Inside the Amnesty Spin: WHAT labor shortage?

wallCongresswoman Renee Ellmers and other supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” are trying to make their case by suggesting that we need to back off aggressive enforcement of immigration laws because there is supposedly an agriculture labor shortage. A new study by the Center For Immigration Studies is poking all kinds of holes in that argument: 

For several years stories in the media have reported a farm labor shortage. This study examines this question and finds little evidence to support this conclusion. First, fruit and vegetable production is actually rising. Second,
wages for farm workers have not risen dramatically. Third, household expenditure on fresh fruits and vegetables has remain relatively constant, averaging about $1 a day for the past decade.

The CIS study questions why Congress would want to open the floodgates when there are so many non-working Americans with modest levels of education out there:

[…] The number of working age adults who are not working has risen relatively quickly in the last 15 years. In 2000, 35.8 million native-born Americans between 18 and 65 years weren’t working. In 2006, the number was 40.5 million. In part because of the recession, the number spiked, and it 2013, stood at 50.5 million people.

The percentage of American adults who are not working has also gradually increased, from 24.1 percent in 2000 to 25.7 percent in 2006 before spiking upward 30.8 percent in 2013.

The study found the decline in employment cut across all racial, educational, and demographic groups. While native-born African Americans and Hispanics are the hardest hit races and decreased education seems to exacerbate the problem, all Americans have seen a downward slope in employment attainment success since 2000.

“Congress is currently considering immigration reform packages that include work permits for those in the country illegally, as well as substantial increases in future legal immigration,” CIS’s Steven Camarota and Karen Ziegler wrote in the report. “Yet the latest employment data continue to show an enormous number of working-age Americans not working, particularly those with modest levels of education.”

One key finding of the CIS report is that in the fourth quarter of 2013 the unemployment rate for American-born adults who have not completed high school and have looked for a job in the last four weeks was at 16.6 percent. For American-born adults seeking a job in the last four weeks with just a high school diploma, unemployment stood at 8.5 percent. Under the broader measure of unemployment, working age Americans who want to work but haven’t looked in a while or have been forced into part-time job, 28.7 percent of American-born adults without a high school degree are unemployed and 16.5 percent of Americans with a high school diploma are unemployed. […]

The study’s authors say that kind of data indicates “there is no legitimate way advocates of a significant increase in legal immigration and amnesty could argue there is a labor shortage in America and therefore a need for foreign workers.” :

“There are many in Congress, of both parties, who seem to think that labor is in short supply,” Camarota said. “The only way to come to that conclusion is to ignore all of the data the government collects on employment or wages. The only piece of evidence that there is a labor shortage is testimonials of employers who want to bring in additional foreign workers,” he added.

Another key finding of the CIS report found that in the fourth quarter of 2013, only two working age American-born workers held a job for every one such worker not working. “This represents a huge deterioration,” the authors wrote about that finding. “As recently as 2000, there were three working-age adults holding a job for every one not working.”

“Across the labor market the employment situation remains dismal,” Camarota said in an email. “The percentage and number of working-age American not working are near record highs. Things are especially bad for the young, minorities, and the less-educated. Yet the Senate passed a bill that gives work permits to millions of illegal immigrants and doubles the number of foreign workers allowed into the country. There is a real disconnect between what Washington is doing on immigration, and what is actually happening in the U.S. labor market.”

8 thoughts on “Inside the Amnesty Spin: WHAT labor shortage?

  1. For all candidates supporting #Amnesty, #PathwayToCitizenship – the gig is up. The American people know first hand just how difficult things are in the labor market and do NOT want anything that will lead to Amnesty. Immigration Reform & Pathway To Citizenship are buzzwords that sound great – but Americans know that they mean Amnesty.

    Especially beware when you hear – We must secure the border first, or Washington needs to fix immigration. I suggest – WHY NOT ENFORCE THE LAWS ON THE BOOKS. Discuss fixes after all laws are being enforced.

    We are fed up with the Political Elite who lie to our faces during election time. David Rouzer running for Congress in NC7 is just one of those people. David was caught in a lie in the last race in 2012 and admitted on tape that, yes, in fact he did lobby for Amnesty for Illegals while he was a lobbyist in DC. Now suddenly he has amnesia, and said he NEVER lobbied for Amnesty for Illegals. Endorsed by Eric Cantor – yes Big Government loving, Amnesty loving. David would be wise not to be bragging about this endorsement.

    Mark Harris running in the US Sen race has stood behind the pulpit as a senior pastor at a Baptist Church and in leadership with the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2011 the Convention voted to endorse a Pathway To Citizenship. Not until Mr. Harris was recently confronted with this did he “say” he does not support this. However, actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap now, but now is too late, he had an opportunity to confront this issue prior to running for NC Sen and no one as yet has shown any proof that he did. In addition, he is endorsed by Big Government loving, Amnesty loving, Common Core loving, Gov. Mike Huckabee.

    Mr. Tillis – well we all know Mr. Tillis loves Amnesty as do his main endorsers, McConnell, Rove, Boehner. Mr. Tillis hired a chielf operative from LaRaza to draw the new district lines during the redistricting debacle of 2011. We all know about his work to gut NC’s e verify.

    Amnesty is a HOT Button issue for voters this election cycle. We know how bad this will be for our Nation – it’s precursor Obamacare is everything we thought it would be and more.

    1. “Not until Mr. Harris was recently confronted with this did he “say” he does not support this.”

      Well…. he says he doesnt support the “citizenship” part. I think he clearly supports granting them residency. (which, I oppose).

      1. Granting them residency will just lead to a Democrat push for citizenship, and phase II of the liberal scheme. Harris uses the far left buzz words ”bringing them out of the shadows” to describe his position on amnesty, and that shows that he is either totally clueless or liberal on this issue, and in either case, we do not need him.

        In any race where all of my choices are pro-amnesty, I will either skip over the race or write in for someone. I will not vote for ANY pro-amnesty politician.

    2. Amnesty/immigration/CIR, whatever you call it, IS EVERY ISSUE. The lawlessness in our immigration system has been going on for more than 25 years, and the full negative effects are being felt on so many fronts. Americans are finally noticing the impact on their own lives.

      Granting amnesty to probably a minimum of 30 million illegal aliens who thumb their noses at our laws, or massively increasing immigration will have dire and irreversible consequences. We ain’t seen nothing should something akin to the Gang of 8 go down.

      Renee Ellmers sided with House leadership from day one, and she seems intent on riding the amnesty train right over the cliff.

  2. Regardless of numbers, there is zero reason to reward people who have willfully violated our rules and evaded the existing immigration system. When caught, those people should be permanently banned from the privileges of both residency and citizenship.

    As these numbers show… the main problem seems to be that some in the agricultural sector dont want to pay market wages – it’s not that there are too few workers. Americans dont want to do those jobs… at those wages. They have the option of going to Applebee’s and washing dishes instead (or whatever). (and what happens when immigrants gain access to such choices too?)

    If you remove these businesse’s ability to cheat the labor market as a way to artifically cut their costs, companies will compete, innovate, and sure, perhaps some will choose to increase wages to attract labor. Some operations will fail and be unable to compete, and I’m OK with that. This kind of short-sighted propping up only hurts consumers.

  3. Millions sitting on couches watching Oprah an Ellen using EBT cards putting our country further into debt.

  4. I do feel that sooner or later some type of immigration reform will be passed. I also doubt very seriously that the US will engage in mass deportations and that reform will be somewhere between open borders and throw the bums out.

    1. That is not ”reform”. That is surrendering to the lawbreakers.

      There are genuine reforms that can and should be made, but our Congresscritters are not even looking at them. One is to do what every other industrialized country has done and end the stupidity of granting citizenship from place of birth alone. Most countries base citizenship on the more rational standard of the nationality of the parents.

      Another is to end the chain migrations of various relatives. We should cut that off at spouses and children.

      Another is to go back to national quotas, where we get a better ethnic balance of legal immigrants.

      Another is to take Canada’s lead and require immigrants to pass the rather difficult TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test.

      Another is to bring back the Bracero program for agricultural labor, where contractors bring in temporary foreign workers for harvest season who then go home after the harvest. That worked fine for everyone except Cesar Chavez’ union, and is was Chavez who got the Democrats to end that program..

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