NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obama's Amnesty and the Impact on Jobs

November 21, 2014

The Obama administration's amnesty plan will give 5 million illegal immigrants work permits. According to Neil Munro at the Daily Caller, 4 million illegals who have been in the country for five years are eligible to apply for the permits, and another 1 million will be exempted from deportation in other ways.            

If one adds those permits, reports Munro, to the other 1 million permits that the administration has previously given out, it will equal 6 million -- the same number as the number of jobs that the economy has added since the president took office in 2009.

What does this mean for jobs and the economy? Munro notes that American wages have stagnated since 2000 due to a surplus of people seeking jobs. How many people are entering the job market every year?

  • The United States accepts 1 million new, legal immigrants every year. Over the last 5 years, 3.5 million have been of working-age.
  • Companies tend to hire 450,000 blue-collar guest workers and 200,000 white-collar guest workers each year.
  • 4.3 million Americans enter the workforce every year.
  • Currently, 9 million Americans are unemployed, while 7 million have given up looking for employment.
  • The number of native-born Americans with jobs has flat-lined since 2000.

According to Munro, some of the 5 million who will receive work permits are already working cash jobs or under false identities, but he says the newly permitted will compete with blue-collar workers and job seekers who were legally in the job market.

The Heritage Foundation recently released a report outlining steps to revive the American immigration system. The report, by Research Associate David Inserra, outlined many of the financial costs of illegal immigration, noting that illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will tend to be tax consumers, not contributors. Inserra noted that were the United States to grant amnesty to 11.5 million illegals, they would pay just $3.1 trillion over the course of a lifetime in taxes while receiving $9.4 trillion in government benefits.

Source: Neil Munro, "Obama's Amnesty Will Add As Many Foreign Workers As New Jobs Since 2009," Daily Caller, November 20, 2014. 


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