Beto O’Rourke: Allow CEOs to Import Endless Foreign Workers

Fernando Millanes and Samuel Arroyo, left, of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora in Mexico, cut broccoli stems alongside other workers while Francisco Chavez, right, owner of F. Chavez Harvesting LLC, looks on in Yuma, Ariz., on Saturday, March 8, 2008. As a labor contractor in America's winter lettuce capital, Chavez …
AP Photo/Jacob Lopez

Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says employers should be able to hire foreign workers instead of Americans whenever there are “labor demands.”

The labor policy announced by the Texas Democrat would allow U.S. employers to replace millions of Americans with cheap foreigners whenever Americans ask for more pay, better working conditions, or family leave.

The replace-Americans policy was buried in O’Rourke’s repetition of the progressive claim that the United States is a nation of immigrants and his call for two amnesties. “Let us rewrite our immigration laws in our own image,” O’Rourke declared in a May 21 CNN town hall in Des Moines, Iowa. Ge continued:

Let us reflect our values, our reality, the best interests and traditions of this country that is compromised of immigrants, and asylum seekers and refugees. Free every one of the more than one million dreamers [illegal migrants] from any fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here in their homeland and then give others who are laboring in the shadows right now, working some of the toughest jobs that we can imagine. Let’s bring them out of the shadows, allow them to contribute to their full potential, put them on a path to citizenship, and ensure that our visa quotas match the labor demands we have here, our desire to have families be able to reunite, and have everyone contribute to the share greatness and success of this country.

The progressive audience applauded O’Rourke’s plan to allow coast-to-coast outsourcing of their jobs and their children’s’ jobs.

Watch from 2:22:

Beto’s replace-American, hire-foreigner policy matches the recommendations of the staff working for former President George W. Bush, also from Texas.

Employers should be allowed to freely hire foreign graduates for middle-class jobs, according to the Bush Center’s November 2018 recommendations. “Congress and the Administration should eliminate, or at least increase, the visa cap” for foreign college graduates, because “Industries like agriculture, construction, landscaping, and hospitality rely on low-skilled foreign workers to fill vacant jobs … A higher cap [on the inflow of workers] tied to labor market demand would better serve the needs of American businesses.”

If Americans’ wages and salaries begin to rise, the imported labor will be rushed in to end the labor shortage, the Bush recommendations suggest. Imported labor would spread through the economy where rising “wage levels signal where the most pressing labor needs exist,” the recommendations say.

The center’s open border for business plan echoes the repeated efforts by President George W. Bush to enact a pro-investor “any willing worker” law which would allow employers to hire anyone from around the world whenever Americans declined to take jobs offering low wages. Bush’s “any willing worker” plan was blocked in 2001, so he backed amnesties in Congress in 2006 and 2007 which created the open-ended “Probationary Z Visa.”

The Z visa plan offered work permits to all migrants who reached the United States within one year — and gave border officials just 24 hours to prove the migrants’ documents were fakes. The ambitious proposal quickly failed.

In 1990, Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, signed an immigration deal that roughly tripled the legal immigration rate, shifted wealth from wage earners to investors, and spiked stock market values.

O’Rourke’s American-replacement speech echoed the progressives claim that the United State is a “Nation of Immigrants,” not a nation of Americans and their children. In an October 2018 article for Time magazine, Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy explained the government-boosting Cold War origin of the “Nation of Immigrants” claim:

Few felt it as deeply as President John F. Kennedy. In his 1964 book A Nation of Immigrants, recently re-released, my great-uncle outlines the compelling case for immigration, in economic, moral, and global terms. “The abundant resources of this land provided the foundation for a great nation,” he writes. “But only people could make the opportunity a reality. Immigration provided the human resources.”

The book was published one year before Congress junked the low-immigration rules which the public had won in the 1920s. In place of those 1920 rules, which helped to boost wages and salaries until the early 1970s, Congress in 1965 opened up the immigration gates, so flooding the labor market with roughly 45 million legal and illegal migrants.

Since 2016, Donald Trump’s low-immigration “Hire American” policy has helped to push voters’ wages up by three percent nationwide during 2018. Wages rose by 4.6 percent for people who switched jobs, and by 5.2 percent in Minnesota where migrants have increased the labor force by only ten percent. Wages barely climbed during 2018 in states that have a large percentage of imported labor.

Trump’s wage gain for American families is dismissed by many upper-income progressives who are welcoming the flood of Central American illegal migrants into the blue-collar economy.

The wage gain is being dismissed because many progressives now argue that racism is the root cause of the United State’s economic and racial disparities, and is the primary motivator in the nation’s immigration policies. This moral fervor began around 2012, and is dubbed “The Great Awokening.” Politically, the claim allows wealthy progressives and post-graduate professionals to elevate their perceived social status by smearing many Americans as deplorable racists. In part, Trump was elected in 2016 by the popular rejection of the snobbery.

Ironically, salary gains for white-collar professionals have lagged behind blue-collar gains in Trump’s economy. One cause of this disparity is that a wide variety of employers employ a population of at least 1.5 million white-collar, non-immigrant visa-workers, hired via the H-1B, OPT, L-1, and other visa programs.

Background numbers to know:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including roughly one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts also enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized  Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest and rewards investors for creating low tech, labor-intensive workplaces.



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