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When Liberals Sided with U.S. Workers

March 1, 2013
By Bill Chip

In this Backgrounder and Report, Bill Chip points out that Congress's frenzied reaction to President Obama's second-term push for "comprehensive immigration reform" (CIR) has revealed a split within the GOP, and within the conservative movement more

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In this Backgrounder and Report, Bill Chip points out that Congress's frenzied reaction to President Obama's second-term push for "comprehensive immigration reform" (CIR) has revealed a split within the GOP, and within the conservative movement more generally. This split pits businesses that want to maximize access to low-cost foreign labor against "social conservatives" who are uncomfortable with the liberal project to transform American society through mass immigration. The split has been skillfully exploited by Democratic politicians and by mainstream media outlets that have been advancing the notion that CIR is inevitable.

Coretta Scott King noted in this letter, on behalf of the Black Leadership Forum, that advocates of repeal were using discrimination as a guise "to introduce cheap labor into the U.S. workforce", and offered to report to the senator on "the devastating impact the repeal would have on the economic condition of un- and semi-skilled workers — a disproportionate number of whom are African American and Hispanic." In words that would ring true if written in 2013, she concluded: "With roughly seven million people unemployed, and double that number discouraged from seeking work, the removal of employer sanctions threatens to add additional U.S. workers to the rolls of the unemployed." Although IRCA's employer sanctions were never seriously enforced, thanks to Mrs. King's courageous letter, they were at least not repealed.

 


Bill Chip is an attorney practicing in Washington, D.C., and a member of the CIS’s Board of Directors.

Article Tags
Employment Immigration