Mass Immigration Serves Elites at the Expense of U.S. Workers

New York Times columnist David Brooks is a “conservative” who cheerleads mass immigration, specifically the Senate’s recently passed “reform” bill. According to Brooks, the Senate bill would be “the biggest pro-growth item on the agenda” and would bring an “economic boom.” Citing the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Brooks states that passing the bill would increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Fact Check: The legislation would boost the GDP, but that would scarcely benefit native-born Americans. According to Harvard economist George Borjas, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the economic impact of immigration, 98 percent of the GDP growth due to immigration goes to immigrants, and the remaining two percent to natives.

Furthermore, Borjas notes, immigrants competing with citizens for jobs decrease the wage levels of citizens by a total of $402 billion a year. A disproportionate share of this loss falls on the young, the less educated, and minorities. At the same time, says Borjas, mass immigration increases the profits of employers who benefit from the resulting cheap labor by an estimated $437 billion a year. See link below:

Immigration and the American Worker

Economic analyst Ed Rubenstein concurs with Borjas. He observers: “For years, the consensus among labor economists, as documented in the 1997 National Research Council’s report The New Americans, has been that economic growth caused by immigration is mostly captured by immigrants themselves through their wages—the aggregate benefit to the native-born is vanishingly small, more than wiped out by transfer payments like K-12 education. But immigration’s biggest impact is to redistribute income from native workers to employers.” See link below: 7/15/13

Also, Books claims that the Senate bill, with its proposed amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens, will generate extra revenue and reduce the national debt. To support that claim he cites the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which claims a reduction over the next 20 years. A better projection, however, is that of the Heritage Foundation which analyzed costs and liabilities much more extensively, over the next 50 years. It found at the end of that time the Senate bill would bring a net loss of more than $6 trillion.

The Heritage analysis noted that the average illegal alien has a 10th grade education, and that illegal aliens households receive $2.40 in government benefits for every dollar they pay in taxes. Once legalized, they will become eligible for more benefits.

Interestingly, one thing Brooks neglected to mention about the CBO study was its prediction that the Senate bill would increase unemployment among Americans and lower the level of American wages. Along with amnesty, the bill sharply increases the admission of legal immigrants and guest workers.  

Basically, the kind of conservatism Brooks argues for is simply greed dressed up as economic and political theory. For all practical purposes it is what one might call “Robin Hood in reverse,” as it proposes to rob from the poor and give to the rich.

As Rubenstein notes, “Today U.S. immigration policy serves the needs of transnational corporate elites. They have no interest in the workers who happen to share their nationality and work for their businesses. The [Senate bill] is designed to exacerbate this trend.”

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