A Note from the Editor: If Jobs are Number One, End Mass Immigration

By Wayne Lutton, Ph.D
Volume 20, Number 2 (Winter 2009-2010)
Issue theme: "Timeout! The case for a moratorium on legal immigration."

In his State of the Union address, President Obama declared that “jobs must be our Number One focus in 2010.” Yet nowhere did he acknowledge the need to end the importation of new workers who compete with Americans for whatever jobs may become available in the comings months and years.

Over 8.5 million jobs have been lost since the onset of the deepest recession since the 1930s. Merrill Lynch estimates our real unemployment rate jumped from 13.9 percent in February 2009 to 17.3 percent a year later, which include Americans who have been laid off from full-time positions and are now working part-time, and those who have simply stopped looking for work, as well as workers whose unemployment benefits have run out. The official unemployment figure, now at 10 percent, represents only those Americans currently receiving unemployment checks. It is not a comprehensive estimate of employment displacement.

Obama spent his first year in office pursuing policy initiatives unrelated to economic recovery. As we were going to press, key Democrats and Republicans in the Senate reached bipartisan agreement on key provisions. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters, “We feel that the American people need a message. The message that they need is that we’re doing something about jobs.” The average American has no idea how many more foreign-born job seekers, both legal and illegal immigrants combined, as well as “temporary” employment-visa holders, continue to enter the United States every year.

As the contributors to this issue of The Social Contract argue, a Moratorium on Immigration, that is, a suspension of immigrant entries, would provide a break so that any new jobs would go to Americans now out of work and younger people entering the labor market. This would also provide an opportunity to hold a real national debate on immigration policies that best serve the long-term interests of the American majority. Other than the spouses and dependent, minor, never-married children of U.S. citizens, no immigrants should be allowed to settle here during the term of the Immigration Moratorium. This is one simple way to create jobs for American citizens.

About the author

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D, is editor of The Social Contract.