Today’s News & Commentary — August 4, 2017
This week, President Trump endorsed legislation that would halve legal immigration to the United States in the next decade, by drastically reducing the number of immigrants admitted because of family ties. Although the number admitted based on jobs skills would remain steady at around 140,000, the legislation would award merit-based green cards using a points system that looks at education, job offers, and “entrepreneurial initiative,” among other factors.
Trump, his Labor Secretary, and the legislation’s Senate sponsors claimed the changes were needed in part to stop immigrant workers from taking American workers’ jobs and lowering American workers’ wages. But economists question whether reducing immigration leads to more or higher-paying jobs. As the New York Times puts it:
“[E]conomists say . . . that there is no clear connection between less immigration and more jobs for Americans. Rather, the prevailing view among economists is that immigration increases economic growth, improving the lives of the immigrants and the lives of the people who are already here.”
Workers at a Mississippi Nissan plant continue to vote today on whether to unionize. The organizing campaign at the plant, where the majority of workers are African-American, began in 2012, and, as the New York Times characterizes it, has “bitterly divided” workers along racial and other lines. It has also elicited intense opposition from Nissan. As we’ve previously noted, the Mississippi plant is one of the few Nissan plants worldwide where workers are not unionized. Last Friday, the NLRB issued a complaint against the company, which included the charge that Nissan had illegally told workers that the plant might close if they voted to unionize. The voting ends today.
The Senate voted 50-48 to put Trump nominee Marvin Kaplan on the NLRB. With Kaplan’s confirmation, the Board becomes evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.