As we enter the new year, I have good news and bad news. The good news is the 2011 Republican debate cycle is over. The bad news is that 11 debates are scheduled for 2012.
During the thirteen debates held between May and December, no candidate showed a thorough understanding of the impact of immigration on American unemployment. Despite years of Americans urging Congress for meaningful immigration restrictions, during the debates the majority opinion has been ignored—except for the meaningless statements that “I do not support amnesty” but “I do support securing the border.”
When the debates focused on jobs, the nation’s number one topic, things turned dreary fast. There was near unanimous support among the candidates for the crazy notion that green cards should be automatically attached to diplomas for any foreign-born student who earns his U.S. degree in math or science. The erroneous premise that underlies this absurd concept is that each legal immigrant creates, not takes, an American job. On its face, this is preposterous. After months of reading the theory that more immigration equals more jobs, I have yet to see a convincing analysis that proves it.
Watching the debates, uninformed viewers would have no idea that American university graduates are facing their most dismal job prospects in decades. What could be more discouraging to an American college student than knowing that his foreign-born classmate would automatically be qualified to work legally and thus to compete directly with him in a tight job market?
The rush to support massive increases in non-immigrant work visas like the H-1B (or worse, eliminate the caps on those visas) is fueled by our greatest enemy, the big business lobby.
When it comes to increasing immigration, corporate American will never be satisfied no matter how much hurt is inflicted upon U.S workers. In my recent blog, I wrote about the Chipotle Mexican Grill which during an ICE raid earlier this spring was found to have hundreds of illegal aliens in its employ.
Under investigation by the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Washington D.C. office, Chipotle instituted E-Verify throughout its nationwide chain of restaurants. As a result, many formerly unemployed Americans now have jobs. And Chipotle has not suffered in the least. Sales, profits and stock values have all increased. [Chipotle Faces U.S Probe over Hiring, by Julie Jargon, Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2011]
Nevertheless, Monte Moran, Chipotle Chief Executive Officer, has embarked on a widely publicized campaign for “comprehensive immigration reform” that would include more guest workers under the guise that his organization suffers from a labor shortage.
Moran’s indefensible position, which is shared throughout corporate America, could be great debate fodder in New Hampshire on January 7 and 8. While it’s possible that as the field thins out, the remaining candidates will take bolder, more pro-American worker positions, I’m not holding my breath.