Would Cutting Less-Skilled Wages Through Immigration Reduce Inflation?

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 53

By Mark Krikorian and Steven A. Camarota on May 12, 2022

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Podcast

Summary

Today on Parsing Immigration Policy, the Center responds to the argument by many supporters of high levels of immigration that an expansion of immigration would reduce inflation, which is close to a 40-year high. They argue that admitting more foreign workers to fill jobs would decrease wages and lower consumer prices. The Center’s analysis shows that the foreign workers would be filling jobs typically performed by the less-educated, such as food service, healthcare support, hospitality, and trucking. Reducing wages for the less-educated is not an effective means of controlling inflation because such workers earn relatively little and as a result account for only a modest share of economic output.

Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research, voices concern for the impact such a plan would have on the economic prospects of working-class Americans who have seen little to no wage growth for decades. Lowering wages for the lowest-paid workers will also impact taxpayers if these workers would then qualify for some of the country’s welfare programs.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses Secretary Mayorkas's appearance before the Senate Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee. While it lacked the drama of the House committee hearings, it revealed that the Biden administration is no longer trying to deter illegal migrants, making it the first administration to have such a policy.

Host

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

Guest

Steven Camarota is the Director of Research of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Related

Immigration Cannot Significantly Reduce Inflation

Mayorkas Testimony Reveals the Biden Administration No Longer Trying to Deter Illegal Migrants

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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".