The text of Reps. Miller, Smith and Myrick introducing the Caucus (watch the video):
RECLAIM AMERICAN JOBS CAUCUS
I’m Congressman Lamar Smith, and I’m joined today by my colleagues Gary
Miller and Sue Myrick. We co-chair the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus.
We formed the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus because, right now, with
unemployment hovering around 10 percent, we thought it was time to talk
about the direct link between unemployment and illegal immigration.
The numbers are simple. At last estimate there were more than 8 million
illegal immigrants in the U.S. labor force. And there are more than 15
million unemployed American citizens and legal immigrants. In my home state
of California, there are 2.2 million unemployed but 1.8 million illegal
immigrants in the labor force.
In North Carolina, there are almost half a million unemployed Americans, but
250,000 illegal immigrants in the labor force…
In Texas, there are 1 million unemployed but 925,000 illegal immigrants in
the labor force…
And there are similar figures all across America. That’s just not right.
If we were to just enforce the current immigration laws on the books, we
would cut unemployment in half! But the Obama administration is just not
serious about immigration enforcement. And nowhere that more apparent than
in workplace immigration enforcement. In the last year, administrative
arrests have fallen 68%. Those are deportation cases. Criminal arrests are
down 60%, criminal indictments have fallen 58%, and criminal convictions are
It doesn’t stop there. In one recent case, the Obama administration first
arrested, then released, several illegal immigrants – then drove them to
work! The administration is also once again pushing for amnesty for millions
of illegal immigrants. And open-borders advocates are coming to Washington
to rally their cause. It is an insult to every American and a great irony
that as activists are flooding our nation’s capitol asking for new rights
and citizenship, millions of citizens and legal immigrants are literally out
pounding the pavement looking for work – any work.
Dozens of our colleagues in Congress agree, and joined our caucus. Together,
we will promote policies to help citizens and legal immigrants reclaim the
nearly eight million jobs that illegal immigrants currently hold. The
Reclaim American Jobs Caucus will turn off the magnet that draws illegal
immigration. We will push for the expanded use of the E-Verify system that
allows employers to validate the eligibility of new hires, enforcement of
workplace immigration laws, encourage attrition through enforcement, and
oppose policies – like amnesty - that encourage illegal immigration.
The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus will continue our efforts to get Americans
back to work. Millions are hurting and it is time we move them from jobless
** END **
Originally Published: Fri, Mar 19th 2010 @ 3:32pm EDT