With the shutdown heading into its third day, they were feeling the heat and finding it hard to control the messaging war. Voters in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were getting Republican robo-calls saying Democrats had “prioritized illegal immigrants over American citizens.”
There are plenty of opportunities for the GOP to replay the tough rhetoric. The February 7 emotional speech by the Democrats’ leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, recreated that opportunity. So did the statement by Democratic Sen. Tom Carper when he suggested February 5 that millions of sidelined Americans should be discarded so that ‘dreamer’ illegals can get jobs:
Today, when folks want to work in this country, there is still 2 to 3 million jobs unfilled. Unfilled! Nobody is there to do the jobs, they don’t have the education, the work skills, the work ethic, they can’t pass a drug test … are we going to send 700-800,00 [DACA illegal immigrants] people back home to the countries where they were born? They are perfectly capable of doing these jobs, they can pass a drug test, why would we do that?
But the effective rhetoric — Democrats prefer migrants to Americans — has been buried by McConnell since the shutdown, even though Democrats and their allies are eager to sway public opinion by describing Trump, GOP politicians, and GOP voters as bigots and racists.
D. Senate leaders have done nothing to build public support for moderate Sen. Chuck Grassley’s immigration bill, which is publicly backed by McConnell’s deputy, Texas Sen. John Cornyn. The Grassley bill implements Trump’s four-part framework plan and so would help nudge up Americans’ wages by reducing the extra supply of workers via legal chain immigration. Their inaction means no media debate about the impact of mass immigration on voters’ wages, salaries, or productivity in an age of ever-widening automation, even though business leaders are making their cheap-labor goals very clear. Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis said in a CNBC interview on February 9:
Skilled labor remains a challenge for Dunkin’s franchisees, and Travis emphasized the need for immigration reform. “We need more people. Talking to Democrats and Republicans, there seems to be a fair amount of agreement that it needs to be split between the amount of security and letting all people come into the country and becoming citizens — all we’re asking is to increase the labor pool.”
Immigration polls which ask people to pick a priority or decide which option is fair show that voters in the polling booth put a high priority on helping their families and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy. Those results are very different from the “Nation of Immigrants” polls which are funded by business and progressives, and which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants.
E. GOP Senators remain silent when Trump pushes his very popular immigration reform.
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