By Joe Guzzzardi
Give Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh grudging credit. Walsh may be the only honest man in President Biden’s administration. When asked to comment on the August Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report and the alleged worker shortage, Walsh didn’t give a mealy-mouthed reply.
Instead, Walsh, supposedly appointed and confirmed to represent the American labor force, came right out and talked about the job market’s “inequity.” Walsh elaborated that in his discussions with corporate officials, they’re unanimously in favor of simplifying the visa process, and of “immigration reform,” well-known amnesty code words. True nirvana for Walsh and his corporate overlords would be more immigration, occurring more quickly, “the only way” to improve the economy, the labor secretary insisted.
Analysts who have followed Walsh’s political career aren’t surprised by his abandonment of American workers in favor of foreign-born labor. As Boston’s mayor, Walsh responded to President Trump’s threat to defund sanctuary cities like his with this brazen retort, defying immigration law: “If people [illegal immigrants] want to live here, they’ll live here. They can use my office. They can use any office in this building.” Walsh also pledged to support and expand the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians [illegal immigrants] to increase access to City Hall services. As a state representative, Walsh voted “yes” on instate tuition for illegal aliens.
Through several administrations, labor secretaries have been prominent mouthpieces for illegal immigration expansion. In 2001, George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao, married to Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky U.S. senator known for his immigration advocacy. Hilda Solis followed Chao. A California U.S. representative, Solis, 100 percent of the time, cast votes that would either expand immigration or compromise enforcement. After leaving the Cabinet, Solis became Los Angeles County supervisor chair, and unsurprisingly her immigration advocacy continued. After Chao and Solis departed, other immigration advocates followed: Thomas Perez, Alexander Acosta and Eugene Scalia.
We have to go way back to the Carter administration to find a labor secretary, Ray Marshall, who spoke the truth about immigration. In an interview about the H-1B visa, Marshall called it “One of the best con jobs ever done on the American public and political systems.” Unfortunately, Marshall only got around to telling it like it is decades after his appointment ended.
Returning to Walsh, the danger is that he’s wrong on his facts and is promoting a goal that will further undermine U.S. workers – more foreign-born labor. To keep voters’ eyes off the ball, the government doesn’t issue reports on the total number of temporary guest workers admitted each year. The aggregate, however, can be estimated through available data.
The U.S. has an abundance of immigrant labor, some on employment visas, and others who have entered either legally or illegally. Analysts estimate that about 1 million guest workers are in the economy, and each year about 1 million lawful permanent residents will receive lifetime-valid employment authorization. Roughly half of the guest workers are considered white-collar, including tech workers, accountants and bankers.
Included among the visas that facilitate international white-collar employment are H-1Bs, L-1s, J-1s, Optional Practical Training (OPT) and O-1s. The H-2A and the H-2B visas open up blue-collar jobs in agriculture, construction, forestry, leisure and hotel services for foreign nationals. Not accounted for in this broad overview is the ultimate effect that 2.1 million illegal immigrant border crossers will have on employment. Many have already received parole, an immigration status Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas improperly applied, but which nevertheless includes employment approval.
The very high level of immigrant labor is not only hurtful to existing employment-age Americans, but also to the 4 million who turn 18 every year, and begin to look for permanent jobs or part-time positions to supplement family incomes or to save for college education. The U.S. doesn’t need to import labor to serve cocktails or to pour cement. A responsible labor secretary would protect Americans’ labor interests and not send out a clarion call for more immigrants to compete with U.S. workers. A pro-America labor secretary would promote mandatory e-Verify and demand strict internal job site enforcement.
Walsh is not that hoped for, but ever-elusive labor secretary. He’s just another immigration shill in an administration that, from top to bottom, is committed to undoing the sovereign American nation through open borders and imported labor.
Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. Joe joined Progressives for Immigration Reform in 2018 as an analyst after a ten-year career directing media relations for Californians for Population Stabilization, where he also was a Senior Writing Fellow. A native Californian, Joe now lives in Pennsylvania. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.