Obama, Wall Street Agree On Immigration, Says White House Official
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is in sync with the White House’s immigration priorities, according to Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s communications chief.
The acknowledgement was made jokingly in response to a July 11 tweet from Mark Halperin, a senior reporter for MSNBC and Time, who said that a July 11 editorial from the journal is “v in sync w/admin policy.”
“Watch out for flying pigs on your commute to work people,” Pfeiffer replied shortly after.
@MarkHalperin @WSJopinion @BarackObama watch out for flying pigs on your commute to work people
— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) July 11, 2014
The White House and major business groups have routinely shared the common goal of boosting immigration.
That cooperation is also routinely slammed by GOP reformers, including Dave Brat, who unseated the GOP’s majority leader — Rep. Eric Cantor — in a shocking June primary. The push by the White House and business groups for more migrant workers “is the most symbolic issue that captures the difference between myself and Eric Cantor in this race, but it also captures the fissures between Main Street and Wall Street,” Brat said.
The July 10 Journal editorial cited by Halperin criticized the administration’s response to the flood of migrants from Central America. At least 100,000 adult, youth and child migrants have recently turned themselves in at the border, in the belief that President Barack Obama will let them stay in the country.
The “larger tragedy of this episode is that it has done enormous and needless damage to the cause of immigration reform [and] the Obama Administration’s incompetence has again undermined its own agenda” of promoting a business-backed immigration bill, the Journal reported.
The op-ed lamented the collapse of the huge business-backed lobbying campaign to expand immigration, and said it was the cure to the current border meltdown.
“The way to reduce illegal immigration is by providing more work visas to enter — and leave — the U.S. legally.”
“Parents who have come to the U.S. illegally are less likely to return home knowing they’ll have a harder time returning to the U.S. if they do. So they stay and work here and send for the children to follow, often escaping gangs and violence at home,” the editorial said.
“If the U.S. had more work visas for low-skilled immigrants, those parents could move back and forth more easily. As President Obama rightly said on Wednesday in Texas, this is another argument for immigration reform,” the Journal declared.
But there’s no shortage of American low-skill, low-wage workers. For example, more than five-in-ten Americans who never went to college are unemployed, have given up looking for work, or never worked, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Half of the people who never went to college earned less than $427 per week, or $22,204 a year in 2013, according to government data.
There are also many polls showing that the public oppose increased immigration.
On July 10, the New York Times published an op-ed by three of the world’s richest men asking for more immigrant workers.
“We could without doubt come together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us. … It’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest,” said the authors, Sheldon Adelson, the GOP-supporting chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, plus Warren Buffett, the Democratic-allied chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Gates, the former chairman of Microsoft.
“Kudos to these tycoons for coming out of the shadows,” said a sardonic GOP congressional aide. “It’s a shame they’re using their wealth and influence to move up on the Forbes list instead of providing more opportunities for the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans who would love to work for their companies,” the aide added.
Follow Neil on Twitter