Sunday, October 09, 2016

Numbers USA - Impact of Large-Scale Immigration on American Workers

This Issue: Authoritative study confirms immigration is a redistributive policy for workers and taxpayers

Fri, Sep 23th
The National Academies of Science unveiled a lengthy and authoritative study on the impact of large-scale immigration on American workers and the economy. Dr. Steve Camarota from the Center for Immigration Studies summed up the report best in a column he wrote for the National Review:
"[T]he best way to think about immigration is that it is primarily a redistributive policy, transferring income from some workers to owners of capital and from taxpayers to low-income immigrant families."
Here are the report's most significant findings:
  • Immigrants, both legal and illegal, reduce annual wages by 5.2% for some native-born workers. Since two-thirds of immigrants have no more than a high school degree, vulnerable native-born workers suffer the most because they're most likely to compete with immigrants for jobs.

  • Immigrants cause a fiscal drain because they pay less in taxes than they receive in government services, costing U.S. taxpayers as much as $299 billion per year most of which is passed to the states. For example, immigrants cost the state of California nearly $19 billion per year.

  • There is a small net benefit to the economy of $54.2 billion, but the benefit is realized by a $493.9 billion wage transfer from low-skilled workers to business. The wage transfer results in a 0.31% increase for all native-born workers.
The negative fiscal consequences of mass immigration on federal and state deficits and the wages of low-skilled American workers is a direct result of the current immigration system favoring extended family members and lottery winners over skilled workers.
About 63% of the green cards issued in 2014 were issued through the family-preference categories, according to DHS statistics. Combine that with another 55,000 who came through the Visa Lottery, and 7 out of every 10 green cards were, and continue to be, given to foreign citizens with no regard for their qualifications or educational attainment.
The NAS study found that skilled immigrants can have a more positive impact on the economy, which is why NumbersUSA favors limiting immigration to mostly spouses and minor children and extraordinary-skilled foreign workers.
You can read more about the report's findings here. Our Director of Research, Eric Ruark, has also posted a blog on the media's slanted news coverage here. We've also posted new faxes on your Action Board so you can tell your Members of Congress about the findings.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), unveiled a short-term spending proposal that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30. The good news is that the proposal does not extend an increase of H-2B, low-skilled foreign worker visas. Thanks to all the NumbersUSA activists who have been phoning and faxing over the last few weeks, urging Congress not to increase H-2Bs!
The news is not all good, however. First, the McConnell proposal doesn't have enough votes to pass through the Senate. (The House will likely pass whatever the Senate approves.) So there is still some wheeling-and-dealing left to be done.
Second, Congress first expanded the H-2B program through last December's omnibus bill, and Congress will have to pass another one this December. So the fight over H-2B visa increases is far from over even if we can win this month's battle.
McConnell's proposal doesn't impact the refugee program, so we'll likely have to wait until the lame-duck to see how Congress responds to Pres. Obama's plan to increase refugee resettlement by 30% in FY2017.

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