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  by  Roy Beck

CATO Institute's Dan Griswold suggests that the U.S. faces a crisis in filling lower skilled jobs because we aren't producing as many high school dropouts as in the past.

. . . the cohort of U.S. workers who have traditionally filled those jobs, namely high school dropouts, continues to shrink. In the past decade, the number of adults 25 and older without a high school diploma fell by 3.2 million, and their ranks will fall by another 2 million to 3 million in the next decade.

-- CATO's Dan Griswold

This is the kind of open-border libertarianism that gives the willies to thoughtful libertarians who believe in national communities. 

He was writing this in the Washington Times -- which is read heavily by the Republican staffers and Members of Congress.  He was warning that the Democratic proposals for "comprehensive immigration reform" are not likely to bring enough low-educated, low-skilled foreign workers into our country, even after giving an amnesty to approximately 8 million low-educated, low-skilled illegal alien workers already here.

Griswold said the amnesty needs to greatly increase temporary worker programs for low-educated, low-skilled foreign workers.

. . .recognize the reality that the U.S. economy benefits from low-skilled immigration. As the United States shakes off a deep recession, it is only a matter of time before job growth resumes, including lower-end jobs in retail, landscaping, food preparation and service, and home and commercial cleaning that attract low-skilled immigrants. . . .Yet our current immigration system offers no legal pathway for anywhere near a sufficient number of foreign-born workers to fill that growing, structural gap in our labor market.

-- CATO's Dan Griswold

OK, how about a little reality check?

First, American schools and disfunctional families are doing a much better job than Griswold gives them credit for producing high school drop-outs.

  • We have around 15 million native-born Americans between 18 and 65 who are high school dropouts.
  • Less than 7 million of them have jobs.

The official U-3 unemployment rate for the high school dropouts of our own is more than DOUBLE that of the rest of the nation's citizens, who are doing pretty awful themselves.

Wages and poverty rates for those who DO have jobs have been deteriorating for years.

Nothing in any government statistics suggests to me that our high school dropouts are in short supply and highly valued for their essential work.

Frankly, I am guessing that the Griswold idea is that people who do retail, landscaping, food preparation and service, and home and commercial cleaning deserve really low wages, and we might someday have to pay them a livable wage if we don't import enough foreign peasants to be our semi-slaves.

Feel free to share your opinion about the need for more foreign drop-outs with the folks at CATO.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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America's Jobless
low-skill visas
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