Immigration Bill Allows Government to Set Wages


The Senate immigration bill includes a deal between the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO which will give immigrants the actual wages paid to American workers or the prevailing wages for the industry they are working in, whichever is higher. Advanced-skilled construction jobs were excluded.

New York City went through the prevailing living wage debate last year.

Last April, Mayor Bloomberg vetoed a prevailing living wage bill in NYC, saying:

“The so-called living and prevailing wage bills – are a throwback to the era when government viewed the private sector as a cash cow to be milked, rather than a garden to be cultivated,” he told reporters before signing the veto in City Hall. [NY Daily News]

In defense of his position, Bloomberg said it best:

“Their job [unions and labor advocates] is to increase the salaries and benefits of their members whether by negotiation, arbitration, or legislation,” he said. “But it’s government’s job to stand up for taxpayers – and for job seekers. And that leaves me no choice but to veto these bills.”

Take a look a the prevailing living wage in NYC and you can see why Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the NYC bill.

It won’t be any different on a national level. A prevailing living wage will kill private sector growth. It also gives the government the ability to fix wages. It certainly harms taxpayers.

This clause in the immigration bill will allow up to 200,000 guest workers at the prevailing living wage.

The deal was brokered by Chuck Schumer, the far left senator from New York, the least-free and most highly taxed state in the union.

The union has been eager to unionize cheap foreign labor, making it cheap no more. This, of course, has nothing to do with border security or illegal immigration.

We will have to wait to find out what the definition of a “prevailing living wage” actually is but with the government and the socialist Richard Trumka in charge, it won’t be good.

Trumka’s union membership will continue to compete with foreign labor and each other for jobs. They get good wages but are only employed for part of the year, having to go on-and-off unemployment insurance.

Trumka unionizes two car washes in March 2012. He said "This is the future of the labor movement."
Trumka unionized two car washes, March 2012. He said “This is the future of the labor movement.”

photo & information via

Remind me again why we need a guest worker program? Surely with a real unemployment rate of 14.3% we can find US labor.

This entire immigration bill has been accomplished in secret of course. Us peons aren’t allowed to see anything in advance. If it’s so great, why don’t they negotiate in public?

Information at CBS DC