Thanks to James Edwards via numbers.com for this.
It is advisable to consider the impact of proposed “comprehensive immigration reform” on our fellow Americans. More than the welfare of illegal immigrants is at stake here. And the foremost obligation, legally and morally, of the U.S. government is the welfare of American citizens.
The American people too often end up being the forgotten victims of “comprehensive immigration reform.” That is certainly the case were the CIR ASAP Act or the Schumer-Reid-Graham proposal to be enacted. The goals of those bills are principally granting legal status to nearly all of the estimated 11 million unlawful alien residents, as well as guaranteeing a flood of job competition from foreign workers every year for the foreseeable future.
The supposed penalties such schemes would impose on illegal aliens amount to what the law currently would require: payment of certain fees, undergo a background check, and some modest step toward English acquisition. These sanctions hardly constitute meaningful penalty or punishment. Plainly, the government’s display of “mercy” toward millions of people who willfully broke this nation’s laws forces its own innocent citizens to stomach substantial injustice.
Who would “comprehensive immigration reform” hurt? It would put the most vulnerable Americans at risk — native-born minorities, Americans with no more than a high school education including dropouts, legal immigrants, our teenagers trying to land that first rung on the career ladder, veterans, the disabled, and convicts seeking to amend their lives in society.
Before the recession started, native-born youth and those with less education were experiencing extra high unemployment — 11.6 percent for dropouts and 10.6 percent for those with only a high school diploma in the third quarter 2007. Needless to say, their joblessness has worsened. Some 21 million unemployed or underemployed native-born Americans lacked a job or were discouraged from looking for work in the third quarter 2009. “Comprehensive immigration reform” would exacerbate their economic prospects, both by adding many more job competitors to the U.S. labor pool and depressing the wages that U.S. workers could otherwise command. This policy amounts to substituting labor for capital, which runs directly counter to the “American system of manufacture,” based on a tighter labor market and led to the development of a strong middle class.
Today, fewer than half of American teens are in the labor force, compared with two-thirds in 1994. Adding more foreign workers who have displaced our teenagers from job opportunities accounts for a large share of this situation. The one-two punch of amnesty and massively more “guestworkers” would further kill summer job opportunities for our teens.
The impact of legalizing the 7-8 million illegal aliens in the U.S. workforce and the 11 million total estimated unlawfully resident aliens, plus the untold thousands of foreign workers brought in under the proposed “guestworker” program (lopped on top of the several existing guestworker visa programs) would force Americans who face the toughest job-search circumstances into head-to-head job competition with unimaginable numbers of foreign competitors. It would also drive down their wages. Already, immigration of the scale we have had in recent decades negatively affects U.S. natives’ wages. Scholarly analysis bears this out. For example, Harvard economist George Borjas has attributed immigration with directly reducing yearly average native-born men’s wages by 4 percent, or $1,700, between 1980 and 2000. For native dropouts, immigration’s wage depression was 7.4 percent over the same period. Northeastern University scholars found nearly all the U.S. job growth from 2000 to 2004 was filled by immigrant workers.