Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held a conference call today on the immigration bill proposed by the "Gang of 8" and said it will bring 30 million immigrants to the United States over the course of 10 years and would devastate the American workforce.
An immigration analyst on the call added that the U.S. will need "The greatest jobs bonanza in American history" to accommodate new job seekers.
"We are looking at a plan that will admit or provide legal status to 30 million immigrants in the next 10 years. This is a number that exceeds the population of the state of California--our largest state-- and it's a very, very significant impact on our economy and the American people. So we'll have to be looking out how this can work, the kind of economic impact it will have, and particularly, what kind of impact it will have on jobs and salaries," Sessions stated.
If you include the various categories of nonimmigrant work visas, the number climbs to more than 57 million, says a statement from Sessions' office released after the event:
"In sum, over the first decade, the total number granted will be well over 32 million (not taking into account chain migration from increased legal flow). Adding in all the various categories of nonimmigrant work visas, and the number climbs to more than 57 million. Further, because approximately 7 million illegal immigrants are on a 13-year track to citizenship, there will be a second wave of chain migration initiated just outside the 10-year window (substantially increasing the net low-skill immigration)," states the release.
During the conference call, Sen. Sessions said the future flow of immigration could go up as much as 50 percent:
"Then we ask about the future flow and what will happen there, and it appears it will go up 50 percent--according to the Los Angeles Times--50 percent increase. The Center for American Progress--according to their numbers on this particular point-- it would be 50 percent and that's basically what we've concluded and it could be more. That's a conservative analysis of that."
What's more, the senator says, the bill will not end illegal immigration and will reduce the salaries of all Americans.
"This large flow of workers will impact working Americans significantly. It will reduce their salaries --dynamic scoring will not change that. In fact, Professor Borjas at Harvard himself, an immigrant, has written extensively--he's a leading economist on this in the country--and he has concluded that it already has brought down wages in America."
Steven Camarata, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, said in order to deal with the drastic increase of people into the American workforce, we'd have to create 35 million jobs in a 10 years to accommodate new American job seekers and the immigrants the law admits.
"Much of the debate over the Gang of 8's bill is focused on the legal provisions-- or perhaps more important is the bill seems to double legal permanent immigration-- that is the green cards. This means that if S. 744 passes, we would need to create at least 35 million new jobs in the next 10 years to accommodate new American job seekers and the new immigrants S. 744 admits.
"I mean, the bottom line is" the coming decade better be the greatest jobs bonanza in American history. Otherwise, we will continue to see consistently high unemployment and worse you'll continue to see Americans withdrawing entirely from the labor market. We know the bill accelerates family immigration, it creates a lot of new employment based immigration -- both skilled and unskilled-- so it seems as though legal immigration is at least going to go from one to two million a year or about 20 million over the next decade-- it could be more--but let's say 20 million," Camarata said.
He continued: "Some 15 million of these new immigrants can be expected to look for jobs-- it could be more-- but it looks like it could be 15 million people--again excluding the amnesty beneficiaries. Over the same people of time, natural population increase will add about 10 million new workers. That is the number of jobs we'd need to create over the next 10 years just to accommodate the number of people in the labor force minus the retirees. Now, further to get back to where we were during the great recession, the U.S. needs an additional 10 million jobs to sort of get out of our jobs deficit if you will right now. In short, natural population increase and overcoming the jobs deficit would require 20 million new jobs in the next decade even without any immigration.
"Add the 15 million new immigrant job seekers on it, and you'll need about 35 million new jobs-- a net increase of 35 million new jobs in the next decade. This would be unprecedented in American history and it never happened before-- the 90's don't come close to this. It's largely unrealistic."