HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Hillary Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon told The Daily Caller Monday that he doesn’t agree with the idea that immigration hurts American workers.
“I don’t submit to that,” Fallon said at the first presidential debate when asked whether concerns about immigration hurting the wages of American workers are genuine. Fallon continued, “Most studies in fact show that comprehensive immigration reform would help grow the economy and enlarge the pie.”
Studies have shown that immigration does increase the GDP but not that this growth necessarily leads to better wages for native workers. “There is no question that by adding workers immigration makes the U.S. economy (GDP) larger by perhaps $1.7 to $2 trillion a year. However, by itself a larger economy is not a benefit to native-born Americans. Though the immigrants themselves benefit, there is no body of research indicating that immigration substantially increases the per-capita GDP or income of natives,” Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March.
More immigrants means a larger workforce and thus a larger economy, but as Camarota points out in his testimony, “roughly 98 percent of the increase in GDP goes to the immigrants themselves in the form of wages and benefits.”
Another recent study showed how low-skilled immigrants in particular have been replacing their low-skilled native-born American counterparts. “Among natives without a high school degree, the fraction who were neither working nor looking for work rose from 26 percent in 1994 to 35 percent in 2015,” Jason Richwine, the author of the study wrote. “Over the same period, the fraction of their immigrant counterparts who were out of the labor force actually declined from 12 percent to 8 percent.”