Immigration? It’s All About $$$$

If you think the objections to President Trump’s temporary travel ban are all about empathy, religious respect and love of freedom, you’re a misguided, naive, unthinking chump.

The Democrats, progressives, media and business people want you to think that to hide their real motives.

Byron York, an excellent reporter at the Washington Examiner, explains:

Why is Washington State mounting such a vigorous challenge to President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending non-American entry from seven terrorism-plagued countries? Of course there are several lawsuits against the president, and there are lots of motives among the various litigants. But Washington State’s is the suit that stopped the order, at least temporarily. And a look at the state’s case suggests that, behind high-minded rhetoric about religious liberty and constitutional protections, there is a lot of money at stake.

Judging by the briefs filed by Washington State, as well as statements made by its representatives, some of the state’s top priorities in challenging Trump are: 1) To ensure an uninterrupted supply of relatively low-wage H-1B foreign workers for Microsoft and other state businesses; 2) To ensure a continuing flow of high-tuition-paying foreign student visa holders; and 3) To preserve the flow of tax revenues that results from those and other sources.

To the first factor, Washington State argued that its residents have suffered from the Trump order, or might suffer in the future, because some of the state’s biggest businesses rely on H-1B visas, which are often used to bring foreign workers to U.S. companies at lower wages than their American counterparts.

“The technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program,” the Washington State lawsuit said. “Microsoft, a corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, is the state’s top employer of high-tech — or H-1B visa holders and employs nearly 5,000 people through the program. Other Washington-based companies, including Amazon, Expedia, and Starbucks, employ thousands of H-1B visa holders.”

“Many of those immigrant workers,” the lawsuit added, “are from Muslim-majority countries.”

That alone is a major financial issue at stake in the state’s argument. Tech companies — many of whom filed amicus briefs supporting Washington State — “want an expansion of the H-1B work visa program because they want to hire cheap, immobile labor — i.e., foreign workers,” wrote University of California Davis computer science professor Norm Matloff in the Huffington Post recently. Trump’s order could threaten that, if only in a relatively small way.

In subsequent filings, Washington State’s lawyers have emphasized the economic damage the state would sustain from any interruption in the flow of lower-wage H-1B visa holders. “Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft depend on skilled immigrants, and the [Trump] order diminished their ability to recruit,” a recent filing said. At a Feb. 3 news conference, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson specifically thanked Amazon and Expedia for their help in the case.

On the second factor, the Washington State lawsuit points to deep concern about the effect the Trump order might have on foreign students at state universities. The order “caused immediate harm to Washington’s public universities, which are state agencies,” the state’s most recent filing said.

International students, it turns out, are a major source of revenue for Washington State. “Only three other states — Massachusetts, New York and Delaware — plus the District of Columbia drew a higher percentage of its college population from overseas,” the Seattle Times reported in November 2014. “Washington’s universities and community colleges have welcomed international students, in part, as a boost to their budgets because they pay as much as three times the tuition that in-state students pay.”

The number of international students at Washington State colleges and universities shot up 74 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the Times. The paper also reported that the amount of money spent by those foreign students has doubled, to $825 million in 2015. Anything that might limit the flow of money, like Trump’s national security action, could threaten that source of revenue.

That seems to be the opinion of Judge James Robart, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington State, who stopped the Trump order nationwide. In a court session last week, after a Justice Department lawyer characterized possible Washington State financial losses as “speculative,” Robart asked: “If I have a student who is admitted to [a state university], who is in a country who is now unable to come to the United States, enroll and pay tuition, is that not a direct financial harm?”

On the third issue, tax revenues, Washington State has not been able to come up with any specific number concerning the money it might lose under the Trump order. Its original lawsuit noted that, “In 2015, travelers from the Middle East spent approximately $96 million in Washington. This spending generated more than $6 million in state tax revenue and more than $2 million in local tax revenue.” Of course, “Middle East” is not at all synonymous with the seven countries affected by the Trump order, so there’s no telling what that actually means. But state officials suggest the loss, or at least prospective loss, is significant.

“We have claimed, very clearly, lost tax revenue,” Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell told Judge Robart in the courtroom. Indeed, the state argued that it is lost money, both in taxes and in direct spending by visitors, that gives Washington standing to challenge the Trump executive order nationally. “There’s no reason why the lost revenue of losing visitors who would come here and spend money should be insufficient to generate standing,” Purcell said.

Much of the public discussion of the Washington State lawsuit has focused on constitutional rights and the debate over whether Trump’s order is a “Muslim ban.” Alleging that the president harbors some sort of animus against Islam, state attorneys have specifically questioned Trump’s motives in enacting the order. But Washington State has motives of its own in pursuing the case. And one of those motives is measured in dollars.

Don’t forget as well that the Left is obsessed with Trump. They want to harm him in any way. The merits of the case don’t really matter, as we will probably see in the 9th Circuit judges’ ruling; it’s hurting Trump that matters more than justice.

Also, note that there is no concern about our country’s security at all. None. The elites figure they’ll be OK no matter what happens. God has interesting ways of disabusing them of this notion I believe.

No one brings up the matter of slavery either. The progressives who spout racism more frequently than Old Faithful does, have no qualms about importing cheap labor. It is a form of slavery, but they don’t care about anything but their profits. So much for human rights.

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