By Joe Guzzardi
May 1, 2013
During the weeks preceding the formal unveiling of the ludicrously named Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2103, S. 744, the Gang of Eight authors dominated the headlines with their empty promises.
Led by an all too familiar cast of characters that included Senators John McCain, Marco Rubio and Chuck Schumer as the most often quoted hucksters, the Gang deceitfully pledged that its bill would tighten the border as never before. But a less discussed negative: it would also give legal work authorization to 11 million illegal aliens while at the same time inviting in tens of millions more foreign-born nationals. All this was disingenuously promoted under the guise of benefiting Americans.
But since the 844-page S.744 dropped two weeks ago, analysts have had time to review its contents and have, not surprisingly, found shocking details buried in the legislation that, if passed, would transform America.
According to NumbersUSA, a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan, non-profit organization that encourages sensible immigration, during S. 744’s first decade, 33 million additional foreign workers would be competing for scarce American jobs. Here’s the math: the existing 11 million illegal aliens, plus 11 million new immigrants who would arrive by continuing existing immigrant categories and 11 million more through new immigration categories and expanded green card provisions. As bad as the first decade’s 33 million total is, future decades will experience the same high immigration levels that would devastate the American workforce.
Critics can look at 33 million in two ways. First, from a jobs perspective, adding 3.3 million new workers annually (275,000 per month) to the labor force exceeds existing job creation. In March, for example, the economy added a net 88,000 jobs. A staggering 496,000 discouraged people dropped out of the labor force, and 206,000 fewer reported actually having a job. Therefore, even though the official March unemployment rate declined from 7.7 to 7.6 percent, the proportion of Americans currently employed fell, not rose. With 22 million Americans unemployed or under-employed, the last thing the nation needs is a larger, legally authorized worker population.
Second, 33 million more people would compromise Americans’ already endangered quality of life. The current U.S. population is about 315 million; 33 million more represents a 10 percent increase exclusive of natural increases through births that would push the total even higher. Most American communities are already over-extended and under-funded; schools, hospitals, highways and housing have reached or exceeded their ability to cope with current population. More people would create more stressful environmental conditions that no one wants.
Observations that the U.S. should limit immigration in the name of American job security or environmental protection are often met with charges of xenophobia and racism. But facts prove otherwise. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, the U.S. legal immigrant population has increased more than 30 percent since 2000 from 31.1 million to 40.4 million. During the same period, illegal immigration has also increased to 11.1 million from 8.4 million.
S. 744 is not in the national interest. The bill was written in Vatican-style secrecy and in cahoots with Beltway special interest groups that include the Chamber of Commerce, labor, the agriculture industry and the Hispanic lobby.
Proving how damaging the bill is for Americans is easy. Ask yourself one simple question: How do I personally benefit from the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act?
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]