Nearly half of all Americans are underemployed.
They’re either working part-time when they want full-time work or they’re not using their education and training in their jobs, according to a new survey. Meanwhile, roughly 7.8 million Americans are flat-out unemployed, and one-quarter of them haven’t held a job for at least six months.
If some in Congress get their way, the employment situation could soon become even bleaker for American workers.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just announced that he aims to ‘dust off’ the Gang of Eight immigration ‘reform’ bill in 2017. Originally introduced in 2013, the bill proposed giving illegal aliens a path to citizenship and greatly increasing the number of legal, low-skill work visas. Both moves would devastate American workers.
If illegal aliens and additional low-skilled foreign laborers are suddenly eligible for work, competition for jobs would skyrocket. American workers would struggle to secure good-paying positions.
Already, many employers are more likely to hire foreigners than Americans, since it’s easier to exploit non-citizens. Consider one Georgia farm, which fired all but 5 of its 121 American workers. It then replaced these Americans with foreign-born workers.
The influx of workers would also drive down wages, which have remained stagnant for decades. Harvard economist George Borjas concluded that immigration between 1990 and 2010 depressed Americans’ wages by almost $1,400.
Americans desperately need the next president and Congress to implement real immigration reform that protects workers’ wages and job security. The Gang of Eight bill would fail on both counts — and leave more Americans underemployed than ever before.