The March unemployment news is shocking -- just like it has been every month for the last year.
- The official unemployment rate jumped from 8.1% to 8.5%!
- 663,000 U.S. jobs were eliminated.
- There are now 13.2 million Americans looking for a job who can't find even a part-time job.
- Yet, many of the nation's richest foundations, most prestigious newspapers and top elected officials continue to call for an increase in foreign workers.
NumbersUSA believes that beating the proposed increases isn't nearly enough. We continue to call for a suspension of most immigration during this jobs crisis.
Our calculations based on the most recent government data estimate that the feds gave out 138,000 permanent work permits (green cards for immigrants) and new temporary work permits (for temporary workers) to foreigners during March. That makes around 400,000 foreign workers during this new year of the new Administration and new Congress, which are acting just like the last Administration in callousness. You would think we had a jobs surplus and a worker shortage in this country with the way the feds behave.
Still, I think I may see a slight glimmer of hope.
YOUR RELENTLESS FAX/PHONE PROTESTS ARE SLOWLY SHIFTING THE STORY
From your comments to us, I know that many of you are frustrated after months of contacting Members of Congress, the Administration and the news media, insisting that they consider immigration policy in the context of lost jobs.
But it looks like your efforts and the steady drumbeat of depressing jobs information may be starting to break through.
Vice President Biden's comments in Central America this last week are perhaps the brightest sign of your success.
For months of shouting the numbers (jobs lost and foreign workers imported), we couldn't seem to get any news media to mention American unemployment in the same stories that talked about immigration policy proposals. It was as if the journalists of America couldn't grasp (or weren't allowed by their cheap-labor-loving publishers to grasp) that immigration numbers are directly related to labor force issues.
But while hundreds of thousands more Americans were losing their jobs in March and another 138,000 foreign workers were allowed to take U.S. jobs, we began seeing more and more media including in their immigration stories that the unemployment situation might make it difficult to pass "comprehensive immigration reform" this year.
News stories no longer are focused mainly on the inevitability of passage.
One breakthrough that is needed is for all media to be forced to explain that "comprehensive immigration reform" is a cover-up phrase for allowing 7 million illegal foreign workers to permanently keep U.S. jobs and for importing millions more foreign workers each decade. Put those facts in the same paragraph with "13.2 million Americans are looking for a job and can't find one" and supporters of comprehensive immigration reform look pretty foolish -- and cruel.
Apparently Vice Pres. Biden could easily see how foolish and cruel it looked when he was pressed about immigration issues in Costa Rica. Instead of the usual open-borders line of the feds, Biden said a very wise thing:
It's difficult to tell a constituency while unemployment is rising, they're losing their jobs and their homes, that what we should do is in fact legalize (illegal immigrants) and stop all deportation."
Friends, we must continue to shout these numbers about foreign workers and American unemployment until all of Washington gets the message that Biden got -- and until Congress actually begins working to reduce immigration.
Let the Administration know that you appreciate Vice Pres. Biden's comments. Tell your Members of Congress that Biden is right but that Congress must go further and suspend most immigration (except for spouses and minor children and exceptional-needs refugees).
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Apr 14th 2009 @ 11:57am EDT