Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, a co-chair of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement regarding the findings:
Representative Smith: “Texans should not have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. Unfortunately, because the Obama administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws, out of work Texans are suffering. Worksite enforcement efforts have fallen dramatically since President Obama took office—administrative arrests are down 79% from 2008, criminal arrests are down 62%, and convictions are down 70%. That means it is easier for illegal immigrants to keep jobs that rightly belong to U.S. citizens and legal immigrant workers.”
According to the numbers released by the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus, Texas is the only state where the number of illegal immigrants in the workforce exceeds the number of unemployed citizens. But co-chair Smith said that doesn’t mean other states are not affected by illegal immigration.
Smith (R-Texas): “According to the national numbers, out of work Texans are most affected by illegal immigrants in the workforce. But millions of Americans across the nation are still struggling to find work. If the Obama administration would simply enforce the law, we could make millions of jobs available for out of work Americans.”
Representative Myrick (R-NC): “The unemployment rate in North Carolina could be cut almost in half if hard-working American citizens didn’t have to compete for jobs with people here illegally. Breaking the law shouldn’t be rewarded with a job. The Administration needs to get serious about enforcing our immigration laws. By doing so, we could put millions of American citizens back to work.”
Representative Miller (R-Calif.): “Right now, nearly 2.3 million Californians are out of work, and this number does not account for the millions of others who have seen their hours reduced and wages cut during the recession. At the same time, however, nearly 1.8 million illegal immigrants hold jobs in California. This is simply unacceptable. If the Obama administration is serious about getting Americans off of the unemployment rolls, it needs to enforce our nation’s immigration laws to the highest extent, increase worksite enforcement efforts, and make E-Verify permanent. During these tough economic times, hardworking, job-seeking Americans deserve no less.”
The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus is a 40 Member, bipartisan caucus, headed by Representatives Lamar Smith, Sue Myrick and Gary Miller. As the national unemployment rate remains near 10%, the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus works to highlight the link between illegal immigration and record unemployment in the U.S.
The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus compiled the numbers based off of an August 20 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a September 1 study by the Pew Hispanic Center.