Loopholes in the current immigration system enabled U.S. employers to hire 403,000 foreign nationals with pending asylum claims in FY2017. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted these asylum-seekers Employment Authorization Documents (EAD), which authorized them to work in the United States. Most of these individuals would likely have sought work in lower-skilled occupations, competing with American workers and putting downward pressure on wages.
NumbersUSA Policy Director Rosemary Jenks said the number of foreign nationals seeking asylum "is a huge thing -- it is almost half of our legal immigration flow per year.
"It is more than the number of agricultural guest-workers [H-2as] that we hand out [each year], plus the number of H-2Bs [visa workers], plus the annual number of H-1Bs [visa workers]," she said.
The total number of asylum-seekers with EADs is likely around "half a million," said Jenks.
She went on to say that EAD recipients "are competing for construction jobs and service-industry jobs against the poorest Americans -- including the recent legal immigrants -- and of course the employers gain."
She added that EAD recipients are also issued drivers' licenses and Social Security Numbers. Jenks said that if their asylum claims are rejected and they lose their EADs, they will still have the valid documents needed to get and keep jobs, despite their illegal status in the U.S.
"If they are not deported, their lives will not change ... nothing happens because they have a drivers' license and an SSN."
She went on to say that federal agencies are currently looking for 1 million illegal aliens with deportation orders from judges.
According to DHS, about 80% of foreign nationals seeking asylum at the border pass the "credible fear" test and are then released into the interior of the U.S. Since there is a two-year backlog of asylum cases, asylum-seekers are being permitted to file for (c)(8) work permits.
Additionally, many of the foreign nationals with EADs work low-skilled minimum wage jobs that pay low income, consequently making them qualify for local, state, and federal government aid, limited medical care, state assistance, federal tax-related subsidies, including Earned Income Tax Credit and the child credit. Their children also have access to the American schools.
For more on this story, see Breitbart.
Updated: Thu, Jun 14th 2018 @ 10:00am EDT