From today’s Washington Post:
A group of female senators is planning to introduce a proposal Thursday that would ensure that more women would be admitted to the United States under a comprehensive immigration bill, representing an early attempt at leverage by the Senate’s emerging bloc of women.
The lawmakers say pending immigration legislation is unfairly weighted toward male workers because it rewards applicants who are better educated and have more technical skills.
Under their amendment, the female senators propose reserving 30,000 residency cards each year for fields in which women hold most of the jobs, such as nannies, home health-care workers and early childhood educators.
So, “disparate impact” analysis of immigration policy? Incredible.
At least 12 women have signed on to co-sponsor the amendment, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), whom Democrats hope will play a key role in winning more GOP support, aides said. The Senate has a record contingent of 20 women this session, 16 of whom are Democrats.
“Lisa Murkowski” should be a Good Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval for Republicans: If you see her name, vote against it.
“For this immigration bill to institutionalize and set in concrete the unequal opportunities women have in other countries is not the way to go,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who developed the amendment with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), said in an interview. . . . Advocates have said women are at a disadvantage under [a proposed provision skewed toward those with skills] because they face cultural discrimination in their home countries that makes it more difficult for them to gain access to higher education and high-tech training.
Apparently, the purpose of affirmative-action measures is not only to address inequities in the United States but to make up for “unequal opportunities” and “cultural discrimination” in foreign countries, too. Who knew?
On immigration, Hirono and Murray said they are intent on fixing a problem that is being created by the shift, under the Senate legislation, away from extended family members of U.S. citizens in favor of immigrants with higher levels of education and more technical skills.
Except that there would be no such shift toward more-skilled immigration. As the CBO noted, under the bill “a greater number of immigrants with lower skills than with higher skills would be added to the workforce.” In fact, the new “merit-based” immigration category so touted by Schumer-Rubio advocates, would account for less than 10 percent of immigration. And it wouldn’t be all that merit-based in any case: A foreigner with a U.S.-citizen sibling would receive the same number of points toward approval as someone with a master’s degree.
Mee Moua, president of the Asian American Justice Center, said her organization has considered compiling all the immigration amendments that affect women and creating an “omnibus women’s proposal” that female lawmakers could champion.
An “omnibus women’s proposal.” Identity politics leads us to such dead ends.
Here, on the other hand, is something from a woman who knew more about both immigration and overcoming adversity than any of these posers. Barbara Jordan’s U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform had it right nearly 20 years ago:
The Commission recommends the elimination of the admission of unskilled workers. Unless there is another compelling interest, such as in the entry of nuclear families and refugees, it is not in the national interest to admit unskilled workers. This is especially true when the U.S. economy is showing difficulty in absorbing disadvantaged workers and when efforts towards welfare reform indicate that many unskilled Americans will be entering the labor force.
In another report, the Commission made this point, one lost in today’s pork-barrel, grievance-industry immigration debate: “It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.” Not women’s interest or men’s interest. Not the interests of snowboard instructors, real-estate agents, and beach resorts. Not the interests of ethnic chauvinists or community organizers. The national interest.