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Silicon Valley Running Scared: Zuckerberg Lobbyist Attacks Trump Immigration Plan

The head of Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration lobbying group, FWD.us, is calling Donald Trump’s popular immigration platform radical and “anti-immigrant.”

Todd Shulte responded to Trump’s new policy paper in a blog post on the FWD.us website.

Schulte was named president of the organization in September of last year after his predecessor, Joe Greene, was reportedly “forced” out after his declaration that foreign workers are better than American workers.

While Trump has called for H-1B reform that would prioritize the jobs and wages of American workers, Schulte’s proposals would radically expand immigration and hurt American workers.

For instance, Professor Hal Salzman of Rutgers University testified recently before the Senate Judiciary Committee that corporations are filling roughly two-thirds of entry-level tech jobs with foreign workers. However, if the bills supported by FWD.us—such as Marco Rubio’s I-Squared bill, which FWD.us describes as its “gold standard for high tech reform”—were passed into law, corporations would “have enough guestworkers for at least 100 percent of their new hiring and [could] continue to legally substitute these younger workers for current employees, holding down wages for both them and new hires.”

In the blog post, Schulte argues that rather than curbing immigration, Congress should massively expand immigration levels. That’s a policy similar to the Rubio-Schumer bill, which FWD.us endorsed in 2013. Schulte specifically calls for “clearing the green card backlog” and “increasing the numbers of H-1B visas,” which is a visa popular with corporations that allows companies to replace Americans tech workers with foreign workers who’ll accept lower salaries. This recently happened at DisneySouthern California Edison, and Fossil Inc.

Under current federal policy, the United States admits one million plus foreign nationals on green cards, one million guest workers, their dependents, and refugees, and half a million foreign youths sought by college administrators. The number of immigrants in the U.S. is at an all-time record high– 42.1 million. The Census Bureau forecasts that in a few years, driven by our visa issuances to poor countries, the immigrant to population ratio will explode past all known historical markers.

Schulte writes: “The idea we should radically restrict pathways for highly-skilled immigrants to come and stay here is – again – just wrong.”

Schulte describes Trump supporters as “hard-line anti-immigrant restrictionists” who “rant that immigrants are taking jobs away from ‘real’ Americans.”

Ironically, in taking this position, Schulte is arguing that women and minorities, who overwhelmingly support immigration control and stand to lose the most from the large wave of newcomers, are “anti-immigrant” as well.

Polls from Fox News and Gallup show that Americans — by a 2-to-1 ratio — want to see visa issuances reduced. A 2014 poll by KellyAnne Conway found that Hispanics, by nearly a seven to one ratio, want employers to hire workers already in the country rather than importing foreign workers to fill jobs. Black voters support this measure by a ratio of almost 30 to 1. Another 2014 poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) found that women support an immigration policy that puts Americans back to work by a 4-1 margin (72 percent vs. 17 percent).

Schulte is also calling anti-immigrant, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who in 2013 tweeted: “The J-1 visa program allows corporations to replace young American workers with cheaper labor from abroad.”

Schulte is also calling anti-immigrant, the late-Democratic Congresswoman and civil rights champion, Barbara Jordan, who in arguing for lower immigration, famously said: “the national interest comes first, last and always.”

As then-Senator Barack Obama explained in 2006: “The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century,” and “threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”

In order to support his argument, Schulte cites data from other cheap labor lobbying groups, such as American Action Forum and the Chamber of Commerce. Both groups actively pushed for the passage of the 2013 Rubio-Schumer expansionist immigration bill.

Schultes writes: “For more information that breaks down the anti-immigrant narrative and illustrates the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy please see this fact sheet from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: DEBUNKING THE MYTH THAT IMMIGRATION HARMS AMERICA.”

The Chamber of Commerce’s support for expansions in cheap foreign labor has been well documented. In 2013, the group spent $50 million trying to pass amnesty and common core. In 2014, Tom Donahue, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, said that if the Republican party doesn’t pass so-called immigration reform—by which he meant amnesty and mass increases in immigration– “they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.”

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