Amnesty’s Second Wind

imagesAmerica remains mired in the weakest recovery since WWII. The unemployment rate of 7.4 percent obscures the reality that we have the lowest workforce participation rate since 1978, 75 percent of the jobs created in 2013 are part-time with lower wage levels, and American incomes have declined 4.4 percent since the recovery began in 2009. In short, Americans need jobs. Despite that reality, President Obama is aiming to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, even though it is utterly anathema to the interests of American job-seekers.

A report issued last summer by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) reveals that American job-seekers would get hit with a double whammy of lower wages and higher unemployment levels. “Taking into account all of those flows of new immigrants, CBO and JCT expect that a greater number of immigrants with lower skills than with higher skills would be added to the workforce, slightly pushing down the average wage for the labor force as a whole, other things being equal,” the report states. “Although the average wage would be lower than under current law over the first dozen years, the minimum wage would keep the wages of some less skilled workers from falling, dampening businesses’ demand for those workers,” the analysis added.

Comprehensive immigration reform supporters cling to the one nugget of good news in the report, noting that the CBO estimates a reduction in the federal budget deficit of $175 billion over the first ten years folowing reform, along with a decrease in the federal deficit by another $700 billion the decade after that. In other words, the federal deficit would be reduced by an average of $43.75 billion per year over 20 years. In March, the Senate adopted its first formal budget in four years. They want to spend $3.7 trillion for 2014. Thus, assuming the CBO numbers are accurate, America would be shaving a grand total of just under 1.2 percent off 2014′s budget total. Since the federal budget has nearly doubled since 2000, the ongoing savings over the course of two decades would amount to little more than a rounding error.

Furthermore, assuming the CBO’s calculations are accurate is a big “if.” According to a devastating report by the Heritage Foundation, comprehensive immigration would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion in new spending on entitlements and social programs over a 50 year period. Heritage contends that $9.4 trillion in government benefits included in the Gang of Eight bill, namely Social Security, Medicare, social programs like Medicaid and food stamps, and coverage under Obamacare, would be offset by only $3.1 trillion in taxes paid by those who receive de facto amnesty.

The business community isn’t buying Heritage’s contentions. As a result, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with the nation’s leading trade associations, will be backing Republicans who favor immigration reform when they run against Republican candidates who don’t in upcoming primaries. In Michigan, Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio will be targeted. In Alabama, business groups hope to undermine the candidacy of Dean Young, whose grassroots campaign propelled him into a Republican Party runoff with former state Senator Bradley Byrne. Business groups may also support Republican incumbent  Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a tea party challenger who pushed Simpson to embrace defunding ObamaCare.

The business community’s agenda is largely hypocritical. In September, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a letter, asking them to “enact legislation to fix the broken immigration system and work with the Senate to ensure that a bill is signed by the President this year.” Among the signees were Tracy Keogh, Executive VP for Human Resources at Hewlett-Packard. Hewlett-Packard laid off 29,000 employees in 2012. Cisco Systems’ Senior VP of Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Weslock also signed the letter, even as her company has laid off 8,000 workers over the last two years, and has announced a cut of an additional 4,000 this year. American Express’s Chief HR Officer, L. Kevin Cox also signed the letter,  even as his company laid of 5,400 workers in 2013. So did Proctor & Gamble’s Chief HR Officer, Mark F. Biegger, despite a 2012 announcement that P&G would eliminate 5,700 jobs.

Several other companies, including T-Mobile, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Texas Instruments, Cigna, Verizon and General Mills also participated in this undermining of the American labor force, despite the signees insisting that “many of our companies continue to have difficulty finding sufficient American workers to fill certain lesser-skilled positions.” They further contended that comprehensive immigration reform “would be a long overdue step toward aligning our nation’s immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels to ensure U.S. global competitiveness.”

Ensuring “global competitiveness” could severely damage the American middle class, due in large part to the reality that the legalization of 11 million illegals would also legalize an additional 17 million immigrants over the next decade as part of the family reunification process. Yet business leaders remain adamant. “We urge Congress not to miss this opportunity to level the playing field for U.S. employers” the letter states. “We can’t afford to wait.”

Equally impatient are immigration activists ratcheting up the pressure on both political parties. On October 11, protesters in Tucson, AZ chained themselves to three buses, demanding a halt to Operation Streamline, a program that either prosecutes or seeks to deport illegal aliens caught at the border. The following Monday, 250 protesters showed up at ICE headquarters in Phoenix. Last Thursday in San Francisco, protesters shouting, “Undocumented, unafraid!” surrounded another bus containing illegal aliens in the custody of immigration officials. Ironically, in both Arizona and California, activists have vented their wrath against President Obama, whom they labeled the Deporter-In-Chief.

Frank Sharry, who heads America’s Voice, a Washington D.C.-based organization that favors more flexible immigration laws, made the agenda of the activists clear. “Of course, advocates and activists want Congress to act, but if they don’t, we won’t go away,” he promised. “We’ll get louder, stronger and more confrontational. That’s what movements have always done.  And that’s what our movement is already doing.”

The National Immigration Forum (NIF), an organization funded by leftist heavyweight George Soros, is also lending its weight to the reform push, organizing a “fly in” of ostensible conservatives to lobby House Republicans. This will be the second fly-in organized by the NIF, following one earlier in the year targeting the Senate, which has already passed their version of reform. This one is aimed at House Republicans who believe that securing the border must occur prior to any kind of legalization efforts.

Perhaps fittingly, those efforts could be hampered by what just happened with regard to the government shutdown. Yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of comprehensive immigration reform’s biggest supporters, noted that the exceedingly acrimonious stance taken by Obama and his fellow Democrats during the shutdown may have poisoned the well with regard to a reform bill. “Immigration reform is going to be a lot harder to accomplish than it was three weeks ago,” he contended, further noting that he agreed with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) who said Republican leadership would be “crazy” to negotiate with  a president who could be as recalcitrant regarding immigration reform as he was during shutdown negotiations. Labrador also reminded his colleagues that Obama is “trying to destroy” the GOP. Despite this reality, Rubio remains committed to reform. “There’s no argument the immigration system has to be fixed,” he told Fox News.

At what price? As American Thinker’s Tara Sevatius explains, comprehensive immigration reform serves the left’s interests far more than those of conservative Americans. If 11 million illegals are granted amnesty, “the shift to an America one-party state will accelerate at warp speed,” she writes. She further notes that Republicans are kidding themselves if they think Hispanics will eventually embrace conservative values, citing a 2012 survey taken by the Pew Hispanic Center. It revealed that a staggering 75 percent of Hispanics prefer “bigger government and more services.” That compared to only 41 percent of the American population as whole that wants the same thing.

Furthermore, the Hispanic community’s affinity for Democrats is hardly news. They have consistently supported Democrats by wide margins, going all the way back to 1980.

Regardless, it would appear that immigration reform is moving to the front burner once again. Thus, in the next few months the American public will be bombarded with volumes of  information attempting to convince them that the the legalization of 11 million illegal aliens currently in the country, along with the 17 million immigrants added to that total over the years, is a net plus for the nation.

Yet American workers who will be forced to compete with millions of mostly low-skill workers for jobs–even as job creation remains stagnant–would be wise to remember basic economics. Basic economics explains that more of anything makes each individual unit of that thing worth less. More American workers competing with newly legalized immigrants for scarcer and scarcer well-paying jobs is no exception to that rule.

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  • truebearing

    Conservatives have nothing to gain from immigration reform. Neither does anyone who wants to live in a capitalist nation, but the fools running these corporations are so blinded by greed and short-term fixes, they fail to realize the consequences of one party rule, ie, communism.

    • krowbro

      When government and corporations are in bed together, it is known as fascism. The corporations are not interested in capitalism, they are interested in stacking the deck in their favor.

      • truebearing

        Until Fascism morphs into Communism and they have their personal wealth confiscated.

  • Trey

    One of my parents is an immigrant from Europe. My spouse is an immigrant from Asia. Both were legal immigrants.

    Obviously, I am open to the ideal of immigration and am not racist.

    What I do not agree with is amnesty before there is effective border control.

    People who want amnesty 1st and border control “maybe” second are dishonest or incompetent.

    We have done amnesty before without securing the borders. It did not work.

    I will take names of amnesty without border enforcement supporters. I will hurt them by omission.

    • keyesforpres

      It isn’t enough to ‘secure the border first’. It’s secure the border. PERIOD.
      If you secure the border and give all the illegals here legal status, they can then send for all their family members and our country will be gone. Under NO circumstances do we ever do a mass amnesty again. It is national suicide. Many of these illegals are VERY bad ppl.

  • Trey

    The CBO calculates that amnesty will save money or generate increased revenue. this is the same group that said Obama Care would cost less than a trillion.

    As the author of the essay points put their estimate is equal to an rounding error.

  • Trey

    “The National Immigration Forum (NIF), an organization funded by leftist heavyweight George Soros …

    This one is aimed at House Republicans who believe that securing the border must occur prior to any kind of legalization efforts.”

    This from a man, Soros, who benefited from countries that had secure borders that enabled him to prosper. Illegal immigration was not as large of problem in the 1950s and 1960s when he was in England as it is now.

  • .

    If we get immigration reform, we might as well annex Mexico anyway.

    We’ll have a huge percentage of all Mexican citizens anyway, we might as well have better access to the natural resources.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Maybe we can “annex” Mexico’s strict immigration laws at the same time. There’s no way that this amnesty bill, legalizing people who had broken Mexico’s immigration laws, would pass in Mexico.

      • Anonymous

        That is what I was thinking.

        - “We can annex their stringent immigration laws.”

        - Given good law and order there would be a building boom along the coasts. That would bring a lot of prosperity to everyone. I have seen some American coastlines and they are jam packed with private homes. There are traffic jams on weekends at coastal areas. There is a large demand for beach front houses. We could employ many Mexicans and Americans or various income levels.

        - With a the new southern border it would only be a few hundred miles with a largely Mexican staff. They would enforce the border.

        - Several new states would have Mexican representatives and senators. There is no reason that they could not form their own 3rd party. They would not necessarily defer to the Democrat Party.

      • Philip Eton-Hogg

        Mexico was in better shape when they had more lenient immigration laws. Mexico giving amnesty to illegals and taking in more immigrants should be a condition of any US amnesty or immigration expansion.

        • NAHALKIDES

          Actually Philip, I meant that with bitter irony. Either a US amnesty or continued high levels of third-world immigration will without any doubt destroy this nation.

        • puciferaneous

          Exactly. Americans should be free to move to Mexico and live and work in Mexico.

  • physicsnut

    nice to know who the enemies are. Thanks.

  • Randy Townsend

    The Dims believe (rightly, IMHO) that making 20,000,000+ ex-mexicans into voter-eligible “Americans” will guarantee them a lock on national elections for the next generation. That’s why they’ll do this, all the while telling Republicans they are “racist” if they don’t go along. Regan, along with the Dim leadership in Congress, promised this country there would never be ANOTHER amnesty in America after they did it in 1986. This is wrong – to enable so many to profit from our nation when they refused to obey the laws even to get here. But hey, keep voting for the incumbent – especially if they are Dims.

  • Drakken

    Save America! Shoot an illegal !

  • Donald J DaCosta

    How does the so commonsensical requirement of securing the border first not even deserve consideration in all this. To say that this is in the hands of the people is to say that in 2013 America this is in the hands of Obama and the Democrats. Does anyone think that leaving it up to this crowd or their elected reps to do other than what the old boys club in DC want, is going to lead to a solution that is good for the country? Obama and company along with a sycophantic media cheering squad, have demonstrated time and time again that the Democrats can out maneuver the current crop of Republican “leaders,” McCain, McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, Graham, etc., and turn them into a symbol of failure at every political turn while those same Republicans skewer their own who demand real change; Cruz, Lee, Paul and the Tea Party.

    This is not new news but let’s switch gears for a minute. Corporate America thinks “solving” the immigration problem by granting amnesty is going to be good for corporate America because those “evil” CEOs view labor as a commodity to be purchased (in the form of wages for the economically challenged) at the lowest possible cost. The long term, unintended consequences of this is always left out of the discussion. With few exceptions, and I can’t name any, these fat cats will retain their off shore safe havens along with their mansions, limousines, lavish apartments and financial safety nets that render them immune to the trials and tribulations of those who benefit from being in their employ. Got that? Those who benefit from the jobs and careers these “evil bastards” create from their aggressive, self serving entrepreneurship. Hate them if that makes you feel better but this is quintessential Capitalism at its best; a system that makes the best out of all that’s objectionable or downright abhorrent about human nature as opposed to feel good, compassionate, deeply concerned, progressive liberalism which requires brainwashing society at large. Try convincing Kobe Bryant that he deserves no more compensation than your local high school athletic director or a brain surgeon that he or she deserves no more compensation than the nurses aide, one of whose major responsibilities is cleaning bed pans.

    That said, one of the critical responsibilities of the ruling class in our constitutional republic, members elected by a majority of its adult and ostensibly concerned citizens, is to protect that republic from these predatory practices. There is nothing inherently wrong about big businesses supporting policies that would tend to lower labor costs or any cost of doing business but there is everything wrong with a government of the people allowing the implementation of such policies that would have a severe negative impact on their constituents; i.e., native born Americans and those naturalized citizens who migrated here legally, especially those who number among the unemployed.

    This is admittedly a simplistic argument sure to enrage a lot of people but it is one seldom heard. CEOs are not on anyone’s list of admired individuals. Of course politicians who do not see their role as it is described here and who are confronted daily by lucrative stipends in the form of campaign contributions and who knows what else, quickly learn where their bread is buttered and so there is this constant harangue from both sides of the political aisle that have more to do with obfuscation and little, if anything, to do with what is best for the country.
    It’s self interest, self aggrandizement and self enrichment, not necessarily in that order; the public interest be damned. In a largely indoctrinated society, slick public relations can put lipstick on any pig.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Basically, I agree with you. I’d put it like this: CEO’s can run their companies any way they wish, but they cannot be allowed to control U.S. immigration policy, which must be based on the needs of all our citizens, not just those who own large businesses that want to keep the cost of American labor artificially low (I say “artificially” because no sane country keeps importing millions of immigrants when their citizens already can’t find jobs). For the vast majority of Americans, continued large-scale immigration is a horrible thing, whether in the form of amnesty or not. We basically need to close our borders until we can assimilate the people who have come here and until we have a robust economy, neither of which will happen as long as we have Obama or any other Democratic President.

  • antioli

    Big business (The US Chamber of Commerce )is putting extreme pressure on the RNC to control the lower ranks of the party to make sure only Chamber approved Republicans can make it up through the ranks. To be approved you must be pro amnesty.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Then it’s time we put some pressure on the USCC.

  • Lost_Lenore

    People have no clue. The Latinos that are so endlessly agitating for ever more privileges are not here because they love America. They have believed for centuries that their language, culture and ways of doing things are much superior to ours (a cultural rivalry that goes back to Elizabethan times). Thanks to the Marxism that pervades their cultures they believe the only reasons for our success have to do with colonialism and our exploitation of their lands. Accordingly, they believe they have the moral right to come here and take and demand whatever they can. Our traditions of personal responsibility, constitutional limited governance, property rights and rule of law hold zero interest for them.

    • Philip Eton-Hogg

      Sadly those traditions mean little to all too many Americans nowadays, including self styled “conservatives” and “tea partiers”. I’d hat eto think of what the founders would think of current America