Lest there be any doubt, this appeal to racial resentment has no basis in reality. In truth, immigration helps boost the economy. For example, if Congress passed the DREAM Act, the qualified undocumented immigrants who received legal status could pursue higher education and earn higher salaries, which leads them to spend more and pay more in taxes. That would lead to an economic impact of $329 billion and 1.4 million new jobs by 2030.
Persistently high unemployment rates for African Americans is a systemic problem that cannot be addressed simply by reducing the number of immigrants. Instead of getting rid of work permits, lawmakers should focus on programs for job training and job creation as well as vigorously enforcing policies that stop labor market discrimination in order to help African American workers.
This is just about as low as you can go: pitting those who are the worst off against one another in an effort to distract everyone from the real cause of their suffering. And let’s not mistake which jobs these groups are trying to incite fights over. They’re the lowest paying jobs with the worst benefits and poorest conditions.