From 6 million to 7 million illegal immigrants currently hold jobs in the U.S. — jobs that could be taken by the millions of less-educated native Americans who are now unemployed.
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) discloses that 12.8 million native-born high school dropouts and young American natives with only a high school education are unemployed.
Among all native-born adults with a high school diploma or less, 24.3 million are unemployed.
The unemployment rate among native-born high school dropouts is 17 percent. But the rate among legal and illegal immigrants without a high school diploma is only 10.6 percent.
The CIS, an independent research organization, notes that illegal immigrants are “overwhelmingly employed in lower-skilled and lower-paying jobs,” but adds that “it is difficult to find any evidence of a shortage of less-educated workers…
“If the United States chose to more vigorously enforce immigration laws over the next year, and this resulted in 1 to 2 million illegal workers deciding to leave, it could significantly improve the employment prospects for less-educated natives.
“An economic downturn would seem to be the ideal time to step up enforcement because such efforts would be buttresses by the economic situation, and a recession is the time when Americans, especially the poorest and least educated, are most in need of jobs.”
The CIS points out that an average of 138,000 new foreign workers were authorized each month in 2008, and one-third of adult immigrants have not completed high school.
The CIS observes: “This raises the serious question of whether such a high level of immigration makes sense, given the current concern about joblessness.”
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