Surprise: More Illegal Immigrants Means More Competition For Jobs

Posted: Jun 17, 2012 11:03 AM
Echoes of "they're takin' our jobs!" But, well, maybe, true?

The Washington Post finds that a massive amnesty program for young, educated illegal immigrants will result in a massive spike in demand for jobs. In a recovering economy, this will threaten the already-lackluster employment rate for young Americans.

Steven Camarota, a researcher with the nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, said that the Obama administration was not taking into account the new measure’s probable impact on competition for jobs at the low end of the economic scale, where chronic unemployment is highest. Among Americans with less than a high school education, he said, the jobless rate is 13 percent.

“It doesn’t seem the administration is considering the cascading consequences,” Camarota said. “What does this mean for unemployed Americans who will be competing for jobs with a million-plus people who can now apply for work authorization? Is this really a good idea?”

This all seems pretty obvious but, apparently, it's deserving of a Washington Post report. If you think that America's immigration laws are immoral [pdf], this shouldn't make a difference. But if you're concerned about protecting America's jobs for people who are already Americans, the cost-benefit of legalizing vast swathes of illegal immigrants might be something to take into account.