While the Obama administration was dumping illegal immigrant children in states like Nebraska, California, and Illinois last week, big-business interests in several states revamped their push for amnesty legislation and more guest-worker visas.
In Texas, which has been the epicenter of the crisis, business groups warned “that Congress’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reforms could create a bigger long-term economic crisis,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
In South Carolina, business groups also pressed for the visa and guest-worker systems to be revamped.
“Our inefficient visa programs are creating a situation where we are educating the workforce of competing nations,” claimed the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. “There’s still going to be an additional talent demand that can be filled through immigrants being able to stay here with a more effective visa program and go to work.”
Steven Mungo, the CEO of Mungo Homes, said he was “just an expert on the available workforce, and it’s inadequate.” He told the local ABC outlet that, “we just don’t have enough high quality workers available to us any longer to take care of the current need and certainly will not have it going forward.”
Dairy and pizza groups in Wisconsin called for amnesty legislation. And in Tennessee, the CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association, Ralph Schulz, and the president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce said amnesty legislation is needed because the Middle Tennessee region is expecting a shortage of 22,000 workers throughout the decade.
In Georgia, the call for amnesty “came from representatives of the Technology Association of Georgia, the Georgia Restaurant Association, the Georgia Poultry Federation, and the unions ALF-CIO and Workers United.”
Karen Bremer, executive director of the Restaurant Association, “said U.S.-born workers either don’t apply for those jobs or won’t keep them long.”
“The problem: there is virtually no legal way for less-skilled foreigners without family in the U.S. to enter the country and work in year-round jobs, virtually no temporary or permanent work visas, except for seasonal jobs,” she told the Florida Times-Union.
The Congressional Budget Office has determined that comprehensive amnesty legislation would lower the wages of American workers. And despite the claims of big-business and high-tech lobbies, there is no proof that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers or that Americans will not do lower-skilled jobs. In fact, the opposite is true.
The big-business groups are calling for more guest-worker visas and work permits, even though nonpartisan scholars and studies have shown there is a surplus of American high-tech workers. And a Center for Immigration Studies report found that Americans make up the majority in jobs they supposedly are unwilling to do. For instance, “51 percent of maids and housekeepers, 63 percent of butchers and meat processors, 64 percent of grounds maintenance workers, 66 percent of construction laborers, and 73 percent of janitors employed are U.S.-born.”