Evidence That Immigrants Reduce Wages and Job Opportunities for Low-Skill Americans

Episode 12 of Parsing Immigration Policy

By Mark Krikorian and Jason Richwine on July 15, 2021

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Despite attempts by advocates to downplay the evidence that immigration hurts U.S. workers, the empirical evidence is overwhelming. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jason Richwine, a Resident Scholar at the Center, highlights Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cases in which a clear pattern of discrimination against U.S. workers emerges. Dr. Richwine and Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, discuss how this qualitative evidence complements the quantitative studies that have found similar impacts. They lament that D.C. journalists – and even some activist academics – seem more interested in pro-immigration talking points than they are in fair summaries of the literature.

In his Closing Commentary, Krikorian notes that the old “wet foot/dry foot” policy for Cuban illegal immigrants may be making a comeback in a different form. DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced this week that migrants fleeing unrest in Cuba and Haiti will be turned away – but only if they are caught at sea. Mayorkas neglected to mention that many migrants at the southern border – including thousands of Haitians and Cubans – are already being admitted, particularly if they bring a child with them, so long as they step foot on the north bank of the Rio Grande.

Related Reports

No Americans Need Apply; EEOC lawsuits reveal how employers are eager to replace low-skill native workers with immigrants

EEOC Reaches Settlement in Yet Another 'No Americans Need Apply' Case

An Abundance of New Academic Studies Find Negative Impacts of Immigration

Wet-Foot/Dry-Foot Is Back — Sort Of


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Jason Richwine is a resident scholar at the Center for Immigration Studies. Before joining the Center, he served as the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he helped establish the Civilian Innovation Advisory Board. Prior to that, he was a consulting economist and a Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".