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American Workers Ask: “What’s in it for me?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Senate Bill 744 will grant legal work authorization to 57 million green card holders and non-immigrant guest workers over the next decade. It does this through a combination of granting amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens already here, expediting approval for immigrants currently waiting in-line, expanding chain migration, raising caps on existing guest worker categories and creating new worker visas. Given that virtually all of these additional people will be scrambling for scarce jobs in a tight economy, “what’s in it for me” is a fair question, especially if you’re one of the 22 million unemployed or underemployed in America.


We know what’s in it for illegal aliens demanding amnesty, aliens waiting to come in, big business addicted to cheap labor, and party leaders salivating at the thought of adding more voters. But a thorough review of the 844-page bill that Senator Marco Rubio assures us will “grow our economy, create jobs and protect American workers,” reveals nothing but rising surpluses of labor and stiffer competition in virtually every job every category.

High Tech Workers

If you’re employed in the science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields and haven’t had a raise in a while and noticed an increasing number of your co-workers are from India, China or Pakistan and willing to work for peanuts, take out your slide rule and put two and two together. Prepare yourself for even more wage stagnation because the Senate bill intends to increase H-1Bs from 65,000 to 110,000 a year, despite the fact that America graduates two to three times more STEM degree holders annually than are actually hired into the field. The net effect is that U.S. workers will be displaced and American students will be discouraged from investing in high-tech education.

Low Skilled Workers
Our apologies for including anyone who can swing a hammer in this category because those of us who pound our thumbs purple think you possess a coveted skill. That said, the Gang of Eight doesn’t have much regard for protecting wages and working opportunities for construction, hospitality, janitorial, retail, and other similar lower skill or wage jobs because they claim these professions depend on foreign labor. The evidence says otherwise.


In almost all the occupations to which unskilled and semi-skilled foreign – and illegal – workers gravitate, Americans already hold most of the jobs. Native born workers account for well over half of all housekeepers, maids, and taxi drivers in the U.S., almost two-thirds of all the butchers, meat processors, ground maintenance and construction workers, and three-fourths of all porters, bellhops and janitors.

The refrain “These are jobs American’s won’t do” has never been true, but if the Senate bill becomes law, there will be plenty of jobs Americans can’t do because they’ll be shut out by huge flows of new immigrants and foreign guest workers willing to work for ever decreasing wages. And, the impact will be felt hard in communities already disproportionately affected by low skill illegal and legal immigration, including African-American males who face a 13.2% unemployment rate.

The Gang of Eight doesn’t care. Their bill creates a new W guest worker program on top of the existing guest worker programs, which we really don’t need. Through this program, up to 200,000 additional “unskilled” workers will arrive each year hoping to take those jobs you’re already doing.

And all the Rest of Us
While most of us don’t fit neatly into particular categories, we all share one goal: to enjoy job security and rising wages in a robust economy. But that hasn’t been happening and immigration has a lot to do with it.


Even while America has been steadily losing manufacturing jobs overseas and endures a 7.5% unemployment rate, we continue to import 1 million legal immigrants each year, many of them poorly-skilled and government-dependent. Beyond that, we also admit an additional 800,000 foreign guest workers annually.

We’re not adding immigrants to fill available job openings; we’re struggling to produce 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with those entering the workforce as a result of population growth, which is fueled mostly by rampant immigration. Thus, our current immigration system has become nothing more than a nonsensical, self-propagating turnstile constantly admitting more immigrants and more guest workers chasing fewer and fewer jobs for lower wages. Any notion of adjusting immigration to achieve a healthier balance between the supply of labor and available jobs was dispensed with long ago.

But the Gang of Eight has studied the issue carefully and developed a strategy they call reform.

They want to triple legal immigration and double the number of foreign guest workers.

The Gang of Eight - egged on by President Obama - propose to dramatically increase population, flood the labor market, depress wages, increase unemployment, further strain government dependency programs and fuel more income inequality and redistribution; in short, they want to overwhelm and collapse any remaining equilibrium between supply and demand for labor.


It’s a strategy all right and it encapsulates virtually every transformational change Obama has dreamed of since college, but it’s not one that has anything to do with reforming our immigration system to serve our national interest.

So, the honest answer to the very fair question of “what’s in for you,” is absolutely nothing. Upon examination, Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, might be more truthfully labeled the War on the American Worker Act.

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