Published on Townhall.com
The case Donald Trump and every Republican candidate have failed to make is that unrestricted immigration increases the poverty levels of native-born Americans and bars growth of the middle class.
Consider these gleanings from the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and others:
1. As of 2000, “unauthorized” immigrants amounted to 8.5 million, and is just under 12 million today (DHS).
2. The annual cost “in outlays for services and benefits to illegal aliens and their families” is about $113 billion (Federation for American Immigration Reform).
3. As of 2013, there were 41.3 million immigrants in the US, and 19 million, or 46%, reported Hispanic or Latino origins. “Immigrants” are defined as naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, those on temporary visas, and the “unauthorized” (DHS & Migration Policy Institute).
4. Hispanic-Latinos make up over 48% of the foreign-born labor force, and over 40% have less than a HS diploma, while less than 10% of native Blacks fall into that category. More than 75% of the Hispanic-Latinos are in their prime earning years, between the ages of 25 and 54 (BLS).
5. As of 2012, foreign-born Hispanic-Latinos earned over $100 less than their native counterparts, a fact suggesting foreign-born persons are willing to work the same jobs for less money (BLS).
6. Compared to native-born Blacks, foreign-born Hispanic-Latinos have 4-5 times the presence in construction and maintenance jobs, and occupy a over a fourth of management and professional jobs. Similarly, again compared to native-born Blacks, they occupy a third of sales and office jobs, and about 60% of service, production, and transportation positions (BLS).
7. According to Chapman & Bernstein in 2003, “poverty rates fell faster for immigrants than for natives” (Economic Policy Institute).
8. BLS says that the employment to population ratio has shrunk from 64.4% in 2001 to 59.3% in 2015. Are many more millions unemployed, retired, or on welfare?
9. Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees rose, cumulatively, 24% from 2001 to 2008, but only 17% from 2008 to 2015 (BLS).
So much for the myth that illegal immigrants take jobs nobody else wants. Tell that to the unemployed Black maintenance, service, construction, office and sales workers. Jobs that used to help lift families out of poverty have shifted from native Blacks to foreign-born Hispanic-Latinos, a substantial number of whom are undocumented. Because they work for lower wages, pay for peers, supervisors, and at least two layers above are depressed, and with unfettered immigration, there’s no hope for improvement.
Semi-skilled Whites, Blacks, and Hispanic-Latinos work at lower wages than what they should have been in a normal progression over the past 7 years. Low-skilled Blacks, Hispanic-Latinos, and Whites who might have qualified for jobs taken by immigrants are subsisting on welfare, or are charity clients. Other millions have glommed on to state and local government jobs. Whatever their economic shelter, the latter groups generate additional taxes for the very people whose jobs have been directly affected by illegal immigration.
The Hall of Hypocrisy: Wealthy Republicans and Democrats who thrive on a low wage environment, and Democrats who have pandered for votes to Hispanic-Latinos for three generations, have no interest in immigration reform, and Blacks foolishly support their own social demise.
If Republicans cannot unite Middle Class Whites, Blacks, and Hispanic-Latinos with a plan for border security and immigration legitimacy, wages will remain stagnant, poverty rates will grow, government will expand, and class warfare will rule.
This set of realities is not intended to be anti-Hispanic-Latino. On the contrary, they are a noble, hard-working people who contribute to our culture. It is, however, anti-illegal alien, no matter their origin, because their presence dilutes the value of the American workforce. Extending a welcome to millions of illegals serves only to unemploy native Blacks, Hispanics, and others, and to condemn them to the lifetime poverty that welfare guarantees.