The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media
“I believe immigration is an inherently entrepreneurial act. It’s people uprooting themselves, taking a risk for themselves and their families. I think a country where the baby boomers are retiring, where we have an aging workforce, where we have seven million unfilled jobs at the moment, and we have people clamoring to get into our country and get to work, I’m for as much immigration as the economy can take and the economy needs immigration just as much as the immigrants need the American economy.” – I’m for as Much Immigration as the Economy Can Take, George Will, The Hill, 6/10/19 [Link]
Fact Check of Quote: Will praises immigrants as risk takers, but he seems to have little concern as to whether excessive immigration could put our country at risk by flooding our labor market. He repeats the common claim of immigration advocates that we’re facing a “labor shortage” and claims that seven million jobs are “unfilled.” He doesn’t say where that statistic comes from.
In any case, it is inaccurate to say that a labor shortage is looming—even if we now have a low official level of unemployment. That official rate does not count many jobless people, as indicated by the fact that we have a relatively low level of participation in the workforce among people who could be employed.
Furthermore, our economy is now beginning a large-scale shift toward automation. Within the next decade, one third of jobs now done by humans may be done by machines, specifically computers and robots. In that situation it’s hard to imagine how we will have a labor shortage.
Thus if we continue mass immigration, we will swamp the labor market—and one result will be more wage depression, both for native and immigrant workers. Lower wages mean higher profits for the business interests that promote mass immigration. This is the “economy” that Will is defending, one that impoverishes workers in order to make rich people richer.
Making this transfer from poor to wealthy even more outrageous is that taxpayers have to subsidize it through the welfare system. Working immigrants, due to their low wages, are eligible for welfare programs. More than half of immigrant households receive some kind of public assistance. Thanks to this subsidy, employers can avoid paying living wages to their workers. Thus they have every incentive to keep calling for more immigration. Writers like Will give them cover and justification.