Amnesty and Joblessness

Executive Summary

  • American workers currently face the worst job market in a generation.
  • The recent unemployment rate of 10.2 percent is the highest it has been in 25 years. Dating back to January 1948, unemployment has been higher than today’s unemployment rate in just 11 out of 743 months.
  • Regardless of gender, age, race, or education level, the unemployment picture for Americans today is worse than it was just one year ago.
  • Today, more than 15.4 million Americans are without a job and are actively looking for work. At the same time, estimates conclude that 8.3 million illegal aliens are part of America’s workforce despite their employment being a violation of U.S. law.
  • Despite the worsening jobs trend, the Obama Administration and leaders in Congress are talking about passing legislation that would give amnesty to an estimated 12 million or more illegal aliens.
  • The American job market today, compared to June 2007 when Congress last considered and rejected amnesty, is much, much worse. The official unemployment rate has increased from 4.6 percent to 10.0 percent. The number of unemployed has more than doubled, rising by 8.5 million.
  • Amnesty would allow illegal aliens to keep jobs they should never have had, instead of freeing those jobs up for American workers.
  • Amnesty would also allow those who are working illegally today in the underground economy to begin openly competing for scarce available jobs with Americans who are out of work.
  • In short, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that available jobs are filled by legal workers. Consideration of amnesty legislation, particularly in these harsh economic times, constitutes a failure by Congress to live up to its basic responsibilities to the American people.

Read the full report in pdf format.

November 2009