Former Administration Economist Asserts Economic Benefits of Amnesty

NBC-Latino highlights the efforts of Adriana Kugler, a Colombian-American who until recently was chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, to provide a justification for granting amnesty to the 12 million illegal aliens in the country. See this writeup for more.

According to the news article, Kugler has written that, ““We find no evidence that the recent wave of unskilled Latin Americans displaced native Hispanics or even previous Latin Americans from their jobs.” Her finding is at odds with research findings by respected economists who have built a compelling case that illegal immigration does hurt similarly skilled workers. In fact, economists also have found that Hispanic immigrants are disproportionately hurt by illegal immigration.

In addition, Kugler argues that now is a good time for amnesty because, “…for the first time we are at negative net migration; we don’t have floods of people coming in.” That is not correct according to data collected by the Census Bureau. The most recent official data available documents that international migration (residents arriving from abroad minus residents moving away) accounted for a net increase in the U.S. population of about 704,000 people between April 1 2010 and July 1, 2011. Furthermore, the Census Bureau estimates are generally understood to underestimate the effect of illegal immigration.

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).


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  2. avatar

    Some made gains but as mention they had low education and only did that in manufactoring becoming machinists or welders which there are less factory work or going into construcation which is still way off the peak of the Bush years. The kids that came here young finished high school or could get a GED better than their parents but I don’t believe we shoould just legalized them.

  3. avatar

    She claims that illegals would become “greater contributors if they are legalized”. And what does she base this on? Other than her own preconceived opinions? It’s an absolute fact that studies have shown those amnestied in the 1986 amnesty ended up becoming users of government assistance at rates above the average American. A twelve year old would be able to see that would be true, much less some “chief economist”. Most illegals, like those in that earlier amnesty, and those who would be eligible now, are low education, a big percentage without even high school graduation. Those are the exact low income earning people who become eligible for programs like Medicaid, food stamps, and the earned income tax credit.

    And apparently she doesn’t understand the meaning of the word. “migration”. That means people who come into the country no matter how they got here. That is still close to an average of a million a year legally. It’s still more people who are coming into a job market that doesn’t have enough for American workers. She’s just another immigration shill willing to distort the facts. Her agenda is not “economic”, but social policy for Hispanics, whether legal or illegal.