Chicago Group Pleads for Immigrants to Fill Jobs as Black Youth Remain Out of Work

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A think tank in Chicago, Illinois is pleading for more immigration to fill jobs in the cities hospitality industry while African-American youth in the inner-city remains higher than most other cities.

In a report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the panel is demanding that more immigrants be brought to the city so that employers in the restaurant and hotel industries can have easy access to foreign-born workers, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Report author Sara McElmurry, assistant director of immigration at the think tank, spent two years interviewing several dozen restaurant and hotel owners and managers, labor organizers and trade associations across the Midwest to understand the industry’s labor concerns in the region.

The consensus is that “we need reforms that responsibly expand the immigration system to hire more of these workers,” McElmurry said. In addition, she said, “what I heard consistently was let’s build some sort of pathway that allows workers to adjust their legal status.”

Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration Executive Director Dave Gorak pushed back on the think tank’s pleas for more immigration in Chicago, telling the Tribune that the overflow of immigration has kept wages down and natives out of work.

“The availability of cheap foreign labor, especially the illegal variety, is preferred because employers know it serves to hold down labor costs,” Gorak said. “Without this plentiful source of workers, these employers would be forced to make a greater effort to recruit Americans and raise wages.”

While the report calls for more immigrants to take jobs in Chicago, the black youth unemployment rate in the city was nearly ignored by the council.

In the Chicago Tribune’s latest report on the epidemic of youth unemployment in the city, a study from the Chicago Urban League found that the rate of 20 to 24-year-old black men who not only not working, but also not in school was 43 percent in 2015. A year earlier, the rate was 47 percent, nearly half of all young, black men in Chicago.

At the same time, Illinois, and specifically Chicago, has seen a constant flow of low-skilled immigration. In 2015, the state’s foreign born population had ballooned to nearly 15 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

In a more intensive study by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a whopping 43 percent of the state’s “foreign born, low-income, limited English-speaking” population was living in the city of Chicago.

Every year, the U.S. admits more than one million legal immigrants. Immigration patriots have long said that the high immigrant levels have kept American workers’ wages stagnant and displaced workers.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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