Archive for the “Guest Worker Program” Category

Let’s Stop Welcoming Undocumented Immigrants: A Debate

Moderator: John Hockenberry

Speaking for the motion: Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., Mark Krikorian and Heather Mac Donald

Speaking against the motion: Daniel T. Griswold, Enrique Morones and Karen K. Narasaki

IQ2US marks the launch of Oxford-style debating — one motion, one moderator, three advocates for the motion, three against — in New York City. Each evening begins at 6:00P with a complimentary cocktail period. As you enter the theater before the debate starts at 6:45P, you cast your vote for or against the evening’s motion. Those results are displayed midway through the debate as each side makes its statements. After all six panelists speak, the audience has a chance to ask the speakers questions and vote again. The debate finishes with brief summations from the panelists, the votes are tallied and a winning side is declared.

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Introduction (1 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Heather Mac Donald (2 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Daniel T. Griswold (3 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Vernon M. Briggs (4 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Enrique Morones (5 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Mark Krikorian (6 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Karen K. Narasaki (7 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Q & A, part 1 (8 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Q & A, part 2 (9 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Q & A, part 3 (10 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Closing Remarks (11 of 12)

Undocumented Immigrant Debate: Closing Remarks (12 of 12)

Comments 4 Comments »

Instead of hiring American workers, we have a greedy company hiring foreign workers with H2B visas, and treating them like slaves. This is why these corporations want a “guest worker” program so badly.

Washington Post

Jackson, MI (AP) — Thirty Mexican nationals with visas to work in the U.S. claim police in Pascagoula kidnapped and threatened them with arrest or deportation if they did not return to an employer.

The workers, backed by the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups, said Wednesday that Pascagoula Police Capt. George Tillman threatened to send them to jail if they didn’t return to work for a recruitment company.

The workers plan to file a lawsuit accusing Tillman of ‘kidnapping, kidnapping with intent to enslave, false imprisonment, human trafficking, and violations of the workers’ civil and constitutional rights,’ they said in a news release.

Enrique Garcia, 41, one of the workers, said Tillman told the workers the company ‘owned’ them.

Interim Pascagoula Police Chief Eddie Stewart said in a statement that the allegations were without merit. He said they stemmed from a ‘call for service in which two private contractors were in a dispute over who employed a group of workers.’

Officers handled the situation properly, he said.

‘Our responding officers, with the assistance of Immigration Customs Enforcement, explained to both the private contractors and the workers their options,’ Stewart said.

Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Brice Wiggins said Wednesday his ‘office has not received a complaint or allegation on the matter.’

The workers said they received H2B temporary visas to work for Southwest Shipyards in Channelview, Texas, but left the company because they were paid less than they were promised and working conditions were poor.

Under terms of their visas, the workers were permitted only to work for the company that sponsored them. A message seeking comment left after hours Wednesday with Southwest Shipyards was not immediately returned.

The workers said they were promised jobs by a labor recruiting company but that after six days of waiting in cramped mobile homes the company had put them up in, they left for Pascagoula Miss., where they found work repairing ships.

The workers said an official from the labor recruiting company tracked them down and showed up with Tillman and at least two other officers on Aug. 2. They said Tillman told them the recruiting company owned them and that could be jailed if they didn’t return to work.

Garcia said the workers were not searched, handcuffed or detained by the officers, but that the way they were handled merits their kidnapping claim.

‘Capt. Tillman told us that we had two options: that either we go back to work … or be detained,’ he said.

Patricia Ice, an attorney for the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, acknowledged that the men were in violation of their visa agreement by leaving the original employer. But the company had violated agreements with the workers, she said.

The workers, all from Veracruz, Mexico, said they paid a recruiter between $1,500 and $2,000 to come to the U.S., expecting to make $16.50 an hour. Instead, they said Southwest Shipyards paid them $14 an hour, of which they only kept $12 an hour after transportation and living expenses were deducted.

With outside help, the workers escaped to New Orleans, where they have been living without work or money, according to The (South Mississippi) Sun Herald.

Comments 6 Comments »

“But Mr. Bush yesterday continued to tie border security to plans for a temporary worker program and legalizing the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already in the country and giving them a path to citizenship.”

Bush: Americans will realize need for aliens
Washington Times
July 20, 2007

President Bush yesterday said Americans will soon realize they need the immigrants and foreign temporary workers that would have been allowed by his immigration bill, which was defeated in the Senate last month.

Mr. Bush, in a town hall session in Nashville, Tenn., also refused to say whether he will pardon two U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a fleeing drug-smuggling suspect, saying the prosecutor was a friend of his who made his case to the jury that convicted the agents.

If Mr. Bush was hoping the immigration issue would disappear after his bill’s failure, those hopes were dashed, as he was asked repeatedly about border security during the forum â?? meant to highlight his commitment to cutting the deficit.

“The bill failed and I can’t make a prediction to you at this point, sir, where it’s going to head,” the president told one questioner. “I can make you a prediction, though, that pretty shortly people are going to be knocking on people’s doors saying, man, we’re running out of workers.”

Mr. Bush said there are workers who will do jobs Americans aren’t doing in the agriculture sector in particular, and without them the jobs will go unfilled.

Lawmakers in Congress say they accept defeat of a broad bill and are instead turning to piecemeal efforts, such as in-state tuition for illegal-alien college students, an agriculture worker program and enhanced law enforcement.

Even Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and Mr. Bush’s partner in pressing for a broad bill over the last few years, said in an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio last week that it’s time to look at a piece-by-piece approach.

But Mr. Bush yesterday continued to tie border security to plans for a temporary worker program and legalizing the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already in the country and giving them a path to citizenship……

To read entire article click here.

Comments 25 Comments »

Legalization, Not Guest Worker Programs, is the Solution
The New Challenges Facing the Immigrant Rights Movement
Counterpunch
July 6, 2007

THE U.S. Senate and the Bush administration failed in their effort to revive an immigration proposal, which, among other things, would have separated families, heightened worker exploitation by creating a “guest-worker” program, further militarized the U.S.-Mexico border, and provided no realistic path to residency for the vast majority of undocumented people now living in the U.S.

Like most “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals in the past couple of years, this bill would have led to more suffering and death, and was nothing short of a human rights abomination.

Despite this terrible reality, however, millions of undocumented immigrants supported the bipartisan immigration proposal–because “something seemed better than nothing.” The bill’s defeat was mostly engineered by the most anti-immigrant lawmakers in Congress–another reason why many people saw the outcome as a setback for immigrant rights.

Nationally syndicated and hugely popular morning radio talk show host Eddy “Piolín” Sotelo, who was a major supporter of the 2006 May Day marches, collected 1 million pro-reform postcards and organized a caravan to Washington, D.C., to personally lobby for the bill.

The bill’s failure will surely lead many people to feel betrayed and fear that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will now unleash a new round of raids designed to terrorize their families.

Even as we clarify why we opposed the bill and why we now believe we have the chance to fight for much better legislation in the coming months and years, we have to keep in mind that many people will be bitterly disappointed by the bill’s failure. Therefore, we have to explain how to move ahead.

* * *

WHY HAS it been so difficult for the immigrant rights struggle to push for a just legalization, or amnesty, law? What must we do to build a powerful and radical movement?

Part of the reason why immigrant rights activists have failed in holding the U.S. government accountable is because we are facing tremendous challenges.

First, the intense level of state-sponsored terror against immigrant communities has made it difficult to organize in those communities. Since early this year, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE have harassed, arrested, detained and deported over 20,000 migrants under “Operation Return to Sender.”

Throughout the country, in cities and small towns, hundreds of workers are rounded up at their worksites and deported, as they were recently at an Oregon Del Monte plant. Uniformed ICE agents use Gestapo-type tactics to force their way into people’s homes without warrants.

Parents in Redwood City, Calif., were picked up as they dropped their children off at school. And people who “looked immigrant” were randomly questioned by ICE on the street in San Francisco.

Immigrants express a high level of terror–so much so that mothers fear taking their children to school, families fear going to local health clinics and everyone is afraid to deal with police. Organizers have had to combat this climate of fear, and believe recent raids and enforcement activities are responsible in part for the decline in participation since last year’s mass marches.

A second challenge involves the way that migration has been characterized as a “criminal” or “illegal” issue, not as a consequence of global economic policies promoted by U.S. corporate interests.

“Illegal immigrants break the law to get here, so they have no right to be here,” say the racist, anti-immigrant forces, as well as moderate and even liberal voices in this country. Criminality and illegality are therefore addressed with punitive policies, including border and inland enforcement, employer sanctions and denial of benefits and services.

Such punitive measures have never deterred people from migrating to the U.S., but they do cause intense suffering, separation of families, job exploitation and deaths. Migrants are so desperate for economic survival that they are willing to endure these hardships.

Migrants to the U.S. are not criminals at all, but rather economic refugees of U.S. policies, including free trade agreements that displace thousands of workers and farmers.

For example, the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) ended subsidies on agricultural products in Mexico and Central America. This meant that corn grown by indigenous farmers without subsidies had to compete in their own countries’ market with corn from huge U.S. producers, subsidized by the U.S. farm bill.

Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 jobs in the countryside, and 700,000 in the cities. After the treaty was implemented, 6 million Mexicans came to live in the United States.

Immigrant rights opponents conveniently characterize migration as a criminal issue in order to justify the dehumanization of the immigrant community, and the political mainstream adopted this characterization, which makes immigrant rights organizing much more challenging.

The truth is that immigrants are forced to uproot themselves from their homelands and their loved ones because U.S. economic policies make it extremely difficult for them to feed their families.

A third challenge facing the immigrant rights movement is that corporate interests are fighting ferociously for “reform” legislation, including a new and expansive guest-worker program.

In his writings, labor journalist David Bacon describes how companies like Oracle and Microsoft hoped to revive the most recent Senate bill, which contained provisions for a massive guest-worker program.

Such a program, explains Bacon, treats immigrants only as a reserve of cheap labor. It sets up contract labor programs, allowing employers to recruit migrants, who must remain employed or else be deported.

In exchange for the promise of legalization, the Senate bill required undocumented workers to spend more than a decade as contract workers with few rights and an incentive to remain silent about exploitative working conditions. It has been an uphill battle fighting for just legalization in this context.

* * *

SO IN view of these challenges, what do we do to build a viable movement that has the power to push for real changes? The following are a few ideas:

– We need to bring organized labor fully on board. While the AFL-CIO and many unions came out in opposition to Congress’ immigration proposals, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) supported almost all of them, even when they contained guest-worker programs and other anti-immigrant provisions.

Unions like the SEIU must disassociate themselves from the coalition of Washington lobby groups, large employers and conservative think tanks that are promoting new temporary worker programs. They must follow the lead of immigrant rank-and-file members, and support proposals that don’t betray the interests of workers or the workers’ rights movement.

– We must support grassroots immigrant organizing and leadership much more aggressively.

An overwhelming number of grassroots and membership immigrant rights organizations came out against the current immigration proposal. People on the ground are conscious that negotiating away major rights while gaining little is not an option.

We should work with these groups so that their message and their power are brought forward. Otherwise, we’re stuck with the approach of the immigration proposals’ proponents, including a network of lobbyists referred to in the press as “immigration advocates.” These groups, including the National Immigration Forum and National Council of La Raza, have all along supported a legalization/enforcement/guest-worker program tradeoff, and have sold out the majority of the immigrant community.

As organizers, we must focus less on meaningless negotiations, and more on building power and leadership among those impacted–namely undocumented immigrants.

– We must build multiracial unity. Immigrants, people of color, the poor and oppressed people in this country continue to bear the burden of attacks, criminalization and scapegoating.

Latino and Asian immigrants, African Americans, homeless groups, LGBT and others are successfully working together and forging alliances. For example, in the Bay Area, a group of African American organizers formed a group called Black Americans for Just Immigration (BAJI), which works with various immigrant rights organizations to make the connections of oppression more explicit for people.

Immigrant and African American organizers in San Francisco have worked together to make connections between the deportation of Latinos and the displacement of African Americans from their neighborhoods due to gentrification.

–We must define migration as an issue of human rights and workers’ rights. Migration and immigration cannot be adequately discussed or dealt with unless we address it in terms of economic injustice.

Therefore, we must address the underlying causes of people’s desperation, which causes them to migrate to the U.S.: global economic policies and trade agreements. A major demand of our movement should be that the U.S. government repeals NAFTA.

–We need to combat anti-immigrant scapegoating by exposing how the U.S. capitalist system is causing economic and social insecurities in this country, not migrants.

We know that undocumented immigrants do not cause joblessness; corporate downsizing, corporate outsourcing and an economy based more and more on prioritizing the military-industrial complex do. We know that undocumented immigrants do not cause crime and instability in this country; poverty, tax breaks for the rich and the de-prioritization of investing resources in human needs do.

Let us be on the offensive when it comes to putting the current situation in perspective–so that immigrant bashing can no longer be used.

–We must continue to fight for legalization as the solution, not guest-worker programs. Temporary-worker programs are inherently exploitative, and they weaken the labor and workers’ rights movements. They only benefit the bosses who want a constant source of cheap, exploitable labor.

Instead, we should support immigration proposals that strengthen family unification, protect workers’ rights and make residency easy to obtain.

Despite the many challenges currently facing the immigrant rights movement, our community is courageous and creative. We will continue to struggle until we achieve amnesty and justice for all.

RENEE SAUCEDO is an attorney and organizer with La Raza Centro Legal and the San Francisco Day Labor Program.

TODD CHRETIEN is the 2006 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from California.

Comments 13 Comments »

Poll: California has immigration jitters
Central Valley Business Times
June 29, 2007

When it comes to Californiansâ?? public policy priorities, immigration is leaving other issues in the proverbial dust, according to a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research organization.

Although California residents support some of the federal proposals for immigration reform, they have little faith that the Republican president and Democratic-led Congress can work together effectively in the coming year, the survey says.

And they feel the same way about the â??post-partisanâ? circumstances in Sacramento.

Immigration tops just about everyoneâ??s list of the most important issues facing California today, the poll says. This holds true across regions, political parties, racial and ethnic groups, and gender.

One-quarter (25 percent) of all residents name immigration/illegal immigration as the stateâ??s most pressing issue. The economy (11 percent) and health care (8 percent) lag behind, a distant second and third. Results are almost identical for likely voters (27 percent immigration, 11 percent health care, 9 percent economy).

Although Republicans (39 percent) are far more likely than Democrats (15 percent) and much more likely than independents (25 percent) to call immigration the stateâ??s most important issue, it still holds first place across parties. It is also the most important issue among Latinos (23 percent), whites (28 percent), men (26 percent), and women (24 percent).

â??Considering how much more leeway the state has to address the stateâ??s pressing health care, education, and budget problems, this pervasive fixation on immigration is troubling,â? says PPIC president and statewide survey director Mark Baldassare. â??State leaders cannot make immigration policy, but they will continue to feel the fallout of voter discontent over its effects.â?

And, as he notes, Californians have identified immigration as their most important issue in every PPIC survey since April of 2006.

There are also partisan differences in support for another proposed reformâ??temporary guest worker programs. Seven in 10 Republicans (71 percent) support the idea of allowing foreigners to be employed as guest workers in the United States, and then requiring them to return home, compared to 64 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents. About two-thirds of all adults (63 percent) and likely voters (67 percent) favor this kind of guest worker program.

However, Californians are more divided over another element in the Senate billâ??who should be given priority in being admitted to the country. About half of residents (49 percent) think priority should be given to immigrants with job skills and education, while 35 percent choose family ties in the United States as the most important criterion (9 percent say it depends and 7 percent donâ??t know). Among likely voters, preference for skills and education reaches a majority (56 percent), while fewer (30 percent) favor family status.

Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed June 12-19. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2 percent.

To read entire article click here.

Comments 6 Comments »

(Local) City law firm’s immigration video sparks an Internet firestorm
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
June 22, 2007

……Yesterday, Cohen & Grigsby put out a statement that while the firm stands by the substance of the seminar, “we regret the choice of words that was used during a small segment of the seminar. It is unfortunate that these statements have been commandeered and misused, which runs contrary to our intent.”…….

Cohen & Grigsby, one of Pittsburgh’s top 10 largest law firms, had found itself embroiled in the 24-hour news cycle fueled by cable news and the blogosphere. And it was about to get worse…….

But the issue is slightly more complicated than it is being portrayed on the Internet, said Crystal Williams, deputy director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, D.C.

When companies apply for a green card for a worker, she said, it’s often for somebody that they already have brought over on a temporary visa and is working at the company. But in order to fill the green card requirement that there are no qualified American candidates, the company needs to redo the job search — even though they already have somebody working in that position.

“It sounded a lot worse than it is,” said Ms. Williams. “They were talking about the electronic labor certification and that is a program that is very formalized. By its very nature, it’s a little bit twisted.”……

Those particular sections of the video “sounded bad,” Ms. Williams said. “I don’t know that they are common practice.”

Advertising positions in places where a company would not find job applicants, she said, is “kind of the opposite” of the correct process.

But the real problem, said Ms. Williams, is the immigration process itself.

“Nobody’s happy with it — that’s about the one consensus we can get, and that includes the Department of Labor,” she said. “That being said, no one’s been able to come up with a better one.”

lebowitz

Traitor Lawrence M. Lebowitz, Vice President of Marketing, Cohen & Grigsby.
412.297.4979
llebowitz@cohenlaw.com

Comments 9 Comments »

Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) seems to be changing the schedule several times a day now, but â?¦.

STEP 1: THE START-DEBATE CLOTURE

All of our Senate sources and most on-the-Hill news sources say they do not believe the first amnesty vote will be until next week. That would be the vote on cloture that would allow the Kennedy/Bush amnesty bill back on the floor for debate.

The most common expectation is that the first cloture vote wonâ??t happen until Tuesday.

Sen. Reid, however, is still holding out a remote possibility of having the first cloture vote tomorrow night (Friday) after 7 p.m.

So, if we are to keep any other votes from happening and kill the bill in the first vote, all of us have to give everything weâ??ve got through Friday at 5 p.m. (after that, no phones will be answered until Monday morning).

To win, the following must add up to 41:
# Senators voting NO
# Senators voting PRESENT
# Senators who do not show up to vote
# Senate seats that are vacant (presently one seat in Wyoming)

In other words, if you can persuade a Senator to leave town to attend a fundraiser or go visit a sick relative in order to avoid having to take sides, that is the same as persuading the Senator to vote NO on amnesty. For example, Sen. Brownback (R-Kan.) is a long-time amnesty champion who is being hammered on the presidential campaign trail. He managed to miss the cloture vote two weeks ago. The effect was the same as his voting NO.

A lot of your Senators who voted NO on cloture two weeks ago are preparing to vote YES on this first cloture because the pro-amnesty leaders have bought their vote in exchange for them getting one of their favorite amendments on the floor for a vote.

Other than our anti-amnesty champions Senators Byrd (D-W.Va.), Dorgan (D-N.D.), Sessions (R-Ala.), Vitter (R-La.), DeMint (R-S.C.), and the Oklahoma Republicans Inhofe and Coburn, you should not count on anybody being guaranteed to vote NO on this first cloture.

Step 2: DEBATE AND VOTES ON NEW AMENDMENTS

If we lose the first cloture vote, debate will begin on around two dozen amendments, perhaps on Wednesday, more likely on Thursday.

We will continue to describe those amendments to you and tell you our position at the bottom of our Senate Vote Day Page. You can also always reach that page from a link on our Home page.

But we arenâ??t all that interested in the amendments because even if all the ones we favor were to pass, the bill would still be a disaster for America.

That is the argument you must make to your Senators in urging them to forget the amendments and stop the bill from reaching the floor at all by voting NO on the first cloture.

If some of the good amendments pass, it might cause a Senator who is leaning NO to change to YES. But it might also cause a Senator on the other side to decide the bill is no longer open borders enough and end up voting NO. Overall, though, the amendments process is a dangerous one for us.

Do not allow any Senate staffer to get by with saying â??the Senator will vote NO on the bill.â? We need a pledge to vote NO on â??the first cloture vote that would START debate.â?

Step 3: THE STOP-DEBATE CLOTURE

The most likely scenario at this moment is that sometime next Friday or Saturday the amendment process will be brought to a halt by Sen. Reid.

He will try to stop debate and force a final vote on the bill. He will have to get 60 YES votes to do so.

We have an even better chance on this cloture than the first one.

Step 4: FINAL VOTE

If we lose both the cloture votes â?? and also any possible point of order votes that also could stop the bill â?? the amnesty bill will come up for a final vote.

While the other side has to get 60 votes to win on cloture, it only has to get 50 votes to win on final vote.

I donâ??t want to be a pessimist, but I feel fairly certain that if we get to the final vote, we will lose.

That is why you must talk cloture, cloture, cloture with your Senators.

That is also why what sounds like really great sounding news this afternoon from Senate Republican Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) may not mean much.

As you may know, McConnell and Sen. Lott (R-Miss.) are the ones who revived the amnesty bill last week by twisting enough Republican NO arms to believe they were close to having enough votes to pass the first cloture.

They are doing this for the Republican White House, as well as for the huge corporate donors to the Republican Party.

But McConnell is up for re-election next year. And Kentucky voters have been hammering his offices about his pro-amnesty work.

Today, he indicated to reporters that he is not at all sure he will be able to vote for the final bill unless a lot of things are changed. One of our lobbyists says it looks like a strategy for him to vote NO on the final vote to tell Kentucky voters he was with THEM, but he may very well vote YES on all the cloture votes to help the bill keep moving for Pres. Bush and the corporate lobbies. The point is that the only NO vote that actually is likely to help us defeat amnesty is on the cloture votes.

So, whether you are in Kentucky or anywhere else, let Senate staffers know that you will not be deceived by that kind of behavior.

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Lawmakers Request Investigation Into YouTube Video

Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Lamar Smith ask the Labor Department to look into a video they say documents H-1B abuse by companies.
Information Week
June 21, 2007

Click here to read Letters from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.)

Sen, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, both proponents of immigration reform, requested Thursday that the U.S. Department of Labor investigate a law firm that published a YouTube video showing attorneys advising clients on how to avoid hiring U.S. workers.

InformationWeek obtained a copy of a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, dated Thursday, about video from a May 15 seminar on immigration law posted by the firm of Cohen & Grigsby. The video exposes “the blatant disregard for American workers and deliberate attempt to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the H-1B program. … We seek your assistance in this particular case by reviewing the video and investigating the law firm’s unethical procedures and advice to clients,” the lawmakers write.

The letter also cites concern over how much effort Chao’s department has put forth in monitoring fraud of the H-1B visa program. Details requested included amount of money earmarked for fraud monitoring, how much has been used, how the remaining amount will be spent, the number of complaints about the H-1B program received, and how many investigations into these complaints have been open and closed.

In a separate letter to Cohen & Grigsby, the politicians thank the law firm for providing video that documents abuse of loopholes in immigration law. They request that the firm provide them with the number of H-1B visa holders who have been petitioned for or hired by the firm in the past five years and add that they would “also appreciate knowing” the number and names of clients assisted by the firm in bringing in H-1B workers.

While the lawmakers write extensively about H-1B visa abuse and fraud in their letters, the Grigsby & Cohen video was about expediting the labor certification process for getting a green card for a permanent job. The labor certification process isn’t required for H-1B visas. However, some employers start the labor certification process toward green cards for foreign nationals while they’re working here on H-1B visas……

To read entire article click here.

lebowitz
Traitor Lawrence M. Lebowitz, Vice President of Marketing, Cohen & Grigsby.
412.297.4979
llebowitz@cohenlaw.com

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Lou Dobbs: Corrupting Existing Guest Worker Loopholes
6-19-07


Previous post: Law Firm Teaches How Not To Hire Americans

Comments 4 Comments »

Analysis: Majority oppose immigration bill
United Press International
June 21, 2007

A majority of Americans oppose the immigration reform bill currently being considered by the Senate, and they have an overwhelmingly poor opinion of the way President Bush and the U.S. Congress have handled the issue.

A Zogby Interactive poll of 8,300 representative adults nationwide found only 38 percent supported the bill currently being considered by the Senate, while 56 percent opposed it.

The news comes as the bill returns to the Senate floor, facing a series of contentious amendments.

The poll, commissioned by United Press International and carried out earlier this week, showed that opponents of the reform package appeared to have won the battle to define it: 65 percent of respondents agreed that “this bill represents amnesty for illegal immigrants.”

Though most said they opposed the bill, there was a majority for one of its key reforms.

Sixty-one percent backed a temporary guest worker program, where workers would return to their home countries after a fixed period of time.

But only a minority, 44 percent to 48 percent, favored some form of legalization as the best way to deal with the estimated 12 million people living in the United States illegally.

Americans rated immigration the second most important issue facing the country after the war in Iraq, and just ahead of healthcare, according to the poll.

They believe the current U.S. immigration system is broken.

Nearly three-quarters, 73 percent, agreed it was in need of major reform, while 24 percent said it required only minor or no reform.

But just 3 percent of Americans approved of Congress’s handling of the immigration issue and only 9 percent approved of the president’s.

Nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, wanted their representatives in Congress to support a more restrictive immigration regime, whereas only 26 percent wished they backed more open rules.

Democrats narrowly favored less restrictive immigration rules, by 48 percent to 36 percent, compared with Republican respondents, who backed tighter rules 88 percent to 7 percent. Independents tilted slightly more than the general population toward tougher rules, 67 percent to 23 percent.

An even larger majority of respondents, 69 percent, believed that state and local authorities should be required to assist in enforcing U.S. immigration laws, something many currently resist doing, saying they have insufficient resources or that it will negatively impact their relationships with local immigrant communities.

Even Democrats backed such a requirement, 52 percent to 39 percent, and Independents did 72 percent to 25 percent……

The Zogby poll, conducted over the Internet June 15-18, surveyed 8,300 U.S. adults. The results were weighted to make the sample nationally representative, and the results have a margin of error of +/- 1.1 percent.

To read entire article click here.

Comments 4 Comments »

A â??YESâ? vote on cloture was equivalent to a vote for amnesty.


(June 26) By a 64-35 margin, the Senate voted to bring S. 1639, the â??corrected and updatedâ? version of S. 1348, to the floor. On this matter, a senatorâ??s â??YESâ? vote on cloture was equivalent to a vote for amnesty.

Although approximately two dozen amendments may now be considered, NumbersUSA believes there are no circumstances under which the â??compromiseâ? could be improved enough to be worthy of support. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and others have made it clear that any provisions in the final bill with which they disagree will simply be stripped out during conference committee negotiations anyhow; in other words, just as this bill began in closed-door meetings, it will end in closed-door meetings.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to use a little-known procedural tool to stifle debate and limit amendments. This method â?? called a â??clay pigeonâ? â?? was created as a way to protect the minority partyâ??s rights, but is being abused by the majority to ram the bill through. As such, neither NumbersUSA nor Americans for Better Immigration will be grading any amendments offered during the post-cloture period (see below).

CLICK HERE to visit the Senate Vote Day Action Center for more information on the “compromise” bill, S. 1639 (formerly S. 1348).

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Click here to look at the entire bill S.1639 (introduced 6/18/2007)

Just in (6/26/07) the the 373-page â??Clay Pigeonâ? amendment. HERE IT IS.
While I wait for my printer to churn out this piece of clay pigeon poop, let me reiterate just how crummy this process is. The Grand Schemers drop this thing in on a Tuesday evening and expect theyâ??ll be ramming it throughâ??in as little as 48 hoursâ??on Thursday or Friday with severely limited debate again.

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â?¢ June 26, 2007 Cloture Succeeds: Where Do We Go From Here?
â?¢ June 26, 2007 Seven Senators Who Could Stop Amnesty Today
â?¢ June 25, 2007 Kudos To Cornyn On The Senate Floor Today
â?¢ June 25, 2007 Bull Sh*t Press Briefing On Amnesty
â?¢ June 23, 2007 Bush Pushes Amnesty Bill On Radio
â?¢ June 22, 2007 NumbersUSA: Amnesty And The Next 10 Days.
â?¢ June 21, 2007 Zogby Poll: 65% â??this bill represents amnesty”
â?¢ June 20, 2007 Democrat poll finds tepid support for Amnesty
â?¢ June 19, 2007 Amnesty Bill Critics Get Thrown Some Bones
â?¢ June 19, 2007 Reid Threatens Rare â??Clay Pigeonâ? Tactic
â?¢ June 17, 2007 GOP leader: Immigration bill’s future still uncertain

****Start Calling Now****

List of Republican State Chairmen, All Senators for Every State, and lots of other great contact info including faxes and e-mail addresses CLICK HERE.

You Will Be Asked for Your City and Zip Code.
Select Your State GOP Chairman, Senator, City and Zip Code Before You Call.
If you call a district office make sure your city is close by in the region.
FIND the DISTRICT OFFICE BY CLICKING HERE.

You can contact any of these Senators’ D.C. offices
by calling the toll-free switchboard at 1-866-340-9281

TIP: Don’t give speeches. Be EXTREMELY short, firm and polite.
Say it in your own words: “I’m a voter and I’ll be voting in November 2008″
I WANT BORDER SECURITY NOW - NO AMNESTY, NO GUEST WORKER SCHEMES.
If “corrected” by staff that this bill is not “amnesty” say
that you are a voter and that if you say it is amnesty, then IT IS AMNESTY!

Republican National Committee | 310 First Street, SE | Washington, D.C. 20003
p: 202.863.8500 | f: 202.863.8820 | e: info@gop.com
Mel Martinez, Chairman

Email Congress Staff Directly.
http://www.OutsourceCongress.org/

Another way to e-mail is through each Senator’s/Congressman’s staff including Chief of Staff.

Itâ??s very easy!

In 3 clicks youâ??ll be typing(or pasting:) your message to EVERY staffer of a Rep or Senator.
Some bounce because staffers quit, etc. but most are good. 15K is about 30 per Senator/Rep.

Comments 47 Comments »

Post Mortem: Democrat Says Defeat of S1348 Emphasizes Need to Promote Real Immigration Reform Principles
VDARE.com
June 10, 2007

True patriotic immigration reform must adhere to this set of immutable principles:

First Principle: Cut the Numbers

Any level of illegal immigration is unacceptable. Current legal immigrant admissions of about one million persons each year are entirely too many. Any measure that increases either illegal or legal immigration violates this principle. Immigration is a discretionary public policy. Its primary purpose, since our founding, is to advance the interests and security of the nation.

Second Principle: No Amnesty or Mass Guest-Worker Program

The 1986 amnesty was a failure. Rather than reducing illegal immigration, it led to an increase. Any new amnesty measure will further weaken respect for our immigration law. Therefore, all amnesty measures must be defeated. Laws against illegal immigration must be enforced to act as a deterrent. Redefining illegal aliens as “guest-workers” or anything else is just that: a redefinition that attempts to hide the fact that it is an amnesty, not reform.

Third Principle: Protect Wages and Standards of Living

Immigration policy should not be permitted to undermine opportunities for America’s poor and vulnerable citizens to improve their working conditions and wages. The need for guest workers must be determined by objective indicators that a shortage of workers exists, i.e., extreme wage inflation in a particular sector of the labor market. The current system accepts self-serving attestations of employers who seek lower labor costs as protections of American workers. True reform requires an objective test of labor shortage.

Fourth Principle: Major Upgrade in Interior Enforcement, Led by Strong Employer Sanctions

Employers who knowingly employ unauthorized workers are the magnet that attracts illegal entry into the U.S. These employers are complicit in the illegal alien cartel activity of smuggling, trafficking, harboring, and employing and must be punished. These punishments should be fines, jailing for repeat offenders, and loss of corporate charters. Employers who knowingly or unknowingly employ illegal workers must be broken of their addiction. No U.S. industry has jobs categories in which there are a majority of non-American workers. If illegal workers are decreased over time, wages offered will rise to attract back more American workers. Real shortages, as noted above, can be met with short-term temporary foreign workers. The Basic Pilot Employment Verification program must be made mandatory and at no extra cost to employers. Effective immigration enforcement on the border and the interior of the country requires that staffing, equipment, detention facilities, and removal capabilities be adequate to fully meet current needs. The measures needed to identify and remove illegal aliens will also remove the ability of potential terrorists to operate freely in our country as they plot the next catastrophic attack on our people.

Fifth Principle: Stop Special Interest Asylum Abuse

Reforming the refugee and asylum system means returning to the original purpose and definition of the program: “any person who… is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion….” I believe that America must honor its responsibilities to protect people who are fleeing true political persecution as defined by U.S. and international law. But efforts to expand those definitions to include all forms of “social persecution” invite massive fraud and endanger the security of this nation. Similarly, treating aliens illegally residing in the country the same as foreigners on legal visitor visas for purposes of the Temporary Protected Status designation is illogical and a form of amnesty that must be ended.

Sixth Principle: Immigration Time Out

We must restore moderation to legal immigration. Beginning with the recommendations of the Jordan Commission in 1995, we need to restrict immigration to the minimum consistent with stabilizing the U.S. population. Overall immigration must be reduced to balance out-migration, i.e., about 300,000 per year while still permitting nuclear family reunification and a narrowly focused refugee resettlement program. A moratorium on all other immigration should be immediately adopted pending true comprehensive immigration reform. We should abolish the extended family preferences.

Seventh Principle: Equal Under the Law

There should be no favoritism toward or discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, or nationality. All admission of immigrants should come within a single, stable ceiling which is periodically reviewed on the basis of a reasoned, explicit goal of achieving population stability. We should abolish special preferences such as the Cuban Adjustment Act……
To read entire article click here

Comments 5 Comments »


Eight of the “Gang Of Twelve”

â?¢ Constituents expressing intense anger over immigration bill at GOP senators
â?¢ Nearly half of voters who oppose immigration plan view it as extremely important
â?¢ Those who support immigration reform not demanding that Congress act

Anger over immigration plan surprises GOP senators
CNN
May 29, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In his speech Tuesday on immigration reform, President Bush was trying to provide political cover for members of Congress to support the legislation. That could be tough.

Republicans are getting an earful on immigration. “I have learned some new words from some of my constituents,” Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, said.

The angry response comes as a shock. “The level of intensity and volume is, I think, surprising,” CNN contributor and radio talk show host Bill Bennett said. “We’ve talked to a number of Republican senators, and they confessed to being surprised by the reaction.”

There’s a big difference in intensity. Among those who favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, 28 percent say the issue is extremely important to them, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Those who oppose a path to citizenship feel much more strongly about the issue. Forty-seven percent say it’s extremely important.

The poll, conducted May 4-6, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

President Bush said the legislation puts enforcement first. “If you’re serious about securing our borders, it makes sense to support legislation that makes enforcement our highest priority,” Bush said Tuesday.

Conservative critics responded with a scathing indictment. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “The folks out there in America who, when they see Washington saying we have this wonderful plan, they say ‘Yeah right. We saw what you did with Katrina, we saw what you did with corruption, we saw what you have done in terms of managing the war. So when you tell us you fixed immigration, we are not buying.’ ”

President Bush used equally harsh language to assail his critics. “If you want to kill the bill, if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people,” Bush said.

But critics of the legislation are not frightened. They’re angry.

You don’t see as much intensity among supporters of the legislation. “People have begun to realize that the bill is not quite as bad as those who said it was before they had read it,” Kyl observed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, put it this way: “Our product is better than those who want to do nothing.”

Those who favor the legislation are not demanding that Congress act, or else. Those who oppose it are threatening retaliation.

Which is why President Bush felt he had to say: “It takes a lot of courage in the face of some of the criticism in the political world to do what’s right, not what’s comfortable.”

President Bush may not be in a position to offer much by way of political cover. When he spoke at the event in Georgia, only one Georgia lawmaker — Sen. Saxby Chambliss — appeared on the platform with him.

Comments 13 Comments »

Immigration Watchdog members,

Listed below are 28 problems with the new immigration bill. 28 reasons that make the bill a deal breaker. Many MSM journalists will never bring these to the publics attention. Why? Because they want a bill, even a bad bill passed. Since they don’t want this info disseminated, I will do it for them.

This incomplete list I’ve compiled comes from various news articles published since the bill was made public on Monday, May 21. These many “issues” with the bill make it a disaster for America. Therefore it should NEVER pass in it’s present form for the sake of our security, economy, and quality of life. No bill is better then a bad bill.

If you find any more issues with the bill, that I have not listed, feel free to post them in comments and I will add them to the growing list. Please include your source. Feel free to copy this list and send it to who ever you think needs a fast education on the subject. GuardDog

THE LIST

1. Security doesn’t come first in this bill. This bill would immediately legalize illegal aliens that are currently in the country. The only way Congress will actually see to it that the border security and enforcement provisions in the bill will be implemented is if they have to do them before they even consider an amnesty for the people who are here.

2. Illegal aliens won’t have to pay back taxes â?? where do we get the same deal? The whole idea that illegal aliens shouldn’t have to pay the taxes they already owe for working in the United States is utterly and completely offensive because it actually gives them a privilege that American citizens aren’t getting: forgiveness for taxes owed to the IRS.

3. If passed, this bill will make taxpayers pay the legal bills for illegal aliens seeking amnesty. Tucked away on page 317 is a provision that would allow lawyers in the federally-funded legal services program to represent illegal aliens, which they are presently barred from doing.

4. This bill rewards illegal aliens for breaking our laws. There are tens of millions of people who respect our laws and our country, waiting patiently, in line, often in their home countries, to get a chance to come here. Under this bill, illegal aliens will immediately be eligible for a “Z Visa” which allows them to work, go to school, and — this is important — stay here for the rest of their lives if they so choose because there is no limit on the number of times it can be renewed.

5. The bill gives the government only one business day to conduct a background check to determine whether an applicant is a criminal or a terrorist. It is impossible, of course, to determine in a single day whether someone is a terrorist or a criminal.

6. In the bill Section 601(g)(2), illegal-alien gang members would be eligible for amnesty merely by signing a â??renunciation of gang affiliation.â?

7. Gang-bangers and other criminals, who have been ordered to leave the United States by an immigration judge but defy the ruling, are called absconders. Section 601(d)(1)(I) permits U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to grant an absconder a Z visa anyway if he can show that being forced to leave the United States â??would result in extreme hardshipâ? to the alien, his spouse, parent or child.

8. The bill effectively shuts down our immigration-court system. If an alien in the removal process is eligible for the Z visa, the immigration judge must close the proceedings and offer the alien the chance to apply for the amnesty.

9. If ICE officials apprehend an alien who appears eligible for the Z visa (in other words, just about any illegal alien), they canâ??t detain him. Instead, ICE must help him apply for the Z visa.

Rather than initiating removal proceedings, ICE will be initiating amnesty applications. Itâ??s like turning the Drug Enforcement Agency into a needle-distribution network.

10. To qualify for the Z-visa amnesty, an illegal alien need only have a job (or be the parent, spouse, or child of someone with a job) and come up with a scrap of paper suggesting he was in the country before Jan. 1 of this year. Any bank statement, pay stub, or similarly forgeable record will do.

Expect a mass influx unlike anything this country has seen before, once the 12-month period for accepting Z visa applications begins. These rules are an open invitation to sneak in and present a fraudulent piece of paper indicating that you were already here.

11. As promised, the bill will legalize most of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens now in the country via a new â??Z visa.â? Each would pay $3,000 - only slightly more than the going rate to be smuggled into America. This is not up front. They will have eight years to pay it back.

12. Supporters of the bill call the Z visa â??temporaryâ? - neglecting to mention that it can be renewed indefinitely until the visa holder dies. Thus, we have the countryâ??s first permanent temporary visa. On top of that, itâ??s a super-visa - allowing the holder to work, attend college or do just about anything else.

Are you a law-abiding alien whoâ??s interested in switching to this privileged status? Sorry. Only illegal aliens can qualify.

13.
The bill increases legal migration by at least 50 percent over the next decade by granting green cards to all the remote relatives who are in the chain migration categories, a number estimated at 750,000 to 900,000 a year. That is triple the current number of 250,000. Giving green cards to millions of additional relatives ensures that legal immigration will continue to grow as this larger pool of permanent residents brings in spouses.

14. The bill claims that bench marks must be met before amnesty/guest-worker provisions go into effect. But the bench marks fail to require that the U.S.-Mexico border be closed, fail to require that the border fence be completed as mandated by Congress in October and fail to require that the Department of Homeland Security implement the entry-exit visa system so Americans can know if visitors and guest workers actually leave.

The border security part of the bill calls for a 370-mile-long fence on the U.S./Mexico border. That is only half as long as the 700-mile-long fence ordered by the Secure Fence Act passed overwhelmingly by Congress and ostentatiously signed by the president in front of TV cameras just before the November 2006 election.

15. Another bench mark is that “tools” will be provided to prevent illegal immigrants from getting jobs, including requirements for identification standards and an employee verification system. But the bill lacks a requirement that anybody actually use the tools.

16. The costs of the Senate immigration bill are mind-boggling. Unbelievably, the Senate has made no attempt to estimate this costs or how to how to pay them. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector puts a potential price tag on this bill of $2.5 trillion, which is five times the cost of the Iraq war.

17. At least 60 percent of illegal immigrants lack a high school diploma, which means they will work low-wage jobs, pay little or no income tax, and be heavy users of our schools and means-tested social benefits such as Medicaid, school lunches, Women, Infants and Children Program, subsidized housing, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and free legal counsel.

18. Fiscal costs would go up dramatically after amnesty recipients reach retirement. Each elderly low-skill immigrant imposes a net cost - that is benefits minus taxes - on U.S. taxpayers of about $17,000 per year, according to the Heritage Foundation. These costs would hit Social Security and Medicare at the very time Social Security is expected to go into crisis.

19. Section 413 calls on Congress to “accelerate the implementation” of the Security and Prosperity Partnership - announced by Bush in Waco, Texas, in 2005 - so that the United States can “improve the standard of living in Mexico.” Do U.S. taxpayers want to take on the awesome economic burden of solving poverty problems in Mexico?

20. The Senate immigration bill states that the United States want to increase access to credit for “poor and under-served populations in Mexico,” and expand efforts “to reduce the transaction costs of remittance flows” from the U.S. to Mexico now running at $23 billion a year. That is money made in the US but transferred out of our economy.

21. The Senate bill also puts the United States into a “partnership” with Mexico for “increasing health care access for poor and under-served populations in Mexico,” for “assisting Mexico in increasing its emergency and trauma health care facilities,” and for “expanding prenatal care” in the border region. Do U.S. taxpayers want to take on the awesome economic burden of solving problems in Mexico?

22. The Senate bill authorizes 4,000 new Border Patrol agents, but doesn’t require that they be trained or deployed.

23. Illegal Aliens will receive instate tuition. Illegal aliens would receive a taxpayer subsidy worth tens of thousands of dollars and would be treated better than U.S. citizens from out of state, who must pay three to four times as much to attend college. In an era of limited educational resources and rising tuitions, U.S. citizens, not aliens openly violating federal law, should be first in line to receive education subsidies.

24.Health standards ignored â?? Z-Visa holders are not required to be given medical examinations and immunizations. Z-Visa applicants and permenant residents are two peas off the same pod. Both can live in the USA as long as they want. Permenant residents are required to be given a medical examination and immunized but Z-Visa holders are not. All aliens, including Z-Visa holders should be required to be given medical examinations and immunized. They are living and breathing in our country just as permanent residents. The health and safety issues are one and the same. TB or Leprosy anyone?

25.â??There are no serious assimilation components to the legislation.â? Dual citizenship, naturalized Americans voting here and overseas, non-English classrooms and multilingual ballots all thrive, despite McCain-Kennedyâ??s â??comprehensiveâ? scope. â??Assimilationâ? appears only once in this legislation, and not until the 343rd of 347 pages. â??Americanizationâ? never emerges.

26. The amnestee doesnâ??t have to know squat in English to get probationary status or a Z visa. After four years when seeking to renew the Z visa the first time, he only has to take — not pass, just take — the naturalization language test or be on a waiting list for English classes. â??Learn Englishâ? only happens after eight years, and then itâ??s not actual mastery of the language.

27. As stated above in #13 “The bill increases legal migration by at least 50 percent over the next decade….”. Yet, when asked in a Gallup poll what level of immigration do Americans want, overwhelmingly they say less (46%) or same (34%). While only 16% want more. The US Census Bureau in 1999 projected The USA’s population will double in less then 100 years from 300 million to 600 million. The majority of that increase will be from legal immigration, illegal immigration, plus both their descendants. This is completely against what the American people want. When do we start double decking our freeways Mr. President?

28. If Amnesty passes, 12-20 million illegal aliens would be immediately granted probationary legal status. Processing these individuals would be the responsibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Estimates are, if amnesty is given to just 12 million illegal aliens within the year allowed for applications, that would mean an average of 48,000 amnesty applications each day for USCISâ??s 3,000 adjudicators. Add an additional 200,000 guest workers applications to the mix. That would be in addition to the 6.3 million (2005) legal applications and the backlog of several million unresolved applications the USCIS has responsibility over.

The Senateâ??s proposal would vastly expand USCISâ??s workload but do little to ensure that the agency is capable of handling the task.

Sources

www.heritage.org

www.indystar.com

http://www.humanevents.com

http://www.bendweekly.com

http://www.nypost.com

http://www.swnebr.net

http://washingtontimes.com

http://www.washtimes.com

http://www.townhall.com

http://www.heritage.org

http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/sactestimony701.html

http://www.galluppoll.com

Comments 14 Comments »

Michelle Dallacroce of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” on Fox News, May 24, 2007

Comments 6 Comments »

NY Times

Tampamolon Corona, Mexico — Cástulo Benavides, a union organizer, came to this forgotten mountain town to tell its men how to get legal jobs in the tobacco fields of North Carolina.

But this year he introduced them to a change in a longstanding practice: the men will not have to pay anyone to get those jobs.

â??Thatâ??s something that we won with the union,â? Mr. Benavides explained to the workers in the sweltering municipal auditorium here. â??We are stepping on some peopleâ??s toes, and weâ??re doing it hard.â?

The response, if that is what it is, has been brutal. In April, Mr. Benavidesâ??s co-worker Santiago Rafael Cruz was bound and beaten to death at the unionâ??s office in Monterrey, in northern Mexico.

The Ohio-based union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, says the killing was a political attack after the union cleaned up corrupt practices of recruiting workers, like charging them a fee to be hired.

Mr. Rafael Cruzâ??s killing comes as the United States Senate has restarted debate on a long-stalled immigration package that proposes an expanded guest worker program. But the way those workers are recruited in Mexico has received little attention in the debate.

Read more.

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