President George W. Bush alienated the GOP’s political base by pursuing his political whale of a very unpopular amnesty and cheap labor law.
In 2006 and 2007, Bush campaigned for two unpopular amnesty bills that would have spiked stock prices nationwide by lowering wages in a flood of new foreign workers.
“Every politician knows you have to keep your base and reach out to other votes,” said Rosemary Jenks, policy director for NumbersUSA. She added:
You can’t reach out to others at the expense of your base. Bush absolutely did that.
Too many people in Washington think [GOP] voters don’t have a choice. We all have choices — and one of those choices is to just stay at home. And there are a lot of advantages of staying home instead of going out to vote — [so President Donald] Trump needs to be encouraging people at every step of the way, especially when it is easy to stay at home.
Bush damaged himself in his second term, but Trump faces the voters in November, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. “At the end of the day, you have to motivate people to vote for you,” he said, adding:
In 2016, despite what people said to their spouses, to their neighbors, they pulled that lever for Trump when they went into that booth. That took a lot, and they did it because they wanted to see changes, and if they think they have another corrupt swamp creature in the White House, they might not do it.
Bush’s push for his 2006 amnesty bill cut his shrinking support from 35 percent in April 2006 down to 31 percent in May 2006, according to Gallup’s tracking data.
The next year, amid a difficult war in Iraq, Bush campaigned for the 2007 amnesty bill– and he pushed his weakening support of 32 percent in June 2007 down to 29 percent in July 2007, according to Gallup’s tracking data.
The 2007 plan offered work permits to all migrants who filed within one year — unless agency officials could prove within 24 hours the migrants’ documents were fake.
In November 2008, Sen. Barack Obama easily defeated Sen. John McCain — who also supported the unpopular amnesty bills. At the same time, the Democrats also gained eight seats in the Senate.
This self-inflicted decline and disaster were measured by Gallup, which tracked Bush’s ratings throughout his presidency.
Bush started with low-50s popularity, after a very rough post-election campaign fight in Florida. His support spiked after the 9/11 Islamic atrocity, fell, and then jumped when the U.S. overthrew Iraq’s dictator. Then Bush’s numbers gently slid downwards for the rest of his administration.
At the end of 2008, having alienated his base with two failed amnesty campaigns, Bush’s rates were at 29 percent support, 67 percent opposition.
“There’s no question that doing something that was incredibly unpopular with his own party did not help him,” said Jenks. “The more people found out what was in the [amnesty bills], the worse it was for him,” she said.
In contrast, President Donald Trump has repeatedly fended off cheap labor plans that are pushed by his deputies. On June 22, he blocked several visa worker pipelines used by Fortune 500 companies to hire foreign workers, and he directed officials to rewrite the regulations governing the pipes. Polls showed Trump’s “Hire American” plan is strongly supported by voters.
Suburban women strongly support Trump's June 22 immigration policy, says Rasmussen.
His policy gets plurality support among liberal suburban women – even when they know it is his policy.
Gosh, voters prioritize families' jobs above more immigration?#H1Bhttps://t.co/eRelf17XHA
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 12, 2020
On July 10, however, Trump added much confusion on July 10 when told the Spanish-language TV network Telemundo:
I’m going to do a big executive order. I have the power to do it as president. And I’m going to make DACA a part of it. But we put it in and we’re probably then going to be taking it out. We’re working out the legal complexities right now, but I’m going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order. I’m going to make DACA a part of it.
In George W. Bush’s first term, he hoped to pass his “any willing worker” plan but was derailed by the 9/11 attack. The radical plan would have allowed employers to hire foreigners from anywhere in the world if Americans declined to work for the offered wages.
The plan would have converted America from a nation of mutual obligations into an employer-dominated worksite and would have driven down wages, according to many economists, executives, and institutions.
For example, a 2013 CBO report predicted that the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty and immigration bill would reduce the share of income that goes to wage earners and increase the share that goes to investors. “Because the bill would increase the rate of growth of the labor force, average wages would be held down in the first decade after enactment,” the CBO report said.
The fact that the labor supply effects wages is Economics 101. Amid evasive denials by immigration advocates, the fact has been acknowledged by independent academics, the National Academies of Science, the Congressional Budget Office, executives, The Economist globalist weekly, more academics, the New York Times, the New York Times again, state officials, unions, more business executives, lobbyists, employees, the Wall Street Journal, federal economists, Goldman Sachs, oil drillers, the Business Roundtable, the Bank of Ireland, Wall Street analysts, fired professionals, legislators, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2015 Bernie Sanders, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, construction workers, New York Times subscribers, Robert Rubin, a New York Times columnist, author Barack Obama, and President Barack Obama.
Bush’s support for amnesty was wrapped up in his Cold War image of the United States as a “Nation of Immigrants,” not as a nation of Americans. This view is still being pushed by Bush’s presidential center. In May 2019, Breitbart reported:
There are no Americans in America and no history of America — just immigrants and their “story,” says a new video by former President George W. Bush’s Bush Center.
“America’s story is an immigrant story,” says the video. “Now as before, American is a nation of immigrants,” says the video which refers to 280 million Americans — including many who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 — merely as an unnamed blob of “population,” “labor force,” “workers,” and even “natives.”
America would be weak without immigrants, the video argues, as it declares that “immigrants make America strong.”
In fact, the video even describes the American children of immigrants as “immigrants” to help minimize the impact of Americans on their own nation.
A poll shows the obvious: Voters strongly oppose the sale of work permits to migrants by the universities' #OPT program.
They'll dislike it more when they see how OPT shoves them & their college-grad kids out of Fortune 500 jobs & the middle class. #H1Bhttps://t.co/LFKmMJQRzX
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 13, 2020