Fact-Checking Tucker Carlson on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act
The Honorable Tucker Carlson,
We definitely see eye to eye on most issues including abortion and this impeachment nonsense, and that is why is I love your show. However, I do not agree with your recent description of the immigration provisions in the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR-5038).
A number of things you said were just flat wrong. Please allow me to explain what the bill will actually do.
Here are some of your comments, followed by the truth.
You said: “Bipartisan consensus in Washington has been that America ought to give amnesty to all illegal aliens within our borders no matter how many there are. The leadership of both parties believes this. The problem is that voters definitely don't believe it. They strongly disagree and have for decades. They've said so in polling consistently.”
The truth: By requiring that undocumented immigrants pay processing fees and a fine, pass a background check, maintain gainful employment, and work for employers who deduct and match taxes, this bill is not amnesty.
In fact, continuing on with the status quo, in which many undocumented workers are misclassified in the underground economy where they and their employers avoid income and payroll taxes with little reprimand, is Defacto Amnesty.
According to a recent Pew Research center poll, 72% of Americans and a majority of Democrats and Republicans support allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally if certain conditions are met. This bill will require that undocumented immigrants pass background checks, pay a fine, and work for employers who use E-Verify.
You said: “HR-5038 is designed to keep our farming practices primitive and dependent upon low wage manual labor.”
The truth: The fact that we have not updated our immigration laws in over 30 years is primitive. By creating a method for undocumented workers to earn their legal status and establishing mandatory E-Verify across the ag sector, this bill will modernize the farm industry by requiring that all farm workers work for employers who deduct and match taxes.
You said: “Even illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes would be eligible for permanent residency here and eventually citizenship.”
The truth: Any unauthorized immigrant who has been convicted of a felony, two misdemeanors of moral turpitude, or any three misdemeanors will not be eligible to pick oranges or pull onions! It’s true that after working for a period of 4-8 years as certified agricultural workers, undocumented workers and their immediate families could apply for permanent legal status. However, after obtaining a green card, applicants would have to start at the back of the line and go through the standard process to apply for citizenship.
Tucker, you also said: “Beneficiaries would not have to pay any back taxes.”
The truth: Undocumented workers who go through the process to obtain certified agricultural worker status would have to pay processing fees and a $1000 penalty fine. Furthermore, due to the E-Verify mandate, they would be required to work for employers who deduct and match taxes.
You said: “HR-5038 imposes very low document standards. Those applying for amnesty can submit all kinds of different documents.”
The truth: Sec.123 of the bill requires that applicants for the certified agricultural worker visa submit biometric and biographic data and pass a background check.
You said: “There's no penalty for fraud. In other words, there'd be no reason not to submit a bogus application.”
The truth: Benefit Fraud and Document Fraud are already crimes prosecutable by the federal government.
You said: “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 would reward lawbreaking, exacerbate the border crisis, and undermine the already stalled wages of American blue-collar workers.”
The truth: By establishing mandatory E-Verify across the ag sector, this bill will remove the jobs magnet currently encouraging people to come here illegally to work in agriculture. Additionally, this will help eliminate the practice of undocumented ag workers working in the underground economy for employers who are not paying the proper taxes, which allows corrupt employers to undercut American workers and businesses who are following the law and paying the proper taxes. By requiring all undocumented workers in ag to work for employers who deduct and match taxes, this bill will level the playing field for American workers and employers who are playing by the rules.
You said: “Members of Congress like Elise Stefanik, Tom Cole, Fred Upton, and more than 20 other Republicans are now fighting to make it law. Why is that?”
The truth: Now I’m certain you did not purposefully leave out one of President Trump’s lead defenders against impeachment, Representative Devin Nunes, who also supports the bill along with a growing number of Republicans. It’s about time Democrat and Republican lawmakers work together to get something done. These lawmakers understand the many benefits of creating a method for undocumented workers to earn their legal status so we can ID and tax them properly. The House passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act last week. It will now head to the Senate for consideration.
God bless you, and may he continue to bless America.