Sunday, August 23, 2015

Who Cares about American Workers? Not Many GOP Presidential Candidates.

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                                                     Not I, said the blind man.

Mike Scruggs

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report indicates that the real annual wages of American workers have improved by scarcely more than $1.00 in the last 15 years. Their real wages have actually decreased in the last 7 years. U.S. businesses profit over $437 billion per year from hiring cheap foreign labor, both legal and illegal. But according to Harvard labor economist, George Borjas, this profit is at the expense of American workers, suppressing their wages by $402 billion per year. These disparities represent a massive ethical collapse in immigration policy, which should no longer be tolerated by the American people.

In addition, according to the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, taxpayers pick up an annual bill of $115 billion to support the education, healthcare, welfare, and law enforcement costs of illegal immigration. This is essentially a taxpayer subsidy for businesses that use illegal immigrant labor.

 According to the Heritage Foundation, the average unlawful household receives $14,385 more in annual government benefits and services than all forms of taxes paid. Give them amnesty, and it will cost nearly $28,000 per amnestied household per year because of higher benefit levels and little additional tax revenue.

We need immigration policies that benefit America and the American people, especially American workers, taxpayers, and THEIR families. What we have is a corrupt immigration system that benefits illegal immigrants and businesses that hire both legal and illegal cheap foreign labor. The American people are crying desperately for this to be corrected. If not, it will destroy our country.

According to the Pew Research Foundation, there are about 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.  Other institutions agree, but some painstaking research by Bear-Stearns analysts in 2006 would project that number to be between 20 and 30 million.  Most illegal immigrants do not fill out forms admitting they entered the country by some unlawful method. Only about 50 percent of unlawful immigrants sneak across the border. The other half just come in on a legal tourist, student, or guest-worker visa, and stay in the U.S without permission or notice of any address change. Politicians love to promise voters that they are going to seal the border, but even if they did, it would probably not stop more than 25 percent of illegal immigration. More illegals would simply get a visa, come here, and stick the visa in the trash once it had expired. This method is unbelievably easy and unguarded.

Securing the physical border is necessary to stop illegal immigration, BUT it is near meaningless unless it is also accompanied by enforcing immigration laws at the workplace. That is why we need strong federal and state E-Verify systems to determine the immigration status of work applicants and the existing workforce. However, the lobbyists for the employer associations and people who are making $435 billion per year from cheap foreign labor do not want this to happen. The $70 million dollars the U..S. Chamber and allied organizations spent on the 2014 primaries and general election was largely for the purpose of electing more Republicans to Congress, especially the Senate, but particularly those who would support amnesty and tripling the annual number of legal foreign workers and guest-workers in the country. That is how and why Republican leadership in Congress let Obama get away with his unconstitutional administrative amnesty.

The Schumer-Rubio Senate amnesty bill would have brought in an additional 20 million foreign workers with permanent green-card status in the next decade. According to the Heritage Foundation, the amnesty alone would have increased federal (deficit), state, and local government spending by an average of $1.26 billion per year, running to a total of $6.3 trillion in 50 years, provided it had not broken the Social Security and Medicare systems long before that. But that does not count the job displacements and further wage depression of American workers caused by bringing in another 20 million foreign workers, nor the increased cost of welfare for new immigrants and displaced American workers.

More than half of GOP presidential candidates for the 2016 election are preaching a type of economic growth that will be good for big business and a terrible tragedy for most American workers and most of the middle class. They are not all crooks, but they are certainly negligent in doing their homework on immigration. Neither are they economics math whizzes. For example, suppose the U.S. with a population of 325 million and a GDP of $17.4 trillion absorbed the entire Mexican population of 123 million with its GDP of $1.3 trillion intact. That would increase U.S. GDP by 7.5 percent. This is, of course, meaningless. The per capita GDP is what is important to a nation’s wealth. The new American GDP per capita in this case would decline mathematically, but having to absorb the additional Mexican welfare over a predominantly American tax base would likely drive GDP down and drive net disposable incomes for Americans down even more. Milton Friedman once stated the obvious. Bringing in millions of poor, less skilled, and less educated immigrants is not compatible with real economic growth and prosperity. Bringing in too many immigrants drives down wages and increases taxes. Economic freedom is an invaluable blessing, but it does not turn stupid political decisions into gold. Free markets punish sloppy thinking. Massive amnesties and flooding the labor market with 20 million more foreign workers are both good examples of stupid. But they would make some people very rich, and unfortunately those people wield tremendous power and influence, while few politicians seem to have a genuine sympathy for American workers and their families.

The U.S. economy is not producing HALF the jobs needed for American science, technology, engineering, and math graduates. Many are only able to find part-time or low-paid service and clerical jobs. This tragedy is being exacerbated by importing thousands more H-1B science and technical workers than needed. “Getting the best and the brightest” has become a mask for hiring cheaper foreign science applicants, who are no more qualified and often less educated than American science workers. The big technology companies are saving lots of money with this cry, but the real issue is bigger profits by using 20 percent cheaper labor, patriotism and compassion for their fellow Americans be damned.  American workers are even training foreign workers before being laid off—a moral outrage. Yet more than half of GOP presidential candidates would do nothing to stop unwarranted increases in H-1B visas.

Unless immigration policy works for the good of American workers, it will prove detrimental to real growth and prosperity for America and most Americans. That means no amnesty and no surge of new legal immigration, including H-1B technical workers. Legal immigration needs to be both smaller and more selective. Our annual legal immigration of near 1.0 million is more than triple the pre-amnesty 1986 level. It needs to be cut at least 50 percent for both economic and national security reasons.