Sen. Cory Booker called for more low-skilled immigration Wednesday night as he tried to cut down Joe Biden in the Democrats’ 2020 race.
“I heard the vice president say that if you got a PhD., you can come right into this country,” Booker said, adding:
Well that’s playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants. We need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says everyone has worth and dignity and this should be a country that honors everyone.
If implemented, Booker’s call for more low-skilled immigration would increase competition for blue-collar jobs and cheap apartments in New Jersey, so imposing additional economic pain on lower-skilled Americans in Booker’s home state. More migration would also add to the divide-and-rule diversity which hinders Americans from periodically uniting to curb the elites’ self-serving policies.
Republicans want to pit some immigrants against others. But we need to reform this whole immigration system and begin to be the country that says, “Everyone has worth and dignity, and this should be a country that honors everyone.” #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/rFV9NgAZus
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 1, 2019
Booker’s call for un-skilled immigration got plaudits from advocates for “diverse” immigration into the United States.
“That was solid immigration talk from Booker,” said Alex Merced, the “Latinx Vice Chair” of the Libertarian Party. “Merit based immigration is condescending and presumes government can determine our individual potential, I sure as hell don’t trust government to do that.”
“Booker speaking truth again on immigration,” tweeted Jonathan Capeheart, a member of the Washington Post‘s editorial board.
But Booker’s call for more unskilled immigration also got him a shout-out from Todd Schulte, who runs FWD.us, a cheap labor lobby shop for Mark Zuckerberg and other West Coast investors.
“Appreciate @CoryBooker,” said a tweet from Schulte. “Pointing out that this [immigration] section of the debate is being dominated by poor assumptions, bad framing and a lack of focus on many of the most critical aspects of immigration — not cutesy gotcha stuff that misses huge aspects of the debate.”
Schulte’s donors employ many foreign graduates, including both visa workers and immigrants. But his donors also have coherent economic reasons to oppose any cutbacks to the immigration of unskilled workers and family chain migrants, as urged by President Donald Trump’s 2018 “Four Pillars” plan.
Unskilled migrants serve as both cheap workers, extra consumers, and predictable renters. Their multi-sided value for investors is spotlighted by FWD.us’ support for DoorDash, which hires people to deliver food by auto, scooters, and bikes. In a September 2018 statement, the FWD.us investors denounced Trump’s plan to cut unskilled immigration into the United States, saying it would reduce immigrant-driven economic growth:
Immigration powers the American economy, and ensuring that immigrant families living here today can thrive means greater benefits for all U.S. residents and our children in the future. The earning potential of immigrants and their contributions to the labor-force and economy grows over time and over generations …
Tony Xu, the founder of DoorDash, embodies this story … in 2013 Tony founded DoorDash, an incredibly successful meal delivery service. Today, DoorDash is valued at $4 billion, using recent investment to expand into 1,200 new cities and to hire 250 new employees, in addition to over 100,000 part-time gigs already created for delivery drivers across the country.
DoorDash’s investors in FWD.us funders include Sequoia Capital, KPCB, SV Angel, CRV, and Y Combinator. In June 2019, Schulte’s group also helped persuade New York’s legislature to grant drivers’ licenses to illegals — so freeing many to join the labor force of delivery drivers.
The demand by investors for endless migrant labor has created a new thing: The US-India Outsourcing Economy. This no-regulation zone redirects new wealth into a few cities & a small elite. Elites want to expand it, so US college-grads get #HR1044. https://t.co/4lWHtI3sUk
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 19, 2019
Booker’s televised support for low-skilled immigration also sought to paint an elitist gloss on Biden’s call for higher-skilled migration.
But there is little or no evidence that a President Biden would want to reduce lower-skilled immigration. During the TV debate, for example, Biden described Americans’ homeland as “a country of immigrants.” He continued by crediting immigrants — not skilled immigrants — with creating America, not Americans:
We should … [and] I proposed, significantly increasing the number of legal immigrants who are able to come. This country can tolerate a heck of a lot more people. And the reason we’re the country we are is we’ve been able to cherry-pick from the best of every culture. Immigrants built this country.
Some here came against their will; others came because they in fact thought they could fundamentally change their lives … That’s what made us great.
Also, Biden strongly supported the 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill, which would have amnestied all illegals. It would also have doubled legal immigration to two million a year — or one migrant for every two American births. That resulting flood of labor would have shifted more of the nation’s new wealth from employees over to investors, according to a 2013 study of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office. “The rate of return on capital would be higher [than on labor] under the legislation than under current law throughout the next two decades,” says the report, titled “The Economic Impact of S. 744.”
Genial Joe Biden hides his elitist cheap-labor agenda with the usual illegal-migration-bad/legal-migration-good schtick. Econ 101 = inc. labor supply pushes down wages (usually, esp. in short term, etc.). That's been the US economy since the 1990s. https://t.co/d1rLVfnfS4
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 1, 2019
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university. This total includes roughly 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees in business or healthcare, engineering or science, software or statistics.
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 approximately 1 million H-1B workers and spouses —plus roughly 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 transfers wages to investors and 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 also shifts 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.
The cheap-labor economic strategy 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 cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.
“If there is a growing flood of foreign labor, the American middle class is no longer going to exist, and Republicans will not have a constituency,” said Hilarie Gamm, a co-cofounder of the American Workers Coalition.
Wages are climbing again. For unclear reasons, blue-collars are gaining faster than college graduates. https://t.co/pnYgrnsvbK
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 31, 2019
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