Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says it “makes absolutely no sense” to continue current legal immigration levels when millions of Americans remain jobless due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily, Cotton said lawmakers should be focused on prioritizing Americans for jobs, not foreigners.
“It makes absolutely no sense, at this moment when we have millions of people still out of work, to be bringing in foreign workers to take their jobs,” Cotton said. “We need to focus on getting American citizens back into the workforce and back working again.”
Today, there are 26 million Americans who are jobless — 7.7 million of whom are out of the workforce altogether and about two million who have been out of work for months but want full-time employment. Another 8.4 million Americans are working part-time but want full-time jobs.
Every year, the United States admits about 1.2 million legal immigrants on green cards to permanently resettle in the country. In addition, another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs.
Record high unemployment, Cotton said, is only the latest justification for reducing overall immigration:
So many Americans have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and through no fault of their businesses, they lost it because of this virus that China unleashed on the world. We should not be bringing in more foreign workers to take those jobs.
Even before the pandemic … there was plenty of evidence that still many millions of Americans who were not actively looking for work who could have gotten into the workforce and could have gone to work if we weren’t bringing in millions of guest workers and new visa holders every single year. We need to focus on hiring American before we continue to bring in foreigners to take jobs that Americans can do.
Extensive research on the U.S. workforce finds that there are no jobs Americans will not do, despite constant claims by corporate interests and the cheap labor lobby. Only six of nearly 500 occupations reviewed by Center for Immigration Studies researchers were comprised of a majority of illegal and legal immigrants.
President Trump, to some degree, has sought to cut immigration to lessen foreign competition in the labor market against unemployed Americans.
In June, Trump signed an executive order halting the H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1, L-2, and J-1 visa programs. This month, though, State Department officials filled the order with exemptions and loopholes that American worker advocates say “gut” the president’s plan.
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s immigration plan, Cotton said, is a stark contrast to Trump’s, with explicit details to flood the labor market with 11 to 22 million newly legalized illegal aliens and provide taxpayer-funded health insurance to border crossers and visa overstays.
“A Biden administration and the Democrats will … decriminalize crossing our border illegally. Once the illegals are here, they’ll give them free healthcare while they take your healthcare away from you,” Cotton said.
“They want to give amnesty to 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants with almost immediate voting rights,” Cotton continued. “They want to permanently alter the structure of government in America.”
Recent polling from Reuters/Ipsos has shown that undecided voters, by a majority, support reducing legal immigration levels to protect the jobs and wages of Americans.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.