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2020 DEMOCRATIC Presidential Primary Candidates

 

Worker-Protection Immigration Grade Cards

How each candidate's immigration positions would loosen or tighten the labor supply and affect market pressures to raise wages and recruit from underutilized U.S. populations.

 

Updated: September 17, 2019
(Ratings & grades updated weekly -- includes candidates whose Real Clear Politics average polling reached 2% during the month.)

 

THE PROBLEM: For too many Americans, the economy is not working. The government's unemployment rate is low, but it doesn't count millions of workers who wanted a full-time jobs last month but couldn't find one.1 The employment rate is especially low for African Americans and for Millennials of all ethnicities without a college degree.2 The economy is also not working well for tens of millions of other Americans where inflation-adjusted wages are still lower than in the 1970s.3
THE QUESTION: Which should government immigration policies be designed to do?
[ ] Push businesses to raise wages and work harder to recruit underserved/underutilized Americans even if it causes prices to rise, or
[ ] Continue to allow nearly 2 million new immigrants, illegal migrants and guest workers each year to make it easier for businesses to fill jobs and hold down costs.
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS' ANSWERS: 71% recruit Americans -- 13% provide foreign workers. (See polls.)

THE GRADES reflect how well the combined immigration positions of a candidate would protect American workers' jobs and wages while encouraging employers to recruit among underutilized U.S. populations.


2020 Presidential Hopefuls


(Click on photos for quotes)
SPECIFIC COMMITMENT TO RECRUITING AMERICAN WORKERS & RAISING WAGES
IMMIGRATION POLICIES THAT REDUCE THE ILLEGAL LABOR SUPPLY THAT ALLOWS BUSINESS TO BYPASS RECRUITING AMERICAN WORKERS
 
IMMIGRATION POLICIES THAT ENCOURAGE AMERICAN RECRUITMENT BY RESTRICTING UNNECESSARY BUSINESS & OTHER WORK PERMITS
 
picture
Joe
Biden
(DEM)
Biden
Biden
picture
Booker
Booker
Buttigieg
Buttigieg
Harris
Harris
O'Rourke
O'Rourke
Sanders
Sanders
Warren
Warren
picture
Yang
Yang

WHAT DO THESE GRADES MEASURE?
For the most part, candidates are being measured by the recommendations and principles of the bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform which favored an immigration system that protects the interests of American wage-earners (both U.S.-born and foreign-born). Commission members were chosen by leaders of each party in the Senate and House, with Chairwoman Barbara Jordan appointed by Pres. Bill Clinton.

UPDATED WEEKLY:
Every week, we add statements by candidates that modify or add texture to a candidate's stances. Then, each category rating and grade is re-calculated weekly.

HOW THE HOPEFULS ARE ORDERED ON THE GRID: In alphabetical order.

WHAT ARE WE MISSING?
Are you aware of statements by a candidate that we don't have, especially if they suggest a different stance than what we show? If so, send url links to us at: elections2020@numbersusa.com

WHAT COUNTS MOST IN RATINGS?
Past actions as a legislator or governor are important. Usually more important, though, are the promises a candidate makes on his/her website, in official press releases and in statements reported in credible media. We are looking for specifics in what candidates say they would do if elected President. We usually give more weight to recent statements and actions. But we watch for signs of deception and waffling in the past that challenge credibility. We always give candidates the opportunity to clarify statements, especially in direct communication with us.

HOW TO DIG DEEPER:
(a) Click on a candidate's photo to view all statements & actions that led to the rating for each category.
(b) Hover over the category titles in the left column for a quick description of what a category is about.
(c) Click on the question marks in the left column for a full description of what a candidate needs to do to achieve a pro-worker rating in a category and why it is important to American workers.

HOW YOU CAN OJECTIVELY RELY ON THE GRADES:
NumbersUSA has a point of view and agrees with the "Jordan Commission" that a tighter labor market is better for the American people. So, we give the high grades to candidates who prefer tightening the labor supply, and we give low grades to candidates who favor looser labor supplies. But everybody can rely on the spectrum upon which we place each candidate. If you disagree with NumbersUSA and think the U.S. would be better off by adding more foreign workers into the current labor surplus, you still can depend on our grading system to tell you which candidates are best for you on immigration policy by looking for the F and D grades.

ARE THE GRADECARDS A FORM OF ENDORSEMENT OR OPPOSITION?
NO! We understand that people choose to back candidates based on their stands on many different policy issues, as well as on their character, experience and leadership. We intend our Grade Cards to be the most reliable source for judging a candidate on one issue: how to modify immigration policies to add or reduce the number of foreign workers competing with American workers in U.S. jobs.

1 In August 2019, 6.05 million were officially unemployed, meaning they actively looking for work; 4.38 million were working part-time but wanted a full-time job; 3.0 million of those not in the labor force “want a job now.” Additionally, 1.56 million were classified as “marginally attached to the labor force” meaning they want a job and have looked at some point in the last 12 months but were not currently looking. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Employment Situation – August 2019,” Tables A-1 and A-16.

2 The employment rate for U.S.-born Blacks is 66.8%% compared to 73.3% for all workers. For 18-29 year olds without a high school diploma, the employment rate is 49.2%; for 18-29 year olds without a college degree it is 67.9%. Center for Immigration Studies, “The Employment Situation of Immigrants and Natives in the Fourth Quarter of 2018.”

3 “After adjusting for inflation…today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power it did in 1978, following a long slide in the 1980s and early 1990s and bumpy, inconsistent growth since then.” Pew Research Center, “For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades,” August 7, 2018.