- Rob Maness - https://www.robmaness.com -

Selling Out the American Worker

We still need border security, immigration reform to reduce work visa programs, and America First [1] worker policies are beginning to work ever so slightly for American workers. Yep, I said it—our border security still needs more work even though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stopped 328 Chinese nationals illegally crossing our border just this year! So yeah, Congress needs to get on board with the Trump administration and secure the border through all means available, including the wall effort!

But border breaches is not the biggest threat to the continued success of the American economy—it’s our own politicians. Outgoing Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was caught at a private gathering saying “We are desperate —desperate— for more people.” He elaborated: “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.” The Trump administration wants those immigrants to come in a “legal fashion,” Mulvaney went on to say.

This is exactly the wrong thing American workers need just when we’re starting to see mild increases in lower end of the economic spectrum wages and record employment in this country, especially for women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and everyone else.

There is no doubt that lobbyists for industries like agriculture, hospitality, construction, and landscaping are complaining because they’re finding it hard to staff in these days of a tight labor market, according to an op-ed in USA TODAY by Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies [2]. Krikorian goes on to say the tight labor market is good social policy since it empowers the free market to address the serious challenges of “stagnating wages for the less skilled and the record-low share of our adult population.” I agree.

We don’t need to import foreign workers and end the modest gains we’ve made but, instead, give owners the opportunity and responsibility to do things like offer higher pay, improve recruiting and training efforts, and offer better benefits. Let the markets work and keep government involvement to a minimum.

Polling shows nearly 80% of Americans support Krikorian’s view —as do I— and the debate among conservatives is raging for some reason. Don’t be fooled by the politicians and political conservatives; many of them really do support increased foreign workers through legal immigration. In Louisiana, our attorney general [3], a staunch immigration hawk in all of his political campaigns, actually has companies that have brought hundreds of Mexican workers into our state to work in the oil and gas industry when we have high unemployment numbers, relatively speaking.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

Here’s a message for the Trump administration: Don’t forget this issue is why we voted for America First in 2016 and why we likely will again, but only if we stay the course on policy by putting America’s workers first, and not increase foreign worker visa programs.