The New York state assembly has gifted Uber, DoorDash, Amazon, and business groups a huge new supply of 250,000 illegal immigrant drivers, so depressing wages for the many Americans and legal immigrants who earn their wages by delivering people, cargo, and food to their destinations.
The new labor supply will partly counter President Donald Trump’s “Hire American” immigration policies that are now forcing up Americans’ wages. “Wages are rising at the fastest rate in many decades … [and] they’re rising the fastest for the lowest-income Americans,” President Donald Trump said at his June 18 campaign-opener in Florida.
For example, SimplyHired.com shows wages for delivery drivers in New York ranging from $9 an hour to $25 an hour — although the wages remain far below what is needed for a decent living in New York City, even before the companies start to hire cheaper illegal immigrant drivers.
Amid the inflow of illegal labor, wealthier people who use Uber taxi service will be shielded from the illegals because Uber only hires drivers who have specialized licenses from the Taxi & License Commission. “In NYC, only TLC-licensed drivers who have gone through the city’s background check process are able to complete trips on the Uber platform,” a Uber spokesman said.
The illegals can’t get TLC licenses because they do not have federal Social Security Numbers. “The TLC will continue to provide licenses to people who meet our requirements, which includes a valid social security number, DMV Chauffeur’s license, fingerprinting, and drug testing,” said an executive at the commission, who added, “No human being is illegal.”
But Uber also hires non-TLC drivers for its “Uber Eats” business.
The assembly’s June 17 decision to approve the “Green Light” bill for migrants is being celebrated by the natural alliance of investors, progressives, and illegal migrants who successfully pressured 33 state Senators and Gov. Chris Cuomo to OK the licenses-for-illegals bill on Monday night.
“I’m so honored to be part of the
@GreenLightNYDT coalition,” said a tweet from Eddie Taveras, a Latino progressive activist and lobbyist for the billionaire-funded FWD.us advocacy group. “We fought for this bill every step of the way via a grassroots movement centered on inclusion & transparency,” said Tavernas, whose FWD.us employers include numerous wealthy West Cost investors, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Matt Cohler, a partner at the Benchmark Capital investment firm.
In 2011, Cohler helped launch Uber Technologies with an $11 million investment for 11 percent of the company’s shares. That investment is now worth almost $8 billion. Cohler sits on Uber’s board and helped launch FWD.us. Cohler’s Benchmark firm also invested in another food delivery firm, Grubhub.
When lobbying for the drivers’ license bill, Tavernas worked with many left wing and pro-migration groups via Make the Road NY and the New York Immigration Council:
I’m so honored to be part of the @GreenLightNYDT coalition. We fought for this bill every step of the way via a grassroots movement centered on incluaion & transparency.
— eddie (@EddieATaveras) June 18, 2019
FWD.us was formed to block immigration reforms and to preserve the federal policy of stimulating the economy by annually importing at least one million migrants and at least 500,000 visa workers.
— FWD.us (@FWDus) June 18, 2019
“This will increase public safety, this will bring in $57 million in tax revenue for the state,” said Todd Schult, FWD.us’ director. The decision will improve the quality of life for migrants, partly because it will ensure “a traffic stop will not lead to their deportation,” he told Breitbart News.
FWD.us supports the inflow of unskilled and skilled illegal and legal immigrants, partly because the migrants serve as both cheap workers and nearby consumers. The two-sided value for investors is spotlighted by FWD.us’s support for DoorDash, which hires people to deliver food by auto, scooters, and bikes.
In a September 2018 statement, the investors denounced President Donald Trump’s plan to cut unskilled immigration into the United States, saying it would immigrant-driven economic growth:
Immigration powers the American economy, and ensuring that immigrant families living here today can thrive means greater benefits for all U.S. residents and our children in the future. The earning potential of immigrants and their contributions to the labor-force and economy grows over time and over generations …
Tony Xu, the founder of DoorDash, embodies this story … in 2013 Tony founded DoorDash, an incredibly successful meal delivery service. Today, DoorDash is valued at $4 billion, using recent investment to expand into 1,200 new cities and to hire 250 new employees, in addition to over 100,000 part-time gigs already created for delivery drivers across the country.
DoorDash’s investors include Sequoia Capital, KPCB, SV Angel, CRV, Khosla, and Y Combinator. Their investments have paid off hugely as the company’s apparent stock value has recently climbed past $12 billion in value. Executives at the first three investment firms helped to create FWD.us, while executives of the second three investors helped fund the lobbying group.
Although it’s hard to believe, this remains just the beginning. We look forward to continuing our journey! https://t.co/Vk0oCR3WF2
— DoorDash (@DoorDash) May 23, 2019
These investors gain from continued immigration of consumers — and especially from the award of drivers’ licenses to the huge population of illegal migrants. A USA Today article described how delivery wages decline when investors can hire additional workers:
In New York, Chris Whyte, 26, started delivering by bicycle five years ago. Back then, with few people in the trade, he says the demand was high. He would average $400 in a two-day weekend shift. But these days, with a flood of available delivery people, he makes about $150 a weekend and is struggling to make a living.
“And that’s if I’m lucky,” Whyte says. “That’s if I’m hauling a–.”
The article, titled “‘Delivery economy’ creates wave of low-wage jobs,” also mentions Mica Griggs, 33, a food-delivery driver in Nashville., Tenn. “Averaging between 30 to 50 deliveries a week, six hours each day, Griggs has supplemented her income with an additional $1,200 to $2,000 a month, depending on the season.” That income averages out to be roughly $25,000 a year for an eight-hour day, ensuring that company wages must be subsidized with the award of extra aid and welfare programs to employees.
In California, where millions of illegal migrants — along with millions of legal immigrants — are also allowed to drive, wages for Uber and Lyft drivers have declined, according to press reports. The Washington Post reported in March:
Drivers say Uber and Lyft wage decreases in recent months of up to 25 percent and dwindling bonuses have squeezed their ability to make ends meet. Workers group Rideshare Drivers United said its strike is largely precipitated by an Uber wage cut in Southern California from 80 to 60 cents per mile, bringing the figure to 2 cents higher than the Internal Revenue Service’s standard mileage rate for cars used for business purposes.
Images [Mostafa Maklad] shared of his weekly earnings over time reflected a pattern of dwindling earnings. For example, Maklad took home $2,139.04 one week in January after driving 68 hours and 7 minutes, making 162 trips. It was far more driving than he had done over a comparable period in September 2016, when he took home $2,313.23 in a week in which he drove 25 fewer hours, making 122 trips.
Uber confirmed it has changed rates in San Francisco and Los Angeles in recent months. Lyft said it has decreased wages based on distance while increasing rates based on time in some cities but not Los Angeles. It did not immediately elaborate on the details of the rate changes, however. The companies’ driver pay rates vary by location.
Overall, any wage loss caused by the extra supply of migrant labor is canceled out by migrants’ extra demand for additional driving services, said Schulte. “Immigration increases demand and everyone knows this,” he said.
Alongside the investors at FWD.us, the New York drivers’ licenses bill was supported by many local businesses because it is “an opportunity to increase these New Yorker’s ability to support local employers and businesses,” said Heather Briccetti, president of The Business Council of New York State. She wrote in May:
We are supporting this bill because it sends a signal to Washington that comprehensive immigration reform is a necessary business issue, and because it’s the right and decent thing to do. It is an opportunity to support billions in annual economic activity, and state and local tax collections, driven by hardworking undocumented families around the state.
That business support was vital for the bill, which is increasingly unpopular, according to June poll of 812 New York voters by the Siena College Research Institute. The poll showed the legislation is opposed by 53 percent of voters, 39 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans, and 55 percent of independents, despite a loaded question.
The loaded question asked: “I want to ask you about some proposed new laws being debated in Albany and I´d like you to tell me for each whether you support or oppose that proposal … Allowing undocumented immigrants to get a New York driver´s license.” In fact, the supposed “undocumented immigrants” are illegal migrants, most of whom carry false, forged documents.
Immigration by the Numbers
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
The federal policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors. It also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.