Reps. Lamar Smith and Gary Miller
Reps. Lamar Smith and Gary Miller

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A new study commissioned by the Chicago Urban League and the Alternative Schools Network reveals the negative impacts of illegal immigration on low-skilled American workers, specifically teens and young adults.

As a result of the study, the group is calling for $1.5 billion of economic stimulus money to help employ young Americans or get them re-enrolled in school. The study found that the unemployment rate among Illinois teens was 20 points below the 2000 level, setting an all-time high. But increased immigration enforcement to root out the estimated 7 million illegal aliens in the U.S. workforce would help free up jobs for America's lower skilled workers.

Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.), who introduced the LEAVE Act that would increase interior enforcement, released a statement about the study's findings.

During the course of the 2007-2009 recession, the employment rate of the nation’s teen[s] feel steeply to 26.2% by October-November 2009, setting new record lows each year. No other age group has experienced employment declines of this magnitude in the current recession. Young adults 20-24 years old in both Illinois and the nation also have been adversely affected by the deterioration in labor market developments in the state and nation in recent years, especially men, Blacks and Hispanics, and non-college graduates.

-- Representatives Smith and Miller

In their joint statement, Reps. Smith and Miller said that the jobs these Americans and legal immigrants seek are the same jobs held by illegal aliens.

“The fact is that illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged citizens and legal immigrants. The best outcome for low-skilled citizen and legal immigrant workers is the removal of the illegal immigrant population. The very jobs that illegal immigrants occupy rightfully belong to out of work citizens and legal immigrants," Ranking Member Smith added. “With 15 million Americans out of work, we need to enforce immigration laws and oppose amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants. We must stand up for citizens and legal immigrants.”

“At home in California, almost weekly I hear from my constituents that illegal immigration is exacerbating the unemployment crisis," Rep. Miller said. "Today’s report that a record number of young Americans are jobless once again highlights the fact that we must enforce our current immigration laws to ensure illegals do not take away jobs that rightfully belong to American and legal workers.”

Reps. Smith and Miller recently formed the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus.

America's Jobless
American workers
Illegal Immigration