The Senate heard testimony Wednesday that examined the impact of immigration on U.S. workers, and one of the more stinging rebukes of current U.S. policy came from an unlikely source – U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow.
Kirsanow testified that blacks have been hurt more by President Obama’s immigration policies than perhaps any other subgroup of the U.S. population.
During that period, the U.S. has been importing about 1 million legal immigrants per year, along with 350,000 to 400,000 or more immigrants who hop the border illegally or overstay their visas and never go home.
“The evidence that we gathered shows that, unequivocally, the wage and unemployment levels of black Americans are disproportionately adversely affected by illegal immigration, particularly when it pertains to the effect on black males,” Kirsanow told the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.
“Since the beginning of the 2008 recession, there has been an increase of 2 million working-age blacks in the population,” he said. “However, during the same period of time, the number of blacks currently in the workforce was also 2 million less. So there has been no net increase in the number of employed blacks despite a substantial increase in the black population. And what’s curious about that, though, is that during the same period of time, 4.4 million more foreign-born workers were employed in the United States.”
Indeed, research shows that immigration accounts for 40 percent of the 18-point percentage decline in black employment levels in the last several years, he said.
“An 18-point decline is hundreds of thousands of blacks without jobs,” Kirsanow concluded. “In addition to depressing black employment levels, the evidence that we adduce shows that illegal immigration – frankly any low-skilled immigration – tends to drive down the wages of jobs that are available for black Americans.”
Watch civil rights commissioner’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Wednesday:
No benefits to average American
Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, testified that immigration does not confer significant economic benefits on the native-born.
Rather, large-scale immigration, whether legal or illegal, “tends to redistribute income from some American workers, often from the poorest and least educated, to business owners and other American workers,” Camarota told the committee.
The U.S. welcomes more than one million legal immigrants per year, which does make the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product significantly larger.
“But a larger GDP does not necessarily result in a wealthier society,” he explained. “In fact, almost all of this increase in GDP goes to the immigrants themselves as payment for their labor.”
Read Camarota’s statement here: http://cis.org/Testimony/Camarota-The-Impact-of-Large-Scal-%20Immigration-on-American-Workers
“When the employment analysis is expanded beyond the officially unemployed, the situation for Americans looks grim,” he said. “The number and share of native-born Americans ages 16 to 65 who are not in the labor market (not working or looking for work) is at or near a record level, with no meaningful improvement in the last two years. Job growth has not come close to matching new immigration and population increase; 17. 5 million more working-age people were not working in 2015 than in 2000.”
Camarota concluded, “Any suggestion that the nation needs immigration because there is a shortage of labor is not supported by the available data.”