Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., issued a statement today in response to President Obama’s speech on the decline in economic conditions for U.S. workers. Excerpts are below.
“It is shocking for the President to give a speech about income disparity and falling wages while pushing an immigration plan that will hammer American workers and widen the disparity. The Congressional Budget Office confirms the White House-backed plan would reduce wages, reduce per capita GNP, and increase unemployment. The President says people are worried ‘the system is rigged’ and yet it is the President who has teamed up with a small cadre of CEOs to double the flow of immigrant workers when these exact same companies are laying off American workers in droves.
“Wages for American workers are lower today than they were more than a decade ago—and take-home pay has fallen each year since the President came into office. A recent study demonstrated that all net job growth since 2000 has gone to immigrant workers while the number of U.S.-born Americans working has declined by 1.3 million.
“The President’s policies also threaten college students who are about to enter a difficult economy. His plan would more than double the number of temporary foreign workers for wealthy tech companies. As Professor Ron Hira, a leading expert on H-1B visas, has noted, the visas are being used for ‘facilitating offshoring and providing employers with cheap, temporary labor—while reducing job opportunities for American high-tech workers in the process.’
“Harvard professor Dr. George Borjas found that high levels of immigration between 1980 and 2000 caused the wages of lower-skilled American workers to drop nearly 8 percent. He also found current immigration levels have resulted in a $402 billion annual wage loss for workers but a $437 billion increase in profits for business owners.
“It is time to have an open and honest conversation about our shrinking middle class and the consequences of our immigration policies on American workers and their wages. Unfortunately, that is not what we got from the President today.”