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Here is the explanation and justification for saying that the federal government brings in 1.5 million new foreign workers each year (125,000 a month) to take U.S. jobs while Americans lose theirs. (This is a key number in our national TV ad campaign.)
For months, the open-borders blogosphere has insisted that NumbersUSA is telling tall tales when we talk about these numbers. Most of the commentators and open-borders politicians even claim that we have no source for our information.
So, once again, let us lay out the federal government's own data.
All the data in this blog represent the most recent 12 months for which government data are available.
At NumbersUSA, we always go with well-sourced, mainstream numbers, even though there may be credible arguments for numbers that make our case even better. As you will see, we have been going with a rather moderate number to describe the insanity of a federal government importing foreign workers to take a dwindling number of jobs while increasing numbers of Americans lose their jobs.
NEW PERMANENT & TEMPORARY WORK PERMITS -- 160,000 PER MONTH
That is the number of PERMANENT work permits given in the form of green cards to working-age immigrants over the 12-month period.
(SOURCE: U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics)
None of these people has ever gotten a green card before.
These green cards are the most insidious aspect. Every year, our federal government hands out PERMANENT access to U.S. jobs to nearly a million foreign adults through our legal immigration system. In 2008 while our economy was suffering the worst collapse since the Great Depression, our government continued to flood the occupations of beleaguered U.S. workers at this incredible pace.
Lots of people in think tanks that ought to know better have thrown ridiculous accusations at us, such as claiming that the feds can't possibly have given 951,000 green cards to immigrant workers since the law only allows greencards to 140,000 skilled and 5,000 unskilled workers per year.
This is the kind of deception that the high-immigration people often use. Most immigrants don't come on employment visas but through lottery, family, refugee and chain migration categories. What, these adults don't take jobs, they just go on welfare?
In fact, all immigrants (employment-based or otherwise) enter the job market at even higher rates than American natives. And that's a big problem when there are 951,000 of them a year during a Jobs Depression.
That is the number of new TEMPORARY work permits given to foreign workers who were getting them for the FIRST time during the most recent reported 12 months.
(SOURCE: U.S. Department of State Visa Office)
Many, many more foreign workers were getting work permit renewals during the 12 months, which also didn't make any sense. But because we are moderate in the way we state our numbers, we haven't been counting the renewals. We just count the new people getting the temporary permits.
That is the total number of separate foreign citizens who were either getting a new temporary work permit or getting a permanent green card.
Our federal government had the choice to not bring in a single one of these competing workers.
Instead, it gave out nearly 1.9 million new work permits to 1.9 million separate foreign workers.
1.5 million a year
This somewhat smaller number counts how many of the 1.9 million had not already been working in the United States.
The U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics reports that 57.9% of adult green card recipients were already working in the U.S. The feds had the choice not to give them permanent access to U.S. jobs but did, to the detriment of U.S. workers. Nonetheless, most of them are not technically "new recipients of foreign-worker visas."
But about 100,000 to 250,000 of them were new recipients because they were working here illegally and had not previously had a work permit.
The chart shows how many new temporary workers came for 14 different temporary work visa categories.
It then shows the government's figure of 396,265 working-age green card recipients who had not previously been living in the U.S.
And it estimates that an additional 100,000 to 250,000 of the working-age green card recipients had been in the U.S. illegally but had never previously had a work permit.
The end result is a range between 1,443,265 and 1,593,605 who were new foreign workers with the legal right to take a U.S. job.
A nice round, medium number is 1.5 million which -- as the above stats and math show -- is a highly-sourced, credible approximation of the magnitude of damage the federal immigration programs are doing to unemployed Americans.
125,000 a month
1.5 million divided by 12 gives you 125,000 a month.
Using the most recent 12-month statistics in every category of available government data (primarily 2008), that is how many foreign workers the feds have given first-time work visas to -- EACH MONTH.
I have seen little effort to reduce this foreign-worker importation.
And I have seen considerable effort by Congress and the Administration to keep the importation as high as possible while talking about the need to increase it.
You should feel free to use the 160,000-a-month figure for the separate new green cards and new temporary work permits given. Just be sure that you know that about 35,000 a month are green cards to foreign workers who already were here on temporary permits.
NumbersUSA is using the more-conservatively-stated 125,000-a-month figure for "new foreign workers."
Will the high-immigration think tanks and advocacy groups ever admit to these facts? Or will they continue to try to convince their constituents that our immigration policies only bring in a handful of workers?
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Originally Published: Wed, Aug 19th 2009 @ 3:15pm EDT