Open-borders advocates are claiming that cities like New York are facing an immigration deficit, stating that immigration to New York City has fallen by 45 percent between 2016 and 2019. Immigration to New York City has been steadily declining in recent years; however, city officials fail to acknowledge that other factors such as cost of living and crime rates may be contributing to slowing the flow of immigrants into the city.
Instead, they are placing blame on the Trump administration’s tighter policies on both legal and illegal immigration and insist that the so-called deficit will worsen economic concerns left over from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their solution? Reopen the borders and allow more migrants to come into the country in order to help boost the city’s economy and widen the tax base.
FAIR has demonstrated time and time again that adding more migrants will only increase these issues. Immigrants are often portrayed by open-borders advocates as the answer to every fiscal problem facing the United States. However, the rapid influx of migrants has begun to drain resources like Social Security, and increase the fiscal burden on American taxpayers by hundreds of billions of dollars.
According to the NYC Comptroller, immigrants make up 46 percent of the city’s workforce. In a time of economic instability, the answer should not be to look to more foreign workers but rather provide opportunities for Americans to fill those positions as massive numbers of new immigrant workers only perpetuate the issues by creating labor surpluses and driving down wages.
Despite the Trump administration’s enforcement efforts against illegal immigration, travel restrictions for countries known to harbor or support terrorism, and the travel restrictions due to COVID-19, the United States is experiencing record annual immigration. According to the Census Bureau, in 2017, the nation’s immigrant population hit a record high of 44.5 million.
Not only that, but the immigrant population share is steadily increasing. In 2017, the foreign-born population share reached 13.7 percent, the highest percentage in 107 years. The previous high of 14.7 percent was back in the early 1900s, near the end of a period when the United States sought large sums of migrants to fuel the country’s rapid industrialization. However, the U.S. is projected to surpass that percentage by 2027.
By the numbers, it’s hard to say that the United States has an “immigration deficit.” Instead, this appears to be yet another open-borders claim which places its agenda over the wellbeing of the millions of Americans currently out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.