Report Debunks Myths about Immigration’s Economic Impact

‘When employers tell us that they cannot find workers, what they really mean is that they cannot find workers willing to work for the low wage they’d like to pay…’

New Report Demolishes Immigration Narratives Pushed by Big Business 3

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(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) “They do the jobs Americans won’t do.” That’s a common refrain of those who defend mass immigration policies.

Economists say there’s a labor shortage, with too many jobs and not enough people in the country to fill them.

But a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies called this conventional wisdom of the Beltway elite into question.

According to a press release from the organization, there is no labor shortage in the country—and there’s sparse evidence that employers need immigration to find workers.


It turns out, Americans are perfectly willing to work—if employers will simply pay them decently.

The report from CIS, authored by policy analyst Jason Richwine, suggested that any labor shortage is due entirely to employers’ unwillingness to pay fair wages.

Given this unwillingness, it’s not surprising they would turn to impoverished immigrants from the third world to fill these jobs.

The report also argued for a tight labor market, where employers have to compete to find the best employees.

“[A] tight labor market is the rare uplift program that does not require any new taxes or regulations,” it read. “It naturally incentivizes employers to raise wages, improve working conditions, and recruit from marginalized groups.”

Even The New York Times has taken notice of this, suggesting recently that the current tight labor market—the tightest in more than half a century—is starting to lift wages of low-skilled workers. Additional wage increases could be threatened should employers be able to import more foreign workers.

Next, Richwine rebutted the tiresome claim from tech companies that native-born Americans are simply too unskilled to fill STEM jobs.

CIS said these claims don’t have a basis in reality, finding that immigrants with college degrees and educated in the United States aren’t any more skilled than comparably educated natives. In addition, immigrants who were educated in a foreign country were found to be “substantially less skilled.”

Finally, Richwine made a distinction between the much-venerated total gross domestic product and the per-capita gross domestic product—something that advocates of mass immigration repeatedly fail to do.

Richwine said that only the latter accurately measures living standards, pointing out that Bangladesh has a higher total GDP than New Zealand, but New Zealand is a much more desirable country in which to live.

Richwine also ripped into a claim by CNN that the Cotton–Perdue RAISE Act (which would substantially reduce legal immigration by cutting back on “chain migration”) would lead to the loss of almost 5 million jobs.

Deceptively, CNN neglected to inform its viewers that by “jobs” they meant “workers.” Not surprisingly, less immigration means a smaller population—and a smaller number of workers.

“[T]he ‘lost jobs’ will be lost not by Americans, but by the immigrants who would not arrive,” wrote Richwine.

“When employers tell us that they cannot find workers, what they really mean is that they cannot find workers willing to work for the low wage they’d like to pay,” he said in the press release.

“The percentage of working-age Americans not in the labor force remains significantly below the level from the year 2000, and employers should try to bring those Americans back before they look to immigration.”