The economy cannot sustain the current levels of legal and illegal immigration to the U.S., Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) argues.
“This is not in the people’s interest of America at this time,” Sessions, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest said Wednesday, opening a hearing on the impact of immigration levels on U.S. workers.
“Our goal should be to work every day to create policies that advance the training, and the job prospects of Americans first – lawful immigrant and native-born alike,” he said. “That is our responsibility.”
Each year, Sessions highlighted, the U.S. admits over a million permanent residents, 100,000 refugees and asylees, 700,000 guest workers, 600,000 students — many of who have been allowed to work under administrative rules — and “hundreds of thousands of” illegal immigrants (both border crossers and visa overstays).
Sessions pointed to a recent Pew Research Center that found nearly 59 million immigrants arrived in the United States since 1965, and make up a near-record percent of U.S. residents at 14 percent.
“It will surge beyond that 14 percent unless the law in the United States is changed. We’re really on an extreme, unprecedented pattern of immigration into the United States. I think it’s unlike most established countries in the world,” he said.
According to Sessions, the influx has put considerable strain on the job prospects and wages of American workers and the situation will further deteriorate if levels remain the same. As Pew estimated, in the next 50 years, immigrants will constitute 88 percent of population growth in the U.S. — or 103 people.
He noted the research of Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, showing that all net job grains between 2000 and 2014 went to immigrants.
“The plain truth is that technology and robotics advance the quality of our lives, in many ways, and lowers the cost of products, but they eliminate good jobs,” Sessions said.
At this point in time our economy cannot sustain the current lawful rate of immigration, much less the illegal flow. It’s time to listen to the voices of the good and decent Americans who want someone to protect their interests, for a change. It’s time to abandon old thinking and ask what is the proper rate for immigration. What is one that will protect the economic well-being of immigrants and native-born and continue to refresh America with new and vibrant people.