Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) estimates about 57 million new people, immigrants and people with nonimmigrant visas, will be entering the United States to compete with middle class Americans for their jobs if the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill passes. Sessions’ staff released an analysis detailing how they reached that number on Friday morning.
“This is a number that exceeds the population of the state of California, our largest state,” Sessions said on a conference call with reporters discussing the analysis. “It’s a very, very significant impact on our economy and the American people.”
Sessions argued that ordinary Americans, who are already struggling financially under President Barack Obama’s administration with perpetually high unemployment, will see pay cuts or be unable to find jobs. He said any gains the economy gets from this bill, as estimated by Gang of Eight members and supporters, are actually “paid for” by a “decline in wages, by wage loss” for ordinary Americans.
“We think this is a matter of humanitarian interest,” Sessions said. “It’s an important matter, even, of civil rights. The obligation we have as American policymakers in Congress to consider what is in the long-term national interest of America. We have 90 million people outside the work force, 47 million on food stamps, shouldn’t we be working to make sure every single American citizen now dependent on social services of the government be provided with the first opportunity to achieve a good job with a decent pay with a retirement plan and a healthcare plan? That’s got to be our goal.”
On the conference call with Sessions, Center for Immigration Studies’s Dr. Steven Camarota said that if the bill passes, “we would need to create 35 million new jobs in the next 10 years to accommodate new American job seekers and the new immigrants that S. 744 [the official bill number for the Gang of Eight legislation] admits.”
“The coming decade had better be the greatest jobs bonanza in American history, otherwise we will continue to see persistently high unemployment and, worse, we will continue to see Americans withdrawing entirely from the labor market,” Camarota said.