U.S. Investors See Congo’s Migrants as Economic Resource

Members of Panama's National Borders Service check the list of migrants who leave the
LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden should grant the prize of short-term amnesty to illegal migrants from the chaotic and huge African country of the Congo, says the leading D.C.-based advocacy group for wealthy West Coast investors.

“By designating [Congo] for TPS [Temporary Protected Status], the Biden Administration can ensure that Congolese nationals living in the United States are not deported to a country where they will face terrible violence and even death … [and] risk life-threatening conditions when attempting to flee to neighboring countries,” said the report by the FWD.us advocacy group.

The flow of illegal migrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) population of 100 million is already growing because Biden is accepting illegal migrants — and inviting legal refugees — from the DRC.

On April 4, Border Report posted an article from Tijuana, Mexico:

 The [city] office of immigrant affairs in Tijuana has noticed a new trend in recent weeks with more and more migrants from Africa arriving in the city.

“It has been a constant flow,” said Enrique Lucero, head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office. “It’s due to the political and economic climate that exists in that continent.”

Lucero said most of the migrants are from countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana and Somalia. “They are all taking the same route through Brazil, they’ll cross South America and then on to Mexico City and finally Tijuana,” Lucero said.

The migrants from Africa fly into South America and then walk through the Darien Gap jungle trail between Colombia in South America and Panama in Central America.

Many illegals from the DRC have already settled in Maine. In September 2022, the New York Times described how some of the migrants were hired to pick apart seafood:

More than 700 families seeking asylum have come to ​the ​Portland​ area since January 2021, most of whom fled the Democratic Republic of Congo or Angola​. Southern Maine has welcomed them with months of free housing and other assistance, filling a void left by a federal system that lets them stay in the country temporarily, but provides neither financial help nor swift permission to work.

Ben Conniff, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Luke’s Lobster, said his business relies heavily on immigrants. About one-third of the employees at the company’s [seafood] processing plant in Saco are asylum seekers, and he is desperate to hire more.

Congo’s illegal migrants are following more than 60,000 Congolese who have been resettled in the United States by the federal refugee program.

The refugee program is funded by Congress and is annually pulling tens of thousands of fortunate people and quietly distributing them to low-wage employers, cheap apartments, and charity groups throughout the United States. The legal inflow of migrants was spotlighted on March 31 by the Federal Processing Center, which revealed that 6,200 people from the Congo have been airlifted into U.S. communities in the first five months of this fiscal year.

Many DRC refugees are being pulled from neighboring countries where they had settled before 2012.

Migrants tend to move when they see other migrants succeed, and any conversation about successful migration from the Congo to the United States will spur more migration, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It would accelerate the flow of illegals if [activists] just talked about [TPS], absolutely,” he said.

But most U.S. migration advocates tend to be progressives who are motivated by ideology, not money, he added:

They think that illegals who are here deserve to be here. They should never be sent back. And if they’re here, we have to give them legal status, and doing anything else is cruel and unthinkable and Trumpian.


The Money

The FWD.us report lowballs the resident population of migrants from the Congo, saying just 2,000 illegal migrants would gain from TPS.

But it plays up their economic impact, saying they “contribute $30 million to the economy annually, and have a workforce participation rate of 93%, providing essential services at a time of worker shortages and high inflation.”

The migration is good for the founders of FWD.us, who are West Coast investors that gain stock-market from any current and expected inflow of extra consumers, renters, manual laborers, or skilled workers.

In 2019, FWD.us fought a campaign in New York to provide driver’s licenses to at least 200,000 illegals. The successful campaign provided a new pool of wage-cutting labor — and consumers — to delivery companies, such as DoorDash and Uber. FWD.us members include leading investors in those companies.

The breadth of investors who founded and funded FWD.us was hidden from casual visitors to the group’s website. But copies exist at the other sites.

A 2019 study by the Utah-based Center for Growth and Opportunity reported that TPS approvals raise investors’ stock prices:

This study examines the stock prices of firms most likely to be affected by immigration immediately surrounding the signing of the Immigration Act of 1990 and the implementation of the 1999 Temporary Protected Status [rule for illegals from Nicaragua and Honduras] … Results show that, relative to the entire market, the stock prices of agricultural firms, construction firms, and manufacturing firms increase significantly during the period surrounding these two events.

WATCH: Fmr. Obama Acting ICE Director: ‘Certainly, There’s a Crisis at the Border’ and Asylum Process Is Abused:


In addition, the report notes, “the wages of previous [in-place] immigrants are substantially (negatively) affected by the presence of new immigrant workers.”

In November 2021, FWD.us president Todd Schulte outlined his hope for more migration from Africa:

I think it is a very reasonable expectation for the future to say, 20 years from now, in the way that we’ve seen this huge increase in employment and immigration from India, [that] “You know over the last 20 years it is Nigeria where there’s a huge number of people coming — lots of English speakers, highly educated — there’s a growing population here now.”

He told the group:

Whether they are someone who is going to move to Pittsburgh and is going to be able to work as a hospital administrator or in the back of the hospital … These are people we want, and we want to fight for those families and their parents because it’s the right thing to do. That benefits us.

Schulte declined to answer questions from Breitbart News.

The investors who created FWD.us are very influential in President Joe Biden’s White House. For example, FWD.us strongly backed the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to run the Department of Homeland Security.

Overall, Mayorkas is pushing hard to create a Canada-style migration system that accelerates the extraction of human resources from other countries for use by many domestic companies and investors.

So far, this policy of Extraction Migration has pulled in an additional 3 million southern migrants across the southern border to serve as workers, consumers, and renters. This illegal and quasi-legal inflow is on top of the legal annual inflow of roughly 2 million temporary workers and legal immigrants set by Congress’ 1990 law. For example, Mayorkas ignores the law requiring the detention of asylum-seeking migrants and has also established an illegal “parole pathway” for roughly 600,000 migrants per year.

Much of the extra illegal inflow goes to coastal cities such as New York, where the migrants simultaneously reduce employers’ labor costs and raise investors’ real estate values.

Mayorkas has also doubled the size of the TPS population from roughly 330,000 to 710,000 people, according to a January 2023 report by the Migration Policy Institute. For example, FWD.us and its allies cheered as Mayorkas created and expanded TPS for migrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Ukraine, and the African countries of Cameroon, Mauritania, Sudan, Ethiopia, and other nations.

Biden and his deputies added six countries to the list, including Venezuela. The January 2021 designation was a boon for 320,000 Venezuelans who had moved into the U.S. before 2021 — and its created an economic foundation for the arrival of at least 200,000 more Venezuelan illegal migrants in 2021 and 2022.

Business-backed migration advocates always want more. For example, in March 2022, the CATO Institute called for TPS to be automatically extended to migrants whose home countries are embroiled in a civil war.

This labor-migration economic policy is deeply unpopular, so advocates cannot get Congress to clearly raise immigration numbers. For example, in December 2019, Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton successfully blocked a visa giveaway to Irish and European graduates.

In response, Biden, his deputies, and their business allies spend much effort trying to sneak in more migrants — and to hide the human and economic costs of migration from ordinary Americans.


Policy Options

There are several obvious economy-boosting alternatives to more migration: More births, more labor-saving automation, more overseas investment, and trade.

However, U.S. officials show little or no interest in helping Americans have more kids. Instead, the government wants to offer more incentives for women to work instead of raising the families they wish to raise.

Millions of working-age Americans have fallen out of the workforce, often into drugs and obesity. Many would return if they were offered higher wages, but investors prefer to keep wages low and replace Americans with grateful, younger, hard-working migrants.

Companies are also reluctant to invest in labor-saving machinery. They complain the machines cost extra funds to develop and operate, and they want the ability to cut their costs — by firing migrants — during a recession.

Another alternative is sending U.S. aid to African economies to help grow the local economies.

“It’s an undeniable fact that you can help far more people — like 12 to one — by resettling people close to home,” instead of flying them to distant U.S. cities and towns, said Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA.

U.S. funding is already helping many Congolese refugees who had fled to neighboring states. Many of those migrants are also returning home amid a decline in Congo’s internal conflicts. A U.N. report in January 2023 described the return of refugees back to Congo:

In the Lôvua refugee camp, a group of friends gather around a fire with the owners of the place, Miche Mazela Kusa and Terese Kitembe, who are soon to return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with their two children . “I fled the conflict, but now peace and security are back, so I’m going home,” says Miche, speaking of the ethnic and political conflicts that erupted in the Kasai province in 2017, pushing an estimated 35,000 people to seek refuge in Angola.

Helping local refugees in Africa also ensures the aid money “would go to the region to provide food and supplies,” she said, adding “If we’re bringing people here, it’s all going through hands in the United States,” she said.

If local refugees become refugees in the United States, “they will get eight months of cash benefits and be dumped into the welfare system and public education system and essentially then become taxpayer burdens,” she added.

But business groups prefer that Africans move to the United States because business investments are safer in the United States.

“For any number of reasons — inability to enforce contracts, political problems — the capital [in wealthy countries] really didn’t flow” to poor countries, according to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the president of the GOP-linked American Action Forum. Instead, “it stayed in these [wealthy] countries,” he said during an October 2021 online talk organized by far-left public publication DemocracyJournal.org.

“But economics does abhor a vacuum, and so now the [poor] labor is coming for the capital,” via international migration, said Holtz-Eakin, a pro-migration economist who formerly worked for Sen. John McCain and President George W. Bush when he was pushing the open-borders “any willing worker” claim.

For example, U.S. hotel chains could expand their revenues by building more hotels in India and Africa. But many hotel chains prefer to build U.S. hotels with managers from India, plus cooks and cleaners from Central America or elsewhere, to serve the growing U.S. population of Americans and migrants.

In the Congo, U.S. companies buy critical raw materials for batteries from the local mining industry.

But the lack of investment means the materials are also mined by desperate adults and children while military groups try to fight for control of the mining areas.

ABC News reported in February 2023:

Siddharth Kara is a researcher in modern slavery and recently published a book on the cobalt rush. He said what he saw in Kolwezi shocked him more than anything he’d seen before, as “the severity and scale of human degradation and exploitation at the bottom of global supply chains, it just really shook me.”

At mine sites he visited, “people were caked in toxic filth, children caked in toxic grime and filth and scrounging in pits, trenches and tunnels to gather cobalt bearing ore and feed it up the supply chain,” he said.

Congo’s development by distorted by Belgium’s exploitative colonization from the 1870s to 1960. The U.S. Trade Representative has a page on U.S. investment in the Congo:


Biden’s Policy

The administration is endorsing both options — investment and Extraction Migration.

In January, Buden’s deputies signed a deal with the DRC and Zambia to help develop their extraction of raw materials:

The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt.  Zambia is the world’s sixth-largest copper producer, and the second largest cobalt producer in Africa.  These resources, and this commitment to cooperation, are crucial components of the urgently needed global energy transition.  The plan to develop an electric battery supply chain opens the door for open and transparent investment to build value-added and sustainable industry in Africa and creating a just energy transition for workers and local communities.

In late March, Vice-President Kamala Harris recently visited several countries in Africa. The visit promoted Democratic priorities, including sexual autonomy and climate-related programs — and business investment.

“The Biden administration is trying to not just loosen [China’s] grip but encourage more American businesses to invest in African nations,” Politico reported, adding:

 Her task will be to convince the African nations that the United States wants to truly invest in the future of the countries here and help change the narrative for Americans and encourage more business investments.

But regional experts see the U.S. losing markets, trade, and political influence through Africa, according to Politico:

“American businesses do not see Africa in economic terms. They don’t see African countries as investment opportunities. It’s the first step to shift the rhetoric from a focus on corruption and human rights and security to business opportunities,” said Amaka Anku, who heads up the Africa practice at the Eurasia group. “But I think that the challenge is not just convincing Africans that Africa’s economic transformation is in the American interest. It’s also convincing Americans. Otherwise it’s just rhetoric.”

“Washington is playing catch up in Africa,” said Cameron Hudson, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program. “With all of the business investment that the Chinese have made comes a lot of leverage and political influence in those countries. It’s not just that they’re making money there. It’s that they now have skin in the game in Africa in ways that we don’t. And that gives them leverage that we don’t have.”

On March 31, U.S. officials released the latest data on refugee arrivals: The DRC inflow doubled from 1,204 in February to 2,441 in March, and was 40 percent of the worldwide refugee inflow.

This split between Harris’ promise of investment, and companies’ preference for migrants, creates tension in U.S. policy, said Jenks.

“If [Harris] is out there saying that American companies are going to invest in these countries, and those American companies are saying, “Oh, no, no, we’re going to bring more people … in one way or another and keep them here and use them as cheap labor,” it’s kind of contradictory,” she told Breitbart News.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.