More than 50 million working age Americans are either officially unemployed or not working, but George W. Bush’s former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says amnesty and significant increase in legal immigration are needed because businesses can’t find suitable employees.
Gutierrez says that even the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill and House GOP leadership immigration “principles” do not go far enough in getting businesses foreign labor to fill the jobs they say they can’t find Americans to do.
“The Senate bill has a quota of 112,000 agricultural workers,” Gutierrez said in remarks to the Ripon Society, a center-right think tank closely associated with the GOP establishment. “I talked to the people in agriculture — we need about 700,000 to about 1 million per year. The Senate bill has a quota of 15,000 construction workers every year. We need 15,000 workers in Miami. Where are we going to get the rest? We are giving businesses a choice. You hire illegally, you shut down, or you just don’t grow. It’s just not right. I think we can do better for our businesses.”
Gutierrez’s comments come the same week as a new study found the employment rate of working-age adults has steadily declined over the past 15 years.
Gutierrez specifically mentioned construction workers, and according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among construction workers in America stood at a staggering 12.8 percent in February, a sharp increase from 8.6 percent in November.
More generally, according to Bloomberg News, the unemployment rate among illegal aliens in America is likely lower than the unemployment rate among America’s black community.