Will Trump’s base turn on him for immigration double talk?
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE is the champion of outsourcing to nemesis countries he has attacked and does attack, particularly Mexico.

But Donald Trump has a blind eye to people brought here to work with work visas (H-2B) for the hospitality industry in particular.

In doing so, he is infuriating many of his core supporters, especially of the paid anti-immigrant “professionals.”

Not only has his own company hired thousands of imported immigrant laborers for Florida’s Mar De Lago, particularly from Romania, but his administration has just announced that over and above the congressionally-mandated annual cap of 66,000 H-2B temporary work visas it is issuing 15,000 more for immediate use to expire September 30.

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Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made the announcement of the 23 percent increase that he is allowed to make. He said it was temporary to help American business. The decision was jointly made by Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

The departments say that the harm that some businesses face if they don’t find workers is greater than the harm American workers could face if someone participates in the program fraudulently or at all.

Businesses that apply for the 15,000 visas must prove they will suffer “irreparable harm” if they are not able to hire temporary foreign labor.

Imagine seasonally affected agricultural businesses trying to apply for these visas after the country has reached its threshold and you can understand the burden the Trump administration has placed on businesses.

But this move has infuriated Trump’s most outspoken anti-immigrant supporters. In short, Trump has unleashed the wrath of a cluster of organizations connected to or founded by Michigan doctor John Tanton. The polite word used by much of the media for Tanton’s groups are “immigration restrictionist.”

Among numerous Tanton-founded front groups, two are noteworthy: the Center for Immigration Studies led by Peter Nunez-Chairman and Mark Krikorian and NumbersUSA led by Roy Beck.

Nunez, a former U.S. Attorney, whose family emigrated here from Spain refers to the 15,000 extra visas as “very disappointing…With many millions of Americans out of work, it is difficult to accept the notion that employers cannot find temporary non-agricultural workers…What they want is workers who they can hire as cheaply as possible, so if they can hire a foreign worker at a cheaper wage than hiring an American, that’s what they want. If they really wanted to hire Americans for these jobs, they should raise the pay rate to whatever the market requires for them to find willing workers.”

Peter, how about $20 or $50-an-hour. Peter, isn’t $14-an-hour enough to unload pumpkins and Christmas trees from trucks?

“Many of those who voted for Trump because of his appeal to the working-class Americans should be outraged at this development,” Nunez says. LOL!

Jessica Vaughan, CIS director of policy studies joins in the criticism with: “The Trump administration should be thinking about how to get these employers to hire some of the hundreds of thousands of unemployed teenagers, seniors or others looking for entry-level work…There’s no such thing as a job (White) Americans won’t do, and we have many legal immigrants who could take these jobs too.”

Yes. Seniors doing entry-level physical work. Right.

According to the Department of Labor, forestry, tourism, fairs and construction also find workers through the H2B visa.

Finally, in construction there are always worker shortages especially in the southwest. In Texas, roofing contractors turn down jobs because they don’t have enough workers.

Isabel Marocco, incoming president of the National Association of Women in Construction, says construction in California is facing a workforce shortage.

Without H-2B visas her company would have to turn projects down due to lack of workers. There simply aren’t enough Americans to do the work.

Agriculture is worse.

There are special seasonal worker visas for farm workers. But… As the government knows, half of ALL farmworkers in the United States, hundreds of thousands of them are working illegally.

If there are so many American seniors and teenagers looking for work, where are they every morning at 4:00 a.m. in our fields ready to work until the sun goes down for $10 to $20 per hour?

Nowhere.

More, not fewer worker visas are needed; more not less.

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the author of “The Armenian Lobby & American Foreign Policy”and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade.” His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.