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Lobbying Dollars Fly In Immigration Reform Debate

— Want to know where money talks in the world of immigration reform? According to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, the tech industry is behind much of the lobbying on the issue.


Aired 3/12/13

Companies and organizations with a stake in immigration reform are making their case to legislators in Washington by way of their pocketbooks.

Microsoft, Intel Corp and Qualcomm are among the top ten groups that most frequently lobbied the federal government on immigration in 2012. These firms want to make it easier to attract global talent to work here.

Also in the top ten: the U.S. Travel Association and the parent company of Texas-based Hilton Worldwide — the high-end hotel chain. The travel industry wants to smooth out and speed up the process for foreigners to get visas to visit the U.S.

NumbersUSA, a nonprofit that wants to reduce immigration, is also among the top ten groups lobbying on the issue. The group spent $600,000 on anti-immigration lobbying last year.

Though not on the list, the private prison industry has spent tens of millions to lobby congress members and federal agencies involved in the immigration debate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Private prisons house a large number of illegal immigrants and others suspected of violating civil immigration laws.

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Avatar for user 'kerthialfad'

kerthialfad | March 13, 2013 at 6:57 a.m. ― 4 years ago

On the side of increasing immigration we find all the corporate money from tech and agribusiness. And on the side of less immigration, is little non-profit NumbersUSA. Guess who represents more closely, the will of the American people?

Go, NumbersUSA!,

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Avatar for user 'bailarin'

bailarin | March 13, 2013 at 7:10 a.m. ― 4 years ago

This is why our country is in a decline. Legislators are not doing what is good for the country; they cater to the deep pocket lobbyist. Corporate America (CA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have a lock on the country's trade policy. The most damaging is the recognition of China as a Most Favored Nation (MFN) renewable every year and made Permanent Normal Trade Relation (PNTR) nation in 2000. These lowered the import tariffs on Chinese made goods from a high of 46% to 6% that made it profitable for CA to move their manufacturing and supply chain operation to China. What they used to manufacture in the U.S. for domestic consumption and export are not manufactured in China and imported to the U.S. MFN and PNTR is the largest transfer of wealth program the transfer the wealth from the American workers/middle-class and government coffers to CA and members of the U.S. Congress. Congress exempts themselves from the insider trading law to partake in the fleecing of America.

The excuse of increase export politicians use to sell free trade agreements always end up jobs being exported at the expense of the American workers/middle-class and the fiscal health of the nation.

For jobs CA cannot export they just lobby and spend money on our politicians to expand the H1-B visa program so they can hire foreign nationals instead of unemployed Americans. Now, just like President Reagan did, they want to legalize illegal's to increase the cheap labor pool and again at the expense of unemployed American workers.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 13, 2013 at 9:08 a.m. ― 4 years ago

This is yet one more example of why we need fact to lead our political debate instead of hysteria and social-issue crusading.

Our priorities are so far out of whack.

Racism trumps economic prosperity in the immigration debate.

Prison union/prison-industrial complex money trumps statistical-based logic in the arena of legislating criminal law.

The insurance industrial complex trumps health care justice.

Over-bloated military spending trumps spending on America's crumbling infrastructure.

Religious fundamentalism trumps science.

Each year the amount we spend on wars and prisons creeps up, while the amount we spend on education creeps down.

How long can the United States possibly remain the global hegemon with these horrendously misguided priorities?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 13, 2013 at 10:36 a.m. ― 4 years ago

So the travel industry wants more near-slaves from the 3rd world to clean hotel rooms and the tech industry wants cheap Indian and Chinese computer engineers to toil away in dark cubicles 12 hours a day. Profit at the expense of American society.

But the worst is the prison industry that hopes to fill jail cells by encouraging illegal immigration. There is nothing lower than profiting from human misery.


To answer your question: No long. Not long at all.

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Avatar for user 'jskdn'

jskdn | March 13, 2013 at 10:47 a.m. ― 4 years ago

The overwhelming amount of money spent in reported lobbying is coming from those who want amnesty, increased and easier immigration, and the ability to bring in foreign labor. Yet this reporter chose to only mention the money spent lobby that was reported by Numbers USA. That points to the country's most significant advocacy force on the issue, though one not listed at Open Secrets, the news media. The efforts of those at public radio, public television, as well as almost all media outlets, to push the immigration agenda of the elites is massive and ubiquitous. These news outlets have chosen to deny the country the opportunity to hear an actual debate, to the degree they can get away with it. Take notice of how many times there is little or no representation of those wanting immigration limited and legal in media coverage of the issue. They know their agenda is at risk were the citizens of the country able to hear such a debate.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 13, 2013 at 11:51 a.m. ― 4 years ago

BERTHAFIALD, mmmaybe you should REREAD this short report and read the related one on UT. It is NOT about increasing immigration across the board. It is about making it "easier" for high tech professionals from other countries who want to immigrate here after securing a job.

PS: NUMBERS USA is a discredited neo-Malthusian Nativist group that claims to be "independent" but is in reality far from the truth.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 13, 2013 at 11:53 a.m. ― 4 years ago

CA OFF, read the related article in the UT. (not that it will change your Nativist leanings), but it does expand little more on the topic.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 13, 2013 at 11:56 a.m. ― 4 years ago

BAILARINA, it's called 'free enterprise." Employers hire foreign nationals or unemployed Americans. It's up to them. You don't believe in "free enterprise"?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 13, 2013 at 2:01 p.m. ― 4 years ago

What a surprise. The people with the money are writing the laws. The prison industry disgusts me the most. Lobbying for mandatory custodial sentences for the smallest of offences. It goes hand in hand with the war on drugs, the utter waste of money and destroyer of lives. Everyone knows private prisons are pushing the war on drugs and pushing for ever harsher drug sentences, yet it continues.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 13, 2013 at 4:59 p.m. ― 4 years ago



Of course, there are exceptions when considering very specialized skills or emerging technologies where there are few qualified citizens. If that is the case, obtaining a green card should be a quick and easy to process for both the company and the applicant.

And you're going to have to search for another term than "nativist" as it isn't an insult as you intend.

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Avatar for user 'kerthialfad'

kerthialfad | March 13, 2013 at 6:07 p.m. ― 4 years ago

"" Employers hire foreign nationals or unemployed Americans."

It used to be that a foreign worker could only be hired if a qualified American could not be found. That was abolished by the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act passed October 2000. Today American workers compete head-to-head with foreign workers - in their own country mind you. Thanks Ted kennedy. Thanks Dianne Feinstein.

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Avatar for user 'kerthialfad'

kerthialfad | March 18, 2013 at 10:23 a.m. ― 4 years ago

Re: PS: NUMBERS USA is a discredited neo-Malthusian Nativist group that claims to be "independent" but is in reality far from the truth.

It claims to be bi-partisan. It's not a group that is discredited by me. It may be far from the truth, but they are closer to it than any other immigration group.

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