Tom Donohue: We Need Immigration Reform Because Of High Demand For Jobs

Tom Donohue is the CEO for the Chamber of Commerce. He is one of the main players who is angry at Ted Cruz and the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, supposedly due to the government shut down. In the video below he speaks about immigration Reform. So far I haven’t found a precise date for the speech, but it was after the so-called shut-down.

Parts of his presentation are quite enlightening and others sound like this video is from a parallel universe in which there has been no recession.

Bear in mind, that I’m not opposed to Donohue’s claims because I oppose immigration reform in principle. I think people should be as free to come here as they are to leave (sadly, the TSA seems to want to take our exit freedoms away). I don’t understand why this means they should have easy citizenship. If anything, our “political borders” should be tightened, not loosened. But I generally think unrestricted mobility is a great thing for everyone—including both people coming here to work and those trying to escape our tax policies (I wish they could stay and prosper but I don’t begrudge them doing what they have to in order to keep their money).

But Donohue’s claims, starting 40 or 45 seconds in, seem at odds with reality. A “full and diverse work force”? He is completely ignoring a labor participation rate that is at a 35-year low. That means our job situation is as bad as during the Carter years! So what is he talking about?

To be blunt, “amnesty” or whatever is simply going to make a few people who already live here get to stay here. It isn’t going to cause a huge influx of more immigrants unless the economy heats up and/or minimum wage laws are abolished. Neither is likely any time soon. Furthermore, the demographic facts indicate that immigration into the US will taper as the birth rates in Latin America go down.

But Donohue keeps making statements that don’t seem remotely true. Foreigners want to move manufacturing to the US? We’re facing a shortage of workers?

Perhaps Donohue thinks that unemployed Americans will become a permanent welfare-dependent class and productive foreign workers can become the cash cow that will support them through taxation. What does Donohue know that the rest of us don’t?

Immigration “makes us the land of promise and hope.” I think Donohue is confusing cause and effect. Pretty sure immigrants come here because they see that we’re the land of promise and hope. Besides, anyone who looks at the bill knows that it is a Big Government steroid injection. How does this comport with Donohue’s stated belief that “Bigger Government Doesn’t Mean Better Government”?

One thing that was helpful about this video is that it showed why Donohue is upset with Ted Cruz. Donohue agrees with me that the government shutdown “ate up precious time” making the passing of some kind of new immigration policy look less likely. Unlike Donohue, I see that as a feature, not a bug of the “shutdown.”