Sunday, August 21, 2016

Labor On Demand

Buzzfeed reports

In a Saturday meeting with his newly announced Hispanic advisory council, Donald Trump suggested he is interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” manner to deal with immigrants in the country illegally, according to three sources. Trump, however, stressed that any new announcements will still be in line with the border security-focused approach that has invited intense opposition from Latinos and immigrants since he launched his campaign....

“The idea is we’re not getting someone in front of the line, we’re doing it in a legal way, but he wants to hear ideas of how we deal with 11 million people that are here with no documents,” said Jose Fuentes, who was chair of Mitt Romney’s Hispanic advisory committee in 2012, and attended the meeting.

Donald Trump's interest in "hear(ing) ideas of how we deal with 11 million people that are here with no documents" is nothing new.  As Javier Palomerez, president and CEO of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce informed Chris Hayes on September 1, 2015 (and I noted a few days later), Trump had told him "we agreed on this notion of mass deportation of 11 million people."

(In the video below, Palomarez said they "disagreed" on mass deportation. However, the context of the Hayes discussion suggests "agreed" is an accurate transcription and I heard Palomarez say it live.)

Trump never has opposed allowing illegal immigrants to remain. As a businessperson interested most of all in profit, he recognizes the value of illegal immigrants, beholden and tied to their employer, in maintaining low wage rates, decreasing benefits, and instigating competition among employees.

The GOP nominee's economic team is not composed of populists dedicated to the working class, determined to curb income inequality and reverse the decline of the middle class.  Most are  supply-siders such as FreedomWorks' Stephen Moore, formerly of The Wall Street Journal and the Club for Growth, once succinctly and accurately described by Mike Huckabee as the "Club for Greed." Giving the boot to low-paid workers competing with other workers is the furthest thing from the mind of Moore and most of Trump's advisers.

That makes all the more reprehensible the written statement of the campaign's Steven Cheung, slamming the Buzzfeed account as "clickbait journalism," that "Mr. Trump said nothing today that he hasn’t said many times before, including in his convention speech—enforce the laws, uphold the Constitution, be fair and humane while putting American workers first."

Whatever the merits of what may, or may no, be regarded as a pivot, Trump is definitely not putting "American workers first." He is reflecting the priorities of many GOP base voters and more closely those of the Party's politicians and donor base.

They are not excited about throwing out of the country illegal immigrants, which would simultaneously highlight the effectiveness of Party enemies- government and its workers- while simultaneously providing providing bad optics.  The mantra is "secure the border" or "first secure the border."  They are not necessarily opposed tolegalization, which would increase the number of workers tied to their employer without giving the workers an opportunity to become American citizens.

Failing to acquire the status of citizenship, workers likely would not be eligible for benefits or, as much of the base views it, "free stuff."  Criticially, they would not gain the right to vote.

Building the wall- and it just got ten feet higher- is red meat for the masses. The goal of the movers and shakers of the Republican Party is legalization without citizenship, creating workers who cannot become full-fledged Americans. The goal is more competition for a scarce number of jobs from individuals who, not given a chance to earn citizenship, might respond with the same respect for this (not their) country, thus incurring the nativist wrath of their Party's base. It's a win-win-win!

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