Exclusive: GOP Leadership Ignores Immigration Entirely in Town Hall Talking Points

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) (R-KY) answers questions from reporters following the weekly Democratic caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol May 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. McConnell spoke on pending legislation before the U.S. Senate on a balanced budget, an agreement with Iran on nuclear research, and pending …
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republican legislators have gotten their messaging instructions from their top leaders: Tout unpopular free-trade measures during the August recess, ignore popular curbs on the migration that saps Americans’ wages.

Breitbart News has exclusively obtained an internal August recess messaging instruction set for Republican legislators produced by Sen. John Thune, who orchestrates the GOP Senators’ PR pitch. This 20-page messaging instruction manual seems to confirm prior reports by Breitbart News that Republican Congressional leadership has no plans to enact popular immigration reforms to curb large-scale migration.

Each August, Senators and Congressmen return home to listen to constituents’ concerns and to tout the party’s actions in Washington. The recess is set to end Tuesday after Labor Day.

“In this packet you will find a number of resources to help you draw attention to our 2015 accomplishments,” Thune wrote to all 54 GOP Senators. “Please use the August recess to hold events in your state highlighting the work you’ve done and the successes we’ve achieved in the Senate,” he wrote. “Spread the word about [the Senate] getting back to work.”

“Back to work” is apparently the new messaging campaign for the Republican Congress. “Since taking the majority in January, the GOP-led Senate has been delivering real results for the American people, showing that ‘back to work’ is more than a campaign slogan – it’s actually happening,” writes a “Morning Messaging Memo” for Republican congressional staffers obtained by Breitbart News.

While Thune’s instructions urge GOP Senators to meet with business groups during the August recess to tout the GOP’s support for President Barack Obama’s unpopular free-trade treaties, the package ignores the issue that is dominating the national political dialogue and is popular amongst the GOP’s voter base– curbing the huge swell of Democrat-leaning migrants and guest-workers arriving in the United States.

Each year, the federal government invites roughly 3 million legal migrants and guest-workers to compete for jobs against the 4 million Americans who enter the workforce. They’re being invited into the United States by Obama, with the fervent support of the business interests that fund the Democratic and Republican political machines.

For months, migration has been at the forefront of the nation’s attention: reports documenting the compression of the middle class during the forty-year green card wave, the discovery that all net employment gains among women since the recession went to foreign workers, the unveiling of a nation-wide illegal migrant crime wave, the murder of Kate Steinle and the Senate Judiciary Commitee’s hearing on illegal migrant crime, the “Summer of Trump” whose rise to national prominence has been fueled by a campaign focused on immigration moderation, the Chattanooga shooting carried out by a Kuwaiti immigrant, the rampant use of the H-1B visa to supplant American workers with lower-wage foreigners, the overcrowding of schools where educational resources for black and Hispanic Americans have been significantly siphoned to provide benefits to illegal migrant kids who surged across the border last summer, and the blue-ward shift  in the electoral landscape of formerly red states about by the federal government’s green card gusher.

Yet there is not a single mention of migration in Thune’s packet, even though 2014 polling data from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) showed popular migration reform would boost GOP support. The NRSC is responsible for helping GOP Senators win their elections.

The NRSC found that by greater than a 2-1 margin, African American voters would be more likely to support a Republican Senate candidate who messages on an migration policy that puts Americans back to work (63% vs. 25%). Women would support the Senate candidate by a 4-1 margin (72 percent vs. 17 percent). Women, who identified as Democrats, supported the platform by greater than a two to one margin (62 percent vs. 24 percent). Blue-collar voters making less than $50,000 per year support this populist migration stance by a four-to-one margin (70 percent vs. 16 percent).

Moreover, Hispanics agree with Republican voters. They support a populist labor policy– fewer migrants, higher wages– by a nearly 2-1 margin, 59 percent vs. 32 percent, according to the NRSC poll.

GOP leadership’s refusal to cut the huge inflow of foreign workers, however, is not for a lack of proposed legislation. Indeed, should Republican leadership choose to champion the American people’s priorities on migration reform, there are many bills that have been introduced by rank-and-file members of Congress which could be brought to a vote. For instance, Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter and Iowa Rep. Steve King have offered bills that would correct the current practice of awarding citizenship to the children of migrants, dubbed “anchor babies.” Roughly 340,000 foreign children gain U.S. citizenship via this method each year.

Freshman Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX) has introduced a new bill that would “push the pause button on refugee resettlement,” that has led to the development of pockets of radicalized Muslim communities within the United States. One such community can be found in House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ home state of Washington– where 25,000 girls are at risk of female genital mutilation as a result of unbridled Muslim immigration.

Thune’s packet, however, does not showcase Babin’s popular immigration proposal.

Instead, the Thune packet advises Senators and their staff to set up photo opportunities and “design an event to show how the Senate’s accomplishments are directly benefiting folks at home.”

The package advises Senators and staffers to arrange a press event at their a local Chamber of Commerce to tout the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which cedes Congress’ authority to negotiate trade deals to President Obama allowing for the speedy passage of unpopular trade agreements that will subject American sovereignty to governance of a global commission similar to the European Union.

The packet provides graphics promoting the passage of TPA:

senate priorites

The packet also reads in part:

THEME 4: Growing our nation’s economy

Example bills:

  • Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act
  • Trade Promotion Authority

Suggested venues:

  • Local business
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Farm, ranch, or factory

Suggested talking points:

  • When Republicans took the majority in the Senate, we committed to passing policies that will create jobs and help grow the economy – in stark contrast to the Democrat-led Senate and the policies of the Obama administration.

Many Republican voters are skeptical of free trade deals. A recent YouGov poll shows that Republican voters—at higher rates than Democrats—think that free-trade agreements make U.S. wages lower, have resulted in job losses, and have hurt their household. A 2014 Pew Poll similarly found that Americans by more than a two-to-one margin believe free-trade deals reduce wages (45 percent vs. 17 percent); and believe that free-trade deals destroy jobs by nearly a three-to-one margin (55 percent vs. 20 percent).

In fact, the Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump has seen a rise in the polls, in large part, due to his ability to distinguish himself from other GOP candidates the issue of trade through his emphasis on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and cracking down on the unfair trading practices of foreign competitors.

Republican leadership, however,  is well aware that the position of its donors and corporatist interest groups are deeply disconnected from the views of everyday Republican voters on the issue of trade. As Breitbart News has previously reported, GOP pollster Frank Luntz has advised Republican lawmakers on “how to deceive Americans into believing the trade deal is a good thing—when even Luntz’s polling data shows widespread opposition to it.”

Luntz’s polling data– which was not intended to be available to the public– found that, “an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that ‘international trade’ benefits ‘other countries,’ not the United States. Luntz asked respondents: ‘Do free trade agreements [t]he U.S. has signed with other countries over the past 2 decades benefit other countries or the United States?’ A whopping 70 percent said other countries, while just 30 percent said the U.S.”

Based on this data, Luntz told Republicans on Capitol Hill that they ought to give globalist trade deals a “name change”: “International Trade’ Needs A Name Change… because they [the American people] associate it with benefiting other countries—not the U.S.”


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