The Bi-Partisan Policy Center (BPC), which ‘functions’ as the far-left mouthpiece of multinational corporations, recently released their report on the benefits of comprehensive immigration reform [amnesty] at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.
It goes without saying that the report, along with pressure on the House from big business, is being used to coerce amnesty for illegal aliens, or at the very least will be used as a safeguard excuse for politicians who vote for amnesty.
There is little doubt that the Chamber of Commerce can peddle a great deal of influence on the Hill and little doubt that threats of withholding campaign donations will cause a few RINOs to cave but few members of either party are anxious to make amnesty the centerpiece of their reelection campaigns.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who came out of the hotbed of intellectualism that was the George W. Bush administration, was on the BPC panel and made several nonsensical statements at the Chamber event, beginning with the claim that labor unions oppose comprehensive immigration reform. Even someone who has been semi-comatose over the last decade would know this isn’t even remotely close to the truth. Unions are salivating at the chance to embrace a few million illegals into their midst.
Holtz-Eakin also claims the BPC report is “science,” that must be accepted as the gospel truth because it was “scientific.” Any claims that mass immigration is not the panacea that cures all economic ills are, according to Hotlz-Eakin, xenophobic but once again he is showing his ignorance, compounded by arrogance, to even suggest that anyone that opposes amnesty and mass immigration to reinflate the housing bubble (favored by the BPC) is xenophobic. No one with common sense takes this sort of thing seriously, which is why no one outside their ever-shrinking echo chamber takes the arguments of the BPC seriously, either.
There is nothing remotely scientific about the claims the BPC reports are making. They hinge their entire argument on the mistaken belief that making the U.S. economy bigger by adding tens of millions of more people invariably leads to greater overall prosperity, which is in direct contradiction to what the economic data of the last forty years indicates. As is typical of the far-left, they attempt to get around this problem by constructing a macroeconomic model that “conveniently” produces the desired conclusions – much like the U.N. computer models were used to push a nonexistent global warming.
Science is not about inventing improbable arguments to fit implausible preconceptions, and economists can never say that a prediction of what will happen twenty years in the future is an incontestable fact – at least a competent and/or honest economist would never make that claim, but then again, we are not dealing with competent or honest individuals. Let’s face it, if increased immigration leads to higher unemployment and decreased wages, the old-ever-so-familiar excuse will be that we just need more immigration.
Unemployment is at its highest level in 27 years. In 2007, the U.S. economy has lost over 8.4 million jobs, the largest drop since the Great Depression. According to February 2010 Census Bureau figures, 13.2 million native-born workers were unemployed — not including those Americans who have been forced to work part-time, taken temporary work, or who have given up looking for work altogether. At the same time, there are an estimated 7.5 million illegal aliens in the U.S. workforce.
The economic opportunities for less-educated native workers have steadily decreased as illegal immigration has increased. The correlation is evident and has been identified by a consensus of labor economists. The influx of uneducated, unskilled illegal alien workers has created a massive labor surplus at the lower end of the labor market. Today, the unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma is over three times that of those who have a college degree. And wages for the working class have stagnated since the 1970s, widening the income gap considerably.
There are many out-of-work Americans who want and need the jobs now being held by illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are not just taking jobs that American won’t do, but that Americans are doing.
From housekeeping to meatpacking, food service to construction work, the native-born make up the majority of workers in these occupations. However, as the share of illegal aliens rises, jobs available to native workers became scarce, and their wages and work conditions diminish.
Fewer Americans can now find entry-level jobs, which provide valuable work experience for teenagers and young adults. Wages in many labor intensive occupations have also been kept low by illegal immigration. Jobs that once provided for a solid middle class lifestyle now pay so little and offer so few benefits that workers struggle to support their families. The argument that there is a labor shortage among low-educated, low-skilled workers is patently false. As Vice-President Biden’s chief economic advisor has noted, what is really lacking are employers who are willing to pay legal workers a fair wage.
Even if the Obama administration’s optimistic job growth projections materialize, there would still not be enough new jobs to keep up with the rate of U.S. population growth. In order to put Americans back to work and strengthen the U.S. economy, the federal government must pursue an immigration policy that acknowledges the balance between the supply of labor and the demand for jobs. Securing the border and taking meaningful action to prevent the employment of illegal aliens would immediately begin to free up millions of jobs now held by illegal aliens.
Amnesty only serves to reward those who broke the law to enter and work in the illegally U.S., and employers who hire them. Those Americans who compete with illegal aliens for scarce jobs would continue to suffer. The lesson of the 1986 amnesty should serve as a model of how not to approach immigration reform, and as a stark reminder of the promises politicians made then to secure the border and end illegal hiring practices. For some reason, there are lawmakers today who want to repeat the failures of 1986 on a massive scale. The 1986 amnesty had terrible consequences for American workers. An amnesty today would further undermine the position of lower-income Americans and generate enormous fiscal costs that would overburden U.S. taxpayers and cripple the U.S. economy.