not. During a three-year period reviewed by the Labor Department, her clients were approved for more than 8,000 visas, federal data shows.

In an interview, White called the matter “a mistake,” adding that “nobody was going to call for these jobs over dumb newspaper ads anyhow. When clients come to me, what they want is their Mexicans.”


The H-2 program dates all the way back to 1952, and employers have been coming up with ways to game the system for almost as long.

An information sheet from the Snake River Farmers Association in Idaho from the mid-1980s, obtained by a legal aid group representing farmworkers from Texas, offered a list of tips on how to write job postings so that they would deter American applicants.

“Irrigators or pipe movers is a great job description because no one wants to move pipe,” the fact sheet said. “Ranch Hands,” by contrast, is “a poor description,” the memo noted, adding: “One might get some adventuresome young ladies from Cincinnati seeking the thrill of working on a western ranch. With numerous applications from such U.S. workers, the employer would never get around to recruiting aliens.”

In response to a query from BuzzFeed News, Jeanne Malitz, a lawyer who represents the association, initially said it was “unaware of the source of this document, or whether it was published or ever disseminated” and disavowed its contents. Told of the document’s origin, she declined to comment further.


Despite all the obstacles, some U.S. workers do manage to find out about job openings at the companies that are seeking to hire abroad. But many of those companies set unusually stringent requirements — for their U.S. applicants, at least.

Even for entry-level jobs, or tasks as simple as picking melons, some employers demand that American applicants have months or sometimeseven years of experience, clean drug tests, high school diplomas, familiarity with botanical nomenclature, knowledge of diabetic cooking, multiple references, or commercial driver’s permits.

Despite the H-2 program’s focus on unskilled labor, employers seeking guest workers routinely demand previous work experience, further raising the bar for Americans. In recent years a full three-quarters of companies approved to bring in agricultural guest workers have listed such requirements, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of federal data. In some states — as geographically diverse as New York, North Carolina, Montana, and Washington — virtually all agricultural employers demand prior experience.

Such requirements are a way to “filter out U.S. workers,” said Lori Johnson, an attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina. She noted that some fruit and vegetable picking jobs now require three months of experience. And, Johnson said, there is little evidence that such requirements are ever imposed on the foreign guest workers who ultimately get the jobs.

Some requirements also appear racially coded.

“I will keep my pants pulled up around my waist. I will wear pants and shirts that fit,”reads a document that Hamilton Growers required its workers to sign in 2013. “If I have long hair or extensions in my hair, I will fix my hair in such a manner that it can be placed under a hair net.”

Jon Schwalls, director of operations at the farm, said it was “ridiculous” to suggest that the language targeted black workers; those rules were about food and workplace safety, he said.


Early this year, the sign manufacturer Persona, of Watertown, South Dakota, obliged American applicants to take the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness, which “helps measure an individual’s ability to learn new skills quickly, adjust to new situations, understand complex or subtle relationships, and be flexible in thinking.”

The 20-minute exam is often deployed to assess computer programmers, accountants, bank managers, andcommercial airline pilots, but Persona used it to evaluate — and reject — Americans applying for painting and welding jobs. A Labor Department official questioned whether the test “is going to be administered to foreign workers.”

A Persona official declined to comment.

When American workers showed up to apply for a job at Pro Landscape, in Hillsboro, Oregon, they were told they would have to dig a trench four feet long, a foot and a half wide, and a foot and a half deep within five minutes to be considered for the position, according to Labor Department records.

Manuel Castaneda, the company’s owner, called the task a “fair way” to see who was up to the job. But the Labor Department said the tests appeared “to not be normal” for the industry and to “be restrictive to U.S. workers.” Indeed, Labor Department records show that only five of the 18 applicants who attempted the tests passed. “The employer’s tests,” the department found, appear to have “discouraged U.S. workers.”


When Nicole Burt applied for work as a stable attendant in Kentucky, she was sure her experience and skills were unimpeachable. As a teenager in Vermont she showed, trained, and groomed horses, and no sooner did she graduate high school than she moved to the Bluegrass State in order to be in what she dubbed “the horse capital of the world.”

In early 2011, she applied to a dozen or so stables, she said, but none called her back. One of them was Three Chimneys Farm, a stately home for legendary thoroughbreds including the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew.

Three Chimneys, based in the town of Versailles, had told federal authorities it was “facinga distinct labor crisis and cannot locate or retain American workers” and that “all U.S. workers who express an interest in the employment opportunity will be interviewed for employment.” But when Burt called to check on her application, she was told no jobs were available.

“Basically we never hire US workers who are applying,” the farm’s director of human resources, LaTerri Williams, told the Department of Labor in a signed statement. “I don’t conduct interviews or take their applications. Basically I just tell them we have no openings.”

Nicole “Niki” Burt, at her home in Hustonville, Kentucky. Katie Simpson for BuzzFeed News

Asked by regulators why it didn’t give Burt a chance, as federal law required, the company stated that the single mother of three was better off unemployed than taking the $9.71-an-hour job. “Given the length of the commute, the cost of daycare, the loss of her eligibility for food stamps, it would cost Ms. Burt more to work for Three Chimneys than if she did not work at all,” the company said.

Burt said she never found another job working with horses, and in the months she waited, holding out hope that she’d get a call, she lost both her cars and her house. Almost four years later, the Labor Department awarded her $16,313 — the amount regulators calculated she would have earned at Three Chimneys had she been hired as the law required.

Three Chimneys did not respond to several requests for comment.

“I kept hearing the employers say that they couldn’t find anybody. And I just want to smack them, because we’re right here,” said Burt. “I felt betrayed. I just felt like America had let Americans down.”


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, was approved for 23 foreign housekeepers in 2012, arguing that the golf and convention seasons created a need from October to May. As required by law, the sprawling luxury resort, part of the $12 billion Starwood chain, placed ads for American workers in the Arizona Republic newspaper — but it rejected all five applicants. The company told the Labor Department that some failed to meet a one-month experience requirement.

The following year, however, when government inspectors contacted some of those rejected workers, a different story emerged. One applicant “revealed that she had over 25 years of housekeeping experience” and “used to run her own motel in Colorado,” investigation documents said.

The Labor Department ultimately ordered the Westin Kierland, which has a championship golf course, multiple pools, and a 900-foot “lazy river” spread over 262 acres, to pay a total of $13,500 in lost wages to two American workers it judged should have been hired. In a statement, Bruce Lange, Westin Kierland’s managing director, said the resort disagreed with the Labor Department’s findings but “chose to resolve the matter in order to focus our time and resources on caring for our associates and guests.”

Throughout the Midwest, corn detasseling is a popular summertime gig. So when D&K Harvesting filed a job posting in April 2013 — a step it had to take to win approval to import 120 H-2 workers — Katlyn Sanchez rushed to apply. The job, which involves removing the flower from cornstalks, typically draws high school kids and young adults.

But when the Kalamazoo, Michigan, teenager’s mother spoke to a recruiter over the phone a few days later, she was warned that it was “not a good situation for a young female worker alone,” according to a complaint later filed to regulators by Sanchez. “There will be all single men from Mexico” working alongside her, the recruiter later said, and her daughter “could get physically or sexually attacked.”

The recruiter added that D&K “will not be responsible for anything that happens” to Sanchez in the fields. Employers do not have the right to absolve themselves of workplace dangers, nor to decide that they’d rather not hire women. But the recruiter’s tactic worked: Sanchez’s mother agreed not to let her take the job.

The recruiter offered her approval: “I think you’ve made a good choice.”

D&K president Larry Marsh did not return several calls seeking comment.


Far off the interstate, perched under a big blue sky and surrounded by fields of fluffy cotton, Moultrie, population 14,000, feels frozen in time. Coffee can be found for less than a dollar. The charming central square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And the town’s quiet old neighborhoods — some graceful, some ragged — are deeply segregated.

For many black men, job options are especially scarce. In the spring of 2012, Derrick Green, the father of six, had been unemployed and looking for work for several months, while his wife’s uncle, Derek Davis, 42, had trouble landing a job because of a pair of old drug convictions. When the two friends went together to the Moultrie branch of the Georgia Department of Labor to review job listings, both said they were desperate for work.

They were referred to Hamilton Growers, one of the area’s largest farms and one of the county’s largest employers, which had posted the openings as part of threeseparateapplications to import a total of 614 H-2 workers that year.

Along with roughly a dozen other folks, most of them black, Green and Davis submitted to drug tests and filled out applications. Picking squash under a relentless Georgia sun for$9.39 an hour is brutally hard and monotonous. But Green, who is athletic and slender, said he “learned to pick” as a child alongside his grandmother. Davis, a former U.S. Army mechanic, said he first toiled in the fields at 14.

It was June and already sweltering when they reported to work among lush crops rolling across the red clay. Rumbling old school buses transport workers to and from long rows where they stoop in the hot sun, picking squash, cucumber, and peppers.

Kent Hamilton, shown on Southern Valley’s Facebook page. Southern Valley / Facebook / ViaFacebook: southernvalleyfv

Hamilton Growers is owned by the Hamilton family, which boasts that it has cultivated land in this area for six generations. The enterprise has grown into an agricultural behemoth, with more than half a dozen interconnected corporations and LLCs running each aspect of the business: While Hamilton Growers files H-2 visa requests to the Labor Department, Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable sells produce grown on the land.

Beyond south Georgia, the farm also has operations inTennessee and in 2003 went international, cultivating hundreds of acres in a remote section of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

At the headquarters in Norman Park, a 20-minute drive northeast of Moultrie, a prominent plaque proclaims that the farm commits to “feeding the nations and providing a source of income for those who labor here, as servants of our Lord for His glory.” The chief executive, Kent Hamilton, is beloved by local youths for the zip line over his swimming hole. He is on the board of the nonprofit Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Foundation and has donated thousands of dollars to local elected officials, including former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who lives in Moultrie and previously chaired the powerful agriculture committee.

Nearly two decades ago, Hamilton Growers began bringing in foreign guest workers. It’s a transition increasing numbers of farmers have made in recent years — often, as in Hamilton’s case, after complaining they had lost crops for want of people to pick them.

“You don’t save any money” by using H-2 guest workers, said Matt Scaroni, whose family owns Fresh Harvest, a farm labor contractor based in California that accounted for roughly one-fifth of all agricultural H-2 visas approved in the state last year.

Matt Scaroni at his home in Heber, California. His family has farmed in California for five generations. Melissa Wood for BuzzFeed News

By Scaroni’s calculation, housing, transportation, and legal costs, not to mention state and federal inspections and regulations, cost upwards of $4,000 to $5,000 for each guest worker “before they pick one fruit.”

In the past year, Scaroni said, Fresh Harvest has rented entire motels in Salinas to accommodate workers, along with apartments and traditional farmworker housing. The company has also been forced into once unthinkable expenditures, such as purchasing 3,000 new beds and launching a catering operation to provide meals, he said. In Salinas, he added, a paid cleaning service even visits many of the Fresh Harvest motels.

That’s a very different standard of living from that of many guest workers at Hamilton Growers. Some of them live in concrete dorms, others in rotting old school buses on cinder blocks in a forest near the grower’s packing operation, for which they say they must pay nearly $300 a month. In 2005, health inspectors told Hamilton Growers that its portable toilets couldn’t simply “have a hole cut in the bottom and a pit dug for waste.”

On a recent afternoon, some Mexican H-2 workers sat in the thick heat inside a dimly lit school bus and said that the company wasn’t paying them for all the hours they worked. None agreed to be named. “People are scared,” one of them said.

Their grievances echo those made by more than a dozen Mexican H-2 workers who suedHamilton Growers and Southern Valley in federal court last year, alleging that the companies had engaged in intentional wage theft. American workers eventually joined the suit.

The companies deny the charge, but earlier this month they agreed to pay $485,000 to settle the lawsuit because, Schwalls said, doing so was less expensive than litigating it.

He said that the company pays its employees properly and that its housing “meets and exceeds” federal standards. All bedrooms have central heat and air conditioning even though it is not required, he said, and there are no pit toilets at the housing site.

He expressed shock when told that workers had a receipt showing they had paid the company’s longtime foreman, who departed this summer, $296 a month to live in the school buses. “That is not our land,” Schwalls said. “I can only speak to those workers who choose company housing, which is at no charge to the employees.”

Some of Hamilton Growers’ H-2 guest workers pay to live in school buses near the company’s headquarters. Jessica Garrison / BuzzFeed News

Hamilton Growers has consistently maintained that it uses foreign workers not because they are cheaper or more pliant, but because there are simply not enough U.S. workers. “I would prefer to have an all-domestic workforce,” Schwalls said. “We hire 100% of the American applications we receive.”

But according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hamilton Growersfired or pushed out “the overwhelming majority” of the 114 American field-workers it hired in 2009 — but “few to none” of the 370 Mexican guest workers. In 2010, the company hired 233 American workers and got rid of “nearly all” of them, yet almost none of its 518 Mexican H-2 employees lost their jobs. The story was the same in 2011, the government charged in a rare lawsuit.

In late 2012, the company agreed to pay $500,000, without admitting guilt, and entered into a consent decree, pledging to be “a model employer in the area of anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity.”

Despite the settlement, Schwalls said the government’s claims were “completely inaccurate and false” and that it was only poor record keeping that prevented Hamilton Growers from proving that workers had voluntarily abandoned their jobs. “It’s just a family farm,” he said. “There was no understanding of the need for documentation.” Wal-Mart, which has been one of the farm’s customers, declined to speak for this story, while Green Giant didn’t respond to a request to comment.

By the time Derrick Green applied for the job at Hamilton Growers in 2012, he had heard rumors about troubles at the farm but was assured by staff at the local employment office that the company had mended its ways.

“They told me they was good now,” Green recalled.

Derrick Green in his home in Moultrie, Georgia. Kevin D. Liles for BuzzFeed News

He lasted just three weeks, he said, before he and a dozen other Americans were abruptly fired for not meeting production targets.

The workers protested, demanding to see some kind of accounting of their performance, but the company refused to provide it, Green recalled. “We had a big argument in that office,” he said. The dispute ended, he said, only after one manager pulled out a can of mace and another picked up the phone to summon the cops.

Schwalls said he could not comment on terminations of individual employees but insisted no one was ever threatened with mace.

This month, as part of their settlement of the suit brought by foreign guest workers, Hamilton Growers and Southern Valley agreed to pay 13 American workers, including Green, $1,500 each for claims that they were wrongly fired.

After their time at Hamilton Growers, Green and Davis returned to the employment office and were referred to J&R Baker Farms, another big vegetable grower in the area that has come to rely heavily on guest workers. In 2012, the farm appliedfor 160 H-2 visas, arguing there were not enough Americans who wanted the job.

Davis and Green were both hired. For the first few days, they say, the company made it difficult for them to work — by not sending the bus that was supposed to transport them to the fields or by dismissing them after just a couple of hours. On Green’s fourth day, the bus made an unscheduled stop at the front office, Green recalled, and a foreman told the Americans — but not the Mexican guest workers — to get off the bus. Nine Americans were fired that day, according to a lawsuit Green and others later filed against the company.

The entrance to J&R Baker Produce. Jessica Garrison / BuzzFeed News

J&R Baker too has been repeatedly accused of mistreating both its American workers and guest workers. In 2010, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division fined the farm $136,500 and said it should pay $1.3 million in back wages. The farm eventually settled with the agency, agreeing to pay a fraction of those amounts.

In 2012, two dozen black workers sued J&R Baker, alleging that they were held to different production standards than H-2 workers and that many of them were unlawfully fired for not meeting quotas. The grower settled that case in February 2014, agreeing to pay up to $2,200 to each of the terminated employees.

Six months later, in a case similar to the one it filed against Hamilton Growers, the EEOCfiled suit against J&R Baker in federal court, accusing the grower of giving American workers fewer hours than guest workers and then firing them.

Among the plaintiffs who received $2,200 in the 2012 case is Fuller, the woman who said she wound up homeless after being laid off. Fuller said her firing was particularly painful because of her long relationship with the Baker family. She grew up on the farm, she said, and her grandmother was a nanny for the family. She said she took care of Jerod and Rodney Baker, the two current owners, when they were kids.

Back then, she said, they were “sweet little boys.” Sitting on a rickety lawn chair in front of her tiny home in Moultrie, Fuller frowned. “They grown now. They can do what they want.” She paused. “They mean.”

In an interview, Jerod Baker said his former workers’ allegations were false. They weren’t fired, he said — they quit.

“They’ll say anything, believe me. Half of them was either on drugs or coming to work late or smelling like a brewery,” he said. “They literally come out here with baggy pants, and they have to hold their pants up, and the other ones either have a cigarette in their mouth or a cell phone. How are they going to be able to work like that?” He added, “85% of them told me, ‘Screw this, we’ll keep getting our government check.’”

Baker vowed never to settle the lawsuit filed by the EEOC, even though, he said, fighting it is costing him a fortune. “The word on the street is go get a job with J&R Baker or Southern Valley, work for a few days, and quit — you can go sue them and then get you a check. That’s exactly what’s going on.”

As for Fuller, he said the idea that she was his babysitter was “the craziest bull sense of crap I ever heard.”

The heart of the issue, Baker said, is that domestic workers “can’t keep up with the Mexican workers. It’s just a disaster,” he said. “We would much rather hire American people in our own country to work, but they will not work.” Without legal guest workers or “illegal people” to work the fields, Americans are “either going to have to buy all our food from another country, or we’re going to have to all starve to death.”

A cabbage field near Moultrie, Georgia. Kevin D. Liles for BuzzFeed News

The H-2 program often pits one vulnerable group against another.

Last year, the South Carolina watermelon and blueberry producer Coosaw Farms was suedin federal court by black workers who allege their bosses told them “colored people just don’t work as fast as Mexicans.” The suit charges that Coosaw officials called its American employees “niggers” and made it easier for Mexican workers to meet production quotas. The farm also gave its H-2 workers access to nicer bathrooms, letting them wash their hands before lunch, the lawsuit claims.

Angela O’Neal, who helps direct the H-2 program at the farm, said she could not comment on the litigation, which is still pending, but added, “I can say that we do not, nor would we ever, tolerate a work environment that is anything less than respectful toward each and every employee.”

She added that “independent, third-party audits” — performed on behalf of buyers — “confirm that the company has a strong record of providing a positive and fair work environment for our employees, regardless of their nationality.” She declined to provide the audits, saying, “We do not own them and do not have the legal authority to share them.” In 2013, Labor Department investigators looked into a complaint that Coosaw had displaced domestic workers in favor of guest workers but found it was unsubstantiated.

Downtown Moultrie, Georgia. Kevin D. Liles for BuzzFeed News

Around Moultrie, the resentment goes both ways. Inside a sweltering school bus near the Hamilton Growers labor camp, Mexican workers complained that U.S. workers don’t have to work as hard as they do, aren’t required to work on Sundays, and often get released early — apparently unaware that the American workers want more hours, not fewer.

Many American workers, meanwhile, are resentful because they claim guest workers are stealing their jobs. But some Americans note that the workers who replace them get a raw deal too.

“It ain’t hard to see. As long as they out there on that farm, they must work, and they never get to leave. I felt bad for them,” Green said.

His uncle-in-law, Davis, said he feared that the lack of jobs might eventually force him to leave his home. Standing next to a trailer he is refurbishing on a family plot of land, Davis gestured out at the lawn and the quiet country roads slicing through green fields that stretch to the horizon.

“This is my country,” he said, “and I can’t get a break for nothing.”

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicagarrison/all-you-americans-are-fired#.qmX2nyE8v

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Mass Media Big Lie Campaign To Take Down Trump With Out of Context Propaganda! — Trump Never Said He Wants All Muslims In U.S. To Register– The So-Called “Journalist” Did! — Hit and Run Political Character Assassination Attempt By Hillary Clinton Journalist Supporter — Hunter Walker — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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Why Do Many of The Fox News Talking Heads Attack Trump? Sucking Up To Roger Ailes’ Boss Rupert Murdock Who Favors Open Borders And Does Not Want Immigration To Be A Wedge Issue and Supports Bloomberg! — Trump Is Right — The Only Reason Fox Was Talking About Immigration Was Trump — Results Count — 24 Million Plus Viewers — Trump Should Attack Rupert Murdock’s Open Borders Position — American People Demand Enforcement of Existing Immigration Laws and Not Immigration Reform — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496: June 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 495: June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494: June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493: June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492: June 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 491: June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490: June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488: June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487: June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474; May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473: May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472: May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471: May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470: May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469: May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468: May 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 467: May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466: May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465: May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464; May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463; May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462: May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461: May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460; May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459: May 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 458: May 1, 2015

Story 1: Why Do Many of The Fox News Talking Heads Attack Trump? Sucking Up To Roger Ailes’ Boss Rupert Murdock Who Favors Open Borders And Does Not Want Immigration To Be A Wedge Issue and Supports Bloomberg! — Trump Is Right — The Only Reason Fox Was Talking About Immigration Was Trump — Results Count — 24 Million Plus Viewers — Trump Should Attack Rupert Murdock’s Open Borders Position — American People Demand Enforcement of Existing Immigration Laws and Not Immigration Reform — Videos

Tuesday, August 25
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary PPP (D) Sanders 42, Clinton 35, Biden, Webb 6, O’Malley 4, Chafee 2 Sanders +7
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary PPP (D) Trump 35, Kasich 11, Bush 7, Walker 7, Carson 6, Christie 4, Fiorina 10, Cruz 4, Paul 3, Rubio 4, Huckabee 0, Perry 2, Jindal 0, Graham 1, Santorum 1 Trump +24
Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus Suffolk University Clinton 54, Sanders 20, Biden 11, O’Malley 4, Webb 1, Chafee 0 Clinton +34
South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary Monmouth Trump 30, Carson 15, Bush 9, Walker 4, Huckabee 3, Graham 4, Rubio 6, Cruz 5, Fiorina 6, Kasich 3, Christie 2, Paul 3, Perry 0, Jindal 0 Trump +15

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 1.

Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.

On October 3, 2007, a press conference and panel discussion was hosted by Californians for Population Stabilization (http://www.CAPSweb.org) and The Social Contract (http://www.TheSocialContract.com) to discuss alternative methodologies for estimating the true numbers of illegal aliens residing in the United States.

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010

Trump Outlines Immigration Plan

Immigration Gumballs Short Version

Rupert Murdoch On Why He Supports Immigration Reform

News Corporation Chairman, CEO and Founder, Rupert Murdoch, explains why immigration reform is needed to keep America the most creative and economically competitive nation in the world.

Fox News Owner Rupert Murdoch Calls For Immigration Reform

Partnership for a New American Economy Launches on Fox & Friends

Mayor Bloomberg on the Partnership for a New American Economy

Trump trolls Megyn Kelly on Twitter

Krauthammer: Trump had a “bad night” at GOP Debate.

Donald Trump: Charles Krauthammer is a jerk

George Will: Do We Really Want to Give Nuclear Weapons to Donald Trump? – Fox News Sunday – 8-16-15

George Will on Donald Trump Run

George Will: Trump Is a One-Man Todd Akin fox news sunday

Unions Muscle Big Business on Immigration Reform – WSJ Opinion

Sen Ted Cruz Amendments to increase immigration 2x, Worker Visas 5x, legalize illegals.

Ted Cruz would Double Immigration, add 500% worker Visas and legalize illegals.

Sen. Ted Cruz at Hearing on the Administration’s Immigration Enforcement

Rand Paul: More Immigrants, More Tax Revenue

Rand Paul sounds off on fallout over immigration plan

Scott Walker talks immigration, presidential debate

Jeb Bush Discusses Immigration Reform

Roger Ailes Nukes Trump: New Attack on Megyn Kelly Is ‘Disturbing’

The Donald renewed his verbal assault on Megyn Kelly last night, and the head of Fox News struck back for the first time in public, demanding an apology.
Donald Trump—self-avowed “ratings machine” though he might be—has finally gone too far for Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.The Republican presidential front-runner, who has spent the past day tweeting and re-tweeting nasty insults about Fox News star Megyn Kelly, owes her an apology, Ailes demanded in an extraordinary broadside against the reality-show billionaire, issued on Tuesday afternoon.“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing,” Ailes said about Trump, who has been a frequent interview guest on Fox & Friends, The O’Reilly Factor,Hannity, and other Fox News programs since the Republican presidential debate that Fox News broadcast on August 6 at which Kelly asked him a tough question about his history of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”Trump immediately fired back in a statement.“I totally disagree with the FOX statement. I do not think Megyn Kelly is a quality journalist. I think her questioning of me, despite all of the polls saying I won the debate, was very unfair. Hopefully in the future I will be proven wrong and she will be able to elevate her standards to a level of professionalism that a network such as FOX deserves.”

“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing.”

Ailes issued his statement a little more than 12 hours after Trump’s angry tweet storm.

“Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise,” Ailes continued, referring to a raging series of Trump tweets in which the candidate claimed Kelly was “off her game” on her first show after a 10-day vacation, and retweeted a crass assertion that the former Washington litigator is a “bimbo.”

Ailes, who scheduled The Kelly File at the all-important 9 p.m. prime-time slot, went on:

“I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer.

“Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

Ailes’s verbal howitzer against the front-running Republican—a highly unusual deployment for any news organization, let alone one that has been the GOP establishment and home of conservative viewers—comes after what seemed a coordinated defense of Kelly by at least 10 other Fox News personalities today on Twitter and on air.

According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, the pro-Kelly comments included Fox & Friendsco-host Brian Kilmeade opining on Tuesday’s show that Trump is “totally out of control”; The Five co-host Dana Perino tweeting, “The intelligence, class & grace of Megyn Kelly shined last night after her week’s vacation with her family”; anchor Bret Baier, Kelly’s co-moderator at the debate, tweeting that Trump “has made his feelings clear. But THIS needs to stop;” and Sean Hannity tweeting to Trump, “Leave @Megynkelly Alone.”

So far, there has been no word on whether Trump will be welcome on Fox News if he continues his attacks and refuses to apologize.

EXCLUSIVE — ANN COULTER TO INTRODUCE DONALD TRUMP IN IOWA

Eleven-time New York Times bestselling author Ann Coulter will introduce 2016 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at a rally in Iowa on Tuesday, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

“This is the first time I’ve thought there was hope for our country again since Nov. 7, 2012,” Coulter said in an email to Breitbart News when asked why she is introducing Trump.

Coulter, the author of the bestselling ¡Adios America! about immigration, is extraordinarily pleased by Trump’s immigration reform plan. On Breitbart News Sunday this weekend on Sirius XM Patriot, Coulter walked through how happy she was.

Coulter will be signing copies of her book at a Trump campaign rally in Dubuque, Iowa, at 4:30 p.m. CT and will be speaking before Trump in front of an expected crowd of 1,600.

Trump’s immigration reform plan aims to put Americans ahead of foreigners and special interests and has several aspects in it designed to do that. He wants to build a wall on the border, make Mexico pay for it, end birthright citizenship for anchor babies, and put restrictions on legal immigration designed to ensure Americans have first access to jobs instead of illegal immigrants or future foreigners.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/25/exclusive-ann-coulter-to-introduce-donald-trump-in-iowa/

Immigration Reform Can’t Wait

There is rarely a good time to do hard things, and America won’t advance if legislators act like seat-warmers.

When I learned that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had lost his Republican primary, my heart sank. Not simply because I think he is an intelligent and talented member of Congress, or because I worry about the future of the Republican Party.

Like others who want comprehensive immigration reform, I worried that Mr. Cantor’s loss would be misconstrued and make Congress reluctant to tackle this urgent need. That would be the wrong lesson and an undesirable national consequence of this single, local election result.

People are looking for leadership—those who stand for something and offer a vision for how to take America forward and keep our nation economically competitive. One of the most immediate ways to revitalize our economy is by passing immigration reform.

Newly naturalized U.S. citizens celebrate after taking the oath of citizenship in Washington, D.C., June 17. ENLARGE
Newly naturalized U.S. citizens celebrate after taking the oath of citizenship in Washington, D.C., June 17. GETTY IMAGES

I chose to come to America and become a citizen because America was—and remains—the most free and entrepreneurial nation in the world. Our history is defined by people whose character and culture have been shaped by ambition, imagination and hard work, bound together by a dream of a better life.

Is the idea of immigration reform complicated by the fact that some immigrants went outside the legal system to be here? Yes. It is complicated even more by the fear some Americans have, quite naturally, of how changing populations might also change our culture, communities and economic circumstances.

Well, of course immigration means change. Immigrants enrich our culture and add to our economic prosperity.

You don’t have to take one immigrant’s word for it. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of political and business leaders, reports that people who moved here from abroad or their children founded more than 40% of America’s Fortune 500 companies—businesses that collectively employ millions of people.

Do Americans really wish Google, eBay, Pfizer or Home Depot were headquartered in Eastern Europe or China instead of America? Whether it’s a high-profile tech company or a small business employing just 10 people, 28% of all new American businesses started in 2011 were founded by immigrants. Those are entrepreneurial people we want to continue to attract to our economy.

I don’t believe that people come to America to sit on their hands. The vast majority of America’s immigrants are hardworking, family-minded individuals with strong values. They are drawn here from many different places by a common belief that this is still the land of opportunity for those willing to work hard.

We need to give those individuals who are already here—after they have passed checks to ensure they are not dangerous criminals—a path to citizenship so they can pay their full taxes, be counted, and become more productive members of our community.

Next, we need to do away with the cap on H-1B visas, which is arbitrary and results in U.S. companies struggling to find the high-skill workers they need to continue growing. We already know that most of the applications for these visas are for computer programmers and engineers, where there is a shortage of qualified American candidates. But we are held back by the objections of the richly funded labor unions that mistakenly believe that if we keep innovation out of America, somehow nothing will change. They are wrong, and frankly as much to blame for our stalemate on this issue as nativists who scream about amnesty.

If we are serious about advancing our economic future and about creating job growth here in America, then we must realize that it is suicidal to suggest closing our doors to the world’s entrepreneurs, or worse, to continue with large-scale deportations.

That is not to suggest we don’t need to do a far better job securing our border. Border security should be an integral part of a comprehensive solution, and we should not dismiss the concerns of states that are struggling to deal with the consequences of ongoing illegal immigration.

Some politicians and pundits will argue that this is not the time to bring immigration reform to the congressional floor—that it will frighten an already anxious workforce and encourage more extreme candidates, especially on the right. They may be right about the short-term politics, but they are dead wrong about the long-term interests of our country.

Maybe, as someone who came here as an immigrant, I have more faith in the compassion and fortitude of the American people, and in their ability to reject extreme views on either side of the political spectrum. Or maybe, as a businessman, I have learned that there is rarely a good time to do the hard things.

That is why I was pleased to see Sen. Rand Paul and Grover Norquist,president of Americans for Tax Reform, step up their efforts to lobby for immigration reform.

President Obama has shown wise restraint despite pressure from the left to act, recognizing that a bipartisan approach on such an immense issue would be best. Remember ObamaCare?

However, if Congress fails to even try to have this important debate, the president might feel tempted to act via executive order. I hope it doesn’t get to that point, given the furious political firestorm that would result.

All the more reason, then, to recognize that the facts are on the side of reform, and democratic societies don’t advance when our elected officials act like seat-warmers.

Mr. Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/rupert-murdoch-immigration-reform-cant-wait-1403134311

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President Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal at American University, August 5, 2015 — Videos

Posted on August 5, 2015. Filed under: American History, Babies, Blogroll, British History, Chemistry, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, history, Islam, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Money, National Security Agency (NSA), Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Proliferation, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Resources, Science, Security, Shite, Spying, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

President Obama FULL SPEECH on Iran Nuclear Deal – “Rejecting Iran nuclear deal is a vote for war”

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Full text: Obama gives a speech about the Iran nuclear deal

President Obama is continuing his push for the Iran nuclear deal, giving a speech at American University. Here is a complete transcript of his remarks.

OBAMA: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much.

I apologize for the slight delay; even presidents have a problem with toner.

(LAUGHTER)

It is a great honor to be back at American University, which has prepared generations of young people for service and public life.

I want to thank President Kerwin and the American University family for hosting us here today.

Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring the nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real.

With all of the threats that we face today, it is hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time. In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young president offered a different vision.

OBAMA: Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing.

Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace, a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.

Such wisdom would help guide our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.
Under Democratic and Republican presidents, new agreements were forged: A nonproliferation treaty that prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, while allowing them to access peaceful nuclear energy, the SALT and START treaties, which bound the United States and the Soviet Union to cooperation on arms control.

Not every conflict was averted, but the world avoided nuclear catastrophe, and we created the time and the space to win the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.

The agreement now reached between the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran builds on this tradition of strong, principled policy diplomacy.

After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. It contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.

As was true in previous treaties, it does not resolve all problems. It certainly doesn’t resolve all our problems with Iran. It does not ensure a warming between our two countries. But it achieves one of our most critical security objectives. As such, it is a very good deal.

Today, I want to speak to you about this deal and the most consequential foreign-policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq, as Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world. Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.

Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.
It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.

Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history.

OBAMA: And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.

More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent.

Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.

I raise this recent history because now more than ever, we need clear thinking in our foreign policy, and I raise this history because it bears directly on how we respond to the Iranian nuclear program. That program has been around for decades, dating back to the Shah’s efforts, with U.S. support, in the 1960s and ’70s to develop nuclear power. The theocracy that overthrew the Shah accelerated the program after the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, a war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to brutal effect, and Iran’s nuclear program advanced steadily through the 1990s despite unilateral U.S. sanctions.

When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges, the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb, that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges and showed no inclination to slow, much less halt, its program.
Among U.S. policymakers, there’s never been disagreement on the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world’s most unstable region and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown. It would embolden terrorist groups like Hezbollah and pose an unacceptable risk to Israel, which Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to destroy. More broadly, it could unravel the global commitment to nonproliferation that the world has done so much to defend.

The question then is not whether to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but how. Even before taking office, I made clear that Iran would not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon on my watch, and it’s been my policy throughout my presidency to keep all options, including possible military options, on the table to achieve that objective.

But I have also made clear my preference for a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the issue, not just because of the costs of war, but also because a negotiated agreement offered a more effective, verifiable and durable resolution. And so in 2009, we let the Iranians know that a diplomatic path was available. Iran failed to take that path, and our intelligence community exposed the existence of a covert nuclear facility at Fordo.

Now some have argued that Iran’s intransigence showed the futility of negotiations. In fact, it was our very willingness to negotiate that helped America rally the world to our cause and secured international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions.

OBAMA: Keep in mind, unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran had been in place for decades, but had failed to pressure Iran to the negotiating table. What made our new approach more effective was our ability to draw upon new U.N. Security Council resolutions, combining strong enforcement with voluntary agreements for nations like China and India, Japan and South Korea, to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our European allies of a total oil embargo.
Winning this global buy-in was not easy. I know; I was there. In some cases, our partners lost billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate. But we were able to convince them that, absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East.

In other words, it was diplomacy, hard, painstaking diplomacy, not saber rattling, not tough talk, that ratcheted up the pressure on Iran. With the world now unified beside us, Iran’s economy contracted severely, and remains about 20 percent smaller today than it would have otherwise been. No doubt this hardship played a role in Iran’s 2013 elections, when the Iranian people elected a new government, that promised to improve the economy through engagement to the world.

A window had cracked open. Iran came back to the nuclear talks. And after a series of negotiations, Iran agreed with the international community to an interim deal, a deal that rolled back Iran’s stockpile of near 20 percent enriched uranium, and froze the progress of its program so that the P5+1 — the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the European Union, could negotiate a comprehensive deal without the fear that Iran might be stalling for time.

Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that, when the interim deal was announced, critics, the same critics we are hearing from now, called it a historic mistake. They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations, they warned that the sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.

The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade, its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced, the deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped, inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran. And the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. Think about that. What was once proclaimed as an historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not sign the comprehensive of deal.
So keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today. Despite the criticism, we moved ahead to negotiate a more lasting, comprehensive deal. Our diplomats, led by Secretary of State John Kerry kept our coalition united, our nuclear experts, including one of the best in the world, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, work tirelessly on a technical details.

In July, we reached a comprehensive of plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon. And while Iran, like any party to the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, is allowed to access peaceful nuclear energy, the agreement strictly defines the manner in which its nuclear program can proceed, ensuring that all pathways to a bomb are cut off.

OBAMA: Here is how.

Under this deal, Iran cannot acquire the plutonium needed for a bomb. The core of its heavy reactor at Arak will be pulled out, filled with concrete, replaced with one that will not produce plutonium for a weapon. The spent fuel from that reactor will be shipped out of the country, and Iran will not build any new heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.

Iran will also not be able to acquire the enriched uranium that could be used for a bomb. As soon as this deal is implemented, Iran will remove two-thirds of its centrifuges. For the next decade, Iran will not enrich uranium with its more advanced centrifuges. Iran will not enrich uranium at the previously undisclosed Fordo facility, which is very deep underground, for at least 15 years.

Iran will get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is currently enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs for the next 15 years. Even after those 15 years have passed, Iran will never have the right to use a peaceful program as cover to pursue a weapon, and in fact this deal shuts off the type of covert path Iran pursued in the past.

There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. For decades, inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, from the uranium mines and mills where they get raw materials to the centrifuge production facilities where they make machines to enrich it. And understand why this is so important.
For Iran to cheat, it has to build a lot more than just one building or covert facility like Fordo. It would need a secret source for every single aspect of its program. No nation in history has been able to pull of such subterfuge when subjected to such rigorous inspections. And under the terms of the deal, inspectors will have the permanent ability to inspect any suspicious sites in Iran.

And finally, Iran has powerful incentives to keep its commitments. Before getting sanctions relief, Iran has to take significant concrete steps, like removing centrifuges and getting rid of its stock piles. If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council, America can trigger snap back on our own.

On the other hand, if Iran abides by the deal, and its economy beings to reintegrate with the world, the incentive to avoid snap back will only grow.

So this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.

I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls, it’s not even close. Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prison, evaluated by headline-grabbing soundbites, and so before the ink was even dry on this deal, before Congress even read it, a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into armchair nuclear scientists…
(LAUGHTER)

… disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple and sometimes contradictory arguments about why Congress should reject this deal.

OBAMA: But if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. So, let me address just a few of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to this deal.

First, there’re those who say the inspections are not strong enough, because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.

Well, here’s the truth. Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites.

If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours notice.

And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.

And — and by the way, nuclear material isn’t something you hide in the closet.

(LAUGHTER)

It can leave a trace for years.

The bottom line is, if Iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will.

Second, there are those who argue that the deal isn’t strong enough, because some of the limitations on Iran’s civilian nuclear program expire in 15 years.

Let me repeat. The prohibition on Iran having a nuclear weapon is permanent. The ban on weapons-related research is permanent. Inspections are permanent.

It is true that some of the limitations regarding Iran’s peaceful program last only 15 years. But that’s how arms control agreements work. The first SALT treaty with the Soviet Union lasted five years. The first START treaty lasted 15 years.

And in our current situation, if 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have better tools to detect it, a stronger basis under international law to respond and the same options available to stop our weapons program as we have today, including, if necessary, military options.
On the other hand, without this deal, the scenarios that critics warn about happening in 15 years could happen six months from now. By killing this deal, Congress would not merely Iran’s pathway to a bomb, it would accelerate it.

Third, a number of critics say the deal isn’t worth it, because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Now, let’s be clear. The international sanctions were put in place precisely to get Iran to agree to constraints on its program. That’s the point of sanctions. Any negotiated agreement with Iran would involve sanctions relief.

So an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue. It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money, revenue frozen overseas by other countries.

But the notion that this will be a game-changer with all this money funneled into Iran’s pernicious activities misses the reality of Iran’s current situation.

Partly because of our sanctions, the Iranian government has over half a trillion dollars in urgent requirements, from funding pensions and salaries to paying for crumbling infrastructure.

Iran’s leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives. Even a repressive regime like Iran’s cannot completely ignore those expectations, and that’s why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.

Now, this is not to say that sanctions relief will provide no benefit to Iran’s military. Let’s stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to.

OBAMA: We have no illusions about the Iranian government or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies, including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq.
They tried to destabilize our Gulf partners. But Iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. They engaged in them before sanctions and while sanctions were in place. In fact, Iran even engaged in these sanctions in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war, a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. The truth is that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts, and whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.

Moreover, there is no scenario where sanctions relief turns Iran into the region’s dominant power. Iran’s defense budget is eight times smaller than the combined budget of our Gulf allies. Their conventional capabilities will never compare to Israel’s, and our commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge helps guarantee that.

Over the last several years, Iran has had to spend billions of dollars to support its only ally in the Arab world, Bashar al-Assad, even as he’s lost control of huge chunks of his country. And Hezbollah suffered significant blows on this same battlefield. And Iran, like the rest of the region, is being forced to respond to the threat of ISIL in Iraq.

So, contrary to the alarmists who claim Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges. The ruling regime is dangerous and it is repressive. We will continue to have sanctions in place on Iran’s support for terrorism and violation of human rights. We will continue to insist upon the release of Americans detained unjustly. We will have a lot of differences with the Iranian regime.

But if we are serious about confronting Iran’s destabilizing activities, it is hard to imagine a worse approach than blocking this deal. Instead, we need to check the behavior that we are concerned about directly, by helping our allies in the region strengthen their own capabilities to counter a cyber attack or a ballistic missile, by improving the interdiction of weapons’ shipments that go to groups like Hezbollah, by training our allies’ special forces so they can more effectively respond to situations like Yemen.
All these capabilities will make a difference. We will be in a stronger position to implement them with this deal.

And by the way, such a strategy also helps us effectively confront the immediate and lethal threat posed by ISIL.

Now, the final criticism, this is sort of catchall that you may hear, is the notion that there is a better deal to be had. We should get a better deal. That is repeated over and over again. It’s a bad deal — we need a better deal.

(LAUGHTER)

One that relies on vague promises of toughness and, more recently, the argument that we can apply a broader and indefinite set of sanctions to squeeze the Iranian regime harder. Those making this argument are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they are not being straight with the American people. Sanctions alone are not going to force Iran to completely dismantle all vestiges of its nuclear infrastructure, even aspects that are consistent with peaceful programs. That, is oftentimes, is what the critics are calling a better deal.

OBAMA: Neither the Iranian government, or the Iranian opposition, or the Iranian people would agree to what they would view as a total surrender of their sovereignty.

Moreover, our closest allies in Europe or in Asia, much less China or Russia, certainly are not going to enforce existing sanctions for another five, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power, and it certainly wasn’t based on a desire for regime change in Iran.

As a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position, as some have suggested, Congress’ rejection would almost certainly result in multi-lateral sanctions unraveling.

If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world. In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world’s largest banks. We’d have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system. And since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and, by way, raise questions internationally about the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. That’s part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived.
What’s more likely to happen should Congress reject this deal is that Iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any of the constraints or inspections required by this deal. So in that sense, the critics are right. Walk away from this agreement, and you will get a better deal — for Iran.

(APPLAUSE)

Now because more sanctions won’t produce the results that the critics want, we have to be honest. Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact. Without this deal, Iran will be in a position, however tough our rhetoric may be, to steadily advance its capabilities. Its breakout time, which is already fairly small, could shrink to near zero. Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities? And as someone who does firmly believe that Iran must not get a nuclear weapon and who has wrestled with this issue since the beginning of my presidency, I can tell you that alternatives to military actions will have been exhausted once we reject a hard-won diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports.

So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.

OBAMA: And here’s the irony. As I said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s not just my supposition. Every estimate, including those from Israeli analysts, suggest military action would only set back Iran’s program by a few years at best, which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this deal.

It would likely guarantee that inspectors are kicked out of Iran. It is probable that it would drive Iran’s program deeper underground. It would certainly destroy the international unity that we have spent so many years building.
Now, there are some of opponents — I have to give them credit. They’re opponents of this deal who accept the choice of war. In fact, they argue that surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities will be quick and painless.

But if we’ve learned anything from the last decade, it’s that wars in general and wars in the Middle East in particular are anything but simple.

(APPLAUSE)

The only certainty in war is human suffering, uncertain costs, unintended consequences.

We can also be sure that the Americans who bear the heaviest burden are the less-than-1 percent of us, the outstanding men and women who serve in uniform, and not those of us who send them to war.

As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat. I have sat by their bedside sometimes when they come home.

I’ve ordered military action in seven countries. There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative.

But how can we, in good conscience, justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives, that has been agreed to by Iran, that is supported by the rest of the world and that preserves our option if the deal falls short? How could we justify that to our troops? How could we justify that to the world or to future generations? In the end, that should be a lesson that we’ve learned from over a decade of war. On the front end, ask tough questions, subject our own assumptions to evidence and analysis, resist the conventional wisdom and the drumbeat of war, worry less about being labeled weak, worry more about getting it right.

I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously.

But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those…
(APPLAUSE)

In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

(APPLAUSE)

The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative direction, incentives that are strengthened by this deal. We should offer them that chance. We should give them the opportunity.

OBAMA: It’s not guaranteed to succeed. But if they take it, that would be good for Iran. It would be good for the United States. It would be good for a region that has known too much conflict. It would be good for the world.

And if Iran does not move in that direction, if Iran violates this deal, we will have ample ability to respond. You know, the agreements pursued by Kennedy and Reagan with the Soviet Union. Those agreements and treaties involved America accepting significant constraints on our arsenal. As such, they were riskier.

This agreement involves no such constraints. The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion. Our military remains the ultimate backstop to any security agreement that we make. I have stated that Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, and have done what is necessary to make sure our military options are real. And I have no doubt that any president who follows me will take the same position.

So, let me sum up here. When we carefully examine the arguments against this deal, none stand up to scrutiny. That may be why the rhetoric on the other side is so strident. I suppose some of it can be ascribed to knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender. You’re aiding terrorists; you’re endangering freedom.

On the other hand, I do think it is important to a knowledge another more understandable motivation behind the opposition to this deal, or at least skepticism to this deal. And that is a sincere affinity for our friend and ally Israel. An affinity that, as someone who has been a stalwart friend to Israel throughout my career, I deeply share.

When the Israeli government is opposed to something, people in the United States take notice; and they should. No one can blame Israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealings with the government like Iran’s, which includes leaders who deny the Holocaust, embrace an ideology of anti-Semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are arrayed on Israel’s borders. Are pointed at Tel Aviv.

In such a dangerous neighbor Israel has to be vigilant, and it rightly insists it cannot depend on any other country, even it’s great friend the United States, for its own security.

So, we have to take seriously concerns in Israel. But the fact is, partly due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from Iran directly or from its proxies. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran changes that equation.

And that’s why this deal must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal does exactly that. I say this as someone who is done more than any other president to strengthen Israel’s security. And I have made clear to the Israeli government that we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation even further. Already, we have held talks with Israel on concluding another 10-year plan for U.S. security assistance to Israel.

OBAMA: We can enhance support for areas like missile defense, information sharing, interdiction, all to help meet Israel’s pressing security needs. And to provide a hedge against any additional activities that Iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief.

But I have also listened to the Israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear armed Iran for decades. In fact, they helped develop many of the ideas that ultimately led to this deal. So to friends of Israel and the Israeli people, I say this. A nuclear armed Iran is far more dangerous to Israel, to America, and to the world than an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief.
I recognize that prime minister Netanyahu disagrees, disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity, but I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America’s interests and Israel’s interests, and as president of the United States it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.

I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States, I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

For the last couple of weeks, I have repeatedly challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better, plausible alternative. I have yet to hear one. What I’ve heard instead are the same types of arguments that we heard in the run up to the Iraq war. “Iran cannot be dealt with diplomatically.” “We can take military strikes without significant consequences.” “We shouldn’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks, because once we act, everyone will fall in line.” “Tougher talk, more military threats will force Iran into submission.” “We can get a better deal.”

I know it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats, to compare any attempt at diplomacy to Munich, but none of these arguments hold up. They didn’t back in 2002, in 2003, they shouldn’t now.

(APPLAUSE)

That same mind set in many cases offered by the same people, who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong…

(LAUGHTER)

… lead to a war that did more to strengthen Iran, more to isolate the United States than anything we have done in the decades before or since. It’s a mind set out of step with the traditions of American foreign policy where we exhaust diplomacy before war and debate matters of war and peace in the cold light of truth.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict,” President Reagan once said. It is the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. President Kennedy warned Americans not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats. It is time to apply such wisdom. The deal before us doesn’t bet on Iran changing, it doesn’t require trust, it verifies and requires Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon.
OBAMA: Just as we struck agreements with the Soviet Union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies against us, proclaiming their commitment to destroy our way of life, and had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our major cities, a genuine existential threat.

You know, we live in a complicated world, a world in which the forces unleashed by human innovation are creating for our children that were unimaginable for most of human history.

It is also a world of persistent threats, a world in which mass violence and cruelty is all too common and human innovation risks the destruction of all that we hold dear.

In this world, the United States of America remains the most powerful nation on Earth, and I believe that we will remain such for decades to come.

But we are one nation among many, and what separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might.

Since World War II, the deadliest war in human history, we have used our power to try and bind nations together in a system of international law. We have led an evolution of those human institutions President Kennedy spoke about to prevent the spread of deadly weapons, to uphold peace and security and promote human progress.

We now have the opportunity to build on that progress. We built a coalition and held together through sanctions and negotiations, and now we have before us a solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without resorting to war.

As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast.

If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.
John F. Kennedy cautioned here more than 50 years ago at this university that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war. But it’s so very important. It is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in this world so full of strife.

My fellow Americans, contact your representatives in Congress, remind them of who we are, remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for so that we can leave behind a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our children.

Thank you very much.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/05/text-obama-gives-a-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

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Part 2, Obama The Big Liar (The Great Pretender) Vs. Trump The Great Truth Teller (We Will Rock You) — Make America Great Again! — Could Not Have Said It Better Myself — Three Cheers For Trump — Videos

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Story 1: Part 2, Obama The Big Liar (The Great Pretender) Vs. Trump The Great Truth Teller (We Will Rock You) — Make America Great Again! — Could Not Have Said It Better Myself — Three Cheers For Trump — Videos

Highlights from Donald Trump ‘running for President’ speech

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Polling Data

Poll Date Bush Walker Carson Rubio Huckabee Paul Trump Cruz Perry Christie Santorum Fiorina Kasich Jindal Graham Spread
RCP Average 6/11 – 6/28 16.3 10.5 9.8 9.3 7.8 7.3 6.5 4.0 3.8 3.3 2.3 2.0 1.5 1.3 1.3 Bush +5.8
CNN/ORC 6/26 – 6/28 19 6 7 6 8 7 12 3 4 3 3 1 2 2 1 Bush +7
FOX News 6/21 – 6/23 15 9 10 8 6 9 11 4 2 2 3 3 2 2 1 Bush +4
NBC/WSJ 6/14 – 6/18 22 17 11 14 9 7 1 4 5 4 0 2 1 0 1 Bush +5
Monmouth 6/11 – 6/14 9 10 11 9 8 6 2 5 4 4 3 2 1 1 2 Carson +1

All 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Polling Data

Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc., speaks while announcing he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Billionaire television personality and business executive Donald Trump formally began his Republican presidential campaign today in Manhattan, saying that the United States has become

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September 4, 2014

September 4, 2014

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From the Desk of Donald Trump: Major Announcement

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Donald Trump, 2016 Campaign, cartoonists, political cartoon

Donald Trump, 2016 Campaign, cartoonists, political cartoon

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5 time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico. This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States. In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans—many of them are working for and with me…and, just like our country, my organization is better for it.

Donald Trump, Written Statement released July 6, 2015

Donald Trump Speech: 2016 Presidential Announcement 6/16/16 HD

Watch Donald Trump announce his candidacy for U.S. president

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• Donald Trump • One On One • Hannity • 6/17/15 •

Michael Savage on Donald Trump Running for President – Opening Segment – June 16, 2015

Rush Limbaugh Reacts to Donald Trump Running for President – June 16, 2015

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Ted Cruz – ” Donald Trump Shouldn’t Apologize for Comments About Mexicans “

Donald Trump: My Poll Numbers Will Continue to Climb Because People Know I’m Right

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Billionaire mogul Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential run Tuesday. Below is the text of his speech:

Last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product – a sign of strength, right? But not for us.

It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.

Our labor participation rate was the worst since 1978.

But think of it, GDP below zero, horrible labor participation rate, and our real unemployment is anywhere from 18-20%. Don’t believe the 5.6. Don’t believe it.

That’s right – a lot of people up there can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs because there are no jobs because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have our jobs. But the real number, the real number, is anywhere from 18-19 and maybe even 21% and nobody talks about it because it’s a statistic that’s full of nonsense.

DONALD TRUMP IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work.

It came out recently. They have equipment that’s 30 years old and they don’t even know if it works. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television because boy does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us and they say ‘OK, that is a group of people and that is a nation that truly has no clue. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing.’

We have a disaster called the big lie – Obamacare, Obamacare.

Yesterday it came out that costs are going, for people, up 39, 39, 49 and even 55%. And deductibles are through the roof. You have to get hit by a tractor, literally a tractor, to use it because the deductibles are so high it’s virtually useless. It’s a disaster.N

NEW YORKERS WITH MEXICO ROOTS SLAM DONALD TRUMP

And remember the $5 billion website, 5 billion we spent on a website, and to this day it doesn’t work. A $5 billion dollar website.

I have so many websites. I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website. It costs me $3.

$5 billion dollar website.

Well you need somebody because politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing’s going to get done. They will not bring us, believe me, to the promised land. They will not.

TWITTER REACTS TO DONALD TRUMP’S BIZARRE 2016 ANNOUNCEMENT

As an example, I’ve been on the circuit making speeches and I hear my fellow Republicans and they’re wonderful people. I like them. They all want me to support them.

They don’t know how to bring it about, they come up to my office. I’m meeting with three of them in the next week and they don’t know: Are you running, are you not running, could we have your support, what do we do, how do we do it?

And I like them. I hear their speeches. And they don’t talk jobs. They don’t talk China. When was the last time you heard ‘China’s killing us?’ They’re devaluing their currency to a level that you wouldn’t believe it makes it impossible for our companies to compete. Impossible.

They’re killing us, but you don’t hear that from anyone else. You don’t hear that from anybody else.

And I watch the speeches. I watch the speeches and they say ‘the sun will rise. The moon will set. All sorts of wonderful things will happen.’

And the people are saying ‘What’s going on? I just want a job. I don’t need the rhetoric, I just want a job.’

And it’s going to get worse because remember, Obamacare really kicks in in 2016, 2016.

Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might even be on one of my courses – I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. So I say, you know what, if he wants to – I have one right next to the White House. Right on the Potomac. If he wants to, if he’d like to play, that’s fine. In fact I’d love him to leave early and play. That would be a very good thing.

But Obamacare kicks in in 2016, really bigly. It is going to be amazingly destructive.

Doctors are quitting.

I have a friend who’s a doctor and he said to me the other day: ‘Donald, I never saw anything like it. I have more accountants than I have nurses. It’s a disaster. My patients are besides themselves. They had a plan that was good. They had a plan. They have no plan now.’

We have to repeal Obamacare and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody, but much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it.

So I’ve watched the politicians. I’ve dealt with them all my life. If you can’t make a good deal with a politician, then there’s something wrong with you. There’s something certainly not very good and that’s what we have representing us.

They will never make America great again. They don’t even have a chance. They are controlled fully, they are controlled fully by the lobbyists, by the donors and by the special interests. Fully. They control them.

Hey, I have lobbyists. I have to tell you, I have lobbyists that can produce anything for me. They’re great. But you know what? It won’t happen. It won’t happen because we have to stop doing things for some people, but for our country it’s destroying this country.

We have to stop and it has to stop now.

Our country needs, our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now.

We need a leader that wrote the Art of the Deal. We need a leader that can bring back our jobs, can bring back our manufacturing, can bring back our military, can take care of our vets – our vets have been abandoned. And we also need a cheerleader.

You know, when President Obama was elected I said ‘Well, the one thing I think he’ll do well – I think he’ll be a great cheerleader for the country. I think he’d be a great spirit. He was vibrant. He was young. I really thought he would be a great cheerleader.

He’s not a leader, that’s true. You’re right about that. But he wasn’t a cheerleader. He’s actually a negative force. He’s been a negative force. He wasn’t a cheerleader, he was the opposite.

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It’s not great.

We need, we need, we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.

And, I will tell you, I love my life. I have a wonderful family. They’re saying, ‘Dad, you’re going to do something that’s so tough.’

You know, all of my life I’ve heard that a truly successful person, a really, really successful person – and even modestly successful – cannot run for public office. Just can’t happen.

And yet, that’s the kind of mindset that you need to make this country great again.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.

It can happen. Our country has tremendous potential. We have tremendous potential.

We have people that aren’t working. We have people that have no incentive to work. But they’re going to have incentive to work. Because the greatest social program is a job. And they’ll be proud, and they’ll love it, and they’ll make much more money than they would have ever made. And they’ll be doing so well, and we’re going to be thriving as a country. Thriving. It can happen.

I will be the greatest jobs president that god ever created, I tell you that.

I’ll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places. I’ll bring back our jobs, and I’ll bring back our money.

Right now, think of this – we owe China $1.3 trillion. We owe Japan more than that. So they come in, they take our jobs, they take our money and then they loan us back the money and we pay them in interest. And then the dollar goes up, so their deal’s even better.

How stupid are our leaders? How stupid are these politicians to allow this to happen? How stupid are they?

Business mogul Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on Tuesday in New York. Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House.
CHRISTOPHER GREGORY/GETTY IMAGES

Business mogul Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on Tuesday in New York. Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House.

I’m going to tell you a couple of stories about trade, because I’m totally against the trade bill for a number of reasons.

Number one: the people negotiating it don’t have a clue. Our president doesn’t have a clue. He’s a bad negotiator. He’s the one that did Bergdahl. We get Bergdahl, they get five killer terrorists that everybody wanted over there. We get Bergdahl. We get a traitor. We get a no-good traitor and they get the five people that they wanted for years. And those people are now back on the battlefield trying to kill us. That’s the negotiator we have

Take a look at the deal he’s making with Iran. He makes that deal, Israel maybe won’t exist very long. It’s a disaster and we have to protect Israel.

So we need people – I’m a free trader. But the problem with free trade is, you need really talented people to negotiate for you. If you don’t have talented people, if you don’t have great leadership, if you don’t have people that know business – not just a political hack that got the job because he made a contribution to a campaign, which is the way all jobs just about are gotten, free trade is terrible.

Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have people that are stupid. We have people that aren’t smart, and we have people that are controlled by special interests and it’s just not going to work.

So here’s a couple of stories. Happened recently, a friend of mine is a great manufacturer, and you know, China comes over and they dump all their stuff.

I buy it. I buy it because, frankly, I have an obligation to buy it, because they devalue their currency so brilliantly. They just did it recently and nobody thought they could do it again, but with all our problems with Russia, with all our problems with everything, everything, they got away with it again.

And it’s impossible for our people here to compete. So I want to tell you this story. Friend of mine if a great manufacturer. Calls me up a few weeks ago, he’s very upset.

I said, ‘What’s your problem?’

He said, ‘You know, I make a great product.’

I said, ‘I know, I know that, because I buy the product.’

He said, ‘I can’t get it into China. They won’t accept it. I sent a boat over and they actually sent it back. They talked about environmental, they talked about all sorts of crap that had nothing to do with it.’

I said, ‘Oh, wait a minute, that’s terrible. Did anyone know this?’

He said, ‘They do it all the time with other people.’

I said, ‘They send it back?’

He said, ‘Yea, so I finally got it over there, and they charged me a big tariff.’

They’re not supposed to be doing that. I told him. Now they do charge you tariffs on trucks when we send trucks and other things over there.

Ask Boeing. They wanted all their patents and secrets before they agreed to buy planes from Boeing.

Hey, I’m not saying they’re stupid. I like China. I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?

I own a big chunk of the Bank of America building at 1290 Avenue of Americas that I got from China in a war. Very valuable. I love China.

The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower.

I love China. People say, ‘Oh, you don’t like China.’ No, I love them, but their leaders are much smarter than our leaders. And we can’t sustain ourselves with that.

There’s too much – it’s like, it’s like take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between China’s leaders and our leaders.

They are ripping us. We are rebuilding China. We are rebuilding many countries.

China, you got there now – roads, bridges, schools. You never saw anything like it. They have bridges that make the George Washington Bridge look like small potatoes.

And they’re all over the place. We have all the cards, but we don’t know how to use them. We don’t even know that we have the cards, because our leaders don’t understand the game.

We would turn off that spigot by charging them tax until they behave properly.

Now they’re going militarily. They’re building a military island in the middle of the South China Sea – a military island. Now, our country could never do that because we’d have to get environmental clearance and the environmentalists wouldn’t let our country – we would never be able to build in an ocean.

They built it in about one year, this massive military port. They’re building up their military to a point that is very scary.

You have a problem with ISIS, you have a bigger problem with China.

And in my opinion, the new China, believe it or not, in terms of trade is Mexico.

So this man tells me about the manufacturing. I say, ‘that’s a terrible story, I hate to hear it.’

But I have another one, Ford. So Mexico takes a company, car company, that was going to build in Tennessee, rips it out. Everybody thought the deal was dead. Reported in the “Wall Street Journal” recently.

Everybody said that it was a done deal. It’s going in, and that’s going to be it, going into Tennessee -. great state, great people. All of a sudden, at the last moment, this big car manufacturer, foreign, announces they’re not going to Tennessee, they’re going to spend their billion dollars in Mexico instead. Not good.

Now Ford announces a few weeks ago that Ford is going to build a $2.5 billion car and truck and parts manufacturing plant in Mexico. $2.5 billion. It’s going to be one of the largest in the world. Ford – good company.

So I announced that I’m running for President. I would, one of the early things I would do, probably before I even got in, and I wouldn’t even use – you know, I know the smartest negotiators in the world.

I know the good ones, I know the bad ones, I know the overrated ones. You’ve got a lot that are overrated. They get good stories because the newspapers get buffaloed. But they’re not good.

But I know the best negotiators in the world and I’d put them one for each country. Believe me folks, we will do very, very well. Very, very well.

But I wouldn’t even waste my time with this one. I would call up the head of Ford, who I know. If I was President I’d say ‘Congratulations, I understand that you’re building a nice, $2.5 billion dollar factory in Mexico and that you’re going to take your cars and sell them to the United States. Zero tax – just across the board.’

And you say to yourself, ‘How does that help us, right? Where is that good.’ It’s not.

So I’d say ‘Congratulations, that’s the good news. Let me give you the bad news. Every car, and every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35% tax. Okay? And that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction, and that’s it.’

Now here’s what’s going to happen. If it’s not me in the position, if it’s one of these politicians that we’re running against, you know, the 400 people that we’re – and here’s what going to happen. They’re not so stupid. They know it’s not a good thing. And they may even be upset by it,

But then they’re going to get a call from their donors or probably from the lobbyists for Ford and say ‘you can’t do that to Ford, because Ford takes care of me, and I take care of you, and you can’t do that to Ford.’

And you know what? No problem. They’re going to build in Mexico, they’re going to take away thousands of jobs. That’s very bad for us. So under President Trump, here’s what would happen: The head of Ford will call me back, I would say within an hour after I told him the bad news, but it could be he’d want to be cool and he’ll wait until the next day. You know, they want to be a little cool.

And he’ll say, ‘Please, please, please.’

He’ll beg for a little while, and I’ll say, ‘Sorry, no interest.’

Then he’ll call all sorts of political people and I’ll say ‘Sorry fellas, no interest.’

Because I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money. I’m not using lobbyists, I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.

And by the way, I’m not even saying that to brag. That’s the kind of mindset, that’s the kind of thinking you need for this country.

So, because we’ve got to make the country rich. It sounds crass. Somebody said ‘oh, that’s crass.’ It’s not crass.

We’ve got $18 trillion in debt, we’ve got nothing but problems.

We’ve got a military that needs equipment all over the place. We’ve got nuclear weapons that are obsolete.

We’ve got nothing.

We’ve got social security that’s going to be destroyed if somebody like me doesn’t bring money into the country. All these other people want to cut the hell out of it. I’m not going to cut it at all. I’m going to bring money in, and we’re going to save it.

But here is what’s going to happen. After I’m called by 30 friends of mine who contributed to different campaigns, after I’m called by all of the special interests and by the donors and by the lobbyists – and they have zero chance at convincing me. Zero. I’ll get a call they next day from the head of Ford.

He’ll say, ‘Please reconsider.’

I’ll say, ‘No.’

He’ll say, ‘Mr. President, we’ve decided to move the plant back to the United States. We’re not going to build it in Mexico.’

That’s it. They’ll have no choice. They have no choice. There are hundred of things like that.

I’ll give you another example: Saudi Arabia. They make a billion dollars a day, a billion dollars a day.

I love the Saudis, many are in this building. They make a billion dollars a day. Whenever they have problems, we send over the ships. We send, we’re going to protect – what are we doing? They got nothing but money.

If the right person asked them, they’d pay a fortune. They wouldn’t be there except for us.

And believe me, you look at the border with Yemen – you remember Obama a year ago, Yemen was a great victory. Two weeks later the place was blown up. Everybody.

And they kept our equipment. They always keep our equipment. We ought to send used equipment, right? They always keep our equipment, we ought to send some real junk because, frankly, it would be – we ought to send our surplus. We’re always losing this gorgeous, brand-new stuff.

But look at that border with Saudi Arabia. Do you really think that these people are interested in Yemen? Saudi Arabia without us is gone. They’re gone.

And I’m the one that made all of the right predictions about Iraq. You know, all of these politicians that I’m running against now, it’s so nice to say I’m running as opposed to if I run, if I run – I’m running.

But all of these politicians that I’m running against now, they’re trying to dissociate. I mean, you look at Bush – it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn’t answer the question. He didn’t know.

I said, ‘Is he intelligent?’

And then I looked at Rubio. He was unable to answer the question. He didn’t know.

How are these people going to lead us? How are we going to go back and made it great again? We can’t They don’t have a clue. They can’t lead us. They can’t.

They can’t even answer simple questions. It was terrible, but Saudi Arabia is in big, big trouble.

Now, thanks to fracking and other things, the oil is all over the place. And I used to say it, there are ships at sea, and this was during the worst crisis, that were loaded up with oil. And the cartel kept the prices up because, again, they were smarter than our leaders.

They were smarter than our leaders. There is so much wealth out there that we can make our country so rich again and, therefore, make it great again.

Because we need money. We’re dying. We’re dying. We need money. We have to do it and we need the right people.

So Ford will come back. They’ll all come back. And I will say this – this is going to be an election, in my opinion, that’s based on competence.

Somebody said to me the other day, a reporter, very nice reporter – ‘But Mr. Trump, you’re not a nice person.’

But actually, I am. I think I’m a nice person. Does my family like me? I think so. Look at my family.

I’m proud of my family by the way. Speaking of my family – Melania, Barron, Kai, Donny, Dunn, Vanessa, Tiffany, Ivanka did a great job. Did she do a great job? Jarrett, Laura and Eric. I’m very proud of my family. They’re a great family.

So the report said to me the other day ‘But Mr. Trump, you’re not a nice person. How can you get people to vote for you?’

I said, ‘I don’t know. I think that, number one, I am a nice person. I give a lot of money away to charities and other things.’

I think I’m actually a very nice person, but I said ‘This is going to be an election that’s based off competence. Because people are tired of these nice people and they’re tired of being ripped of by everybody in the world and they’re tired of spending more money on education than any nation in the world per capita. Than any nation in the world.’

And we’re 26th in the world. Twenty-five countries are better than us at education, and some of them are like, third-world countries.

But we’re becoming a third-world country because of our infrastructure, our airports, our roads, everything.

So one of the things I did, and I said, you know what I’ll do? I’ll do it. And a lot of people said ‘he’ll never run. Number one, he won’t want to give up his lifestyle.’

They’re right about that, but I’m doing it.

Number two – I’m a private company, so nobody knows what I’m worth. And the one thing is, when you run, you have to announce and certify to all sorts of governmental authorities, your net worth.

So I said, ‘that’s okay, I’m proud of my net worth.’

I’ve done an amazing job. I started off in a small office with my father in Brooklyn and Queens. And my father said – and I love my father. I learned so much. He was a great negotiator.

I learned so much just sitting as his feet playing with blocks, listening to him negotiate with subcontractors. But I learned a lot.

But he used to say ‘Donald, don’t go into Manhattan. That’s the big leagues. We don’t know anything about that. Don’t do it.’

But I said, ‘Dad, I gotta go into Manhattan. I gotta build those buildings. I’ve got to do it, Dad, I’ve got to do it.’

And after four or five years in Brooklyn, I ventured into Manhattan and did a lot of great deals: the Grand Hyatt hotel, I was responsible for the convention center on the west side.

I did a lot of great deals and I did them early and young, and now I’m building all over the world. And I love what I’m doing.

But they all said, a lot of the pundits on television, ‘well Donald will never run and one of the main reasons is, he’s private, and he’s probably not as successful as everybody thinks.’

So I said to myself, ‘you know, nobody’s ever going to know unless I run because I’m really proud of my success, I really am.’

I’ve employed tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. That means medical, that means education, that means everything.

So a large accounting firm and my accountants have been working for months because I’m big and complex and they put together a statement, a financial statement. It’s a summary, but everything will be filed eventually with the government. And we don’t need extensions or anything, we’ll be filing it right on time.

We don’t need anything. And it was even reported incorrectly yesterday, because they said he had assets of nine billion.

I said, ‘no, that the wrong number. That’s the wrong number, not assets.’

So they put together this, and before I say it, I have to say this: I made it the old-fashioned way. It’s real estate. it’s labor and it’s union – good and some bad – and lots of people that aren’t unions and it’s all over the place and building all over the world.

And I have assets, big accounting firm – one of the most highly respected – $9,240,000,000.

And I have liabilities of about $500 – that’s long-term debt, very low interest rates.

In fact, one of the big banks came to me, said, ‘Donald, you don’t have enough borrowing, can we loan you $4 billion.”

I said ‘I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I’ve been there. I don’t want it.”

But in two seconds, they give me whatever I wanted. So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it’ll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of — net worth, not assets, not — a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets — Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York — many other places all over the world.

So the total is $8,737,540,000.

Now I’m not doing that, I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not.

I’m doing that to say that that’s the kind of thinking our country needs. We need that thinking. We have the opposite thinking.

We have losers. We have losers. We have people that don’t have it. We have people that are morally corrupt. We have people that are selling this country down the drain.

So I put together this statement, and the only reason I’m telling you about it today is because we really do have to get going, because if we have another three or four years — you know, we’re at $8 trillion now. We’re soon going to be at $20 trillion.

According to the economists, who I’m not big believers in, but, nevertheless, this is what they’re saying, that $24 trillion. We’re very close, that’s the point of no return. $24 trillion.

We will be there soon. That’s when we become Greece. That’s when we become a country that’s unsalvageable. And we’re gonna be there very soon. We’re gonna be there very soon.

So, just to sum up, I would do various things very quickly. I would repeal and replace the big lie, Obamacare.

I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

Mark my words.

Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody.

I will find, within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.

I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And we won’t be using a man like Secretary Kerry that has absolutely no concept of negotiation, who’s making a horrible and laughable deal, who’s just being tapped along as they make weapons right now, and then goes into a bicycle race at 72 years old, and falls and breaks his leg.

I won’t be doing that. And I promise I will never be in a bicycle race. That I can tell you.

I will immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration, immediately.

Fully support and back up the Second Amendment.

Now, it’s very interesting. Today I heard it. Through stupidity, in a very, very hard core prison, interestingly named Clinton, two vicious murderers, two vicious people escaped, and nobody knows where they are.

And a woman was on television this morning, and she said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump,’ and she was telling other people, and I actually called her, and she said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump, I always was against guns. I didn’t want guns. And now since this happened,’ it’s up in the prison area, ‘my husband and I are finally in agreement, because he wanted the guns. We now have a gun on every table. We’re ready to start shooting.’

I said, ‘Very interesting.’

So protect the Second Amendment.

End, end Common Core. Common Core should, it is a disaster. Bush is totally in favor of Common Core.

I don’t see how he can possibly get the nomination. He’s weak on immigration. He’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can’t do it.

We have to end, education has to be local.

Rebuild the country’s infrastructure. Nobody can do that like me. Believe me. It will be done on time, on budget, way below cost, way below what anyone ever thought.

I look at the roads being built all over the country, and I say I can build those things for one-third. What they do is unbelievable, how bad.

You know, we’re building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Old Post Office, we’re converting it into one of the world’s great hotels. It’s gonna be the best hotel in Washington, D.C. We got it from the General Services Administration in Washington. The Obama administration. We got it. It was the most highly sought after — or one of them, but I think the most highly sought after project in the history of General Services.

We got it. People were shocked, Trump got it. Well, I got it for two reasons. Number one, we’re really good. Number two, we had a really good plan. And I’ll add in the third, we had a great financial statement. Because the General Services, who are terrific people, by the way, and talented people, they wanted to do a great job. And they wanted to make sure it got built.

So we have to rebuild our infrastructure, our bridges, our roadways, our airports.

You come into LaGuardia Airport, it’s like we’re in a third world country. You look at the patches and the 40-year-old floor. They throw down asphalt, and they throw.

You look at these airports, we are like a third world country. And I come in from China and I come in from Qatar and I come in from different places, and they have the most incredible airports in the world. You come to back to this country and you have LAX, disaster. You have all of these disastrous airports. We have to rebuild our infrastructure.

Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.

Get rid of the fraud. Get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it. People have been paying it for years. And now many of these candidates want to cut it.

You save it by making the United States, by making us rich again, by taking back all of the money that’s being lost.

Renegotiate our foreign trade deals.

Reduce our $18 trillion in debt, because, believe me, we’re in a bubble. We have artificially low interest rates. We have a stock market that, frankly, has been good to me, but I still hate to see what’s happening. We have a stock market that is so bloated.

Be careful of a bubble because what you’ve seen in the past might be small potatoes compared to what happens. So be very, very careful.

And strengthen our military and take care of our vets. So, so important.

Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Remarks by the President on Progress in the Fight Against ISIL

The Pentagon

4:10 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend — especially our men and women in uniform. This Fourth of July we were honored to once again welcome some of our incredible troops and their families to share Fourth of July and fireworks at the White House. It was another chance for us, on behalf of the American people, to express our gratitude for their extraordinary service around the world every day.

And that includes the work that brings me here today — our mission to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group ISIL. This is a cause, a coalition, that’s united countries across the globe — some 60 nations, including Arab partners. Our comprehensive strategy against ISIL is harnessing all elements of American power, across our government — military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic, development and perhaps most importantly, the power of our values.

Last month, I ordered additional actions in support of our strategy. I just met with my national security team as part of our regular effort to assess our efforts — what’s working and what we can do better. Secretary Carter, Chairman Dempsey, I want to thank you and your team for welcoming us and for your leadership, including General Austin who’s leading the military campaign. And I want to summarize briefly where we stand.

I want to start by repeating what I’ve said since the beginning. This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign. ISIL is opportunistic and it is nimble. In many places in Syria and Iraq, including urban areas, it’s dug in among innocent civilian populations. It will take time to root them out — and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground, with training and air support from our coalition.

As with any military effort, there will be periods of progress, but there are also going to be some setbacks — as we’ve seen with ISIL’s gains in Ramadi in Iraq and central and southern Syria. But today, it’s also important for us to recognize the progress that’s been made.

Our coalition has now hit ISIL with more than 5,000 airstrikes. We’ve taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps. We’ve eliminated thousands of fighters, including senior ISIL commanders. And over the past year, we’ve seen that when we have an effective partner on the ground, ISIL can be pushed back.

In Iraq, ISIL lost at the Mosul Dam. ISIL lost at Mount Sinjar. ISIL has lost repeatedly across Kirkuk Province. ISIL lost at Tikrit. Altogether, ISIL has lost more than a quarter of the populated areas that it had seized in Iraq. In Syria, ISIL lost at Kobani. It’s recently endured losses across northern Syria, including the key city of Tal Abyad, denying ISIL a vital supply route to Raqqa, its base of operations in Syria.

So these are reminders that ISIL’s strategic weaknesses are real. ISIL is surrounded by countries and communities committed to its destruction. It has no air force; our coalition owns the skies. ISIL is backed by no nation. It relies on fear, sometimes executing its own disillusioned fighters. Its unrestrained brutality often alienates those under its rule, creating new enemies. In short, ISIL’s recent losses in both Syria and Iraq prove that ISIL can and will be defeated.

Indeed, we’re intensifying our efforts against ISIL’s base in Syria. Our airstrikes will continue to target the oil and gas facilities that fund so much of their operations. We’re going after the ISIL leadership and infrastructure in Syria — the heart of ISIL that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world. Partnering with other countries — sharing more information, strengthening laws and border security — allows us to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Syria as well as Iraq, and to stem, obviously, the flow of those fighters back into our own countries. This continues to be a challenge, and, working together, all our nations are going to need to do more, but we’re starting to see some progress.

We’ll continue cracking down on ISIL’s illicit finance around the world. By the way, if Congress really wants to help in this effort, they can confirm Mr. Adam Szubin, our nominee for Treasury Under Secretary to lead this effort. This is a vital position to our counterterrorism efforts. Nobody suggests Mr. Szubin is not qualified. He’s highly qualified. Unfortunately, his nomination has been languishing up on the Hill, and we need the Senate to confirm him as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, we continue to ramp up our training and support of local forces that are fighting ISIL on the ground. As I’ve said before, this aspect of our strategy was moving too slowly. But the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government. So, with the additional steps I ordered last month, we’re speeding up training of ISIL [Iraqi] forces, including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province.

More Sunni volunteers are coming forward. Some are already being trained, and they can be a new force against ISIL. We continue to accelerate the delivery of critical equipment, including anti-tank weapons, to Iraqi security forces, including the Peshmerga and tribal fighters. And I made it clear to my team that we will do more to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria.

Now, all this said, our strategy recognizes that no amount of military force will end the terror that is ISIL unless it’s matched by a broader effort — political and economic — that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed ISIL to gain traction. They have filled a void, and we have to make sure that as we push them out that void is filled. So, as Iraqi cities and towns are liberated from ISIL, we’re working with Iraq and the United Nations to help communities rebuild the security, services and governance that they need. We continue to support the efforts of Prime Minister Abadi to forge an inclusive and effective Iraqi government that unites all the people of Iraq — Shia, Sunnis, Kurds and all minority communities.

In Syria, the only way that the civil war will end — and in a way so that the Syrian people can unite against ISIL — is an inclusive political transition to a new government, without Bashar Assad — a government that serves all Syrians. I discussed this with our Gulf Cooperation Council partners at Camp David and during my recent call with President Putin. I made it clear the United States will continue to work for such a transition.

And a glimmer of good news is I think an increasing recognition on the part of all the players in the region that given the extraordinary threat that ISIL poses it is important for us to work together, as opposed to at cross-purposes, to make sure that an inclusive Syrian government exists.

While the focus of our discussions today was on Iraq and Syria, ISIL and its ideology also obviously pose a grave threat beyond the region. In recent weeks we’ve seen deadly attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. We see a growing ISIL presence in Libya and attempts to establish footholds across North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Southeast Asia. We’ve seen attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, France and Copenhagen.

So I’ve called on the international community to unite against this scourge of violent extremism. In this fight, the United States continues to lead. When necessary to prevent attacks against our nation, we’ll take direct action against terrorists. We’ll continue to also partner with nations from Afghanistan to Nigeria to build up their security forces. We’re going to work day and night with allies and partners to disrupt terrorist networks and thwart attacks, and to smother nascent ISIL cells that may be trying to develop in other parts of the world.

This also includes remaining vigilant in protecting against attacks here in the homeland. Now, I think it’s important for us to recognize the threat of violent extremism is not restricted to any one community. Here in the United States, we’ve seen all kinds of homegrown terrorism. And tragically, recent history reminds us how even a single individual motivated by a hateful ideology with access to dangerous weapons can inflict horrendous harm on Americans. So our efforts to counter violent extremism must not target any one community because of their faith or background, including patriotic Muslim Americans who are our partners in keeping our country safe.

That said, we also have to acknowledge that ISIL has been particularly effective at reaching out to and recruiting vulnerable people around the world, including here in the United States. And they are targeting Muslim communities around the world. Numerous individuals have been arrested across the country for plotting attacks or attempting to join ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Two men apparently inspired by ISIL opened fire in Garland, Texas. And because of our success over the years in improving our homeland security, we’ve made it harder for terrorists to carry out large-scale attacks like 9/11 here at home.

But the threat of lone wolves or small cells of terrorists is complex — it’s harder to detect and harder to prevent. It’s one of the most difficult challenges that we face. And preventing these kinds of attacks on American soil is going to require sustained effort.

So I just want to repeat, the good news is that because of extraordinary efforts from law enforcement as well as our military intelligence, we are doing a better job at preventing any large-scale attacks on the homeland. On the other hand, the small, individual lone wolf attacks or small cells become harder to detect and they become more sophisticated, using new technologies. And that means that we’re going to have to pick up our game to prevent these attacks.

It’s also true why, ultimately, in order for us to defeat terrorist groups like ISIL and al Qaeda it’s going to also require us to discredit their ideology — the twisted thinking that draws vulnerable people into their ranks. As I’ve said before — and I know our military leaders agree — this broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort. Ideologies are not defeated with guns; they’re defeated by better ideas — a more attractive and more compelling vision.

So the United States will continue to do our part, by working with partners to counter ISIL’s hateful propaganda, especially online. We’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We’re fighting terrorists who distort Islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims. But around the world, we’re also going to insist on partnering with Muslim communities as they seek security, prosperity and the dignity that they deserve. And we’re going to expect those communities to step up in terms of pushing back as hard as they can, in conjunction with other people of goodwill, against these hateful ideologies in order to discredit them more effectively, particularly when it comes to what we’re teaching young people.

And this larger battle for hearts and minds is going to be a generational struggle. It’s ultimately not going to be won or lost by the United States alone. It will be decided by the countries and the communities that terrorists like ISIL target. It’s going to be up to Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, to keep rejecting warped interpretations of Islam, and to protect their sons and daughters from recruitment. It will be up to all people — leaders and citizens — to reject the sectarianism that so often fuels the resentments and conflicts upon which terrorists are currently thriving. It will be up to governments to address the political and economic grievances that terrorists exploit.

Nations that empower citizens to decide their own destiny, that uphold human rights for all their people, that invest in education and create opportunities for their young people — those can be powerful antidotes to extremist ideologies. Those are the countries that will find a true partner in the United States.

In closing, let me note that this Fourth of July we celebrated 239 years of American independence. Across more than two centuries, we’ve faced much bigger, much more formidable challenges than this — Civil War, a Great Depression, fascism, communism, terrible natural disasters, 9/11. And every time, every generation, our nation has risen to the moment. We don’t simply endure; we emerge stronger than before. And that will be the case here.

Our mission to destroy ISIL and to keep our country safe will be difficult. It will take time. There will be setbacks as well as progress. But as President and Commander-in-Chief, I want to say to all our men and women in uniform who are serving in this operation — our pilots, the crews on the ground, our personnel not only on the ground but at sea, our intelligence teams and our diplomatic teams — I want to thank you. We are proud of you, and you have my total confidence that you’re going to succeed.

To the American people, I want to say we will continue to be vigilant. We will persevere. And just as we have for more than two centuries, we will ultimately prevail.

Thank you very much, everybody. And thanks to the team up on the stage here with me — they’re doing an outstanding job.

Q Take a question?

THE PRESIDENT: You know what, I will take a question. Go ahead.

Q Every servicemember who is listening to you today, Mr. President, is wondering, are you going to veto the defense bills that are going to pay me? What is your latest thinking on that? Because we’ve heard secondhand through statements of policy that your advisors would threaten a veto. What’s your take, sir? Would you veto the appropriations bills?

THE PRESIDENT: Our men and women are going to get paid. And if you’ll note that I’ve now been President for six and a half years and we’ve had some wrangling with Congress in the past — our servicemembers haven’t missed a paycheck.

But what is also important in terms of our budget is making sure that we are not short-changing all the elements of American power that allow us to secure the nation and to project our power around the world. So what we’re not going to do is to accept a budget that short-changes our long-term requirements for new technologies, for readiness. We’re not going to eat our seed corn by devoting too much money on things we don’t need now and robbing ourselves of the capacity to make sure that we’re prepared for future threats.

I’ve worked very closely with the Chairman and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a budget that is realistic and that looks out into the future and says this is how we’re going to handle any possible contingency. And we can’t do that if we’ve got a budget that short-changes vital operations and continues to fund things that are not necessary.

We also have to remind ourselves that the reason we have the best military in the world is, first and foremost, because we’ve got the best troops in history. But it’s also because we’ve got a strong economy, and we’ve got a well-educated population. And we’ve got an incredible research operation and universities that allow us to create new products that then can be translated into our military superiority around the world. We short-change those, we’re going to be less secure.

So the way we have to look at this budget is to recognize that, A, we can’t think short term, we’ve got to think long term; and B, part of our national security is making sure that we continue to have a strong economy and that we continue to make the investments that we need in things like education and research that are going to be vital for us to be successful long term.

Q As an Army reservist, I’m curious to know if you have any plans to send any more American troops overseas right now, any additional forces.

THE PRESIDENT: There are no current plans to do so. That’s not something that we currently discussed. I’ve always said that I’m going to do what’s necessary to protect the homeland.

One of the principles that we all agree on, though, and I pressed folks pretty hard because in these conversations with my military advisors I want to make sure I’m getting blunt and unadultered [sic] uncensored advice. But in every one of the conversations that we’ve had, the strong consensus is that in order for us to succeed long-term in this fight against ISIL we have to develop local security forces that can sustain progress.

It is not enough for us to simply send in American troops to temporarily set back organizations like ISIL, but to then, as soon as we leave, see that void filled once again with extremists. It is going to be vital for us to make sure that we are preparing the kinds of local ground forces and security forces with our partners that can not only succeed against ISIL, but then sustain in terms of security and in terms of governance.

Because if we try to do everything ourselves all across the Middle East, all across North Africa, we’ll be playing Whack-a-Mole and there will be a whole lot of unintended consequences that ultimately make us less secure.

All right? Thank you. I didn’t even plan to do this. (Laughter.) You guys got two bonus questions.

Thank you.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/transcript-donald-trump-2016-presidential-announcement-article-1.2260117

Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Donald Trump (disambiguation).
Donald Trump
Donald Trump March 2015.jpg

Trump at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 2015
Born Donald John Trump
June 14, 1946 (age 69)
Queens, New York, US
Residence
Alma mater Fordham University (transferred)
University of Pennsylvania (B.S. Economics)
Occupation  • Chairman and president of The Trump Organization[1]
• Chairman of Trump Plaza Associates, LLC[2]
• Chairman of Trump Atlantic City Associates[2]
• Host of The Apprentice(formerly)
Years active 1968–present
Salary $60 million[2]
Net worth Increase US$4.1 billion (July 2015)[2]
Political party Republican (Before 1999; 2009–2011; 2012-present)
Reform Party (1999–2001)[3]
Democratic (2001–2009)[4]
Independent (2011–2012)[5]
Religion Presbyterianism[6]
Spouse(s) Ivana Zelníčková (1977–1992)
Marla Maples (1993–1999)
Melania Knauss (2005–present)
Children Donald
Ivanka
Eric
Tiffany
Barron
Signature
Donald Trump Signature.svg
Website
Official website

Donald John Trump, Sr. (born June 14, 1946) is an American business magnate, investor,[7] television personality, author, and politician. Currently running for the office of President of the United States, he is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.[1] Trump’s lifestyle and outspoken manner, as well as his best-selling books and media appearances, have also made him an American celebrity, a status which has been further amplified by the success of the NBC reality show The Apprentice that he hosted.[2]

Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a prominent New York City real estate developer.[8] Donald Trump worked for his father’s firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company.[9] He was given control of the company in 1971 and renamed it The Trump Organization.[10][11] Trump remains a major figure in the real estate industry in the United States and a celebrity for his prominent media exposure.[12]

In 2010, Trump expressed an interest in becoming a candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election,[13][14] but in May 2011, he announced he would not run.[15] He was a featured speaker at the 2013Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[16] In 2013, Trump began researching a possible presidential bid in the 2016 election,[17][18] and, on June 16, 2015, he formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election at Trump Tower in Manhattan, to which end he is seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.[19][20]

Early life and education

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, one of five children of Mary Anne (née MacLeod) and Fred Trump, who married in 1936. His oldest brother, Fred Jr., died in 1981 at the age of 43.[21] Trump’s mother was a Scottish immigrant, born on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland,[22] and Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants.[23] His grandfather, Frederick Trump ( Friedrich Drumpf), immigrated to the United States in 1885, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1892. Frederick married Donald’s grandmother, Elisabeth Christ (October 10, 1880 – June 6, 1966),[24] at Kallstadt, Bavaria, Germany, on August 26, 1902. They had three children.

Trump attended the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, Queens, as did some of his siblings. At age 13, after he had some difficulties there, his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy (NYMA), hoping to direct his energy and assertiveness in a positive manner.[25] At NYMA, in rural New York, Trump earned academic honors,[citation needed] and played varsity football in 1962,[citation needed] varsity soccer in 1963,[citation needed] and varsity baseball from 1962 to 1964[citation needed] (baseball captain 1964).[citation needed]

Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, before transferring to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, because Wharton then had one of the few real estate studies departments in U.S. academia.[26] He graduated in 1968, with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.[27]

Business career

Trump began his career at his father’s real estate company,[28] Elizabeth Trump and Son,[29] which focused on middle-class rental housing in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. One of Trump’s first projects, while he was still in college, was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Trump became intimately involved in the project and with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1200-unit complex with a 66 percent vacancy rate to 100 percent occupancy within two years.[citation needed] In 1972 the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.[30]

In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan and became involved in larger building projects and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition.[8] He made plans to acquire and develop the old Penn Central for $60 million with no money down.[31] Later, with the help of a 40-year tax abatement from the New York City government, he turned the bankrupt Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt[32] and created The Trump Organization.[33]

New York City had a plan to build the Javits Convention Center on property for which Trump held a right-to-buy option. Trump estimated his company could have completed the project for $110 million[34] but the city rejected his offer and Trump received a broker’s fee on the sale of the property instead. Repairs on The Wollman Rink in Central Park (built in 1955) were started in 1980 with an expected 2½-year construction schedule but was nowhere near completion by 1986. Trump took over the management of the project, at no cost to the city, and completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget.[35]

In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[36] This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt.[37]

By 1989, poor business decisions left Trump unable to meet loan payments. Trump financed the construction of his third casino, the $1 billion Taj Mahal, primarily with high-interest junk bonds. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, by 1991 increasing debt brought Trump to business bankruptcy[37] and to the brink of personal bankruptcy. Banks and bond holders had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, but opted to restructure his debt to avoid the risk of losing more money in court. The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the original bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates on the debt and more time to pay it off.[38]

The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation. In 2001, he completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.[39] Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along theHudson River. Trump owns commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle. Trump owns several million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate.[40]

Trump has developed many real estate projects, such as Trump International Hotel and Tower – Honolulu, Trump International Hotel and Tower – Chicago, Trump International Hotel and Tower – Toronto, and Trump Tower – Tampa. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one Trump construction project was put on hold in favor of another (Trump International Hotel and Tower – Fort Lauderdale). Meanwhile, Trump Towers – Atlanta is being developed in a housing market having the nation’s second-highest inventory of unsold homes.[41]

In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth at $4.1 billion.[2] In June 2015, Business Insider published a June 30, 2014, financial statement supplied by Trump. The statement reflects his net worth as $8.7 billion. Of that amount, $3.3 billion is represented by “Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments”, described by Business Insider as “basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion”.[42]

Business ventures and investments

The Trump Organization owns, operates, develops and invests in real estate around the world such as Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.

Trump branding and licensing

Beyond his traditional ventures in the real estate, hospitality, and entertainment industries and having carved out a niche for the Trump brand within these industries, Trump has since then moved on to establish the Trump name and brand in other industries and products. Trump has succeeded in marketing the Trump name on a large number of products, including Trump Financial (a mortgage firm), Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel website),[43] Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men’s accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), Trump magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump The Game (1989 board game), Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Ice, Trump Mortgage, Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks. In addition, Trump reportedly receives $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he does for The Learning Annex.[44]

In 2011, Forbes’ financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion.[45] Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects.[46] For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name.[46] According to Forbes, this portion of Trump’s empire, actually run by his children, is by far his most valuable, having a $562 million valuation. According to Forbes there are 33 licensing projects under development including seven “condo hotels” (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments).

Net worth

In April 2011, amidst speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the US presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file “financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and very little debt.”[47] (Presidential candidates are required to disclose their finances after announcing their intentions to run.) Although Trump did not run as a candidate in the 2012 elections, his professionally prepared 2012 financial disclosure was published in his book stating a $7 billion net worth.[48]Estimates of Trump’s net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: In 2015, Forbes listed it as $4.1 billion.[49] On June 16, 2015, just prior announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, Trump released professionally prepared financial disclosure statements to the media stating a net worth of almost $9 billion.[50] Some business journalists have expressed skepticism of the higher net worth estimate.[51]

Trump Tower

Trump Tower, at 725 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Trump Tower is a 58-story mixed-use skyscraper at 725 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of East 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company. It is now just developed/owned by Donald Trump, and designed by Der Scutt of Swanke, Hayden Connell.[citation needed]

Stock market investments

In 2011, Trump made a rare foray into the stock market after being disappointed with the depressed American real estate market and facing poor returns on bank deposits. He stated that he wasn’t a stock market person, but he also stated that prime real estate at good prices is hard to get. Among the stocks Trump purchased, he stated he bought stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.[7] In December 2012, Trump revealed that he also added shares of Facebook to his stock portfolio.[52]

Sports

In 1983 Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). Trump tried to lure legendary coach Don Shula from the Miami Dolphins. Legend has it that Shula asked for a condominium in Trump Tower as part of his deal and Trump balked at the prospect. Once Shula declined, the Generals hired former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels. Prior to the inaugural season Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan. Prior to the 1984 season, Duncan sold the team back to Trump.[53]

The USFL planned to play its 1986 schedule in the fall, directly opposite the NFL, thanks mostly to Trump’s strong advocacy of direct competition with the older, established league. Two years earlier, Trump sold most of his fellow owners on a move to the fall by arguing that it would eventually force a merger with the NFL—in which the owners of any USFL teams included in a merger would see their investment more than double.

The Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers during the extended offseason, adding such stars as quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Michaels was fired, replaced with former Gamblers coach Jack Pardee, who planned to bring the Gamblers’ high-powered run and shoot offense with him. However, the USFL’s “Dream Team” never took the field. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a minimal verdict in anantitrust lawsuit against the NFL; the league folded soon afterward.

Trump at one time acted as a financial advisor for Mike Tyson,[54] hosting Tyson’s fight against Michael Spinks in Atlantic City.[55]

Following the death of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. in March 2014, Trump expressed public interest in purchasing the team. When speaking to the media, Trump has made it clear that should he purchase the team, the Bills would remain in Buffalo.[56]Ultimately, the team was sold to Kim and Terrence Pegula in September 2014.[57]

Golf

Turnberry Hotel, Ayrshire, Scotland

The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world.[58] On February 11, 2014, it was announced that Trump had purchased Doonbeg Golf Club in the Republic of Ireland. It was confirmed that Doonbeg Golf Club would be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland.[59] In 2006, Trump bought the Menie estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland creating a highly contentious golf resort.[60][61] In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.[62][63] In June 2015, Trump’s appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied.[64]

Beauty pageants

Further information: Miss USA and Miss Universe

The Miss Universe and Miss USA have been owned by Donald Trump since 1996 and are among the most recognized beauty pageants. The pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills. In 2015, Trump awarded the Reelz Channel exclusive rights to air the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants.[65]

Entertainment media

Trump with Dennis Rodmanduring the latter’s participation on The Apprentice.

In the media, Donald Trump is a two-time Emmy Award–nominated personality, has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films (e.g. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Nanny, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Days of Our Lives, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.[66]), and as a character (The Little Rascals). He has been the subject of comedians, Flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump also has his own daily talk radio program called Trumped!.[67][68][69][70]

In March 2011, Trump was the subject of a Comedy Central Roast. The special was hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and roasters included Larry King, Snoop Dogg, and Anthony Jeselnik among regular roast participants. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was seen in the audience. In April 2011, Trump attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, featuring comedian Seth Meyers. President Obama used the occasion to present several prepared jokes mocking Trump.[71]

The Apprentice

In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show, The Apprentice, in which a group of competitors battled for a high-level management job in one of Trump’s commercial enterprises. Contestants were successively “fired” and eliminated from the game. In 2004, Donald Trump filed a trademark application for the catchphraseYou’re fired.”[3][4][5]

For the first year of the show, Trump was paid $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show’s initial success, he is currently[when?] paid a reported $3 million per episode, making him one of the highest paid TV personalities.[citation needed] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).

Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump also put together The Celebrity Apprentice, in which well-known stars compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and “firing” losers.

In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation of his eventual run for President of the United States in 2016.[72]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Trump is a known World Wrestling Entertainment fan and friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows.[73] Trump’s Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was host to the 1991 WBF Championship (which was owned by WWE, known at the time as the “World Wrestling Federation”). Trump was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.[74]

He also appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called “The Battle of the Billionaires”.[73] Trump was in the corner of Bobby Lashley, while Vince McMahon was in the corner of Lashley’s opponent Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee.[73]The stipulation of the match was hair versus hair, which means that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost.[73] Lashley won the match, and he and Trump shaved McMahon bald.[73]

On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had “sold” the show to Trump.[73] Appearing on screen, Trump declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person and would give a full refund to the people who purchased tickets to the arena for that night’s show.[73] McMahon “bought back” Raw the following week for twice the price.[73] His entrance theme “Money, Money” was written by Jim Johnston.

Trump was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 at Madison Square Garden for his contributions to the promotion. He made his fifth WrestleMania appearance the next night.[75]

Politics

Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015.

A 2011 report by the Center for Responsive Politics showed that over two decades of U.S. elections, Donald Trump made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates.[76] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president of the United States.[77] Trump was an early supporter of Ronald Reagan for president of the United States.[78]

At the 2011 CPAC conference, Trump stated that he is “pro-life” and “against gun control.”[79][80][81] He has spoken before Tea Party supporters.[82][83][84] Trump has expressed himself against the scientific consensus that no evidence links the childhood vaccination to the development of autism.[85][86][87][88]In May 2015, Trump opposed giving President Obama fast track trade authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.[89] Instead, he has called for stronger negotiations with China on trade and tariffs if necessary.[90][91][92] Trump has advocated a policy of stronger leadership to deal with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which he has blamed for high oil prices.[93][94]

Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races.[95][96] He ran for the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, winning the party’s California primary.[97][98][99][100] As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.[101] A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States.[102] A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for President of the United States while he was still actively considering a run.[103][104] His moves were interpreted at the time by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[15][105][106] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president.[15] Public Policy Polling described the events of May 2011 as “one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of presidential politics”.[107] In December 2011, Donald Trump was named among the top six of the ten most admired men and women living, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.[108]

In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),[16] and spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[17] In October 2013, New York Republicans had circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run of governor of the state in 2014 against Andrew Cuomo. Trump said that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him.[109] In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation that he might run for President of the United States in 2016.[72]

In January 2013, Trump (who is a notably popular figure in Israel)[110] endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli elections, stating that “A strong prime minister is a strong Israel.”[111][112] In 2015, Trump was awarded the ‘Liberty Award’ at the ‘Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala’ in honor of his positive contributions to US-Israel relations.[113]

Presidential campaign, 2016

Trump formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States in the 2016 elections on June 16, 2015, from his headquarters in Trump Tower in New York City.[19][20] Trump’s announcement speech included the song “Rockin’ in the Free World“.[114]Trump launched his campaign declaring the official slogan, “We are going to make our country great again” with a commitment to become the “greatest jobs president that God ever created”.[20]

Personal life

Donald Trump

Trump is popularly known as The Donald, a nickname perpetuated by the media after his first wife Ivana Trump, a native of the Czech Republic, referred to him as such in an interview.[115]

Trump’s mother, Mary Anne, was born in 1912 at Tong, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of Scotland. In 1930, aged 18, on a holiday in New York, she met Fred Trump and stayed in New York. Born in Queens, New York,[116] Trump has four siblings: two brothers, Fred, Jr. (who is deceased) and Robert S. Trump; and two sisters, Maryanne and Elizabeth. His older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a federal appeals court judge.

In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelníčková and together they have three children: Donald, Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka (born October 30, 1981), and Eric (born January 6, 1984). They were divorced in 1992. In 1993, he married Marla Maples and together they had one child, Tiffany (born October 13, 1993). They divorced on June 8, 1999. In a February 2008 interview on ABC’s news program Nightline, Trump commented on his ex-wives by saying, “I just know it’s very hard for them [Ivana and Marla] to compete because I do love what I do. I really love it.”

On April 26, 2004, he proposed to Melania Knauss, a native of Slovenia. Trump and Knauss married on January 22, 2005, at Bethesda by the Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate.[117] Melania gave birth to a boy named Barron William Trump, Trump’s fifth child, on March 20, 2006.[118][119]

Trump has seven grandchildren: five from his son Donald Jr. (Kai Madison,[120] Donald John III,[121] Tristan Milos,[122] Spencer Frederick and Chloe Sophia) and two from his daughter Ivanka (Arabella Rose and Joseph Frederick[123][124]).

Trump is a Presbyterian.[6] In an April 2011 interview, on the 700 Club, Trump said, “I’m a Protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion.”[125][126] A February 2011 Politics Daily article described Trump as “apparently a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, which is a Presbyterian denomination”.[127] Andrew Cusack in 2008 stated that Donald Trump is a member of New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church. Explaining that church’s organizational relationships, Cusack says “the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church is actually a denomination within a denomination” and that the Collegiate Churches are “now part of the Reformed Church of America“.[128] Marble Collegiate Church also states that it is denominationally affiliated with the Reformed Church in America,[129] with the RCA website stating that the RCA has a local church “presbyterian form of government”.[130] Trump does not drink alcohol.[131] Of his daughter Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism he said: “Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren, I have a Jewish daughter and I am very honored by that.”[132]

Legal affairs

Trump manages business financing as far as possible without placing himself at risk of personal bankruptcy.[133] Four of his businesses have declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[133][134] According to a 2011 report by Forbes, these were due to over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City: Trump’s Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009)[135][136]Trump said “I’ve used the laws of this country to pare debt. … We’ll have the company. We’ll throw it into a chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s not personal. It’s just business.”[137] He indicated that other “great entrepreneurs” do the same.[135]

Trump’s first corporate bankruptcy was in 1991 when Trump Taj Mahal was unable to pay its obligations.[137] Forbes indicated that his first bankruptcy was the only one where his personal wealth was involved. Time, however, maintains that also in the later 2004 bankruptcy $72 million personal money was involved.[138]

On November 2, 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 protection plan. Under the plan, Trump agreed to give up a 49 percent stake in the luxury hotel to Citibank and five other lenders.[139] In return Trump would receive more favorable terms on the remaining $550+ million owed to the lenders, and retain his position as chief executive, though he would not be paid and would not have a role in day-to-day operations.[140]

In the subsequent restructuring of these two events Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt by 1994[141] and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he relinquished theTrump Princess yacht and the Trump Shuttle (which he had bought in 1989), he managed to retain Trump Tower in New York City and control of his three casinos in Atlantic City. Trump sold his ownership of West Side Yards to Asian developers as a result of his negotiations with Chase Manhattan Bank. Trump was reportedly paid a premium for placing his well known moniker on the buildings that eventually arose. In 1995, he combined his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. The real estate assets became a source of wealth even when profits had struggled.[142]

The third corporate bankruptcy was on October 21, 2004, when Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt.[143] The plan called for Trump’s individual ownership to be reduced from 56 percent to 27 percent, with bondholders receiving stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt. Trump Hotels was forced to seek voluntary bankruptcy protection to stay afloat. After the company applied for Chapter 11 Protection in November 2004, Trump opted to relinquish his CEO position but retained a role as Chairman of the board. In May 2005[144] the company emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.[145]

The most recent corporate bankruptcy occurred in 2009. On February 13, Trump announced that he would resign from the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts and four days later the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[146] At that time Trump Entertainment Resorts had three properties in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina (sold in 2011). In early August 2014 Donald Trump filed a lawsuit requesting his name be removed from the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Taj Mahal facilities since he no longer runs or controls the company.[147] Trump Entertainment Resorts filed again for bankruptcy in 2014.[148]

In March 1990, after an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott said that Trump’s Taj Mahal project would initially “break records” but would fail before the end of that year, Trump threatened to sue the firm unless the analyst recanted or was fired. The analyst refused to retract the statements, and was fired by his firm.[149] Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy for the first time in November 1990.[150] A defamation lawsuit by the analyst against Trump for $2 million was settled out of court.[151] The analyst’s statements regarding the Taj Mahal’s prospects were later called “stunningly accurate.”[152]

In January 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., alleging that it had committed several “misleading statements in the company’s third-quarter 1999 earnings release.” The matter was settled with the defendant neither admitting nor denying the charge.[153]

During the 2008 financial crisis Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was unable to sell sufficient units. Lender Deutsche Bank refused to let Trump lower the prices on the units to spur sales. Arguing that the financial crisis and resulting drop in the real estate market is due to circumstances beyond his control, Trump invoked a clause in the contract to not pay the loan.[154] Trump then initiated a suit asserting that his image had been damaged. Both parties agreed to drop their suits, and sale of the units went on.[155]

In 2015 Trump initiated a $100 million lawsuit against Palm Beach County claiming that officials pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to the Palm Beach International Airport in a “deliberate and malicious” act over his Mar-A-Lago estate.[156] The air traffic is allegedly damaging the construction of the building and disrupting its ambience. Trump had previously sued twice over airport noise.[156]

Other controversies

In 1973, the Justice Department unsuccessfully sued Trump Management Corporation for alleged racial discrimination, at which time Trump was the company’s president.[157] The federal government filed the lawsuit against his New York City real estate company for allegedly discriminating against potential black renters to which Trump never admitted, the case was settled out of court in 1975.[158]

A 1991 book, Trumped!!, by John R. O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, claimed that Trump once said in reference to a black accountant at Trump Plaza: “laziness is a trait in blacks.” O’Donnell claimed he told him: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”[157][159] Trump responded that O’Donnell was a disgruntled employee.[157]

In April 2011, he questioned President Obama’s proof of citizenship.[160] Trump also questioned whether Obama had good enough grades to warrant entry to Harvard Law School.[161] On April 25, 2011, Trump called for Obama to end the citizenship issue by releasing the long-form of his birth certificate.[162][163] Obama eventually made a formal statement in efforts by the White House to put the matter to rest with the release of the long-form of Obama’s birth certificate on April 27, 2011.[164] Trump expressed pride at his role in the release of the long-form certificate in a press conference follow-up.[165]

On August 24, 2013, a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose claims were dismissed by the Manhattan Superior Court, had accused Trump of defrauding more than 5,000 people of $40 million for the opportunity to learn Trump’s real estate investment techniques in a for-profit training program, Trump University.[166][167][168] On January 30, 2014, the New York court dismissed all of the Attorney General’s fraud claims against Trump, allowing only the licensing aspect of the case to proceed.[169] In October 2014, the New York court found Trump only liable for not obtaining a license to operate the for-profit investment school, Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, formerly known as Trump University.[170] In a separate class action civil suit in mid-February 2014, a San Diego federal judge allowed claimants in California, Florida, and New York to proceed.[171]

On June 5, 2013, Trump tweeted: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white”. Trump also tweeted: “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed”.[172][173]

In late October 2014, model Alexia Palmer filed a civil suit against Trump Model Management for promising a $75,000 annual salary but paying only $3,380.75 for three years’ work. Palmer claims to be owed more than $200,000. Palmer charged that Trump Model Management, charged, in addition to a management fee, “obscure expenses” from postage to limousine rides that consumed the remainder of her compensation. Trump attorney Alan Garten claims the lawsuit is “bogus and completely frivolous.”[174][175]

Illegal immigration comments, 2015

Trump attracted reactions from opponents and defenders regarding comments on undocumented illegal immigration while announcing his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City.[176] He stated in part, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[176][177]

On July 6, 2015, Trump issued a 3-page, 881-word written statement clarifying his earlier comments on illegal immigration, which read in part:

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5 time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico. This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States. In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans—many of them are working for and with me…and, just like our country, my organization is better for it.

Donald Trump, Written Statement released July 6, 2015.[178]

Reactions to illegal immigration comments

  • José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said that “he is a politician who ignores the context in which it is participating”, with regard to US international economic relations and Trump’s comments.[179]
  • Univision announced it would no longer carry broadcasts of the Miss USA Pageant.[180] In response, Trump indicated the matter would be handled by legal action, and followed through by filing a $500 million lawsuit against Univision. The complaint asserts that Univision is attempting to suppress Trump’s First Amendment rights by putting pressure on his business ventures.[181]
  • Trump awarded exclusive rights to the Reelz Channel to broadcast the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants.[65]
  • Macy’s also announced it would phase out its Trump-branded merchandise.[187]
  • Paulina Vega, the current Miss Universe, said that, although she repudiates the immigration remarks of Trump,[191] who in turn called her a “hypocrite”,[192] that she cannot give up the crown because her contract forbids it, and she could be sued.[193]
  • Serta, a mattress manufacturer, also decided to drop their business relationship with Trump.[194]
  • Defenders of Trump’s remarks on illegal immigration and crime include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Steve King, and the survivors of victims.[209][210][211]
  • ESPN decided to relocate its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic to the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach. The charity golf tournament was once scheduled to be held at a golf course owned by Trump.[212]

Awards and honors

Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bibliography

Trump has authored many books including:

  • Trump: The Art of the Deal (1987)
  • Trump: Surviving at the Top (1990)
  • Trump: The Art of Survival (1991)
  • Trump: The Art of the Comeback (1997)
  • Trump: How to Get Rich (2004)
  • The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received (2004)
  • Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life (2004)
  • Trump: The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received (2005)
  • Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men – One Message (2006), co-written with Robert Kiyosaki.
  • Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life (2007), co-written with Bill Zanker. (ISBN 978-0-06-154783-6)
  • The America We Deserve (2000) (with Dave Shiflett, ISBN 1-58063-131-2)
  • Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received: 100 Top Experts Share Their Strategies (2007)
  • Trump 101: The Way to Success (2007)
  • Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success (2008)
  • Think Like A Champion: An Informal Education in Business and Life (2009)
  • Trump Tower (2011) (a novel with Jeffrey Robinson, ISBN 978-1-59315-643-5)
  • Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t (2011), co-written with Robert Kiyosaki. (ISBN 1-61268-095-X)
  • Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again. Regnery Publishing. December 5, 2011. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-59698-773-9.

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Congress Using Fast Track Authority To Open The Back Door To Millions of H-1 B Visas For Foreign Workers Replacing American Workers (Trade In Services Agreement) — The Selling Out of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment (PEE) For Corporate Campaign Contributions — Vote The Bastards Out of Office — Videos

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Story 1: Congress Using Fast Track Authority To Open The Back Door To Millions of H-1 B Visas For Foreign Workers Replacing American Workers (Trade In Services Agreement) — The Selling Out of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment (PEE) For Corporate Campaign Contributions — Vote The Bastards Out of Office — Videos

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REVEALED: THE SECRET IMMIGRATION CHAPTER IN OBAMA’S TRADE AGREEMENT

PEDRO SANTANA/AFP/Getty Images

Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it. Nobody has figured how big a deal the documents uncovered by Wikileaks are until now. (See below)

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.

TiSA is even more secretive than TPP. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill can review the text of TPP in a secret, secured room inside the Capitol—and in some cases can bring staffers who have high enough security clearances—but with TiSA, no such draft text is available.

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved.

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration.

“The existence of these ten pages on immigration in the Trade and Services Agreement make it absolutely clear in my mind that the administration is negotiating immigration – and for them to say they are not – they have a lot of explaining to do based on the actual text in this agreement,” Rosemary Jenks, the Director of Government Relations at Numbers USA, told Breitbart News following her review of these documents.

Obama will be able to finalize all three of the Obamatrade deals, without any Congressional input, if Congress grants him fast-track authority by passing TPA. Fast-track lowers the vote thresholds in the Senate and blocks Congress from amending any trade deals—and also, since each of these three deals are pretty much entirely negotiated already, it wouldn’t lead to any more congressional involvement or transparency with each.

The Senate passed the TPA last month, so it is up to the House to put the brakes on Obama’s unilateral power. The House could vote as early as Friday on fast-track, but may head into next week. By all counts, it’s going to be a very tight vote—and may not pass. It remains to be seen what will happen in light of leaks about things like the immigration provisions of TiSA—which deals with 24 separate parties, mostly different nations but also the European Union. It is focused on increasing the free flow of services worldwide—and with that, comes labor. Labor means immigration and guestworkers.

“This Trade and Services Agreement is specifically mentioned in TPA as being covered by fast-track authority, so why would Congress be passing a Trade Promotion Authority Act that covers this agreement, if the U.S. weren’t intended to be a party to this agreement – so at the very least, there should be specific places where the U.S. exempts itself from these provisions and there are not,” explained Jenks.

She emphasized that this is a draft, but at this point “certainly the implication is that the U.S. intends to be a party to all or some of the provisions of this agreement. There is nothing in there that says otherwise, and there is no question in my mind that some of the provisions in this Trade and Services Agreement would require the United States to change its immigration laws.”

In 2003, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said no immigration provision should be in trade agreements – and in fact, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) voted for this resolution.

The existence of these 10 pages is in clear violation of that earlier unanimous decision, and also in violation of the statements made by the U.S. Trade Representative.

“He has told members of Congress very specifically the U.S. is not negotiating immigration – or at least is not negotiating any immigration provisions that would require us to change our laws. So, unless major changes are made to the Trade and Services Agreement – that is not true,” said Jenks.

There are three examples within the 10 pages of areas where the U.S. would have to alter current immigration law.

First, on page 4 and 5 of the agreement, roughly 40 industries are listed where potentially the U.S. visa processes would have to change to accommodate the requirements within the agreement.

Jenks explained that under the agreement, the terms don’t have an economic needs based test, which currently U.S. law requires for some types of visa applications in order to show there aren’t American workers available to fill positions.

Secondly, on page 7 of the agreement, it suggests, “The period of processing applications may not exceed 30 days.”

Jenks said this is a massive problem for the U.S. because so many visa applications take longer than 30 days.

“We will not be able to meet those requirements without essentially our government becoming a rubber stamp because it very often takes more than 30 days to process a temporary worker visa,” she said.

Jenks also spotted another issue with the application process.

“The fact that there’s a footnote in this agreement that says that face to face interviews are too burdensome … we’re supposed to be doing face to face interviews with applicants for temporary visas,” she added.

“According to the State Department Consular Officer, it’s the in person interviews that really gives the Consular Officer an opportunity to determine – is this person is a criminal, is this person a terrorist … all of those things are more easily determined when you’re sitting face to face with someone and asking those questions.”

The third issue is present on page 4 of the agreement. It only provides an “[X]” where the number of years would be filled in for the entry or temporary stay.

Jenks explained that for example, with L visas under current U.S. immigration law, the time limit is seven years – so if the agreement were to go beyond seven years, it would change current U.S. law.

This wouldn’t be unconstitutional if Obama has fast-track authority under TPA, as Congress would essentially have given him the power to finalize all aspects of the negotiations, including altering immigration law.

“I think this whole thing makes it very clear that this administration is negotiating immigration – intends to make immigration changes if they can get away with it, and I think it’s that much more critical that Congress ensure that the administration does not have the authority to negotiate immigration,” Jenks said.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/10/revealed-the-secret-immigration-chapter-in-obamas-trade-agreement/

TiSA: A Secret Trade Agreement That Will Usurp America’s Authority to Make Immigration Policy

By  Daniel Costa and Ron Hira

Proponents of Trade Promotion Authority (aka fast-track trade negotiating authority), which the House of Representatives will likely vote on soon, have made an unequivocal promise that future trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will explicitly exclude any provisions that would require a change to U.S. immigration law, regulations, policy, or practices. Many members of Congress in both parties have expressed concern that trade agreements might limit America’s ability to set immigration policy. Republican congressmen Paul Ryan and Robert Goodlatte have responded by explicitly assuring members of their party that there will be no immigration provisions in any trade bill.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has stated in an interrogatory with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and via letter that nothing is being negotiated in the TPP that “would require any modification to U.S. immigration law or policy or any changes to the U.S. visa system.”

Furthermore, just a few weeks ago, the Senate Finance Committee released a statement titled “TPA Drives High-Quality Trade Agreements, Not Immigration Law: The Administration Has No Authority Under TPA or Any Pending Trade Agreement to Unilaterally Change U.S. Immigration Laws,” and the committee’s May 12 report on the Fast Track bill that was eventually passed by the full Senate contained this relevant language:

For many years, Congress has made it abundantly clear that international trade agreements should not change, nor require any change, to U.S. immigration law and practice…

The Committee continues to believe that it is not appropriate to negotiate in a trade agreement any provision that would (1) require changes to U.S. immigration law, regulations, policy, or practice; (2) accord immigration-related benefits to parties to trade agreements; (3) commit the United States to keep unchanged, with respect to nationals of parties to trade agreements, one or more existing provisions of U.S. immigration law, policy, or practice; or (4) expand to additional countries immigration-related commitments already made by the United States in earlier trade agreements.

Congress’ intent could not be any clearer, but there’s strong evidence to doubt that these assurances will be upheld. If you read these statements closely, you’ll see that most of them concern only the TPP and its lack of impact on immigration policy. But the Trade in Services Agreement, or “TiSA”—another trade deal being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration—is another story; there is little doubt that it will constrain the future ability of the United States Congress to regulate U.S. immigration policy. In fact, deregulating the U.S. work visa system, and therefore opening it up to foreign corporations that provide services (as opposed to goods) is the explicit purpose of an entire annex (section) in TiSA, entitled “Movement of Natural Persons.” The text was heretofore secret until Wikileaks published it on its website last week.

It should be noted that much of the text is a proposed draft for negotiation, and within the text, numerous parts of specific provisions are bracketed to denote which countries support or oppose particular sections or language within sections. But the thrust of the text in the annex is clear. For example, Article 4 is about the schedules (i.e., lists) of commitments that countries will have to put together regarding the “Entry and Temporary Stay of Natural Persons,” and a proposed version of Article 4, Section 2 would prohibit member states from “maintain[ing] or adopt[ing] Economic Needs Tests, including labor market tests, as a requirement for a visa or work permit” in the sectors where commitments are made. (In other words, U.S. laws or regulations limiting guestworkers only to jobs where no U.S. workers were available would violate the terms of the treaty.)

Proposed draft Article 5, Section 1 then requires that “Each Party shall take market access and national treatment commitments for intra-corporate transferees, business visitors and categories delinked from commercial presence: contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.” Section 3 gets more specific about the sectors of the economy where member states will have to allow access to intra-corporate transferees, business visitors, contractual service suppliers, and independent professionals:

3. Subject to any terms, limitations, conditions and qualifications that the Party sets out in its Schedule, Parties shall allow entry and temporary stay of [contractual service suppliers and independent professionals3] for a minimum of [X%] of the following sectors/sub-sectors:

Professional services:

  1. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  2. Architectural services (CPC 8671)
  3. Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  4. Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  5. Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674)
  6. Medical & dental services (CPC 9312)
  7. Veterinary services (CPC 932)
  8. Services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel (CPC 93191)

Computer and related services:

  1. Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  2. Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  3. Data processing services (CPC 843)
  4. Data base services (CPC 844)
  5. Other (CPC 845+849)

Research and Development services:

  1. R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851)
  2. R&D services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
  3. Interdisciplinary R&D services (CPC 853)

Other business services

  1. Advertising services (CPC 871)
  2. Market research and public opinion polling services (CPC 864)
  3. Management consulting services (CPC 865)
  4. Services related to management consulting (CPC 866)
  5. Technical testing & analysis services (CPC 8676)
  6. [CH propose: Services incidental to manufacturing]
  7. Related scientific and technical consulting services (CPC 8675)
  8. Maintenance and repair of equipment (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment) (CPC 633 + 8861-8866)
  9. Specialty design services (CPC 87907)

Construction and related engineering services:

  1. General construction work for buildings (CPC 512)
  2. General construction work for civil engineering (CPC 513)
  3. Installation and assembly work (CPC514+516)
  4. Building completion and finishing work (CPC 517)
  5. Other (CPC 511+515+518)

Environmental services:

  1. Sewage services (CPC 9401)
  2. Refuse disposal services (CPC 9402)
  3. Sanitation and similar services (CPC 9403)
  4. Other

[CH propose: Financial Services]

[CH propose: Financial advisors]

Tourism and travel related services:

  1. Hotels and Restaurants (CPC Ex. 641)
  2. Travel Agencies and Tour Operators services (CPC 7471)
  3. Tourist Guides services (CPC 7472)

[CH propose: Transport services

[CH propose: Other services auxiliary to all modes of transport CPC]

Recreational, cultural and sporting services:

38. Sporting and other recreational services (CPC 964)

In the United States, this means the L-1 intra-company transferee, B-1 business visitor visa programs, and any other applicable visa programs could be used to permit temporary employees from abroad to work in the United States, and no economic needs tests (i.e., testing the labor market) could ever be imposed by Congress. To translate, that means that foreign firms would not be required to advertise jobs to U.S. workers, or to hire U.S. workers if they were equally or better qualified for job openings in their own country. (It should be noted that the L-1 is already restricted in this way, as a result of the United States’ commitments under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATS).) These visa programs are already under-regulated and abused by employers, but since neither the L-1 nor the B-1 visa program is numerically limited by law, this means that potentially hundreds of thousands of workers could enter the United States every year to work in these 38 sectors.

This is worrying and problematic, not because there shouldn’t be any foreign competition from service-providing companies in the United States, but because the competitive advantage foreign companies will get from TiSA is the ability to provide cheaper services by importing much cheaper labor to supplant American workers. They’ll do this by paying their workers the much lower salaries they would earn in their home countries (as they often already do in the L-1 and B-1 visa programs), and the United States might even be prohibited in future from imposing minimum or prevailing wage standards (at present, neither the L-1 or B-1 visa program has a minimum or prevailing wage rule).

There is clear precedent for this. The multilateral GATS agreement, to which the United States is a party, includes limits on the U.S. government’s ability to change the rules on H-1B and L-1 guestworker visas. That’s why when Congress wants to raise visa fees, as they did in 2010, the Indian government cries foul and threatens to formally complain to the World Trade Organization. The U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore trade deals also included new guestworker programs similar to the H-1B and constraints on the U.S. government’s ability to set rules on L-1 intracompany transfers.

The TiSA draft annex on Movement of Natural Persons would also likely restrict the ability of the current and future administrations to continue some of the basic immigration procedures it currently follows, such as requiring an in-person interview with L-1 applicants. The draft treaty might even prohibit common sense legislative proposals that Congress has considered over the past few years, including minimum wage rules for companies seeking to hire guestworkers in the L-1 visa program. This is particularly disturbing since the L-1 visa program has been a primary vehicle to facilitate the offshoring of high wage jobs and for replacing American workers with cheaper guestworkers.

TiSA has been written in secret by and for major corporations that will benefit greatly if it becomes law. If the House of Representatives grants the Obama administration the fast-track trade promotion authority it seeks, the authority will be valid for six years, which means TiSA (like TPP) would also get an up-or-down vote in Congress without any amendments—making it very likely to pass and become law without the necessary democratic deliberations on immigration that such major changes should have. The leaked TiSA text makes it clear that contrary to the claims by proponents of fast-track trade promotion authority, the reality is that those voting for fast track are ceding key powers to make immigration law and policy to an unelected group of corporations and foreign governments.

REVEALED: THE SECRET IMMIGRATION CHAPTER IN OBAMA’S TRADE AGREEMENT

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration

Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama’s Trade Agreement
Image Credits: Backbone Campaign / Flickr.

by ALEX SWOYER | BREITBART | JUNE 10, 2015
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Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it. Nobody has figured how big a deal the documents uncovered by Wikileaks are until now. (See below)

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.
TiSA is even more secretive than TPP. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill can review the text of TPP in a secret, secured room inside the Capitol—and in some cases can bring staffers who have high enough security clearances—but with TiSA, no such draft text is available.

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved.

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration.

http://www.infowars.com/revealed-the-secret-immigration-chapter-in-obamas-trade-agreement/

The congressional trade debate, explained in 6 factions

By Amber Phillips

Few issues shuffle Washington around into weird alliances like trade policy. President Obama’s two ambitious, legacy-defining trade deals with Pacific Rim countries and Europe are no different.

Obama is trying to get Congress to let him negotiate the deals without lawmakers’ input until the very end, when Congress would get a yes-or-no vote on each deal. It’s known as “fast-track authority.” The Senate approved the president’s power to do that in last month, but the bigger challenge is in the House of Representatives.

It’s a tough sell, but not for the reasons you might think. Broadly speaking, House Republicans are on board; Democrats, not so much.

A major reason for the division is labor unions, which fear trade deals can take manufacturing jobs away from American workers and ship them overseas. Labor unions are also huge supporters of Democrats. So Obama and Republicans are in the odd situation of trying to convince Democrats to reluctantly give the president what he wants.

As they scramble to find the votes ahead of a potential vote on Friday, here are the six factions Congress falls into on trade.

1. The Labor Democrats

Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is not a fan of Obama’s trade deals. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Who they are: Pretty much all House and Senate Democrats who don’t want labor unions spending big money against them in their next campaigns. In the House, that’s about two-thirds of the party’s 180 Democrats. Labor unions have become the most vocal group on either side of the trade debate, and they appear to be putting their money where their mouth is. Politico reports labor activists say they’ll run $84,000 in TV ads against a California Democrat who supports the fast-track bill.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts lead the charge for this group. On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley also oppose the trade deals.

What they believe: That opening up U.S. markets to foreign countries will also open up American workers to lower wages and job losses, particularly while U.S. manufacturing companies take advantage of open borders to move plants overseas for cheaper labor.

There’s some truth to that, economists say. By allowing goods and services to flow more freely across borders, trade deals helps countries specialize in just a few goods and services they’re really good at. That makes economies more efficient but means some workers will inevitably lose out.

But the size of which industries like manufacturing will lose out in these trade deals is debatable, as many such low-wage jobs have already moved overseas.

Key talking point: Warren: The deals are “going to help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind.”

2. Silicon Valley Democrats

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is among those who support Obama’s trade deals. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Who they are: A relatively small group of about 40 pro-business, moderate Democrats who are allied with Silicon Valley executives. The Washington Post’s David Nakamura notes those executives include the influential Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents 390 companies, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft, and is aligned with tech CEOs from Cisco Systems, Oracle and AT&T in lobbying for fast track.

What they believe: That the trade deals — and particularly Obama’s massive 12-nation deal with Pacific Rim countries — protects one of America’s top money-makers: intellectual property. The deals as drafted strengthen patents and extend copyright protections for the things Americans are good at inventing, like pharmaceuticals, movies and technology start-ups.

This argument offers Democrats an alternative to labor unions’ message: Perhaps some manufacturing jobs will indeed ship overseas, but low-wage manufacturing isn’t where America’s economy is headed anyways.

Key talking point: Obama made the best argument for this group recently: “If we are going to capture the future, then we’ve got to open up markets to the kinds of things that we’re really good at, that can’t be duplicated overseas.”

3. On-the-fence Democrats

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to the press about the potential for a U.S. government shutdown, alongside House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), are torn on trade. (REUTERS/Jason Reed )
Who’s in this camp: A handful of Democrats who are torn between supporting their president and the labor unions’ strong pull. These Democrats include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. This group is small but significant; Obama and Republicans need about 25 Democrats to support the fast-track legislation when it comes to a vote, so the president is lobbying these people hard.

What they think: Two competing thoughts here: Let’s give our president what he wants … but I don’t know if that’s worth risking a primary challenge supported by labor unions.

With the vote count coming down to the wire, the AP’s Josh Lederman reports Obama has promised to help campaign in 2016 for anyone in this group who crosses the line and votes yes for fast-track legislation.

Key talking point: “There’s a difference between growing the economy and helping American companies grow the bottom line and creating jobs.” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told The Hill.
4. Gung-ho trade supporters

House Speaker John A. Boehner, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are Obama’s biggest advocates on trade. (AP Photo/PennLive.com, Mark Pynes )
Who’s in this camp: Establishment Republicans, including leaders like House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have Obama’s back on fast-track legislation and the two trade bills. In the House, they have the support of about 110 Republicans, according to The Hill’s whip count.

What they believe: Trade deals are job creators, because they allow the United States to require other countries to the same labor and environmental standards that our businesses must follow. That makes a more even global playing field for Americans. And fast-tracking the deals is the only way to get them negotiated; imagine if every country involved allowed its legislative bodies to chime in. Nothing would get done!

Key talking point: “We have a chance here to write the rules on our terms,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who is central to crafting the fast-track legislation. “We have a chance here to write the rules on our terms, to raise other countries to our standards, to create more opportunity for our people.”

5. The anti-Obama Republicans

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has warned about the dangers of giving Obama fast track trade authority. (AP Photo/CBS News, Chris Usher)
Who’s in this camp: Republicans who might support fast-track legislation and the trade deals but who are wary of giving the president so much authority to negotiate them without Congress’s input. This camp encompasses about 50 of Republicans’ Southern and tea party-leaning lawmakers.

What they believe: By voting for fast-track legislation, they’re essentially blocking themselves from the discussion about what should be put in the trade deals.

Key talking point: Here’s one from Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne’s (R) office: “Congressman Byrne is a strong supporter of free trade, which supports almost 3,000 jobs in the 1st district alone. That said, he believes Congress must have a seat at the table as the trade negotiations continue.”

6. The swing-state Republicans

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) is among a small group of swing state House Republicans who are worried about a vote on trade. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Who’s in this camp: About 12-20 recently elected House Republicans who came into power during midterm Republican waves and now represent swing districts with decisive moderate constituents who might not like Obama’s trade deals. They include Midwestern lawmakers like Ohio’s David Joyce and Long Island’s Rep. Lee Zeldin.

The environmentalist group Sierra Club recently held a rally in Zeldin’s district to convince him to oppose the fast-track legislation.
What they believe: This group usually aligns with the Republican establishment on most issues. But on trade, these lawmakers carry the same concerns as Labor Democrats: A vote for fast track could mean a vote for them out of office.

Key talking point: “I support trade,” Zeldin told Facebook supporters in March. But on the trade deals and fast-track authority, “I will read it and decide at that time whether to vote for it or against it.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/06/10/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-trade-debate-explained-by-6-house-factions/

Obama makes last-ditch plea to Dems ahead of showdown vote on trade

President Obama went to Capitol Hill Friday morning to make a final plea to congressional Democrats for his trade agenda, ahead of a showdown vote in the House.

The president met with House Democratic leaders ahead of a caucus meeting. While it is extremely rare for a president to make a visit like this before a big vote, the last-minute lobbying comes after the president also made a surprise appearance at the annual congressional baseball game between Democrats and Republicans the night before. His personal involvement underscores how fragile the effort is — Fox News is told the effort is still short on the votes — and how important he sees it to his second-term legacy.

The night before, a bizarre scene unfolded as the crowd crammed inside Nationals Park lurched into a chant about the legislation.

“TPA! TPA! TPA!” chanted Republican congressional aides seated near the first base dugout when Obama stepped onto the field at the top of the fourth inning.

This wasn’t quite the drunken, Bronx throng at Yankee Stadium cantillating “Reg-GIE! Reg-GIE! Reg-GIE!” after Reggie Jackson swatted three consecutive home runs in Game Six of the 1977 World Series. This was gamesmanship, Washington-style. A game in which most congressional Republicans find themselves backing the Democratic president’s efforts to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a framework for a big trade deal the administration hopes to advance later this year.

TPA, which would give the president the ability to “fast-track” future trade deals, is one of two bills due up in the House on Friday. And it’s anybody’s guess if the bills will pass. Members of Congress may have been mixing it up on the diamond. But there is just as much gamesmanship underway on Capitol Hill as lawmakers try to leverage passage or defeat of the trade legislation.

More on this…

  • Stage set for vote to give Obama fast-track trade authority

First, the basics.

Most House Republicans want to approve TPA. But they don’t quite have the votes to do it on their own. They need Democratic support. Yet the irony is that even though Obama is pushing the deal, only about 20-plus House Democrats support their own chief executive on this issue.

So various political gambits kick in.

Republicans find it absurd that Obama can’t persuade more than two-dozen Democratic members to support the trade plan. Conversely, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is stunned that House Republicans, boasting a 246-188 majority, can’t excavate at least 200 GOPers to approve the package.

So Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, cut a deal. Neither side promised a certain number of votes to the other. But both House leaders forged a plan which could conceivably reward both sides with a political victory and concurrently test their respective abilities to gin up votes.

Pelosi and Boehner engineered a deal to advance the trade framework to the floor – so long as Democrats scored a vote on something called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

TAA is a program near and dear to the hearts of many Democrats. It’s a method to cushion the blow for various workers and industries damaged by business reallocations in trade agreements. So House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., teed up  two votes for Friday: One for TAA and one on TPA. But a TPA vote was contingent on the House first adopting TAA. The procedural maneuver would require Republicans to carry most of the freight to adopt TPA. But to get there, Democrats would be expected to provide the lion’s share of votes for TAA. If the House doesn’t approve TAA, everything comes to a screeching halt and there’s no vote on TPA.

Further complicating matters, Pelosi has spoken openly against the trade accord but has yet to definitively say how she’ll vote.

Capitol Hill is weird. Weird enough to have Republicans serving as Obama’s TPA cheerleaders – both at the ballpark and in the House chamber. It’s even weirder to have House Democrats working against Obama on this. And then there’s Pelosi – stuck in the middle.

On trade, Pelosi is a switch-pitcher. She’s trying to keep the Democratic caucus from embarrassing Obama with a paltry vote total for TPA. Yet she’s working to make sure most of her caucus gets what it wants: a defeat of TPA. At the same time, Pelosi secured a deal for the TAA vote – which could help pass TPA … or blow it up.

Major League Baseball has a rule for ambidextrous pitchers, few as there may be. Such cross-hurlers must first declare whether they intend to pitch left-handed or right-handed to each batter. There’s no such rule on Capitol Hill. That’s why when it comes to trade, Pelosi is chucking political curveballs from both sides of the mound.

But Democrats are working against Pelosi. A senior House GOP leadership source says Republicans can only provide 50 to 70 votes for TAA. Democrats must make up the difference. However, many Democrats now see a means to an end. Some intend to vote no on TAA simply to detonate the entire process and never get the TPA bill to the floor — which they so despise.

The House nearly voted to truncate the entire process before the first pitch, coming close to voting down a procedural vote just to get the measures to the floor.

Some observers interpreted the uneven procedural vote as a harbinger of things to come Friday on the trade bills. Some lawmakers wondered if Obama – fresh off his dugout diplomatic mission — might ring up lawmakers and implore them to vote aye.

One longtime Democratic member doubted that would happen, noting that Obama had already done all of the calling he could do.

There are games here, too. The same lawmaker signaled that some colleagues might not even take the call if the president phones. In fact, they might even keep their phones switched off.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/12/house-obama-trade-agenda/

Obama-backed trade bill fails in the House

By David Nakamura and Paul Kane

President Obama suffered a major defeat to his Pacific Rim free trade initiative Friday as House Democrats helped derail a key presidential priority despite his last-minute, personal plea on Capitol Hill.

The House voted 302 to 126 to sink a measure to grant financial aid to displaced workers, fracturing hopes at the White House that Congress would grant Obama fast-track trade authority to complete an accord with 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

“I will be voting to slow down fast-track,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on the floor moments before the vote, after keeping her intentions private for months. “Today we have an opportunity to slow down. Whatever the deal is with other countries, we want a better deal for American workers.”

The dramatic defeat could sink the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping free trade and regulatory pact that Obama has called central to his economic agenda at home and his foreign policy strategy in Asia. Obama’s loss came after a months-long lobbying blitz in which the president invested significant personal credibility and political capital.

Republican leaders, who had backed the president’s trade initiative, pleaded with their colleagues to support the deal or risk watching the United States lose economic ground in Asia.

“The world is watching us right now,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said before the vote.

Obama had rushed to Capitol Hill on Friday morning to make a last-ditch plea to an emergency meeting of the Democratic caucus. The president urged members to vote with their conscience and “play it straight,” urging them to support the financial package for displaced workers, which Democrats have long supported.

“I don’t think you ever nail anything down around here,” Obama told reporters on his way out of the Capitol. “It’s always moving.”

But anti-trade Democrats pushed hard to block the financial aid plan, knowing that its defeat would also torpedo a companion measure to grant Obama fast-track authority to complete the TPP. That bill was later approved with overwhelming Republican support in what amounted to a symbolic vote because it could not move forward into law without the related worker assistance package.

The legislation is now paralyzed in the House — “stuck in the station,” as Pelosi described in her speech. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to give Obama the weekend to try to coax enough Democrats into supporting the worker assistance package by bringing it up for reconsideration next Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the president’s trade agenda was still alive and vowed that Obama would continue to urge passage of the package in the coming days. He noted that the Senate approved the fast track legislation last month after initially voting to block it.

“To the surprise of very few, another procedural snafu has emerged,” Earnest said in an attempt to play down the outcome.

In a message on Twitter, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, one of the most vehement opponents of the trade deal, hailed Pelosi as “a champion for workers.”

[The trade deal, explained for people who fall asleep hearing about trade deals]

Obama made an impassioned plea during his visit to Capitol Hill. But he appeared not to have changed many minds among fellow Democrats. After the president departed, two anti-trade Democrats, Louise Slaughter of New York and Gene Green of Texas, came out of the meeting determined to oppose Obama.

“I don’t want this trade bill to go through,” Slaughter, who represents the economically depressed area of Rochester, said of the fast-track bill.

Several members said Obama took no questions and received applause on several occasions when discussing his previous efforts to deliver on Democratic priorities.

Lawmakers said the White House had pushed harder on trade than any legislative issue since the health-care reform effort during his first year. After keeping trade on the back burner, Obama joined forces with business-friendly Republicans after the midterm elections in pursuit of a rare bipartisan deal and launched a fierce effort to win support from his usual Democratic allies over the intense opposition of labor unions.

“The president and his counselors understand that this is a legacy vote for his second term,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who supported the fast-track bill, said Thursday. “It’s a philosophical battle, a political battle and an economic battle. The president finds himself in the crossfire with the base.”

The debate among Democrats has at times been raw and personal, and it has exposed old divisions on trade as the party attempts to coalesce around a common agenda ahead of the 2016 campaign to select Obama’s successor. Other Democratic leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have questioned Obama’s commitment to workers and the middle class, while union officials accused the president of marginalizing them.

“I would ask that you not mischaracterize our positions and views — even in the heat of a legislative battle,” Trumka wrote this week in a letter to the president. “You have repeatedly isolated and marginalized labor and unions.”

White House officials had cast the dispute with labor as a difference of opinion that does not reflect a deeper divide within a party focused on stemming the nation’s growing wealth divide. Obama has framed the 12-nation TPP as a way to lock in rules to ensure U.S. economic primacy in the fast-growing Asian-Pacific region against increasing competition from China. In the president’s view, that would benefit American workers as the world’s economy shifts toward high-tech industries in which the United States maintains an advantage.

A failure on fast-track could lend weight to Chinese claims that the United States does not have staying power in Asia.

The president’s pitch was met with widespread skepticism among Democrats who blame past trade deals for killing jobs and depressing wages for Americans in traditional manufacturing work.

[What Chicago Democrats tell us about Obama’s problems on trade]

On Thursday night, Obama made a surprise visit to the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity at Nationals Park to woo Pelosi and other Democrats.

“The president is personally engaged on this,” Wyden said Thursday. “He’s all in.”

Despite the intensive campaign, however, Obama struggled to convince more than a sliver of House Democrats to back his push for the fast-track authority. The legislation would have allowed him to submit the trade pact to Congress for a vote in a specified timetable without lawmakers being able to amend it.

The White House has called such powers crucial to persuading the other 11 nations involved in the TPP negotiations to put their best offers on the table in the final round of talks this summer.

But opponents said they feared that approving the fast-track measure would be akin to ratifying a pact that is still being negotiated and whose terms have been kept largely hidden from public view. (Lawmakers are permitted to read draft sections of the agreement in a classified setting and are prevented from talking about specifics in public.)

On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other Obama aides huddled with House Democrats in a bid to alleviate objections.

But at each turn, the administration was met by a determined coalition of opponents, made up of labor unions, environmental groups and progressive Democrats. Led by Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.), the coalition has been meeting for two years with individual Democrats, and with small groups, to pressure them to oppose a fast-track bill.

Trumka met with the same House Democrats on Thursday soon after the White House officials had departed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/president-obama-is-all-in-on-trade-sees-it-as-a-cornerstone-of-his-legacy/2015/06/12/32b6dce8-1073-11e5-a0dc-2b6f404ff5cf_story.html

Fast track (trade)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this article to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (June 2015)
The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Also called trade promotion authority (TPA) since 2002, fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

Enactment and history
Congress started the fast track authority in the Trade Act of 1974, § 151–154 (19 U.S.C. § 2191–2194). This authority was set to expire in 1980, but was extended for eight years in 1979.[1] It was renewed in 1988 for five years to accommodate negotiation of the Uruguay Round, conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).[2] It was then extended to 16 April 1994,[3][4][5] which is one day after the Uruguay Round concluded in the Marrakech Agreement, transforming the GATT into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Pursuant to that grant of authority, Congress then enacted implementing legislation for the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Area, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

In the second half of the 1990s, fast track authority languished due to opposition from House Republicans.[6]

Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush made fast track part of his campaign platform in 2000.[7] In May 2001, as president he made a speech about the importance of free trade at the annual Council of the Americas in New York, founded by David Rockefeller and other senior U.S. businessmen in 1965. Subsequently, the Council played a role in the implementation and securing of TPA through Congress.[8]

At 3:30 a.m. on July 27, 2002, the House passed the Trade Act of 2002 narrowly by a 215 to 212 vote with 190 Republicans and 27 Democrats making up the majority. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 64 to 34 on August 1, 2002. The Trade Act of 2002, § 2103–2105 (19 U.S.C. § 3803–3805), extended and conditioned the application of the original procedures.

Under the second period of fast track authority, Congress enacted implementing legislation for the U.S.–Chile Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the Australia–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Morocco Free Trade Agreement, the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Oman Free Trade Agreement, and the Peru–U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement. The authority expired on July 1, 2007.[9]

In October 2011, the Congress and President Obama enacted into law the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the South Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and the Panama–U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement using fast track rules, all of which the George W. Bush administration signed before the deadline.[10]

In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that renewal of the authority is a requirement for the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which have been undertaken as if the authority were still in effect.[11] In July 2013, Michael Froman, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, renewed efforts to obtain Congressional reinstatement of “fast track” authority. At nearly the same time, Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Froman about the prospect of a secretly negotiated, binding international agreement such as TPP that might turn out to supersede U.S. wage, safety, and environmental laws.[12] Other legislators expressed concerns about foreign currency manipulation, food safety laws, state-owned businesses, market access for small businesses, access to pharmaceutical products, and online commerce.[10]

In early 2014, Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Dave Camp introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014,[13] which sought to reauthorize trade promotion authority and establish a number of priorities and requirements for trade agreements.[14] Its sponsors called it a “vital tool” in connection with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade negotiations with the EU.[13] Critics said the bill could detract from “transparency and accountability”. Sander Levin, who is the ranking Democratic member on the House Ways and Means committee, said he would make an alternative proposal.[15]

Procedure[edit]
If the President transmits a fast track trade agreement to Congress, then the majority leaders of the House and Senate or their designees must introduce the implementing bill submitted by the President on the first day on which their House is in session. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(c)(1).) Senators and Representatives may not amend the President’s bill, either in committee or in the Senate or House. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(d).) The committees to which the bill has been referred have 45 days after its introduction to report the bill, or be automatically discharged, and each House must vote within 15 days after the bill is reported or discharged. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(1).)

In the likely case that the bill is a revenue bill (as tariffs are revenues), the bill must originate in the House (see U.S. Const., art I, sec. 7), and after the Senate received the House-passed bill, the Finance Committee would have another 15 days to report the bill or be discharged, and then the Senate would have another 15 days to pass the bill. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(2).) On the House and Senate floors, each Body can debate the bill for no more than 20 hours, and thus Senators cannot filibuster the bill and it will pass with a simple majority vote. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(f)-(g).) Thus the entire Congressional consideration could take no longer than 90 days.

Negotiating objectives[edit]
According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress categorizes trade negotiating objectives in three ways: overall objectives, principal objectives, and other priorities. The broader goals encapsulate the overall direction trade negotiations take, such as enhancing the United States’ and other countries’ economies. Principal objectives are detailed goals that Congress expects to be integrated into trade agreements, such as “reducing barriers and distortions to trade (e.g., goods, services, agriculture); protecting foreign investment and intellectual property rights; encouraging transparency; establishing fair regulatory practices; combating corruption; ensuring that countries enforce their environmental and labor laws; providing for an effective dispute settlement process; and protecting the U.S. right to enforce its trade remedy laws”. Consulting Congress is also an important objective.[16]

Principal objectives include:

Market access: These negotiating objectives seek to reduce or eliminate barriers that limit market access for U.S. products. “It also calls for the use of sectoral tariff and non-tariff barrier elimination agreements to achieve greater market access.”
Services: Services objectives “require that U.S. negotiator strive to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in services, including regulations that deny nondiscriminatory treatment to U.S. services and inhibit the right of establishment (through foreign investment) to U.S. service providers.”
Agriculture: There are three negotiating objectives regarding agriculture. One lays out in greater detail what U.S. negotiators should achieve in negotiating robust trade rules on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The second calls for trade negotiators to ensure transparency in how tariff-rate quotas are administered that may impede market access opportunities. The third seeks to eliminate and prevent the improper use of a country’s system to protect or recognize geographical indications (GI). These are trademark-like terms used to protect the quality and reputation of distinctive agricultural products, wines and spirits produced in a particular region of a country. This new objective is intended to counter in large part the European Union’s efforts to include GI protection in its bilateral trade agreements for the names of its products that U.S. and other country exporters argue are generic in nature or commonly used across borders, such as parma ham or Parmesan cheese.”

Investment/Investor rights: “The overall negotiating objectives on foreign investment are designed “to reduce or eliminate artificial or trade distorting barriers to foreign investment, while ensuring that foreign investors in the United States are not accorded greater substantive rights with respect to investment protections than domestic investors in the United States, and to secure for investors important rights comparable to those that would be available under the United States legal principles and practices.”[17]

Scope
Fast track agreements were enacted as “congressional-executive agreements” (CEAs), which must be approved by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress.

Although Congress cannot explicitly transfer its powers to the executive branch, the 1974 trade promotion authority had the effect of delegating power to the executive, minimizing consideration of the public interest, and limiting the legislature’s influence over the bill to an up or down vote:[18]

It allowed the executive branch to select countries for, set the substance of, negotiate and then sign trade agreements without prior congressional approval.

It allowed the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements covering more than just tariffs and quotas.
It established a committee system, comprising 700 industry representatives appointed by the president, to serve as advisors to the negotiations. Throughout trade talks, these individuals had access to confidential negotiating documents. Most members of Congress and the public had no such access, and there were no committees for consumer, health, environmental or other public interests.
It empowered the executive branch to author an agreement’s implementing legislation without Congressional input.

It required the executive branch to notify Congress 90 days before signing and entering into an agreement, but allowed unlimited time for the implementing legislation to be submitted.
It forced a floor vote on the agreement and its implementing legislation in both chambers of Congress; the matters could not “die in committee.”

It eliminated several floor procedures, including Senate unanimous consent, normal debate and cloture rules, and the ability to amend the legislation.

It prevented filibuster by limiting debate to 20 hours in each chamber.
It elevated the Special Trade Representative (STR) to the cabinet level, and required the Executive Office to house the agency.

The 1979 version of the authority changed the name of the STR to the U.S. Trade Representative.[18]

The 2002 version of the authority created an additional requirement for 90-day notice to Congress before negotiations could begin.[18]

Arguments in favor[edit]
Helps pass trade agreements: According to AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson, Trade Promotion Authority is “critical to completing new trade agreements that have the potential to unleash U.S. economic growth and investment”. Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, also said “the United States might become less competitive globally if it disengaged from seeking further trade openings: ‘If you’re not in an agreement—that trade will be diverted from us to someone else—we will lose out to another country'”.[19]

Congress is allowed more say and members are shielded: According to I.M. Destler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, fast track “has effectively bridged the division of power between the two branches. It gives executive branch (USTR) negotiators needed credibility to conclude trade agreements by assuring other nations’ representatives that Congress won’t rework them; it guarantees a major Congressional role in trade policy while reducing members’ vulnerability to special interests”.[20]
Assurance for foreign governments: According to President Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III, “it is extremely difficult for any U.S. President to negotiate significant trade deals if he cannot assure other nations that Congress will refrain from adding numerous amendments and conditions that must then be taken back to the negotiating table”. The very nature of Trade Promotion Authority requires Congress to vote on the agreements before they can take effect, meaning that without TPA, “those agreements might never even be negotiated”.[21]

Arguments against
Unconstitutional: Groups opposed to Trade Promotion Authority claim that it places too much power in the executive branch, “allowing the president to unilaterally select partner countries for ‘trade’ pacts, decide the agreements’ contents, and then negotiate and sign the agreements—all before Congress has a vote on the matter. Normal congressional committee processes are forbidden, meaning that the executive branch is empowered to write lengthy legislation on its own with no review or amendments.”[22]

Lack of transparency: Democratic members of Congress and general right-to-know internet groups are among those opposed to trade fast track on grounds of a lack of transparency. Such Congressmen have complained that fast track forces “members to jump over hurdles to see negotiation texts and blocks staffer involvement. In 2012, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) complained that corporate lobbyists were given easy access while his office was being stymied, and even introduced protest legislation requiring more congressional input.”[23]

Renewed Interest
As recently as May 21, 2015, the United States Senate has utilized the fast-track process to move a trade bill between the U.S. as well as Japan and 10 other countries. Although the bill has yet to move to the House, the renewed interest in this tract is intriguing given the 2016 election cycle beginning to pick up. [24]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_track_(trade)

Trade Adjustment Assistance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program of the United States government to act as a way to reduce the damaging impact of imports felt by certain sectors of the U.S. economy. The current structure features four components of Trade Adjustment Assistance: for Workers, Firms, Farmers, and Communities. Each Cabinet level Department was tasked with a different sector of the overall Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The program for workers is the largest, and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program for Farmers is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Firms and Communities programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

History

Trade Adjustment Assistance consists of four programs authorized under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and defined further under the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. § 2341 et seq) (Trade Act). The original idea for a trade compensation program goes back to 1939.[1] Later, it was proposed by President John F. Kennedyas part of the total package to open up free trade. President Kennedy said: “When considerations of national policy make it desirable to avoid higher tariffs, those injured by that competition should not be required to bear the full brunt of the impact. Rather, the burden of economic adjustment should be borne in part by the Federal Government.”[2]

Justification

TAA for workers

Supporters argue that free trade offers widespread benefits among consumers, workers and firms in the U.S. in terms of lower prices, higher efficiency and quality, and more jobs. They claim that gains from negotiated trade deals are large and widely distributed across sectors. For example, in 2011 there were 9.7 million jobs supported by exports, nearly 15% more than in 2010.[3] Benefits from free trade agreements (FTA) with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, and South Korea for the U.S. economy are estimated in $4 billion, $17 billion, $19 billion, $6 billion and $30 billion, respectively.[4]

In order to achieve trade benefits, however, the U.S. economy must reallocate production factors between sectors. Thus, free trade also leads to costs associated with workers displaced by import competition and offshore outsourcing. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), displaced workers are defined as “persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished”.[5] The International Labour Organization (ILO) states that workers bore high adjustment costs such as unemployment, lower wage during transition, obsolescence of skills, training costs, and personal costs (e.g. mental suffering). These trade costs, albeit relatively smaller than the benefits, are highly concentrated by region, industry and worker demographics. For instance, some occupations, like teacher, have not experienced import competition while for shoe manufacturing occupations import competition has increased by 40 percentage points.[6]

In general, manufacturing workers are most affected by import competition compare to workers in other sectors. Furthermore, while gains from trade require a long time to take full effect, costs are felt rapidly, particularly in less competitive sectors.[7]

There is a strong correlation between import penetration and unemployment. Ebenstein et al. (2009) find that a 1 percentage point increase in import penetration leads to a 0.6 percentage point decrease in manufacturing employment in the U.S. resulting in a reduction of manufacturing jobs of almost 5%.[8] According to a report by the Progressive Policy Institute, between 2007 and 2011, 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs were lost to increasing imports of goods and services.[9]Similarly, Kletzer (2005) estimations suggest that industries facing high import competition account for 40% of manufacturing job losses.[10] The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that by 2015 the overall U.S. trade deficit will correspond to the loss of additional 214,000 jobs.[11]

Although trade-dislocated workers are not significantly different from workers displaced by other reasons, they present some slight differences. They tend to be older, less educated, more tenured and production-oriented, have higher earnings on the lost job and fewer transferable skills, and the prevalence on women is higher than for other displaced workers. These characteristics are associated with limited labor mobility and reemployment difficulties, especially for workers with obsolete skills who do not receive additional training, no matter the reason of displacement.[12] Furthermore, asymmetric information in absence of good job-search skills and geographic mismatch lead to prolong unemployment.[13] Hence, trade-displaced workers face longer periods to find a new job and have low reemployment rates (63% during the last two decades according to Kletzer, 2005). Reemployment is particularly challenging for older workers. The DOL (2012) reports that in 2012 reemployment rates for workers ages 55 to 64 and 65 years and over were 47 and 24% respectively while the rate for those ages 20 to 54 was about 62%.[5]

Once dislocated workers obtain a new job, they suffer significant wage reductions.[14] About two thirds of dislocated workers have lower wages in the new job and one quarter of displaced workers from manufacturing who find a new full-time job suffer earning losses of 30% or more.[15] The reason is that many workers find jobs in services sector where salaries are lower. Ebenstein et al. (2009) find that displaced workers from manufacturing who find a job in the services sector suffer a wage decline of between 6 and 22%. They conclude that a 1 percentage point increase in occupation-specific import competition is associated with a 0.25 percentage point decline in real wages.[8]

Import competition impacts negatively not only dislocated workers but also their families and communities. Displaced workers fall behind in their mortgage payments and in providing health care to their families. Families must spend down assets to smooth consumption.[16] There is evidence that displaced workers are in worse health after losing a job.[17] According to a Report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), more than 46% of the jobless lack health insurance and 31% of workers without insurance do not see a doctor although sick. If the worker is able to be relocated in other job in other region the whole family is displaced and children are uprooted from their schools, increasing domestic tensions. The phenomenon of displaced workers has a broader impact because it also affects aggregate demand for goods and services and tax collections.[18]

In brief, trade leads to an unequal redistribution of costs and benefits. The adjustment process impacts not only displaced workers but also the whole society and economy. Furthermore, labor reallocation from inefficient to competitive sectors aimed at realizing the benefits of trade can be impeded by several obstacles described above, prolonging the transition period and increasing the adjustment costs. In this framework, several scholars and policy-makers have argued that trade-related adjustment costs merit a policy response.[13] The TAA has persisted for more than five decades showing ample political support.[19] Having an assistance program targeted exclusively at trade-displaced workers enjoyed wide political support among Congressional representatives in the past because the program served to decrease political resistance to and workers’ lobbying efforts against FTAs.[20] As a 2012 Report by the Joint Economic Committee states: “TAA needs to remain an integral part of trade policy because it compensates those harmed by import competition without sacrificing the larger demonstrable benefits of trade.”[21]

Specific Programs

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers

The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration program, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers, provides a variety of reemployment services including training and job-searching assistance and benefits to displaced workers who have lost their jobs or suffered a reduction of hours and wages as a result of increased imports or shifts in production outside the United States. The TAA program aims to help program participants obtain new jobs faster, ensuring they retain employment and earn wages comparable to their prior employment. Among the main benefits are: trade readjustment allowances (TRA) in addition to regular unemployment insurance (UI) up to 117 weeks of cash payments for all workers concurrently enrolled only in full-time training (workers must be enrolled in training 8 weeks after certification or 16 weeks after layoff, whichever is later, to receive TRA), and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) or supplementary wages for workers age 50 and over, and earning less than $50,000 per year in reemployment. It provides a wage supplement equal to 50% of the difference between a worker’s reemployment wage and wage at the worker’s certified job with a maximum benefit of $10,000 over a period of up to two years (workers must be reemployed within 26 weeks). The TAA used to include a Health Coverage Tax Credit Program which will definitively expire at the end of 2013 and other tax credits related to health coverage will become available (e.g. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). The program promotes retraining since workers receive the TRAs only if they participate in a full-time TAA training (or are under a waiver).[22] The program is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) in cooperation with the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Secretary of Labor was authorized to implement Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA) and relocation allowances through cooperating state agencies. TRA are income support payments that were, at that time, paid in addition to an individual’s regular unemployment compensation. The original program had no training or reemployment component. The program was rarely used until 1974, when it was expanded as part of the Trade Act of 1974. The Trade Act of 1974 established the training component of the program. In 1981, the program was sharply curtailed by the Congress at the request of the Reagan Administration.[23] In 2002, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act (TAARA) expanded the program and it was combined with the trade adjustment program provided under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).[24]

The TAA has recently suffered several amendments. In 2009, the TAA program was expanded by the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act (TGAAA) of 2009, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These benefits were extended through February 2011 by the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010. After that, the program reverted to the pre-expansion provisions under the TAARA of 2002. In October 2011, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAAEA) of 2011 was signed into law, reinstating most of the benefits included in the TGAAA of 2009. The TAA is authorized through December 31, 2014 but with some modifications. The TAA will operate under its current provisions through December 31, 2013. For the additional year until its expiration on December 31, 2014, the TAA is set to operate under the eligibility and benefit levels established by the TAARA of 2002.[22]

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms

The Department of Commerce program, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms,[25] provides financial assistance to manufacturers and service firms affected by import competition. Sponsored by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), this cost-sharing federal assistance program helps pay for projects that improve firms’ competitiveness. EDA, through a national network of 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs), provides technical assistance on a cost-shared basis to U.S. manufacturing, production, and service firms in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms provides import impacted companies with professional guidance, business recovery plan development, and cost-sharing for outside consulting services. Eligibility is established along similar lines, with companies showing that there has been a recent decrease in sales and employment, in part due to customers shifting purchases away from the applicant and to imported goods. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 expanded eligibility to service firms as well as the traditional manufacturing companies that had been the sole focus of the program. This expansion for service firms and workers was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2010, and the program would revert to the pre-ARRA structure without a vote to extend the authorization.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers, created in 2002 by wide-ranging trade legislation (P.L. 107-210, Sec. 141), authorizes the expenditure of up to $90 million per year through FY2007. Under the program, certain agricultural producers can each receive payments of up to $10,000 per year if price declines for their commodity were at least partly caused by imports. To be eligible for such assistance, such producers must be members of certified groups and meet a number of criteria specified by the law. The program is administered by the Department of Agriculture.

Program Eligibility

TAA for workers

Workers must be directly impacted by imports or by a shift in production of their firm to any country with a free trade agreement with the United States or to beneficiary countries under the Andean Trade Preference, the African Growth and Opportunity, or by certain other shifts in production. Employees of upstream suppliers are eligible if the product supplied to the primary firm consists 20% of the production or sales of the secondary workers’ firm, or their employer’s loss of business with the primary firm contributed significantly to the secondary workers’ separation from work.

Employees of downstream producers are eligible if they perform additional, value-added production processes for articles produced by primary firms, and the primary certification was based on an increase in imports or a shift in production to Canada or Mexico.

In order to receive the benefits displaced workers must fill a petition as a group to initiate the investigation to address the reasons of their layoff. Once the DOL finds that trade has contributed notably to the layoff, the group is certified but the individual worker must still apply for benefits at a local One-Stop Career Center.[22]

Under the current law, as modified in 2009, workers in most service jobs (call center operators, for example) are eligible for trade adjustment assistance. In 2004, a group of computer experts displaced by overseas labor tried to apply for trade adjustment assistance but were rejected because computer software was not considered an “article” by the DOL. After a series of scathing decisions by the United States Court of International Trade criticizing the DOL’s approach, the DOL revised its policies in April 2006 to extend trade adjustment assistance to more workers producing digital products such as software code.[26] Nevertheless, the program under the TAARA of 2002 starting on January 1, 2014 does not include trade-displaced workers in services sectors.[22]

TAA for farmers

Farmers and ranchers adversely impacted by trade will be eligible to participate in a new program operated by the Department of Agriculture and are potentially eligible to receive training under TAA. They are not eligible for the Trade Readjustment Allowance.

Program Cost

TAA for workers

There are several components of the overall cost of the program. The principal spending of the program is in reemployment services which are set to the annual funding levels of the Trade Act of 2002: $220 million for state grants (plus administrative allotments equal to 15% of each state’s grant). The TRA income support and RTAA wage insurance program are uncapped entitlements. In FY 2011, the cost of TRA was $234,126,500 and the cost of RTAA was $43,227,212, based on the number of participants of each program in this year (25,689 and 1,133 participants respectively).[27]

Program Effectiveness

TAA for workers

The TAA for workers have demonstrated overall low effectiveness so far which is reflected in the controversy to reauthorize the program before the 112th Congress and the fact that the TAA will be discontinued in 2015.

First, the program is not very effective providing support during the transition because a significant portion of workers does not receive TRA. In FY2011 there were over 196,000 TAA participants and only around 46,000 received TRA.[27] One reason is that the training enrollment deadline of 8/16 weeks seriously limits the ability of workers to enroll in training programs and receive the benefit. Moreover, even for those workers receiving TRA and UI, only a portion of the lost income is replaced.[28] The program provides health insurance coverage but in the past it has not been very effective since participation in TAA was associated with decreased coverage in the period following job loss like a joint report by Mathematica Policy Research and Social Policy Research (SPR) prepared for the DOL evaluating the TAA program under the Trade Act of 2002 shows.[29]

The effectiveness of the program in terms of fostering reemployment is very low too. Data on post-TAA outcomes for program exiters based on DOL estimations shows that the entered employment rate was 66% in 2011.[22] The Mathematica Policy Research and SPR report finds that the TAA is not effective in terms of increasing employability. There is positive effect on the reemployment rate for participants but it is not statistically different from that for non-participants.[29]

The effectiveness of the program in terms of mitigating earning losses in the new job is very low too as several studies report. Reynolds and Palatucci (2008) estimate that “participating in the TAA program causes a wage loss approximately 10 percentage points greater than if the displaced worker had chosen not to participate in the program.”[20] The report by Mathematica Policy Research and SPR states that TAA was estimated to have no effect on earnings and compared to a sample of UI claimants, TAA participants worked about the same number of weeks but had lower earnings.[29]

Moreover, a 2007 GAO report shows that in FY 2006 only 5% or less of TAA participants received wage insurance. The program is ineffective closing the earning gap because in order to be eligible for wage insurance workers must find a job within 26 weeks after being laid off, which proved to be a very short period.[30]Additionally, the program only replaces half of the losses.

Finally, the implementation of this program overlaps extensively with others such as Workforce Investment Act generating extra costs and duplicating administrative efforts.[13] The process to allocate training funds is also problematic. States receive funds at the beginning of the fiscal year but it does not properly reflect the state´s demand for training services. In addition, states do not receive funds for case management and lack flexibility to use the funds for training. Thus, states face challenges in providing services to workers properly.[30]

Policy Alternatives

TAA for workers

Over last years, the TAA program has been subject to diverse critics due to its flawed performance and extremely high cost. The TAA was only extended to the end of 2014 and the last reauthorization process before the 112th Congress exposed a lack of consensus about the program.[19] Several scholars from different institutions have proposed policy alternatives.

Integrated Adjustment Assistance Program

The Financial Services Forum, through its 2008 white paper “Succeeding in the Global Economy: An Adjustment Assistance Program for American Workers,” proposes to combine the UI and TAA programs into a single integrated program for all displaced workers who qualify for UI no matter the reason of displacement[31]The program includes: wage insurance, portability of health insurance (under the current program COBRA), and reemployment services such as assistance with geographic relocation and retraining. The wage insurance would cushion the cost of lower wages in the new job for workers age 45 and older. The program replaces 50% of workers’ lost wages for up to two years, for up to $10,000 per year, for workers that hold the previous job for at least two years. Regarding retraining, workers would be able to deduct from their gross income, for tax purposes, the full cost of education and training expenses, and there will be no limitations in terms of area of training.

The estimated annual cost of the program is $22 billion. The Financial Services Forum proposes to replace the current tax system with a flat 1.2% tax on all earning at the state level, and a flat rate of 0.12% on all earnings at the federal level to pay for the program.

Wage Insurance and Subsidies for Medical Insurance Program

Scholars at the Brookings Institution and the Institute for International Economics proposed a twofold program including a wage insurance and subsidy for medical insurance in addition to the UI program for eligible workers.[32] On the one hand, the program covers workers displaced by any reason, not just trade, who suffer an earning loss after reemployment. Displaced workers defined as “workers displaced due to plant closing or relocation, elimination of position or shift, and insufficient work”.[33]

It would replace a portion between 30% and 70% of the difference between earnings on the old and new job. In order to be eligible, workers must have been employed full-time at their previous job for at least two years, and suffered a wage decrease that can be documented. The insurance would be paid only after workers found a new job and they will receive it for up to two years from the original date of job loss. Annual payments would be capped at $10,000 or $20,000 per year. The payments would be administered through state UI.[32]

In addition, the program would also offer a health insurance subsidy for all full-time displaced workers, for up to 6 months, or until they found a new job (whichever is earlier). Workers would be limited to receiving the subsidy no more frequently than once during a certain period, probably 3 or 4 years, in order to prevent job churning.[32]

Kletzer and Litan (2001) estimate that about 20% of displaced workers reemployed full-time would have had at least 2 years’ tenure on their previous job and suffered a wage loss in the new one. The program would cost from $2 to $5 billion per year. This cost is estimated with a national unemployment rate between 4.2% and 4.9%.[32] In 2012, the average national unemployment rate was 8.9%.[33] Consequently, the projected cost would be higher if the program would be implemented today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_Adjustment_Assistance

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Summary of U.S. Objectives
The United States is participating in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) – a trade agreement that will open markets, set high-standard trade rules, and address 21st-century issues in the global economy.  By doing so, TPP will promote jobs and growth in the United States and across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Obama Administration is pursuing TPP to unlock opportunities for American manufacturers, workers, service providers, farmers, and ranchers – to support job creation and wage growth.  We are working hard to ensure that TPP will be a comprehensive deal, providing new and meaningful market access for goods and services; strong and enforceable labor standards and environmental commitments; groundbreaking new rules designed to ensure fair competition between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private companies; commitments that will improve the transparency and consistency of the regulatory environment to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to operate across the region; a robust intellectual property (IP) rights framework to promote innovation, while supporting access to innovative and generic medicines and an open Internet; and obligations that will promote a thriving digital economy, including new rules to ensure the free flow of data.

This document describes the Administration’s goals and objectives for TPP, and presents the main elements of each chapter from the United States’ perspective.  Negotiations toward a TPP Agreement are ongoing, and many of the elements detailed below are not settled.  These are our objectives; there is still work to be done to achieve them.  This document lays out the Administration’s vision, which the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is advancing, of harnessing trade as a tool for economic growth and supporting jobs, and building opportunity for Americans in the context of an agreement that will benefit all TPP countries.

We are committed to providing the public information on what we are working to achieve through trade negotiations, and we will continue to share this information through the press, social media, and at www.ustr.gov as we move forward in the TPP negotiations.

TRADE IN GOODS

The United States ships more than $1.9 billion in goods to TPP countries every day.  In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, even small increases in a product’s cost due to tariffs or non-tariff barriers can mean the difference between success and failure for a business.  That is why the United States is working to negotiate in TPP comprehensive and preferential access across an expansive duty-free trading region for the industrial goods, food and agriculture products, and textiles, which will allow our exporters to develop and expand their participation in the value chains of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

The United States exported more than $622.5 billion of manufactured products to TPP countries in 2013.  With the elimination of TPP countries’ tariffs on manufactured products, including innovative and high technology products, such as industrial and electrical machinery, precision and scientific instruments, and chemicals and plastics, U.S. products will compete on a more level playing field with goods from TPP countries’ other free trade agreement (FTA) partners – including China, India, and the EU.  As just one example, certain U.S. auto parts currently face a 27-percent tariff entering Vietnam.  Other countries that have an FTA with Vietnam, such as China, Thailand, and Indonesia, export their auto parts to Vietnam duty free.  By eliminating duties U.S. auto parts companies face, TPP would help boost their competitiveness in the Vietnamese market.

Twenty percent of U.S. farm income comes from agricultural exports and those exports support rural communities.  In fact, U.S. food and agricultural exports to the world reached an all-time high in 2013 of over $148 billion.  Of that total, we exported more than $58 billion to TPP countries – a figure that would increase as a result of tariff elimination under TPP.  As just one example:  U.S. poultry currently faces a 40-percent tariff in Malaysia.  U.S. poultry would become more affordable in Malaysia under a TPP agreement that reduces these duties to zero.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Elimination of tariffs and commercially-meaningful market access for U.S. products exported to TPP countries; and
  • Provisions that address longstanding non-tariff barriers, including import licensing requirements and other restrictions.

TEXTILES

U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers sold more than $10 billion worth of products to TPP countries in 2013, an increase of 5.4 percent from the previous year.  Many U.S. yarns, fabrics, and apparel currently face tariffs as high as 20 percent upon entering some TPP countries.  Our goal in the TPP negotiations is to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to textile and apparel exports to enhance the competitiveness of our producers in the Asia-Pacific region.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Elimination of tariffs on textile and apparel exports to TPP countries;
  • A “yarn forward” rule of origin, which requires that textile and apparel products be made using U.S. or other TPP country yarns and fabrics to qualify for the benefits of the agreement, so as to ensure that non-qualifying textiles and apparel from non-TPP countries do not enjoy the benefits reserved for TPP countries;
  • A carefully crafted “short supply” list, which would allow fabrics, yarns, and fibers that are not commercially available in the United States or other TPP countries to be sourced from non-TPP countries and used in the production of apparel in the TPP region without losing duty preference;
  • Strict enforcement provisions and customs cooperation commitments that will provide for verification of claims of origin or preferential treatment, and denial of preferential treatment or entry for suspect goods if claims cannot be verified; and
  • A textile specific safeguard mechanism that will allow the United States and other TPP countries to re-impose tariffs on certain goods if a surge in imports causes or threatens to cause serious damage to domestic producers.

SERVICES

Services industries account for four out of five U.S. jobs and also represent a significant and growing share of jobs in other TPP countries.  Securing liberalized and fair access to foreign services markets will help U.S. service suppliers, both small and large, seeking to do business in TPP markets, thereby, supporting jobs at home.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Liberalizing access for services companies so they receive better or equal treatment to service suppliers from TPP countries’ other FTA partners and face a more level playing field in TPP markets;
  • Provisions that would enable service suppliers to supply services without establishing an office in every TPP country;
  • New or enhanced obligations in specific sectors important to promoting trade (e.g., enhanced disciplines for express delivery services will promote regional supply chains and aid  small businesses, which often are highly dependent on express delivery services for integration into supply chains and distribution networks); and
  • Commitments to liberalize foreign financial services and insurance markets while protecting a government’s broad flexibility to regulate, including in the financial sector, and to take the actions necessary to ensure the stability and integrity of a financial system.

INVESTMENT

With trade following investment, we are working to ensure that U.S. investors abroad are provided the same kind of opportunities in other markets that we provide in the United States to foreign investors doing business within our borders.  That is why we are seeking to include in TPP many of the investment obligations that have historically proven to support jobs and economic growth, as well as new provisions to take on emerging investment issues.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Liberalized access for investment in TPP markets, non-discrimination and the reduction or elimination of other barriers to the establishment and operation of investments in TPP countries, including prohibitions against unlawful expropriation and specified performance requirements;
  • Provisions that will address measures that require TPP investors to favor another country’s domestic technology in order to benefit SOEs, national champions, or other competitors in that country; and
  • Procedures for arbitration that will provide basic rule of law protections for U.S. investors operating in foreign markets similar to those the U.S. already provides to foreign investors operating in the U.S.  These procedures would provide strong protections to ensure that all TPP governments can appropriately regulate in the public interest, including on health, safety, and environmental protection.  This includes an array of safeguards designed to raise the standards around investor-state dispute settlement, such as by discouraging and dismissing frivolous suits, allowing governments to direct the outcome of arbitral tribunals in certain areas, making proceedings more open and transparent, and providing for the participation of civil society organizations and other non-parties.

LABOR

Ensuring respect for worker rights is a core value.  That is why in TPP the United States is seeking to build on the strong labor provisions in the most recent U.S. trade agreements by seeking enforceable rules that protect the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; discourage trade in goods produced by forced labor, including forced child labor; and establish mechanisms to monitor and address labor concerns.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Requirements to adhere to fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization, as well as acceptable conditions of work, subject to the same dispute settlement mechanism as other obligations in TPP;
  • Rules that will ensure that TPP countries do not waive or derogate from labor laws in a manner that affects trade or investment, including in free trade zones, and that they take initiatives to discourage trade in goods produced by forced labor;
  • Formation of a consultative mechanism to develop specific steps to address labor concerns when they arise; and
  • Establishment of a means for the public to raise concerns directly with TPP governments if they believe a TPP country is not meeting its labor commitments, and requirements that governments consider and respond to those concerns.

ENVIRONMENT

Environmental stewardship is a core value and advancing environmental protection and conservation efforts across the Asia-Pacific region is a key priority for the United States in TPP.  In addition to core environment obligations, we are seeking trailblazing, first-ever conservation proposals to address some of the region’s most urgent environmental challenges.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Strong and enforceable environment obligations, subject to the same dispute settlement mechanism as other obligations in TPP;
  • Commitments to effectively enforce domestic environmental laws, including laws that implement multilateral environmental agreements, and commitments not to waive or derogate from the protections afforded in environmental laws for the purpose of encouraging trade or investment;
  • New provisions that will address wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing practices; and
  • Establishment of a means for the public to raise concerns directly with TPP governments if they believe a TPP member is not meeting its environment commitments, and requirements that governments consider and respond to those concerns.

E-COMMERCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

In the past five years, the number of Internet users worldwide has ballooned from 2 to 3 billion and will continue to grow.  The increase in Internet use creates significant economic potential, particularly for small businesses. The Obama Administration is working through TPP to unlock the promise of e-commerce, keep the Internet free and open, promote competitive access for telecommunications suppliers, and set digital trade rules-of-the-road.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products (e.g., software, music, video, e-books);
  • Non-discriminatory treatment of digital products transmitted electronically and guarantees that these products will not face government-sanctioned discrimination based on the nationality or territory in which the product is produced;
  • Requirements that support a single, global Internet, including ensuring cross-border data flows, consistent with governments’ legitimate interest in regulating for purposes of privacy protection;
  • Rules against localization requirements that force businesses to place computer infrastructure in each market in which they seek to operate, rather than allowing them to offer services from network centers that make business sense;
  • Commitments to provide reasonable network access for telecommunications suppliers through interconnection and access to physical facilities; and
  • Provisions promoting choice of technology and competitive alternatives to address the high cost of international mobile roaming.

COMPETITION POLICY AND STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES

U.S. goals on competition policy and SOEs are grounded in long-standing principles of fair competition, consumer protection, and transparency.  The United States is seeking rules to prohibit anticompetitive business conduct, as well as fraudulent and deceptive commercial activities that harm consumers.  We are also pursuing pioneering rules to ensure that private sector businesses and workers are able to compete on fair terms with SOEs, especially when such SOEs receive significant government backing to engage in commercial activity.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Basic rules for procedural fairness on competition law enforcement;
  • Commitments ensuring SOEs act in accordance with commercial considerations and compete fairly, without undue advantages from the governments that own them, while allowing governments to provide support to SOEs that provide public services domestically; and
  • Rules that will provide transparency with respect to the nature of government control over and support for SOEs.

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the U.S. economy and are key contributors to economic growth in other TPP economies as well.  The United States’ 28 million SMEs account for nearly two-thirds of net new private sector jobs in recent decades.  SMEs that export tend to grow even faster, create more jobs, and pay higher wages than similar businesses that do not trade internationally.  We are seeking through this agreement to provide SMEs the tools they need to compete across TPP markets.  TPP will benefit SMEs by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers, streamlining customs procedures, strengthening intellectual property protection, promoting e-commerce, and developing more efficient and transparent regulatory regimes.  In addition, TPP will include a first-ever chapter focusing on issues that create particular challenges for SMEs.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments to provide access to information on utilizing FTAs – a problem that SMEs have identified as a disproportionate challenge for them; and
  • Establishment of a regular review of how TPP is working for SMEs.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

As the world’s most innovative economy, strong and effective protection and enforcement of IP rights is critical to U.S. economic growth and American jobs.  Nearly 40 million American jobs are directly or indirectly attributable to “IP-intensive” industries.  These jobs pay higher wages to their workers, and these industries drive approximately 60 percent of U.S. merchandise exports and a large share of services exports.  In TPP, we are working to advance strong, state-of-the-art, and balanced rules that will protect and promote U.S. exports of IP-intensive products and services throughout the Asia-Pacific region for the benefit of producers and consumers of those goods and services in all TPP countries.  The provisions that the United States is seeking – guided by the careful balance achieved in existing U.S. law – will promote an open, innovative, and technologically-advanced Asia-Pacific region, accelerating invention and creation of new products and industries across TPP countries, while at the same time ensuring outcomes that enable all TPP countries to draw on the full benefits of scientific, technological, and medical innovation, and take part in development and enjoyment of new media, and the arts.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Strong protections for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, including safeguards against cyber theft of trade secrets;
  • Commitments that obligate countries to seek to achieve balance in their copyright systems by means of, among other approaches, limitations or exceptions that allow for the use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research;
  • Pharmaceutical IP provisions that promote innovation and the development of new, lifesaving medicines, create opportunities for robust generic drug competition, and ensure affordable access to medicines, taking into account levels of development among the TPP countries and their existing laws and international commitments;
  • New rules that promote transparency and due process with respect to trademarks and  geographical indications;
  • Strong and fair enforcement rules to protect against trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy, including rules allowing increased penalties in cases where counterfeit or pirated goods threaten consumer health or safety; and
  • Internet service provider “safe harbor” provisions, as well as strong and balanced provisions regarding technological protection measures to foster new business models and legitimate commerce in the digital environment.

TECHNICAL BARRIERS TO TRADE AND SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES

Non-tariff trade barriers, such as duplicative testing and unscientific regulations imposed on food and agricultural goods, are among the biggest challenges facing exporters across the Asia-Pacific region.  An effective regulatory program should protect the public interest – for example in health, safety, and environmental protection – and do so in a manner that is no more trade restrictive than necessary to achieve the policy goal.  The United States is therefore seeking in TPP to strengthen rules intended to eliminate unwarranted technical barriers to trade (TBT) and build upon WTO commitments in this area, and to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) are developed and implemented in a transparent, science-based manner.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments to enhance transparency, reduce unnecessary testing and certification costs, and  promote greater openness in standards development;
  • Commitments aimed at adopting common approaches to regulatory matters related to trade in products in key sectors such as wine and distilled spirits, medical devices, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology, and food formulas
  • New and enforceable rules to ensure that science-based SPS measures are developed and implemented in a transparent, predictable, and non-discriminatory manner, while at the same time preserving the ability of U.S. and other TPP regulatory agencies to do what they deem necessary to protect food safety, and plant and animal health; an
  • Establishment of an on-going mechanism for improved dialogue and cooperation on addressing SPS and TBT issues.

TRANSPARENCY, ANTICORRUPTION AND REGULATORY COHERENCE

Through TPP, we are seeking to make trade across the TPP region more seamless, including by improving the coherence of TPP regulatory systems, enhancing transparency in policy-making processes, and combatting corruption.  These “good government” reforms also play an important role in ensuring fairness for American firms and workers

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments to promote greater transparency, participation, and accountability in the development of regulations and other government decisions, including by promptly publishing laws, regulations, administrative rulings of general application, and other procedures that affect trade and investment, and providing opportunities for stakeholder comment on measures before they are adopted and finalized;
  • For the first time in a U.S. trade agreement, a chapter on regulatory coherence, including commitments on good regulatory practices; and
  • Commitments discouraging corruption and establishing codes of conduct to promote high ethical standards among public officials.

CUSTOMS, TRADE FACILITATION AND RULES OF ORIGIN

Cutting the red-tape of trade, including by reducing costs and increasing customs efficiencies, will make it cheaper, easier, and faster for businesses to get their products to market.  In TPP, we are looking to facilitate trade across the TPP region; support the deep integration of U.S. logistics, manufacturing, and other industries in regional supply chains; and reduce costs for U.S. business by removing onerous and opaque customs barriers.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments that will ensure the quick release of goods through customs, expedited procedures for express shipments, advance rulings, and transparent and predictable customs regulations;
  • Strong customs cooperation commitments in order to ensure that TPP countries work together to prevent smuggling, illegal transshipment, and duty evasion, and to guarantee compliance with trade laws and regulations; and
  • Strong and common rules of origin to ensure that the benefits of TPP go to the United States and other TPP countries, and also that TPP promotes the development of supply chains in the region that include companies based in the United States.

GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT

Increasing access to government procurement markets in TPP countries, which represent an estimated 5-10 percent of a country’s economy, will unlock significant opportunities for U.S. and other TPP businesses and workers.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Creation of fair, transparent, predictable, and non-discriminatory rules to govern government procurement in TPP countries; and
  • Commitments to liberalize TPP countries’ government procurement markets, with comparable levels of coverage by all TPP countries, taking into account the particular sensitivities of specific countries.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE CAPACITY-BUILDING

The United States views development as a way to further strengthen the region and lay the groundwork for future economic opportunities by improving access to economic opportunity for women and low income individuals; incentivizing private-public partnerships in development activities; and designing sustainable models for economic growth.  In addition, the United States sees trade capacity-building as critical to assist TPP developing countries in implementing the agreement and ensuring they can benefit from it.  In TPP, we plan to include a chapter on cooperation and capacity building and, for the first time in any U.S. trade agreement, a chapter dedicated specifically to development.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Agreement on cooperative development activities TPP countries could conduct to promote broad-based economic growth and sustainable development, including public-private partnerships, science and technology cooperation, and other joint development activities; and
  • Mechanisms for collaboration and facilitation of capacity-building activities by both TPP government and non-government representatives, as well as the private sector, in order to help TPP workers and businesses, including SMEs and micro- enterprises participate in global trade and take advantage of the agreement.

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

When the United States negotiates a trade agreement, we expect our trading partners to abide by the rules and obligations to which they agree.  Under the TPP, countries will first seek to address an issue cooperatively.  If they are unable to do so, the Parties have recourse to an independent tribunal to determine whether a Party has failed to meet its obligations, and ultimately to allow suspension of benefits if a Party fails to come into compliance.  Through the TPP dispute settlement mechanism, we are seeking to give the American public the confidence that the United States has the means to enforce the strong, high-standard obligations we are negotiating in this agreement.

Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Establishment of a fair and transparent dispute settlement mechanism that applies across the agreement; and
  • Procedures to allow us to settle disputes on matters arising under TPP in a timely and effective manner.

U.S.-JAPAN BILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS ON MOTOR VEHICLE TRADE AND NON-TARIFF MEASURES

With the participation of Japan, TPP countries account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP and about one-third of all world trade.  Japan is currently the fourth-largest goods trading partners of the United States.  The United States exported $65 billion in goods and an estimated $48 billion in services to Japan in 2013.

Nevertheless, U.S. exporters have faced a broad range of formidable non-tariff measures in Japan’s automotive and other markets.  As a result, prior to Japan joining the TPP negotiations, the United States reached a series of agreements with Japan to address a range of issues in conjunction with Japan’s participation in TPP.  This includes an agreement that U.S. tariffs on motor vehicles will be phased out in accordance with the longest staging period in the TPP negotiations and will be back-loaded to the maximum extent.

The United States and Japan also agreed to address non-tariff measures through parallel negotiations to TPP, which were launched in August 2013.

Specifically, in these negotiations with Japan we are seeking:

  • Enforceable commitments related to the automotive sector that will address a broad range of non-tariff measures – including those related to regulatory transparency, standards, certification, financial incentives, and distribution;
  • Establishment of an accelerated dispute settlement procedure that would apply to the automotive sector that includes a mechanism to “snap back” tariffs as a remedy, as well as a special motor vehicle safeguard; and
  • Meaningful outcomes that address cross-cutting and sectoral non-tariff measures, including in the areas of insurance, transparency, investment, IP rights, standards, government procurement, competition policy, express delivery, and SPS.

https://ustr.gov/tpp/Summary-of-US-objectives

H-1B visa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or leave the U.S.

The regulations define a “specialty occupation” as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor[1] including but not limited to biotechnology, chemistry, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts, and requiring the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as a minimum[2] (with the exception of fashion models, who must be “of distinguished merit and ability”).[3] Likewise, the foreign worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and state licensure, if required to practice in that field. H-1B work-authorization is strictly limited to employment by the sponsoring employer.

Structure of the program

Duration of stay

The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years. An exception to maximum length of stay applies in certain circumstances

  • If a visa holder has submitted an I-140 immigrant petition or a labor certification prior to their fifth year anniversary of having the H-1B visa, they are entitled to renew their H-1B visa in one-year or three-year increments until a decision has been rendered on their application for permanent residence.
  • If the visa holder has an approved I-140 immigrant petition, but is unable to initiate the final step of the green card process due to their priority date not being current, they may be entitled to a three-year extension of their H-1B visa. This exception originated with the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000.[4]
  • The maximum duration of the H-1B visa is ten years for exceptional United States Department of Defense project related work.

H-1B holders who want to continue to work in the U.S. after six years, but who have not obtained permanent residency status, must remain outside of the U.S. for one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa. Despite a limit on length of stay, no requirement exists that the individual remain for any period in the job the visa was originally issued for. This is known as H-1B portability or transfer, provided the new employer sponsors another H-1B visa, which may or may not be subjected to the quota. Under current law, H-1B visa has no stipulated grace period in the event the employer-employee relationship ceases to exist.

Congressional yearly numerical cap and exemptions

The current law limits to 65,000 the number of foreign nationals who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status each fiscal year (FY). Laws exempt up to 20,000 foreign nationals holding a master’s or higher degree from U.S. universities from the cap on H-1B visas. In addition, excluded from the ceiling are all H-1B non-immigrants who work at (but not necessarily for) universities, non-profit research facilities associated with universities, and government research facilities.[5]Universities can employ an unlimited number of foreign workers as cap-exempt. This also means that contractors working at but not directly employed by the institutions may be exempt from the cap as well. Free Trade Agreements carve out 1,400 H-1B1 visas for Chilean nationals and 5,400 H-1B1 visas for Singapore nationals. However, if these reserved visas are not used, then they are made available in the next fiscal year to applicants from other countries. Due to these unlimited exemptions and roll-overs, the number of H-1B visas issued each year is significantly more than the 65,000 cap, with 117,828 having been issued in FY2010, 129,552 in FY2011, and 135,991 in FY2012.[6][7]

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services starts accepting applications on the first business day of April for visas that count against the fiscal year starting in October. For instance, H-1B visa applications that count against the FY 2013 cap could be submitted starting from Monday, 2012 April 2. USCIS accepts H-1B visa applications no more than 6 months in advance of the requested start date.[8] Beneficiaries not subject to the annual cap are those who currently holdcap-subject H-1B status or have held cap-subject H-1B status at some point in the past six years.

Tax status of H-1B workers

The taxation of income for H-1B employees depends on whether they are categorized as either non-resident aliens or resident aliens for tax purposes. A non-resident alien for tax purposes is only taxed on income from the United States, while a resident alien for tax purposes is taxed on all income, including income from outside the US.

The classification is determined based on the “substantial presence test“: If the substantial presence test indicates that the H-1B visa holder is a resident, then income taxation is like any other U.S. person and may be filed using Form 1040 and the necessary schedules; otherwise, the visa-holder must file as a non-resident alien using tax form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ; he or she may claim benefit from tax treaties if they exist between the United States and the visa holder’s country of citizenship.

Persons in their first year in the U.S. may choose to be considered a resident for taxation purposes for the entire year, and must pay taxes on their worldwide income for that year. This “First Year Choice” is described in IRS Publication 519 and can only be made once in a person’s lifetime. A spouse, regardless of visa status, must include a valid Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security number (SSN) on a joint tax return with the H-1B holder.

Tax filing rules for H-1B holders may be complex, depending on the individual situation. Besides consulting a professional tax preparer knowledgeable about the rules for foreigners, the IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, may be consulted. Apart from state and federal taxes, H-1B visa holders pay Medicareand Social Security taxes, and are eligible for Social Security benefits.

H-1B and legal immigration

Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few visa categories recognized as dual intent, meaning an H-1B holder can have legal immigration intent (apply for and obtain the green card) while still a holder of the visa. In the past the employment-based green card process used to take only a few years, less than the duration of the H-1B visa itself. However, in recent times the legal employment-based immigration process has backlogged and retrogressed to the extent that it now takes many years for guest-work visa holders from certain countries to obtain green cards. Since the duration of the H-1B visa hasn’t changed, this has meant that many more H-1B visa holders must renew their visas in one or three-year increments for continued legal status while their green card application is in process.

Dependents of H-1B visa holders

H-1B visa holders can bring immediate family members (spouse and children under 21) to the U.S. under the H4 Visa category as dependents. An H4 Visa holder may remain in the U.S. as long as the H-1B visa holder retains legal status. An H4 visa holder is not eligible to work or get a Social Security number (SSN).[9]However, a DHS ruling made on Feb 24, 2015 provides certain H4 visa holders with eligibility to work, starting May 26, 2015.[10] An H4 Visa holder may attend school, get a driver’s license, and open a bank account in the U.S. To claim a dependent on a tax return or file a joint tax return, the dependent must obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), which is only used for tax filing purposes.

Administrative processing

When an H-1B worker goes outside of U.S. for vacation, he or she has to get the visa stamped on his passport unless he has already done so for re-entry in the United States. The interview is taken in U.S. Embassy by a visa officer. In some cases, H-1B workers can be required to undergo “administrative processing“, involving extra, lengthy background checks. Under current rules, these checks are supposed to take ten days or less, but in some cases, have lasted years.[11]

Application process

The process of getting a H-1B visa has three stages:

  • The employer files with the United States Department of Labor a Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the employee, making relevant attestations, including attestations about wages (showing that the wage is at least equal to the prevailing wage and wages paid to others in the company in similar positions) and working conditions.
  • With an approved LCA, the employer files a Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) requesting H-1B classification for the worker. This must be accompanied by necessary supporting documents and fees.
  • Once the Form I-129 is approved, the worker may begin working with the H-1B classification on or after the indicated start date of the job, if already physically present in the United States in valid status at the time. If the employee is outside the United States, he/she may use the approved Form I-129 and supporting documents to apply for the H-1B visa. With a H-1B visa, the worker may present himself or herself at a United States port of entry seeking admission to the United States, and get an Form I-94 to enter the United States. Employees who started a job on H-1B status without a H-1B visa because they were already in the United States still need to get a H-1B visa if they ever leave and wish to reenter the United States while on H-1B status.

OPT cap-gap extension for STEM students

On April 2, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff announced a 17-month extension to the OPT for students in qualifying STEM fields. Also known as the cap-gap, the rule change allows foreign STEM students opportunities unavailable to foreign students of other disciplines. The 17 month work-authorization extension allows the foreign STEM student to work up to 29 months under the student visa, allowing the STEM student multiple years to obtain an H-1B visa.[12][13] To be eligible for the 12-month permit, any degree in any field of studies is valid. For the 17-month OPT extension, a student must have received a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics degree in one of the following approved majors listed on the USCIS website.[14]

In 2014, a Federal Court denied the government’s motion to dismiss the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (Washtech) and three other plaintiff’s case against the OPT extension. Judge Huvelle noted that the plaintiffs had standing due to increased competition in their field, that the OPT participation had ballooned from 28,500 in 2008, to 123,000 and that while the students are working under OPT on student visas, employers are not required to pay Social Security and Medicare contributions, nor prevailing wage.[15]

Evolution of the program

Changes to legal and administrative rules

Congress Effect on fees Effect on cap Effect on LCA attestations and
DOL investigative authority
Immigration Act of 1990, November 29, 1990, George H. W. Bush
101st Only a base filing fee Set an annual cap of 65,000 on new 3-year H-1Bs, including transfer applications and extensions of stay. Set up the basic rules for the Labor Condition Application
American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA), October 21, 1998, Bill Clinton
105th Added a $500 fee that would be used to retrain U.S. workers and close the skill gap, in the hope of reducing subsequent need for H-1B visas. Temporary increase in caps to 115,000 for 1999 and 2000[16] Introduced the concept of “H-1B-dependent employer” and required additional attestations about non-displacement of U.S. workers from employers who were H-1B-dependent or had committed a willful misrepresentation in an application in the recent past. Also gave investigative authority to the United States Department of Labor.
American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, (AC21), October 17, 2000, Bill Clinton
106th Increased $500 fee for retraining US workers to $1000. Increase in caps to 195,000 for Fiscal Years 2001, 2002, and 2003.
Creation of an uncapped category for non-profit research institutions.
Exemption from the cap for people who had already been cap-subject. This included people on cap-subject H-1Bs who were switching jobs, as well as people applying for a 3-year extension of their current 3-year H-1B.
H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, December 6, 2004, George W. Bush
108th Increased fee for retraining US workers to $1500 for companies with 26 or more employees, reduced to $750 for small companies.
Added anti-fraud fee of $500
Bachelor’s degree cap returns to 65,000 with added 20,000 visas for applicants with U.S. postgraduate degrees. Additional exemptions for Non-profit research and governmental entities. Expanded the Department of Labor’s investigative authority, but also provided two standard lines of defense to employers (the Good Faith Compliance Defense and the Recognized Industry Standards Defense).
Employ American Workers Act, February 17, 2009, Barack Obama
Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (sunset on February 17, 2011)
111th No change. No change. All recipients of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or Federal Reserve Act Section 13 were required to file the additional attestations required of H-1B-dependent employers, for any employee who had not yet started on a H-1B visa.

Changes in the cap, number of applications received, and numbers of applications approved vs. visas issued

During the early 1990s, the cap was rarely reached. By the mid-1990s, however, the allocation tended fill each year on a first come, first served basis, resulting in frequent denials or delays of H-1Bs because the annual cap had been reached. In 1998, the cap increased to 115,000.

For FY2007, with applications accepted from 2006 April 1, the entire quota of visas for the year was exhausted within a span of 2 months on May 26,[17] well before the beginning of the financial year concerned. The additional 20,000 Advanced Degree H-1B visas were exhausted on July 26.

For FY2008, the entire quota was exhausted before the end of the first day that applications were accepted, April 2.[18] Under USCIS rules, the 123,480 petitions received on April 2 and April 3 that were subject to the cap were pooled, and then 65,000 of these were selected at random for further processing.[19] The additional 20,000 Advanced Degree H-1B visas for FY2008 was exhausted on April 30.

For FY2009, USCIS announced on 2008 April 8, that the entire quota for visas for the year had been reached, for both 20,000 Advanced and the 65,000 quota. USCIS would complete initial data entry for all filing received during 2008 April 1 to April 7, before running the lottery, while 86,300 new visas were approved.[20]

For FY2010, USCIS announced on 2009 December 21, that enough petitions were received to reach that year’s cap.[21]

For FY2011, USCIS announced on 2011 January 27, that enough petitions were received to reach that year’s cap on January 26.

For FY2015, USCIS announced on 2014 April 10 that received about 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.[22]

For FY2016, USCIS announced on 2015 April 7 that enough petitions were received to reach that year’s cap.[23] On 2015 April 13, USCIS announced completion of the H1B cap lottery selection processes. The USCIS reported receipt of almost 233,000 H1B petitions, well in excess of the limits of 65,000 for the regular cap and 20,000 advanced-degree exemptions (or, “master’s cap”).

Numbers of applications approved

The applications received are evaluated by USCIS, and some subset are approved each year. It is possible for an individual to file multiple applications, for multiple job opportunities with a single employer/sponsor or with multiple employer/sponsors. It is possible for an individual applicant to have multiple applications approved and to be able to choose which one to take.

In its annual report on H-1B visas, released in 2006 November, USCIS stated that it approved 130,497 H-1B visa applications in FY2004 (while 138,965 new visas were issued through consular offices) and 116,927 in FY2005 (while 124,099 new visas were issued via consular offices).[24][25][26][27][28][28][29][30]

In FY2008, a total of 276,252 visa applications (109,335 initial, 166,917 renewals and extensions) were approved, and 130,183 new initial visas were issued through consular offices.

In FY2009, 214,271 visas were approved, with 86,300 being for initial employment, and 127,971 being for continued employment)[31] and 110,988 initial H-1B visas were issued from consular offices.[32]

In FY2010, 192,990 new visas were approved, with 76,627 being for initial employment and 116,363 being for continuing employment. 117,828 new visas were issued through consular offices[33]

In FY2011, 269,653 new visas were approved, with 106,445 being for initial employment and 163,208 being for continued employment. 129,552 new visas were issued through consular offices.[33]

In FY2012, 262,569 new visas were approved with 136,890 being for initial employment and 125,679 being for continued employment.[26][27][28][29][30][33][33][33][34][35]

American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000[edit]

The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s PERM system for labor certification erased most of the earlier claimed arguments for H-1Bs as indentured servants during the green card process. With PERM, labor certification processing time is now approximately 9 months (as of Mar 2010).[36]

Because of AC21, the H-1B employee is free to change jobs if they have an I-485 application pending for six months and an approved I-140, and if the position they move to is substantially comparable to their current position. In some cases, if those labor certifications are withdrawn and replaced with PERM applications, processing times improve, but the person also loses their favorable priority date. In those cases, employers’ incentive to attempt to lock in H-1B employees to a job by offering a green card is reduced, because the employer bears the high legal costs and fees associated with labor certification and I-140 processing, but the H-1B employee is still free to change jobs.

However, many people are ineligible to file I-485 at the current time due to the widespread retrogression in priority dates. Thus, they may well still be stuck with their sponsoring employer for many years. There are also many old labor certification cases pending under pre-PERM rules.

Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008

The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, which, among other issues, federalizes immigration in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, stipulates that during a transition period, numerical limitations do not apply to otherwise qualified workers in the H visa category in the CNMI and Guam.[37]

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Further information: Employ American Workers Act

On Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“stimulus bill”), Public Law 111-5.[38] Section 1661 of the ARRA incorporates the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) by Senators Sanders (I-Vt.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) to limit certain banks and other financial institutions from hiring H-1B workers unless they had offered positions to equally or better-qualified U.S. workers, and to prevent banks from hiring H-1B workers in occupations they had laid off U.S. workers from. These restrictions include:

  1. The employer must, prior to filing the H-1B petition, take good-faith steps to recruit U.S. workers for the position for which the H-1B worker is sought, offering a wage at least as high as what the law requires for the H-1B worker. The employer must also attest that, in connection with this recruitment, it has offered the job to any U.S. worker who applies who is equally or better qualified for the position.
  2. The employer must not have laid off, and will not lay off, any U.S. worker in a job essentially equivalent to the H-1B position in the area of intended employment of the H-1B worker within the period beginning 90 days prior to the filing of the H-1B petition and ending 90 days after its filing.[39]

Changes in USCIS policy

After completing a policy review, the USCIS clarified that individuals who spent more than one year outside of U.S. and did not exhaust their entire six-year term can choose to be re-admitted for the “remainder” of initial six-year period without being subject to the H-1B cap.[40]

After completing a policy review, the USCIS clarified that, “Any time spent in H-4 status will not count against the six-year maximum period of admission applicable to H-1B aliens.”[40]

USCIS recently issued a memorandum dated 8 Jan 2010. The memorandum effectively states that there must be a clear “employee employer relationship” between the petitioner (employer) and the beneficiary (prospective visa holder). It simply outlines what the employer must do to be considered in compliance as well as putting forth the documentation requirements to back up the employer’s assertion that a valid relationship exists.

The memorandum gives three clear examples of what is considered a valid “employee employer relationship”:

  • a fashion model
  • a computer software engineer working off-site/on-site
  • a company or a contractor which is working on a co-production product in collaboration with DOD

In the case of the software engineer, the petitioner (employer) must agree to do (some of) the following among others:

  • Supervise the beneficiary on and off-site
  • Maintain such supervision through calls, reports, or visits
  • Have a “right” to control the work on a day-to-day basis if such control is required
  • Provide tools for the job
  • Hire, pay, and have the ability to fire the beneficiary
  • Evaluate work products and perform progress/performance reviews
  • Claim them for tax purposes
  • Provide (some type of) employee benefits
  • Use “proprietary information” to perform work
  • Produce an end product related to the business
  • Have an “ability to” control the manner and means in which the worker accomplishes tasks

It further states that “common law is flexible” in how to weigh these factors. Though this memorandum cites legal cases and provides examples, such a memorandum in itself is not law and future memoranda could change this.

Protections for U.S. workers

Labor Condition Application

Further information: Labor Condition Application

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for ensuring that foreign workers do not displace or adversely affect wages or working conditions of U.S. workers. For every H-1B petition filed with the USCIS, there must be included a Labor Condition Application (LCA) (not to be confused with the labor certification), certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. The LCA is designed to ensure that the wage offered to the non-immigrant worker meets or exceeds the “prevailing wage” in the area of employment. (“Immigration law has a number of highly technical terms that may not mean the same thing to the average reader.”[41] last updated 2011 March 31, visited 2012 November 5) The LCA also contains an attestation section designed to prevent the program from being used to import foreign workers to break a strike or replace U.S. citizen workers.

While an employer is not required to advertise the position before hiring an H-1B non-immigrant pursuant to the H-1B visa approval, the employer must notify the employee representative about the Labor Condition Application (LCA)—or if there is no such representation, the employer must publish the LCA at the workplace and the employer’s office.[42][43] Under the regulations, LCAs are a matter of public record. Corporations hiring H-1B workers are required to make these records available to any member of the public who requests to look at them. Copies of the relevant records are also available from various web sites, including the Department of Labor.

History of the Labor Condition Application form

The LCA must be filed electronically using Form ETA 9035E.[44] Over the years, the complexity of the form increased from one page in 1997[45] to three pages in 2008,[46] to five pages as of August 2012.[47]

Employer attestations

By signing the LCA, the employer attests that:[48]

  • The employer pays H-1B non-immigrants the same wage level paid to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for that specific employment, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of employment, whichever is higher.
  • The employment of H-1B non-immigrants does not adversely affect working conditions of workers similarly employed.
  • On the date the application is signed and submitted, there is not a strike, lockout, or work stoppage in the course of a labor dispute in the occupation in which H-1B non-immigrants will be employed at the place of employment. If such a strike or lockout occurs after this application is submitted, the employer must notify ETA within three days, and the application is not used to support petition filings with INS for H-1B non-immigrants to work in the same occupation at the place of employment until ETA determines the strike or lockout is over.
  • A copy of this application has been, or will be, provided to each H-1B non-immigrant employed pursuant to this application, and, as of the application date, notice of this application has been provided to workers employed in the occupation in which H-1B non-immigrants will be employed:
    • Notice of this filing has been provided to bargaining representative of workers in the occupation in which H-1B non-immigrants will be employed; or
    • There is no such bargaining representative; therefore, a notice of this filing has been posted and was, or will remain, posted for 10 days in at least two conspicuous locations where H-1B non-immigrants will be employed.

The law requires H-1B workers to be paid the higher of the prevailing wage for the same occupation and geographic location, or the same as the employer pays to similarly situated employees. Other factors, such as age and skill were not permitted to be taken into account for the prevailing wage. Congress changed the program in 2004 to require the Department of Labor to provide four skill-based prevailing wage levels for employers to use. This is the only prevailing wage mechanism the law permits that incorporates factors other than occupation and location.

The approval process for these applications are based on employer attestations and documentary evidence submitted. The employer is advised of their liability if they are replacing a U.S. worker.

Limits on employment

According to the USCIS, “H-1B nonimmigrants may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. Generally, a nonimmigrant employee may work for more than one employer at the same time. However, each employer must follow the process for initially applying for a nonimmigrant employee.”[49]

H-1B fees earmarked for U.S. worker education and training

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), reported on two programs, the High Growth Training Initiative and Workforce Innovation Regional Economic Development (WIRED), which have received or will receive $284 million and $260 million, respectively, from H-1B training fees to educate and train U.S. workers.[citation needed] According to the Seattle Times $1 billion from H1-B fees have been distributed by the Labor Department to further train the U.S. workforce since 2001.[50]

Criticisms of the program

The H-1B program has been criticized on many grounds. It was the subject of a hearing, “Immigration Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers,” by theUnited States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on March 17, 2015.[51][52] According to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the committee:

The program was intended to serve employers who could not find the skilled workers they needed in the United States. Most people believe that employers are supposed to recruit Americans before they petition for an H-1B worker. Yet, under the law, most employers are not required to prove to the Department of Labor that they tried to find an American to fill the job first. And, if there is an equally or even better qualified U.S. worker available, the company does not have to offer him or her the job. Over the years the program has become a government-assisted way for employers to bring in cheaper foreign labor, and now it appears these foreign workers take over – rather than complement – the U.S. workforce.[53]

Use for outsourcing

In large part, rather than being used to hire talented workers not available in the American labor market, the program is being used for outsourcing.[54] SenatorsDick Durbin and Charles Grassley of Iowa began introducing “The H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud & Prevention Act” in 2007. According to Durbin, speaking in 2009, “The H-1B visa program should complement the U.S. workforce, not replace it;” “The…program is plagued with fraud and abuse and is now a vehicle for outsourcing that deprives qualified American workers of their jobs.” The proposed legislation has been opposed by Compete America, a tech industry lobbying group,[55] Outsourcing firms, many based in India, are major users of H-1B visas. The out-sourcing firm contracts with an employer, such as Disney, to perform technical services. Disney then closes down its in-house department and lays off its employees. The outsourcing firm then performs the work.[56]

In June 2015 congressional leaders announced that the Department of Labor had opened an investigation of outsourcing of technical tasks by Southern California Edison to Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys then laying off 500 technology workers.[57]

No labor shortages

Paul Donnelly, in a 2002 article in Computerworld, cited Milton Friedman as stating that the H-1B program acts as a subsidy for corporations.[58] Others holding this view include Dr. Norman Matloff, who testified to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration on the H-1B subject.[59] Matloff’s paper for theUniversity of Michigan Journal of Law Reform claims that there has been no shortage of qualified American citizens to fill American computer-related jobs, and that the data offered as evidence of American corporations needing H-1B visas to address labor shortages was erroneous.[60] The United States General Accounting Office found in a report in 2000 that controls on the H-1B program lacked effectiveness.[61] The GAO report’s recommendations were subsequently implemented.

High-tech companies often cite a tech-worker shortage when asking Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, and have succeeded in getting various exemptions passed. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), described the situation as a crisis, and the situation was reported on by the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and Washington Post. Employers applied pressure on Congress.[62] Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testified in 2007 on behalf of the expanded visa program on Capitol Hill, “warning of dangers to the U.S. economy if employers can’t import skilled workers to fill job gaps”.[62] Congress considered a bill to address the claims of shortfall[63] but in the end did not revise the program.[64]

According to a study conducted by John Miano and the Center for Immigration Studies, there is no empirical data to support a claim of employee worker shortage.[65] Citing studies from Duke, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Georgetown University and others, critics have also argued that in some years, the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported outnumbered the number of jobs created by the industry.[66] Organizations have also posted hundreds of first hand accounts of H-1B Visa Harm reports directly from individuals negatively impacted by the program, many of whom are willing to speak with the media.[67]

Studies carried out from the 1990s through 2011 by researchers from Columbia U, Computing Research Association (CRA), Duke U, Georgetown U, Harvard U, National Research Council of the NAS, RAND Corporation, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rutgers U, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Stanford U, SUNY Buffalo, UC Davis, UPenn Wharton School, Urban Institute, and U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Education Research & Improvement have reported that the U.S. has been producing sufficient numbers of able and willing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workers, while several studies from Hal Salzman, B. Lindsay Lowell, Daniel Kuehn, Michael Teitelbaum and others have concluded that the U.S. has been employing only 30% to 50% of its newly degreed able and willing STEM workers to work in STEM fields. A 2012 IEEE announcement of a conference on STEM education funding and job markets stated “only about half of those with under-graduate STEM degrees actually work in the STEM-related fields after college, and after 10 years, only some 8% still do”.[68]

Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University and a longtime critic of the H-1B visa program, recently called the IT talent shortage “imaginary,”[69] a front for companies that want to hire relatively inexpensive foreign guest workers.

Wage depression

Wage depression is a chronic complaint critics have about the H-1B program: some studies have found that H-1B workers are paid significantly less than U.S. workers.[70][71] It is claimed[72][73][74][75][76][76] that the H-1B program is primarily used as a source of cheap labor. A paper by George J. Borjas for the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “a 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 to 4 percent.”[77]

The Labor Condition Application (LCA) included in the H-1B petition is supposed to ensure that H-1B workers are paid the prevailing wage in the labor market, or the employer’s actual average wage (whichever is higher), but evidence exists that some employers do not abide by these provisions and avoid paying the actual prevailing wage despite stiff penalties for abusers.[78]

Theoretically, the LCA process appears to offer protection to both U.S. and H-1B workers. However, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office, enforcement limitations and procedural problems render these protections ineffective.[79] Ultimately, the employer, not the Department of Labor, determines what sources determine the prevailing wage for an offered position, and it may choose among a variety of competing surveys, including its own wage surveys, provided that such surveys follow certain defined rules and regulations.

The law specifically restricts the Department of Labor’s approval process of LCAs to checking for “completeness and obvious inaccuracies”.[80] In FY 2005, only about 800 LCAs were rejected out of over 300,000 submitted. Hire Americans First has posted several hundred first hand accounts of individuals negatively impacted by the program, many of whom are willing to speak with the media.[67]

DOL has split the prevailing wage into four levels, with Level One representing about the 17th percentile of wage average Americans earn. About 80 percent of LCAs are filed at this 17th percentile level[citation needed]. This four-level prevailing wage can be obtained from the DOL website,[81] and is generally far lower than average wages[citation needed].

The “prevailing wage” stipulation is allegedly vague and thus easy to manipulate[citation needed], resulting in employers underpaying visa workers. According to Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the median wage in 2005 for new H-1B information technology (IT) was just $50,000, which is even lower than starting wages for IT graduates with a B.S. degree. The U.S. government OES office’s data indicates that 90 percent of H-1B IT wages were below the median U.S. wage for the same occupation.[82]

In 2002, the U.S. government began an investigation into Sun Microsystems’ hiring practices after an ex-employee, Guy Santiglia, filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Labor alleging that the Santa Clara firm discriminates against American citizens in favor of foreign workers on H-1B visas. Santiglia accused the company of bias against U.S. citizens when it laid off 3,900 workers in late 2001 and at the same time applied for thousands of visas. In 2002, about 5 percent of Sun’s 39,000 employees had temporary work visas, he said.[83] In 2005, it was decided that Sun violated only minor requirements and that neither of these violations was substantial or willful. Thus, the judge only ordered Sun to change its posting practices.[84]

Risks for employees

Historically, H-1B holders have sometimes been described as indentured servants,[85] and while the comparison is no longer as compelling, it had more validity prior to the passage of American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000. Although immigration generally requires short- and long-term visitors to disavow any ambition to seek the green card (permanent residency), H-1B visa holders are an important exception, in that the H-1B is legally acknowledged as a possible step towards a green card under what is called the doctrine of dual intent.

H-1B visa holders may be sponsored for their green cards by their employers through an Application for Alien Labor Certification, filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.[citation needed] In the past, the sponsorship process has taken several years, and for much of that time the H-1B visa holder was unable to change jobs without losing their place in line for the green card. This created an element of enforced loyalty to an employer by an H-1B visa holder. Critics[who?] alleged that employers benefit from this enforced loyalty because it reduced the risk that the H-1B employee might leave the job and go work for a competitor, and that it put citizen workers at a disadvantage in the job market, since the employer has less assurance that the citizen will stay at the job for an extended period of time, especially if the work conditions are tough, wages are lower or the work is difficult or complex. It has been argued that this makes the H-1B program extremely attractive to employers, and that labor legislation in this regard has been influenced by corporations seeking and benefiting from such advantages.[citation needed]

Some recent news reports suggest that the recession that started in 2008 will exacerbate the H-1B visa situation, both for supporters of the program and for those who oppose it.[86] The process to obtain the green card has become so long that during these recession years it has not been unusual that sponsoring companies fail and disappear, thus forcing the H-1B employee to find another sponsor, and lose their place in line for the green card. An H-1B employee could be just one month from obtaining their green card, but if the employee is laid off, he or she may have to leave the country, or go to the end of the line and start over the process to get the green card, and wait as much as 10 more years, depending on the nationality and visa category.[87]

The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 provides some relief for people waiting for a long time for a green card, by allowing H-1B extensions past the normal 6 years, as well as by making it easier to change the sponsoring employer.

The Out-Sourcing/Off-Shoring Visa

Further information: Body shopping

In his floor statement on H-1B Visa Reform, Senator Dick Durbin stated “The H-1B job visa lasts for 3 years and can be renewed for 3 years. What happens to those workers after that? Well, they could stay. It is possible. But these new companies have a much better idea for making money. They send the engineers to America to fill spots–and get money to do it—and then after the 3 to 6 years, they bring them back to work for the companies that are competing with American companies. They call it their outsourcing visa. They are sending their talented engineers to learn how Americans do business and then bring them back and compete with those American companies.”[88] Critics of H-1B use for outsourcing have also noted that more H-1B visas are granted to companies headquartered in India than companies headquartered in the United States.[89]

Of all Computer Systems Analysts and programmers on H-1B visas in the U.S., 74 percent were from Asia. This large scale migration of Asian IT professionals to the United States has been cited as a central cause for the quick emergence of the offshore outsourcing industry.[90]

In FY 2009, due to the worldwide recession, applications for H-1B visas by off-shore out-sourcing firms were significantly lower than in previous years,[91] yet 110,367 H-1B visas were issued, and 117,409 were issued in FY2010.

Social Security and Medicare taxes

H-1B employees have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as part of their payroll. Like U.S. citizens, they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits even if they leave the United States, provided they have paid Social Security payroll taxes for at least 10 years. Further, the U.S. has bilateral agreements with several countries to ensure that the time paid into the U.S. Social Security system, even if it is less than 10 years, is taken into account in the foreign country’s comparable system and vice versa.[92]

Departure Requirement on Job Loss

If an employer lays off an H-1B worker, the employer is required to pay for the laid-off worker’s transportation outside the United States.

If an H-1B worker is laid off for any reason, the H-1B program technically does not specify a time allowance or grace period to round up one’s affairs irrespective of how long the H-1B worker might have lived in the United States. To round up one’s affairs, filing an application to change to another non-immigrant status may therefore become a necessity.

If an H-1B worker is laid off and attempts to find a new H-1B employer to file a petition for him, the individual is considered out of status if there is even a one-day gap between the last day of employment and the date that the new H-1B petition is filed. While some attorneys claim that there is a grace period of 30 days, 60 days, or sometimes 10 days, that is not true according to the law. In practice, USCIS has accepted H-1B transfer applications even with a gap in employment up to 60 days, but that is by no means guaranteed.

Some of the confusion regarding the alleged grace period arose because there is a 10-day grace period for an H-1B worker to depart the United States at the end of his authorized period of stay (does not apply for laid-off workers). This grace period only applies if the worker works until the H-1B expiration date listed on his I-797 approval notice, or I-94 card. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(13)(i)(A).

American workers are ordered to train their foreign replacements[edit]

There have been cases where employers used the program to replace their American employees with H-1B employees, and in some of those cases, the American employees were even ordered to train their replacements.[93][54][56]

Age discrimination

Age discrimination in the program results in older workers being replaced by H-1B applicants. In FY 2014, 72% of H-1B holders were between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the USCIS “Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B): Fiscal Year 2014”[94] report for that year, the most recent it has published on its public website. In Table 5 of the same report, only 3,592 of the 315,857 H-1B visas were approved for workers over the age of 50.[94]

Fraud

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services “H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment” of September 2008 concluded 21% of H-1B visas granted originate from fraudulent applications or applications with technical violations.[95] Fraud was defined as a willful misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of a material fact. Technical violations, errors, omissions, and failures to comply that are not within the fraud definition were included in the 21% rate. Subsequently, USCIS has made procedural changes to reduce the number of fraud and technical violations on H-1B applications.

In 2009, federal authorities busted a nationwide H-1B Visa Scam.[96]

Fraud has included acquisition of a fake university degree for the prospective H-B1 worker, coaching the worker on lying to consul officials, hiring a worker for which there is no U.S. job, charging the worker money to be hired, benching the worker with no pay, and taking a cut of the worker’s U.S. salary. The workers, although they have little choice in the matter, are also engaged in fraud, and may be charged, fined, and deported.[97]

Similar programs

In addition to H-1B visas, there are a variety of other visa categories that allow foreign workers to come into the U.S. to work for some period of time.

L-1 visas are issued to foreign employees of a corporation. Under recent rules, the foreign worker must have worked for the corporation for at least one year in the preceding three years prior to getting the visa. An L-1B visa is appropriate for non-immigrant workers who are being temporarily transferred to the United States based on their specialized knowledge of the company’s techniques and methodologies. An L-1A visa is for managers or executives who either manage people or an essential function of the company. There is no requirement to pay prevailing wages for the L-1 visa holders. For Canadian residents, a special L visa category is available.

TN-1 visas are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and are issued to Canadian and Mexican citizens.[98] TN visas are only available to workers who fall into one of a pre-set list of occupations determined by the NAFTA treaty. There are specific eligibility requirements for the TN Visa.

E-3 visas are issued to citizens of Australia under the Australia free-trade treaty.

H-1B1 visas are a sub-set of H-1B issued to residents of Chile and Singapore under the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement of 2003; PL108-77 § 402(a)(2)(B), 117 Stat. 909, 940; S1416, HR2738; passed in House 2003-07-24 and the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement of 2003; PL108-78 § 402(2), 117 Stat. 948, 970-971; S1417, HR2739; passed in House 2003-07-24, passed in senate 2003-07-31, signed by executive (GWBush) 2003-05-06. According to USCIS, unused H-1B1 visas are added into the next year’s H-1B base quota of 58,200.

One recent trend in work visas is that various countries attempt to get special preference for their nationals as part of treaty negotiations. Another trend is for changes in immigration law to be embedded in large Authorization or Omnibus bills to avoid the controversy that might accompany a separate vote.

H-2B visa: The H-2B non-immigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural work, which may be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent. There is a 66,000 per year limit on the number of foreign workers who may receive H-2B status.

H-1B demographics

H-1B Applications Approved

H-1B Applications Approved by USCIS[24][25][26][27][28][29][30][33][35][99][100]
Year Initial employment approvals Continuing employment approvals Total
1999 134,411 na na
2000 136,787 120,853 257,640
2001 201,079 130,127 331,206
2002 103,584 93,953 197,537
2003 105,314 112,026 217,340
2004 130,497 156,921 287,418
2005 116,927 150,204 267,131
2006 109,614 161,367 270,981
2007 120,031 161,413 281,444
2008 109,335 166,917 276,252
2009 86,300 127,971 214,271
2010 76,627 116,363 192,990
2011 106,445 163,208 269,653
2012 136,890 125,679 262,569
2013 128,291 158,482 286,773
2014 124,326 191,531 315,857
H-1B Applications Approved by USCIS for those with less than the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree[24][25][26][27][28][29][30][33][35][99][100]
Year No HS Diploma Only HS Diploma Less Than 1 year of College 1+ years of College Equivalent of Associate’s Total Less Than Equivalent of U.S. Bachelor’s
2000 554 288 158 1,290 696 2,986
2001 247 895 284 1,376 1,181 3,983
2002 169 806 189 849 642 2,655
2003 148 822 122 623 534 2,249
2004 123 690 137 421 432 1,803
2005 107 440 77 358 363 1,345
2006 96 392 54 195 177 914
2007 72 374 42 210 215 913
2008 80 174 19 175 195 643
2009 108 190 33 236 262 829
2010 140 201 24 213 161 739
2011 373 500 44 255 170 1,342
2012 108 220 35 259 174 796
2013 68 148 15 162 121 514
2014 32 133 18 133 88 404

H-1B visas issued per year[edit]

new/initial H-1B visas issued by State Department through consular offices<[101]
Year H-1B H-1B1 Total
1990 794 na 794
1991 51,882 na 51,882
1992 44,290 na 44,290
1993 35,818 na 35,818
1994 42,843 na 42,843
1995 51,832 na 51,832
1996 58,327 na 58,327
1997 80,547 na 80,547
1998 91,360 na 91,360
1999 116,513 na 116,513
2000 133,290 na 133,290
2001 161,643 na 161,643
2002 118,352 na 118,352
2003 107,196 na 107,196
2004 138,965 72 139,037
2005 124,099 275 124,374
2006 135,421 440 135,861
2007 154,053 639 154,692
2008 129,464 719 130,183
2009 110,367 621 110,988
2010 117,409 419 117,828
2011 129,134 418 129,552
2012 135,530 461 135,991
2013 153,223 571 153,794

Employers ranked by H-1B visas approved

Companies receiving H-1Bs[102][103][104]
2013 Rank Company Primary Emp. Base 2006 [105] 2007 [106] 2008 [107] 2009 [108] 2010 [109] 2011 [110] 2012 [111] 2013 [112]
1 Infosys
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
India 4,908 4,559 4,559 440 3,792 3,962 5,600 6,298
2 Tata Consultancy Services
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
India 3,046 797 1,539 1,740 7,469 6,258
3 Cognizant
Teaneck, New Jersey
U.S. 2,226 962 467 233 3,388 4,222 9,281 5,186
4 Accenture Inc
Dublin, Ireland
U.S. 637 331 731 287 506 1,347 4,037 3,346
5 Wipro
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
India 4,002 2,567 2,678 1,964 1,521 2,736 4,304 2,644
6 HCL Technologies Ltd
Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
India 910 102 1,033 2,070 1,766
7 IBM
Armonk, New York
U.S. 1,324 199 381 865 882 853 1,846 1,624
8 Mahindra Satyam
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
India 2,880 1,396 1,917 219 224 1,963 1,589
9 Larsen & Toubro Infotech
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
India 947 292 403 602 333 1,204 1,832 1,580
10 Deloitte
New York City, New York
U.S. 1,555 525 413 563 196 1,668 1,491
11 IGATE (merged w Patni)
Bridgewater, NJ & Bengaluru, India
India 1,391 477 296 609 164 1,260 1,157
12 Microsoft
Redmond, Washington
U.S. 3,117 959 1,037 1,318 1,618 947 1,497 1,048
13 Syntel
Troy, Michigan
India 416 130 129 1,161 1,041
14 Qualcomm
San Diego, California
U.S. 533 158 255 320 909
15 Amazon
Seattle, Washington
U.S. 262 81 182 881
16 Intel Corporation
Santa Clara, California
U.S. 828 369 351 723 772
17 Google
Mountain View, California
U.S. 328 248 207 211 172 383 753
18 Mphasis
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
India 751 248 251 229 197 556
19 Capgemini
Paris, France
E.U. 309 99 500
20 Oracle Corporation
Redwood Shores, California
U.S. 1,022 113 168 272 475
21 UST Global
Aliso Viejo, California
U.S. 339 416 344 475
22 PricewaterhouseCoopers
London, United Kingdom
E.U. 591 192 449
23 Cisco Systems
San Jose, California
U.S. 828 324 422 308 379
24 Ernst & Young LLP
London, United Kingdom
UK 774 302 321 481 373
Top 10 universities and schools receiving H-1Bs[102][103][105]
School H-1Bs Received 2006
New York City Public Schools 642
University of Michigan 437
University of Illinois at Chicago 434
University of Pennsylvania 432
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 432
University of Maryland 404
Columbia University 355
Yale University 316
Harvard University 308
Stanford University 279
Washington University in St. Louis 278
University of Pittsburgh 275

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa

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Senator Rand Paul Learns Valuable Lesson — Most Media Interviewers Are Liberal Progressive Democrats Pushing Their Agenda — Republican Candidates For President Are To Be Buried Not Praised — Just Smile and Give Your Prepared Response — “Friends, Romans, countrymen” — Drives Interviewers Nuts — Be Prepared — Stay On Message — Videos

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Story 1: Senator Rand Paul Learns Valuable Lesson — Most Media Interviewers Are Liberal Progressive Democrats Pushing Their Agenda — Republican Candidates For President Are To Be Buried Not Praised — Just Smile and Give Your Prepared Response — “Friends, Romans, countrymen” —  Drives Interviewers Nuts — Be Prepared — Stay On Message — Videos

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Rand Paul and the media: No love story

Reporters who cover him describe the Kentucky senator as “prickly” even as they laud his unusual accessibility.

Rand Paul loves the spotlight. He just doesn’t love the people who wield it.
In February, the Kentucky senator scolded CNBC anchor Kelly Evans as she tried to ask him about a bill he co-sponsored.
Story Continued Below

“You have taken an interview and you’ve made an interview into something where we got no useful information because you were argumentative and you started out with so many preoppositions [sic] that were incorrect,” he said.
The interview continued, but Paul wasn’t done with the tongue-lashing, and went back to media criticism a few minutes later.
“Part of the problem is that you end up having interviews like this where the interview is so slanted and full of distortions that you don’t get useful information,” he said. “I think this is what is bad about TV sometimes. So frankly, I think if we do this again, you need to start out with a little more objectivity going into the interview.”
Ron Paul is shown. | Getty
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Clips of the interview quickly went viral as headlines blared how Rand Paul “tears into,” “snaps,” “shushes” and “belittles” the CNBC host.
“Rand Paul needs to be shushed,” read a headline from a piece by Joan Walsh on Salon.com. “To some men, apparently, an assertive woman is out of control and needs to calm down – especially if she’s succeeded in upsetting his calm,” she wrote.
PBS NewsHour host Gwen Ifill warned in a blog post soon after the interview that whether or not he considers questions from the press to be distorted, “Paul might want to get used to concealing his irritation. That sort of viral video lives forever.”
The tantrum was a rare case of Paul losing his temper on live TV, which he’s made almost a second home as he’s sought to build his brand ahead of his expected April 7 presidential launch. But his famed accessibility — he’s willing to submit to most Capitol Hill hallway interviews and even impromptu interviews on airplanes; he’ll hop on the phone with a junior reporter and talk to cable shouters from Bill Maher to Bill O’Reilly — masks a relationship with the media that is anything but friendly. Reporters who cover Paul have called him “thin-skinned,” “sensitive,” “wary” and “prickly.” Others say he and his team will blame the media for his own mistakes, at some points freezing out reporters for perceived slights.
Sen., Rand Paul is pictured. | AP
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Brian Darling, Paul’s former senior communications director and now a senior VP at Third Dimension Strategies, a Washington PR firm, told POLITICO Paul is an “open guy” who “speaks with what’s in his heart and mind … that’s the way he’s wired.”
“To make him be more secretive, walled off from the media — it would be something that would not be consistent with the way Rand Paul is put together,” Darling said.
“We’re not an office that hides things, we want to get our message far and wide,” Paul spokesperson Sergio Gor echoed. “He’s interesting, he speaks his mind … I think people appreciate the honesty he brings.”
Paul’s willingness to go off script might sometimes get him in trouble, but reporters find it a welcome break from the rigidly controlled operations of other potential 2016 candidates, like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
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“One of the refreshing things in covering him is the tendency to go offscript. Now that’s not always intentional and his staff doesn’t always appreciate it when that happens and you write about it, but it is a departure from the norm in covering politics to be around somebody who isn’t so tightly scripted,” said New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters.
Ask Paul the wrong type of question, or point out an inconsistency, though, and he doesn’t hide his irritation.
“He still has pretty thin skin when things get tough,” one reporter who has covered Paul for years and asked to speak on background said. “He doesn’t hide his displeasure and anger very well and that can do you in. He’s probably overly sensitive to some of the coverage.”
Another reporter for a major national paper wondered whether Paul, an ophthalmologist, suffers from what a lot of doctors experience, “a sense of never being questioned in their professional lives.”
Darling defends Paul, saying he “has a thick skin,” despite one or two antagonistic interviews.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives in his hometown, Bowling Green, Ky., Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, to give an assist to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at his final campaign stop. McConnell, a 30-year incumbent, would ascend to majority leader if he holds his seat and Republicans take control of the Senate in Tuesday’s midterm election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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“The CNBC interview turned out to be a bait and switch where the network was intent on making news,” Darling said. “Sometimes prickly is the best way to deal with a hostile interviewer. I don’t think he is prickly, but if that is a perception, then he should work to smooth out his delivery so that he can dispel that perception.”
But Kevin Madden, a senior adviser and spokesperson for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign who is now a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies not connected with any 2016 candidate, said that how a candidate answers a question can matter just as much as the content of their answer.

“Oftentimes it’s not just how you answer the message but substantively it’s what kind of message you send about your leadership style,” Madden said. “If you’re prickly and easily irritated that’s not going to be something that really gives people a great sense of security. If you can be calm and collected, show a lot of poise — that says a lot about your leadership style and voters pick up on that.”
Almost all pols have their prickly moments with the press corps. What’s nonetheless appealing about Paul, journalists who cover him say, is his accessibility.
“Would I rather have that, or Mitt who always stayed in front of plane and never deviated from script? Of course, I’d never want to cover someone like Romney, or Hillary for that matter,” one reporter said.

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But Paul and his team are also known to blame the media when the senator makes a mistake, or says something that’s inconsistent with his previous positions.
In 2010, The Louisville Courier-Journal published the transcript of a meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board, in which Paul suggested he wasn’t a fan of how the Civil Rights Act lets the federal government intrude into private business practices.
“I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners — I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind,” Paul said at the time.
When asked whether he then believed that it was OK for a restaurant to deny service to someone such as Martin Luther King Jr., Paul said he’d protest t but that the First Amendment allows for “boorish people.”
File-This March 28, 2015, file photo shows Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky reacting after winning possession of the ball against Arizona during the second half of a college basketball regional final in the NCAA Tournament, in Los Angeles. When Kentucky, with four NBA-quality freshmen on the roster, lost to a senior-laden team from Wisconsin in the semifinals Saturday, it struck a blow for traditionalists who say you can still have it all, a full college career, a chance to play for a title, a wealthy future in the NBA. Player of the Year Kaminsky and two of his teammates, Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes, forged opportunities to do all that with the Badgers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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NICK GASS
“In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people who have abhorrent behavior, but if we’re civilized people we publicly criticize that and don’t belong or associate with those people,” Paul said.
Paul went on the “Rachel Maddow Show” for a follow-up interview a few weeks later, repeated his position and endured a few more days of media firestorm. In 2014, when the hosts of MSNBC’s “The Cycle” brought up his old Civil Rights Acts comments, Paul turned the attack back on the network.
“Have I ever had a philosophical discussion about all aspects of it? Yeah, and I learned my lesson: To come on MSNBC and have a philosophical discussion, the liberals will come out of the woodwork and they will go crazy and say you’re against the Civil Rights Act and that you’re some terrible racist,” Paul said.
When Yahoo! News asked Paul whether he still believed the United States should stop sending federal aid to Israel, he denied he’d made the proposal. After being pointed to interviews and videos showing that he had said as much previously, Paul lashed out.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, accompanied by Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, speaks to lawmakers, Thursday, March 19, 2015, at the State Capitol in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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“You can mistake my position, but then I’ll answer the question,” Paul said. “That has not been a position — a legislative position — we have introduced to phase out or get rid of Israel’s aid. That’s the answer to that question. Israel has always been a strong ally of ours and I appreciate that. I voted just this week to give money — more money — to the Iron Dome, so don’t mischaracterize my position on Israel.”
Earlier this year as measles outbreaks were making headlines, Paul seemed to suggest in a link between vaccines and mental disorders, a link widely debunked by the medical community.
“I’ve heard many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he said in the same CNBC appearance where he shushed the anchor.
Paul later tried to clarify his statement, denying that he had said vaccines caused mental illness but saying he believed it should be a personal decision. Paul’s staff then invited members of the media, including The New York Times, to accompany the senator as he received a booster shot at the congressional infirmary.
“Today, I am getting my booster vaccine. Wonder how the liberal media will misreport this,” Paul tweeted.
Paul’s media attacks can backfire, says Eric Fehrnstrom, a former top Mitt Romney adviser and founder of the consulting firm the Shawmut Group who is unaligned with any 2016ers.
“He sounds like a surly teenager arguing with his parents, and not about the substance of things either but about their meaning and definition,” Fehrnstrom said in an email. “It’s tiresome. I’m not saying the media is always right, they aren’t, but that can’t be your constant critique.”
One favored tactic among Paul and his team is a common one — freeze out reporters who have committed perceived slights, sometimes for months. At least three reporters interviewed mentioned specific instances where after certain stories — about the medical board he created in Kentucky, funding for Israel or his criticisms of the GOP’s focus on voter ID policies — Paul and his team would institute a temporary ban on the reporter. And it’s not just reporters who suffer the freeze — in September, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said Paul had said he would no longer appear on his show.
“I think maybe he’s written off a lot of conservative talk radio as simply neocon or hawkish, and he won’t talk to us,” Hewitt said. (That seems to be changing though — both Paul and Hewitt’s teams said Paul would appear on the show in the next couple weeks.)
Gor pushed back on Hewitt’s comment that Paul doesn’t like conservative radio, calling it “blatantly false” and noting that he is a regular on Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity’s shows. “We do tend to avoid unfair and biased interviewers,” Gor said.
But while Paul’s team may have a penchant for freezing reporters out, Paul himself doesn’t even seem remember them.
“I approached him for an interview in the hall and he asked his staff, ‘So why are we mad at him again, why shouldn’t I talk to him?’” Peters said. “He clearly doesn’t remember day to day what grievances he has against the media. And that’s definitely a good thing.”
Reporters also noted that Paul is still a rather mysterious character for them, though that may be rectified with long days on the campaign trail.
“They put him in front of so many reporters, it is kind of hard to get a good feel for him, develop the same kind of rapport that I’ve had with other politicians. He’s not the most chatty, extroverted guy. Very little small talk. Maybe he’d rather keep the interviews short and get down to other business. But at least he suffers through them,” Peters said.
Another reporter who has covered Paul for years said that for a politician, Paul doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy the social aspect of his job.
“I wouldn’t call him a happy warrior,” the reporter said. “For all his hipster demeanor and clothing, he doesn’t look really comfortable a lot of the time. He’s doing most public thing you can do but doesn’t see to be enjoying it. I’ve seen him at events where he doesn’t even work the room. If you’re running for president, that’s not how you do it.” (Running for president is “not really a lot of fun,” Paul told a conference in February.)
Paul’s relationship with the media has matured as he has spent time in Washington, especially as his press team of just three staffers gained experience from fielding as many as 100 requests some weeks.
“When he first got here, his overall press organization was quite challenged, to be generous,” said Courier-Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Carroll. “He’s a work in progress as a candidate.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/rand-paul-and-the-media-no-love-story-116709.html

Rand Paul comes out swinging…at interviewers

By Thomas Lifson

In a round of interviews yesterday, Rand Paul took on questions he found unfair, and got into an argument with Savannah Guthrie of the Today show. The predictable result was return fire from talking head pundits, unhappy over his refusal to play the game on the ground rules the media likes to set.  In the words of T. Beckett Adams of the Washington Examiner, it was a “media pile-on.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., became the target of media criticism Wednesday after he accused NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie during an interview of “editorializing” her questions.

“That Rand Paul sure is a charmer,” tweeted Business Insider’sNicholas Carson, after Paul said Today Show co-anchor Guthrie was phrasing her questions as declaratives rather than interrogatives during an interview with the newly declared 2016 presidential candidate.

Politico’s Ben White tweeted, “Politicians mansplaining to female journos how to conduct an interview is just, well, it’s just very bad.”

The hoary Democrat spin of the GOP “war on women” was picked up by several commentators, including Chuck Todd on MSNBC (embedded below because almost nobody saw it when broadcast):

Paul shot back: “I’ve Been Universally Short Tempered and Testy with Both Male and Female Reporters” (Mediaite).

That is true, and it may be the best signal for the senator from Kentucky to heed.  Without question, the GOP base, sick to death of unfair media treatment, will cheer Paul on.  And he did something that many of us have longed for (via CNN).

Rand Paul says he doesn’t want to be grilled about abortion until Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz answers similarly tough questions.

My own opinion is that Rand is pursuing a good strategy, but he needs to quickly refine his skills.  It is important to be likable, especially when taking on media interviewers who have been chosen for their Q Score (likability).  By shushing Savannah Guthrie, Paul left himself wide open, and Wasserman Schultz took advantage:

Wasserman Schultz hit back — highlighting Paul’s testy interviews with female television anchors, too, by saying she hopes he can “respond without ‘shushing’ me.”

President Reagan was a master of being genial while also refusing to kowtow to media gotcha questions.  It is an open question in my mind whether or not this is a skill that can be picked up or a gift that is inherent in a personality.

Megyn Kelly’s interview with Rand Paul last night saw a mixture of criticism and concern.
What works for Sen. Paul in the primaries will not work in a general election.  I think voters do not want a president whom they perceive as “short-tempered and testy” (in the senator’s own words).  I realize that Rand Paul is running on ideas and change.  But the sad reality is that a huge number of voters, probably a majority, choose their president based on factors like their comfort level in having a beer with the person.  To paraphrase an old saying, you go to the voters with the electorate you have.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/04/rand_paul_comes_out_swinging__at_interviewers.html

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The Scandal of H-1B Visas — The Outsourcing Of American Jobs To Foreign Workers — End The Cheap Labor Racket — Abolish H-1B Visas — Videos

Posted on March 25, 2015. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Unions, Video, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 2: The Scandal of H-1B Visas — The Outsourcing Of American Jobs To Foreign Workers — End The Cheap Labor Racket —  Abolish H-1B Visas —  Videos

h1b_innovationecon_chart1

hib_visa_cap_fill-up_datesH-1B-visa-allocations-by-profession-2000-to-2009

 Copy of Tables_H-1B STEM.xlsxCorrection Table 1.xlsxfigure-2h1bNAT_150210_h1b

Obama Admin Gives Company H-1B Workers To Replace Its American Workers

ABC10: American Workers Hurt By H-1B Visa Program

U.S. Worker Replaced By Lower-Cost Foreign Worker Makes Impassioned Plea To Senators

Sessions Details Case Of American Tech Workers Being Forced To Train Their Guest-Worker Replacements

Professor Salzman Testifies At Hearing On Protecting High-Skilled American Workers

ITIF Debate: Is There a STEM Worker Shortage?

The issue of high skill immigration is receiving increased attention as Congress considers comprehensive immigration legislation. Underlying this issue is an ongoing debate surrounding the U.S. labor market for high-skill workers, including those in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The key policy questions being discussed include: is there a shortage of STEM workers in the U.S. economy; is the U.S. education system producing enough STEM graduates with requisite STEM education; and does high-skill immigration negatively affect the domestic supply of STEM talent?

ITIF will host a lively debate on this critical policy issue. Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF, and Jonathan Rothwell, an Associate Fellow at the Brookings Institution, will argue that the United States does face a STEM worker shortage, which is hampering the development of the innovation economy, and high-skill immigration should be used as a tool to address the skills gap. Hal Salzman, Professor of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and Ron Hira, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, will counter that the country is not experiencing a STEM shortage, and increased immigration will simply exacerbate unemployment and hurt U.S. workers. The debate will be moderated by Kevin Finneran, editor of the National Academies’ Issues in Science and Technology.

Sen. Cruz Amendment to Immigration Legislation to Increase H-1B Visas

Sen Ted Cruz Wants to DOUBLE Immigration

Bjorn Billhardt testifies to Senate Judiciary Committee

Experts: Proposed Guest Worker Expansions Would Let Tech Companies Import 100% Of New Hires

Attorney For Displaced Tech Workers: H-1B Increase Would Put Countless More Americans Out Of Work

Professor Hira Testifies At Hearing On Protecting High-Skilled American Workers

Ron Hira – Domestic IT & BPO Sourcing Can Generate Good American Jobs: The Role for Policy

maxresdefault outsourcing america

Ron Hira Associate Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, Research Associate at Economic Policy Institute and co-author of the book, Outsourcing America, giving the opening keynote at Momentum 2013

MidPoint | Ron Hira discusses his column in The Hill calling the H-1B visa the “Outsourcing Visa.”

Ron Hira on H1B Immigration Visas Current Debate – Point of View

The Future of American Jobs – A Discussion about Outsourcing

Reality of H-1B

Bill Gates Asks Senate For Infinite Number Of H 1B Visas

Lou Dobbs on Post Docs & PhDs Being Paid Peanuts & Exploited Through H-1B

Outsourcing America – Sen Byron Jorgan

LOU DOBBS TONIGHT 04.05.07 – H1B Visa Abuse

H-1B Work Visas: Basic Requirements

Silenced workers who lost jobs to H-1B visa abuse (quietly) speak out

BY BYRON YORK

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing into abuses of the H-1B skilled guest worker visa program. Lawmakers heard experts describe how the use of foreign workers has come to dominate the IT industry, with many tech giants using the program to fire well-paid current workers and replace them with workers from abroad at significantly lower pay.

“The current system to bring in high-skill guest workers … has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry,” two experts who testified at the hearing, Howard University’s Ron Hira and Rutgers’ Hal Salzman, wrote recently. “Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the ‘best and brightest,’ most high-skill guest workers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages.”

Exhibit A in the abuse of H-1Bs was the case of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of between 400 and 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, the committee heard; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.

“Simply put, the H-1B program has become a cheap labor program,” Hira, author of the bookOutsourcing America, testified. “To add insult to injury, Southern California Edison forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages.”

It was a powerful presentation, especially in light of the fact that many Republicans and Democrats in Congress do not want to address abuses of the H-1B problem but rather want to greatly increase the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the United States.

But one voice was missing from the hearing, and that was the voice of laid-off workers. That was no accident. In addition to losing their jobs and being forced to train their foreign replacements, many fired workers are required to sign non-disparagement agreements as a condition of their severance. They are workers with families and bills to pay, and they are told that if they do not agree to remain silent, they will be terminated with cause, meaning they will receive no severance pay or other benefits and will face an even tougher search for a new job and a continued career. So they remain silent.

A longtime feature of the Capitol Hill hearing into this or that unfair practice is to hear from the victims of this or that unfair practice. The IT industry has worked to make sure that does not happen in the case of H-1B visa abuse. Still, the Judiciary Committee managed to receive testimonials from four laid-off workers, three from Southern California Edison and one from another company. So to flesh out the H-1B story with the perspective of those who are actually paying the price when H-1B visas are used to displace American workers, here are their anonymous testimonials:

Worker One:

My former company, a large utility company, replaced 220 American IT workers with H-1Bs…we would have to train them in order to receive our severance packages. This was one of the most humiliating situations that I have ever been in as an IT professional.

The whole IT department was going through the same fate as myself. Those were the longest and hardest five months of my life. Not only did I lose a work family, but I lost my job and my self-esteem. We had constant emails sent by HR that we could not talk about this situation to anyone or make posts to social media. If we did, we would be fired immediately and not get our severance.

We had jobs and there was no shortage of skilled labor that would make it necessary to bring in H-1Bs. We were let go and replaced by foreign workers who certainly weren’t skilled to take our positions.

Worker Two: