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NAFTA increased illegal immigration

Trump should remind voters how NAFTA increased illegal immigration


Mexican Border Wall

During this week’s presidential debate, GOP hopeful Donald Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement “the worst trade deal maybe ever.” And it’s worth noting that if the candidate gets his way and reworks NAFTA, the changes could provide a partial remedy to the U.S.’s illegal immigration problem.

Trump is being labeled as an anti-trade protectionist for pointing out that NAFTA is partially responsible for an exodus of some manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to Mexico where labor is considerably cheaper.

It’s been difficult for economist to pin down exactly how much NAFTA has affected the U.S. labor market— conservative estimates suggest that around 700,000 production jobs have been exported to Mexico since the trade deal’s 1994 finalization.

But what is perhaps more important than the jobs lost to NAFTA is how it simultaneously forced an uptick of illegal immigration to the U.S.

When NAFTA came on the scene, a huge portion of the Mexican economy was made up of small farm operations whose biggest cash crop was corn.

After the trade agreement was signed, U.S. corn heavily subsidized by the federal government began flowing into Mexico. The Mexican government, which also previously subsidized its corn crops, realized that its farmers would never be able to compete with government-funded factory farms in the U.S. and quickly ended its subsidies.

As a result thousands of Mexican farmers and the workers they employed rapidly lost their livelihoods.

Many of them flooded into Mexican cities in search of the new factory jobs promised by NAFTA proponents. Unfortunately, they quickly learned that the jobs weren’t all that great and that there weren’t enough employment opportunities to accommodate all of the small farmers shut down by the trade deal.

The benefit of essentially annexing Mexico as a low-wage industrial park for the U.S. was two-fold for major U.S. corporations: First, it guaranteed an endless supply of desperate workers willing to take low-wage factory jobs. At the same time, it made U.S.-based corporate operations more profitable by making it increasingly difficult for American workers to demand better pay without fear of having their positions eliminated and shipped to Mexico.

For Mexican workers, who lacked many labor protections to begin with, the problem of wage stagnation has obviously been far worse.

Sociology professor Alejandro Portes explained the result thusly back in 2006:

The response of peasants and workers thus displaced has been clear and consistent: they have headed north in ever greater absolute numbers. Before NAFTA, undocumented Mexican immigration came mainly from four or five Mexican states and a limited number of mostly rural municipalities. Since NAFTA, migrants have originated in all Mexican states, practically all municipalities, and cities as well as towns and villages. A number of formerly vibrant places are now ghost towns, all their able adults having gone abroad; about one-third of all Mexican municipalities have lost population during the last decade, some by half or more. The counterpart of this hollowing out of the Mexican countryside is the growth of the Mexican migrant population in the U.S., much of it undocumented. From a purely regional presence in the west and southwest, it has become a truly national phenomenon. States that had barely a handful of “Hispanics” in 1990 now count a sizable Hispanic population. In Georgia, for example, the Latin-origin population went from 1.7 percent in 1990 to 5.3 percent in 2000, a 312 percent increase due to an inflow of 300,000 persons, overwhelmingly from Mexico. Cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, whose “Hispanics” in 1990 consisted of a few wealthy Cuban and South American professionals, now have upwards of 80,000, mostly undocumented Mexican laborers.

Ten years later, we’ve seen those numbers increase even more dramatically. In 2014, there were nearly 6 million illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the U.S.

This entry was posted in Election Informer and tagged Donald Trump, Election 2016, Immigration Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.


Source: Will County News

Summary of the Homer School District 33C Board of Education Meeting September 29, 2016

Summary of the Homer School District 33C

Board of Education Meeting

September 29, 2016


            Barb Wilson, President      Angela Adolf, Vice President      Amy Blank, Secretary

    Deb Martin, Member    Ed Campins, Member    Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member    Russ Petrizzo, Member                                                                                       



Prior to the regular Board meeting:

  • The Board held a public hearing at 7:15 on the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Will County Board members Mike Fricilone and Steve Balich addressed the Board of Education and asked the District to find a way to freeze the tax rate or have it go down.


At the regular Board meeting:

  • Parent Cindy DeNormandie addressed the board and said she appreciates what the teachers do for children. She encouraged the District to do what’s best for them.


  • The Board recognized Deb Brom and her specially trained therapy dog, Toby, for comforting students and staff at Schilling School after 8-year-old classmate and friend died at home. Brom works in the district’s business office as the accounting coordinator.


  • Teachers Union representative Cathy Clayton reported contract negotiations continue and that the bargaining teams have filed for a mediator. Their next meeting is October 19th . In the meantime, teachers will continue to provide students with the best educational experience possible.


  • Support Staff Union representatives Susan Koziarski reported the Union has collected its first wave of Back to School supplies and has distributed them to the schools. The drive will continue throughout the school year and benefit Homer 33C students and their classroom teachers.


  • The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:



  1. Amy Steepleton – Special Education teacher, Homer Junior High School, effective September 30, 2016
  2. Kim Glynn – lunchroom/recess monitor, Young School, effective September 30, 2016


Leaves of Absence

  1. Mallory Bazant – 8th grade Math teacher, Homer Junior High School, effective January 22, 2017 through April 14, 2017 and a child care leave of absence from April 18, 2017 through May 19, 2017
  2. Morgan Buerger – 1st grade teacher, Schilling School, effective February 27, 2017 through May 29, 2017
  3. Michele Lane – kindergarten teacher, Schilling School, effective November 28, 2016 through February 3, 2016
  4. Monica Panfil – paraprofessional, Hadley Middle School, effective September 12, 2016 through November 4, 2016




          Employment Recommendations

  1. Michelle Biceste – 5th grade Resource teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective September 30, 2016
  2. Eyad Malley – Bilingual teacher, Schilling School, effective September 30, 2016
  3. Heidi Van De Voort – Music teacher, Goodings Grove and Schilling schools, effective September 30, 2016
  4. Elizabeth Creek – Differentiation Facilitator, Goodings Grove School, effective for the 2016-2017 school year
  5. Robert Flynn – bus driver, Transportation, effective October 11, 2016
  6. 2016-2017 ASAP recommendations for Homer Junior High School – Diane Blaskey, 7th grade Math; Sarah Collins, 7th grade Reading; Susan Fink, 8th grade Math; Kathy Kaufman, 8th grade Reading
  7. 2016-2017 ASAP recommendations for Butler School – Eileen Schulz, 3rd grade Reading; Amie Brainerd, 3rd grade Math, Brian Barnes, 4th grade Reading; Kathy Gorecki, 4th grade Math
  8. 2016-2017 Schilling Clubs – Megan Heintz and Jessica Schweers, Schilling Super Stars; Stephanie Pearson, Computer Club
  9. 2016-2017 Goodings Grove Club – Jamie Callan, Club GG
  10. 2016-2017 Natural Helpers sponsor, Homer Junior High School – Laura Collins


Employee Recall Due to Openings Caused by Resignations or Job Shifts

  1. Jessica Suerth – Instructional aide, Schilling and Young schools, effective September 30, 2016


  • Financial consultant Dr. Robert G. Grossi presented an analysis of the District’s financial condition. He showed:
    • How the District’s revenue growth has flattened since 2013
    • How the District continues to operate within a balanced budget framework
    • How the District’s total real estate tax collections have increased $17.4 million since 2010 while the total employee benefit expenses have increased $18.1 million. As a result, every dollar of increased tax revenues since 2010 have been used to pay for increases in employee benefit expenses
    • How major capital expenses have reduced the District’s fund balance reserves to their lowest levels since 2005
    • How Homer 33C is one of the few school districts in Illinois that cannot issue tax levy supported debt without going to referendum. As a result, the District must live within its means
    • How employee benefit expenses have grown from $7 million in FY 2010 to over $11 million in FY 2016 and continue to escalate. Health insurance premium increases in FY 2017 will result in over $600,000 of additional expenses to the District this year
    • How the State’s own fiscal crisis creates possible concerns regarding:
      • A change in the state funding formula (Senate Bill 231), which could cost Homer 33C an estimated $2.9 million annually
      • A multiple year tax freeze (House Bill 696), which could cost Homer 33C an estimated $1.3 million annually
      • A shift of massive pension obligations onto school districts, which could cause Homer 33C to absorb an additional $800,000 to $1.8 million in annual expenses.


In his powerpoint presentation, Grossi also showed  how  Homer 33C’s salary schedule compares to surrounding school districts, including Frankfort 157C, Manhattan 114, Mokena 159, New Lenox 122 and Lockport 92. It shows beginning teachers being paid below average at the start of their careers but above average as they become more experienced.


He encouraged the District to stay focused on its objective to 1) maintain fiscal stability and 2) provide competitive salary and benefit packages.


  • The Board adopted the FY 2017 Budget


  • The Board approved a change of date for the March Regular Board meeting. The March Board meeting will be held Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.


  • President Wilson reported the District is working diligently with the Teachers Union on a contract settlement and that the Board is confident that it will be able to partner with the teachers and reach a settlement. The negotiating teams are scheduled to meeting October 19th and October 27th. In the meantime, teachers continue to work under the previous contract


  • Member Adolf voiced concern over the number of FOIA requests consistently coming into the District from an anonymous source. She suggested the District see if anything can be done to curb the excessive requests by encouraging the anonymous source to contact the Superintendent first to try and get the questions answered first.




The Next Regular School Board Meeting is October 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

The Board’s Finance & Operations Committee will meet October 12, 2016 p.m. at 4 p.m.

Source: Will County News

Obama Conflict in Clinton Corruption investigations

Obama’s Conflict Tanked the Clinton E-mail Investigation — As Predicted (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Obama signing laws and orders


September 26, 2016 4:00 AM @ANDREWCMCCARTHY  National Review


Hillary couldn’t be proven guilty without proving the president guilty as well. ‘How is this not classified?” So exclaimed Hillary Clinton’s close aide and confidante, Huma Abedin. The FBI had just shown her an old e-mail exchange, over Clinton’s private account, between the then-secretary of state and a second person, whose name Abedin did not recognize. The FBI then did what the FBI is never supposed to do: The agents informed their interviewee (Abedin) of the identity of the second person. It was the president of the United States, Barack Obama, using a pseudonym to conduct communications over a non-secure e-mail system — something anyone with a high-level security clearance, such as Huma Abedin, would instantly realize was a major breach.


Abedin was sufficiently stunned that, for just a moment, the bottomless capacity of Clinton insiders to keep cool in a scandal was overcome. “How is this not classified?” She recovered quickly enough, though. The FBI records that the next thing Abedin did, after “express[ing] her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym,” was to “ask if she could have a copy of the email.” Abedin knew an insurance policy when she saw one. If Obama himself had been e-mailing over a non-government, non-secure system, then everyone else who had been doing it had a get-out-of-jail-free card.


Thanks to Friday’s FBI document dump — 189 more pages of reports from the Bureau’s year-long foray (“investigation” would not be the right word) into the Clinton e-mail scandal — we now know for certain what I predicted some eight months ago here at NRO: Any possibility of prosecuting Hillary Clinton was tanked by President Obama’s conflict of interest. As I explained in February, when it emerged that the White House was refusing to disclose at least 22 communications Obama had exchanged with then-secretary Clinton over the latter’s private e-mail account, we knew that Obama had knowingly engaged in the same misconduct that was the focus of the Clinton probe: the reckless mishandling of classified information. To be sure, he did so on a smaller scale. Clinton’s recklessness was systematic: She intentionally set up a non-secure, non-government communications framework, making it inevitable that classified information would be mishandled, and that federal record-keeping laws would be flouted.

Obama’s recklessness, at least as far as we know, was confined to communications with Clinton — although the revelation that the man presiding over the “most transparent administration in history” set up a pseudonym to conceal his communications obviously suggests that his recklessness may have been more widespread.

Still, the difference in scale is not a difference in kind. In terms of the federal laws that criminalize mishandling of classified information, Obama not only engaged in the same type of misconduct Clinton did; he engaged in it with Clinton.

Sheep led into the fire

It would not have been possible for the Justice Department to prosecute Clinton for her offense without its becoming painfully apparent that 1) Obama, too, had done everything necessary to commit a violation of federal law, and 2) the communications between Obama and Clinton were highly relevant evidence. Obama not only engaged in the same type of misconduct Clinton did; he engaged in it with Clinton. Indeed, imagine what would have happened had Clinton been indicted. The White House would have attempted to maintain the secrecy of the Obama-Clinton e-mails (under Obama’s invocation of a bogus “presidential communications” privilege), but Clinton’s defense lawyers would have demanded the disclosure of the e-mails in order to show that Obama had engaged in the same misconduct, yet only she, not he, was being prosecuted. And as most experienced criminal-law lawyers understand (especially if they’ve read a little Supreme Court case known as United States v. Nixon), it is an argument that Clinton’s lawyers would have won. In fact, in any other case — i.e., in a case that involved any other unindicted co-conspirator — it would be the Justice Department itself introducing the Obama-Clinton e-mails into evidence. As noted above, the FBI told Huma Abedin that the name she did not recognize in the e-mail with Clinton was an Obama alias. For the agents to do this ran afoul of investigative protocols.

The point of an FBI interview is for the interviewee to provide information to the investigators, not the other way around. If agents give information to potential witnesses, the government gets accused of trumping up the case. But of course, that’s only a problem if there is actually going to be a case. In this instance, it was never going to happen. The president’s involvement guaranteed that . . . so why worry about letting Abedin in on the president’s involvement? Abedin was startled by this revelation. No wonder: People in her lofty position know that direct presidential communications with high-ranking officials who have national-security and foreign-policy responsibilities are presumptively classified. To convey this, and thus convey the legal significance of Obama’s involvement, I can’t much improve on what I told you back in February. When the Obama Justice Department prosecuted retired general David Petraeus, the former CIA director, for mishandling classified information, government attorneys emphasized that this top-secret intelligence included notes of Petraeus’s “discussions with the president of the United States of America.”

Petraeus pled guilty because he knew the case against him was a slam-dunk. He grasped that trying to defend himself by sputtering, Clinton-style, that “the notes were not marked classified” would not pass the laugh test. As I elaborated in the February column, when you’re a national-security official engaging in and making a written record of policy and strategy conversations with the president, the lack of classified markings on the documents you’ve created [does] not alter the obvious fact that the information they contain [is] classified — a fact well known to any high government official who routinely handles national-defense secrets, let alone one who directly advises the president. Moreover, as is the case with Clinton’s e-mails, much of the information in Petraeus’s journals was “born classified” under the terms of President Obama’s own executive order — EO 13526.

As I’ve previously noted, in section 1.1(d) of that order, Obama issued this directive: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.” In addition, the order goes on (in section 1.4) to describe other categories of information that officials should deem classified based on the damage to national security that disclosure could cause. Included among these categories: foreign relations, foreign activities of the United States, military plans, and intelligence activities. Abedin knew, as the FBI agents who were interviewing her surely knew, that at least some of Obama’s pseudonymous exchanges with Clinton had to have crossed into these categories. They were born classified. As I said in February, this fact would profoundly embarrass Obama if the e-mails were publicly disclosed.

Hundreds of times, despite Clinton’s indignant insistence that she never sent or received classified information, the State Department has had to concede that her e-mails must be redacted or withheld from public disclosure because they contain information that is patently classified. But this is not a concession the administration is willing to make regarding Obama’s e-mails. That is why, as I argued in February, Obama is trying to get away with the vaporous claim that presidential communications must be kept confidential. He does not want to say “executive privilege” because that sounds too much like Nixon. More important, the only other alternative is to designate the e-mails as classified. That would be tantamount to an admission that Obama engaged in the same violation of law as Clinton. Again, this is why the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton never had a chance of happening. It also explains why, in his public statements about the matter, Obama insisted that Clinton’s e-mailing of classified information did not harm national security. It is why Obama, in stark contrast to his aforementioned executive order, made public statements pooh-poohing the fact that federal law forbids the mishandling of any intelligence secret. (“There’s classified, and then there’s classified,” he said, so cavalierly.) He had to take this position because he had himself effectively endorsed the practice of high-level communications through non-secure channels. This is also why the Justice Department and the FBI effectively rewrote the relevant criminal statute in order to avoid applying it to Clinton. In his public statements about Clinton, Obama has stressed that she is an exemplary public servant who would never intentionally harm the United States. In rationalizing their decision not to indict Clinton, Justice Department officials (in leaks to the Washington Post) and the FBI director (in his press conference and congressional testimony) similarly stressed the lack of proof that she intended to harm the United States.


As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, however, the operative criminal statute does not call for proof of intent to harm the United States. It merely requires proof of gross negligence. This is entirely lawful and appropriate, since we’re talking about a law that can apply only to government officials who have a special duty to preserve secrecy and who have been schooled in the proper handling of classified information. Yet the Justice Department frivolously suggested that applying the law exactly the way it is written — something the Justice Department routinely tells judges they must do — would, in Clinton’s case, potentially raise constitutional problems.

Gods tear

Alas, the Justice Department and the FBI have to take that indefensible position here. Otherwise, Clinton would not be the only one in legal jeopardy. I will end with what I said eight months ago: To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information. That is why the Clinton e-mail scandal never had a chance of leading to criminal charges. — Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/440380/obama-email-alias-clinton-why-fbi-didnt-prosecute-hillary

Source: Will County News