Increased Immigration and Amnesty Will Hurt American Workers, But They Won’t Lower Inflation
The pro-mass-immigration lobby is extremely predictable: regardless of what happens, the answer/solution is always more immigration. Or, like psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” With inflation hitting a 30-year high, and with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admitting that this inflation is unlikely to be “transitory,” the lobby has been (once again) attempting to squeeze some kind of victory from the jaws of bad economic news to misleadingly claim that increasing immigration and offering amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal aliens will supposedly counteract inflation.
The lobby’s reasoning is deceptively simple: labor shortages are driving up prices, so increasing the labor supply via importing more cheap foreign labor should increase productivity and put downward pressure on wages and, therefore, prices. Well, pro-mass-immigration pundits and politicians are certainly right about the wage-stagnating impact of mass immigration. But there’s more to the story.
To begin with, there is something quite illiberal and callous about trying to reduce inflation by creating conditions that result in American workers earning less money during bad economic times.
In addition, focusing solely on so-called labor shortages ignores the degree to which government programs such as enhanced unemployment benefits may have discouraged work, thereby making the “shortage” somewhat artificial. Not to mention that the pro-mass-migration lobby was invoking supposed “labor shortages” on a regular basis well before the COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging impact on the U.S. economy and labor market.
But perhaps the biggest cause of runaway inflation is the massive federal spending spree we’ve been on. President Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending package, which (pending a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian) includes a massive illegal alien amnesty, would only add fuel to the fire. Major increases in the money supply – which has been occurring for the past two years – translate into inflation. This is what supporters of BBB and its immigration provisions, such as Representative Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), are intentionally ignoring as they push to spend more and grant amnesty and work permits.
Rep. Escobar and others in the pro-mass-immigration,pro-amnesty lobby claim that “increased productivity” stemming from flooding the labor market with several million amnestied illegal aliens with work permits will help offset inflation. But even if that were true, would the hypothetical increases in productivity keep up with a sharply increasing money supply? Talk about trying to fix a broken leg with a band-aid.
Thus, the pro-mass-immigration lobby’s proposals would primarily increase the suffering of middle-class, working Americans – who would still face spending-fueled inflation – while simultaneously contending with increased job and wage competition.