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that “I, my husband, 4 of our 6 children and 6 grandchildren live and work in the state you represent… [but] you no longer represent our interests.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.
Many commenters detailed the economic difficulties facing middle-class university graduates. That could be a problem for Boehner and Obama, because middle-class graduates — and their parents — are likely to vote this November, and have the social status to influence their friends, neighbors and local media outlets.
Ohio resident “Pav Sterry” wrote that “this is truly disturbing that you would try to enact Obama’s full scale amnesty with the Chamber of Commerce’s dramatic increase in foreign workers at all education levels… [an] Ohio State economist [says] our college grads are taking jobs from high school grads and dropouts.”
“They used to call them strike breakers, scabs, and goons, now the word is ‘illegal and legal aliens’ [and] I lost my engineering job to legal aliens,“ said an anonymous commenter, xzimppledink.
“I know tons of STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] grads who can’t find jobs because they’ve been replaced by cheap-labor,” said ‘ResearcherMaxwell.’
A parent named Keith wrote that that his daughter “has a masters degree (4.0 GPA) in enviromental science and is working as a contractor for $14/hr… How does that pay for a living plus school loans?”
“blacksunshine84” complained about provisions in GOP-backed House bills and in the Senate’s immigration bill that sharply increase the inflow of professional-level guest-workers. “If we bring in 2 million visa immigrants each yr for high tech and engineering jobs, where are our college grads going to work?”
“R Mansfield” wrote that “My wife is Hispanic and I helped raise two hispanic college grads and they feel exactly the same way… I’m trying to get you morons to leave them some sort of chance to have a decent life.”
‘Hacimo’ suggested that Boehner’s principles be rewriten to say that ‘“visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of the american people’… [because] employers are using the immigration visa system like it was their own private slave labor agency.”
Another commentator, Jean Gilbertson, dismissed Boehner’s plan as “more BS Elite Republican ideas… the people are against amnesty but you Chamber of Commerce Elites are for it. We don’t need more depressed wages.”
Numerous commentators promise to walk away from the GOP if the amnesty and guest-worker bill become law.
“I’m so tired of voting for the lesser of two evils, said ‘t_mccowan.’ If the GOP passes an immigration-increase “you will be letting me off the hook. I won’t have to vote anymore.”
Others commenters complained about the impact of immigration on their ability to manage their social community and civic environment.
“If our dear leaders had to deal with this diversity they keep forcing onto us, they wouldn’t like it one bit,” said commenter Nancy Thomas. “The guys who want to shove this diversity on us don’t have to deal with the diversity robbing them at gunpoint,” she added.
“With all the hype about diversity being touted we should be ARMPIT deep in UTOPIA by now,” said Sarah Goldblume. “But empty promises from elitists about multiculturalism have left our schools, cities, and society in ruins.”