Black voters are not buying the Biden Administration's insistence that the nation faces a severe labor shortage that requires the massive increases in work permits for immigrants and other foreign workers contained in his Build Back Better proposals.
A national poll released this week by Rasmussen Reports found "likely voters" who identified as "Black" have a very different view about what it means when businesses say they can't find enough Americans to fill their jobs.
The Black vote may be up for grabs in this fall's mid-term elections like it hasn't been for generations, according to many political analysts. How the candidates respond to the following question about immigration may dictate whether there is a significant shift.
QUESTION: When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, what is generally best for the country? Is it better for businesses to raise the pay and try harder to recruit non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise, or is it better for the government to bring in new foreign workers to help keep business costs and prices down?
Several Republican Senators have agreed with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the answer has to be to use immigration to hold down wages and costs. Most Republicans in Congress, though, appear to be resisting immigration increases.
But the stance of increasing the flow of foreign workers is most powerfully coming from the Biden Administration and, thus far, from every single Democrat in Congress.
That is not what Black voters want, according to the survey taken last week.
of Black voters gave this answer: "Better for businesses to raise the pay and try harder to recruit non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise."
of Black voters backed the position closely associated with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Schumer: "Better for the government to bring in new foreign workers to help keep business costs and prices down."
Tweets have been circulating among many Black voters this week that are based on a passage in my book BACK OF THE HIRING LINE. It references an anthropologist who told the Associated Press in 2020 about what African American workers told her they think is meant when employers talk of a "labor shortage:"
. . . from their perspective, 'labor shortage' is shorthand for the industry's refusal to adjust working conditions and wages to retain employees. . . . For many Black residents, then, 'labor shortage' is not merely a race-neutral economic term for a period of low unemployment, but is instead a pejorative way to talk about the available labor pool.
More than one of every three working-age native-born Black Americans does NOT have a job. If politicians want to alienate Black voters, they can keep talking about importing more foreign workers to meet a "labor shortage."
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Jul 1st 2022 @ 9:31am EDT