President Obama’s courting of top U.S. executives this week to help get the Republican-controlled House to pass immigration reform is furthering the divide among conservatives, with a top GOP senator and others suggesting corporate America is lending its support with hopes of getting more access to low-cost immigrant labor.
The president said before the White House meeting Tuesday that he and others who support comprehensive immigration reform passed in the Senate know the “politics are challenging” in the House and that they “want to make it as easy as possible” for Speaker John Boehner to get enough votes for passage.
However, that McDonald’s Don Thompson and Marriott’s Arne Sorenson, whose companies depend on low-skilled inexpensive labor, were among those at the meeting has raised questions from some conservatives, especially at a time when millions of Americans remain out of work.
“Many of the same corporations demanding more immigrant workers are laying off American workers,” Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, told FoxNews.com. “House Republicans should tell the White House simply: We work for the American people, not this group of CEOs.”
His concerns follow those of others conservatives including three members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, including Commissioner Peter Kirsanow. They wrote in a letter earlier this year to the Congressional Black Caucus that granting legal status to illegal immigrants “will likely disproportionately harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment and depressing their wages when they do obtain employment.”
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