Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) responded to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda and call to increase middle class wages by highlighting the jobs and wages lost to legal and illegal immigrants.
“This illegal alien labor tsunami has done more to take jobs from and suppress wages of struggling American families than anything else over the past three decades,” Brooks said on the House Floor Tuesday.
Brooks pointed to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center that American workers ceded 7.8 million jobs to illegal immigrants in 2009 and a 2013 Federation for American Immigration Reform estimate that illegals took 8.5 million jobs away from Americans.
He added that studies point to wage suppression due to cheap illegal immigrant labor — pinning wages lost at about $800 a year for high school graduates and $2,300 lost in annual income for low-skilled labor.
The Alabama lawmaker did not stop at illegal immigration, pointing out that legal immigration has also been a burden to American families economic situations.
“While the American economy created 5.6 million net new jobs in the 16 to 65 age bracket over the past 14 years, American born citizens lost 127,000 net jobs,” Brooks said. “All net jobs gains, and more, went to illegal and legal immigrants. While American born citizens lost 127,000 jobs, foreign born persons gained 5.7 million jobs!”
“Worse yet, when you factor in population growth, there were 17 million more Americans in the 16 to 65 age bracket not working in 2014 than in 2000,” he added.
Brooks further argued that the jobs legal and illegal immigrants have taken are not those that Americans would not do.
“Contrary to the propaganda of amnesty and open border proponents and their media allies, immigrants gained across the labor market in lower-skilled jobs such as maintenance, construction, and food service; in middle-skilled jobs like office support and health care support; and higher-skilled jobs, including management, computers, and health care practitioners. The propaganda that immigrants only do jobs Americans won’t do is not supported by fact,” Brooks said.
He added that while immigrants gained jobs Americans lost them in such high paying jobs as architecture, engineering, transportation and material moving, and office and administrative support. He noted that working African Americans, Hispanic, and white American citizens all “lost ground.”
“In a dig at Jeb Bush, Clinton added that Americans ‘don’t need a lecture. They need a raise.’” Mr. Speaker, Hillary Clinton is right. America does not need lectures,” Brooks said recalling Clinton’s Monday speech.
“America needs solutions,” Brooks concluded. “And the number one jobs and economic solution for Americans is securing America’s borders and implementing a rational immigration policy that reflects economic conditions and protects American jobs and American wages for struggling American families.”