President's Focus on Putting Americans Back to Work Missing Key Element, Says FAIR

Jan 28, 2010, 13:40 ET from Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

Enforcing Immigration Laws Could Open up 8 Million Jobs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In last night's State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out his plans for putting millions of unemployed Americans back to work. With some 25 million Americans either out of work or involuntarily working part-time, President Obama made creating new jobs his most important domestic priority in 2010.

However, while the president talked at length about his plans to create new jobs, he pointedly omitted mention of some 8 million existing U.S. jobs that are currently unavailable to American workers. Those jobs are held by illegal aliens. Moreover, during his first year in office, President Obama has dramatically scaled back efforts to enforce laws against illegal aliens working in the U.S. by curtailing immigration enforcement in the workplace.

"As President Obama said in his address to the nation, millions of American families are hurting and cannot wait for relief," noted Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "Under the best case scenario, the programs the president proposed would take months to result in the creation of new jobs and even then, the number of jobs would fall far short of those needed by out of work Americans. The jobs currently held by illegal aliens already exist. These jobs could be immediately transferred to American workers if the administration were to vigorously enforce laws against employers who hire illegal aliens and remove those workers from the country. Before the administration abandoned worksite enforcement, we saw countless examples of American workers eager to fill jobs vacated by illegal aliens."

Enforcing laws against illegal aliens in the workplace will not entirely solve the unemployment crisis in America, but freeing up millions of jobs would help many Americans find jobs and increase wages, contends FAIR. If even half the jobs now held by illegal aliens were filled by American workers, it would exceed the number of jobs created or saved by the $787 billion American Relief and Recovery Act, at a fraction of the cost.

"Over the next few months, President Obama and the congressional leadership will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the American people what their priorities really are. Will they take on the special interests that place illegal aliens ahead of all other concerns, or will they act decisively to make millions of jobs available to the 'men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from?'" Stein asked.

About FAIR

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group.  With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests.  FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.  

SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)