UNITED NATIONS – President Obama has a new vehicle in his drive to unilaterally change America’s immigration laws. And if he has his way, no future Congress will be able to reverse course.
A sweeping international regulatory agreement the administration is pushing to wrap up as soon as next month would place immigration policy beyond the reach of Congress and cement it in binding international law.
The administration is negotiating the agreement, known as the TransPacific Partnership, or TPP, with 11 countries, from Mexico and Canada to Vietnam and Malaysia.
The U.S. trade representative confirms a key feature of the TPP is “labor mobility” – a bureaucratic euphemism for increased immigration and so-called guest workers.
The administration hopes to conclude the mostly secret negotiations on the TPP this spring. It has asked Congress for fast-track trade promotion authority to expedite its enactment and prevent Congress from amending whatever agreement the president negotiates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are cooperating with the Obama administration to move trade promotion authority and the TPP through Congress.
Under the terms of the TransPacific Partnership, U.S. state and national laws must conform to binding, enforceable regulations that Obama has referred to as “rules for the world’s economy.”
The Obama administration has kept details of the TPP agreement under wraps, but the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement concluded by the Obama administration in 2011 provides clues as to what’s in the new pact. The Korea agreement cemented into law a visa waiver program that allows foreign corporations to bring an unlimited number of people into the country for an initial period of up to five years, with unlimited extensions.
One corporate trade association setting out its wish list for the latest deal declares, “The TPP should remove restrictions on nationality or residency requirements for the selection of personnel.”
Labor mobility is a long-held dream of the corporate elite. The Common Core national educational standards that have been controversial in many states also fall in line with the desire for increased mobility of employees, which the elite refer to as “human capital.”
When a worker is moved from one state to another or one country to another, the goal is to have a uniform set of global standards that would allow that worker’s children to be seamlessly moved to a new school district without skipping a beat.
The practice of using foreign workers is well established, and not just in high-tech and agriculture. After Jersey City, New Jersey, police raided a home that was illegally housing Chinese immigrants working for the China Rilin Construction Corp., the workers were taken to the Chinese consulate. The company is tied to the Chinese government and has contributed money to the Clinton Family Foundation.
In a 2012 Cambridge University Press book, “The TransPacific Partnership: A Quest for a 21st Century Trade Agreement,” international law expert Joel Trachtman says “labor mobility is an important frontier” in trade agreements “promising great opportunities for individual migrants” and “great welfare enhancements” for “developing country migrants” who could send money back to their home countries.
Every so-called free trade agreement since the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has included rules governing the movement of workers, with the numbers and types of workers continuing to expand with each new agreement.
The trade pact Canada is negotiating with the European Union would allow corporations to bring in unlimited numbers of contract workers in a broad number of fields including manufacturing and construction. The TransPacific Partnership includes Canada, and the Obama administration is negotiating a parallel agreement with the EU. One could expect those pacts to contain similar provisions as the Canada-EU deal, as they are being written by the same corporate interests and negotiators.
The congressmen backing the TPP are some of the same congressmen pushing for legislation currently sitting in both the Senate and House to more than double the number of H1B guest-worker visas issued annually while allowing nearly unlimited student visas. The House bill is called the SKILLS Visa Act, and the Senate version is called the ISquared bill.
The Wilson Center provides a sense of the numbers in the TPP pact. Its study, “Barriers to Cross-Border Labor Mobility,” says “a global shortage of 42 million skilled workers in the near future will necessitate discussions and progress on the movement of talent across borders around the world.”
“Skilled workers” means high-tech workers. Guest worker visas, including H1B and L1 visas, have been slammed for replacing American tech workers with lower-paid foreign labor, often trained by the Americans they are replacing.
Sen. Hatch, in conjunction with Silicon Valley tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been leading the push for an “immigration reform” that would allow corporations to bring in ever greater numbers of workers from overseas.
Hatch and the chamber are also lead proponents of the TransPacific Partnership. The immigration policies written into trade agreements like the TPP would allow corporations to hire personnel anywhere in the world while preventing Congress from placing numerical limits on the number of worker visas, a major goal of the open border/immigration lobby.
At a congressional hearing Tuesday, globalist interests pushed back against attempts to limit their ability to move workers across borders at will.
The TransPacific Partnership would not only allow the immigration lobby to bypass the legislative process, it would take Obama’s executive amnesty one step further.
By enshrining immigration policy in international diplomatic law, no future Congress would be able to change the policy.