Doddering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Capitol Hill reporters on Friday Congress can best help the American economy by importing more lower-wage, lower-skill workers for companies that would otherwise hire Americans and invest in high-tech machinery.
“Right now, the best thing that we can do for our economy is to have comprehensive immigration reform,” she, adding, “We have a shortage of workers in our country and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying, ‘Why are you shipping these immigrants up north — we need them to pick the crops down here.”
“When you import cheap labor, you take away the incentive for businesses to raise wages,” countered Art Arthur, a former immigration judge who now works for the Center for Immigration Studies. “So long as you have a steady supply of cheap labor, you don’t make the sort of investments in training and infrastructure that you would otherwise,” he added.
Pelosi also claimed that Americans have a moral duty to help migrants, whatever the cost to their fellow Americans, saying “We also have a responsibility to recognize the importance of newcomers to our nation.” She added, “Our nation is great because we are a nation of immigrants,” echoing the 1950s narrative that the United States is really a “Nation of immigrants,” not a nation of Americans.
“Productivity is really the key,” countered Arthur, adding, “The more productive workers are, the quicker that [economy] grows. Right now, we’re at an extremely low labor participation rate because we have [many millions] of Americans who should be working, but aren’t. In fact, we’re getting pretty close to the low percentages that we saw back during the Great Recession of 2008 when people just couldn’t find jobs. And when working-age men, in particular, aren’t working, that leads to any number of societal ills.”