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As Immigrant Workers Drive Job Growth, Hard Facts About Costs and Hypocrisy of GOP Nativism

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Washington, DC – The latest installment of the monthly jobs report and related focus on the engines of U.S. job growth includes coverage of the critical role that immigrant workers are playing in the U.S. economy in combating labor market shortages and blunting the impact of our aging workforce.

Yet while these storylines spotlight the essential role of immigrants, Republicans’ alternative view – to run hard on anti-immigrant politics and tout policies to keep out and kick out immigrants – is coming in for important criticism, especially the Ron DeSantis’ signature anti-immigrant bill in Florida that is already inflicting an economic toll and has now been condemned even by the The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Meanwhile, local reporting highlights that Mar-a-Lago is one of the record high number of Palm Beach County employers seeking foreign immigrant workers – at the same time that Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis run hard on nativism. This underscores both Republicans’ hypocrisy, as well as the unworkable and self-defeating aspects of Republicans’ anti-immigrant push.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Immigrants are essential and, as always, are keeping the American economy dynamic growing. We should celebrate immigrant workers and equip our economy for future growth by delivering new legal channels for workers and by legalizing the undocumented workers already living and contributing to American communities. Of course, this economic need runs headlong into Republican obstruction and their relentless political effort to portray immigrants as a threat. The worst part is the hypocrisy. In reality many Republicans know the importance of immigrants in making the American economy great, yet continue to block a legislative overhaul and enact harmful policies like Florida’s – all for political purposes.”

Below, find key coverage and commentary on the importance of immigrant workers to our economy; the Wall Street Journal editorial blasting the Florida/DeSantis anti-immigrant bill; and the coverage of how Palm Beach County employers like Mar-a-Lago are reliant on immigrant workers: 

  • Los Angeles Times,Immigrant women are joining the job market at record levels, boosting U.S. employment:” “People born outside the U.S. make up just 17.5% of the American working-age population, but foreign-born workers 16 years and older accounted for a whopping 64% of the nation’s labor force growth in the two-year period that ended in May, with women making an outsized contribution, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with a 38% share in the five years to 2019 before the pandemic.”
  • Marketplace,Immigrant workforce reaches near record level:” “Immigrants are helping make up for a shortage of native-born workers. Baby boomers are aging out of the workforce and some people are still out because of the pandemic. There are almost two jobs for every job applicant, according to Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University. ‘You need immigrants to make up that shortfall especially when demand for goods and services is so strong. So I think immigrants now are playing a maybe more critical role than 5, 10, 20 years ago.’”
  • The Wall Street Journal,Florida’s Immigration Law Is a Misfire:” “An estimated 772,000 undocumented immigrants lived in Florida in 2019, many of whom have been there for years and contribute significantly to the state economy. Construction, agriculture and hospitality depend heavily on undocumented workforces, not least because of a shortage of U.S. workers for such lower-wage and -skilled jobs. Employers in these industries are reporting that they have been losing long-time employees and can’t find new ones to replace them … Florida is a top producer of tomatoes, oranges and avocados, yet about half of crop farm workers lack legal immigration status … Florida already suffers from a severe labor shortage, and now it will get worse.”
  • The Palm Beach Post,As Florida law sparks immigration protests, Trump, other businesses bid for foreign workers:” “It’s not known just how a controversial Florida immigration law will impact Palm Beach County’s worker-starved businesses, but it is clear employers such as Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and golf clubs are among those that have filed paperwork to bring in an unprecedented number of temporary foreign workers. Officials at CareerSource Palm Beach County said Wednesday that their tracking of H-2B foreign worker visa applications this year signals that a record 52 employers, including hotels, clubs and resorts, are seeking to bring people from other countries to fill an also record number of positions … ‘These numbers on H-2B visa applications are ones we’ve never seen before,” said Tom Veenstra, CareerSource vice president of administration.’”