West Virginia Legislators: Joe Manchin Must Oppose Amnesty Deal to Prioritize American Workers Over Corporations

MORGANTOWN, WV - JUNE 03: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) attends a news conference at the
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West Virginia legislators are asking Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to back away from his support for a Democrat, filibuster-proof budget that includes giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens against the interests of working and middle class West Virginians.

This week, Manchin reportedly voiced support for giving amnesty to illegal aliens through a Democrat budget that would only be approved via reconciliation — a maneuver that allows Senate Democrats to pass a variety of agenda items with just 51 votes and no threat of a filibuster.

On Thursday, 32 legislators from West Virginia’s House of Delegates — led by Delegate Riley Keaton — wrote to Manchin, requesting that he drop support for passing amnesty via reconciliation, according to the letter shared with Breitbart News.

“We, the undersigned members of the House of Delegates, urge you to oppose any effort to include amnesty for illegal immigrants in the budget bill, especially over the objections of the Senate Parliamentarian,” the legislators write:

Amnesty for illegal immigrants redistributes wealth from working class Americans through increased economic competition. Academic research has found, time and again, that immigration, especially illegal immigration, has a direct, negative impact on the Americans we should be trying to help get ahead – the working class. In his landmark study, Immigration and the American Worker (2013), Harvard University Professor Dr. George Borjas reports, “Some groups of workers face a great deal of competition from immigrants. These workers are primarily, but by no means exclusively, at the bottom end of the skill distribution, doing low-wage jobs that require modest levels of education. Such workers make up a significant share of the nation’s working poor. The biggest winners from immigration are owners of businesses that employ a lot of immigrant labor and other users of immigrant labor.” Prioritizing the interests of workers over corporations demanding cheap labor means opposing amnesty in the budget deal. [Emphasis added]

National sovereignty does not exist if we do not have borders. In May of this year, US Customs and Border Protection encountered over 180,000 cases of illegal entry across the southern border. You were right to call the situation on the southern border a “crisis” in March. Amnesty for illegal immigrants signals to the rest of the world that there is a “borders-optional” way of achieving legal status in the United States. Illegal immigration peaks after amnesties – going all the way back to the 1980s. Our national sovereignty depends on enforcement of our immigration laws and securing our border, and amnesty signals the exact opposite approach. [Emphasis added]

America is the land of opportunity because of our shared respect for the rule of law. Last summer, the rule of law took a serious beating as many of our great American cities were ceded to rioters. In the aftermath, FBI LEOKA data reports that murders and assaults against law enforcement officers surged over 30% in the early part of this year. The case has already been made that amnesty for illegal immigrants leaves us with a “borders-optional” society, but more concerningly is that amnesty leaves us with a “laws-optional” society. The fact of the matter is: there is a knowable, legal process for coming to and living in the United States and those who did not follow the law should not be rewarded for breaking it. We’ve learned all-to-well the consequences of relegating the rule of law to an afterthought – let’s not play with any more fire. [Emphasis added]

The legislators who signed the letter include:

Riley Keaton, Josh Holstein, Dean Jefferies, Joe Jeffries, Dana Ferrell, Charles Horst, Doug Smith, Charlie Reynolds, Chris Pritt, John Mandt, Roger Conley, Wayne Clark, Jordan Bridges, George Miller, Todd Longanacre, Don Forsht, Johnnie Wamsley, Phil Mallow, Heather Tully, Guy Ward, Bryan Ward, Adam Burkhammer, Margitta Mazzocchi, Terri Sypolt, Barry Bruce, Trenton Barnhart, Chris Phillips, Jonathon Pinson, Ty Nestor, Clay Riley, Austin Haynes, and Caleb Hanna.

Read the full letter here:

Manchin on Amnesty by John Binder

Keaton told Breitbart News that, specifically, an amnesty would devastate blue collar West Virginians in the construction industry who would be forced to compete against a wave of newly legalized illegal aliens, who often work for below market rate wages.

“A very large share of jobs in our economy added recently are construction jobs,” Keaton said. “Construction workers in West Virginia are the most prone to competition with illegal immigrants. This is a well-known fact.

“An amnesty triggers the immediate legalization of foreign competition and signals to the world that our borders are flexible,” Keaton continued. “The increased labor market competition is just too much.”

Today, West Virginia has a 5.5 percent unemployment rate — just slightly lower than the national unemployment rate. Jobless Americans, research has shown, would be negatively impacted the most by an amnesty as it crushes their job prospects while cutting wages to help businesses boost their profit margins.

In addition to more illegal immigration, Keaton said an amnesty would exacerbate the nation’s ongoing drug crisis.

Last year, Americans who died from drug overdoses hit the highest level in U.S. history with more than 93,000 dead. In West Virginia, there were nearly 1,400 drug overdoses in 2020 — a 50 percent increase in overdose deaths compared to 2019.

“This is something that we’ve lived with,” Keaton said. “Those drugs, many are coming across the southern border. Our drug problem can be traced back to China and moved across the southern border. It’s not a political issue.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here


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