Sessions & Brat to GOP Candidates: Cut Immigration or Quit the Race

Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. David Brat called on every GOP Presidential candidate to address the immigration crisis immediately or get out of the Presidential race in a recent op-ed.Jeff-Sessions

Immigration reform should mean improvements to immigration policy to benefit Americans. But in Washington, immigration reform has devolved into a euphemism for legislation that opens America’s borders, floods her labor markets and gives corporations the legal right to import new foreign workers to replace their existing employees at lower pay.

Consider the giant special interests clamoring for the passage of the Senate’s 2013 “gang of eight” immigration bill: tech oligarchs represented by Mark Zuckerberg’s, open borders groups such as La Raza and the globalist class embodied by the billionaire-run Partnership for a New American Economy.

For these and countless other interest groups who helped write the bill, it delivered spectacularly: the tech giants would receive double the number of low-wage H-1B workers to substitute for Americans. La Raza would receive the further opening of America’s borders (while Democratic politicians gain more political power). And the billionaire lobby would receive the largest supply of visas for new low-skilled immigrants in our history, transferring wealth and bargaining power from workers to their employers.

What would be the effect on schools? On hospitals? On police departments? On labor conditions? On poverty? What would the effect be on millions of past immigrants forced to compete for scarce jobs and meager wages against these new arrivals?

Few seemed to ask, or care.

This is not immigration reform. This is the dissolution of the nation state, of the principle that a government exists to serve its own people.

When stories broke of loyal workers at Southern California Edison and Orlando Disney being forced by executives to train the lower-wage H-1B workers flown in to replace them, our political class could not be budged to even the slightest action. No tears were spilled by a cultural elite who would march on Washington to get drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

Sessions and Brat then make the historical case for an immigration slow down:

The great and broadly-shared middle-class growth that occurred in the 20th century took place during a period of low immigration.

Following the 1880-1920 immigration wave, which saw the foreign-born population double from 7 million to 14 million people, Congress passed a law to reduce future immigration. Between 1920 and 1970, America’s foreign-born population shrank from 14 million to 9.6 million. For half a century, the number of immigrants declined both in total number and as a share of the population.

This period witnessed rapid wage growth.

According to the Congressional Research Service, from 1945 to 1970 — as the foreign-born population fell — the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw an 82.5 percent increase in their wages. During this time, millions of prior immigrants were able to climb out of the tenements and into the middle class.

In 1965, Congress passed a new immigration law which helped produce an unprecedented wave of low-skilled immigration. The foreign-born population more than quadrupled, from fewer than 10 million in 1970 to more than 42 million today. In 1970, fewer than 1 in 21 residents were foreign-born, today it is approaching 1 in 7. In cities such as Los Angeles and New York, almost 4 in 10 current residents were born in another country. One-fifth of our residents now speak a language other than English at home. One-quarter of our residents is now either an immigrant or born to immigrant parents.

This ongoing immigration wave continues during a time when workers are being replaced with automation, when record numbers are living on welfare and when manufacturing plants are closing their doors. All of this has combined to help create an immense wage-compressing surplus of labor: 66 million working-age residents are not working. Real average hourly earnings are lower now than they were in 1973.

The Congressional Research Service reports that during the 43 years between 1970 and 2013 — when the foreign-born population grew 325 percent — incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners fell nearly 8 percent.

And yet, on autopilot, each year the U.S. further swells the labor supply by issuing millions of new visas to foreign nationals seeking jobs and residency in the United States.

The green card is the immigration document responsible for the overwhelming majority of immigration into the United States. One million green cards are now being handed out each and every year. This document legally invites foreign nationals to live permanently in the U.S., claim virtually all federal benefits, receive lifetime work authorization, and ultimately become voting citizens. No nation on Earth admits more new permanent immigrants each year than the United States. No nation on Earth has more than one-fourth as many total immigrants as we do today. And no nation on Earth anywhere near as large ours has a higher percentage of foreign-born residents.

America’s immigration policy is on autopilot they say.  No one voted for this massive wave of immigration and no one is talking about the effect it has had on middle class American families.

Because these new immigrants and foreign workers arrive legally, corporations can legally substitute them for their existing workers at lower pay. From 2000 through 2014, all jobs gains among the working-age were claimed by foreign labor. Moreover, because immigrant workers are paid lower salaries, their wages are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. A recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that 3 in 4 immigrant households with kids are drawing welfare payments.

Including all forms of immigration, the Census Bureau estimates another 14 million immigrants will enter the U.S. on net between now and 2025 — that’s almost five times the number of students who will graduate from public high school in America this year.

Assuming no law is passed to reduce immigration, the Census Bureau estimates that, in less than eight years’ time, the percentage of U.S. residents born in a foreign-country will be the highest level in our history. And the bureau estimates — again, assuming Congress does not reduce immigration rates — that the foreign-born population share will keep rising to new all-time records for as long as they can project.

Pew Research Projects that new immigrants and their children will add another 103 million residents to the U.S. over the next five decades. That’s the population equivalent of 25 cities of Los Angeles.

Did any American vote for this extreme and untested policy?

Yet our politicians who have created this policy do print or speak a word about it. This remains the forbidden conversation.

Finally, the pair lay it on the line for GOP Presidential candidates: support lower immigration or get out of the race.

Lettered on our nation’s seal are the words E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. It does a disservice to both the country and the immigrant when we bring in larger numbers than we can reasonably expect to assimilate. If we allow our immigration system to replicate in America the same failed conditions which people have left, we are hurting the country and any who would seek to enter it in the future.

For that reason, we should only admit as many new arrivals as we can reasonably expect to absorb into our schools, labor markets and communities. We must never admit so large a number that the immigrants themselves are unlikely to enter the middle class or achieve stable incomes. And we have to recognize that there are record millions already living inside our borders in desperate need of a job.

After nearly half a century of massive immigration it is time to turn our attention to our own residents. It is time to help our own workers, families and communities — immigrant and U.S.-born — rise together into the middle class.

We need an immigration policy that shows compassion for Americans.

Anyone running for the White House who cannot publicly commit to these principles should consider a different occupation. Americans should no longer have to wonder for whom their leaders work.