Roger Daltrey, frontman for The Who, stepped up to slam Britain’s recent massive increases in legal immigration, saying they hurt domestic workers in the European nation, the Telegraph reports by way of the Sunday Times magazine.
“I will never, ever forgive the Labour party for allowing this mass immigration with no demands put on what people should be paid when they come to this country,” the lead singer of the internationally successful rock band said. “I will never forgive them for destroying the jobs of my mates, because they allowed their jobs to be undercut with stupid thinking on Europe, letting them all in, so they can live 10 to a room, working for Polish wages.”
“I’ve got nothing against the Poles at all, but that was a political mistake and it made me very angry,” Daltrey added. “And the people who get it in the neck are the immigrants, and it’s not their fault.”
According to a story a few days ago from the Telegraph, the British Labour Party’s former Home Secretary, Jack Straw, admitted his party’s open borders approach to allowing Eastern European immigrants to freely flow into Britain was a “spectacular mistake.” In 2004, his party allowed migrant workers from Poland and Hungary to freely immigrate to Britain–a policy Straw described this week as “well-intentioned” even though, as he said, “we messed up.”
Daltrey’s and Straw’s comments come as the United States Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration head into the next stages of an ongoing immigration policy debate. The Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” bill would legalize the status and eventually grant citizenship to the millions of illegal aliens inside America’s borders right now, without any guarantee of future border security measures. The Senate bill would also bring in upwards of 40 million new legal immigrants in the next 20 years.
Similar proposals from some establishment-minded House Republicans would likely have similar effects.
One major argument against an unprecedented increase in legal immigration–rather than continuing at current levels of legal immigration which bring in a million or more immigrants per year–is that it would force Americans who are unemployed or underemployed in the still-faltering economy to compete with those new immigrants for jobs.
As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted, the Senate bill or a plan like it would drive unemployment up and wages down–all because it would game the labor market’s laws of supply and demand by massively increasing the supply in a way that benefits employers and labor unions. They would benefit from workers being in a position to accept substandard jobs and pay because of the threat of losing their jobs.
What Daltrey and Straw have seen happen in Britain could occur in the U.S. if a plan like the Senate’s–or one backed by groups like the Chamber of Commerce–were to pass into law.
While House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and the rest of House GOP leadership have denounced any efforts to attempt to save the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill via conference committee negotiations, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and some other other Republicans in the House have yet to rule out a conference committee. Additionally, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has launched new advertising efforts in an attempt to gin up support for immigration reform through his FWD.us group.
While House GOP leadership has effectively closed off the procedural route to amnesty and a comprehensive immigration legislation package like the Senate bill, leaders in the GOP remain committed to attempting some kind of immigration package some time in early 2014.