Inadmissible evidence: Immigration hurts American workers
Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:00 pm
By JOE GUZZARDI
Here are a few indisputable statistics about immigration and the United States’ job market. Each new legal immigrant receives work authorization. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s most recent report, “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, 2011” a monthly average of 75,000 legal permanent residents “may work permanently anywhere in the United States.”
As for illegal immigrants, that’s a whole other ball game but with the same deleterious consequences on Americans. Since many aliens work in the underground economy in hospitality, construction and as domestic help, no one knows either how much the total wages paid out or tax dollars not collected are. The best estimates indicate that the underground economy is billions. Unreported income from those wages costs the federal government millions annually in uncollected taxes. In addition to aliens off the books, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report as many as seven million aliens are employed in non-farm payroll jobs. Although they may pay taxes, they also displace American workers.
More unarguable facts: anemic job growth can’t even keep up with population increases which are, ironically, fueled by record setting, congressionally sanctioned immigration levels. During the last twelve months, the percent of the working age foreign-born population increased at three times the rate of the corresponding native-born population.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its August report. As it always does, the BLS used its findings from the payroll survey and announced that the economy created 96,000 jobs — sharply lower than the anticipated 130,000. Restaurants hired 28,000. But the more accurate household survey showed that 120,000 jobs disappeared in August.
The labor market participation fell to a shockingly low 63.5 percent, the lowest it’s been in the 30 years since voters summarily rejected a second Jimmy Carter term.
Given the opportunity to compete in the U.S. job market, immigrants have taken full advantage. That’s not a criticism; why shouldn’t they? The BLS monthly tabulation includes workers nativity. According to its aggregated reports from 2009 to 2012, native-born employment has fallen by nearly 1.5 million while the foreign-born segment, many of whom work for lower wages and are willing to forego health care, has increased by 1.4 million. Once again, immigrants’ wages are an indisputable fact as acknowledged by New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Paul Krugman and other economists. Wrote Krugman: “Immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand: we’re talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it’s inevitable that this means a fall in wages.”
Somewhere in this veritable treasure chest of important economic data a presidential campaign theme could be found. Yet neither candidate has uttered a single questioning word about over-immigration’s hurtful effect.
Instead, President Obama has authorized work permits for 1.7 million previously unemployable childhood arrival aliens. And candidate Romney, while refusing to comment on Obama’s deferred action policy, favors increasing the numbers of visas for non-immigrant workers as well as automatically attaching green cards to foreign-born students who graduate from American universities with degrees in math and science.
The media, shirking its professional responsibility to ferret out the truth and report it, refuses to question Obama or Romney about immigration.
Here’s a grim closing. Without drastic reductions to the numbers of immigrants admitted into the U.S., the economy would need to create an average of 282,000 jobs every month for the next five years to get back to pre-recession employment-an average of 40,000 more monthly jobs than were created during the 1993-2000 boom.
During the next two months, Obama and Romney will wax poetic about their plans for American workers. While you’re listening to them, remember that the most immediate and effective solution-reducing the number of immigrants by more than the numbers of jobs created-is obvious but too politically incorrect to talk about, much less act on.
©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org — Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.
Published in The Messenger 9.19.12