White House Blog Promotes Amnesty and Mass Immigration

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As part of its campaign to convince a skeptical American public about the benefits of amnesty and mass immigration, two Administration economic advisors published a blog on the White House website entitled, “Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy.” The blog by Jason Furman and Danielle Gray is a case-book example of how to carefully select facts (and ignore those that are inconvenient) and cite questionable sources to support a predetermined conclusion.

Below are the “facts” and arguments offered by Furman and Gray, followed by some of the information they chose to leave out.

1. Immigrants start businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants.

First of all, Americans also start businesses. Second, many of these businesses are just mom and pop operations that do not increase employment in the community. Many immigrant-owned businesses cater to the immigrant community around them and would be unnecessary and unviable if not for large-scale immigration. In addition, these businesses tend to spring up in areas where immigration has changed the make-up of the community resulting in existing businesses relocating or closing.

2. Immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, small businesses owned by immigrants employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, and according to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion annually.

Besides the fact that a large portion of the 4.7 million people who are employed by immigrant-owned businesses are family members or fellow immigrants, the number of people such businesses employ does not even offset the number of jobs lost by Americans to illegal immigrants (about 8 million). The $776 billion generated by immigrant-owned businesses amounts to just 5 percent of current GDP. Moreover, much of that $776 billion would have been generated by native-owned businesses if the products, and particularly the services, provided were demanded by consumers.

3. Immigrants are also more likely to create their own jobs. According the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of the foreign born are self-employed compared to 6.6 percent among the native-born.

Define “jobs” and define “self-employed.” This can often mean working sporadically, or in the underground economy. Such workers also tend to lack basic benefits like health insurance making them far more likely to depend on public health care.

4. Immigrants develop cutting-edge technologies and companies. According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started 25 percent of public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors. This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.

The fact that a small number of immigrants have been enormously beneficial to the U.S. economy does not mean that our immigration system as a whole benefits the country. We do not have an immigration process that selects people based on their likelihood to start the next Google or the next eBay. In fact, about one-third of all immigrants lack a high school education. Also, the 25 percent statistic includes ventures in which an immigrant may have been among a group of people who founded a company.

5. Immigrants are our engineers, scientists, and innovators. According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists. Additionally, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, foreign-born inventors were credited with contributing to more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities.

Immigrants are increasingly becoming our engineers and scientists because natives are being driven out of those fields. In recent months several studies (conducted by reputable researchers who have no defined position in the immigration debate) have concluded that there is a surplus of trained American STEM workers, but that many of them are openly discriminated against or have become discouraged and mover to other fields.

6. Immigration boosts earnings for American workers. Increased immigration to the United States has increased the earnings of Americans with more than a high school degree. Between 1990 and 2004, increased immigration was correlated with increasing earnings of Americans by 0.7 percent and is expected to contribute to an increase of 1.8 percent over the long-term, according to a study by the University of California at Davis.

Most of the meager increase in earnings associated with immigration for “Americans with more than a high school degree” has been accrued by a very small percentage of the population – primarily the direct employers of the immigrant workers, who are often prepared to work more cheaply than American workers. Among American workers with less than a high school diploma – more than 20 million adults – the effects have been devastating, driving this cohort even deeper into poverty. Also not accounted for are the costs to American taxpayers to provide services and public assistance to immigrant-headed households, which are 50 percent more likely to rely on such services than native-headed households.

7. Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015.

Leaving aside the fact that the Immigration Policy Center is an advocacy organization dedicated to promoting large-scale immigration, the numbers are not that impressive. Latinos now make up about 16 percent of the U.S. population, but their $1.5 trillion purchasing power represents only about 10 percent of the total purchasing power of people in the U.S. In addition, some $50 billion a year in remittances sent by immigrant workers to relatives in their home countries flows out of the U.S. economy each year. If the same wages had been earned by native workers, most of that money would likely have remained in the U.S. economy spurring job growth, tax revenues and other benefits.

8. Immigration reform legislation like the DREAM Act reduces the deficit. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, under the 2010 House-passed version of the DREAM Act, the federal deficit would be reduced by $2.2 billion over ten years because of increased tax revenues.

When a number is really small, the best thing to do is to multiply it by ten and project it over the course of a decade. $2.2 billion over ten years works out to a $220 million reduction in the federal deficit. The federal deficit for the current fiscal year is projected to be $1.17 trillion. Thus the DREAM Act “bonanza” would close the gap by about 1/88th of 1 percent. Of course the CBO estimate does not look at how the budget deficit might be affected if laws against illegal immigration were enforced and many jobs now held by illegal aliens were filled by legal U.S. workers.

9. Comprehensive immigration reform would create jobs. Comprehensive immigration reform could support and create up to 900,000 new jobs within three years of reform from the increase in consumer spending, according to the Center for American Progress.

The Center for American Progress is a highly partisan and avowed advocacy group promoting amnesty for illegal aliens. For one thing, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. is conservatively estimated to be about 11 million, about 12 times the number of jobs that CAP claims would be created by legalizing them. Moreover, even if CAP’s projections are to be believed, the raw figure says nothing about the quality of the jobs that they claim would be created. Given the poor education and job skills of most illegal aliens, these would likely be low-paying jobs that would require American taxpayers to heavily subsidize the workers and their dependents

10. Comprehensive immigration reform would increase America’s GDP. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that even under low investment assumptions, comprehensive immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Aside from the fact that the percentage boost to GDP, over a four-year period would be insignificant, GDP by itself is a very poor indicator of the health of an economy. The raw GDP numbers tell us nothing about how wealth and income are distributed across the population.

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Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

37 Comments

  1. avatar

    WILL THE REAL AMERICA PLEASE STAND UP?
    I am a 50 year old single mother of a teenage high school student. I have a son who is currently serving in the U.S. Military. I was turned down for a job yesterday, because I did not speak Spanish; those were the exact words of the recruiter. Yes folks, that is correct, and welcome to Texas, this is our reality down here. We Americans are losing jobs to immigrants because we don’t speak their native languages.

    Why should I have to be forced to speak Spanish when I am trying to get a job in the United States of America two miles down the road from my home in Houston, Mr. Obama? Immigrants who wish to reside in the U.S.A. need to learn English, plain and simple, not the other way around. If the tables were turned and Ms. Linda from Texas moved to Mexico, I highly doubt that the entire country of Mexico is going to roll out the red carpet for me, and start speaking English on my behalf.

    I am angry that the immigrants here in Texas are reaping the benefits that the U.S. Government allows them, and then having them take advantage of the system, as they work for cash in my neighborhood selling tamales door-to-door, grooming lawns, and cleaning pools, and more. Guess what, those immigrants are laughing all the way to the bank, driving shinny new trucks that they can afford as they are not paying income taxes.

    I came into hard times a few months ago due to my daughter’s health. I am struggling to survive and I don’t qualify for any benefits. Let me repeat that, I don’t qualify for ANY BENEFITS. I am a U.S. Citizen, white race, and I don’t qualify for squat. I am behind on my mortgage payments, my cupboards are near empty, my electric bill is due on August 7th, and did I mention that my water is being shut off at the end of business day today.

    I have been trying to get a job for months; I have a very good resume and have always been a hard worker. Mr. Obama, please tell me why immigrants are getting jobs in my neighborhood, but I can’t even seem to get a single job offer, not even for half of what I was previously making. I welcome you to take a look through the employment ads, see for yourself how many positions require applicants to be bilingual, take a drive through Houston and get a glimpse for yourself, if you don’t believe my words.

    Immigrants are also taking jobs away from are high school kids that are looking for their first part-time job to save money for college. How our kids are are suppose to learn the value of a dollar when they can’t even get their first job. Go to any fast-food drive through in town, most workers barely speak English and 9 times out of 10 you’ll go home with a whopper when you ordered chicken nuggets and fries. But yet, our educated high school students born and bred in the U.S.A. are having a hard time finding work, this is reality. Not all the hogwash statistics they you see posted on the web that immigrants are helping the U.S. economy.

    Fact: America is America

    Fact: America is not Mexico

    Fact: Companies cannot continue to discriminate against non-bilingual, English speaking citizens of this country, that trying to seek gainful employment within the boundaries of the United States of America”

    Fact: We have a right to work to, just like the immigrants.

    Fact: We have a right to speak english in America, and get jobs because we speak english.

    Stand-up America and put an end to this madness – this land is our land.

  2. avatar

    Okay – let’s see here –
    There are millions (let’s say 20 million) of illegal aliens here in this country working –
    there is also millions (let’s say 20 million) jobs that Americans could work INSTEAD of illegal aliens.

    It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out – or is it me??
    People say “well, you can’t get rid of ALL of them, could you?” I say “yes. Throw them out on their rears.” This way – there will be jobs for everybody. The Border Patrol will keep busy. They can hire more – because yes, yes we can get rid of the crap. If 0bama wanted MORE jobs to be created – he should be able to AT LEAST keep the Border Patrol in business – NOT be shutting down more & more stations where more & more people will be out of work!! That is INSANE thinking. I don’t understand HOW shutting down border patrol stations will be making more jobs!! Or even amnesty or the DREAMAct – how is THAT going to make more jobs for anyone?? INSANE leaders make insane rules, regulations & policies. I also heard today that the USDA is plugging food stamps in Mexico!! More insanity…………

  3. avatar

    What we’re hearing is the American people don’t want to sell out to the illegals. If this is what you’re saying
    don’t vote for Obama. Put him back in office a second time and we have lost as Americans.
    He’s heading us toward a ONE WORLD GOVERMENT>>>

  4. avatar

    Well it all sounds good but there is more to it then the Obama admin will admit to.
    If you all are buying what the government is saying , better think again.
    Along with all the ILLegals comes the Drug cartels. So this is the future for your children.
    Where do you think 80% of drugs come from so that you kid can get loaded on and
    possibly overdose. American People are buying all this crap.

  5. Pingback: Invasion: July 22-23, 2012 « No Stinking Amnesty

  6. avatar
    Crazy shaman on

    Illegal immigrants contribute more to our economy than welfare-dependent Caucasians and blacks.

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Aliens on

      CRAZY Shaman: I would love to see statistics by a reputable analyst supporting your claim. As a matter of fact, going forward, you should include links to such; it “might” help your credibility.

    • avatar

      You’re crazy, alright…………………..those illegal “immigrants” don’t contribute. THEY SEND THEIR MONEY TO THEIR FAMILIES IN SOUTH AMEREICA (or where ever they came from). Have you noticed that the economy in Brazil is BOOMING?? Do you KNOW why it is booming?? Because the illegal aliens come here – illegally. Work here – illegally. Stay here – illegally. Drive here – illegally. Over-stay their visas – illegally. Commit their crimes here – illegally. More than anything – they send the money they make here – illegally – back to their country so when they are done with us – they can go back home & live like royalty – NOT here – but in their own countries. Did you read above that 50 BILLION dollars are being DEPORTED to JUST Mexico?? With all this lawlessness – it’s amazing that our president – or Eric Holder – just doesn’t get rid of the ones he doesn’t like. For security sake – of course. Maybe you shouldn’t call yourself crazy – it should be more like dilusional. That’s more you.

  7. avatar

    The statistics they are stating are for immigrants. Not ILLEGAL ALIENS!
    Why do they think we should lump them all together? To bolster their numbers?

    • avatar
      Concertgebouw on

      The co – opted corporate media and the administration in command, whether Dem or Pub, have and consistently erase distinction between legal and illegal. Another critical point NEVER mentioned by either political party is that , consistently, over the past 20+ years, dating from George Bush, Sr. administration — the ‘New World Order’ president — is that legal immigration quota increased from approximately 500,000 annually to between 1.0 – 1.1 million annually. There are more than a few respectable sources which inform that 125,000 is the approximate MONTHLY increase of jobs required to keep pace with population increase. If you should choose, please go to John Williams Shadow Government website. U3 stat is ONLY stat revealed in the mass media, currently 8.3%; U6 is gov’t current most critical measure, currently 15%; the methodology used b4 the Bill Clinton ‘massaged’ the calculation in 1994 is currently 22.5%. The 22.5% is very close to Spain’s @ 24% and that of Greece’s @ 21%. These percentages are overall percentages. Youth unrmployment in both countries is near 50% and in the US unrmployment for HS grads between 18 – 29 years is between 35 – 40%.

  8. avatar
    joel wischkaemper on

    A coming event!!!!!

    The Supreme Court is going to examine the issue of who is a citizen and who is not later this year. But this year and that means the issue of birthright citizenship is going to be solved.

  9. avatar

    Why do I always feel a put-down from this Admin? Don’t we as Americans do these same things? And, with the amount of jobs created each month, there aren’t enough jobs to go around. So, does that mean we should be giving up our jobs for the “new immigrants” legal or not?

  10. avatar

    These two people are just part of the idiot Obama administration, and their plan to in time try, and end this Republic with civil disorder, and just outright flaunting, and ignoring of the U.S. Constitution. These Buffoons are continually breaking some law or other or Pissing on the Bill of Rights. In 2008 the people showed they weren’t Racist by electing the (Hope and Change) Democrat. Please now in 2012 show the World, and the people of this Country that you aren’t Stupid, and send him home.

  11. avatar

    None of the indicated details tells me how any of this will rid my country of the alien invaders. The imperative here is to remove from my land those who do not belong here. What action must be taken to effect the complete removal of illegal aliens, and following logic, how can we stop access to the country. Recent news reports indicate that Asians are now the fastest growing population segment and the reason for the growth is immigration. How is this possible? Have we given up on the ability to regulate our border, or have we so destroyed our goal of sanctity for the American Citizen that we no longer stop access in any manner. Asians do not step across the border from Asia after all – we are failing to prevent access.

  12. avatar

    MOST OF THE LATINO IMMAGRANTS THAT ARE HERE BUILD THIER LITTLE INTERPRISES UNDER THE TABLE I’VE SEEN WAY TO MANY OUT THERE GOING DOOR TO DOOR AT BUSSINESSES SELING FOOD WITHOUT HEALTH CERTIFICATES AND THIER NOT EVEN PAYING TAXES ON THE SALES THESE ARE THE BUSSINESSES THAT MOST OF THEM ARE CREATING AND THE US IS NOT GETTING ANY REVENUE FROM THIS AND I’VE EVEN HAD SOME LATINOS TELL ME THAT THE HUSBAND AND WIFE DONT CLAIM TO BE MARRIED SO THE HUSBAND CAN TAKE OUR JOBS AND MAKE A KILLING WHILE THE WIFE USES THE 7 OR 8 KIDS THAT EACH OF THEM HAVE TO DRAW WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS. I WAS BEHIND A COUPLE AT WALMART ONE DAY THAT WAS DRESSED WAY BETTER THAN MOST AMERICANS THEY HAD 5 KIDS AND THREE BUGGIES FULL OF GROCERIES AND WHEN THE WIFE SCANNED THE FOOD STAMP CARD SHE WAS REALLY UPSET THAT SHE HAD TO PAY $6.00 IN CASH. THATS WHAT IMMAGRATION DOES FOR US. JUST TAKES AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN FAMILY.

    • avatar

      Right Bob, here where I live there are immigrants that go door to door selling cheese, tamales, burritos, and tacos, we don’t know the conditions of the place this food was made in, we do know uncle sam is not seeing a cent of their intake. The current administration is full of crap and their stats are cherry picked if real at all. They get a free ride here and still it ain’t enough. There is something wrong with the system and it smells like B.O.

    • avatar

      BOB, please don’t post comments in all capital letters. Trying to read it is hard on the eyes.

      • avatar
        Tired of Illegal Aliens on

        Bob, I read your post just fine. Thank you for taking the time to write something meaningful!

  13. avatar

    The U.S Federal Govnt has turned into a criminal enterprise led by a bunch of socialist loonies, when politicians at any level think they can disreguard our constitution and our federal laws it becomes time for impeachment proceedings no matter what the date is or how close the election is, there is much proof Obama was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis as a teenager who was an avowed communist in Hawaii, these charges need to be throughly looked into as well as the black panther voter ID situation, fast and furious, leaks of classified materials from the white house, the muslim influence on our current president, immigration laws are on the books and should be followed to the letter, terrorists are coming into our country at will thanks to these worthless politicians who refuse to obey their oath of office, this is criminal at the least and treason at the worst.

  14. avatar

    Unemployment rate is still almost 11% here in California yet illegal immigrants fraudulently take many of the available jobs. Many of these jobs the illegal immigrants take are decent and include construction, food service, truck drivers, tradesmen and hospitality industry along with numerous other categories. The Obama administration just looks the other way while millions of U.S. citizens are losing everything and living in their family members garages.

    • avatar
      Concertgebouw on

      You’ll be surprised to know the U6 measure of unemployment in CA is between 20 – 21%. You are citing the everyday stat provided in the media p, the U3. The U3 represents just 42% of the unemployed. Moreover, the US is in depression. Nobel and Keyesian economist Paul Krugman’s most recent book is titled “End This Depression Now!”

      John Williams of the Shadow Government website and a few other economists of integrity have stated the US never recovered from the Great Recession. It is a HOAX.

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Aliens on

      “Decent” jobs or not; these criminals are stealing jobs, social services, tax-payer funded services, parks/rec, police/fire/medical, elected official’s time and efforts. They are stealing left and right yet the bleeding hearts cry, poor “immigrants” just want a better life. Blah, blah, blah!

  15. avatar

    ATTN FAIR: Please respond to the ridiculous opinion column by Marshal Fitz on the home page of Politico entitled “Sea Change for Immigration Politics.”

    Thank you — this pro-illegal alien wishful thinking must be rebutted!

  16. avatar

    Im so glad you have my new password; Ive missed your mail. There is absolutely no chance to do anything with illegals before election time. No one cares about the average Americans opinion when they start counting all the illegals votes. They only care about themselves. Ive said it before and I will say it again. This is so important for our children, granndchildren etc. to keep America for Americans. We need to start a political party who believe as we do and get them voted in. Rose Wiener

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Aliens on

      We had a presidential candidate by the name of Rick Santorum. He values the US Constitution, the family and God; these are the elements America was founded on. Unfortunately he was beat out by Mitt Romney. Vote for Mitt and you will see positive change. You can build the third party you describe during Mitt’s term.

  17. avatar

    Only LEGAL Immigrants should be ABLE TO GAIN EMPLOYMENT IN THIS COUNTRY!
    THEY STEAL JOBS FROM AMERICANS AND LOWER WAGES FOR ALL!

    • avatar

      OBAMA DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORD ILLEGAL, WHY, CAUSE HE’S ILLEGAL THAT’S WHY….
      WAKE UP AMERICA, WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME LEFT….THE COUNTRY YOU KNOW IS GOING DOWN DAY BY DAY.

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Aliens on

      Mary and Susan M: The point of the blog and FAIR’s responses are in response to immigrants, legal and illegal. Please realize legal immigrants are the primary focus.

  18. avatar
    Pamala Minerd on

    The most telling thing they said was Immigrant. The most telling thing they didn’t say was illegal immigrant. The illegal immigrant’s are not starting businesses that are legal. Here in Charlotte, NC they have lawn services, tree services, and construction companies that only hire illegal’s and under cut all others even the random teenager cutting lawns for the summer. We watched it happen with my son and his best friend when 80% of all their lawn customers started leaving over a 1 yr period because the illegal’s did the job cheaper. That tells me they were not even paying minimum wage because our boys were barely over minimum wage themselves. This is just another story that doesn’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    • avatar
      Tired of Illegal Aliens on

      Pamala: The main purpose of the Obama administration’s blog was to sell “immigrants” to America. Most of the “10 reasons” pointed to “legal” immigrants; however the illegal immigrants got some of that luster too. I feel for all Americans, employed or not, educated or not, in school or not, because we all share the burden of immigrants, legal or illegal.
      Please call ICE at 866-347-2423 and report known criminal illegal aliens. Focus on your Governor and other electeds to follow Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s similar bill. Force your friends, family members and electeds to face the truth and stop calling America a “nation of immigrants”…

      • avatar
        joel wischkaemper on

        John Adams was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and did significant work on setting this country up. He hollered it from the highest roof top when it was all done: we are not a nation of individuals (immigrants). We are a nation of laws. It was convenient for Obama’s Oligarchy to call it a nation of immigrants, and that became the watchword for …. abuse. Abuse, and Executive Orders, which are not constitutional in reality, became the method of… abuse.

        We have to change the way we are doing business with government and soon!

        • avatar
          Tired of Illegal Aliens on

          Amen Joel. Thank you for making those points! Nation of immigrants? My rear! My family has resided in the USA since well before the Obamas!

  19. avatar
    andrew brigg on

    And the these ten ideas are nothing but bollocks. Most of the immigrants that go to the US send money back to their own country.