America's immigration laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals – protect innocent lives and protect the jobs of American workers. Today's commentary focuses on the way that America's immigration laws can help unemployed and underemployed Americans find jobs and raise their standard of living.
To begin with, let's consider an important AP article that appeared on the Huffington Post Website on July 28, 2013:
Let's consider the first two brief paragraphs from this article:
WASHINGTON – Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.
Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
It is important to note that the report identified “an increasingly globalized U.S. economy” as a contributing factor in the plight of struggling American workers and their families. This includes both outsourcing jobs and importing foreign workers.
The article also noted that affirmative action has historically been used to try to eliminate racial barriers for American minorities – the idea being that poverty can be combated by providing employment opportunities for all Americans.
If affirmative action was developed to provide equal employment opportunities for all Americans as a way of addressing poverty, why in the world are our leaders today focused not on hiring Americans but on importing foreign workers?
Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 codifies the various categories of aliens who are to be excluded from the United States. It begins with aliens whose presence would be dangerous to America and Americans because they suffer dangerous communicable diseases, severe mental illness and are violent or sex offenders or are criminals, spies, terrorists or human rights violators. Additionally, this section of the current immigration laws addresses the issue of foreign workers as noted here:
(A) Labor certification
(i) In general Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that –
(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and
(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.
Clearly these provisions are vital to protect the lives and livelihoods of American workers and their families. Yet, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would legalize unknown millions of illegal aliens and allow for far greater numbers of lawfully admitted foreign workers to the United States. This creates unfair competition for American workers, and current laws are supposed to prevent this situation.
A sensible person who found a hole at the bottom of his boat would seek to plug the hole, not drill more holes in the absurd hope that magically the water filling his boat would drain out of the extra holes. Similarly, the solution to getting Americans back to work is to make certain that Americans – not foreign workers – get available jobs.
It is not anti-immigrant to be pro-American!