Expert Finds Illegal Aliens Negatively Affect Wages for American Workers

Last week, Julie Hotchkiss, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, presented her new study which found that illegal aliens in the workforce “exert a downward pressure on wages for other workers,” but insisted that the amount is “negligible overall.” Uncharacteristically for an academic touting her work, Hotchkiss downplayed the significance of her report. She said no one should really be concerned about the results of her study because it was based on a “fairly small sample” of illegal alien workers in Georgia (FAIR question – Why conduct a report based on what you consider to be an unrepresentative sample, and why release a report if you don’t think the results are significant?). And while there is a “negative overall impact for workers whose employers hire [illegal] workers,” on average it is “only $56 a year, but there is a lot of variation across sectors.” In some sectors, the wages of legal workers were found to be lowered by as much as $700 a year, but that was not cause for concern, at least for Hotchkiss.

I would imagine those who have had their wages lowered wouldn’t agree that the effect has been negligible. What Hotchkiss also failed to address in her presentation is that illegal immigration has heavily contributed to wage stagnation in many low-skill occupations. Blue collar workers have not seen their real wages increase since the 1970s. The stagnation of blue collar wages has been driving the increasing income inequality that gets so much attention by politicians and pundits, most of whom ignore the immigration component.

But at least Hotchkiss and the Atlanta Fed are taking a step in the right direction by acknowledging the obvious. In 2010, the San Francisco Fed published a report by Giovanni Peri, despite the fact that his work had been roundly discredited by other economists who have examined his methodology. Peri claimed that illegal immigration does not “diminish the employment opportunities of U.S.-born workers,” but instead “creates favorable conditions for all U.S. workers.”

Hotchkiss may qualify her findings by saying that the negative impacts of illegal immigration on American workers is “negligible,” but this latest study is progress nonetheless.

Comments

  1. avatar Joe Rizoli says:

    Illegals are NOT undocumented. They have plenty of documents, it’s just they are false. What we need, and believe me its not easy to do, is to change the LAWS from out towns elected government. No businesses open up in the town unless they comply with all Federal and State regulations as to WHO they hire and the legality of the person opening up the business.Unfortunately the liberal mentality that our town Governments expouse is not helping the situation. We also need to get our Sheriffs involved, another problem of iberal nonsense. The religions aren’t helping out either and that includes Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. They have done a poor job in setting an example of Rule Of Law. But document fraud is a good way to fight this but again who is willing to represent you?

    Joe Rizoli
    CCFIILE.com

  2. avatar Lipstick says:

    I know from experience that in North West Arkansas illegal aliens are painting for lots of builders. They have run Americans out of these jobs. They work for way less than Americans because they are allowed to come here and live 3-4 families in a house. They are enacting local laws now to limit how many families can live in local homes. They have run so many Arkansans off from the jobs they have had for years and made a good living at. Our government does not care about us. While we are forced to take lousy low paying factory jobs we are seeing those jobs go too as the economy slows and businesses close their factories here. We are hurting terribly. It is wrong. Watch. I read all the time where people want immigrqants here who are educated. All those educated illegal immigrants who did not want to come here legally are allowed to take jobs too. They will be coming for higher paying jobs. The one you just might hold. How will you cope then when you are let go because these people will work for less per hour than you? I will happen and look for it soon if Obama gets in again. He will then be able to pass any Amnesty he want just by Presidential Edict or the wave of his magic wand.

  3. avatar Larry Hux says:

    For those that wish to fight for this nation’s survival contact me at : [email protected]
    For immigration facts: immigrationcounters.com
    To discuss immigration and other political issues: intheav.com
    To become active and fax your political leaders for free: numbersusa.com (its free to join and takes onlyseconds.)
    As a veteran and a native american I have watched america change for the worse under the leadership of traitors in the White House, Congress and the Senate in 50 years there won’t be a america unless you vote, protest and be active contacting your political leaders.
    Look at California its the worse example I can think of and I am a native californian who has lived in other states because of illegal immigrants, in fact my name and face was put on a list on avtoday.net which is a pro-illegal immigration site.
    California spends 22.6 billion dollars on providing illegal aliens and their anchor babies social services and other benefits that americans find hard to get.
    Its the reason california is broke and has the crime rate that it has, 90% of all murder warrants in Los Angeles is for illegal aliens.
    It will happen to your state if you don’t get off your ass. To my fellow veterans yeah I know were getting old and tired, but hey this is for your children and grandchildren.

    • avatar firedup says:

      Yes Larry i too live in Kalifornia – i’m an electrician in civil service – i routinely see illegals working JOURNEY level jobs – with their smug arrogance towards you and i brother – because the dead weight in the federal gov’ can only think as far as their own selfish interests allow..You’re a vet so am i – i truly love this country we both know treason in a time of war is punishable by death – not many out there can say we’re not at war on many fronts – the very least we need to do is to impeach that imposter – and incarcerate him for the damage he’s done.Not to mention the very real danger he’s putting us in with his bootlicking – i’ve got a very real fear he’s going to get us all killed.God help us if he manages to weasel his way in again as he WILL destroy what 200+ years of brave sacrifices have yielded – The freedom for some despot like him to get away with murder -

  4. avatar BILL VOM WEG says:

    THESE ARE VERY GOOD COMMENTS. THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE EVOLUTION TO CURE THIS AND THE MAJORITY OF OUR OTHER PROBLEMS IS BELOW. READ ON.

    I AGREE THE UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS (CALLING THEM “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS” IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL TECHNIQUE TO AVOID CHANGE;) AND LACK OF BORDER CONTROL IS AN INEFFICIENT AND INEFFECTIVE WAY TO WORK FOR THE COMMON GOOD. IT ALLOWS MISTREATMENT OF OTHER HUMAN BEINGS BOTH UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS AND THE AMERICAN WORKERS DISPLACED.

    WE ALL MUST SHARE THE COST OF HIGHER PRICED GOODS OR NOT HAVING SOME GOODS BECAUSE THEY ARE OVER PRICED IF A LIVING WAGE AND GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS ARE REQUIRED IF THAT IS WHAT IT TAKES.

    THERE ARE UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS WHO WOULD NOT BE HERE IF THERE WERE ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS RELATED TO NOT HIRING UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS PASSED IN 1986. VERY FEW OF THESE PEOPLE WOULD BE HERE IF THEY WERE NOT ILLEGALLY GIVEN WORK BY AMERICANS MOTIVATED BY SHORT TERM GREED AND LONG TERM IGNORANCE.

    WE SHOULD TREAT EVERY PERSON THE WAY WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.

    WE HAVE TO BE WILLING TO THINK SMARTER. TO ENFORCE LAWS ON THE BOOKS, TO GO THE NEXT STEP AND EVOLVE OUR REPRESENTATIVE SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS THIS AND MOST OF OUR SUBJECTIVE AVOIDANCE OF RATIONAL SOLUTIONS.

    TERM LIMITS IS THE ONLY RATIONAL SOLUTION TO THIS AND MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS.

    I SUGGEST YOU CONSIDER BEING INVOLVED IN TERM LIMITS FOR ALL OF OUR REPRESENTATIVES.

    TERM LIMITS IS WHAT IS NEEDED. TERM LIMITS IS NEEDED WITHIN 3 TO 6 YEARS OR THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIETAL SITUATION WILL GET WORSE EVEN WITH THE EFFORT WE ARE INVESTING. (WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN HAVE A TERM LIMITS AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION IN 3 TO 6 YEARS. WITHOUT YOUR HELP IT WILL TAKE A LITTLE LONGER BUT WE WILL HAVE IT. WHAT IS IN YOUR ENLIGHTEN SELF-INTEREST? THINK ABOUT IT, WILL YOU? WHY WILL IT NOT WORK? WHAT IS WORKING IN THE SYSTEM WE HAVE NOW THAT THE SPECIAL INTERESTS CANNOT CONTROL WITH ADVERTISING MONEY AND BOUGHT REPRESENTATIVES? WHAT HAVE THEY GOT TO LOSE? WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE? ARE 80% OR 70% OR EVEN 60% OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU INCAPABLE OF WORKING FOR REASONABLE COMPROMISE FOR THE COMMON GOOD?)

    PRODUCTION IS IN THE SYSTEM. WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM. IT IS NOT THE PARTY OR THE PERSON IT IS THE SYSTEM. 80% OF ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE WORLD WIDE ARE GOOD PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD. WE ARE JUST ORGANIZED AND MANAGED INEFFICIENTLY.

    THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE WAY WE CAN EVOLVE OUR SOCIETAL INSTITUTIONS TO GOVERNMENT OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE IS BY ONE 6 YEAR TERM LIMITS FOR ALL OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES/MANAGERS. EVEN THE POWERS THAT BE WOULD BE BETTER OFF BECAUSE FREE PEOPLE PRODUCE MORE, KEEP MORE AND SHARE MORE. (IF YOU DO NOT THINK ONE 6 YEAR TERM LIMITS IS A THE EVOLUTION NEEDED WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SAYING IS THAT YOU HAVE NOT UNDERSTOOD OR ADMITTED MOST PEOPLE, ABOUT 80%, REGUARDLESS OF GENDER, COLOR, RACE OR RELIGION ARE FAIRLY GOOD PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK TO TOGETHER ON A LEVEL, FAIR AND EQUAL PLAYING FIELD FOR THE COMMON GOOD.)

    WE SHOULD SHARE THE IDEA THAT A ONE 6 YEAR TERM LIMITS AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION IN THE ENLIGHTENED SELF-INTEREST OF THOSE WE COMMUNICATE WITH ESPECIALLY WITH THE INCUMBENT CONGRESSMEN AND EVERYONE RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

    WE SHOULD SECURE FIRM COMMITMENTS AND NOT JUST LIP SERVICE TO WORK FOR ONE 6 YEAR TERM LIMITS FROM EVERY CURRENT AND FUTURE CANDIDATE UNTIL IT IS ACHIEVED. INCUMBENTS WOULD BE GRANDFATHERED IN FOR ONE TERM IF THEY RAN AGAIN AND WERE ELECTED BUT WE WOULD BE MORE INTELLIGENT TO VOTE FOR THE MOST QUALIFIED AND MOTIVATED PERSON RUNNING FOR OFFICE WHO HAS NO BEEN IN OFFICE BEFORE.

    • avatar firedup says:

      sounds workable to me – let them find out what the real world of work is all about instead of taking a perpetual joy-ride on our dime -

  5. avatar David says:

    If you were to look at the main industry impacted,,, Construction ,,, you would find the wage disparity much greater. Wages overall are down 30% in real $ from 1990. In many others such as fast food the disparity probably would not be as severe. The difference to many construction workers is thousands per year and not simply hundreds. In addition to the depression of wages ,, many workers simply cannot afford to work in these industries period. This has the effect of displacing American workers because they cannot earn a living wage and must choose another occupation. I am living this fact now. I have been in construction for 30 years and have had to leave and resort to driving a truck to earn $10,000 less per year than I earned in construction,,,, in which I had not seen any increase in wages since the 90′s. Not to diminish truck drivers,,,, but I would rather be working in my chosen profession. The impact felt from illegal immigration on jobs and wages is not equal and an across the board comparison is like comparing the price of apples to oranges.

    • avatar firedup says:

      HERE HERE BROTHER – I see it daily as well as l’m an electrician – fortunately i’m in civil service in facilities maintenance so those criminals can’t endanger my living – but i interact when i’m buying parts – with their smug and not so smug arrogance they think they can take your job – because the criminals that have actually ended up in power it serves their selfish interests.Makes me livid it really does – I never thought i’d see this kind of a day i really do love this country and to see it get flushed down the shitter along with the rest – God help us if the ” imposter ” weasels his way in again -

  6. avatar Paul Snell says:

    I framed houses with my dad for 30 years . I didnt go to collage because I was going to build houses for a living. I was already set up. when it was time for the buisness to be mine, nothing was left but wore out van full of wore out tools. We had a great reputation on quality work. By 1996 here in memphis, Tn we couldnt get another house to build and we have been building since 1962. The Mexicans cut our prices over a dollar a square foot and today they are building them for half of what we were getting in 1996. The Mexicans destroyed our buisness. Ive been saying the Mexicans didnt take anything , it was giving to them by our own special intrest groups and our own governemnt sold us out. In 1998 a head guy at the imigration office in new orleans and one guy here in memphis told me that he had orders and every other imigration offices all over the united states to leave the illeagal mexicans alone because they are helping our econemy grow and if americans complained just go out and make a showing but let them back go. those orders were issued by attorny general at the time janet reno. whom Bill clinton appointed. In my book and it should be in every other americans book that is Treasen against the americans of the united states. Treasen ! We have been paying taxes to our government for ever and part of that money was for protecton of illeagal invasions. so americans could maintain a quality of life and we didnt have to live like third world countries. In 1993 up to 1996 we had Americans walking and driving up to outr jobsites asking for jobs. we gave then jobs. Those mexicans that have all the work today will not hire americans. (TREASEN)

    • avatar firedup says:

      You bet it is – and to think ” slick willie ” actually makes 6 figures for ONE speaking engagement as if that he had ANYTHING worthwhile to say – he SHOULD have been impeached – The imposter in the White House i’ve said it for years should be as well – as well as put behind bars for the damage he’s done and the danger he’s put us in, right now, which is only going to get worse.Absolutely its their special interest its the ONLY way he’ll get re-elected is to create a new voter class as he’s enraged the rank and file American – I’m in construction too i’m an electrician but fortunately i work in civil service so they can’t steal my job – But i witness their arrogance on a regular basis – Some of my best friends growing up were Hispanic,have dated Hispanic women and its this that keeps me from being completely prejudice save the few people at work that are American Mexicans who were born here like you and i – But i see their arrogance everyday – Makes me livid…We need immigration reform alright – The laws need to be enforced & STRENGTHENED -

  7. avatar Tom King says:

    First, let’s not be naive; US presidents are selected- not elected. Mitt Wall Street will not help with this issue. (changing) Congress is our only hope for real change with this and any other issue. The main thing to keep in mind with regard to illegals is their salary. They are NOT paid minimum or even low wages. Why? Simple- they don’t pay taxes, keep their families in their home countries, and basically live dirt poor: having many roommates, keeping expenses to absolute bare-bones costs, etc. (Ever see one sitting at Starbucks spending $2+ for a coffee? I don’t think so.).

    The key is the EQUIVALENT salary that illegals are receiving – equivalent to their home currency. This is because illegals do not see the US as their home- and never will. Their money goes immediately to their home country and does not stay in circulation here in the US. Unlike Americans who can not afford to save any money, illegals easily save enough to buy a house and/or business in their countries after only a year or so working here in the US. Why Americans can’t see this is beyond me. For example, the average salary in Mexico – and this is on the high end- is $5 A DAY. In China, India, and other countries it is MUCH LESS. What this means is that illegals are making the EQUIVALENT of $80-$400 PER HOUR. Most illegals make in a day here in the US what they would make in a month in their country. Imagine that for a moment. When we pass a fast-food place with a help wanted sign reading “$10/per hour”, what illegals see is “$80-$400 per hour”.

    Imagine if Mexico and the US were reversed, and we were the illegals. If you make (if you’re lucky) $15-20 dollars an hour here legally, but you know you can make $100-300 dollars per hour illegally in Mexico – you really think Americans wouldn’t be there by the millions…?

    Please don’t misinterpret this post as condoning or even accepting illegal immigration. I think illegals are highly disrespectul of our laws and damaging to our society in general and on many levels. Yet, we are not dealing with laws or even nationalities here: at this level of enormous income disparity (and subsequent opportunity), we are dealing with human nature – which is much more difficult to contain or restrict.

    From drug cartels to K-street lobbyists to illegals…. we are living in highly corrupt times.

    • avatar Raymond says:

      Im a Hispanic/American and there are many more like me, that are generations upon generations true Americans. We do not I repeat do not want these immigrants here and they know how we fill about them, because we know how they fill about us. We want jobs, we have birth certificate as well as Social Security cards but no jobs, because we dont speak spanish. You want are Vote, hey were legal show us by demanding E-Verify in the work place and let us know you are doing this not only for us but for all Americans.

  8. avatar Viet Nam Vet 67-68 says:

    Who didn’t know this? They also don’t pay taxes because they usually work for minimum wage and get all their taxes back. We also support their children in school and they take little or no benefits on the job,we pay for their medical and we have an increase in diseases that they brought with them and they are TAKING AMERICAN JOBS. All this and more, 11,000 Americans have been Murdered by Illegals in the last 10 years and the diseases I just mentioned that they are bringing have by our own Federal Health Organization stated that 20,000 Americans died directly from stronger bacteria and viral strains in 2010, this is also costing us more money wise because Americans are spending more time in the Hospital. What part of this doesn’t Congress understand? The problem with Congress is they don’t care about Americans just big business that can get cheap labor and their vote even if it comes from Illegals. Folks this is a problem for Americans not demo-Communists or RepubliRATS we need to remove not only Obama but 99% of Congress. We the people have to work 45-50 years for our meager retirement yet these guys in Congress have given themselves the best Health Care Program and a retirement we can only dream of for just 4 or 6 years of living high on our tax Dollars. Did you know the least amount that one of these ‘public servants’ gets with 1 term, its $175,000.00 TAX DOLLARS plus their Medical and dental. Get smart the only, only way we are going to get out of this mess is by getting rid of politicians from both sides and that means all of them. Ron Paul is the only Constitutionalist in D.C. and Romney for you Idiots out there is BIG BUSINESS AND BIG GOVERNMENT AND HE DOESN’T LIKE THE 2 ND AMENDMENT VERY MUCH AND HE HAS PASSED A FORERUNNER TO OBAMINATION CARE AND HE WON’T REVOKE THE LAST TWO BILLS THAT TOOK OUR 1ST AND 5TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS AWAY. ROMNEY IS A SMALLER VERSION OF OBAMINATION.

  9. avatar scott says:

    how did she come up with the wages she obviusly didnt do any trade job ernings cause that would be thousands of dollars a year lost per worker

  10. avatar Momma KNows says:

    She did the “study” with the intent to disprove the claim that hiring illegals brings down the wages of legal American workers. That is why she chose the sample she used and why she tried to downplay the results she got. Studies can be created to deliver the results that are desired.

  11. avatar elmo says:

    As someone who sent me an e-mail a little while ago said, it’s amazing how much money we will spend to defend an unpopluar health care bill, but not enough effort to be able to prove you’re a citizen when working or voting….

  12. avatar jhf says:

    I don’t know the exact figures, but wages in the meat-packing industry have gone from close to $20 per hour to around $10. That has coincided with the increase in the use of illegal labor by the meat packers. Anyone who says that illegal labor doesn’t hurt wages for U.S. workers has some other “agenda”.

  13. avatar John F. Kostrubal says:

    Illegal immigration has had an adverse impact, not only on American wages, but our whole economy as well . The cost and demand they have on our Medical, Educational, Welfare and all other public assistance programs is astronomical, taking away needed funds for our less fortunate Americans. Not to mention the cost and demand they impose on our Law Enforcement and Correctional facilities.
    Our government, both Republicans and Democrats have had decades to secure our borders, and completely enforce our laws, yet our Southern border is less than 50% operationally secure, our government refuses to completely enforce our laws and has the audacity to continue to grant incentives and benefits to these foreigners. Politicians are successfully transforming our nation into a Welfare state, using these foreigners for political and personal self preservation .