In the debate over immigration, it is easy to forget that the open borders crowd is not just made up of individuals on the left. In a significant way, both Democrats and Republicans have been complicit in the effort to import as many immigrants as possible – legal and illegal – into the United States.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has long been considered a political stronghold for establishment Republicans, but the nation’s largest lobbying organization has careened left on several issues – from common core to government spending to immigration and border security – for several years. Most recently, the Chamber initiated a new lobbying campaign designed to substantially increase immigration.
Chamber of Commerce Channels President Biden
The Chamber’s campaign, dubbed the “America Works Agenda,” has already begun. The goal is to increase the number of foreign visa workers into the country to work American jobs. Breitbart News reported:
“[T]he Chamber is lobbying state and federal lawmakers to hugely expand the rate of legal immigration whereby, already, about 1.2 million legal immigrants are awarded green cards annually and roughly 1.4 million foreign nationals are given visas to take jobs in the U.S.”
The Chamber delivered a long list of requests to Congress. Amongst other things, the group wants lawmakers to double the number of employment-based green cards and H-1B and H-2B visas given to foreign workers, make it easier for students to get green cards after graduation, and do away with per-country caps, just to name a few. The Chamber is lobbying for a veritable smorgasbord of open borders measures.
Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark touts the campaign as an initiative designed to deal with the supposed “worker shortage” facing the nation – even though 16.4 million Americans are unemployed. Breitbart News noted: “Such measures are a boon for big business as inflating the U.S. labor market allows employers to cut Americans’ wages, reducing the cost of labor, to increase profit margins.”
Also interesting is the timing of the campaign, coming during a period when Americans have been discouraged from rejoining the workforce, due to COVID handouts and other side-effects of the virus and lockdown policies. As Liberty Nation’s Andrew Moran reported, “The number of job openings in the U.S. soared 597,000 to 8.123 million in March, a 21-year high. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) rose to 61.7% in April, which remained 1.6% lower than before the COVID-19 public health crisis.”
Are immigrants the solution to this likely temporary labor shortage? The Chamber of Commerce appears to think so, but as the country recovers from COVID-19, what happens when Americans want or need their jobs back?
Is This What Americans Want?
The group seems out of touch with the American public when it comes to immigration. A recent Rasmussen survey showed that 72% of likely voters wish to decrease immigration levels, and 62% want companies to recruit jobless Americans over importing foreign workers. Even more striking is that 58% indicated that they don’t believe America needs to import more foreign H-1B visa workers at all.
The fact of the matter is that most Americans don’t support open border policies. Many wish to limit both illegal and legal immigration. But it appears the Chamber of Commerce has a clear message for the people: We don’t care what you want.
Read more from Jeff Charles.