Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

In yet another attempt to persuade Americans that illegal immigration is good for them, the libertarian CATO Institute is waging a campaign claiming that foreign workers (legal or illegal) don't harm American workers -- they just take jobs that Americans wouldn't do anyway. 

I'll bet you a burrito made with integrity that I can prove CATO wrong at any number of Chipotle restaurants across the country.

CATO's Dan Griswold recently testified against immigration enforcement at the House Immigration Subcommittee. After Republican Members showed no receptivity to his arguments, he took his argument  to the Daily Caller:

Griswold said the Republicans were wrong to claim that enforcing immigration laws to remove illegal aliens and open up jobs would put more Americans back to work. 

That message may play well politically, but it does not reflect the reality of America’s dynamic labor market. There is simply no evidence that immigration drives up the U.S. unemployment rate or that it drives down wages for American workers.

-- Dan Griwold, CATO Institute

Like most others in the pro-illegal-immigration lobby, Griswold cites a bunch of academic studies that he says show that illegal aliens actually create more jobs for U.S. workers because they do jobs that otherwise would go empty and that those jobs make it possible for better jobs to be created to be filled by American workers.

I never cease to marvel at these studies that come up with complicated formulas to prove that what you can see with your very own eyes can't possibly be true.  I think the word for these particular academics is "sophistry."

And I can't think of a better example of educated foolishness than this quote from Griswold:

The best approach to immigration as our economy recovers from recession would be to expand channels for legal entry.

Got that?  The best way to put more Americans back to work is to bring in more foreign workers!  As ridiculous as that sounds to us common Americans, that is the argument that most prevails in the editorial boards of the nation's newspapers, in the think tanks around Washington and among the academics who get quoted. 


The feds have been auditing Chipotle restaurants across the country and finding that the Mexican food being served up there is being cooked, assembled and rung up by thousands of illegal aliens.  As a result, thousands of illegal aliens have been fired or are ceasing to show up for work when they hear their restaurant is about to be audited.

So, according to Griswold (and most of the Democratic U.S. Representatives who sponsored him at the hearing), we are supposed to believe that all those illegal aliens working at Chipotle were not affecting American unemployment.  The Griswold theory -- backed up by all those high-sounding studies -- is that these illegal aliens were just doing jobs American won't do, so nobody was hurt by them being here.

According to the Griswold "studies," what should Americans expect the next time they go to Chipotle after they've heard of an immigration audit there?  Either that the illegal aliens have been replaced by another batch of illegal aliens or that there will be hardly anybody still working there to help them choose between pinto and black beans and whether to go with the tomato salsa or the corn salsa.

Hmmm, I wonder if Griswold's theory is right?  I wish somebody could get a big government grant to do a study and give us an answer.

Oh, wait a minute, I guess those of us regular Americans without those fancy degrees could just walk down to Chipotle and check it out ourselves.

And what have hungry customers across Americans found at Chipotle after all the illegal aliens left? Why, the counters have been fully staffed -- with legal workers.   Chipotle has apparently had no trouble hiring Americans to fill all those positions.  It looks like Americans indeed will grill the chicken, pork and beef and wrap them with your choice of ingredients.

Most Americans have common sense enough to know that if Americans fill the jobs vacated by illegal aliens after an enforcement action, that means those illegal aliens were keeping Americans unemployed while they were holding those jobs.

No evidence that illegal aliens drive up unemployment?

But what do most Americans know, all they have is common sense.  They don't see what CATO sees at Chipotle, which I suppose are a bunch of ghosts, since all kinds of "studies" would indicate that they can't be real Americans who took those jobs that illegal aliens were doing.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

America's Jobless

Updated: Thu, Mar 10th 2011 @ 9:46pm EST

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