A new effort is under way to justify an expansion of immigrant admissions as necessary to stimulate new U.S. economic growth. The high U.S. unemployment – 8.2 percent – does not deter the backers of this position. They argue that expanded immigration will generate economic growth and create more jobs. This revival of a long-standing push for more immigrant visas is centered on a report termed ‘Not Coming to America: Why the U.S. is falling behind in the global race for talent.’ The group that put out the report – the Partnership for a New American Economy – claims bipartisan support from politicians and employers on both sides of the political spectrum.
But the motivation for this campaign must be questioned. Politicians are most interested in votes – which is why most politicians who support immigration expansions are Democrats who are favored by the fact that a large majority of newly naturalized immigrants register as Democrats. Business interests, on the other hand, are most interested in profits, and the cost of labor is an important factor in the net income of a company. For that reason the claims of corporate interests, like Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, should be taken with a grain of salt when he supports the new campaign saying , “most American companies aren’t interested in finding cheap labor, but in finding diverse talent.”