Despite six months of pushing for a blanket amnesty that began in June when the Senate bill passed its uncontrolled immigration bill, advocates can't sell it to the public. Even after a nonstop effort headed by the immigration lobby that included demonstrations, sit-ins, marches, passionately written editorials and comic political theater that resulted in 8 U.S. Representatives' arrest, the public isn't buying it.
According to a new Gallup poll, only 3 percent of Americans support granting an illegal immigrant the right to live and work in the U.S. Immigration lags at least a half dozen other more pressing problems that include an out of touch Congress, which 21 percent identified as their top concern. Following the dysfunctional government are the economy, 18 percent; unemployment, jobs and health care, each at 16 percent and the federal budget deficit, 8 percent. The poll ranked immigration so low that it isn't mentioned in the report's original summary.
Although polling clearly indicates that Americans don't consider passing legislation to legalize 12-20 million illegal immigrants and tripling legal immigration a priority, Congress and the White House defiantly press ahead. Little wonder that the Gallup poll identified unsatisfactory government as the nation's biggest problem.
Immediately after reconvening, Majority Speaker John Boehner announced that the House is working on a so called list of immigration "principles." Those "principles" will include legal residency, provisional or permanent, that would give work authorization to those who previously because of their alien status could not be hired. Powerful House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte is indifferent to the reality that 20 million unemployed Americans would have to, virtually overnight, compete with those newly legalized immigrants for scarce jobs. Goodlatte said he could see "no reason" amnesty would not pass this year.
Blanket amnesty advocates don't disguise what motivates them: cheap labor. Last week, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson preposterously said he wants amnesty and a massive legal immigration increase to ease staffing at the hotel chains' American resorts. Sorenson ludicrously suggested that among the nation's 102 million unemployed working-age Americans, none are willing to work at a luxury resort. Sorenson's premise is so insulting that travelers should protest by never staying in another Marriott.
Other Chamber of Commerce members are in lock step with Sorenson. Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chief Executive Officer who also serves as chairman of the Business Roundtable lobby with 208 other CEO's, urged President Barack Obama to pressure Congress to grant amnesty and, at the same time, "create a larger pool of visas" for high and low-skilled workers.
Yet numerous studies from non-profit, non-partisan organizations like the Economic Policy Institute and the Federal Reserve found that no shortage of high tech workers exists. More low-skilled visas would put at risk Americans who work in the service industries and may be earning less than the poverty level.
Mainstream media reporting is scandalously bad in exposing blanket amnesty's consequences. Adding millions more workers at a time of sustained high unemployment is bad for the employed and the unemployed. For those who don't have a job, finding one would be harder in an expanded labor pool. Those lucky enough to have a job might suddenly find themselves competing against thousands willing to work for less. Wage stagnation, now in its fifth decade, would continue unabated.
With a mid-term election only months away, congressmen who want to keep their jobs should ignore the big business lobby and instead listen to their constituents who oppose amnesty.
Joe Guzzardi©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org - Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at [email protected] For comments to Joe email to [email protected]