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Riggelman Betrays Virginia Workers With Immigration Stands

Denver Riggelman
According to sources that were there, two weeks ago a group of disenchanted conservative citizens from across the District met in Charlottesville to recruit a candidate to run against Rep. Denver Riggelman (VA-5).  In just that meeting three people showed up ready to run against Rep. Riggelman. And we advised there are at least four more who have let it be known they will run if called. 

The informally constituted grassroots coalition is apparently serious about vetting and promoting one candidate from among Mr. Riggelman’s potential challengers in the expectation that they can identify a candidate who can not only defeat Riggleman for the nomination, but go on to win in November 2020.

The ideal candidate will be a strong Constitutional Conservative and the plan is for the candidate to be selected in time to announce the challenge prior to the District’s decision on a convention vs. a primary to select the GOP’s fifth congressional district nominee. Coalition members tell CHQ they will be ready and committed to go the distance either way.

Many conservatives who were not at the meeting or who have not followed Riggelman’s voting record closely were surprised by this turn of events and quite reasonably questioned the basis for the depth of dissatisfaction with the incumbent Republican.

CHQ reached out to members of the informal coalition building the campaign against Riggelman and asked for specifics. The first to respond were immigration hawks who cited Riggelman’s disastrous record of voting with Democrats and the cheap labor wing of the Chamber of Commerce and against American workers.

Specifically, Rep. Riggelman:

1) Voted in favor of H.J. Res. 31, (1/22/19)

The omnibus spending bill to increase H-2B visas

Allows DHS to increase H-2B visas

Reduces detention bed funding for ICE

Protects illegal-alien sponsors and their families of UACs from deportation

Prevents hiring new ICE agents

2) Cosponsored H.R. 1740 (3/13/19)

Establishes a new visa (H-2C) for construction workers for use in "Full-employment areas"

"Full-employment area" is 4.9% unemployment

Visas for 3-yr initial period with up to 2 consecutive periods of authorized presence

NUMBERS: 65,000 in year one with escalators of up to 20% and de-escalators of 10%

MIN MAX 45,000-85,000

Portability

3) Voted in favor of H.R. 1044, (7/10/19)

(The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act)

The House passed the bill despite massive resistance from high-tech American workers and other groups. Focus now turns to the Senate where an attempt to pass a companion bill (S. 386) with unanimous support hit resistance earlier this year.

Should the bill become law, it would remove the per-country caps for employment-based green cards and increase the share of family-preference green cards that each country could receive.

The bill eliminates the per country caps, which will accelerate large numbers of immigrants from China and India.

The bill will have an adverse effect on American tech workers.

According to the most recent Visa Bulletin issued by the State Department, there stands a 10-year backlog for Indian nationals for both the EB-2 (advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability) and EB-3 (skilled workers and professionals) green cards. Since most Indian nationals who receive employment-based green cards work in the high-tech industry, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would greatly increase the competition and wage pressures that American high-tech workers already face.

Of these three atrocious actions, perhaps the worst is Riggelman’s co-sponsorship of H.R. 1740. Construction is one of the few well-paying jobs that can’t be offshored and is also available to American workers who do not have a college education.

According to a report posted on ConstructionDive.com, the Associated General Contractors of America say construction firms are now paying higher wages to attract skilled workers from a shrinking labor pool. Average hourly earnings in construction — a measure of all wages and salaries —increased 3.2% over the year to $30.73, 10% higher than the private-sector average of $27.90, the association said.

In addition to raising pay and benefits, many firms have told the AGC that they have increased investments in training as they recruit workers with little to no prior experience in construction.

Most of the construction job growth during the past year came from the nonresidential construction sector, which added 146,700 jobs during the past year, according to federal data. Meanwhile, residential contractors added 78,000 jobs in the same time period.

So, after decades of stagnant wages (due in some measure to illegal alien labor) American workers in the construction industry are now receiving a much-deserved raise, however, Rep. Denver Riggelman wants to dilute the construction labor market by adding foreign workers thereby depressing the wages of American workers in one of the few totally domestic labor markets.

We doubt any conservative who worked in Riggelman’s hard-fought 2018 campaign expected they would have to turn around and work to defeat him in 2020, but from this report it looks like Mr. Riggleman brought this on himself.

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