Rising Unemployment Stalls Obama's Push for Immigration Reform--Good

Immigration is bad for the environment.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

There are few silver linings in an economic recession. But here's one: The current recession may derail President Obama's pledge to reform immigration laws including a "path to legalization" for at least 12 million immigrants now living illegally in the United States.

Bloomberg has this take on the prospects for immigration reform:

The long campaign to overhaul U.S. immigration laws may be derailed for yet another year—this time by the deteriorating economy.

Lawmakers, lobbyists and advocates on both sides of the issue said the highest unemployment rate in more than 25 years would make it difficult for President Barack Obama to push legislation that would legalize millions of immigrants in the country illegally and create a new guest-worker program.

"The debate has changed," said Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who opposed immigration legislation when it was last considered in 2007. "I don't think it's going to be a pleasant discussion because the American people won't be happy about it."

I come to my opposition to massive legal and illegal immigration from an environmental perspective. We're never going to cut down on smog, overdevelopment, traffic jams, yes, even traffic jams (and oh, don't forget, global warming) without first getting population growth under control.

Funny that a new group pushing for increased immigration is made up of major U.S. corporations, according to the Bloomberg piece:

Englewood, Colorado-based Western Union and Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott have joined a new advocacy group, ImmigrationWorks USA, to push for (immigration reform) legislation.

Of course corporations want more poverty-stricken people entering the country—even in the midst of a recession with millions of Americans out of work. Those in desperate economic circumstances are willing to take any pittance as wages. Look at what this new group, Immigration Works USA says on its website

Unskilled Labor Shortage: The Facts

  • The Department of Labor estimates that half of the jobs created in the next five years will require no more than a high school education.
  • In 1960 half of all American men dropped out of high school to look for unskilled work. Today only 10% do.
  • 50% of all the new jobs created in the last decade were filled by foreign-born workers.
  • A recent Pew Study highlights the crisis:
  • Annual need for unskilled foreign workers: 500,000.
  • Visas issued annually to year-round unskilled workers: 5,000.
  • Losing immigrant labor would be devastating for the U.S. economy—for American businesses and the Americans who work for them.

This claim is ridiculous on its face. Hire legal citizens, and pay them decent wages.

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