U.S. Unemployment is Not Caused by Immigration

Washington D.C.– On Capitol Hill,

Congressmen Steve King and Lamar Smith will host a forum on the impact of

“illegal immigration on American jobs.” Panelists will likely attempt

to draw a direct correlation between U.S. immigration policy and unemployment,

just as they do with all other domestic issues including the environment,

security, and health care. As in the past, their only solution is to deport

more immigrants. This is a “solution” that neither helps American

workers nor solves our immigration crisis.


While it is true that the United States is currently experiencing its highest

unemployment levels in a generation, and Americans are desperate to find steady

work, it is untrue that subtracting 8.3 million unauthorized immigrant workers

from the labor force would automatically improve job prospects for the 15.7

million Americans who are now unemployed.  The fact is that employment is

not a “zero sum” game.  Mass deportation is not the solution to

the nation’s unemployment problem.


  • The notion that

    unemployed natives could simply be “swapped” for employed

    unauthorized immigrants is not valid economically. In reality, native

    workers and immigrants workers are not easily interchangeable.

  • Even if unemployed

    native workers were willing to travel across the country or take jobs for

    which they are overqualified, that is hardly a long-term strategy for

    economic recovery.

  • Removing millions

    of unauthorized workers, taxpayers, and consumers from our fragile economy

    would only make matters worse.

  • Legalizing

    unauthorized workers would benefit the economy by increasing tax revenues

    and consumer spending.

The ImmigrationPolicy Center

has developed the following fact check to further debunk claims that U.S.

unemployment is caused by immigration.

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