Advocates of immigration “reform” worried that August would be their Waterloo. Congressmen would return to their districts, hold town halls and the like, and be overwhelmed by vocal opposition to amnesty, etc. This is how Reuters put it:
When U.S. lawmakers left Washington a month ago for their summer break, supporters of immigration legislation worried that the recess might be dominated by town hall-style meetings filled with angry voters railing against reform.
Ah, yes: “angry voters railing against reform.” No need to speculate about which side Reuters is on. Unfortunately, however, it didn’t happen. For whatever reason, immigration was almost entirely off the radar screen during the August recess. My theory is that this is a consequence of the administration’s “flood the zone” approach. They create so many disasters, and attack American citizens from so many angles, that it is nearly impossible to stay focused on any one issue.
Jeff Sessions, for one, hasn’t forgotten about immigration. His op-ed this morning in USA Today lays out the case that he has made over and over, as have we:
There is an unspoken question at the heart of the immigration debate: What is the loyalty a nation owes to its own citizens?
Business groups financing the push for comprehensive immigration reform believe they have the right to demand from Congress as many workers as they want from abroad at the wages they prefer. How this affects the struggling U.S. citizen is not their concern.
But the costs — human and financial — would be enormous.
Drafters of the Senate immigration plan delivered spectacularly for these business groups’ priorities: the Senate bill adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration proposal and, based on Congressional Budget Office data, adds 46 million mostly lower-skill legal immigrants and their relatives to the country by 2033. The result? CBO says average wages would fall for a dozen years, unemployment would rise, and the nation’s per-person wealth would sink for the next quarter century.
Controversy over the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill has focused mostly on its amnesty and border security provisions, but this is largely misdirection. The bill’s backers never talk about the fact that it authorizes an enormous increase in legal immigration–an influx so large as to render illegal immigration a moot point. And 90% of these new immigrants will be low-skill, low-wage workers. This extraordinary addition to the supply of unskilled labor will devastate America’s already-reeling working class. For once, the joke punch line that minorities and women will be hardest hit, will be true.
The Obama administration is pushing for open borders at the same time that record numbers of American citizens are dropping out of the work force, and we are turning into a food stamp nation. Sessions continues:
Would it not better serve the national interest to get our citizens off of welfare and into good jobs with rising pay? Labor force participation is at a 30-year low, welfare spending has eclipsed $1 trillion annually, and wages are now lower than they were in 1999.
Research from Harvard’s George Borjas demonstrated that high levels of low-skill immigration from 1980–2000 resulted in a 7.4% wage drop for U.S. workers without a high school diploma. Today, one in three such Americans can’t find a job.
But rather than face the reality that more than 40% of U.S. adults are not working, the president and many congressional lawmakers are determined to provide businesses with an easy avenue to avoid hiring these citizens — especially those who have been chronically unemployed.
The costs are not only economic — including lower wages and higher unemployment — but social. … Unemployment has crushing human consequences.
Democrats see this as a fourfer: Business special interests will be grateful to the Dems for providing them with a vastly expanded pool of cheap labor. Labor special interests will be grateful to the Dems for importing tens of millions of potential new union members (think SEIU) to enrich union bosses. Millions of Americans consigned to permanent unemployment and underemployment will vote Democrat to maximize their welfare benefits. And millions of new immigrants will follow the lead of their ethnic “leaders,” who will receive massive funding under the immigration bill, and will vote Democrat for the foreseeable future. What’s not to like, if you’re a Democrat?
But why a Republican would ever vote for this monstrosity is beyond me. It is both a policy disaster and a political fiasco. If your Congressman is a Republican, please call, write and email him or her to register your opposition to the Senate’s immigration expansion bill.