Partisan D.C. “Think Tanks” Crank Out Self Serving Reports to Justify American Job Displacement

Published on January 1st, 2012

Talk about having legs, the new so called study from the extreme left wing American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership for a New American Economy has spread through Cyberspace like proverbial wildfire.

Titled Immigration and American Jobs, the report authored by economist Madeleine Zavodny claims that for every H-1B visa issued to a foreign-born worker with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM fields), 262 new American jobs are created. Other visa classifications like the H-2A and H-2B visas are also, according to Zavondy, hugely beneficial to American workers.

Zavodny’s unsurprising conclusion given her thinly veiled bias is that the United States visa policy is too restrictive and that the best way to jump start the economy is to flood the market with as many H-1B’s and guest workers as possible—preferably an unlimited number.

Her conclusion:

"Immigration policy can, and should, be a significant component of America’s economic recovery. Targeted changes to immigration policy geared toward admitting more highly educated immigrants and more temporary workers for specific sectors of the economy would help generate the growth, economic opportunity, and new jobs that America needs."

I read the study’s online version here but found that it did not offer any supporting evidence.

The idea that adding more workers to a depressed economy is somehow helpful to unemployed and under-employed Americans is indefensible. At best, even if each new non-immigrant visa holder started a business—something that will not happen—years would pass before his capital investment paid off to the point where he could hire meaningful numbers of new employees.

Furthermore, there is a well established pattern among many foreign-born entrepreneurs that they prefer to sponsor workers from their native country so that they can join them in the United States. Not only does this not result in an American job but it adds more people who create greater demands on our already overburdened social services network and overtaxed environment.

“Studies” like Zavodny’s—-and there are dozens of them—ignore the most obvious arguments against increasing non-immigrant visa numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an organization that unlike Zavodny’s American Enterprise Institute has credibility, reported that during the last year the United States lost 19,740 computer jobs, 107,200 engineering jobs and 243,870 science jobs.

Nevertheless, bogus research like Zavodny’s that she conducts with predetermined conclusions are regularly cranked out by Beltway immigration enthusiasts in an effort to give the open borders lobby something to hang its hat on. In the meantime, American workers continue to be displaced by the foreign-born, a pattern that has become commonplace over the last three decades.

In 2008, American job displacement exceeded the tipping point. Census Bureau data between 2008 and 2010 showed that despite millions of unemployed Americans, over a million foreign-born found jobs. [Over a Million Immigrants Land Jobs in 2008-2010, by Ed Stoddard, Reuters, January 21, 2011]

Congress has encouraged and sanctioned the massive jobs loss that has crippled America.

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