Home > Hot Topics > Foreign Worker Timeout > LEGAL Immigration - A Tool for Modern Day Slavery

LEGAL Immigration - A Tool for Modern Day Slavery


When NumbersUSA aired the "Lower LEGAL Immigration" ad during two recent GOP national debates, a number of individuals posted comments on Twitter in disbelief that any organization would advocate lower legal immigration levels. Amnesty is the only form of LEGAL immigration that some are willing to stand against. However, just because something is legal doesn't make it morally right. For example, if the African Slave trade were still in operation today, I would stand against it.

I explored the immigration - slavery connection in a previous blog; however, yesterday I was once again reminded that some legal immigration is an ingredient for replacing hard working Americans with modern day immigrant "slaves."

OregonLive reported that the Department of Labor found that Oregonian forestry contractors who had receive federal stimulus funds used the money to hire foreign workers instead of unemployed Americans. The contractors used some loopholes within the H-2B (low-skill temporary work visa) program to avoid hiring U.S. workers to hire cheap foreign workers instead. Consider the following quote from the OregonLive news:

Victor Gomez, the office manager at GE Forestry, argued as much to Chu, lauding the Hispanics' work ethic. "I think they're more motivated for that money. They don't have unemployment to go on. If they don't work, they go back to Mexico."

Think about what Victor Gomez is admitting in that statement. As recently as 2009, Americans held the very jobs he is now hiring "Hispanics" (his term, not mine) for.

Gomez can't threaten to send Americans home. He can threaten a LEGAL alien holding an H-2B visa. Americans have unemployment to fall back on, the LEGAL immigrants with visas do not.

What he is admitting is that the Hispanics fear losing their job more than Americans do. Gomez is paying $4 less per hour compared to 2009. Do you think Gomez is taking advantage of that fear?

Today we have a 21st century version of slavery; however, it's LEGAL. And like the message in the NumbersUSA ad states, the immigration debate shouldn't be about the color of one's skin, their ethnicity, etc. Its about numbers. Here are the numbers to consider:

  • 500 - The number of job applicants for 14 Oregonian forestry jobs advertised in 2009 at the prevailing wage.
  • 7 Million - The amount of federal "stimulus" dollars that were used to replace American workers with 254 seasonal immigrant workers.
  • $4 - The amount hourly wages have decreased since 2009 in the Oregonian forestry industry according to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)
  • 0 - The number of local Oregon workers wanting to work in forestry jobs today.

When we look at the numbers, the story becomes clear. Whether intentional or not, our representatives in Washington gave $7 million to replace American workers with LEGAL immigrants willing to work for less. I thought the stimulus was supposed to put people back to work, not replace them with LEGAL immigrants. Do you think LEGAL immigration is having any effect on our unemployment rate?

The GOP candidates and Obama have not addressed LEGAL immigration because as a nation we are afraid to question whether there can be too much of a good thing. Lets take another look at LEGAL immigration by looking at the numbers. NumbersUSA doesn't want to eliminate LEGAL immigration - we only want to reduce it to levels that restore honor to our immigration tradition.

SOLOMON GIFFORD is the Director of Technology for NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA's blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted.

Views and opinions expressed in blogs on this website are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect official policies of NumbersUSA.