After working with the National Restaurant Association to try to get amnesty and immigration reform legislation that would import more foreign workers, President Barack Obama claimed that the very workers whose wages the Congressional Budget Office determined would be lowered by such legislation need him and Democrats.
“The problem is, is that for the folks worth fighting for–for the person who’s cleaning up that house or hotel, for the guy who used to work on construction but now has been laid off–they need us,” Obama said on Wednesday in Bel-Air.
Sam Brown, the director of the White House Business Council, told the National Restaurant Association at a recent conference that amnesty legislation and immigration reform was a “top priority” of the Obama Administration.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for a very long time,” Brown reportedly said. “There is no single item, frankly, in my opinion or in the Administration’s opinion that can do more to boost the economy than a comprehensive act to reform our immigration system.”
Brown also “encouraged conference attendees to make the case for why this legislation is so important to their businesses and employees” in the next two months as the White House pressures Congress to enact immigration reform because “the business case for why this makes sense for all of your bottom lines and for the country’s bottom line is just too strong.”
The National Restaurant Association has taken part in numerous amnesty meetings with the House, Senate, and the White House, and its leaders have urged “swift action” on immigration reform. In addition, the National Restaurant Association is on the executive board of a guest worker coalition that believes it is a myth that college students are available to work seasonal jobs, stating that “today’s students are choosing to take internships during the summer or travel instead.”
The guest worker coalition also believes it is a “myth” that more U.S. workers would apply for restaurant or other seasonal jobs if wages increased even though an estimated 50 million working-age Americans are looking for work.