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Dear Editor:
Gary Endelman, in his article "Light From The Dark Side: Why Tancredo May Be Right On The H Visa", was very astute when he wrote that Rep. Tom Tancredo's "Be Real Act of 2003" is perceived as a sell-out by many of us who oppose nonimmigrant visas. The very fact that an immigration lawyer who cashes in on the lucrative visa business considers Tancredo's bill a good idea is ample evidence that a sell-out did indeed occur. Tancredo has been one of the few politicians that American workers could rely on to fight the job destruction that H-1B has caused. That has all changed with his "Be Real Act". This legislation makes a Faustian bargain - jobs for American citizens are sacrificed for promises of border enforcement and the elimination of amnesty. Tancredo proposes to eliminate visa categories such as H-1B and H-2B by combining all of them into one big "H" visa. High-wage earners such as programmers, engineers, and accountants will be lumped into a generic labor pool with low-wage workers such as grape pickers, burger flippers, and hotel clerks. The amalgamation of the labor pool doesn't just stop there however. An Orwellian job registry will be created that lists all people who are looking for jobs, both aliens and citizens. This intrusive database will contain the personal information of all job seekers and it will be open for all employers to view. Looking for a job will require a risky sacrifice of privacy. Melding all nonimmigrants into one "H” visa could have unforeseeable and undesirable side-effects, and none of them will favor middle-class workers. Unlimited numbers of visas are allowed so the damage to U.S. workers could be catastrophic. Tancredo's bill probably won't discourage the bottom feeders from using illegal aliens but it will give sweatshops such as Tyson Chicken a way to hire cheap labor legally. It will be a net gain for low-wage employers because they will be allowed to legally tap into unlimited supplies of cheap 3rd world workers. Unscrupulous employers will enjoy the fact that their foreign employees are de-facto indentured servants. Bosses only need to crack-the-whip to remind their "boys” their that noses better be on the grindstone. Nonimmigrant workers will know that anything less than complete obedience will result in a report to the border patrol – and that means deportation. Higher wage jobs usually require a legal work visa, and the easiest way for employers to import cheap labor is through the use of nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) such as H-1B and L-1. Tancredo's bill is a net gain for these employers because they will be able to import unlimited numbers of workers to replace higher paid U.S. citizens. Tancredo's "Be Real Act" will further the agenda of the radical libertarians who believe that companies have the right to match "any willing employee with any willing employer". His bill might not ever become law but it will haunt the American middle class for a very long time. That's because George Bush used Tancredo's database concept to fashion his own guest-worker to amnesty bill. Bush borrowed some of the worst elements of Tancredo's bill and pasted it onto the "Border Security and Immigration Improvement Act of 2003" sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Jim Kolbe (R-AZ). The ruling elite in the United States view wage earners as mere commodities that are to be bought and sold at the lowest price that the global market will bear. Many of us thought that Tancredo was different but his "unreal act” proves otherwise.

Rob Sanchez Webmaster

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