Immigration — especially illegal immigration — has fueled the nation's rapidly increasing income inequality. Legal immigration adds both high-wage earners and low-wage earners and contributes to a shrinking middle class. Illegal immigration adds low-wage workers and thereby dampens job opportunities and wages for competing U.S. workers. The educational and English language deficits of illegal aliens relegate them to low-wage work regardless of legal status. A study of 1986 amnesty beneficiaries showed that five years after receiving legal status most had not risen above their previous low-wage work and a majority had lost ground compared to other workers. These findings are directly applicable to the debate over another amnesty.
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