Guilty Corporations Fund Hypocritical Anti-Migrant Politicians

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I've often wondered where the indignant self-righteousness of anti-migrant advocates comes from.  It is impossible to live in the United States without deriving some benefit from the work of migrants.  There has been no effective effort to catalog and boycott businesses that employ migrants.  Even if someone tried to avoid the benefits of migrant labor, it would be near impossible to live a happy and healthy life in the U.S.

But instead of trying to get through to anti-migrant advocates, I thought I'd bring attention to the leaders that represent them.  Again, there's no real effective list of biggest migrant employers.  Yet there are some prominent pro-migrant businesses, businesses anti-migrant advocates have highlighted themselves, that are contributing substantial amounts of money to anti-migrant politicians.  I'll explain further in the post, but in the meantime check out this youtube video I made drawing attention to the political contributions of the Bank of America Corporation State and Federal Political Action Committee:
As politicians continue to use migrants for their own political purposes, a pattern is emerging.  Migrants are bearing the brunt of their political posturing, while the people that hire and benefit from them go without punishment.  See my post on the New Bedford raid if there's any question about that.  I'm just wondering how long it's going to take before anti-migrant advocates realize what kind of leaders and policies they are empowering with their actions.

I was just trying to brush up on my video making skills when I made the above video.  The actual story, of course, is more complicated than that.  Bank of America has been singled out for anti-migrant ire because the company loosened credit card requirements.  In actuality, the bashing of Bank of America fits the pattern of bashing migrants over the people that hire and benefit from them.  People would rather prevent migrants from getting a credit card than punish the people that give them jobs, or give them opportunities in the countries that they come from if they really wanted to fix the problem. 

Still filtering through the Center for New Community's report entitled Nativism in the House, I was able to find a host of guilty business contributing to the 2006 campaigns of anti-migrant politicians.  As I state in the video, Bank of America donated $102,250, or approximately 13% of the caucus's total donations. This makes Bank of America one of the top 150 political action committees contributing to the very same people that, in theory, should be against Bank of America. 

The report specifically singles out another company, Home Depot, which has had an ongoing problem with day laborers:

Consider the Home Depot Inc. PAC, which gave $130,500 in campaign contributions to HIRC politicians, more than 17% of its total donations. Yet, because of its non-hostile attitude toward day-laborers, Home Depot has been under repeated attack by anti-immigrant organizations.

Raising Kaine (here and here) has also been doing some good work exposing these relationships, specifically Smithfield Foods, which has been caught hiring migrants staying in the country illegallyHuman Rights Watch has a report documenting the abuses of Smithfield Foods and the migrants they employ.  Here in Massachusetts I've seen people workers tout a Smithfield Justice campaign.  I don't understand how you can profess to be "Pro-America" at the same time that you accept contributions from this company. 

Read what Lowell, from Raising Kaine, has to say.

By now, I'm sure we all know that Smithfield Foods has been and continues to be a major employer of illegal immigrants.  For instance, see here and here and of course here.

So who are the main beneficiaries in Virginia of contributions by illegal-hiring and union-busting Smithfield Foods?  Let's go to VPAP:

*Over the years, Smithfield Foods has given $518,893 to Republicans, $157,250 to Democrats.  That's 77% to Republicans, 23% to Democrats.

*This year alone, Smithfield Foods has given $73,650 to Republicans, including Dave Albo ($1,000), Ken Cuccinelli ($500), Jeannemarie Devolites Davis ($1,000), Bob McDonnell ($20,000), Bill Bolling's Building a Better Virginia PAC ($5,000), Bill Howell's Dominion Leadership Trust PAC ($2,500), the Republican Party of Virginia ($10,000), the House Republican Campaign Committee ($10,250), and the Virginia Senate Republican Leadership Trust ($10,000). 

*True, Smithfield has given to Democrats as well, but far less than to Republicans (a 3:1 ratio).  Also, it's the Republicans who are the main ones railing against illegal immigrants, yet taking wads of money from companies that hire illegal immigrants. 

So here's the bottom line: Republicans are hypocrites on this issue, big time.  If not, they should refuse any money from companies, like Smithfield Foods, that employs and exploits illegal immigrants.  They should return any money they've already received.  If not, we should all feel free to ignore every word they have to say on this issue, because they're completely full of it.

Lowell also has another post at Raising Kaine explaining the systemic nature of this issue:

According to NPR,  of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States today, "[m]ore than half work in construction, manufacturing or leisure and hospitality."

Now, let's look at where the money from those industries went in 2006:

CONSTRUCTION
Republicans: $38,129,511
Democrats: $16,154,953
That's 70% to Republicans, 30% to Democrats

MANUFACTURING
Food Products Manufacturing
Republicans: $1,511,309
Democrats: $621,898
That's 71% to Republicans, 29% to Democrats

Chemical & Related Manufacturing
Republicans: $4,570,892
Democrats: $1,379,789
That's 75% to Republicans, 25% to Democrats

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Republicans: $7,731,388
Democrats: $3,158,977
That's 70% to Republicans, 30% to Democrats

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
Restaurants & Bars
Republicans: $5,891,298
Democrats: $2,084,281
That's 73% to Republicans, 26% to Democrats

Getting the picture?  That's right, the industries that are the biggest employers of illegal immigrants in this country are also heavy donors to Republicans.  Why do Republicans take money from industries that "break the law," as they like to claim?  To throw their own idiotic phrase right back at them, "what part of 'illegal' don't Republicans understand?"


If I haven't made it clear enough yet, anti-migrant politicians are taking anti-migrant advocates for a ride.  They are bashing migrants at the same time that they use the contributions from the people that employ them to re-elect themselves.  Which is why I ask anti-migrant advocates, are these politicians acting in your interest?




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3 Comments

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

I cross-posted this on Daily Kos and Blue Mass. Group.

yave begnet said:

It seems the companies have calculated that the best way to neutralize the Tancredos and Hunters in Congress is to bribe them to shut up. This may work for many, but for those who've made their name in restrictionism, like Tancredo, it's not worth it. In fact, the louder he screeches about immigration, the more money these companies are likely to donate to the GOP. A more rational, humane strategy would be to support pro-migrant groups working for comprehensive reform. And I don't know how much these companies have contributed to those groups. But in general when faced with a crisis, they tend to act defensively rather than proactively (see, e.g., GM, Ford). Why companies whose financial interest lies in liberalizing immigration would feel that the appropriate reaction to a burgeoning restrictionist movement is to donate money to restrictionists betrays a lack of common sense and a deeply skeptical view of our democratic processes.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Always great to hear from you yave,

I'm happy you've submitted your first comment to my new blog!

I think this sort of schizophrenic act on behalf of businesses is the result of change of tide. Big business used to always be able to count on the Republican party to do its bidding, but that changed with the U.S. migration debate. Or at least that's how I've heard it analyzed.

So a lot of these contradictory acts are a result of that, in my opinion. Soon you'll see the tide changing. You're not going to see Bank of America paying politicians that cut their credit cards on national T.V.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on October 17, 2007 11:04 AM.

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