A coalition of business groups led by the United States Chamber of Commerce are lobbying President Joe Biden’s administration to allow them to import foreign workers even as more than 17 million Americans remain jobless.
Last year, in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus crisis, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the admission of H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L, and J-1 foreign visa workers to protect the U.S. labor market. The order sought to free up at least 600,000 jobs for millions of Americans facing joblessness and underemployment.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups — who admittedly rely on cheaper foreign workers to boost their profit margins — lobby Biden administration officials to end the order so they can import workers more easily.
“We urge you to work with President [Joe] Biden to ensure that [the executive order] is rescinded as soon as possible,” the letter states.
As Breitbart News reported, White House press secretary Jen Psaki previously referred to the order as “immoral,” suggesting foreign workers have a right to take jobs in the U.S. labor market.
Despite claims from the big business lobby, there continues to be no labor shortage as about 17.1 million Americans are jobless and another six million are underemployed.
The benefits of a tightened labor market, in which employees hold negotiating power over employers, manifested between 2017 and 2019 as the Trump administration sought to reduce overall immigration to protect the U.S. labor market.
In November 2019, for example, the bottom 25 percent of wage-earners saw the largest spike in their paychecks thanks to a tightened labor market with less foreign competition. Americans in the construction, mining, finance, hospitality, and manufacturing industries enjoyed some of the highest wage growth at the time.