Community Viewpoint

zeldin_0Cut Low-Skilled Immigration to RAISE American Wages

Dear Editor:


The Senate could soon vote to give millions of Americans their biggest pay-raise in decades.
The proposal in question isn’t a minimum wage hike or a tax cut. Rather, it’s a bill that would reduce legal immigration by half. The reform would turbo-charge wage growth and open up new job opportunities for working-class Americans.
Senator Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act would reduce family-sponsored visas by eliminating categories that allow for the immigration of extended family members. In plain terms, most recent immigrants would no longer be able to secure green cards granting lifetime residency and work privileges for their siblings or adult children. They would still be able to bring over their minor children and spouses, of course.
The proposed law would also cap refugee admittances at a compassionate but sustainable 50,000 per year — roughly the average annual intake from 2001-2010. Additionally, it would end the “visa lottery” — a fraud-plagued program that awards green cards at random to over 50,000 lucky foreigners each year.
Analysts predict that these changes will reduce legal immigration by 40 percent the first year and 50 percent over a decade.
Why is this a good thing for American workers? Simple. Most of the people who arrive on family-sponsored, refugee, and lottery visas have limited skill-sets. Nearly 30 percent of foreign-born adults lack a high-school degree compared to just 9 percent of native-born Americans.
As a result, these new arrivals — most of whom are law-abiding and hardworking — gravitate to blue collar or service-sector jobs. According to the latest figures from the Department of Homeland Security, less than 13 percent of immigrants with family-sponsored visas work in management or professional occupations.
Offshoring and automation have wiped out millions of low and medium-wage jobs. Almost two million Americans have been out of work for six months or more. Importing hundreds of thousands of foreign laborers to compete with these struggling Americans only holds down wages.
When a country increases the size of a skill group by 10 percent through immigration, wages fall by about 4 percent for that skill group. Wages have been stagnant, especially for low-skill workers, for decades. Hourly wages have scarcely budged since the 1960s once inflation is accounted for.
America should not bring in more low-skilled foreigners when its own lesser-skilled workers cannot find decent jobs. This isn’t about hostility to immigrants. It’s about a deep concern for the citizens of our own country who struggle to make ends meet but who can make little headway in a bulging labor market.
The RAISE Act wouldn’t completely solve this over-supply of low-skilled labor. The proposed law doesn’t address illegal immigration at all. Nor would it eliminate the tens of thousands of temporary, nonagricultural work visas given to foreigners who toil as line cooks, construction workers, and housekeeping staff — jobs that unemployed Americans would thrive in.
Due to an overabundance of laborers, working-class Americans haven’t seen a substantial pay bump in decades. It’s time for a RAISE.

Deena Flinchum
Full Support of Zeldin

Dear Editor:
The duty of a legislature is sacred, to preserve the liberty and security of the citizens it governs through appropriate legislation
When those citizens that a legislature governs seek to disrupt the business of their representatives, the republican form of government that is cherished by so many Americans ceases to govern effectively. Whether it is through blocking traffic or destroying property, this type of disruption has recently been occurring in our congressional district, the target of such acts frequently being Congressman Lee Zeldin. Often making it impossible for the Congressman’s office to conduct the business of governance, the fact that a group of liberal obstructionists would seek to protest in this way is shameful, and I hope they will soon come to their senses.
While disagreement and dissent are essential to a representative republic such as ours, we must not abuse the liberties that are enshrined in the Constitution. The framers reaffirmed these natural rights to promote a civil and informed discourse rather than the barbarism we have recently seen in our midst, which is why we must participate in government in a respectful manner. Even if one does not agree with Congressman Zeldin on every issue, he was elected by the citizens of our district to perform a function essential to our republic: representing us. While a group of liberal obstructionists seeks to undermine this process, we must stand with Congressman Zeldin in performing his duties as our congressman. While one may not agree with every one of his stances, the Congressman represents our diverse district to the best of his ability, whether it is through securing funding for local roads and bridges or helping a disabled veteran receive the Purple Heart they deserve. I am in full support of Congressman Zeldin and the integrity of our institutions.

Aileen R. Markowsky
Mastic Beach, NY




Filed in: Community Viewpoint, Uncategorized

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