Over the past two years, as U.S. unemployment remained near double-digit levels and the economy shed jobs in the wake of the financial crisis, over a million foreign-born arrivals to America found work, many illegally.
Those are among the findings of a review of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data conducted exclusively for Reuters by researchers at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.
Often young and unskilled or semi-skilled, immigrants have taken jobs Americans could do in areas like construction, willing to work for less wages. Others land jobs that unemployed Americans turn up their noses at or lack the skills to do.
With a national unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, domestic job creation is at the top of President Barack Obama’s agenda and such findings could add to calls to tighten up on illegal immigration. But much of it is Hispanic and the growing Latino vote is a key base for Obama’s Democratic Party.
Many of the new arrivals, according to employers, brought with them skills required of the building trade and found work in sectors such as construction, where jobless rates are high.
“Employers have chosen to use new immigrants over native-born workers and have continued to displace large numbers of blue-collar workers and young adults without college degrees,” said Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies.
“One of the advantages of hiring, particularly young, undocumented immigrants, is the fact that employers do not have to pay health benefits or basic payroll taxes,” said Sum.
From 2008 to 2010, 1.1 million new migrants who have entered America since 2008 landed jobs, even as U.S. household employment declined by 6.26 million over that same period.
These facts are something that will need to be addressed by my Congressman Elton Gallegly as he takes over the House Immigration Subcommittee.
Americans are out of work, illegal immigrations are displacing them in the work force because they work cheaper, and the immigration laws are not enforced while thousands of folks continue to come across the boader from Mexico.
Immigration will be a Congressional issue in 2011 and in the Presidential campaign in 2012.