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The Key Numbers in My Testimony Added Up To Demand For Immediate Immigration Reductions | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

Home > Hot Topics > Foreign Worker Timeout > The Key Numbers in My Testimony Added Up To Demand For Immediate Immigration Reductions

The Key Numbers in My Testimony Added Up To Demand For Immediate Immigration Reductions

 

I finally got my chance to get a formal hearing before Members of Congress on Thursday for NumbersUSA's year-long argument that U.S. unemployment requires deep, immediate cuts in immigration.

I let the key numbers do the talking. Do you know them? Take a look at the top three below.

Before I give you the first part of my testimony, I want to thank the activist members of NumbersUSA who showed up on Capitol Hill for the hearing. One woman told me she is living in a household with five adult workers, with three of them unemployed. Another woman said she has been unemployed so long that she has "burned through" two 401k retirement plans and has decided to sell her house rather than cash in the third and last pension plan.

Millions of Americans are in crisis because they have lost their jobs and can't get another one.

That is the crisis that I asked Members of Congress to address Thursday. Below, is most of the first section of my written testimony. I hope you will consider it carefully and determine if the main arguments here aren't ones that we should jointly repeat, repeat and repeat to each of our own Members of Congress until they explain why these key numbers should be allowed to stand.

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THE TESTIMONY

KEY NUMBERS POINT TO POLICY CHANGES THAT COULD QUICKLY SAVE LARGE NUMBERS OF JOBS FOR UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS

Excerpt of Written Testimony by Roy Beck, Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Congressional Forum, 'American Jobs in Peril: The Impact of Uncontrolled Immigration'

Nov. 19, 2009, 2237 Rayburn House Office Building

Congressman Smith (Lamar Smith, R-Texas) and other distinguished Members,

. . . . Your hearing today is a flicker of hope that somebody up here cares enough to pay attention to a few key numbers that tend to say all that needs to be said about the necessity of changing immigration policy immediately.I believe that my written testimony outlines convincingly that perhaps hundreds of thousands of additional Americans could be in jobs a year from now if Congress immediately passes a few simple changes in immigration law.

A few key numbers make the case.

First Number -- at least 7 million

The Pew Hispanic Center estimated last spring that 8 million illegal foreign workers held U.S. jobs at that time.

Pew said only 4% of them were in agriculture.

Since that report, many illegal aliens’ jobs have been eliminated. But it is likely that at least 7 million construction, service, manufacturing and transportation jobs are still currently held by illegal foreign workers.

Those are 7 million jobs being sought by more than 7 million less-educated Americans who are currently unemployed and actively seeking a job.

Members of Congress and this Administration need to look at those numbers and come to understand that immigration enforcement is about creating jobs for unemployed Americans. In general, when a government action results in an illegal foreign worker leaving a job, an unemployed American gets to go back to work.

Congressman Smith, the 920,000 members of NumbersUSA in every congressional district of our country wholeheartedly support your efforts to promote far more immigration enforcement as one of the most effective JOBS programs the government can have.

Second Number -- 75,000

It appears that American workers’ own federal government in October issued permanent work permits to about 75,000 working-age immigrants[2] -- 75,000 new LEGAL immigrant workers in just one month.

Third Number -- 190,000

In October, 190,000 U.S. jobs were eliminated.[3] Our government added 75,000 more permanent workers to compete with 16 million unemployed Americans[4] for 190,000 FEWER U.S. jobs.

Since Jan. 1 of this year, it appears that our government already has issued nearly three-quarters of a million new permanent work permits to immigrants.[5]

THESE NUMBERS ARE HIGHLY CREDIBLE

Congress has created an immigration system on auto-pilot so that the unemployment rate of Americans has virtually no effect on the numerical levels.

Consider these numbers from the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Federal records show that two years ago – before the recession began – the federal government issued around 830,000 Green Cards (permanent work permits) to working-age immigrants.[6] 830,000.
  • Last year during the first year of the recession, the government gave away around 875,000 permanent work permits to immigrants. That was an average of around 75,000 per month.[7]

Without any evidence to suggest a significant change this year, it is safe to assume that our government has continued to crank out around 75,000 new permanent work permits to immigrants every month without any regard for how that might affect American workers.

750,000 NEW FOREIGN WORKERS vs. 990,000 JOBS SAVED/CREATED

Based on last year’s rate, it appears that the hand extended by the federal government to unemployed Americans THIS YEAR has already given them nearly 750,000 new immigrants to compete with them for the dwindling number of jobs.

That number is particularly interesting when compared with another number that the White House proclaimed on Oct. 30. The number was 990,000.

The White House announced that the $159 billion of Stimulus money spent thus far, plus the $189 billion of tax relief this year, had created or saved 990,000 jobs.

Putting aside charges by critics that the estimated number was far higher than was credible, compare the 990,000 jobs with the 750,000 new working-age immigrants given permanent work permits during the same period. It would appear that the majority of the $348 billion of Stimulus and tax relief went for jobs needed to just keep up with the workers brought in by our immigration system.

(Please note that I am not even counting the hundreds of thousands of brand new temporary foreign workers during this period. Temporary visas deserve their own consideration but I want to limit my remarks to giving permits for foreign workers to hold U.S. jobs not just this year, but for every year the rest of their lives.)

Of course, not every new immigrant takes a job from a U.S. worker. Many find themselves standing in the same unemployment lines. The U-3 unemployment rate for immigrants has increased from 4.1% in 2007 to 9.7% in 2009.

Congress might ask itself why it is importing an increasing percentage of immigrant workers only to become dependents on government unemployment and social service programs. The 75,000-a-month new permanent worker number is challenged by groups that support the status quo of labor importation. They point out – accurately – that a high percentage of those 75,000 were already in the country at the time they received their Green Card.

For example, an estimated 9,000 to 20,000 each month are illegal aliens who are being granted legal work authorization for the first time.

Other new Green Card recipients have been in the United States a short time on temporary visas for students, workers, tourists and others.The fact that those foreign workers were already here doesn’t mean that they had to stay. The federal government doesn’t have to adjust the status of most of these illegal or temporary visitors into permanent competitors for U.S. jobs.

It could—in the middle of an unemployment disaster -- let the visas run out and the workers, tourists and students go home as they promised when they sought the visas in the first place.

NUMBERS ADD UP TO NECESSITY FOR POLICY CHANGE

The questions that most Americans hearing these startling numbers are sure to ask are:

  • Why does Congress continue to order up 75,000 new permanent foreign workers each month at a time of so much suffering by unemployed Americans and the families that often depend on them?
  • And: Why not cut the 75,000 each month as close to zero as possible as long as the overall U-3 unemployment rate remains above, say, 5%?

Congressman Smith and other distinguished Members, I suggest to you that these few simple numbers demand immediate attention.The numbers demand the introduction of legislation to SUSPEND the issuance of as many permanent work visas as possible during this Jobs Depression.And the numbers demand tenacious and concerted public education efforts to build support for the Suspension Legislation among the general public. . . .

(more testimony will be posted at a later date)

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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[2] Monger, Randall and Nancy Rytina. “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2008.” Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics. March 2009. In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64 – an average of 73,386 per month.

[3] United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to data released on November 6, 2009, 190,000 payroll jobs were lost in October, 2009.

[4] Ibid., According to data released on November 6, 2009, 15.7 million Americans were considered to be unemployed in October, 2009. This is the U-3 category counting only those actively looking for a job who can’t find any job, not even a part-time one.

[5] Monger, Randall and Nancy Rytina. “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2008.” Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics. March 2009. In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64. Based on that same rate for this year (for which no official data has been released), approximately 733,860 permanent residency permits would have been issued during the first 10 months of 2009.

[6] Ibid., In 2007 the United States issued 835,697 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64.

[7] Ibid., In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64 – an average of 73,386 per month.

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