We are in the midst of the biggest influx of immigrants in our country’s history. In the next ten years, under current law, the federal government will issue 10 million green cards–more than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. This chart is courtesy of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration:
Subcommittee staff explains the significance of green cards, the large majority of which will go to low-skill workers:
Each year, millions of visas are issued to temporary workers, foreign students, refugees, asylees, and permanent immigrants for admission into the United States. The lion’s share of these visas are for lesser-skilled and lower-paid workers and their dependents who, because they are here on work-authorized visas, are added directly to the same labor pool occupied by current unemployed jobseekers. Expressly because they are admitted into the U.S. on legal immigrant visas, most will be able to draw a wide range of taxpayer-funded benefits, and corporations will be allowed to directly substitute these workers for Americans. Improved border security would have no effect on the continued arrival of these new foreign workers, refugees, and permanent immigrants—because they are all invited here by the federal government.
The most significant of all immigration documents issued by the U.S. is, by far, the “green card.” When a foreign citizen is issued a green card it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.
The current immigration regime is unprecedented in our history:
The post-World War II boom decades of the 1950s and 1960s averaged together less than 3 million green cards per decade—or about 285,000 annually. Due to lower immigration rates, the total foreign-born population in the United States dropped from about 10.8 million in 1945 to 9.7 million in 1960 and 9.6 million in 1970.
These lower midcentury immigration levels were the product of a federal policy change: after the last period of large-scale immigration that had begun in roughly 1880, immigration rates were lowered to reduce admissions. The foreign-born share of the U.S. population fell for six consecutive decades, from 1910 through 1960.
The 1965 immigration legislation for which Ted Kennedy was largely responsible, was sold to Americans under false pretenses. It established a new regime, in which Third World immigration was prioritized and family connections valued over any benefit an immigrant might bring to the United States:
Legislation enacted in 1965, among other factors, substantially increased low-skilled immigration. Since 1970, the foreign-born population in the United States has increased more than four-fold—to a record 42.1 million today. The foreign-born share of the population has risen from fewer than 1 in 21 in 1970, to presently approaching 1 in 7.
As the supply of available labor has increased, so too has downward pressure on wages. Georgetown and Hebrew University economics professor Eric Gould has observed that “the last four decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the wage and employment structure in the United States… The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.”
How anyone could consider this a good thing for America is beyond me. And, of course, the millions of illegal immigrants that the Obama administration encourages to come to the U.S. are above and beyond the legal immigration described here. When did Americans vote for these extreme immigration policies? We didn’t. But we had better vote them out, or it will soon be too late.