President Trump says accelerating the United States’ economic growth is one of his administration’s most cherished goals. . . . He embraced a legislative overhaul to the immigration system that, if enacted, would make that goal unattainable. . . .
Those employment-based immigrants [favored under Trump’s plans] would be selected according to a points system that would favor English speakers with higher levels of education and high-paying job offers. So much for the tired, huddled masses for whom the Statue of Liberty stands as a beacon. . . . While fresh immigrants do depress wages for some low-skill and minority workers, as Mr. Trump has argued, they act as rocket fuel for the overall economy. By cutting their numbers, Mr. Trump would undercut the nation’s prospects. – Trump’s War on Legal Immigration Would Cripple the Economy, The Washington Post, Editorial Board, 8/14/17 [Link]
Fact Check: The theme of this editorial is the tiresome mass immigration propaganda line that we don’t have enough native workers to maintain a prosperous economy. Once again, as this blog must keep repeating, we don’t have a labor shortage when millions of Americans are unemployed, out of the labor force, or involuntarily under-employed in part-time employment. Also, we are not facing worker shortages when experts agree that a large percentage of jobs now done by humans will be done by machines and computers in the near future.
Tiresome too is the sappy reference to “huddled masses” and the Statue of Liberty. Rather than deal with the practical issues of modern immigration policy, immigration enthusiasts invariably try to divert the discussion by milking emotion from a 19th century poem. As a matter of history, the original meaning of the Statue of Liberty was to “enlighten” the world with America ideals, not invite the world to come here. The statue was completed in 1886 and a plaque with the “huddled masses” poem added in 1903.
It’s interesting how the well-heeled editorialists of the Post, dismiss the wage depression that mass immigration inflicts on poor and low-skilled American workers. These huddled masses, yearning to breathe free from low wages and lost opportunities, are of little concern to those writers.
If mass immigration is such a wonderful “rocket fuel” for the economy then why have U.S. wages stagnated since the early seventies when the current wave of immigration began to rise. And why, since that time, has the U.S. middle class substantially declined. The economy that immigration mainly benefits is that of the wealthy who reap profits from cheap labor at the expense of workers. The Post represents the interests of that class.