A study by the Center for Immigration Studies concludes two-thirds of the net increase in employment since President Obama took office has gone to immigrants and illegal aliens. The analysis calls into question the wisdom of bringing in more than one million new legal immigrants each year.
Additional findings of the study:
- There were 1.94 million more immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the 3rd quarter of 2012 than at the start of 2009, when the president took office. This compares to a 938,000 increase for the native-born over the same time period.
- Most of the growth in immigrant employment went to newly arrived immigrants, rather than immigrants already in the country. Some 1.6 million new immigrant workers have arrived from abroad since the start of 2009 – we estimate 70 to 90 percent entered legally.
- Immigrants made employment gains across the labor market. In occupations where immigrant gains were the largest, there were 2.2 million unemployed natives.
- A large share of employment growth was already going to immigrants well before the president took office. However, he has taken steps to increase the level of job competition from foreign-born workers by offering executive amnesty to certain illegal aliens under the age of 31, refusing to deport illegal aliens discovered at work sites, and challenging state enforcement laws in the courts.
Steven Camarota, one of the authors of the study, concluded "It's extraordinary that most of the employment growth in the last four years has gone to the foreign-born, but what's even more extraordinary is the issue has not even come up during a presidential election that is so focused on jobs…(T)he bottom fell out, yet we kept legal immigration relatively high without even a national debate. As a consequence, a lot of the job growth has been going to immigrants."