Old Blogs
July 1, 2013 2:02 PM
My response to Jeb Bush's endless push for amnesty
Posted by Laura
I can't tell if the Republicans who are clamoring for "action" on comprehensive immigration reform are dishonest, or merely ignorant. Consider the latest by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick in the Wall Street Journal (which itself has never seen an amnesty bill it didn't applaud) and my counter-punch:

"To grow economically, the nation needs more young workers, as the population is aging and its growth is slowing." In the United States, the unemployment rate for people aged 16 to 24 was 16.2 percent in May 2013.

"America's educational system produces only a faction of the high-skilled workers required for technology jobs." According to the AFL-CIO, "In the fields of computer and information science and engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50% more students than there are new hires . . . . {T}ech wages haven't risen since Bill Clinton was president." And, of course, the CBO has reported that average wages will fall if the immigration bill passes.

"Illegal immigration results now because there are too few lawful low-skill job opportunities for immigrants." That doesn't sound like a labor shortage to me.

"Doubling GDP growth to 4% from the anemic 2% that has become the new normal would create more than $4 trillion in additional economic activity in the 10th year." Of course you can increase your total GDP by adding more people. But that doesn't mean the average American is better off? The CBO found that over the next ten years, passing the immigration bill wouldlower per capita GDP.

The Senate immigration reform "dramatically increases resources and tools for border security." But, as Jeb Bush undoubtedly knows, those resources will never be used to enforce our border laws.

"It does not provide an amnesty, that is, a pardon . . . . {T}hose who came illegally must pay a serious of fines and back taxes, undergo background checks, are ineligible for most social services, and must work continuously." You wanna bet? Who's going to make them? Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security? The same crowd who won't enforce today's supposedly "less stringent" laws?

The CBO "projects that the Senate bill would reduce the budget deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, boost the economy and increase productivity, without reducing the wages of U.S. workers." The CBO said that over the next six years, unemployment would rise, and over the next 10 years, average wages would fall. It also said that longer-term projections – such as the 20-year projection cited by Jeb – are not as credible as its shorter-term projections.

"{T}he House can increase the artificially low guest-worker numbers included at the behest of labor unions in the Senate bill." So, wait, we're still talking as if we have too few workers? Tell that to all the folks looking for work, underemployed, or juggling two part-time jobs.

"Republicans have much in common with immigrants – beliefs in hard work, enterprise, family, education, patriotism, and faith." But if you believe in "hard work" and "enterprise," why would you support a party that's seeking to lower your wages and create more unemployment?
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