Acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf gave feelgood messaging on Twitter about the DHS’s duty during the current Wuhan virus pandemic.
He tweeted on January 27, 2020, “To the brave men and women of @dhsgov: Our country is now at an inflection point in history and our actions today will determine what’s remembered for generations. As we face the challenges of the #coronavirus pandemic, know that you have my complete support and that of the Dept.”
To the brave men and women of @dhsgov:
Our country is now at an inflection point in history and our actions today will determine what's remembered for generations. As we face the challenges of the #coronavirus pandemic, know that you have my complete support and that of the Dept pic.twitter.com/hkLA7EdUtZ
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 27, 2020
However, immigration restriction group, NumbersUSA, had to be the bearer of bad news (and rightfully so) on this occasion.
It tweeted, “@DHS_Wolf is going to admit tens of thousands of foreign guest workers in the coming month to satisfy the corporate lobby. These guest workers will be dispersed across the entire U.S.. putting Americans out of work and hampering efforts to control the coronavirus.”
BLP has previously reported on the federal government’s move to import H-1B visas during a time of pandemic and government-induced shutdowns. The government recently announced that approximately 3.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment as businesses shut down due to government shelter in orders.
However, as John Binder reports, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf will fast-track foreign workers on H-2A and H-2B visas into the U.S. to take blue-collar agricultural and nonagricultural jobs.”
A memo Pompeo released reads:
The H-2 program is essential to the economy and food security of the United States and is a national security priority. Therefore, we intend to continue processing H-2 cases as much as possible, as permitted by post resources and local government restrictions. Secretary Pompeo, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview. Consular officers can, if they so choose, now waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility. [Emphasis added]
This expansion also increases the period in which returning workers may qualify for an interview waiver. Applicants whose previous visas expired in the last 48 months, and who did not require a waiver of ineligibility the last time they applied, do not need to be interviewed in-person if they are applying for the same visa classification as their previous visa. We anticipate the vast majority of otherwise qualified H-2 applicants will now be adjudicated without an interview. [Emphasis added]
This order allows agricultural and nonagricultural businesses to fast track the importation of foreign workers on H-2A and H-2B visas without having to conduct the standard interview and application procedures. This move is a parallel to President George W. Bush’s decision to lift visa requirements in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“The agriculture industry’s dependence on poorly screened, cheap foreign labor to produce our food is indefensible,” Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) RJ Hauman informed Breitbart News. “Validating it through a guest worker policy change at a time of mass unemployment and a public health crisis is an enormous mistake.”
NumbersUSA officials criticized the decision Pompeo and Wolf made.
“Low-wage foreign guest workers can also come in by the tens of thousands thanks to [Chad Wolf],” NumbersUSA officials tweeted. “Will every individual be tested for coronavirus or does corporate greed trump public health?”
In 2019, farm companies imported 250,000 H-2A foreign workers as there is no cap on the number of H-2A workers who can be imported into the U.S. This month, Wolf allowed 35,000 extra H-2B foreign workers to take nonagricultural jobs in the American economy and has refused to stop the program during the Wuhan virus crisis.
Annually, U.S. companies are allowed to import 66,000 low-skilled H-2B foreign workers. For a while, the H-2B visa program has been used by businesses to import cheaper, foreign workers and has played a major role in suppressing blue-collar Americans’ wages.
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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