22 November 2009 ~ 0 Comments

GOP Wrong On Economics of Immigration Reform

This past Friday, 12 GOP Senators were so offended by the remarks made by DHS Janet Napolitano on how legalizing undocumented workers would be a boon to the economy, that they signed off a letter to her signaling their apparent dismay.

These GOP senators are your usual anti-immigrant suspects from the Bible Belt and states with low-population density: Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch.

Their main grievance is that creating a pathway for legalization of undocumented workers would unfairly burden American workers looking for jobs:

With all due respect, legalizing those who have no legal right to be in the United States will not be a “boon” to American workers. Rather, it would only exacerbate the unfair competition American workers currently face as they struggle to find jobs.

We expect no affirmative votes from these Senators for immigration reform even if empirical evidence proved beyond a shadow of doubt that legalizing immigrants creates jobs for all Americans. Their opposition to immigration reform is not based on hard facts, but grounded in perpetuating myths and scapegoating immigrants.

Actually, a newly released study by the Immigration Policy Center confirms that immigrants are not responsible for job losses among Americans. In fact, there is no real displacement relationship between the inflow of immigrant workers and native-born employment. This confirms earlier studies by CATO Institute, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Pew Hispanic Center, which arrived at similar conclusions.

Earlier this year, the Black Immigration Network also dispelled myths about the negative consequences of immigration on African Americans. Even former Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has testified in Congress that actual estimated wage suppression and fiscal costs are relatively small and illegal immigration has made significant contribution to the growth of the American economy.

These Senators call for tougher enforcement of immigration laws even though another recent study by AFL-CIO shows how enforcement policies are detrimental to the rights of both immigrant and native-born workers.

One has to wonder how these 12 GOP Senators do their ‘fuzzy math.’ It certainly does not add up.

(Photo Credit: StormBear Flickr photostream CC Attribute)

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