Ted Cruz: Open Borders Is ‘Driving Down Wages’

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

“The open borders policy of Democrats is driving down the wages of millions of Americans,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Wednesday during a hearing for a Democrat amnesty bill.

The draft amnesty bill, which is titled the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, would provide amnesty and citizenship to the roughly 5 million illegal migrants who replaced Americans in jobs categorized by the government as “essential.” But roughly 80 percent of all jobs are categorized as “essential.”

The amnesty bill is pushed by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), who was born to Mexican migrants.

Cruz, who born to Latino refugees, spotlighted the bill’s economic harm in his May 12 in his comments:

The bill that we’re discussing in this hearing today is, I believe, a very dangerous bill. It is a radical bill that would grant amnesty to millions of people here illegally, with a broad swath that is wrong, immoral, and profoundly unfair.

It is unfair to millions of Americans — [to] low-income Americans, Americans who may be out of work, Americans who may be in difficult jobs.

The open borders policy of Democrats is driving down wages of millions of Americans [including] the African American community. This bill is terrible for the African American community. It lowers wages in the African American community. The Hispanic community: This bill is terrible for the Hispanic community. For legal immigrants: … this bill drives down wages for millions of legal immigrants.

Cruz also noted the damage done to migrants by the federal government’s dangled promises of amnesty to people who take dangerous, 2,000-mile trek from Central America:

This bill is also profoundly unfair to illegal immigrants. That may seem counterintuitive, but the crisis that is playing out on our southern border is the direct result of bills like this and the radical policies of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We’re told by advocates of bills like this that amnesty is humane. It is not humane when you have this year over 2 million people projected to come here illegally, being horribly mistreated by cartel members, being abused. That is the opposite of compassion. It is the opposite of humanity.

You want a humane policy ? Enforce the law. Last year we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years because the Remain in Mexico policy works. Today we have the highest rate in 20 years. Enforce the law, and welcome legal immigrants, That’s the way to go.

Biden’s policy on extraction migration also pulls young people out of small foreign countries so they can serve as workers, consumers, and high-occupancy renters in the United States. This resource extraction slows the economic and political development in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other countries that need young workers to attract the international investment that would otherwise go to other countries, such as China.

The top GOP member of the committee is Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). He sharply criticized the bill but did not address the economic impact. He said:

I am concerned with the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act [because] it puts basically the cart ahead of the horse. It aims to naturalize a large percentage of the undocumented population with only a tenuous nexus to the pandemic. The legal status of those who receive lawful permanent residents under this legislation is not in jeopardy because of the pandemic. The vast majority are simply unlawfully present in the United States.

In addition, the proposal does not enhance border security or interior enforcement — things like E Verify, [and] making sure that we figure out how to keep the drugs and the human traffickers out of our country, along with people who are economic migrants.

In fact, unfortunately, I think the proposal would actually weaken enforcement by eliminating disincentives to overstay visas, [and] by watering down the grounds on which the United States can exclude criminal aliens. Rather than permanently bringing people out of the shadows, this bill would I fear would only allow the number of undocumented migrants to grow …

It’s also fundamentally unfair to all of the migrants who have been caught in the long visa backlogs, including the people who fundamentally have been trying to do it the right way. It’s unfair to let others jump ahead of them in line.

The GOP members were allowed to invite two witnesses. One of the chosen witnesses was Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the president of the American Action Forum, who complained that the Democrats’ amnesty did not provide any additional workers to employers.

Holtz-Eakin called for more visa workers, more immigrants and claimed that the additional labor would raise wages, despite massive evidence that migration shifts money from wage-earners to investors.


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