A coalition steered by wealthy investors is using Christian and patriotic themes to shore up collapsing public support for the establishment’s high-immigration, low-wage economic policy.
The coalition’s webpage at AllofUSCare.com offers a low-profile pitch for mass migration, saying, “From health care to service sector to agriculture, immigrants, regardless of status, are out there, responding to, helping contain, and supporting us all through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The economic pitch is hidden behind the Christian and patriotic themes.
“In a time of pandemic, we are reminded of what matters: that all human beings are made in the image of God, and that each, therefore, carries an inherent dignity; that all human life is precious; and, that we all need one another,” says the #AllofUS campaign, which includes the Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us advocacy group and the George. W. Bush Center.
“As this crisis develops, Americans, regardless of where we were born, are standing shoulder to shoulder, and all of our contributions to the economy and society are ever more indispensable,” according to the group, which is backed by groups supported by the Koch network, George Soros, Laurene Powell Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mike Bloomberg.
“This is pure propaganda,” countered Marie Larson, the pseudonymous co-founder of the American Workers Coalition, which opposes the companies’ use of imported H-1B professionals. She continued:
These groups want to wrap themselves in the American flag in order to appear to have altruistic motives while they cling to some amorphous notion of #AllOfUs and sing kumbaya. But their motives are purely self-serving: …
They didn’t care about the “inherent dignity” of the American workers who were asked to train their [H-1B] foreign replacements before being kicked out of the cubicle and into unemployment lines (even before the pandemic).
The reality is — while Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate — [foreign-born] H-1B and H4EAD hiring managers do …
These groups are afraid that 26 million unemployed workers will be able to “leverage the full strength” of what it means to be an American, to finally end these pernicious work visa programs.
The collapsing public support for immigration is spotlighted by a series of April polls from Ipsos, Rasmussen, and the Washington Post. The new polls expose the often-ignored point that Americans want to welcome migrants but also demand that U.S. companies hire Americans first, especially in a crisis.
Trump gets 2:1 public support for his Americans-first shift on immigration.
Even 62% support from Dems who 'somewhat disapprove' of Trump.
Is strong evidence for a strategy of incrementalism vs. a big rush for a total victory.
But deadline is Nov 3#H1Bhttps://t.co/mDONVl6B9l
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) April 25, 2020
“It is a fight over what the limits [of immigration] should be,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“Of course Americans cherish our tradition of having immigration — it is just that Americans don’t want it to cause harm to other Americans, they don’t want employers to be able to bypass American workers, and they don’t want their wages to driven downwards,” she said.
President Donald Trump’s administration is reacting — incrementally — to this sudden shift in public priorities.
On April 22, Trump announced an unprecedented shift in immigration policy to put Americans’ economic interests ahead of migrants’ interests. The policy blocks the movement of most would-be legal migrants into the United States for two months. It directs agencies to draft additional measures that would help displaced Americans recover jobs.
Chad Wolf, the acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security, said April 27:
We need to make sure that Americans are employed and so we wanted to take a look at sort of a first step and this would be to curtail new immigrants coming in that would compete with Americans for these jobs … And over the next 30 days we’ll continue to take a look at additional measures.
But the business groups strongly favor the current inflow of one million legal immigrants each year.
The nation’s roughly 34 million legal immigrants — and the 11 million-plus illegal migrants — lower wages, boost consumer spending, spike housing prices, and crowd K-12 schools and colleges. That economic impact means they boost profits and stock values for a wide variety of retailers, landlords, universities, and investors.
Most ominously for the AllofUSCare.com members, Trump and his agencies are also considering curbs on the inflow of visa workers.
The visa worker populations include roughly 400,000 blue-collar seasonal workers at resorts, landscapers, and farm companies.
The visa worker population also includes roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers who have been used to replace at least 1.5 million American graduates in many Fortune 500 companies. They are easy to hire and fire, rarely complain to managers, cannot quit, and also raise stock values for investors, including the founders of FWD.us.
Wolf said April 27:
We’re taking a look at H-1B’s, the H-2Bs, the H-2As, all of the sort of the temporary worker visas — and there’s many more — to see what kind of changes that we should make.
Those “many more” programs include the B-1 short-term visitors, the J-1 summertime workers, the L-1 company transfers, and the “OPT” program, which provides work permits to at least 300,000 foreign graduates of U.S. universities.
The Soros-backed National Immigration Forum provided testimonials from the group’s members:
“Halting immigration will only hurt America’s recovery and is not a solution for getting native-born workers back into the labor force,” said Laura Collins, Director of the George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative. “We must fix our broken immigration system and push for comprehensive immigration reform. While this crisis has required different sacrifices, we will have success following the same formula — immigrants and native-born Americans working together.”
America’s ability to navigate crisis has always relied on the inclusivity and resiliency of her communitie … The COVID-19 pandemic is no exemption. The countless examples of immigrants and non-immigrants contributing side by side on the frontlines to battle this pandemic is a sign of our nation’s hope and strength. We are all in this together, no matter our background, and together is how we will recover.
The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition includes many establishment employers of blue-collar workers. “As we see countless examples of immigrants working on the frontlines to keep our communities safe, we’re reminded that our nation is stronger when we’re united — whether our families have been here for generations or have just arrived,” said a statement from Laura Reiff, co-chair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition.
The same Christian and patriotic themes are pushed by the group’s Twitter account:
Hi! We’re a broad coalition of business, faith, civil rights, and immigration organizations, sharing a message of inclusivity and unity as Americans, regardless of where they were born, stand shoulder to shoulder to beat #COVID19.
— #AllofUS (@AllofUS_United) April 29, 2020
#AllofUS must work together to protect the most vulnerable during the #COVID19 pandemic, including immigrants and refugees. @AllofUS_United #AllofUScarehttps://t.co/0u7f3oZjD2 pic.twitter.com/yUKthAXERF
— Daniel Yang (@koobxwm) April 29, 2020
The All of Us Care group includes many Fortune 500 members who are also part of another coalition which urged federal agencies on April 17 to keep hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in the United States.
“Without action, these [regulatory] issues will lead to hundreds and thousands of unfilled jobs and have profound negative economic effects,” the business group’s letter said.
Business groups warn the Trump administration: 'Extend work permits for our foreign visa-workers or we'll have "hundreds and thousands" of open jobs for unemployed American voters.'#H1Bhttps://t.co/r5kDVTLOUC
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) April 30, 2020