In response to the latest unemployment report, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich laments that anemic job growth isn't even keeping up with U.S. population growth, which requires 125,000 new jobs every month just to keep unemployment from getting worse. Reich neglects to acknowledge that seventy-five percent of U.S. population growth is due to government-controlled immigration policies.
Ironically, Reich favors increasing immigration. Reich refers to our current economic situation as a "no jobs recovery," and his sentiments are echoed by the Treasury Secretary, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, among others. Yet none of them have called for reductions in foreign worker importation, which has remained steady over the past decade, despite two recessions.
Despite the grim outlook for American workers, the prospect of U.S. jobs continues to lure foreign workers, even those seeking illegal employment. The Los Angeles Times reports that "an undetermined number, perhaps thousands," of illegal aliens from India have entered the U.S. undetected in the past year by way of a smuggling pipeline that runs across the southern border. Many who have been caught have filed for asylum, claiming that they face persecution in India, but analysts who study India say there is no reason to believe those claims. The prevailing wisdom is that this group of illegal aliens are "simply seeking economic opportunities."
In other words, they crossed the border illegally so they could get a job from employers who don't use E-Verify.
The LA Times' reporter understandably describes the group as "mostly young men from poor villages" (the average Indian makes less than one-tenth of the average American). Yet, according to The Times of India, the areas the men claim to be from are "two of India's (relatively) more prosperous states, but also ones associated with enterprise." Indeed, the LA Times describes a complicated journey that takes these illegal job seekers from Mumbai to Dubai, then on to South America, and finally through Guatemala to Mexico, where "the Indians usually wade across the Rio Grande, and then are shuttled from stash houses to transportation rings that take them north."
The journey isn't cheap either. Few of the 22 million unemployed American workers could afford the $12,000-$20,000 smuggling fee.
Clearly, there are millions - even billions - of people around the world who would make the same attempt as these Indians if they could. Even in a jobless recovery, the U.S. economy looks attractive to the world's poor. At great risk and cost to themselves and their families, they will continue to come until we remove the jobs magnet that lures them, or depress the jobs outlook enough to no longer be attractive to the Third World; whichever comes first.
JEREMY BECK is the Director of Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 2:54pm EDT