House Speaker Paul Ryan used President Barack Obama’s final State of The Union speech to trash Donald Trump’s popular pro-American immigration platform — and to call for a radical, wage-cutting, open-borders plan.
The hit was delivered via the GOP response-speech, presented by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Her speech — which was almost certainly approved by Ryan — dumped on Trump and touts Ryan’s preference for a “any willing worker” economy.
That “any willing worker” term is used to describe nationwide employment rules which would allow any employer to hire any willing foreign workers if American workers decline to take the jobs because the offered wages are too low. President George. W. Bush worked with GOP leaders to push those rules in 2006 and 2007, but saw his poll ratings crash and his plans defeated.
In December, Ryan inserted stealth language in the 2016 omnibus bill that allows U.S. employers to hire roughly 90,000 low-wage foreign blue-collar workers — dubbed H-2B guest-workers — in 2016 to take the place of American blue-collar workers.
The key “willing worker” phrase is buried in the middle of the Haley speech, just after a passage that hits at Trump’s supposedly “angriest voices.”
“I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country,” Haley said in her response speech.
”My story is really not much different from millions of other Americans. Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America…Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices,” she said, suggesting that Trump is an irrational, angry person who dislikes foreigners.
Then came the hidden call for an any-willing-worker labor policy:
“We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country,” she said.
That phrase — “No one who is willing to work hard… should ever feel unwelcome in this country“ — is very different from Trump’s pro-American speeches.
Trump’s immigration-reform plans call for actual enforcement of immigration laws, which now limit employment in the United States to people born in the country, or to people legally admitted as immigrants or as guest workers. For example, Trump has proposed to reform the H-1B program, which imports foreign university graduates for jobs sought by American college-grads. His reform would rase the minimum wage for the H-1B workers so that companies would import only the most productive foreign workers, not ordinary foreign college grads to take jobs sought by Americans.
In practice, Trump’s emphasis on blocking illegal immigration and curbing guest-worker programs will gradually boost wages for Americans, and increase high-tech investment. That helps explain why those plans are so popular — and why Trump has shoved aside Ryan’s allies — such as Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio — in the 2016 primary race.
If ever implemented, Ryan’s “any willing worker” plans would allow employers to hire an unlimited number of foreign college grads for wages far below current wages paid to American college grads. That global competition for U.S. white-collar jobs would crash middle-class wages, and force Americans to vote for Democratic politicians in the hope of getting taxpayer-funded benefits or government-imposed minimum wages.
Since 2009, Obama has encouraged the inflow of legal and illegal foreign workers into the U.S. economy. In 2013, for example, he used the laws to add 2 million foreign workers to the economy, just as 4 million young Americans began looking for work. Wages stalled, but profits rose and the stock-market spiked that year.
Haley’s speech tried to downplay the impact of the any-willing-working theme by adding some vague reassurances that the border won’t be open to anyone who wants to take jobs or commit jihad attacks.
“No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country. At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can’t do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.
But her speech immediately refocused on the GOP’s hope of importing more workers because it portrayed immigration problems as only a problem of uncontrolled or illegal immigration — not a problem caused by the legal and controlled inflow of a massive wave of company-hired, wage-cutting, foreign, legal ‘willing workers.’
“We must fix our broken immigration system,” she said. “That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants.”