Stop Importing Poverty, America Has Enough

America’s immigration policies should focus on strengthening the nation, its economy, and its future. We should actively recruit immigrants from across the world with a diverse array of high-tech skills, experience, and businesses to grow our economy in the Digital Age. Yet only 13 percent of the one million green cards issued each year were employment based.

Americans are struggling in today’s economy. One in six Americans lives in poverty today. One in six.  One in five requires government assistance to get by each month.  Forty-six million Americans require food stamps including one in four children. Over 17 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or gave up looking. In June there were 250,000 new jobs created, yet 400,000 gave up looking for work.  That’s the size of the entire population of Oakland, Cleveland, or New Orleans. In the last decade, the working age population grew by 26 million, yet only 7 million have jobs. The number of Americans aged 25-54 employed hasn’t been this low since the mid-1980s. Middle class wages continue to decline with the median household income down nearly $5,000 since 2000. In a recent poll, 70% of Americans are strained by crushing debt loads, insufficient savings, or income that’s too low to cover their expenses.

Clearly there is a disconnect between the needs of our 21st century economy, the concerns of American workers, and our bloated immigration policy.

We need to get more Americans working, particularly those who lack a basic education and skills.  We need to raise the wages of America’s poor and middle class. The Secretary of Labor recently stressed “The best way to lift wages is to have tighter labor markets”. Yet since 2000, the U.S. added two new immigrants for every new job created.  One study found all net new jobs in the last eight years went to immigrants. American workers lose over $400 billion annually in reduced wages as a direct result from immigration.

In addition to the one million legal immigrants added each year, illegal immigrants represent a growing share of our labor force.  Nevada and California have the largest share of illegal immigrants in their labor forces at 10.2% and 9.4% respectively.  They also have the 2nd and 8th highest unemployment rates in the nation including over 500,000 long-term unemployed.  A majority of the states with the largest share of illegal immigrants also have unemployment rates higher than the national average. Millions of unemployed Americans struggle to compete with legal and illegal immigrants for work. Imagine the economic and social impact if over the next year one million of the 17 million unemployed and underemployed Americans took the jobs held by illegal immigrants.  

The immigration debate by politicians and in the media focuses largely on those who were able to get by border security or overstay their visa. The debate for immigration reform must also include rethinking the number and selection criteria for the legal immigrants who enter the U.S. each year. Consider asking these six questions to our elected leaders and those running for office:

  • Should the U.S. reduce the number of green cards issued until jobs and wages improve?
  • Is it hypocritical for politicians who advocate for raising the minimum wage to also support flooding the U.S. labor market with unskilled labor from foreign nations?
  • Should the U.S. prioritize visas based on skilled labor demands over chain migration?
  • Why do elected leaders spend billions of dollars and champion recruiting and retaining millions of unskilled foreign workers when Americans struggle to get a good paying job?
  • Do you believe America has enough natural resources and public services for the population to grow 40% in a generation?
  • Why do you insist on importing poverty, doesn’t America have enough?

America’s future lies in its people. As a nation of immigrants, our strength lies in integrating the best the world has to offer in a free and open society that provides opportunities for everyone to succeed. We mU.S.t have an intelligent debate on immigration and the impact on our nation’s future. We mU.S.t drown out the radicals on either end of the political spectrum to offer sensible solutions to ensure America as solid immigration policies to strengthen our future.  

The author of this guest opinion is a federal policy analyst.

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  1. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    End birthright citizenship. A lot of them will leave if their anchor babies will no longer be US citizens.

  2. avatar

    I disagree with this author. We do not need any more immigrants, skilled or unskilled. Instead, we should train our own people, and increase taxes on companies that hire foreigners. Even if there were some need to import foreign workers, we could never base immigration requirements on common sense, like filling job positions. The diversity people would say we are discriminating, and this would wind up in court. The best course of action is to train our own people, and not import trouble. Immigration is permanent. No compromise because big business wants cheap tech labor.

  3. avatar

    Since 1970, the planet’s population has almost doubled to near 8 billion with most occuring in Third World countries which can afford it least. In the same time period, increases in natural resources and food production have been marginal creating shortages, political instability and strife. There is currently a mass migration to the welfare offices and food larders of America, Europe and Australia with uneducated, unskilled, poverty stricken peasants with nowhere to go but the welfare office. There are only so many lawns to mow. Waiting until completely over-run to close the door is too late and the overloaded boat is sinking and you are all dead.

  4. avatar

    As per usual, Leland nails it. Well done.

    This is an excellent article, and the author of it should have shared his/her name. Nothing controversial about it for anyone who loves America and her people.

    • avatar

      Part of the 1% Liberal Elite agenda is open borders and flooding the labor market with cheap labor to further diminish the Middle Class – it is also an excellent source of increased profits.

  5. avatar

    Excluding poor immigrants is a great idea, but we don’t need more employment-based immigration, either. We have 17 million underemployed Americans, many of them high-tech workers with advanced degrees. An advanced industrial nation like the US (with 320 million people) does not need ANY immigration. The sooner we are free of it, the better off we (and our children) will be.

    • avatar
      Richard Harris on

      I’m an unemployed mechanical engineer with 13 years experience in the nuclear submarine field. I have not worked as an engineer in 19 years. We need more engineers in this country like we need a hole in the head.

    • avatar

      Agree! The pro-immigration people like to disguise their arguments by claiming we need skilled labor, that our population is shrinking, or that we are being racist by not letting in millions of impoverished, illiterate, unskilled minorities into our country. NO MORE IMMIGRATION FOR ANY REASON!

  6. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    What this case can mean for the sharing economy — and for companies in this billion dollar industry, such as Airbnb and Lyft — is, as Arun Sundararajan, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of business, tells Bloomberg: “Classifying drivers as employees would result in higher prices, and fewer Uber drivers overall who must work longer hours. The higher costs would be passed on to consumers, with reductions in drivers’ income and Uber’s cut of their fares.” He added: “The effect on Uber’s global revenue would likely be small.”
    Instead of whining about factory jobs going overseas there are ways to make more money like Uber and Lyft but conservatives and some anti-immigration activists wish for the old days. In fact lots of Uber and Lyft drivers are more native born than regular taxi drivers. In Los Angeles you will see more native born drivers even though Uber sometimes advertised in Spanish. The sharing economy helped people when they had to have a second job now its wages will go down because people here didn’t ddfene it and hope for the old factory stuff to come back.

  7. avatar

    Lets be frank, we have a corrupt, mendacious, and obfuscating secretary of labor, just like his boss. So until this criminally inept administration is HISTORY, no justice will come from their transgressions, period!

    • avatar

      We have seen this problem grow and continue irrespective of the administration or his political party. Part of the way they do this is by a divide and conquer strategy, which you play right into.

  8. avatar
    Snortz McDuck on

    Why doesn’t the cowardly traitor who wrote this pile of swill use his/her name?

    • avatar

      Because they would get fired? And what is it that you disagree with in this analysis.

    • avatar

      Because this person (he/she) is telling the truth and if anyone in our present administration found out who it was that person would end up dead. That’s how they get rid of those that don’t agree with them.

  9. avatar
    Snortz McDuck on

    Another call for coding coolies and H-1b scamsters to come here and take jobs from Americans. We have enough STEM workers. Next time some moron like Zuckerman tells us how the tech savior is some kid from India, ask him what his training budget is. Most of these high-tech companies have no training program. They want cheap labor, and they don’t want to pay 1 penny for it.

  10. avatar

    Great guest opinion FAIR. There is one thing that needs to be clear in the discussion about skilled immigration. There is a big distinction between attracting scientists and engineers to the US who are among the brightest minds in their fields who can potentially make technological breakthroughs that create new businesses and jobs for Americans, and firing American technical workers and replacing them with cheaper H-1Bs from abroad who are at the same and often lower skill level. Often when people in our country discuss skilled immigration the distinction is muddled, and the difference between the two is huge and needs to be made clear when people in our country discuss this issue.

  11. avatar

    “Is it hypocritical for politicians who advocate for raising the minimum wage to also support flooding the U.S. labor market with unskilled labor from foreign nations?”

    One can turn this question around — Is it hypocritical for politicians who oppose raising the minimum wage to also support flooding the U.S. labor market with unskilled guest workers from foreign nations on the mere claim of labor shortage?

  12. avatar

    At 200M People and Far Less Workers per Household in 1970-1980

    We built practically everything in our home almost all our automobiles; and workers did full-time weeks with health benefits at minimum wage jobs like K-mart. Now at 400M we’re trying to figure out why outsourcing and in-sourcing American worker replacements is destroying our tax base….LOL

    • avatar

      And at 200m the quality of life in our country was so much better and there was far less damage being done to our environment. But the wealthiest people in our country are wealthier, and they own the politicians and major media outlets, including the media and politicians that are supposedly “liberal”, so things are as how they should be with more destructive population growth to come. If current trends continue we will end up the Brazil of North America, without much of a middle class and the wealthy all living in gated communities to protect themselves.

      • avatar

        In the early 70s our population was around 205 million. The Rockefeller Commission produced a study at that time saying that there was no benefit to be gained by further population increases, and more benefits,especially environmental, to be obtained by stabilizing at around that level. They assumed that immigration levels would remain at the low numbers of that time, about a quarter of now. We had nowhere near the increases in population of 25 to 30 million we have had for the last three decades.

        And California is the extreme example of water shortages, but other areas of the country are not in good shape. The rapidly growing city of Atlanta has been in a decades long court battle with Florida and Alabama over the water that ends up in rivers that flow into those states. Florida says too little fresh water to Apalachicola Bay affects their seafood industry. You cannot be an environmentalist and support mass immigration.

      • avatar

        I agree. The destructive environmental impact is not only caused by our lifestyle, but also by the growth in population. It has to be tackled at both ends for there to be positive movement. If we continue growing in numbers the way we are we will have to ALL subsist on rice diets and eventually even that will not suffice.