Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, July 17, 2015

Immigration Costs Americans Jobs and Wages

We can’t talk about immigration policy without considering how it affects American jobs. Supporters of amnesty and open borders like to say that immigrants do jobs Americans won’t. But the economist Thomas Sowell notes that “virtually every kind of ‘work that Americans will not do’ is in fact work that Americans have done for generations,” and “most of the people doing that work today are Americans.”

The fact is that more immigration isn’t about the jobs Americans won’t do, but about the wages their employers won’t pay. More cheap labor is a boon to corporate profits. In the past eight years, we’ve let in 51 million immigrants. At the same time, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of Americans dropped and then went flat. All the talk about bringing in “the best and the brightest” lead to the same result. High-tech firms want to triple the number of H-1B visas, which go to skilled immigrants. But Rutgers professor Hal Salzman points out that such a high number of visas would allow foreign workers to fill 100 percent of the tech industry’ job openings. And the tech industry is using the H-1B visas it already gets to replace Americans with lower-cost workers. A group of senators led by Jeff Sessions and Dick Durbin called for a government investigation of these stories, but the Department of Homeland Security said it doesn’t want to “speculate” about abuses. Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy has a simple response: “DHS says it can't investigate possible abuses into the H-1B visa program? It's their job. Do it.”

In public, President Obama says that immigrants won’t compete for existing jobs, but behind the scenes, Obama’s staff calls companies to let them know that his immigration policies “would make it easier for them to retain foreign workers.”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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