Jeremy Beck's picture


  by  Jeremy Beck

Since the recession began, corporate special interests have lobbied for immigration expansion and amnesty even as they laid off U.S. workers. Today, the White House is the one doing the lobbying to get these businesses on board with a series of executive actions on immigration.

Politico reports:

Senior White House officials are in talks with business leaders that could expand the executive actions President Barack Obama takes on immigration.

Obama was initially expected to focus only on slowing deportations of potentially millions of undocumented immigrants and altering federal enforcement policies. Now top aides are talking with leaders in big companies like Cisco, Intel and Accenture, hoping to add more changes that would get them on board.

Cisco announced just a few days ago that they plan to layoff 6,000 workers (eight percent of their workforce!) in 2015 (Personal Liberty Digest and Silicon Valley Business Journal have the details).

Intel (along with Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intuit and Pixar) had to be forced by the U.S. Department of Justice to dispense with agreements to not hire away each other's talent, Information Week reported last year.

Accenture is the fifth largest employer of H-1B guest workers in the U.S., according to the New York Post, and "40 percent of their worth comes from outsourcing".

According to Politico, the White House wants to hear what it would take to get big businesses like these to give President Obama political cover for executive amnesty:

Senior administration officials stepped up their engagement with companies and business groups over the past month as they look to produce a series of executive orders starting in September. Aides are asking industry executives for ideas and are trying to earn their support against an expected barrage from Republicans opposed to Obama taking any action.

The cheap labor lobby enjoys it's own form of political cover from a media that mostly avoids mentioning layoffs in stories about business interests lobbying for immigration expansion and legalization.

Last month, one week after Bill Gates co-authored an editorial with fellow billionaires Sheldon Anderson and Warren Buffet that called for more foreign labor, Microsoft announced it was laying off 18,000 people. Senator Sessions gave an impassioned speech about the sequence of events from the Senate floor but Computerworld was one of the only media outlets that considered it a big enough story to cover.

Last year, businesses were laying of tens of thousands of American workers even as they sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi, urging them to take up the Senate's immigration expansion bill to give them hundreds of thousands of new foreign workers. But the The Washington Examiner was just about the only media to consider it newsworthy.

Now, it appears the White House is lobbying Big Business when it comes to executive immigration actions. The White House is hosting a series of "Listening Sessions" with outside groups. According to Politico:

Representatives for high-tech, agriculture and construction interests have put forward a range of fixes, from recapturing unused green cards to tweaking existing work authorization programs.

Politico's story doesn't include a perspective from anyone who argues that American workers (including immigrant workers who are already here) should have priority over new foreign workers; or that businesses should spend less time lobbying for foreign workers and more time recruiting and training from groups of chronically unemployed Americans.

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

American workers
H-1B visas

Updated: Mon, Sep 1st 2014 @ 11:30am EDT

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