Thousands of angry and frightened Americans have written more than 4,200 comments on House Speaker John Boehner’s webpage, protesting his planned immigration deal with President Barack Obama.
“No More cheap low wage labor and cheap high tech labor… this [policy] will get the votes back from your base (because they trust you again),” siad a commenter named Wake Mom.
An Ohio voter, olJunkie47 declared that “I, my husband, 4 of our 6 children and 6 grandchildren live and work in the state you represent… [but] you no longer represent our interests. You instead choose to pander to corporations eager for more unskilled, uneducated, cheap labor.”
The wave of protests follows Boehner’s Jan. 30 announcement of his support for a deal that would increase the inflow of legal immigrants and guest workers to compete for jobs sought by Americans parents. The plan is also being pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan.
The protests may have helped cause Boehner’s Thursday step-back, in which he said the GOP can’t keep pushing the immigration increase until President Barack Obama shows he can be trusted to comply with immigration laws.
The Daily Caller asked Boehner’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, to characterize the comments. He declined to comment.
Business groups are pushing the bill because they hope to hire many more foreign blue-collar and white-collar guest-workers, who generally accept lower wages than Americans workers and graduates. Obama has recently minimized his role in debate so that Boehner and business lobbyists can persuade the reluctant GOP caucus to back a bill that could sharply increase the inflow of Democratic-leaning immigrants.
That business goal is rather unpopular among some middle and working-class voters.
Numerous supporters and opponents of the planned immigration increase say Boehner’s new “can’t-trust-Obama” line is merely a public feint while he and business lobbyists try behind closed-doors to shepherd GOP legislators towards a deal.
Boehner’s plan has prompted strong pushback from his legislators, some of who argue that a low-immigration, high-wage strategy will aid Americans and boost GOP support on election day.
Boehner’s outline for a deal was posted Feb. 3. It offered roughly 12 million illegal a means to stay, after which they could apply for citizenship, and reiterated business’ demand for more guest-workers.
“Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help to grow our economy,” it said, downplaying the public’s worries about jobs and wages.
The comments on Boehner’s website are nearly all negative.
Roughly a third of the commentators warned Boehner against approving an amnesty, and another third cited worries about jobs, wages, or cheap foreign workers replacing Americans, or forcing down their wages. Some comments offer data to make their case, and others betray crude hostility to foreigners and non-whites.