Obama escalates fight to increase immigration

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama made a high-profile visit to a D.C. campsite of advocates seeking an immigration reform bill, marking another escalation in his relentless campaign to increase immigration during a period of high unemployment.

“The President and First Lady thanked Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon and all of the fasters for their sacrifice and dedication, and told them that the country is behind them on immigration reform,” a White House official told the pool reporter.

“The President told them that it is not a question of whether immigration reform will pass, but how soon,” the official said. “He said that the only thing standing in the way is politics, and it is the commitment to change from advocates like these brave fasters that will help pressure the House to finally act.”

Obama’s aides have described immigration reform as his top second-term priority.

Under pressure from voters and advocates for lower immigration, GOP leaders have rebuffed business lobbies’ claims that they need immigrants for unfilled jobs in restaurants, factories, food-processing facilities, hotels and other workplaces. That stance has blocked Obama’s Senate-drafted immigration bill, which was supported by all Democratic senators in June.

The claimed shortage of workers is contradicted by data showing wage declines in many careers — including software programming — and by data showing that roughly nine million Americans have given up looking for jobs since January 2009.

Instead, the visit suggests that Obama and his allies are now trying to boost the emotional content of their high-stakes campaign, even as his poll ratings amid public opposition to Obamacare.

Even if the increased emotion fails to collapse GOP opposition, it may prod Latino families and voters to support Democratic candidates in the important November 2014 election.

The emotional pitch is highlighted by the D.C. group of amnesty advocates, who say they’re trying to protect Latino families from being separated when one or more illegals — dubbed “aspiring Americans” — are deported to their home countries.

“The House of Representatives has a chance to complete the dream for 11 million aspiring Americans by addressing the moral crisis that is our broken immigration system. … Every day the [GOP’s] House leadership stalls on a vote for immigration reform, families and communities suffer the impact of deportations, deaths on the border, exploitation at work and the fear of living in the shadows with no path to citizenship, says Fast4Families’ website.

The group does not discuss the unemployment of 20 million Americans, including many Latinos and African-Americans, nor Americans’ declining wages amid a flood of low-wage immigrants.

The group’s centerpiece is a campsite on the National Mall, where three activists have not eaten since Nov. 12. They include Eliseo Medina, a former official of the Service Employers International Union, who has argued that a Latino influx will cement Democratic power.

Amnesty “puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually to voters. … We will create a governing coalition for the long term,” he said in June 2009.

The Senate bill would triple immigration rates during the next decade up to 30 million. The first decade’s influx would provide employers and Democratic vote-counters with one immigrant for every American who is a teenager in 2012. The 30 million number would include at least 11 million illegals now living in the United States.

The bill also doubles the current annual inflow of 700,000 blue-collar and university-trained guest workers, even though 20 million Americans — including many professionals — have unsuccessfully sought jobs in the last several weeks. If the Senate bill were made law, the government would provide work permits to one immigrant or guest worker for every American now between ages 20 and 30.

So far, GOP leaders have faced down Obama’s demand for more immigration, partly because groups such as NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform have rallied opposition from many worried Americans.

If the GOP leadership bends to the pressure, the resulting immigration increase would split the GOP base before the 2014 election, flatline Americans’ wages for a least a decade, transfer income from wage-earner to investors, move Congressional seats into Democratic-dominated states, provide millions of new Democratic-leaning voters after 2020, and slow investment in wage-boosting technology.

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