Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennesse penned a letter to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday urging him to oppose the green card provisions, which the Republican calls “the crown jewel of corporate lobbying,” that are stuffed into the “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill.
Sanders has long called the reconciliation bill “the most consequential piece of legislation since the 1930s,” but in the letter, Hagerty explains that the reconciliation bill that progressives such as the Vermont senator have thrown their support behind actually contains multiple provisions Sanders once claimed to oppose.
“For most of your career, you have been an outspoken critic of large-scale migration that displaces American workers — especially corporate-driven immigration policies — citing the substantial harm they inflict upon American job opportunities, wages, and employment conditions,” Hagerty wrote.
Not only did Hagerty note that Sanders already explicitly expressed discomfort with bringing a “functionally limitless supply of cheaper foreign labor” in 2007, but the Republican also pointed out that the reconciliation bill largely prioritizes and benefits Big Tech corporations in a special-interest scenario that Sanders tends to frown upon.
“No corporate lobby has more consistently and vociferously lobbied for these uncapped foreign worker programs than the technology giants in Silicon Valley,” Hagerty wrote. “These provisions are of, by, and for Big Tech, and the mutli-multi-billionaires of Big Tech stand to benefit from them the most. Their effect will be to make Big Tech more powerful and unaccountable and to concentrate even more power in hands of fewer people.”
While Hagerty admitted that he and Sanders are not politically on the same page, he said that “qualified American workers” don’t deserve to be displaced for a provision that is “never explained, justified, promoted, or mentioned in any of Democrats’ material designed to ‘sell’ the bill to the American public” and is “designed to benefit only the wealthiest Americans.”
“I can think of nothing more dispiriting than telling an entire generation of young Americans, who are set to graduate from school and have had to endure the travails of the pandemic, that some of America’s best and highest-paying jobs aren’t available to them because Big Tech secured a corporate carve-out for unlimited foreign labor in the reconciliation bill,” Hagerty wrote.