The pro-mass immigration billionaires Charles and David Koch, known informally as the “Koch brothers,” have committed to opposing President Trump’s popular plan to reduce legal immigration levels to raise the wages and quality of life for America’s working and middle class.
After a summit with donors and activists, the Koch brothers confirmed through their Hispanic lobbying organization “The LIBRE Initiative” that they would strongly oppose Trump’s plan to end the process known as “chain migration,” whereby newly naturalized citizens can currently bring their foreign relatives to the U.S. as legal immigrants.
Daniel Garza of the Koch brothers’ LIBRE Initiative told Fortune:
We cannot support arbitrary cuts to future legal immigration levels. We welcome a debate about whether our current legal immigration policy properly balances family and skills-based migration. But that broad debate should not distract from the immediate goal of providing certainty to Dreamers and enhancing security. [Emphasis added]
Chain migration has imported about 9.3 million foreign nationals to the U.S. since 2005. In that same time period, a total of 13.06 million foreign nationals have entered the U.S. through the legal immigration system, as every seven out of ten new arrivals come to the country for no other purpose than to reunify with foreign relatives.
This makes chain migration the largest driver of immigration to the U.S. — making up more than 70 percent — with every two new immigrants bringing seven foreign relatives with them.
Every year the U.S. admits more than 1.5 million foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from family-based chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. In 2016, the legal and illegal immigrant population reached a record high of 44 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
By opposing the end to chain migration, the Koch brothers support the current legal immigration system which imports more than a million mostly low-skilled workers who compete directly with the country’s poor and working-class — especially black Americans — for blue-collar American jobs.
While opposing the end to chain migration, the Koch brothers continue to support a large-scale amnesty for the majority of roughly 12 to 30 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., despite the wage-crushing impact it would have on American workers.
Though the Koch brothers strongly oppose Trump’s economic nationalist agenda, they have been allowed to make headway on issues inside the White House mostly due to Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short.
For example, Pence has kept a close relationship with the pro-mass immigration billionaires, speaking at the Koch brothers’ October retreat in Manhattan, as Breitbart News reported, even though the Kochs have openly opposed and denounced Trump’s pro-American, economic nationalist agenda.
Additionally, Pence was the White House official who invited pro-open borders Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to meet with Trump to lobby him on caving from his prior commitments to oppose amnesty for illegals. Flake not only supports amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, but he opposes, like the Koch brothers, any reductions to legal immigration levels despite the wage-increasing impact it would have on American workers’ lives.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 3, 2018
Short, like Pence, seems to have kept close contact with the Koch brothers and their political agenda for open-ended amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, no reductions to legal immigration levels, and continued free trade agreements that ship American jobs overseas and gut middle America communities.
Short previously worked for the Koch brothers, as Breitbart News reported, and has a long history of trying to stop Trump’s economic nationalist agenda during the 2016 presidential election.
In May 2016, during the height of the Republican presidential primary, in which Trump was taking the country by storm with his populist-nationalist “America First” agenda, Short was heading an effort to derail the then-front-runner.
At the time, National Review exclusively reported that Short was leading an effort inside the Koch brothers’ organizations to take down Trump and his agenda, partly by supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who infamously helped author the Gang of Eight amnesty bill that would have given the 12 to 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship:
On a frigid Tuesday in February, a team of top political operatives from the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group that controls political activities for the sprawling donor network led by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, arrived in Kansas for a meeting that they hoped would turn the tide of the presidential campaign.
They’d set aside $150 million to spend on paid media alone, to be spread across campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. Yet they had not been authorized to spend a dime on the White House race.
Marc Short, then president of Freedom Partners, wanted to change that. He led a faction inside the Koch network that had become convinced of the need to neutralize Donald Trump before his momentum made him unstoppable. Fresh off Trump’s landslide victory in New Hampshire one week earlier, and staring down another likely Trump win in South Carolina that Saturday, Short and his lieutenants had come to Wichita to present Charles Koch with a detailed, eight-figure blueprint for derailing the Republican front-runner on Super Tuesday, when eleven states would vote. They hoped to get the green light to hammer Trump with ads in the states where he was most vulnerable.
Just a week after Short’s efforts to lead a full-fledged Koch-funded operation against Trump, he signed onto the Rubio campaign.
After Short left the Koch’s Freedom Partners, he praised the open borders, billionaire donors, saying, “Charles and David have built an amazing network of donors and activists, and their investments in future generations will pay huge dividends.”
Since President Trump’s administration ended the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017, Short has pushed the White House on a plan to give amnesty to potentially millions of illegal aliens, an initiative that directly breaks Trump’s previous commitment to Americans that amnesty would never be considered until illegal immigration was ended.
The Koch brothers and their pro-mass immigration views are deeply out-of-line with the American people, especially the country’s working and middle class who have been hit the hardest by the importation of more than a million low-skilled legal immigrants a year.
A Harvard-Harris poll, as Breitbart News reported, found that nearly 80 percent of Americans said they believe “immigration priority for those coming to the U.S. should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills—and not based on a person having relatives in the U.S.”
Another 85 percent of black Americans said they supported a merit-based immigration system, rather than the current massive flow of low-skilled foreign to the country. Another 72 percent of Democrat, former voters for Hillary Clinton agreed that the legal immigration system should be based on skills, not family ties.
Likewise, black Americans are the most likely out of all American demographic groups to support major reductions to legal immigration levels, a proposal that the Koch brothers oppose.
The Harvard-Harris poll revealed that black Americans are more likely than any other demographic group to support lower yearly legal immigration levels, down to a fourth of current immigration levels.
When asked, “In your opinion, about how many legal immigrants should be admitted to the U.S. each year,” 48 percent of black Americans said they would like to see between one and 250,000 legal immigrants brought to the U.S. a year.
Black Americans have been disproportionately impacted by mass immigration to the U.S., researchers say, as they were replaced by Hispanics in 2004 as the largest minority group in the country.
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steven Camarota’s 2008 testimony before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission found that immigration had specifically impacted the poor and working-class black American men.
Camarota notes the low education level of black American men:
Compared to white men, a much larger share of native-born black men have relatively little education. About six out of 10 adult black men have only a high school degree or failed to graduate high school, compared to about four out of 10 white men [Emphasis added]
Due to this, black American men, according to Camarota, have been put in direct competition for American jobs against illegal and legal immigrants:
In my own research I have found that blacks are more likely to be in competition with immigrants than are whites. A 1995 study by Augustine Kposowa concluded that, “non-whites appear to lose jobs to immigrants and their earnings are depressed by immigrants.” A 1998 study of the New York area by Howell and Mueller found that a 10-percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of an occupation reduced wages of black men about five percentage points. Given the large immigrant share of the occupations they studied, this implies a significant impact on native-born blacks. [Emphasis added]
Overall, a plurality of 35 percent of Americans said they wanted to see only one to 250,000 legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. every year. The poll also found that Americans support zero legal immigration to the U.S. more than they support current legal immigration levels.
About 12 percent want legal immigration levels increased beyond the current rate of immigration to the country, while the majority of Americans, about 81 percent, said they want legal immigration levels reduced to between zero to less than one million legal immigrants a year.
Mass legal immigration to the U.S., like Koch brothers-supported free trade agreements, has come at the expense of America’s working and middle class, which has suffered from poor job growth, stagnant wages, and increased public costs to offset the importation of millions of low-skilled foreign nationals.
For blue-collar American workers, mass immigration has not only kept wages down, but in many cases, decreased wages, as Breitbart News reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues importing more foreign nationals against whom working-class Americans are forced to compete. In 2016, the U.S. brought in about 1.8 million mostly low-skilled immigrants.
For white-collar American workers, mass immigration has become a tool for the big business lobby, cheap labor industry, and Silicon Valley elites to replace U.S. citizens with cheaper foreign workers. For example, as Breitbart News reported, 71 percent of tech workers in coveted high-paying, white-collar Silicon Valley jobs are foreign-born, while the tech industry in the San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward area is made up of 50 percent foreign-born tech workers.
The growing foreign-born population dominating the workforce in Silicon Valley comes as nearly 500,000 Americans graduate in the STEM fields every year. Overall, four million young Americans enter the workforce every year, but their job opportunities are further diminished as there are roughly two new foreign workers for every four American workers who enter the workforce.