In the third installment of my four-part series of some of the myths by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) about the Gang of Eight immigration bill, I take a deeper look at his claims that the bill modernizes our legal immigration system and grows our economy.
The modernization of our legal immigration system will be a net benefit for America as we make historic reforms towards a more merit-based immigration system that will help us attract entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, skilled workers and people driven by the desire to build a better life for themselves and, in turn, create jobs for American workers.
The Truth about Rubio Amnesty
- Their argument is immigrants make the population grow which makes the economy bigger which increases the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Any increase in the GDP is always good. Ipso facto, all immigration is good for the economy. While it is undeniably true that growing the U.S. population makes the economy larger and that usually results in an increase in the GDP, it does not necessarily result in a per capita increase in GDP, meaning the benefits that accrue to each individual.
- The U.S. immigration system over the last 30 years has functioned in a way that the economic benefits of immigration accrue to immigrants and those who employ immigrants (both legal and illegal – including guest workers).
- Furthermore, immigrants send part of their wages back to their home countries, taking that money out of the U.S. economy. In 2011, remittances to Latin America alone totaled $61 billion.
- Foreign guest workers displace American workers and drive down wages in both low- and high-skill occupations.
- Illegal immigration, and amnestying low-skilled illegal aliens, hurts the most vulnerable Americans, taking away job opportunities for the less-educated and disproportionally hurting minorities.
- During the so-called recovery following the 2007 recession, foreign workers have been hired at a much higher rate than Americans. If Sen. Rubio’s bill is passed, displacement will accelerate.