How Many Immigrants Are Enough?

CHQ — According to a recently released Department of Homeland Security report, during the past three years for which statistics are available (2012 to 2014) the United States has allowed entry to an average of over 1 million legal immigrants per year. 

During the same time the real wages of American production and nonsupervisory workers have been stagnant, hovering well below $700 per week – far below their $827 peak back in the early 1970s. 

It would be easy to blame this situation on the entry of foreign guest workers under such programs as the H-1B visa program that led to the firings at Disney’s Florida operation that Marco Rubio defended and then figured so prominently in Rubio’s defeat in the presidential primary in his home state. 

But the majority of legal immigrants are not admitted through so-called employment-based preferences, they are admitted through chain-migration or the so-called family reunification policies that led to the admission of 1,976,122 immigrants to America during those three years. 

Employment-based preferences accounted for only 14 percent of the legal immigrants admitted each of those years and we think the strong case can be made that it is not the specific categories, but the sheer volume of immigrants that has been a major contributor to the economic and quality of life disaster that has befallen America’s middle income citizens over the past 40 years. 

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