Hours after an on-air meltdown over immigration, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) asked pro-amnesty business group ImmigrationWorksUSA to bail her out of criticism, prompting the group to send an email plea for phone calls and other support.
“We need your help,” ImmigrationWorksUSA wrote to its email subscribers. “Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) has been an outspoken advocate for immigration reform, and now she is being attacked by the right for her courageous stance. Please join us in speaking out in her defense. Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham called out the congresswoman this morning, and Breitbart TV piled on.”
In the email, the advocacy group wrote that “Rep. Ellmers’ office has asked for our help.” The group then quoted from what a representative from Ellmers’ team specifically asked them to do: “We need any folks that can call the show, or tweet at Laura to do so. We need everyone from top to bottom – from farmers and workers to executives and trade industry folks. She basically claimed that the stories we’re hearing aren’t true. We need to show her that she’s wrong.”
Ellmers interview with radio host Laura Ingraham is one of the least effective pro-amnesty performances from a Republican this Congress since the debate took off following the 2012 elections.
Under fire on amnesty from calm but insistent questioning from Ingraham, Ellmers called her host “small minded,” “ignorant,” and claimed to be the author of a ubiquitous immigration talking point, adopting the third person to say “Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) thinks for herself.”
Then ImmigrationWorksUSA gave email also gave subscribers an exactly-worded message to tell Ingraham, a message arguing there is a “labor shortage” in America.
“My company (or my industry) does everything it can to hire American workers. When we can’t find willing and able Americans, we turn to immigrant workers. This allows us to keep our businesses open and growing, creating jobs for Americans. We need Congress to fix the immigration system so we can hire immigrants legally to work alongside Americans.”
They also provided Ingraham’s Twitter handle, her producer’s personal cell phone number and the studio number for the show.
As reported by Breitbart News, new research has called into question the notion that there is a “labor shortage,” as employment rates among working-age adults have been declining over the past 15 years.
ImmigrationWorksUSA president Tamar Jacoby testified in favor of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill last spring before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which she said there are not “enough willing and able Americans” to do many jobs in America.
“ImmigrationWorks USA is a national federation of small and medium-sized business owners from across the sectors that hire less skilled immigrant workers: hospitality, food processing, cleaning, maintenance and construction, among other industries,” she testified. “Our network consists of 25 state-based, pro-immigration business coalitions. These local groups fight for better immigration law in their states and in Washington and work to educate the public about the economic benefits of immigration. Their shared goal: to bring the legal intake of less-skilled immigrant workers more into line with the nation’s labor needs.”
In addition to asking ImmigrationWorksUSA and potentially other groups for help, Ellmers herself took to Twitter to further attack Ingraham in the wake of the interview.
In one Tweet, she mischaracterized something Ingraham said on the show. “I disagree w/ Laura Ingraham that farmers in #NC02 are lazy,” Ellmers Tweeted.
Ingraham had actually criticized pro-amnesty speakers at a forum in Ellmers’ district for implying that farmers and other American workers were lazy.
Update: In response to ImmigrationWorksUSA including her personal cell phone number in their email blast, Ingraham’s producer, Julia Hahn, told Breitbart News she has changed her voicemail to redirect those who have a problem with the rule of law or the Constitution to call Ellmers’ D.C. office.