White House knows illegal immigration fuels unemployment

William R. Hawkins
In the expectation that the unemployment rate won't change much from the 9.7 percent March figure when new April numbers are released Friday, David Wessel wrote a pessimistic column that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on May 5. In it he argued,

It's hard to exaggerate how bad the job market is. Here's one arresting fact: One of every five men 25 to 54 isn't working.

Even more alarming, the jobs that many of these men, or those like them, once had in construction, factories and offices aren't coming back. ‘A good guess...is that when the economy recovers five years from now, one in six men who are 25 to 54 will not be working,' Lawrence Summers, the president's economic adviser, said the other day.

Demand for workers who haven't much education-which includes many men, particularly minority-group men-is waning. A shrinking fraction of them are working. Some are looking for work; some have given up. Some are collecting disability benefits or an early-retirement pension. Some are just idle.

The quotation from Summers raises the question of whether President Barack Obama is listening to his economic team when crafting his immigration policy. At his Cinco de Mayo reception, he noted that among Hispanics, "the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high."

On the White House website, among the tenets of the President's immigration policy appear the following:

He believes our immigration policy should be driven by our best judgment of what is in the economic interest of the United States and what is in the best interest of the American worker

President Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by preventing employers from hiring undocumented workers and enforcing the law.

All of these statements would support a policy aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrants in America to reduce the pool of uneducated, low skilled workers whose demand has fallen, and who are competing in a limited market against American citizens who need the work.

Yet, the actual "comprehensive reform" legislation that the White House is promoting would legalize millions of illegal immigrants, making the employment situation worse for legal American citizens, including many blacks and Hispanics. As Obama said April 10 in Guadalajara, reform should "give an opportunity for those who are already in the United States to be able to achieve a pathway to citizenship so they don't have to live in the shadows" or work in them either.

It is clearly not in the economic interest of the United States or best interest of the American worker to increase immigrant labor at the low end of the employment spectrum when the market is already exhibiting an excess of supply over demand. Economic logic tells us that wages will fall, poverty and idleness will rise, and as a result, welfare expenditures, family disintegration, and crime will increase.

Since the President and his economic advisors know this, why would they champion a policy that will make so many American workers worse off? Can it be something as devious as the belief that an expanded underclass will vote Democrat, even if the Democrats put them in their impoverished state?

 

In the expectation that the unemployment rate won't change much from the 9.7 percent March figure when new April numbers are released Friday, David Wessel wrote a pessimistic column that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on May 5. In it he argued,

It's hard to exaggerate how bad the job market is. Here's one arresting fact: One of every five men 25 to 54 isn't working.

Even more alarming, the jobs that many of these men, or those like them, once had in construction, factories and offices aren't coming back. ‘A good guess...is that when the economy recovers five years from now, one in six men who are 25 to 54 will not be working,' Lawrence Summers, the president's economic adviser, said the other day.

Demand for workers who haven't much education-which includes many men, particularly minority-group men-is waning. A shrinking fraction of them are working. Some are looking for work; some have given up. Some are collecting disability benefits or an early-retirement pension. Some are just idle.

The quotation from Summers raises the question of whether President Barack Obama is listening to his economic team when crafting his immigration policy. At his Cinco de Mayo reception, he noted that among Hispanics, "the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high."

On the White House website, among the tenets of the President's immigration policy appear the following:

He believes our immigration policy should be driven by our best judgment of what is in the economic interest of the United States and what is in the best interest of the American worker

President Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by preventing employers from hiring undocumented workers and enforcing the law.

All of these statements would support a policy aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrants in America to reduce the pool of uneducated, low skilled workers whose demand has fallen, and who are competing in a limited market against American citizens who need the work.

Yet, the actual "comprehensive reform" legislation that the White House is promoting would legalize millions of illegal immigrants, making the employment situation worse for legal American citizens, including many blacks and Hispanics. As Obama said April 10 in Guadalajara, reform should "give an opportunity for those who are already in the United States to be able to achieve a pathway to citizenship so they don't have to live in the shadows" or work in them either.

It is clearly not in the economic interest of the United States or best interest of the American worker to increase immigrant labor at the low end of the employment spectrum when the market is already exhibiting an excess of supply over demand. Economic logic tells us that wages will fall, poverty and idleness will rise, and as a result, welfare expenditures, family disintegration, and crime will increase.

Since the President and his economic advisors know this, why would they champion a policy that will make so many American workers worse off? Can it be something as devious as the belief that an expanded underclass will vote Democrat, even if the Democrats put them in their impoverished state?