Factcheck.org has a good analysis of this wide-spread misinformation campaign by restrictionist groups like the Center for Immigration Studies:
Q: Will 300,000 illegal immigrants get construction jobs through the stimulus package?
A: There’s no way of knowing how many illegal immigrants may or may not end up with a job from stimulus funds. But this inflated estimate comes from conservative groups concerned about the absence of employee verification requirements in the final bill.
According to the fact-checkers:
The Center for Immigration Studies and the Heritage Foundation, both conservative organizations, have put forth this estimate, saying that 300,000 of the construction jobs created by the stimulus package “could go” or “would” go to illegal immigrants. Media reports in early March quoted their studies. To be clear, there is no provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that sets aside construction jobs for illegal immigrants. In truth, no one knows how many workers who are here illegally might end up with a job funded by stimulus money. But the calculations behind the 300,000 figure are highly questionable. The number is more than half the number of infrastructure jobs the White House says will be saved or created.
Immigration Impact’s Walter Ewing also has a good anaylsis of the figure in a post called, “CIS’ Dubious Data Deflects Rational Immigration Debate.” He argues that “CIS arrives at this scary number by using a job-creation formula designed for highway expenditures in 2007, and then tacking on an estimate of the undocumented construction workforce from 2005—before the mass layoffs that have plagued the construction industry.” Essentially, he’s saying that the number is questionable at best — just more fear-mongering from the Center for Immigration Studies at worst.
These are the same folks, after all, who’ve blamed immigrants for global warming, Wall Street greed, the foreclosure crisis, traffic, water shortages — well, just about everything. No surprises here.
Hat tip to the fact-checkers.