Business and Labor Agree on Immigration Reform. What about the American People?

I’m taking a break from compiling trade data for 2012 to comment on immigration reform.  As reported in the above-linked article, it seems that a major stumbling block was recently eliminated when business groups and labor were able to agree on a framework for wages for low-skill immigrants. 

It’s no surprise that business and the Chamber of Commerce are advocates of amnesty for illegals and reduced barriers for low-skill workers.  They want the cheap labor and the downward pressure on all wages that comes with keeping the size of the labor force in a state of oversupply. 

And labor has always been ambivalent about immigration, leery of the downward pressure on wages, but licking their chops at the prospect of growing their ranks with these potential new union members. 

To hear the media report on Republicans’ new-found love affair with Hispanics and the prospects for the passage of immigration reform, you’d think that immigration “reform” is something that all Americans have literally been dying for – that it’s our one and only big hope for economic salvation. 

But no one has yet asked the American people how they feel about it.  Here’s a link to an article that appeared on CNBC last week that drives home the point:  The overwhelming majority of lobbying organizations involved in immigration reform are proponents.  But polls show that only a small fraction of Americans support expanded immigration and a “very sizable plurality” actually favor cutting immigration. 

Yesterday, I received in the mail a letter from FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform), a lobbying organization (of which I’m a member) that supports lower levels of immigration.  I couldn’t express better myself the reasons for opposing the legislation that is sure to be put to a vote soon in Congress, so I’d like to share it with you.  Here’s FAIR’s letter:  FAIR Letter

FAIR summarizes “comprehensive immigration reform” with one word:  MORE!  To their list, I would add the following:

  • MORE per capita consumption-killing and unemployment-fueling population growth.
  • MORE energy consumers when our challenge of reducing our dependence on imported energy is already nigh impossible.
  • MORE carbon emitters when our challenge of meeting negotiated cuts in emissions is already utterly impossible. 

I found the following excerpt from the FAIR letter to be particularly poignant:

“Ironic, isn’t it, that President Obama is promoting more jobs for 22 million unemployed or under-employed American people … while dangling those very same jobs in front of an unending chain of illegal aliens?”

I wonder how the American people will react when they learn that the proposed legislation establishes a new class of visas for which a large swath of jobs have been set aside to be filled only by immigrants?

With the help of FAIR, I’ve already sent letters to Michigan’s senators expressing my opposition to immigration reform.  I encourage everyone to do the same.  Just maybe, this whole effort can be thwarted once again by the American people, as it was when President Bush attempted the same thing back in 2007.


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