Allen B. West

4 myths about immigration reform destroyed by new labor study

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If there’s any improvement in the job market right now, it’s going to immigrants, legal and illegal. You’re a native-born American? Tough luck.

According to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, using the “household survey” collected by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor known as the Current Population Survey (CPS), all net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone to immigrants, legal and illegal.

Since the first quarter of 2000, there have been 5.7 million more workers with new jobs who were immigrants, legal and illegal.

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Further, because the native-born population grew significantly, but the number working actually fell, there were 17 million more working-age native-born Americans not working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000.

The report completely destroys four myths about how wonderful increasing the immigrant population will be, which should put a nail in the coffin for the Schumer-Rubio bill (S.744) (oops, sorry Marco) and similar House measures:

1. There is a general labor shortage. False. There has been a long-term decline in employment for native-born Americans across age and education levels.

2. Immigration increases employment for native-born Americans. No it doesn’t. See above.

3. Immigration increases job opportunities for natives. Hardly. Over 17 million immigrants arrived in the last 14 years, but employment for native-born Americans has deteriorated significantly.

4. Immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t. The report found only six occupations that were majority immigrant (legal and illegal) but they account for only 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. “Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant are in fact majority native-born. For example, 51 percent of maids and housekeepers are U.S.-born, as are 63 percent of butchers and meat processors. It is also the case that 64 percent of grounds maintenance workers are U.S.-born, as are 66 percent of construction laborers and 73 percent of janitors.”

So why is the Chamber of Commerce – working alongside establishment Republicans – so eager to pass some sort of immigration reform?

Because generally it’s cheaper for business. The report posits:

The Summer Work Travel Program (part of the J-1 visa program) allows employers to hire temporary workers without having to make the Social Security and Medicare payments that employers would be required to make on behalf of native-born workers. Another example of the way the immigration system makes foreign workers more attractive to employers is that those who enter under the H1-B visa program cannot change companies easily, making them more captive to their employers. Immigrants may also be more willing to work off the books, for lower pay, or endure worse working conditions than natives, causing employers to prefer them as workers.

Immigrants may also be more mobile. By coming to this country, immigrants almost always see substantial improvement in their standard of living, no matter where in the United States they settle. This may make them more willing to move wherever there is job growth in the United States. Natives, on the other hand, may need significant wage incentives to move, which, because of the availability of immigrant labor, businesses are unwilling to offer. All of these factors, and perhaps others, likely explain why so much of the limited employment growth in the last 14 years has gone to foreign-born workers.

We don’t need to worry about shipping jobs overseas if we just ship all the overseas workers HERE. And that’s exactly what appears to be happening.

Hate to be xenophobic here, but exactly when will our American government start looking out for its own American citizens?

Read the full report here.

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