Sen. Tom Cotton Urges Trump to Push Wage-Raising Immigration Reform Through Congress
GOP Sen. Tom Cotton says President-elect Donald Trump should quickly use his electoral mandate to raise Americans’ wages by reducing the supply of wage-cutting, low-skilled legal immigrants.
“For too long, our immigration policy has skewed toward the interests of the wealthy and powerful: Employers get cheaper labor, and professionals get cheaper personal services like housekeeping,” Cotton writes in the New York Times. “We now need an immigration policy that focuses less on the most powerful and more on everyone else.”
“In this election, Americans finally demanded an end to this unthinking immigration system. President-elect Trump and Congress should take that mandate and act on it promptly in the new year,” Cotton wrote, adding that “higher wages, better benefits and more security for American workers are features, not bugs, of sound immigration reform.”
Each year, roughly 4 million young Americans enter the job market — and the federal government provides work permits to roughly 1 million new legal immigrants and to almost 1 million temporary contract-workers.
There are some 42.4 million legal and illegal immigrants, aliens, contract workers, students, refugees, and more residing in the U.S. as of 2014, comprising 13.3 percent of the population. Since the housing recession began in 2007, 8.7 million additional migrants have arrived and settled in the U.S.
Immigration imposes a massive $500 billion tax on working Americans and established immigrants, funneling that money to employers, investors and newly-imported foreign workers, a September report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found. Americans’ wages have stagnated since 2000, but the stock market has boomed.
Few politicians ask why America needs unskilled, mass immigration when automation and globalization are already lowering wages, Cotton continues:
[The] law of supply and demand is not magically suspended in the labor market. As immigrant labor has flooded the country, working-class wages have collapsed. Wages for Americans with only high school diplomas have declined by 2 percent since the late 1970s, and for those who didn’t finish high school, they have declined by nearly 20 percent, according to Economic Policy Institute figures.
No doubt automation and globalization have also affected wages, but mass immigration accelerates these trends with surplus labor, which of course decreases wages. Little wonder, then, that these Americans voted for the candidate who promised higher wages and less immigration instead of all the candidates — Republicans and Democrats alike — who promised essentially more of the same on immigration.
America has always offered a basic deal: If you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you can make a better life for yourself and your kids. But without good wages, this deal seems impossible, which is one reason so many Americans think their children will be worse off than they are. These Americans see cheap immigrant labor as a way to enrich the wealthy while creating a near permanent underclass for whom the American dream is always just out of reach.
In exchange for reducing legal immigration of low-skilled migrants and family relatives, Cotton called for greater emphasis on very skilled migrants.
“While our system gives priority to reuniting extended families and low-skilled labor, [Canada and Australia’s] systems prize nuclear-family reunification and attributes like language skills, education and work experience,” he writes. “A similar system here would allow in immigrants like doctors to work in rural areas while not pushing down working-class wages.”
Family immigration totaled over 60 percent of all legal immigration in the past three decades.
Currently, 75 percent of U.S. population growth since 2000 is attributable to immigration, counting ongoing arrivals and births to migrant mothers—whose anchor babies are automatically awarded U.S. citizenship, as in the notorious case of Mexican drug lord Joqauin “El Chapo” Guzman’s twin daughters.
If U.S. immigration policy is not changed, “immigration will add another 100 million people to the United States in the next 50 years,” according to a report published by the Negative Population Growth group last October.
A poll released on election day found 54 percent of voters wanted annual immigration levels slashed by half or reduced to zero, including 45 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans. Another 59 percent said the first step taken towards controlling illegal immigration should be requiring all U.S. employers to verify the legal status of their employees.
Breitbart News has previously reported 75 percent believe unemployed Americans should be first in line to receive U.S. jobs, compared to only three percent who think the U.S. should import more foreigners to fill them. Another 61 percent said politicians “who would rather import foreign workers to take jobs rather than give them to current U.S. residents [are] unfit to hold office.”