White House Ignores Congressional Research Service Report Linking High Immigration to Lower American Wages

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

April 30, 2015

Although Americans are constantly lectured on the supposed fiscal advantages of evermore immigration, an important new Congressional Research Service report exposed the fallacies in that argument.

CRS ties more immigration to less take-home pay.

According to the CRS findings presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee, before the foreign-born population surged in the 1970s and beyond, the median earnings for middle-class Americans rose steadily. After 1970, wages flattened until they plummeted dramatically in 2000.

Specifically, between 1945 and 1970, the total population’s foreign-born percentage dropped from about 7.7 percent to about 4.7 percent, and the median income for the bottom 90 percent of income tax filers increased by 82.5 percent. But then, as the foreign-born percentage of the population rose to about 13 percent in 2013, the median income for the bottom 90 percent of income tax filers dropped by 7.9 percent – a 40-year low point.

The Department of Homeland Security’s annual review of immigration statistics show that the United States granted lawful permanent residence status to an average of 260,000 people annually between the years 1945 and 1970. After the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act passed, family-based immigration soared. From 1971 to 1988, the average number of people given lawful permanent residence was about 502,000, but grew to an average of more than one million a year after 1989 through 2013 as the federal government accepted more and more family petitions for permanent residency.

Since CRS is a nonpartisan, legislative branch agency that works at Congress’ bidding, its research should generate more scrutiny than it does. But when the subject is immigration, facts, especially obvious ones that contradict the White House dialogue, barely get a look-see.

Please go the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge your representatives to pass HR 604, a bill that would end chain migration, and reduce the numbers of legal permanent residents to compete with Americans for increasingly scarce jobs.
 

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