As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads throughout the United States, non-essential businesses continue to close and many that remain open are reducing their staff. This trend will likely continue for some time as the number of nationwide cases continues to increase every day. There is nothing positive about millions of Americans losing their jobs for an extended period of time. However, we should take this as an opportunity to reboot the American economy to work for this nation’s citizens once again.
Eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic will subside and businesses will reopen their doors. As a result, millions of people will reenter the workforce. According to FAIR, 14.3 million illegal aliens live in the U.S., and at least 7 million of them were working jobs that should have belonged to Americans before this outbreak hit our shores. Many of these illegal aliens were also likely laid off from their positions and will want back in the workforce once life returns to normal. But rather than hire those illegal aliens again, employers should be compelled to put American workers first.
Even before this outbreak occurred, millions of people were unemployed and looking for jobs. Back in February before COVID-19 began impacting America’s businesses, the U-6 unemployment rate – which includes part-time employees and those who have given up on finding a job – was still at 7 percent. There was already no excuse for millions of illegal aliens to be in the workforce when we knew Americans would have taken many of those jobs. In the past, Americans have jumped at the opportunity to work in positions previously held by illegal aliens.
For example, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 680 illegal aliens and immigrants without authorization to work in the United States after raiding several poultry processing plants in Mississippi last summer. In contrast to the open-borders argument that Americans won’t take jobs that require hard manual labor, hundreds of lawful residents applied for the newly opened positions within a week. And this isn’t an anomaly. Any time a raid has resulted in the arrest of illegal aliens, Americans and lawful residents have flocked to those positions.
This outbreak is the perfect opportunity for businesses to right the wrongs of the past and hire the Americans who are willing and able to work for them. It’s unlikely that the federal government will act against employers who hire illegal labor anytime soon as it is entirely – and rightly – focused on suppressing the COVID-19 pandemic. And even prior to the onset of this pandemic, the open-borders and business lobbyists managed to block or delay any attempt at protecting American workers.
In the aftermath of this crisis, the federal government must step up to the plate to ensure that we do not revert to business-as-usual practices of hiring illegal aliens to do jobs that should rightly be held by American workers. Now is the perfect chance to “reboot” the economy and put the American worker first.