George W. Bush Digs up ‘Any Willing Worker’ Cheap Labor Plan

New George W. Bush
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Former President George W. Bush is still urging Congress to import more cheap and compliant visa workers — and even more legal immigrants — 17 years after he pushed Congress to adopt his very unpopular “Any Willing Worker” cheap labor law.

“Increased legal immigration, focused on employment and skills, is also a choice that both parties should be able to get behind,” Bush wrote in an op-ed for Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post.  He continued:

The United States is better off when talented people bring their ideas and aspirations here. We could also improve our temporary entry program, so that seasonal and other short-term jobs can more readily be filled by guest workers who help our economy, support their families and then return home.

Bush “is a decent man, but he has no understanding of the country’s political situation,” said a tweeted response from Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. He “has zero credibility, with anyone, on immigration,” Krikorian added. 

After he pushed his plans for amnesty, more immigration, and more visa workers in 2006 and 2007, Bush’s poll ratings fell to roughly 33 percent in 2008. In 2016, Donald Trump pulverized Bush’s expected successor, Jeb Bush, and helped the party adopt immigration policies favored by voters. Over the next four years, Trump helped push up Americans’ wages and forced companies to invest in wealth-producing, labor-saving machinery. 

In his new op-ed. Bush’s mention of a claimed “temporary entry program” refers to the visa programs which import massive numbers of blue-collar and white-collar workers for jobs that can be performed by Americans.

Each year, the nation’s employers import roughly at least 500,000 foreigners for blue-collar jobs by using the H-A2, H-2B, and J-1 visas programs. The programs hold down wages for all American and legal immigrant blue-collar workers in the U.S. companies and also minimize management hiring headaches.

In addition, Fortune 500 companies and universities employ at least 1.5 million white-collar temporary workers in jobs needed by American graduates. These white-collar workers are imported via the H-1B, L-1, J-1, OPT, and CPT programs. The white-collar workers cut salaries for American college-graduates, exclude Americans from growth careers, transfer good jobs to the coasts, and also help the Fortune 500 block Americans from creating new rival technologies.

These visa programs serve a similar role to the “Any Willing Worker” program that Bush tried to create in 2004.

Bush’s “Any Willing Worker” program would have allowed employers to hire foreigners at very low wages once Americans declined the offered wage. Once the program was widely used, it would have pressured Americans to accept whatever wage was good enough for foreigners, such as an Indonesian fisherman, a Bolivian mother, a Chinese engineer, or an Egyptian fruit-picker.

The foreigners would have been eager to take low wages for the U.S. jobs, in part because they would also get the colossal, government-granted prize of U.S. citizenship for themselves and their chain-migration relatives by simply offering to work longer hours for less money.

“New immigration laws should serve the economic needs of our country,” Bush announced on January 7, 2004. “If an American employer is offering a job that American citizens are not willing to take, we ought to welcome into our country a person who will fill that job,” he said, adding:

I propose a new temporary worker program that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers, when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented men and women now employed in the United States, and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here. This new system should be clear and efficient, so employers are able to find workers quickly and simply.

“Some temporary workers will make the decision to pursue American citizenship,” Bush added. ” Those who make this choice will be allowed to apply in the normal way.”

The New York Times reported January 7, 2004:

The president’s proposals were designed to appeal to Hispanic groups, a constituency that the White House is focusing on as Mr. Bush seeks re-election this year. The proposals are expected to be embraced by President Vicente Fox of Mexico, who has been lobbying for them for the past three years.

In his new Washington Post op-ed. Bush noted that immigrants are likely to be grateful workers — without mentioning that Americans must pressure their employers to pay the salaries they need for their families, homes, and children:

The backgrounds [of legal immigrants] are varied, but readers won’t have to search hard for a common theme. It’s gratitude. So many immigrants are filled with appreciation, a spirit nicely summed up by a Cuban American friend who said: “If I live for a hundred years, I could never repay what this country has done for me.”

But in the White House, Bush support for migrants allowed his GOP deputies to look down on ordinary Americans, according to an April 15 op-ed by Peggy Noonan, a columnist at the Wall Street Journal:

During the Bush immigration debates, when the base of the party rebelled against his comprehensive reform bill, a mostly unspoken accusation emanated from the president’s operatives. It was that the new Americans, including illegal immigrants, were kind of better than the existing American working class, harder-working. This was situational snobbery: The operatives themselves had left the working class behind, but daily rubbed shoulders with newer Americans at home and at the club. That snobbery helped break the party […] the working and middle class of all colors. Workers already here need backup. It’s better to lose campaign contributions than voters.

Bush’s push for cheap labor comes as Democrats join with billionaires — including Mark Zuckerberg’s advocacy group– — to push for a dramatic new rush of migrants, including an unlimited infl0w of foreign college graduates.

Bush’s new Washington Post op-ed was covered by several journalists, none of whom mentioned Bush’s long history of using immigration to cut wages and so boost the stock market.

Matthew Brown at USAToday, for example, mentioned Bush’s presidential support for “temporary worker visa programs” but included no description of the “Any Willing Worker” program.


“Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency, not being – ”

“Yes, it really is,” Mr. Bush said. “I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do.”

For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This opposition is multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedintra-Democraticrational, and recognizes the solidarity that Americans owe to each other.

The voter opposition to elite-backed economic migration coexists with support for legal immigrants and some sympathy for illegal migrants. But only a minority of Americans — mostly Leftists — embrace the many skewed polls and articles pushing the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The deep public opposition to labor migration is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money away from most Americans’ pocketbooks and families. It moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, from red states to blue states, and from the central states to the coastal states such as New York.



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