As if dying to prove Donald Trump’s allegations that current immigration law is a conspiracy of the elites against the masses right, Congress has put a provision in the omnibus spending bill that would dramatically increase the number of H-2B visas. The Hill reports:
Congressional leaders quietly slipped the provision into the 2,009-page funding bill, with rank-and-file lawmakers only discovering it Wednesday morning. The move immediately sparked protests from across the political spectrum.
The provision could more than triple the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers seeking jobs at hotels, theme parks, ski resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, restaurants and bars. The move is intended to boost the supply of non-agricultural seasonal workers.[..]
Sessions estimates the number of H-2B visas will soar from 66,000 to 250,000 because of the language in the omnibus. He took to the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to protest the maneuver.
The H-2B, and its high-tech cousin the H-1B are, as we have written before, indenturement by another name. The worker who holds them cannot leave his or her job without having to leave the country. This gives management enormous leverage, and depresses wages. In some cases it leads to outright abuses. Meanwhile, Americans lose out on employment opportunities or are fired to make room for the newcomers, and the country as a whole is deprived of the talents and commitment to the national community that new immigrants on green cards or a citizenship track would have brought. It’s a lose-lose—except for the employer.
If you want to know why Trump keeps enjoying success despite every outrageous comment, look to measures like this. The Congressmen who inserted this provision might talk a responsible game, but their actions, in the eyes of a Trump supporter, reveal their true intentions. And the AFL-CIO came out in opposition to the measure as well. This lends credence to the notion that Trump’s natural base of support is the “radical middle,” exactly the sort of blue-collar, non-college-educated workers that feel most threatened by immigration and the state of the economy as a whole right now.
None of this is exactly a secret, which raises the question of just what the Congressmen involved were thinking. Could they just not help themselves?