CEOs to Congress: Import More Cheap Labor


Companies are facing pressure to raise wages, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is threatening to punish legislators who deny amnesty for roughly 3.5 million ‘dreamer’ illegals and ‘Temporary Protected Status’ migrants.

The threat was delivered via letter as Senators prepare to vote on Democratic-drafted amnesties and on GOP-drafted plans to cut the supply of immigrant chain-migration labor after 2028. The Chamber’s February 13 letter was titled “Key Vote Alert!,” and it said, underlined and in bold, that:

The Chamber may include votes on, or in relation to, to amendments addressing these priorities in our annual How They Voted scorecard.

The Chamber’s scorecard helps home-district CEOs and donors rank their legislators’ cooperation with the Chamber and can be used to pressure legislators to provide more aid.

The Chamber’s demand for more cheap labor is rational for its members, but it underlines how the nation’s economy has been distorted since the 1990s by the federal policy of economic growth by cheap-labor immigration.

The accumulated workforce of imported blue-collar and white-collar labor  — which receives roughly 1 million new immigrants per year —  reduces pressure for labor-saving investment and also shifts roughly $500 billion per year from employees towards employers, post-graduate professionals, and investors. That estimate comes from the 2016 National Academy of Science’s study on immigration, which estimated that immigration transfers roughly 5.2 percent of payrolls up to investors and employers.

Many of the companies which are pushing for an amnesty are also backing draft legislation which would provide them with an unlimited supply of white-collar foreign graduates at rock-bottom wages. That legislation, if ever passed, would force down salaries paid to American white-collar workers — just as illegal immigration has forced down wages for American blue-collar workers — and boost stock values on Wall Street.

Companies are seeking extra imported workers via amnesties because wages are rising as the nation’s formal unemployment rate drops. Without a large reserve army of unemployed people, companies are forced to compete for workers by offering higher wages, bonuses and training opportunities. For example, a new chart shows that annual wage growth (including inflation) rises above 2 percent once the “prime age non-employment rate” drops below 23 percent.

In early February, a federal report showed wages rose by roughly 1 percent, after inflation, from January 2017 to January 2018. Economists predict more wage pressure later this year as the economy continues to grow, partly because companies are using funds from the tax cut to expand.

Breitbart News reported February 13 the rising expectations of wage-raises in the 2018 election year:

The sharpest rise in expected income came from consumers earnings $50,0000 or less. In December, consumers at this income level forecast two percent wage growth. In January, this moved up to 2.81 percent. Consumers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 foresee 2.61 percent growth, up from 2.54 percent in December. The wealthiest households pulled back their expected wage gains to 2.83 percent from 3.0 percent.

The Chamber’s February 13 letter to legislators demands amnesty and work-permits for roughly 3.5 million foreigners, which is close to a year’s supply of new American workers. The letter said legislators should provide:

Permanent Relief for Dreamers: The Senate should provide permanent legislative relief for Dreamers such that as long as they follow the rules set by Congress, they will not be deported and will be able to continue to work or continue their education.

Permanent Relief for Long-Term TPS Beneficiaries: The Senate should provide permanent legislative relief for long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status program, such that beneficiaries will not be deported and will be able to continue to work in the U.S.

No Reduction in Legal Immigration: A functioning immigration system should promote legal immigration, not discourage it. The Chamber supports reprioritizing how visas are allocated to better meet domestic economic and workforce needs, but strongly opposes any reduction in legal immigration. A reduction in legal immigration will hinder overall economic growth and only encourage additional illegal immigration …

Workable Agricultural Guest Worker and E-Verify Systems: The Chamber continues to support a mandatory E-Verify system based upon the Legal Workforce Act as introduced in the House. Any proposal that includes a mandatory E-Verify system must, at the very least, be coupled with a workable agricultural guest worker program.

The Legal Workforce Bill would allow the agriculture industry to import an army of several hundred thousand foreign temporary workers in place of Americans.

The Chamber’s president and CEO is Thomas J. Donohue. The Chamber represents many major companies who benefit from cheap labor and the huge tax enabled by President Donald Trump’s conservative voters. So far, most of the economic benefits of the tax cut are flowing first to shareholders, not employees.

The wealthy information-technology investors represented by — which includes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — also want an amnesty and oppose cuts to legal immigration.

Another group of CEOs — including Jeff Bezos, owner of the pro-‘dreamer’ Washington Post — asked for cheap labor via their lobby, the Coalition for the American Dream:

We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers [to stay] … In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs.

Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis said in a CNBC interview on February 9:

We need more people. Talking to Democrats and Republicans, there seems to be a fair amount of agreement that it needs to be split between the amount of security and letting all people come into the country and becoming citizens — all we’re asking is to increase the labor pool.

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.



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