Impact of Immigration on America
Updated: May 20, 2019
Immigration into the United States fluctuated throughout the 20th century because of varying economic conditions. But the changes made by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 drastically increased the number of immigrants allowed into the United States. This in turn has had a negative impact on the quality of life of many Americans today due to the mass increase in population.
Worse, the United States has mass illegal immigration because successive Congresses and Presidents have decided they want it. In one action after another over the last decade, they have declined to approve measures known to be effective to slow the flow of illegal immigrants, they have decided to end various kinds of enforcement that had been effective, and they have approved a series of rewards to those who violate immigration laws.
A succession of scientific and governmental commissions for three decades have come to the same conclusion - that there is a scientific rationale for stabilizing the U.S. population in order to meet environmental goals. While national environmental groups have dramatically changed their stance on U.S. population stabilization, government and scientific bodies have not.
Sprawl, Congestion, and Farmland
The Census Bureau estimates the population of the United States to be 459 million by the year 2050. That's more than a 33% increase over the next 40 years. Experts say the average American needs 1 acre of farmland to produce the food necessary for a sustainable diet. The United States has more than 2 billion acres, but much of the land cannot be farmed. For instance, Alaska has more than 300 million acres under ice. So, unless we can control our population growth by reducing immigration numbers, our sustainability will soon be threatened.
“Sprawl” refers to the rural acres lost as an Urbanized Area spreads outward over a period of time.
An “Urbanized Area” is a central city and its contiguously developed suburbs, as calculated by the Census Bureau.
“Percent Sprawl” is the percentage increase of total acres of land in an Urbanized Area over a period of time.
U.S. population growth is a key factor in paving the world’s breadbasket. Economic, cultural, demographic and political forces between 1982 and 1997 converted approximately 39,000 square miles (or 25 million acres) of rural land into subdivisions, malls, workplaces, roads, parking lots, resorts, and the like.
“Amnesty for illegal workers is not just a slap in the face to black Americans. It's an economic disaster. I see illegal immigration and the adverse impact that it has on the political empowerment of African Americans, and the impact it has on the job market.” T. WILLARD FAIR, PRESIDENT OF THE URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER MIAMI, FLA.
Most illegal aliens are unskilled or low-skilled. 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.” That means American taxpayers must heavily subsidize the costs of services to newcomers. The financial burden on taxpayers occurs in many ways, including those noted below.
The H-1B visa program allows skilled immigrants to work in the United States on a supposedly temporary basis. The tech industry says the foreign workers are needed to remedy a tech labor shortage, but for most employers the attraction of H-1Bs visa holders is simply cheap labor.
Government data from its Current Population Survey (and compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies) demonstrate that millions of Americans of all ages and education levels are currently unemployed, while the number of immigrant workers in the United States continues to increase. Other work by CIS has shown that this is the result of a long-term trend where immigrants are being hired at a faster rate than U.S.-born workers.
While the economy is performing better than it was during the depth of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, many millions more Americans are now out of work than in 2007, and millions more who have returned to work have had to take lower paying jobs or are only working part-time.
The relatively low "official unemployment rate" is masking a far greater problem. The percentage of the working-age population who are employed is the lowest it has been in over 35 years, and as of September 2015 there were 57 million men and women between the ages of 16 and 64 who were unemployed yet classified by the government as "not in the labor force," so they were not included in the calculation of the official unemployment rate.
The federal government does have a broader measure of unemployment which gives a better picture of how many Americans want full-time work. U-6 unemployment rates by age and/or educational attainment for the second quarter of 2015 are listed below (U-6 rate includes individuals who want a full-time job but are unemployed, have given up their job search, or have settled for part-time employment in the interim).
U-6 UNEMPLOYMENT RATES:
All American Citizens
9.4% ages 16+ (12.4 million)
21.3% teens (391,000)
21.3% for those with less than a high school education (1.5 million)
13.1% for those with a high school degree only (4.6 million)
4.8% for all college graduates (2.2 million) and 7.7% for college graduates under age 30 (522,000).
15.8% ages 16+ (2.5 million)
32.3% teens (65,000)
30.3% for those with less than a high school education (352,000)
20.2% for those with a high school degree (1.1 million)
7.6% for all college graduates (304,000) and 12.5% for college graduates under age 30 (76,000).
13.2% ages 16+ (1.8 million)
23.1% teens (65,000)
22.2% for those with less than a high school education (303,000)
16.8% for those with a high school degree (735,000)
6.2% for all college graduates (175,000) and 8.8% for college graduates under age 30 (51,000).
Foreign workers compete with the laid-off and underemployed highly-skilled Americans in some professions and occupations, primarily in the tech industry, but most foreign workers compete directly in the construction, service, and manufacturing industries where unemployment is the highest and where Americans have the least margin of financial security.
U.S. immigration policy does not automatically adjust to changing economic conditions, and is not a function of U.S. labor market conditions.
Link: Jobs Americans Won't Do?