The United States Chamber of Commerce is vowing to continue fighting President Trump’s shaping of the Republican Party into a pro-U.S. worker party of blue collar working and middle class Americans.
In an interview with the Washington Post, numerous Chamber of Commerce officials said the organization’s corporate lobbying efforts would soon attempt to court more elected Democrats to support their economic libertarian agenda of more free trade and increased legal immigration.
“The GOP’s drift toward protectionism, nativism, and isolationism since Donald Trump took over the party in 2016 is also at odds with the Chamber’s longtime support for expanding free trade, growing legal immigration and investing in infrastructure,” the Post story details.
Specifically, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue said the U.S. needed more legal immigration so that corporations and business secure a never-ending flow of cheaper labor, claiming the country is “out of people.”
And they’re still looking to work with Trump even on areas where they’re not really in agreement, such as immigration. The Chamber advocates for protecting the “dreamers” from deportation and expanding rates of legal immigration. “The fundamental issue is that the United States of America is out of people,” said Donohue. “We have the lowest unemployment we’ve had in 65 years. We have brought more people back into the workforce and still have the lowest unemployment.” [Emphasis added]
Despite Donohue’s claims, at least 12 million Americans who want full-time jobs remain on the sidelines of the workforce. This includes 6.2 million Americans who are unemployed that want a job, 4.5 million Americans who are underemployed working part-time jobs, and 1.4 million Americans who continue to be entirely out of the workforce though they want full-time employment.
More than 12 million Americans remain unemployed, underemployed, or out of the labor force but wanting a job. Tight labor market still has some slack. https://t.co/gpDbIUcGjE
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) April 16, 2019
While millions remain on the sidelines of the workforce, the Chamber of Commerce has routinely advocated for increasing legal immigration levels as a boon to corporations while depressing job prospects and wages for America’s working and middle class. Already, about 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants are admitted to the country every year, to the detriment of U.S. wages.
The Chamber of Commerce’s push to increase legal immigration levels is vastly out of step with Republican voters and American voters as a whole. Last year, nearly two-out-three U.S. voters said they supported reducing legal immigration, while most recently about 43 percent of Republican voters said immigration hurts the country.
Extensive research by economists like George Borjas and analyst Steven Camarota has found that the country’s current mass legal immigration system — wherein 1.2 million mostly low-skilled workers are admitted annually — burdens U.S. taxpayers and America’s working and middle class while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth every year to major employers and newly arrived immigrants.
Borjas has previously called the country’s legal immigration system the “largest anti-poverty program” in the world at the expense of blue-collar Americans and middle-class taxpayers.
Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, has found that every one-percent increase in the immigrant composition of American workers’ occupations reduces their weekly wages by about 0.5 percent. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.
In a state like Florida, where immigrants make up about 25.4 percent of the labor force, American workers have their weekly wages reduced by about 12.5 percent. In California, where immigrants make up 34 percent of the labor force, American workers’ weekly wages are reduced by potentially 17 percent.
Likewise, every one-percent increase in the immigrant composition of low-skilled U.S. occupations reduces wages by about 0.8 percent. Should 15 percent of low-skilled jobs be held by foreign-born workers, it would reduce the wages of native-born American workers by perhaps 12 percent.
Though corporate interests and the open borders lobby have sought to sway Trump from his “America First” illegal and legal immigration agenda, senior advisor Jared Kushner recently said the president’s top priority in terms of the White House’s reform efforts is protecting Americans’ wages.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.