New Study Proves that Increased, Wage-Cutting Immigration Will Not Cure Inflation
The pro-mass-immigration lobby – knowing well that Americans are increasingly concerned about growing inflation – has attempted to further its agenda by spinning increased immigration and/or amnesty as a cure for rising prices (see here, here, and here). FAIR has argued that since massive government spending is among the major drivers of inflation – in fact, the chief driver – the advocates of importing more cheap foreign labor are “trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid.” An economic analysis just released by Steven A. Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) bears this out with concrete numbers.
Camarota and Ziegler argue that even if more immigration managed to reduce the wages of workers without bachelor’s degrees by 10 percent, it would “likely reduce consumer prices by only an estimated 2.5 percent.” This segment of the labor force has already experienced long-term wage declines, and tends to face the stiffest competition from lower-skilled immigrants.
Keep in mind that, according to the report, “a 10 percent decline in wages for such workers would be about $4,000 annually.”
Apart from the fact that such a scenario would entail significant wage-depressing pain for lower-income Americans for very little reward, it raises the question of “whether reducing the wages of workers who are the lowest-paid is sound public policy.” Since “Prior to Covid, workers, including those without a bachelor’s degree, have generally seen their wages decline or grow very little for more than two decades, (…) reducing their wages by admitting more immigrants can be seen as unfair and unwise.” Indeed, the purchasing power of average U.S. hourly wages has remained at the same level as during the 1970s.
A large number of children living in poverty reside with and are dependent on workers without a college degree. Thus, the authors of the study point out that “Reducing wages for the less educated, even if it did reduce consumer prices, clearly has significant negative implications for Americans’ poorest children.”
The mass-immigration lobby’s attempts to sell the importing of more cheap foreign labor (or by flooding the legal labor market through amnesty) as an inflation-reducing measure is tantamount to selling snake oil. As Camarota and Ziegler demonstrate, whatever small impact it may have will certainly not make a substantial dent in rising inflation. Nor, we might add, is inflation the result of insufficient immigration levels, which have been consistently high for decades. And squeezing the poorest and most vulnerable of American workers – who are already reeling from the economic pain of inflation – is a callous and heartless non-solution.