Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told Breitbart News on Tuesday evening that despite the claims from many in the GOP establishment that corporations need to import foreigners to do American jobs through immigration reform, American workers can in fact cut it in the workforce.
In a phone interview on the faulty economic argument from establishment GOP group American Action Network (AAN) that argued passing amnesty like the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill would “create jobs,” King told Breitbart News the misconceptions the Washington political class are peddling are astounding.
“They say they need to bring in people to do this work Americans ‘won’t do,'” King said.
King said he and his wife “have been looping around through Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and I’m in Maine,” over the past few days. “And I looked all over in those places for any significant sign that the work that was being done that they say ‘Americans won’t do,’ is all being done by people here in this part of the country that don’t have a connection to Latin America,” King said.
Two staffers for Gang of Eight member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) infamously told the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that American workers “can’t cut it” during the course of the debate over the Senate’s immigration reform bill. After intense criticism from the conservative and mainstream media over his staffers’ remarks, Rubio said he did not agree with the remarks that were made.
“The quote attributed to a member of my staff was a description of one argument used against big labor’s opposition to a guest worker program,” Rubio said. “It is not my view in any way. I could not disagree with it more.”
Rubio, who has tried to maintain a low profile on the issue of immigration after the Senate passed the Gang of Eight bill, met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday. Zuckerberg has spent millions of dollars of his own money pushing amnesty through his FWD.us group and its various affiliated groups like “Americans for a Conservative Direction.”
King said he knows the American people will do the work. He suggested efforts like the one from AAN on Tuesday to peddle flimsy and economically unsound numbers indicate those pushing amnesty may be losing political momentum but warned against any premature declaration of victory.
“Well, I don’t want to count any chickens at all with this before they’re hatched because you never know, there’s another rabbit that can be pulled out of the hat,” King said. “It looked like the Senate’s Gang of Eight amnesty bill was going to fail in the Senate and they couldn’t muster the 60 votes to get that done. Then they pulled out of the air the Corker amendment which barely was enough to put the votes in place to pass it in the Senate.”
King added that if immigration laws were actually enforced, it would immediately open up jobs to unemployed Americans.
“Whatever their [AAN’s] number is, and however many million ‘jobs’ they purport to ‘create,’ but here’s how you would create jobs for Americans,” King explained. “There are, depending on whose statistics you want to look at, there are 7 to 8 million jobs occupied by people who it is unlawful for them to work in America.”
“If you enforce the law, you create 7 to 8 million new jobs right away,” he claimed. “Then you take those jobs that are created and pull 7 to 8 million people off the welfare rolls out of the 100 million who are working age but simply not in the workforce.”
“That’s when you get the double benefit: you enforce the law and you create jobs for American workers,” King stated. “Every time you enforce the law, you create a job for an American worker; you get a twofer.”