House GOP Whip Steve Scalise sent an e-mail to his members this morning defending the immigration increase that the Republican leadership had secretly slipped into the omnibus funding bill. (It is shown below.) The provision would potentially quadruple the issuance of H-2B worker visas, which are for non-agricultural seasonal jobs. The visas are used to import cheap labor for ski resorts, hotels, factories, landscapers, and others. (See this 2010 paper on this racket by a former State department visa officer.)
Most of the e-mail is the usual lobbyist-written baloney, but it takes an especially clumsy (or shameless) lobbyist to try to justify this captive-worker program by citing “the current and projected H2B worker shortage”. Worker shortage? To get a sense of how ridiculous that is, just one number: In the second quarter of this year there were 6.5 million people working part-time who said they wanted full-time work but couldn’t find it. (For more, including the growing number and percentage of working-age people dropping out of the labor market, see here.) In such an environment, what possible justification can there be for importing construction workers and hotel maids?
And the party’s brain trust can’t understand why people are attracted to Trump.