Even with economic stagnation, the Obama administration has continued approving an elevated level of Green Cards. This has caused the overwhelming majority of new jobs to go to immigrants (both legal and illegal), according to a new study.
A study by Steve Camarota and Karen Zeigler of the Center for Immigration Studies has concluded that two-thirds of the new people employed during the Obama administration were immigrants.
“A new analysis of government data shows that two-thirds of the net increase in employment since President Obama took office has gone to immigrant workers, primarily legal immigrants.”
Camarota, in an interview with Front Page Magazine, said that the study used the Household Survey, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in the Commerce Department. The Household Survey randomly calls households in the US on a monthly basis and asks who is and isn’t employed in any given household. By that measure, there were 2.88 million more people employed at the end of the third quarter of 2012 as there were at the beginning of the first quarter of 2009 (the time measured by the CIS study). Of those, 1.94 million new jobs went to immigrants and only 938,000 went to native born individuals.
Over the same time frame, the Obama administration has maintained elevated levels of Green Card approvals. From 2008-2011, about 4.3 million Green Cards were approved, cited the study. Camarota said that the combination of a stagnant economy at the same time there were elevated levels of legal immigrants flowing into the country meant that most of the jobs wound up going to immigrants.
“You end up with a situation where there’s some growth in jobs, but it goes almost exclusively to foreigners.”
The study cited three specific policies of the Obama administration that will continue to contribute to this dynamic. First, the Obama administration, as a matter of policy, doesn’t detain illegal workers when the administration audits businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The administrative DREAM Act that President Obama announced in June 2012 has produced 200,000 new applications for legal immigration so far. Finally, the administration fought against the Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law, which requires each employer to verify the legal status of each new employee.
Camarota pointed out that Obama, in part, inherited this problem. About 44% of all new jobs under the Bush administration were found by immigrants, the study found. The study argued that Obama continued to implement the same immigration policies from good economic times even though the economy had turned.
“This president, like those before him, has chosen not to reduce immigration despite the worst job market since the Great Depression. While natives have done better in the labor market recently, there remain a very large number of native-born Americans not working,” said the study.
While Camarota believes the conclusions of his study point to an urgent need, he said he’s found little appetite to address this issue in Congress, even among Republicans. Camarota said that Lamar Smith has been the only voice sounding the alarm on this issue.
“There are some in Congress like Lamar Smith that have been willing to talk about this, but not many more.”
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