The Victims of Immigration Reform
In virtually all recent polls the overriding concern facing the people of the United States is the moribund economy. Per the Rasmussen survey out of 15 issues 80% of all respondents listed the economy as the most important followed by: 2) health care, 3) job creation, 4) government ethics and corruption and, 5) government spending. The least important were: 1) war in Afghanistan, 2) environment, 3) energy, 4) national security and, 5) immigration. ()
Naturally the thrust of the administration and its allies in Congress is so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform, and for the Obama regime it is to impose by fiat onerous regulations on energy production and usage as a sop to the radical environmental movement. Both drastically and negatively impact the top issue on the list: the economy.
The American people, unlike those in the well-heeled bubble that is Washington D.C., have and are still experiencing under Barack Obama the worst period of economic growth since the Great Depression. Additionally, not since then have the American people experienced more difficulty in finding work.
There are fewer people employed today than there were seven years ago. By May of 2006, George W. Bush had coped with a recession already begun upon his assuming office in January of 2001, the devastation of September 11, 2001, and in September of 2005, the overwhelming economic impact of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. Despite those factors the unemployment rate was 4.6%, thanks to policies polar opposite to those pursued by Obama.
In May of 2006 144.0 million Americans were employed; in May of 2013 there are143.9 million. Yet in 2006, 228.4 million people were counted in the civilian noninstitutional population; in 2013, 245.4 -- or a growth in the working age population of 17 million with 100 thousand fewer jobs. Never, over any seven year period since the Great Depression era, has this nation experienced such a dramatic and devastating economic track record.
[For those determined to blame Bush for all of Obama's failures: in December of 2008, 143.3 million were employed as compared to 143.9 today after nearly four and half years of the Obama presidency.]
Into this landscape the Congress and the President propose to dump up to 20 million illegal immigrants into the labor force, thus allowing them to compete for whatever jobs are available. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the impact of undocumented immigrants on their statistics:
It is likely that both surveys [household and establishment] include at least some undocumented immigrants. Therefore, it is not possible to determine how many are counted in either survey.
Assuming there are 15 million illegal immigrants in the country and 80% (12 million) would be a net of of working age and that 20% of that group are currently counted in the BLS statistics, therefore, 9.6 million more people would be added to the published working age population -- if the current legislation is signed into law. The overall current working age population of 245.4 million would therefore increase to 255.0 potential job seekers available for 143.9 million jobs. (a shortfall of 111.1 million). Per the current method of calculating the unemployment rate the current published rate of 7.6% would immediately increase to 9.1%.
Another factor is average weekly earnings of those employed. In May of 2006 the average weekly wage was $650.56 (inflation adjusted) versus $676.36 today, or an average real gain of less than 0.5% per year. This stagnation occurred for two reasons: 1) the composition of the job market and 2) the increased competition for jobs engendered by the growth in the working age population.
Since May of 2006, this nation has lost 4.4 million jobs in the high paying goods producing sector. Meanwhile an additional 3.1 million jobs were created in the low paying sectors of the health care and leisure and hospitality industry.
Since 2006, the working age population has increased by17 million while there has been a net decrease of 100 thousand jobs -- a prime factor in the stagnate weekly earning as supply has outstripped demand for employees. If the working age population were increased by another 10+ million due to the immediate legalization of undocumented immigrants, the pressure on wages would increase dramatically, potentially lowering the weekly earnings by as much as 2-3% per year.
The long term ramifications are considerably worse as the current proposed legislation would open the flood gates to massive new chain immigration and a still unsecured border allowing (per the Congressional Budget Office) up to 75% of the current level of illegal immigration to continue unabated far into the future. Some estimates have put this combination of factors would result in nearly 40 million new immigrants over the next twenty plus years.
To make matters worse, this administration is determined to undermine any significant economic growth by announcing new restrictions of energy use and production. This combined with excessive taxation, regulations and mandates further exacerbates the inability of American companies to be competitive and create jobs in the United States -- just as the labor force will grow by leaps and bounds.
If the current immigration bill in the Senate is signed into law and Obama succeeds in enforcing his radical environmental game plan concurrent with the enforcement of ObamaCare, the transformation of this country into a banana republic will be complete and this nation will face years of political and societal upheaval and potential violence. The importance of tabling any immigration bill in the House and evicting the Democratic leadership in the Senate in 2014 cannot be overstated. The future of this nation depends on it.