Midterms – A Cautionary Tale for 2020

As I write this week’s blog, most of the votes from yesterday’s elections have been tabulated and, with one or two exceptions, the winners declared. For the second election in a row, I have not been surprised by the results. Although the Democratic Party squeaked out a majority of seats in the House, it was by no means the much anticipated “Red Wave.” Also, the Republicans strengthened their grip on the Senate.

To take the House, the Democrats needed to flip several seats. One of those seats was Kansas’ Third District, a seat held since 2011 by Republican Kevin Yoder. Yesterday Yoder got trounced by Progressive upstart Sharice Davids.

Yoder is emblematic of the Republicans who failed to win office in yesterday’s elections. A Republican with deep ties to interests bent on displacing American workers, Yoder, earlier this year, as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, snuck in an amendment dubbed “Numerical Limitation to Any Single Nation” into the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill(H.R. 6776.) This amendment would eliminate country caps for those applying for employment visas and green cards.

For years, these diversity caps have been the only thing standing between people from a single country – in this case, India – dominating our immigration programs. Large, multibillion-dollar Indian outsourcing firms such as Infosys and Tatahave been gaming U.S. employment visa programs such as H-1B, OPT, L-1 and others to displace skilled American workers with workers brought in on employment visas.

The amendment Yoder inserted was essentially H.R. 392, a bill he took over sponsorship of when Jason Chaffetz left Congress in 2017. Yoder had been determined to push it through Congress. Special interest groups, such as Immigration Voice (IV), that were working on behalf of Indian corporations, were absolutely jubilant with Yoder’s actions. A few days later on a conference call, IV’s chief lobbyist Leon Fresco had this to say:

“The full house when they come back, they will pass this DHS appropriations bill, and then the idea is that the Senate and the House will work together on a final product, and we’ll talk about that a little bit more, but that final product, if it includes H.R. 392, means that not only does the Department of Homeland Security get the money it needs to continue operating, but then our bill H.R. 392 passes along with it, which means that the country caps will be eliminated. That’s been our goal. That’s been the objective, and so this was the critical step, because if you’re not in the bill when it goes to the floor of the House, you’re never going to get in.”

Kevin Yoder should be viewed by his colleagues as a cautionary tale. A review of incumbents turned out of office indicates voters were none too happy with their open borders position and coziness with interests working to displace American workers.

According to Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, “Voters retired five Senators who voted for that Gang of Eight open borders legislation at the beginning of their terms.” They are:

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

U.S. tech workers, the ones who have been hit the hardest by bills like H.R. 392 and a litany of poorly crafted legislation enacted since the early 1990s that has allowed our employment visa programs to be exploited by corporations, rallied to bring attention to Yoder’s treacherous amendment. They were not only successful in getting national news agencies to report on the amendment, but even put up billboards in Yoder’s district prior to the election. In a district with only a slight difference in registrations between Republicans and Democrats, enough of Yoder’s base flipped on him to turn him out of office.

In early December, H.R. 6776, the DHS appropriations bill will go to the House floor for a vote during the lame duck session. If the Yoder amendment is not stripped from the bill by the Rules Committee, I urge the members of Congress to vote against the bill. Two years goes by quickly, and the voters will remember in November 2020.

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