Mo Brooks: Senate ‘Gang of 8’ immigration reform would lower US standard of living
WASHINGTON – Tuesday night on the floor of the U.S. House, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, railed against the so-called “Gang of Eight” immigration reform legislation that passed the U.S. Senate last month.
Brooks laid out what he called “the myths of amnesty and immigration reform” and detailed why they would be bad for the U.S. economy.
“First and foremost, there is the argument advanced that our economy is going to do better and hence, Americans will do better,” Brooks said. “Half of that is right. Bear in mind that the Senate ‘Gang of Eight’ bill legalizes, at a minimum, 11 million illegal aliens who are now present in the United States of America. Also bear in mind that, over the next decade, according to the Department of Homeland Security report, the Senate ‘Gang of Eight’ bill will bring into America lawfully roughly 33 million foreigners who are not here presently. Now put those numbers together — 11 million legalized plus 33 million to come in lawfully. That totals 44 million lawful workers added to the American workforce. That is out of 144 million total number of people who are employed in the United States economy, according to the last month of 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
Brooks explained that this so-called amnesty would indeed raise U.S. gross domestic product and gross national product, but those are misleading indicators.
“The key is not the total GNP or GDP for our country,” he continued. “The key is the total GNP and GDP per capita. If our gross domestic product goes up a little bit but the population goes up a great amount, then we, individually — American families, individually — are now living under lower economic conditions. Stated differently, our standard of living has declined; and, in that vein, rather than just making an argument, I want to share some data that buttresses that argument.”
Later in his speech, Brooks argued the legislation would depress wages by increasing the labor force, which is especially troubling considering the extreme levels of unemployment in certain segments of the U.S. population.
“America currently suffers a 7.6 percent unemployment rate,” Brooks said. “Asian Americans suffer a 5 percent unemployment rate. White Americans suffer a 6.6 percent unemployment rate. Even worse, Hispanic Americans suffer a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Even worse, African Americans suffer a 13.7 percent unemployment rate. And even worse, American teenagers suffer a 24 percent unemployment rate. Does it make sense to anybody that when we have unemployment in so many different segments of our economy so high that we should legalize another 11 million workers and bring in an additional 33 million workers over the next decade to compete for jobs when Americans are having such a difficult time in this economy not only getting jobs, but getting quality jobs?”
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