Chamber of Commerce, Special Interest Groups Launch Lobbying Campaign Demanding More Immigration to U.S.

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BY: JOHN BINDER 1 May 2023

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and special interest groups have launched a lobbying campaign to demand more legal immigration to the U.S. so business has a constant flow of cheaper foreign workers to hire for American jobs.

On Monday, the Chamber and more than 430 special interest groups unveiled the Legal Immigration and Border Enforcement Reform This Year (LIBERTY) campaign to formally ask Congress and President Joe Biden’s administration to increase legal immigration levels for the benefit of the business lobby.

“Companies are experiencing significant workforce shortages despite their sizable investments in expanding U.S. talent pipelines,” the Chamber and other groups wrote in a letter to Congress. “As a result, companies of all sizes and across a host of industries are wrestling with the myriad problems caused by their inability to adequately tap into global talent to meet their workforce needs.”

Every year the United States gives more than a million green cards to foreign nationals in addition to another million temporary work visas to foreign workers. These historically high, decades-long legal immigration levels are on top of hundreds of thousands of border crossers and illegal aliens who are being added to the workforce each year after securing work permits.

The Chamber’s suggestion that businesses need more foreign workers to hire comes as labor market data shows that the Biden administration is rapidly expanding the United States workforce by funneling millions of border crossers, illegal aliens, foreign visa workers, and legal immigrants into American jobs.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, close to two million fewer native-born Americans were working compared to the same time in 2019, while two million foreign-born workers were added to the workforce.

At the same time, millions of working and middle class Americans are left on the labor market sidelines with few incentives to seek jobs.

Specifically, the Chamber and other groups want legal immigration levels “significantly” increased and a massive expansion of foreign visa workers as well as new visa programs.

The lobbying campaign comes as the nation’s labor market remains tight — a situation the Chamber of Commerce and special interest groups see as a downside for employers as they must pay higher wages, offer better benefits, and compete for employees.

While a tight labor market drives up U.S. wages, a flooded labor market from mass immigration helps redistribute billions in wealth away from working- and middle-class Americans to the nation’s top earners. It also tilts the economy in favor of employers rather than employees.

Republican voters, in particular, want less legal immigration; they view the issue as one centered around labor policy.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey found that a majority — 54 percent — of GOP voters said they want legal immigration levels cut at least in half. Meanwhile, almost half of swing voters said they would like to see legal immigration levels reduced by at least a quarter.

The Heritage Foundation’s blueprint for a future Republican presidential administration falls much more in line with the base of GOP voters, as well as swing voters, when it comes to legal immigration levels and foreign competition in the labor market.

The “2025 Mandate for Leadership” blueprint calls for the elimination of the H-2B and H-2A visa programs, both of which outsource blue-collar American jobs to foreign workers, and urges Republican presidential candidates to throw their support behind “Hire American” rules.

“Congress should mandate that all new federal contracts require at least 70 percent of the contractor’s employees to be U.S. citizens, with the percentage increasing to at least 95 percent over a 10-year period,” the blueprint states.

The Chamber of Commerce, along with other business groups, attempted late last year to promote an amnesty for illegal aliens, but the initiative ultimately failed to gain steam.

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