Wage hikes for blue-collar and working class Americans will not continue if legal immigration levels are increased, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan says.
During an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Vaughan said controlling illegal and legal immigration would hike Americans’ wages, not spur a labor shortage.
One of the reasons the wages are so low in a lot of the occupations that immigrants are working in is because there are more people coming into those jobs, so there’s an oversupply of people. We don’t have a labor shortage. And that’s reflected in the fact that wages are not rising in construction, in landscaping, in restaurant work, in retail, food processing — all the many occupations where there are a lot of immigrants. [Emphasis added]
And we also have millions of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force who also are available to take those jobs and who are starting to come and take those jobs as the economy has grown under Trump’s policies. [Emphasis added]
Vaughan said such wage gains, which working class Americans have enjoyed in the Trump economy, would be depleted if federal officials failed to control illegal immigration and decided to increase legal immigration.
“So we’re starting to see wages creep up just a little bit for them and it’s not going to continue if we fail to control illegal immigration, if we keep admitting more people on guest worker programs, and if we continue with the high levels of legal immigration that we have today, particularly of chain migration,” Vaughan said.
Controlling immigration is not going to lead to labor shortages … what it’s going to do is draw Americans out, it will lead to higher wages though as we’re seeing. And that’s a really good thing, that helps the economy. But … if there are construction jobs open in Houston, well there are people all over the country who could fill those jobs and they may not all be American. We’re taking in a million legal immigrants a year right now too and our legal immigration program is essentially a low skilled importation program. [Emphasis added]
Increasing legal immigration beyond its already historically high levels would crush the wage and job gains in Trump’s “America First” economy. Nationwide, wages rose 3.0 percent in 2018. For Americans who switched jobs, wages rose by 4.6 percent and by 5.2 percent in Minnesota,where few migrant workers choose to live.
Though unemployment has remained low, there continues to be at least 13 million working-age Americans who are either unemployed, not in the labor force but want a job, or who are working part-time jobs but want a good-paying full-time job.
Immigration, overall, has a downward pressure impact on Americans’ wages.
Every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of an American workers’ occupation reduces their weekly wages by about 0.5 percent, researcher Steven Camarotta has found. This means the average native-born American worker today has their weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.
In a state like Florida, where immigrants make up about 25.4 percent of the labor force, American workers have their weekly wages reduced by perhaps more than 12.5 percent. In California, where immigrants make up 34 percent of the labor force, American workers’ weekly wages are reduced by potentially 17 percent.
Likewise, every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of low-skilled U.S. occupations reduces wages by about 0.8 percent. Should 15 percent of low-skilled jobs be held by foreign-born workers, it would reduce the wages of native-born American workers by perhaps 12 percent.
Most recently, major corporations like General Motors (GM) have laid off working and middle class Americans in states like Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas.
In the last decade alone, the U.S. admitted ten million legal immigrants, forcing American workers to compete against a growing population of low-wage foreign workers. Meanwhile, if legal immigration continues, there will be 69 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S. by 2060. This would represent an unprecedented electoral gain for the Left, as Democrats win about 90 percent of congressional districts where the foreign-born population exceeds the national average.
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to Midnight Eastern (6:00-9:00 p.m. Pacific).
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.