A note from the Editor - Mass Immigration and the Economic ‘Stimulus’

By Wayne Lutton, Ph.D
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 19, Number 2 (Winter 2008-2009)
Issue theme: "The Twin Crises - Immigration and Infrastructure"

As we go to press, President Obama is campaigning for a near-trillion dollar “economic stimulus” package. The bill’s selling point is that three million jobs (down from 4.5 million jobs promised while he was running for president last Fall) will be created or saved. But absent from his calculations is the impact of mass immigration.

Legal immigration continues apace at around 1.5 million newcomers a year. Various employment visa categories—especially H-1B visas awarded to what are claimed to be professional or skilled workers—add up to another 1.5 million to the workforce. An estimated 6 million or more illegal aliens are holding jobs in the United States. Many hold decent paying jobs in the hospitality industry and in construction.

Since the recession started in 2007, 3.6 million Americans have lost their jobs. But President Obama has expressed no intention to reduce legal immigration during his first term. Six million legal immigrants—not counting however many million non-immigrant employment visa holders are allowed to enter—are in line to come to the U.S. over the next four years. So whatever “stimulus” his array of big spending programs may give to the American economy, more new legal job-seeking immigrants will enter our job markets, swamping whatever jobs are created or saved.

Long-term economic security must include concern for numbers. The American economy cannot recover without a long “time out” from mass immigration.

About the author

Wayne Lutton is editor of The Social Contract.

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