More than 6 in 10 Americans believe “continued immigration into the country jeopardizes the United States.”
It’s not hard to see why Americans feel this way. Current immigration policies hurt American workers by depressing wages and reducing job opportunities. And lax enforcement of immigration laws endangers citizens’ physical safety as well as the nation’s security.
On top of a heavy flow of illegal immigration, America takes in about 1 million legal immigrants every year. These “green-card” holders are eligible to work. And many do.
As a result of all these workers entering the labor pool and competing for jobs, employers feel no need to meaningfully raise wages. In fact, wages are rising at a slower pace today than during the Great Recession. After adjusting for inflation, average hourly compensation was just 9 percent higher in 2014 than in 1973 — despite worker productivity increasing by 72 percent over that same period.
Foreign laborers also fill jobs that could otherwise go to American workers. A disproportionate share of new jobs created go to immigrants. Many Americans have stopped looking for work — labor force participation rates remain at the lowest levels since the late 1970s.
Americans opposed to unsustainably high levels of immigration aren’t just concerned about wage depression and job losses. They’re also worried about their safety — and for good reason.
Federal and local government officials alike have turned a blind eye to the crime spawned by illegal immigration. Because of new Obama administration policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers released almost 90,000 illegal aliens with criminal records back into society in 2015, instead of deporting them.
Far too often, these releases end tragically for Americans. In a case that received widespread media attention, San Francisco resident Kate Steinle was murdered in summer 2015 by an illegal alien who was released from custody, despite having seven prior felony convictions.
Even the current legal immigration system poses a potential threat to national security. Most immigrants are good people who have no ill intentions towards the United States. But because America doesn’t employ an entry-exit visa tracking system, there’s no way of monitoring foreigners who may pose a threat once they’ve arrived in the country.
Everyday Americans suffer from wage depression, job losses, and crime caused by high immigration policies and lax enforcement. Given these consequences, it’s no surprise that a healthy majority of Americans believe the immigration status quo jeopardizes the country’s future.