There is no evidence that unemployed Africa-American and Hispanic-Americans youths can do the jobs done by “DACA” illegal immigrants, the liberal Washington Post told its readers September 6.
Reporter Tracy Jan headlined her article “The Truth” as she argued that lower-skilled Americans cannot do the jobs filled by DACA illegals.
Here’s the problem: immigrant and native-born workers are imperfect substitutes. There is no evidence that the unemployed Americans, be they black, white or Hispanic, have the skills necessary to hold the same jobs occupied by the young beneficiaries of the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
To decorate her claim, she quoted Douglas Holtz-Eakin. He is the president of the American Action Forum advocacy group, an advisor to the Chamber of Commerce, and the former top policy aide to the GOP’s losing candidate in 2008, immigration-booster Sen. John McCain. She wrote:
“It is one thing to say that there are hundreds of thousands of minorities the same age that are unemployed, and a very different thing for them to have the same education, skills and experience as the employed DACA workers,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin … “And if they do,” he added, “it begs the question as to why they don’t have those jobs in the first place.”
The dismissive comments by Jan and Holtz-Eakin comment also evoke one of the more damaging dismissals in the 2013 push to pass the doomed “Gang of Eight” amnesty-and-cheap-labor bill:
“There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,” a [Sen. Marco] Rubio aide told [Ryan Lizza, a New Yorker reporter]. “There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.”
Pro-American immigration reformers noted the racial angle to the Holtz-Eakin comments.
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) September 7, 2017
A few details about Holtz-Eakin. His American Action Forum was created by GOP donor Fred Malek. In turn, Malek gets his wealth from extensive investments in hotels, which gain greatly from a large scale supply of immigrant workers and immigrant customers. Since 2014, those investments are managed by Malek’s Thayer Investment Group as a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management. Malek is also a former president of Marriott Hotels. The Washington Post’s Tracey Jan does not mention this cheap-labor conflict of interest, which could color public deference to Holtz-Eakin’s status as an expert.
The American Action Forum did not return emails from Breitbart News.
The WashPo’s article was written by Jan to debunk the pro-American September 5 statements by President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, amid the announcement of plans to end President Barack Obama’s 2012 “DACA” amnesty. Huckabee Sanders said:
It’s a known fact that there are over 4 million unemployed Americans in the same age group as those that are DACA recipients; that over 950,000 of those are African Americans in the same age group; over 870,000 unemployed Hispanics in the same age group. Those are large groups of people that are unemployed that could possibly have those jobs.
Press Sec.: "It's a known fact that there are over 4 million unemployed Americans in the same age group as those that are DACA recipients." pic.twitter.com/hFqMeRqk09
— ABC News (@ABC) September 5, 2017
Holtz-Eakin’s response to that statement was his suggestion that African-Americans and Latin-Americans may not have “the same education, skills and experience as the employed DACA workers.” Jan boosted that claim with a similar claim by another AAF employee, Jackie Varas, who said:
“Many DACA recipients are also more skilled than other immigrants because they possess a college education, so they don’t compete with low-skilled Americans,” Varas said.
Jan justifies those ‘Americans-can’t-do-it’ claims by citing a study from another business group about the education credentials held by the DACA illegals:
Of the DACA-eligible immigrants over 21 years old, 12 percent have bachelor’s degrees, 3 percent have advanced degrees, 84 percent have completed high school and some college, and 2 percent did not graduate from high school, according to an analysis by New American Economy.
That “84 percent” claim is wildly overstated, even assuming zero fraud in Obama’s very lax review process.
For example, an August survey reported that only 35 percent of education-enrolled DACA beneficiaries older than 25 have four-year college degrees. That survey also showed that 55 percent of 3,063 surveyed DACA illegals (95 percent of whom were aged from 18 up to 35) were not even enrolled in education courses – and the survey was itself skewed because it only interviewed people identified by pro-DACA immigration groups.
An August 2017 study by the pro-immigration Migration Policy Institute showed only 5 percent of 832,000 DACA illegals had four-year college qualifications, and that 396,000 DACA beneficiaries claimed to have only a high school credential and were not in higher education. The same report showed that 8 percent of DACA beneficiaries were working as computer experts, managers, media people or healthcare practitioners, while 46 percent were working in normal blue-collar jobs, such as food, industry, construction, transportation, landscaping or farming and fisheries.
So at a minimum, 396,000 High School graduate DACA-approved workers are competing directly for the jobs sought by the 950,000 young African Americans and the 870,000 young Hispanics cited by Huckabee Sanders.
The 2017 MPI survey also showed another 398,000 young illegals could qualify for DACA but avoided the amnesty. Even without high-school credentials, they could have joined the DACA amnesty and gotten work permits just by claiming to be enrolled in education classes. Nationwide, companies are employing roughly 8 million illegals, mostly for blue-collar jobs, and often via fly-by-night sub-contracting firms.
The available population of illegal workers — including the roughly 400,000 young DACA-approved illegals — ensures that American employers can reduce or stop their efforts to recruit, train, educate, hire and pay the 4 million lower-skilled unemployed Americans described by Huckabee Sanders. That logic is especially true for companies — such as the Thayer Lodging Group and its subcontractors — which rely on blue-collar labor.
That is a huge civic problem which Trump and his pro-American supporters promised to help repair via immigration reform. The current immigration system, said Trump:
has placed substantial pressure on American workers, taxpayers and community resources, and among those hit the hardest … are minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals. It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers … [this RAISE act] will give Americans a pay raise by reducing immigration… [and] it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.
Jan inadvertently provides the industry-drafted evidence to back up Trump’s argument, when she wrote:
A Moody’s Analytics analysis of Trump’s proposed economic policies last year showed that removing all undocumented immigrants from the labor force would trigger an economic recession within one year.
Another American Action Forum study found that if all undocumented immigrants were deported, there would not be enough American workers to fill all of the jobs that would be left open. And even if all available native workers filled the open slots, the country would still be short 4 million workers.
But the Moody’s analysis says Americans’ wages would rise when the labor supply drops, and the AAF study says that the departure of all 11 million illegals would free up to 2.8 million jobs for young Americans:
Fully enforcing current law towards all undocumented immigrants would cause private sector employment to decline by 4 million to 6.8 million workers … The negative consequences of removing all undocumented workers from the private sector would be particularly harmful to the industries that employ these workers, such as agriculture, construction, and leisure and hospitality.
The hospitality industry includes the Thayer Lodging Group.
More broadly, Jan’s ‘minorities-can’t-do-it’ column spotlights the self-serving alliance between business interests and progressives in the debate over labor supply and immigration. They are allied because they have a shared political interest in raising the inflow of cheap workers, government-supported consumers, and government-dependent voters — regardless of the cost imposed on other Americans.
Notably, Jan’s article was published in the Washington Post, whose owner — Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — gains greatly from the importation of cheap new workers and government-aided consumers.
The column was unwisely picked up by many other liberal outlets, and also damaged a Washington Post column by Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, often has championed the interests of American employees. He linked to Jan’s article when he wrote:
As an economist, my knee-jerk response was to counterattack based on the economic falsehoods that the administration continues to push: e.g., the evidence-free claims that DACA recipients take jobs from native-born workers.
Not “evidence-free claims”: Just business-funded claims that match the self-interest of progressives and executives.
Under current rules, 4 million young Americans enter the workforce each year to search for decent jobs. But each year, the government also hands out 1 million green cards to new immigrants who compete against Americans for good jobs.
The government also hands out almost 3 million short-term work permits to foreign workers. These permits include roughly 330,000 one-year OPT permits for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, roughly 200,000 three-year H-1B visas for foreign white-collar professionals, and 400,000 two-year permits to DACA illegals. Some of those imported white-collar workers gain outsourced jobs at Jan’s alma mater, Stanford University.
That Washington-imposed policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families.
Amid the huge inflow of new workers, the percentage of working Americans has declined steadily: