“We’re full, our system’s full, our country’s full!” That was President Donald Trump last year at our southern border.
“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” That was Trump in January 2017 at his inaugural address.
“The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult… to earn a middle class wage.” That was presidential candidate Trump in 2016.
Contrast those clarion “America First” statements with the apparent hysteria of Trump’s current acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who was caught on tape telling a private audience of elites in England last week: “We are desperate — desperate — for more people. We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”
Mulvaney reportedly went on to push for “expanding” merit- and employment-based immigration to fill all the high-skilled jobs that Americans purportedly aren’t capable of filling. By how much, for how long, in which visa categories and under what conditions this “expansion” should happen, Mulvaney is not reported to have detailed. (He will be featured at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday morning. It would be nice if someone asked him to elaborate, wouldn’t it?)
“Running out of people” is typical Beltway swamp talk from a big business lobbyist trafficking in open borders “Chicken Little” alarmism. Has Mulvaney opened a newspaper or browsed the internet in the last 10 years? How about the last week? Over a 48-hour period, I compiled a Twitter thread of more than 50 stories of tens of thousands of recent U.S. worker layoffs in tech and other high-skilled industries. Among the U.S. corporations and institutions responsible for laying off, replacing, offshoring, and outsourcing tens of thousands of American jobs:
Wayfair, TripAdvisor, LogMeIn, Inc., Zume Pizza, VMWare, Shutterfly, Intel, Comcast, Xilinx, 23andMe, NortonLifeLock, AT&T, Macy’s, Walgreens, Uber, Lyft, UCSF Medical Center, Baptist Health, Sysco, WeWork, American Family Insurance, Tennessee Valley Authority, Amway, UPS subsidiary Coyote Logistics, Comcast, Lime, Bird, Unicorn, Getaround, Cerner, Oracle, Samsung US, Edmunds.com, Textron Aviation, Morgan Stanley, Spirit AeroSystems, Mozilla, UiPath, Plexus, Cisco, Ancestry.com, Clover Health, State Street Corporation, Anthem, Transamerica, Verizon, MassMutual, Disney, Carnival, Abbott Labs, EmblemHealth, Harley Davidson, Cargill, Eversource Energy, Best Buy, Southern California Edison and Qualcomm.
The most recent entry in my U.S. worker layoffs thread came in Monday from Expedia, which announced it is laying off 12% of its information technology workforce (roughly 3,000), including 500 employees at its Seattle headquarters. Tip of the iceberg. As leading American workers’ employment attorney and Protect US Workers advocate Sara Blackwell points out, “so many companies are able to conduct this awful business model under the radar.” And they get away with it because it’s legal, workers are silenced, and most Americans “just do not care because it does not yet touch them personally.”
Do we “need more immigrants,” as Mulvaney claims? Marie Larson, an American mom who founded the American Workers Coalition with Barbara Birch and Hilarie Gamm, told me: “I talk to Americans almost daily who are being discriminated against, who keep getting laid off by Indian managers, who have to train their foreign replacements to get the much-needed severance packages, who have to pull kids out of college because they can’t afford it, even having to sell their houses. These are STEM workers, who got the ‘right’ degrees and did everything they were supposed to do, only to have our government turn their back and sell out to big businesses push for even more H-1Bs.” Tech firms cut 64,166 American jobs in 2019, up 351% from 14,230 in 2018.