PFIR Plays a Role in Impacting Legislation at the End of 117th Congress

Executive Director's Corner

Dear All:

On Thursday evening House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released a statement announcing H.R. 3684 the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment of 2022 (EAGLE Act of 2022) was essentially dead in the water and would not be voted on by the 117th session of Congress.

At the time of the announcement, I was co-hosting a Twitter spaces group with dozens of activists and planning our response should the bill pass.  Suffice to say we all heaved a collective sigh of relief upon hearing the news. And rightly so.

Since 2011, ethnic lobbying groups and select corporate interests have repeatedly introduced legislation to circumvent employment based green card country caps, a fixture of U.S. immigration law and policy since 1965. Circumventing the country caps would allow people from one country, namely India, to dominate the nation’s employment Green Card system for the next two decades.

Four years ago, the legislative attempt was H.R. 392, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act and in 2019, it was H.R. 1044.  Today, it was the EAGLE Act of 2022. 

All “bad” bills attempting to reform immigration policy and following the same pattern; introduced during a “lame duck” session of Congress, when the House and Senate reconvene after the November election, but before the new Congress begins in January. 

In response to these attempts, in 2018, we launched U.S. Tech Workers. 

Our express purpose was to reform employment visa policy being used to displace American workers and to push back against Congress and their attempts to pass bad bills like the EAGLE Act of 2022 and the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.

Over the years and with the help of the hundreds of activists we’ve cultivated, an amazing group of reporters who’ve worked overtime to warn of these bills’ harm, fearless academics who at critical junctures have provided the data we needed, and sister organizations like FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies – we’ve been successful.

Now, with this recent success under our belts, I would like to think we can go on the offensive and influence policy makers to craft pragmatic and fair legislation that will safeguard American workers for decades to come.  And interestingly and unexpectedly here’s something to support my sunny outlook.  Coming to the rescue to help defeat the EAGLE Act of 2022 were…liberals!

On December 6th, Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Taskforce Chair, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) wrote “I believe we can do better, and I believe we MUST do better. The EAGLE Act is simply not the reform we’ve long hoped for, nor is the change to immigration system we’ve long needed.”

Congresswoman Clarke is correct. For too long predatory agendas have been injected into immigration legislation and policy to displace American workers across all skill levels.

Going forward, immigration must be crafted that puts the needs of Americans first — above new arrivals, above the corporations that want a pipeline of cheap exploitable labor, and certainly above the ethnic lobbies that want to see more of their countrymen employed in the hopes of attaining a greater power base.

The defeat of the EAGLE Act isn’t the only victory we’re celebrating. It was expected legislators would pack all manner of immigration amendments into spending bills such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or budget related omnibus bills.  And the 117th Congress didn’t disappoint.  Fortunately, many of the immigration amendments were repulsed in committee.

In the end, the EAGLE Act of 2022 failed because Congress members knew it lacked sufficient support and it likely wouldn’t have the votes to pass in the Senate, either. So, it has as they say, withered on the vine.

As we look forward to 2023, we have a unique opportunity before us — to educate the 118th Congress on what makes for pragmatic and fair immigration reform.  Let’s make it our new year’s resolution to do just that!

Finally, next week we will be launching our end of year fundraising drive, please give generously and help us continue the good work we began in 2008.

Happy holidays!

Kevin Lynn
Executive Director
Progressives for Immigration Reform

VIDEO: Record Numbers Give Up On Finding Work

The Biden administration needs to work aggressively to both study and counter this alarming trend because the solution is not more immigration.

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