House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that an amnesty and immigration bill is the “next big priority” for the House.
“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties,” he said at his Thursday press conference. He continued:
That is a commitment that I share. To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign.
We must pass this budget agreement first though so we can get on to that. So please know we are committed to getting this done …
Getting this [two-year] budget agreement done allows us to shift our focus on the next big priority, which has a deadline, which is this issue.
Ryan’s promise of an amnesty debate will likely help reduce Democratic opposition in the House to the two-year budget deal.
But his promise of support for an amnesty — however vague — comes as Trump seems increasingly ready to make the immigration issue a central question in the 2018 election. “We have to get help from either side [to pass a bill in 2018] — or we have to elect many more Republicans,” Trump told GOP legislators gathered at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia on February 1. He continued:
Based on the [election related] numbers we just saw, we have a real chance of doing that … [Immigration] is now an election issue that will go to our benefit, not their benefit.
It is not clear if Ryan would oppose a central role for immigration in the 2018 election — although he has shown that he wants to win over November swing-voters by highlighting the pocketbook benefits of the tax bill.
Ryan is a long-standing supporter of “any willing worker” laws which subsidize companies and investors with cheap imported labor. For example, Ryan has repeatedly endorsed the importation of cheap workers for the dairy industry in his Wisconsin district, even though American workers in Iowa are manufacturing robotic cow-milkers which can do the same task at a much lower cost.
Companies want more imported workers because the nation’s formal unemployment rate is so low that wages are rising. Without a reserve army of unemployed people, companies are now forced to compete for new workers by offering higher wages, bonuses and training opportunities. For example, a recent chart shows that annual wage growth (including inflation) rises above 2 percent once the “prime age non-employment rate” drops below 23 percent.
A DACA amnesty would quickly provide business with up to 3.25 million additional legal workers — which is almost equal to the 4 million Americans who enter the job market each year.
On Thursday, Ryan simultaneously endorsed “entitlement reform,” which would likely push many elderly or sick Americans back to work alongside the imported cheap-labor workers.
Ryan provided few details about his plans, except that he would only schedule a vote on a bill which President Donald Trump supports. That requirement is very important because it gives Trump the power to push his goals, and it deters a nascent coalition of pro-amnesty Democratic Senators and business-first Republicans from pushing an amnesty-only bill through the Senate.
However, if Democratic and media pressure causes Trump to cave on his four-part Framework plan before the November election, Ryan’s statement would allow him to rush a pro-business amnesty through the House — even if a majority of GOP legislators oppose the amnesty.
Ryan dismissed a journalist’s call for an unconstrained debate in the House as urged by Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi. An open debate would allow Democratic solidarity and cheap-labor business groups to jointly force through a no-strings amnesty which would sink President Donald Trump’s four-part, amnesty-and-immigration “Framework” plan.
Ryan has so far refused to back the House GOP amnesty-and-immigration bill authored by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and three other chairs. That bill has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, who described it as a “bill of love” in January.
The Goodlatte bill would provide renewable work-permits to the population fo 690,000 DACA illegals while providing border officials with legal reforms need to close legal loopholes in any border wall and to offset “sanctuary city” state laws. The bill would also quickly end the chain-migration program and immediately stops the visa lottery.
The Goodlatte bill would also mandate the E-Verify system to bar the hiring of illegals but would provide the agriculture industry with roughly 500,000 vis-workers to help them compete against other agriculture companies based in lower-wage countries, such as Mexico, and Chile.
Business groups and Democratic leaders, however, favor unpopular bills that would simply offer an amnesty to millions of illegals and allow them to bring in millions of additional chain-migration relatives. The alternative bills provide fig-leaves to hide the amnesty behind one-year spending for “border security.”
Business groups favor the alternative amnesty bills because they are trying to stop Trump’s plan to end the chain-migration inflow of new customers and workers. Those inflows of roughly 350,000 people per year are important to the companies because they help suppress Americans’ salaries and wages, and they also goose consumer sales, so boosting stock-market values.
Those bills are strongly opposed by pro-Americans groups, including NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
Ryan speculated about the Senate debate on immigration, saying “first, I think it is important to see if they can produce a bill, and what they can produce.” The Senate debate is expected to start next week.
Trump’s 2016 immigration policies are very popular among the public, including among blue-collar African-Americans who are a core element of the Democrats’ current electoral base.
In contrast, business groups, Democrats, and the establishment media tout misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 3 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.
The alternative “priority or fairness” polls — plus the 2016 election — show that voters in the polling booth put a much higher priority on helping their families, neighbors, and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy.
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