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College Lobby: Congress Should Help Illegals Get U.S. Graduates’ Jobs

People at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles attend an August 2012 orientation class for filling out their application for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
NEIL MUNRO

The 100,000 illegal migrants who graduate from Americans’ high schools each year should get college places which are sought by young Americans, says an advocacy group for the nation’s taxpayer-funded college industry.

“We understand that the urgency for Congress to protect these vulnerable student leaders is more pressing than ever,” says an article by the chancellor of Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., and the president of Illinois Institute of Technology. The two executives, who are members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, ignore the needs of American students and instead lavish praise on illegals and foreign students in the op-ed published by TheHill.com:

We have witnessed firsthand the phenomenal contributions that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients, Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) students make each and every day to the academic environment, the professional network, and campus culture of our nation’s universities and the broader communities that we serve …

Dreamers, TPS holders, and international students and their families enrich our campus communities in ways we simply cannot measure, bringing about a deeper cultural understanding and connectedness in a truly global and constantly changing world.

The federal government provides the sector with at least $60 billion in taxpayers’ aid each year, while also offering government-backed loans to student customers.

The op-ed‘s two authors, Nancy Cantor of Rutgers and Alan Cramb of the Illinois institute, also celebratan “inspiring” illegal who is now working as a lawyer in New Jersey:

At Rutgers-Newark, for example, students of all backgrounds look up to Marisol Conde-Hernandez … she pursued her dream to make a difference in the world practicing law by enrolling at Rutgers Law School-Newark. She is now New Jersey’s first undocumented woman to be admitted to the state’s bar. She has shared her inspiring personal journey in a documentary film series titled “American Sueño,” produced by Rutgers-Newark faculty, students, and local partners working collaboratively under the Newest Americans project (www.newestamericans.com).

The authors’ celebration of foreign graduates and illegals comes as American graduates suffer from very slow growth in wages, despite their growing levels of college debts and rising housing prices.

Americans’ stalled salaries are partly caused by the little-recognized visa programs which allow employers to employ at least 1.5 million foreign graduates in U.S. professional jobs. These foreign graduates are not legal immigrants but are temporary workers hired via the H-1B, OPT, L-1, J-1, TN, 0-1, and H-4EAD programs. President Donald Trump has called for reforms to this middle-class outsourcing, but a draft bill in Congress — H.R.1044 and S.386 — would dramatically increase the incentives for Indian graduates to accept underpaid white-collar jobs in the United States.

The two colleges are already earning money by helping provide work permits to fee-paying foreign students via the “Optional Practical Training” program. In 2017, the Illinois institute helped get work-permits for 2,678 foreign graduates, while Rutgers helped get work permits for 1,956 foreign graduates. For more than a decade, the OPT program has put hundreds of thousands of foreign students in jobs sought by American graduates and has encouraged people from India, China, and elsewhere to seek university slots sought by Americans.

The op-ed’s new estimate that almost 100,000 illegals graduate from American highschools is based on a new survey by a pro-migration group, the Migration Policy Institute:

In conjunction with the Presidents’ Alliance, the Migration Policy Institute last week released new estimates showing that nearly 100,000 Dreamers graduate from high school annually, a significant increase from the oft-quoted and 15-year-old estimate of 65,000. In New Jersey and Illinois alone, approximately 8,000 Dreamers are expected to graduate high school in 2019 …  it is our goal to welcome these students to campuses and universities like ours across the country this fall.

However, the MPI report only hints at the additional costs of illegal migration.

The report says 125,000 younger illegals in U.S. schools reach graduate age each year, but only 98,000 illegals actually graduate from the schools.

The 98,000 total includes roughly 16,000 who graduate at ages 18 and 19, the MPI report says. This group, says the report, “are more likely to be EL [English Language] students and face steeper barriers to finishing high school than the on-time cohort due to limited English skills and, in many cases, interrupted formal education.”

Other data suggests that very few of the young illegals are ready for college, and fewer can help raise the average productivity and wealth of Americans graduates and blue-collar workers. The poor credentials of the younger migrants suggest they will need to rely on government aid as more migrants crowd into the United States, further suppressing Americans’ wages and spiking their rents.

A January 2018 report said roughly one-quarter of illegals eligible for the DACA amnesty are functionally illiterate. Steve Camarota, an expert at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote:

Even those numbers could exaggerate the level of assimilation. As mentioned above, a high-school diploma has become so commonplace among today’s youth (due in large part to watered-down standards) that it is no longer a strong indicator of skills. Similarly, CIS research has shown that immigrants tend to overstate their English ability. When Hispanic immigrants, who make up some 80 to 90 percent of DACA recipients, recently took an objective test of English literacy, 44 percent of those who said they speak English “well” or “very well” actually scored “below basic” — a level sometimes described as functional illiteracy. Based on test-takers with the required age and residency, I estimate that perhaps 24 percent of the DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only “basic” English ability.

A November 2017 report by the Migration Policy Institute showed that only four percent of DACA recipients have completed college, far below the roughly 17 percent of similar-aged young Americans who have college degrees. According to the MPI report:

While DACA recipients are almost as likely as U.S. adults in the same age group (15-32) to be enrolled in college (18 percent versus 20 percent), they are far less likely to have completed college (four percent versus 18 percent).

The MPI’s 2017 data showed that only 6,000 — or  1.6 percent — of the 382,000 DACA job-holders worked in white-collar technology-related occupations. That number was 0.9 percent of all DACA recipients to that date and was just 0.34 percent of the estimated “Dreamer” population of illegals aged 15 to 32. Another 9,000 DACA-holders work as teachers or teachers’ aides, says the MPI estimate.

Other studies show that most migrants perform very poorly in Americans schools. For example, a study released November 1 by the Anne E. Casey Foundation showed incredibly poor reading and math proficiency of fourth grade and eight-grade immigrants. According to a report in Breitbart News:

“On most of the measures we track in Race for Results, children in immigrant families fare worse than those in U.S.-born families,” the study authors purport. “Especially troubling are the large gaps in many of the education measures of both children and their parents.”

For children in the 4th grade living in immigrant families, only eight percent scored at or above the proficiency level in reading. In math, the proficiency rate is even worse, with only five percent of 8th graders in immigrant households scoring at or above the proficiency level.

Compare these statistics to that of children who are born in the U.S. to non-foreign families, where 38 percent of 4th graders scored at or above the reading proficiency level and 34 percent of 8th graders scored at or above the math proficiency.

Business lobbyists support the continued inflow of migrants who serve as low-tech workers, consumers, and renters. For example, the op-ed was touted by Todd Schulte, a lobbyist for a group of wealthy West Coast investors led by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately 1 million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers. The government also prints out more than 1 million work permits for foreigners, and rarely punishes companies for employing the population of at least 8 million illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment from the heartland to the coasts, explodes rents, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

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