Ira Mehlman

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chamber has set aside $50 million to “impose discipline” on Republicans who are not towing the Chamber’s line. Among the policy areas where the Chamber intends to impose discipline is in furtherance of their effort to “push ahead on at least incremental overhauls of the immigration system.” Given the resources of the Chamber, and the priority they are placing on amnesty and greater access to foreign workers, it is reasonable to assume that additional money could be forthcoming if it was deemed necessary to push their immigration agenda over the finish line.

The Chamber’s $50 million budget to steamroll politicians who try to stand in their way could be matched or exceeded by Mark Zuckerberg. Last fall, the Facebook founder announced plans to spend $50 million (his own and other tech titans’) to get an immigration bill through the House. Other billionaires, including George Soros, Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg, also stand ready to open their wallets.

President Obama and congressional Democrats have already chosen a side in the immigration debate: They’ll take the cash. They also stand ready to reap the votes of millions of future low-wage, government-dependent voters a decade or two down the line. A sizeable number of Senate Republicans have also opted to take the cash (without the prospect of long-term political benefits). More recently, Speaker Boehner indicated where his allegiances lie when he hired Rebecca Tallent, a political strategist for a business lobby group, to be his immigration policy advisor.

Now it is up to the rest of the House Republican caucus to decide if they will follow the money or follow their consciences. In siding with struggling American workers and taxpayers they risk alienating some very big campaign donors. But the alternative is nothing less than acquiescing to the demise of the middle class in America – an avoidable political, social and economic disaster from which this country is unlikely to ever recover.


Ira Mehlman

Ira Mehlman is the Media Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.