In case you’re alarmed at the xenophobic trend in this country that prevents us from accepting more than a mere million legal immigrants per year, a new coalition has been formed that you might want to look up. Last week, the New York Times unveiled the plans of two washed-up politicos and a variety of racial, ethnic and big business lobbies to form a coalition group to lobby for yet more immigration into the United States. With the borders already beyond control, these people actually think there’s not enough immigration.
The two politicos are the now-forgotten Jack Kemp, who was once a congressman, cabinet secretary and vice-presidential candidate, as well as one of Beltway conservatism’s favorite torchbearers, and Henry Cisneros, also a former cabinet secretary under Bill Clinton who — like Clinton himself, and a good many of his pals — is simply lucky to be out of jail.
Both Kemp and Cisneros belong to that peculiar minority of the American people who want virtually unrestricted immigration into the United States. Cisneros, who last year pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his habit of slipping illegal funds to his girlfriends, likes immigration because, as a professional Hispanic, he wants to increase the power of his ethnic voting bloc. Kemp, as a Beltway conservative, likes immigration because it’s good for business.
Indeed, yet another voice for more immigration in the coalition is that of yet another professional Beltway conservative, lobbyist Grover Norquist, who told the New York Times, “I was at a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, the truckers organization and other businessmen, and they all said the biggest problem we face is, we’re running out of workers.” Therefore, you see, we should import more immigrants.
It doesn’t occur to Norquist that a shortage of American workers would mean a rise in their wages. But it certainly occurs to the businessmen he talks to. They want more immigrants because they can then lay off well-paid American workers and hire the cheaper foreign labor. That’s exactly what the high-tech industry does, which is why it and the coalition are pressing Congress for passage of new legislation that would allow some 200,000 new high-tech immigrant workers into the country each year for the next three to four years.
The computer industry whines that there just aren’t enough Americans with the right skills to fill the jobs it offers. But repeated studies have shown, as Norman Matloff of the University of California at Davis does in an extensive study of the high-tech industry’s hiring practices, that these American companies hire only 1 percent to 2 percent of the Americans who apply for jobs and often don’t even bother interviewing them — and they lay off American workers at the same time they’re yelling for more foreign labor.
As for Norquist, he ought to be something of an expert on immigration-related employment by now, since he’s been dining out on immigration for years. In 1996, the Wall Street Journal reported that Norquist was pulling down a tidy $10,000 a month from the Microsoft Corporation to lobby Congress to let it hire “well-trained foreigners.” Norquist was also a paid lobbyist for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which also has a vested interest in increased immigration.
So the coalition is not really about enabling immigrants “to make a new life in this land we like to think of as a Shining City on a Hill,” as Kemp gushed in a recent column in the Washington Times. That sort of rhetoric is typical of the Big Business hacks who peddle more immigration, but the reality is that they peddle it because it pays well — both for them as hired guns for businesses with vested interests in immigration and for the businesses themselves.
It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the new coalition is itself subsidized by such businesses, but there’s also the incentive of new voters to manipulate. Hence, several ethnic lobbies — the Arab-American Institute, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and the National Coalition for Haitian Rights — have all signed on board. The obvious kickback for these groups is that increasing immigration enhances the electoral clout of the ethnic blocs they form.
Immigration enthusiasts are fond of yelling about the “racism” and “xenophobia” of anyone who questions the need for more immigration or the benefits immigration brings, but they don’t like it so much when their own greed is sifted out from the gush that masks it. With a million legal immigrants a year in recent years, the United States really doesn’t need any more immigration, legal or not, and it doesn’t need to listen to political mercenaries who are well paid to push for it.