Charles Breiterman's picture


  by  Charles Breiterman

A coalition of employers has started a group to lobby for increases in the number of low-skilled immigrants admitted into the United States. NumbersUSA has no hesitation referring you to their website, so that you can see the industries represented: ImmigrationWorks USA.

They claim to need workers for meatpacking, poultry plants, plant nurseries, landscape laborers, construction, restaurant work, and to work in hotels, presumably as maids and janitors. We believe that the website represents yet another lobby asking for a handout from the United States government.

The Nobel Prize-winning, liberal economist Paul Krugman has written, "Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don't pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive." The conservative Heritage Foundation has published a detailed study on this proposition. That low-skilled immigrants are a net cost the United States is one area where knowledgeable liberals and conservatives agree when it comes to immigration.

These cheap labor lobbyists want to import low-wage workers, but these new immigrants will cost the United States more than they will contribute in taxes. The employers will benefit from the low wages, but our society will lose from the cost of the additional low-skill immigrants. It is a lobby seeking a private benefit at public expense.

NumbersUSA would rather see employers raise the wages they pay so that American workers will take these jobs. But this would require the employers to share some of their profits with their workers. Therefore they resist. They would rather have government give them a private benefit by importing low-skill workers.

Former Bush administration official James Pinkerton has written, “The last thing that agribusiness owners want to do is pay the sort of wages that would attract free-born American workers. Nor do they want to invest in the labor-saving technology that would eliminate the need for a huge low-skilled workforce.”

The following pay-outs were recently made by the U.S. government: $123 billion loan to AIG, $25 billion in loan guarantees to the automakers, $700 billion bailout of financial markets, and some $100 billion per week in subsidized loans to distressed investment banks.

Immigration Works is a lobbying group that seeks to advance its interest at the expense of the common good. It is time for the U.S. government to say, "Sorry, we are fresh out of handouts!"

Many open borders groups accuse NumbersUSA of stirring up hate toward immigrants because it opposes the continued importation of low-skilled labor to compete with American workers. Is it wrong for American voters to analyze immigration policy and reject policies that impose costs on taxpayers in order to benefit the cheap labor lobby? I think not.

Illegal Immigration

Updated: Wed, Dec 31st 2008 @ 2:30pm EST

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