More Evidence That Some Canadians Have To Remove Their Rose-Tinted Glasses In Viewing Immigration: U.S. Census Figures Show Immigration Displaces Low-Paid Workers And Increases Poverty Among U.S.-Born

September 7, 2005: More Evidence That Some Canadians Have To Remove Their Rose-Tinted Glasses In Viewing Immigration: U.S. Census Figures Show Immigration Displaces Low-Paid Workers And Increases Poverty Among U.S.-Born


The August 30th, 2005 report of the U.S. Census Bureau on U.S. economic well-being shows that American living standards have been seriously and negatively impacted by immigration. These findings should cause concerns in Canada, says Immigration Watch Canada.

In writing about the U.S. decline, Edwin Rubenstein of ESR Research Economic Consultants concludes that immigration has finally severed the link between economic growth and living standards. He notes that in ordinary times, economic growth usually brings increased incomes for nearly all and lower numbers of poor. But today, economic growth has actually become accompanied by a decline in the living standards of U.S.-born and naturalized Americans (immigrants who have been in the U.S. for many years and who have American citizenship). Incomes of U.S.-born or naturalized Americans fell. Poverty levels of these groups rose.

In contrast, the incomes of recently-arrived foreign-born in the U.S. rose over their incomes of previous years. Also, poverty levels for these people fell. Both legal and illegal immigrants are in this group.

Rubenstein states that “this pattern is exactly what one would expect if U.S. employers preferred the newest immigrants… (non-citizens) to native minorities, whites, and previous…(naturalized) immigrant workers.

“Although recent immigrants may be poorly educated, lacking even the limited skills of earlier immigrant groups, they are willing to work for far less, lowering incomes of unskilled natives as well as immigrants.”

In commenting on the same Census figures, William Hawkins (Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the U.S. Business and Industry Council) says that “Even with the economy adding jobs last year, the number of Americans who fell into poverty in 2004 rose to 37 million, up 1.1 million from 2003, according to Census Bureau figures released August 29. It marks the fourth straight increase in the government's annual poverty measure….This was particularly true in the blue collar category where immigrants accounted for nearly 700% of the new jobs! That means they pushed tens of thousands of Americans out of those jobs, by underbidding their wages.

“However, the kind of jobs being created makes a difference as to whether living standards are being raised and whether the country is really moving forward.

“The great success story of the United States is that it raised the working class into the middle class, the real path to higher standards of living for the population as a whole. But there are those in the business community who seem to think the American achievement has been overdone. In their view, we need more poverty, not less. Open borders and a new guest workers program to legalize millions of illegal aliens is what groups like the Chamber of Commerce desire, in effect creating a proletariat.”

“If one looks around the world at those foreign societies with the worst living standards, their problem is clearly not a lack of cheap labor. Indeed, their problem is that cheap labor is all they have. What they need is capital investment in advanced methods. Economic theory, however, argues that managers will use the least-cost method of production, and when labor is the abundant factor, labor-intensive methods will be chosen over capital-intensive methods that use relatively expensive technology. This can restructure an entire economy in the wrong direction. Americas shift from a manufacturing economy where scientific progress is most fruitful, to a service economy dominated by cheap labor fits the model of a country in long-term decline.”

Immigration advocates have long contended that immigrants take the jobs Americans don't want. But as the Census figures and a number of other very thorough studies demonstrate, the truth is that immigrants have further marginalized American poor by displacing them from low-paying jobs.

A similar situation is believed to exist in Canada. In fact, it may be even worse. As critics have repeatedly noted, in Canada, the biggest issue is not the number of illegal immigrants but the number of those brought here legally. Another issue is those who have abused Canada's lax refugee rules. With the exception of New Zealand, Canada brings in more legal immigrants per capita than any other country. It also accepts one of the highest percentages of refugee claimants in the world. Experts have repeatedly said that the majority of these refugee claimants are not real refugees.

Both legal immigrants and refugee claimants not only compete with Canadian-born for jobs, but eventually use their status as visible minorities (if applicable) to claim employment privileges under “Equity Employment For Visible Minorities” rules. The two countries which send the largest number of immigrants to Canada are China and India. These countries also send the largest number of refugees. Critics have frequently said there is a link between legal and illegal immigration. Wildly-high legal immigration levels encourage expectations and a sense of entitlement among people in immigrant-sending countries. These people often try to come to Canada without authorization through visa-overstaying or through people-smuggling operations. If fraudulent refugee claimants are to be reduced, the number of legal immigrants has to be reduced.

Immigration industries in both the U.S. and Canada have repeatedly said that immigration has no negative effects on the host population. These latest results from the U.S., as well as a large body of other evidence in both the U.S. and Canada, show that this claim is not true.


Please note: The complete articles by Edwin Rubenstein and William Hawkins are available on the Immigration Watch Canada web site (“News Articles”-American section).