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12 Reasons Why Amnesty Will Hurt Low-Income Workers

President Obama’s call to tackle income inequality is a noble one. How he goes about it, though, matters more.

At the Center for American Progress, President Obama unveiled his administration’s plans for tackling economic inequality during the last three years in the Oval Office. The President referred to it as the “defying challenge of our time”

The President cited the economic inequality’s causes as a combination of problems cited by both liberals and conservatives. While Obama used usual tropes about weakened trade unions and trickle-down economics, he also referred to other factors often cited the absence of church and community groups, a higher percentage of single parent-households, and drug addiction as other factors which contribute to income inequality.

Yet if the decay of social cohesion and economic inequality are devastating America, then one of his principal policy ambitions, immigration reform, which includes amnesty and an increased chain migration of 33 million new immigrants over the next decade, will only further devastate low-income Americans in a multiple of ways.

Reduce social capital

President Obama cites social capital as an essential element in the fight against income inequality.  According to Harvard Professor Robert Putnam’s landmark work Bowling Alone; ethnic diversity decreases trust, community activism, charity, and quality of life.  The arrival of 33 million new people, mostly from the third world, will lead to further civic decay.

It will cost trillions, depleting resources.

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, the cost for amnesty is at least $6.3 trillion.  Most of this cost is absorbed in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, education, welfare benefits, and social services like police

There will be an increase in ethnic politics

Tribal politics and group rights are contrary to individual rights and become political norms during times of mass immigration.  This works both ways as native Americans and new immigrants feel isolated when race, class, values, ethnicity and language become fodder for political machines – see the Irish vote in Massachusetts in the 1930’s or the Italian vote in New York City during the same time.

Displacement of low-income neighborhoods

Low-income city neighborhoods are the first to experience mass influxes of new immigrants. The transition of a neighborhood’s culture, ethnic breakdown, language, and religion causes massive displacement amongst low-income families who move from neighborhoods they’ve lived in for generations.  The displacement has not only leads to white-flight to the suburbs, but also black flight in places like Los Angeles and Houston.

Amnesty will depress wages

The majority of the 33 million new immigrants that would benefit from amnesty would be low-skilled labor. The Congressional Budget Office stated that wages would decrease over ten years. Mass immigration is already hurting many low-skilled laborers, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights stated that both legal and illegal immigration accounts for forty percent of the 18-point percent decline for African American employment levels.

Employment will decrease amongst low-skill domestic labor

The addition of 33 million new permanent job seekers would increase the already strained native work force. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “the native-born population increased by 16.4 million from 2000 to 2013, yet the number of natives actually holding a job was 1.3 million lower in 2013 than 2000.”  The CBO has also stated that low-skilled labor would see their jobs decimated by amnesty.

There will be another wave of illegal immigration

In 1986, Ronald Reagan passed the last amnesty bill.  The million expected new immigrants grew to three million.  A new amnesty will have the same results.  The CBO has stated that illegal immigration would continue at 75% the rate even after the Rubio-Schumer Immigration Reform.  In twenty years time, we will expect another amnesty bill.

Mass immigration and amnesty will lead to greater class division

The Obama election was unquestionably a referendum about the class divide- Does the 47% ring a bell?  President Obama and Democrats milked the grievance of the working-poor and scapegoated wealth producing Americans.  That class divide will increase exorbitantly as 33 million new, low-income immigrants become new voters. According to an ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions super-majority of Hispanics, most new immigrants support raising taxes on the wealthy.

The gap between the rich and the poor will increase

Since the 1960’s, America has been importing poverty as their central immigration policy.  Amnesty and immigration reform will only increase America’s adoption of the world’s poor.  According to The Heritage Foundation’s 2006 study, 1/3 of all immigrants live in families that the head of the household lacks a high school education, first-generation immigrants comprise 25% of America’s poor but only 16% the population.  Using those standards amnesty would increase first generation immigrants to 40% of the nations poor.

Amnesty will exacerbate racial/cultural divisions

Cultural diversity is a two way street, it can lead to many benefits but can also lead to violence when a massive change in demographics takes place.  People can harbor ill will to a new immigrant group that are culturally isolated – Koreans and Orthodox Jews were victims of two different riots in the 1990’s.  Hispanic and Black gang warfare is also well noted in Los Angeles.

Entitlement costs and eventually taxes will increase

Currently the average household without a High School diploma uses $46,582 while paying only $11,469 in taxes.  This is the case for the overwhelming majority of new immigrants, illegal aliens, and benefits of mass amnesty.  Large entitlement programs would also suffer from this tax gap, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

The existing school system will be overloaded

Despite having some of the best schools in the world, America also grapples with massive over crowding in the inner cities as well as a large language barrier in some heavy immigrant areas.  The importation of millions of new children would require billions in new spending to increase classroom sizes, which would take years to complete and the children currently in schools will be lost in the meantime.

Ryan James Girdusky writes from New York City. Follow him on twitter @RyJamesG and check out his other articles at

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