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The business press has had a field day with the bizarre, creepy behavior and subsequent firing of American Apparel founder and CEO Dov Charney.  But there’s something even weirder about Charney’s record than serial sexual harassment lawsuits and reports of interviews and meetings conducted in his skivvies.    

As widely reported, since it opened its doors, the casual wear firm has loudly advertised that its products are Made in the USA.  Sounds good, right?  But get this:  Not only was Charney a big advocate of the kind of Open Borders-oriented immigration policies that seem to be stalled in Congress despite the strong support of the Fortune 500 and Wall Street, Big Labor, Big Media, President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and many powerful Republican House Members and Senators.  He was also a significant employer of illegal immigrant workers!  Here’s a news report with a summary:  http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/18/news/american-apparel-ceo-dov-charney/

I’ve long written that Open Borders-type immigration policies and offshoring-friendly trade policies are two sides of the same coin.  The former would bring even more of the third world’s whopping glut of cheap labor to United States in order to drive wages even lower throughout the economy.  The latter has been achieving the same results by sending American jobs to third world countries.  So I keep fervently hoping that immigration reform critics will bring their energy and impressive political skills to bear in the fight against the growth- and job-killing trade status quo.  Thus far, however, few of the amnesty opponents have RSVPd yes.  Could Charney’s practices open their eyes wider? 

After all, from the standpoint of the domestic economy and U.S.-born workers, it’s just as perverse to control immigration better but permit continued job offshoring via counterproductive trade policies as it is to keep production at home with better trade policies but permit unlimited domestic hiring of bargain basement immigrant workers.

I recognize that the immigration policy critics still have full plates.  Therefore, sheer practicality may force me to wait until current Open Borders proposals are genuinely shelved for their highly effective opponents seriously to mull joining the trade policy battle.  But with the Trans-Pacific Partnership in particular still a priority for the President and the offshoring lobby, time is running awfully short.