Gang of Eight: Never Have So Few Told So Many Lies
For three more weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will debate the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744. During the 45 years I’ve studied Washington politics, including 25 years of editorializing on the dreary subject, I can say without hesitation that no more anti-American legislation has ever been introduced.
I’ve watched most of the committee’s hearings and listened to its members as well as its supporters lie-sorry, no softer, politically correct synonym applies-about the bill’s devastating consequences to Americans.
Most know the broad strokes. Eleven million aliens would immediately be granted provisional permanent residency and, eventually, the opportunity to apply for citizenship. With legal status secured, all eleven million will receive work authorization and compete in the labor market where 20 million Americans can’t find a job or are under-employed. Even recent college graduates are mired in unemployment quicksand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from the 2011 class, 14 percent are unemployed. The so-called “Generation Jobless” is on the verge of becoming the “Generation Hopeless.”
Since the committee shot down every enforcement amendment, continued waves of illegal immigration are assured. Since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and today, the U.S. illegal alien population quadrupled. If it increases at the same rate over the next quarter of a century, the U.S. would have a 44 million illegal immigrant population.
S. 744 also proposes to issue hundreds of thousands of worker visas that, in the bill’s first decade, might mean as many as 33 million more low and high skilled immigrants flooding the already saturated market.
Among the bill’s many hurtful features is the creation of a new visa, the “W.” Under the “W” visa, 200,000 low-skilled workers would be allowed to work, have the right to petition for permanent residency and then citizenship. These visas would be used in the hospitality industry-hotels, restaurants and resorts. For long-term unemployed American minorities or high school drop outs that, given the opportunity, would be happy to wait tables or cook short order, the “W” makes their challenges greater.
Running neck and neck with the “W” visa for most audacious is a provision that would give employers a $3,000 tax credit to hire a newly legalized worker instead of an American citizen. Yes, you read that correctly!
The Gang’s gall is boundless. Chuck Schumer, S. 744’s sponsor, insists that despite adding millions of new workers, American wages will increase once the bill passes. On its face, Schumer’s claim is ludicrous. But when you realize that Schumer sits on the Senate Finance Committee and must therefore know how to crunch numbers, the only conclusion is that-he’s lying.
What’s good for American workers, as the Gang knows, are tight labor markets. Nevertheless, the Senate legislation loosens labor markets, and will keep them slack for decades. That’s not a bug in S. 744 but rather its raison d’Ãªtre. S. 744 will legalize the formerly illegal, and will also hugely increase future immigration flows of both permanent and temporary workers: agriculture, restaurant technology and even ski instructors.
The labor market is subject to supply and demand laws. When supply is dramatically increased at a time when demand is already low, wages will fall steeply. No matter what the lying Gang says, the S. 744’s intention is to cut wages to benefit the corporate sector at the expense of struggling Americans.