Washington Post: Only ‘Bigots’ Oppose Large Refugee Inflows

Meatpacking Production Line, Human
Smithfield Foods

President Donald Trump’s decision to accept 15,000 refugees in 2020 only helps “bigots,” says Catherine Rampell, a pro-migration columnist at the Washington Post.

“The only constituency helped by Trump’s latest cruelty are the bigots and knee-jerk nationalists crafting his policies,” she wrote, under the headline “Trump’s refugee ceiling is bad for everyone but bigots.”

Rampell’s jibe was dismissed by Ann Corcoran, founder of Refugee resettlement Watch, who says the federal importation of refugees expands American poverty, slows technological innovation, and fuels civic conflict. She responded:

There’s no sense trying to argue with [progresives] except to turn it back and say; ‘What about our own poor people? Why aren’t they interested in taking care of our poor Americans? Our homeless? Why are refugees and immigrants somehow cooler and more desirable to take care of than our own poor people? Have we run out of poor Americans to take care of?’ No, clearly, we have not run out of poor Americans.

On September 10, the Washington Post reported on poverty in high-immigration, low-wage Florida:

After the power went out at the Star [hotel], Rose’s family spent the last of their savings on a week’s stay at the Magic Castle [hotel], where the rooms were going for $39 a night. The plan was to buy time until they could come up with a plan.

Her stepfather had applied for a dishwashing job at Chili’s but didn’t get it. Rose was temporarily out of work, too. One of the employees on her shift at Taco Bell had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and she couldn’t go back to work until she proved she was virus free.

Finally, in early September, Rose’s parents found a way out, at least for now. A Kissimmee-based real estate agent, who provides aid to motel families and had helped them in the past, paid $3,000 in deposits and application fees for an extended-stay suite in a run-down resort community. Their new landlord agreed to overlook the fact that Rose’s parents had poor credit and had just started new $9-an-hour fast food jobs.

In February 2020, Breitbart News reported an investor-funded study which showed that the exclusion of migrant labor would help raise wages for Floridians:

The biggest winners from the E-Verify bill would be the least paid, least educated workers in the economy, said the study by Rick Harper, an economist formerly at the University of West Florida. “Those are the most likely to be substituted by employers hiring new workers when there is some competition” from illegal workers, wrote Harper, who now works with Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. to invest public funds in Florida.

The law would also help narrow the income gap between the least educated and better educated workers, said the FWD.us report. The current shortage of workers already “has reduced the size of the difference in wages paid to less-educated workers versus well-educated workers … by 6 to 9 percent,” Harper wrote.

Many refugees work in retail stores or in hotels where labor can comprise 50 percent of costs. But they add chaotic diversity to already-damaged towns, even as they also nudge down national productivity.

Before Trump, the large inflow of cheap and compliant refugee labor also allowed meatpacking plants to minimize investment in labor-saving, wealth-producing machinery. But Trump’s curb on refugees pressured meatpacking companies to invest heavily in automation, according to the Wall Street Journal:

At Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second-biggest U.S. chicken processor and majority-owned by JBS, deboning machines now trail humans by only 1% to 1.5%, in terms of meat yield per chicken. “They are much closer to what the person can do than seven years ago,” Mr. Nogueira said. Technology and automation are part of the $1 billion in capital expenditures JBS USA has planned for 2020. “One day we will be there, but we are not there yet,” he said.

“There’s no question they’ve been avoiding the automation that would make everything more efficient and cost-effective,” said Corcoran.

The accelerating shift toward automation caused by rising wages will reduce corporations’ continued use of stoop labor in the field, reduce disease threats to migrants and Americans, preserve family farms, transfer wealth back from the coasts to the heartland, and help Americans keep up with Chinese, Japanese, and Icelandic automation.

A shift toward automation will also help the many Midwestern towns now dominated by cheap labor meatpacking plants, she said.

Moreover, even a ramped-up importation of 100,000 refugees each year could only help a tiny share of refugees around the world, said Corcoran. The best way to help the most refugees is to spend U.S. resources in their own country, she said. “If f you want to take care of these poor people, go to where they live in the world.”

Joe Biden is promising to spike refugee inflows above 100,000 per year.

Advocates for migration are eager to claim moral superiority over the Americans who want to help Americans, said Corcoran. “They believe we’re bigots — that’s what they’ve been saying for decades — but they know big business uses these refugees to keep wages low,” she said.

Rampell’s claim of moral superiority is wrapped up in her establishment claim about America as a “Nation of Immigrants.” She wrote:

The United States has taken in those huddled masses yearning to breathe free because, first and foremost, doing so reflects American values. We like to consider our nation a city upon a hill for those fleeing religious persecution, political violence, genocide, tyranny; Americans are a people blessed and generous enough to offer refuge to some of the world’s most vulnerable. Just what this country offered so many generations of immigrants before, including many of our own ancestors.

In reality, numerous polls show that Americans really prefer that jobs and wages to first go to fellow Americans before the jobs got to additional migrants. For most Americans and immigrants, America is a nation of Americans.

 So the hidden agenda for Rampell and many others progressives is political ambition, not charity, Corcoran said. “The bottom line is that these immigrants vote for Democrats,” she said.

“Big business gets the cheap labor, the Democrats get the voters, and Americans get hammered with this humanitarian [B.S.],” she said.

 

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