The Kids Are Definitely Not Alright

There is no shortage of serious problems in our society in need of Congress’s urgent attention. Few of them are being addressed in any meaningful way, owing to partisan bickering and deep-pocketed special interests that finance the campaigns of members of Congress.

Nevertheless, the Senate managed to find time over the past two months to “fix” a problem that does not even exist: a looming labor shortage in the U.S. In addition to a massive amnesty for an estimated 12 million illegal aliens, the Senate Gang of Eight bill included massive increases in future immigration and new skilled and unskilled guest workers.

America’s future labor force is already here. The problem is that Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 face a 16.3 percent unemployment rate. There are about 43 million people in the U.S. who fall into this age range, guaranteeing an adequate supply of workers to not only replace the baby boomers as they leave the work force, but fund the Social Security system.

The only caveat is that these 43 million people – nearly all of whom will want to work immediately, or in the very near future – need jobs. But rather than bringing this under-utilized cohort of American workers out of the shadows, Congress is pursuing immigration policies designed to bury them even deeper – a hole they may never dig their way out of economically or socially during the course of their lifetimes.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar
    Mass Immigration Is Unsustainable on

    “a law that insulates or protects illegal aliens from penalty in the event they willfully use fake social numbers or other information, to obtain work”

    A state law designed to undermine a federal scheme would be pre-empted–if Eric Holder bothered to sue. He only seems to sue states who are trying to support federal law though.

  2. avatar

    Beware of what your state legislature is doing behind closed doors. On my FAIR alert, I learned about AB 263. Essentially a law that insulates or protects illegal aliens from penalty in the event they willfully use fake social numbers or other information, to obtain work. This clearly undermines the utilization of E-Verify , and, only encourages fraud against government. California is being overrun with blatant pandering! It’s a disgrace.

  3. avatar

    The last line says it all. “Congress is pursuing immigration policies to bury them even deeper-a hole they may never did their way out of economically or socially during their lifetimes.”

    Which is why it is so frustrating that all these young people are buying this bill of goods that the corporations are selling. Stop supporting those whose every attempt is to keep you scrambling for the peanuts they want to pay you. Stop buying into the propaganda out of some misguided attempt at social relevancy.

    It’s the same thing that Samuel Gompers, one of the original leaders of the AFL, said in 1921, speaking of business interests. “They are simply desirous of flooding the country with unskilled as well as skilled labor of other lands for the purpose of breaking down American standards.”

  4. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Americans aged 16 to 24 have so much to offer this country and we owe it to them to give them every opportunity to succeed. Immigration insanity will affect me somewhat because it affects the country, but I long ago made adjustments and have significant experience to draw upon.

    Young people without experience and who don’t have opportunities to get experience will be destroyed by continued mass immigration. One would have to be a sociopath to see this and not care.

    • avatar

      Yes Concerned Citizen

      There was an increase of 360K part time jobs and a decrease of 240K full time jobs in last month’s national labor report….in the Bellevue-Seattle-Everett labor force, it hasn’t left 1.9M for the last 3 years, yet we add more immigration overpopulation anyway.