Do We Really Need to Expand Immigration in the Name of Economic Prosperity?

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.”

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    If millions of American citizens became organized and called ICE, the local police and their “so-called representatives” EVERY SINGLE DAY to report specific or even suspected illegal aliens in their community and work place, you would see some real results. Remember, they have asked the citizens of this country to report anything suspicious and you are not required to “know for sure” if someone is illegal; That is their job and we are paying them to check it out and enforce our laws.

  2. avatar
    Richard Harris on

    Why is it that the fat cats who want to bring even cheaper yet labor into this country don’t understand that the peons they hire are going to vote, and vote left wing? Thus the fat cats are hiring the very people who are going to vote to confiscate the fat cats’ bank accounts. Ted Kennedy knew that immigrants (legal and illegal) vote left wing. That’s why he was the great promulgator of legal immigration.

  3. avatar

    Our goverment is the wolf in sheep clothing. They keep making new laws for immigration .When we already have laws on the book that have protected us all these years. By making new laws and then debating over them as to wheather they are legal or not they keep the border open just the way they want. Their pay stays the same while ours shrinks or stops all together.

  4. avatar

    this the fact on admitting immigrants: more people, more taxes for the government, legal immigrants become us citizens? more votes. what happens is that the u.s. is admitting undereducated people, hurting the true economy and taking unskilled jobs that are abundant in this country. the U.S. should admit only professionals or technicians. this is the kind of people should entered without any problem. Second admitting people over the retirement age, and becoming u.s. citizens, is a borden for social security, since they did not accumulate benefits from working. third, every legal alien admitted into the u.s. should bring with him/her with a medical coverage from their country, and to be valid for 5 years at leas, before becoming a full legal resident.

  5. avatar

    Nothing for illegal aliens or their offspring. These invaders have NO STANDING in this Country. The USA is not the homeland of the world’s masses just the home of those who came legally or were born here to citizens, not the anchor babies that we don’t want along with their families that have invaded this Country.

    • avatar
      Michael Valentine on

      I have an idea to eliminate illegal immigration so remember my name I will be starting a non profit website soon that will allow people who share the same frustration as I do and I will do a lot for America and our citizens mark my word.In a non violant way of course,but we must stand together and make a differance we don’t want to end up like china and japan along with Mexico who are over crowded we want to keep it how we are with prestine Country side and mountains.I’m not a tree hugger just a citizen who sees illegals taking American jobs mine as well and I’m sick of it they don’t respect this Country so why respect them its ridiculous.You will hear my name again and I will make a difference on more levels than immigration.This cxountry is being run into the ground and no one seems to want to take action so I will and I will need lots of help.I need an attourney that cares about civil rigjhts and a speaker that can speak in public,I will not let this Country go in the tank on my watch.I’m a hard working American that is not racsist in anyway I just want to protect our livley hood and put Americans back to work,look for my website in near future its my calling and like I said these dumb *** politicians better watch out cause I’m going to make a big splash in every city.

  6. avatar

    In spite of our weak economy in the US, we are still admitting over 1 million legal immigrants a year and tolerating at least 7 million illegal workers in non-agricultural jobs. These immigrants are taking jobs that could be filled by US workers. See below for link.

    These unengaged workers aren’t disappearing into space. There has been a sharp increase in the number of people applying for SSDI. A number of articles have linked this increase to the fact that many older workers are experiencing long-term unemployment, have given up searching for work, and are falling back on whatever support they can find, often disability. Because of this increase, the SSDI Trust Fund will be exhausted between 2015 and 2018. See second link for the entire paper.

    We are constantly told how immigrants will expand SS/Medicare etc funding. What a laugh! Our high levels of immigration are contributing to the exhaustion of the SSDI Trust Fund instead of extending its life! Isn’t it time that we rethought our immigration policy and decreased the numbers at least until the economy picks up?

    1) From 2000 to 2010, the US native working age population grew by 13.5 million; the working age population for immigrants – legal and illegal – by 6.9 million. In 2010, 1.1 million FEWER working age natives held jobs than in 2000. In 2010, 4.5 million MORE immigrant workers – legal and illegal – held jobs than in 2000. Fewer native workers were employed in 2010 than in 2000, and the economy has hardly improved since 2010.
    2) In his November 2011 paper, MIT’s David Autor notes: [SSDI’s] expenditures are extremely high and growing rapidly. In 2010, SSDI cash transfer payments totaled $124 billion, while the cost of Medicare for SSDI beneficiaries was $59 billion. These outlays, exceeding $1,500 for every U.S. household, comprised 7.3 percent of federal non-defense spending last year—a sum that is larger than interest payments on the federal debt. In the last two decades, outlays grew at 5.6 percent in real terms, compared to just 2.2 percent for all other Social Security spending. As a consequence SSDI’s share of total Social Security outlays has risen from one in ten dollars in 1988 to almost one in five dollars at present. Perhaps most ominously, SSDI expenditures now exceed by 30 percent the payroll tax revenue dedicated to funding the program. The Trustees of the Social Security Administration project that the SSDI Trust Fund will be exhausted between 2015 and 2018, at least two decades ahead of the trust fund for Social Security retirement benefits.

  7. avatar

    “diversity” ? More “P.C.” hot air. I’ve seen the results of those “diversity” hires first hand. About one in five worked out well , and I’m being generous.

    • avatar
      Richard Harris on

      Diversity, schmiversity. We landed men on the moon and built nuclear submarines before all this diversity nonsense. Now we’ve got Muslim infiltrators working for the FBI doing the best they can to sabotage our intelligence community. Franz Kafka wouldn’t believe it possible.

    • avatar
      Michael Valentine on

      Yes our citizen our use to a certain way of life not the lives of illegals who live with two or more families in one home,that’s why they under cut Americans and do work for cheaper shame on our government and anyone who thinks illegals should be here at all,I will make a difference I promise its my calling.