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Millions unemployed, Harry Reid wants several million new legal workers to compete against Americans (fairly)

Harry Reid offers "Our immigration system is broken, and only bipartisan work will fix it" (link). If you've already read a few editorials in support of comprehensive immigration reform, everything he says will be very familiar, right down to his use of trite talking points like system is broken, secure the border, immigration line, and the (more rare) immigration wage floor.

However, American workers - especially voters in Nevada - might want to take a closer look at this paragraph:

Fixing our broken immigration system is also important to strengthen America’s economy. We need to protect American workers. Workers in Nevada and across America are often squeezed by unscrupulous employers who exploit immigrant workers here illegally and use them to undercut American wages. Immigrant workers know that complaining about illegally low wages or harsh working conditions could lead to deportation. Once these workers get right with the law, they will no longer serve as a cheap labor force that competes unfairly with American workers.

In other words, he doesn't mind that those millions of newly-legalized workers compete with Americans, he just wants the competition to be "fair". He's not putting the interests of American workers first and working to enforce our immigration laws in order to minimize competition and raise wages.

Instead, Harry Reid wants millions of newly-legalized workers to compete with Americans on a level playing field. Note that those newly-legalized workers will be able to apply for any job that they're qualified for, and not just those that illegal aliens can get. This would increase competition for already-scarce jobs in many jobs classifications, but Harry Reid doesn't care: he wants the competition, he just wants it to be "fair".

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 16:17 · Importance: 4