Business groups are trying to reassure politicians it is safe to go back into amnesty waters — even though many politicians remember their peers who did not long survive the summer of 2013.
The New York Times‘ chief White House reporter, Michael Shear, echoed the corporate reassurances in a January 19 report on President Joe Biden’s amnesty plan:
Todd Schulte, the president of FWD.us, an immigrant rights group created by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and others with ties to Silicon Valley, said he too was “deeply encouraged” to see Mr. Biden make a pathway to citizenship a “clear priority on Day 1.” Polls, he said, show that 75 percent of Americans support that goal.
“Polling consistently shows broad, bipartisan support for immigrants and immigration reform,” a pro-amnesty statement posted January 19 by a huge coalition of business, political, and investor groups said. The group includes Schulte’s FWD.us group, the George W. Bush Institute, the Koch-funded Libre Initiative, many Silicon Valley firms, and Michael Bloomberg’s New American Economy group.
Titled “We Support Bipartisan Immigration Reform in 2012,” the statement continued:
Recent polls have found that over 77% of Americans believe that immigration is good for the country and 78% believe DACA recipients should be able to remain in America, and a Fox News poll on Election Day that found 71% of Americans support legal status for undocumented immigrants. Historically, strong support has existed for immigration reform that addresses border security, expanded visa programs for high-skilled and agricultural workers, and regularizing the status of undocumented immigrants.
But those polls are the swimming pool floats of amnesty politics.
Three of the four cited polls merely asked respondents about their overall mood toward migrants or immigration without being asked to comment on numbers or civic consequences. In one poll, the illegal migrants were described a “Dreamers.” Another poll asked if illegals should merely be “offered a chance to apply for legal status“.
The Jobs and Solidarity Polls
The many polls that ask Americans to choose between practical alternatives provide significantly different answers. For example, Rasmussen Reports recently asked:
When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, what is generally best for the country? Is it better for businesses to raise the pay and try harder to recruit non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise, or is it better for the government to bring in new foreign workers to help keep business costs and prices down?
The answer showed that 66 percent of Americans prefer more pay and recruitment for Americans, while only 19 percent favored additional foreign workers.
Republican respondents split 74 percent to 13 percent, and swing-voting “other” voters split 62 percent to 20 percent. The Rasmussen poll showed Democrats also strongly backed Americans over corporate migrants, 64 percent to 23 percent.
For years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration — or the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.
The multiracial, cross-sex, nonracist, class-based, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
Investigative surveys also show that the public hides its overwhelming opposition to any migration. For example, a 2014 report showed that roughly 60 percent support “cutting off migration“:
The results suggest that respondents mask their opposition and [that] underlying anti-immigration sentiment is far higher than direct estimates suggest even before the financial crisis… We implore future efforts to measure anti-immigration sentiment to be cautious about direct measurement of opposition, as these measures underestimate anti-immigration sentiment both before and after the financial crisis.
The “Nation of Immigrants” Polls
Business groups have learned how to goose polls by nudging respondents with key phrases, such as “Nation of Immigrants” and “skilled” workers.
They also try to reassure respondents by adding unenforceable conditions, such as “pay taxes and learn English.” Many of these tricks were developed as lobbyists hired pollsters to test reassuring language that would help politicians avoid voters’ anger.
“My sense is that you have [legislators] who understand where the chattering class is on this issue [, but] they’re wondering how will this affect my folks backs home,” Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster at the Winston Group, said in 2013. “That’s why polls like this are being released,” she said.
But the manipulated polls failed to persuade Americans. The Gang of Eight plan was blocked, and Sen. Chuck Schumer lost five Senate seats to the GOP in 2014.
In the House, the GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor also lost his seat in 2014 for quietly pushing the same amnesty. The morning after his defeat, FWD.us announced a survey by ten establishment pollsters that almost 80 percent of Republicans would support an amnesty and that perhaps 25 percent of Latino voters would be open to supporting a pro-amnesty GOP. A DailyCaller.com article about the FWD.us poll included a quote from a Hill staffer:
“These GOP pollsters aren’t GOP pollsters — they’re bought and paid-for GOP consultants working for someone else, and the GOP is stupid enough to believe them,” said a Hill aide. “The entire political class [in DC] has been revealed to be fools” for trusting corporate polls that claim there’s broad public support for amnesty, he said.
And in 2016, the voters’ understandable solidarity with their fellow Americans carried Donald Trump’s pro-American policies into the White House.
After his 2016 election, Trump’s pro-American policies helped shrink American unemployment and raise Americans’ median household wages by seven percent in 2019. In 2020, Trump won roughly 32 percent of the Latino vote, partly because many Latinos want to be prosperous Americans — not just government-dependent, hyphenated Latino-Americans.
In 2020, however, Trump’s immigration speeches ignored the economic impact of cheap-labor migration.
Instead, he focused on the donor-approved subsidiary issues of illegal migration, crime, and sanctuary cities. Trump’s do-not-follow-the-money 2020 strategy was quickly countered by a wave of soft focus, pro-migration advertising from very wealthy corporate donors, including FWD.us.
Joe Biden’s Amnesty
In contrast to his central role in the disastrous Gang of Eight amnesty, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is leaving the immigration battle to his allies.
And those allies keep admitting it is not safe to go back into the amnesty waters.
“We need to make the case to the American people, although in poll after poll, we see when the question is raised, we see a majority of Americans in support of reform,” said the bill’s cheerleader in the Senate, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Passing the bill will be a “herculean” task for business and progressives, he said as he repeatedly declared its popularity.
CBS reported on January 18:
Representative Lou Correa, a [Democratic] moderate from California, said he worries immigration reform may not be prioritized due to the pandemic and other issues.
[Correa added,] “But politically the reality is this: you as a president have only so much political capital and you can only do so much heavy lifting before you can’t anymore.”
Politico reported on January 15:
Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said a “piecemeal” approach is not an option. “The administration has a very limited window of opportunity before House members begin running for reelection,” she said. “Every day that passes is a day that the window shuts just an inch more. …We’ve got to get it done in one fell swoop.”
Business leaders acknowledge that voters can overpower donors.
“Some of the politicians that we had helped get elected, I would see them on TV, and they would be talking about policies that were antithetical [to our goals] — against immigration, against criminal justice reform, against a more peaceful foreign policy. I was horrified,” Charles Koch told Axios in an interview on November 24.
Republicans also see where the voters are.
“Before we deal with immigration, we need to deal with COVID, make sure everyone has the chance to find a good job, and confront the threat from China,” GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said on January 19. He was a founding member of the Gang of Eight, and his career nearly ended in the subsequent 2016 primaries.
“Will this proposal help Americans get back to work?” the GOP’s House leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), asked on January 21. “Most certainly not. And until that happens, the Biden administration must focus on helping our own citizens first.”
The public skepticism toward migration is understandable because migrants help transfer massive wealth from American wage earners to stockholders.
Migration 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, and from the central states to the coastal states.
The economic transfer is recognized by independent academics, the National Academies of Science, the Congressional Budget Office, executives, the Economist, more academics, the New York Times, the New York Times again, state officials, unions, more business executives, a Nobel-winning economist, lobbyists, many academics, the Wall Street Journal, federal economists, Goldman Sachs, oil drillers, 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, Eric Weinstein, more Wall Street Journal, construction workers, New York Times subscribers, a former Treasury secretary, academic economists, a New York Times columnist, a Bloomberg columnist, author Barack Obama, former President Barack Obama, and the Business Roundtable.
Migration also allows investors and CEOs to skimp on labor-saving technology, sideline U.S. minorities, ignore disabled people, exploit stoop labor in the fields, shortchange labor in the cities, and impose tight control and pay cuts on American professionals.
Migration also helps corral technological innovation by minimizing the employment of American graduates, undermine Americans’ labor rights, and redirect progressive journalists to cheerlead for Wall Street’s priorities and claims:
Joe Biden's amnesty will flood the white-collar labor market, so helping CEOs expand the use of cheap & subordinate foreign graduates.
IOW, Biden would push many pro-Democratic US graduates into the same poverty & low-status future as blue-collars. #H1Bhttps://t.co/QHbVAXr62V
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) January 19, 2021