U.S. Civil Rights Commission: Illegal Immigration Makes Black Americans Poorer

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Mass immigration, and primarily illegal immigration, disproportionately makes black Americans poorer by reducing wages and crowding out the workforce, the United States Civil Rights Commission detailed in a briefing report from 2010.

The bombshell report, conducted in 2008 and published in 2010 by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, interviewed several experts and researchers reviewing the impact of mass immigration on black American communities.

The report addressed “the consensus by panelists that there is a negative effect on wages of low-skill black workers and the range of the negative effects,” and found that the nation’s importation of tens of millions of illegal aliens and legal immigrants over decades has only exacerbated the problems of America’s poor and working class.

Annually, the federal government gives green cards to more than a million legal immigrants in addition to about 1.2 million foreign nationals who are given work visas to take American jobs. At the same time, there are an estimated 15.5 million illegal aliens in the U.S. today.

Black men, the report showed, are most negatively impacted by illegal immigration because they are “disproportionately employed in the low-skilled labor market, where they are more likely to be in labor competition with immigrants” with about 6 in 10 adult black men having a high school diploma or less.

The report states:

Illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men. Expert economic opinions concerning the negative effects range from modest to significant. Those panelists that found modest effects overall nonetheless found significant effects in industry sectors such as meatpacking and construction. [Emphasis added]

The report reflects recent data from the Brookings Institute which found that the wealth gap between black Americans and white Americans has continued to grow significantly since 1992. This growing wealth gap coincides with the inflow of tens of millions of illegal aliens and legal immigrants who inflate the labor market and are a boon to business and Wall Street.

“… from 1989 to 2022, the Black-white median wealth gap has averaged $172,000, and rarely dropped below 10% of this,” the Brookings Institute writes:

However, between 2019 and 2022, the gap breeched 10% of the average—signaling an increase in disparity not seen since 2007, when the gap reached $214,970. The growing disparity means that in 2022, for every $100 in wealth held by white households, Black households held only $15. [Emphasis added]

Brookings Institute

Vernon Briggs Jr., former professor emeritus of labor economics at Cornell University, told the Commission that “no issue has negatively ‘affected the economic well-being of African Americans more’ than immigration,” according to the report:

Dr. Briggs emphasized that the distinguishing characteristic of the illegal immigrant population is that 81 percent of them are probably in the low-skill sector of the job market; about 57 percent of them are without a high school diploma, and 24 percent have only a high school diploma. Since they often come from poor countries, he said, the quality of their education is likely poor, and they frequently lack English language skills. According to Dr. Briggs, the competition they pose for native youth and 43 million low-skilled U.S. workers causes the low-skilled labor market to suffer the highest unemployment levels of any measured segment. He further noted that the low skilled labor market is most vulnerable to economic hardship. During an economic downturn, higher skilled workers back up into the low skilled labor market, producing even more competition for low-skilled jobs. [Emphasis added]

U.S. employers prefer to hire illegal aliens over poorer native-born Americans, Georgetown University professor and economist Harry Holzer told the Commission, “because of a perceived superior work ethic and tolerance for low wages, and use ethnic networks to recruit.”

“Dr. Holzer … indicates that employers filling low-wage jobs that require little reading/writing or communication, clearly prefer immigrants to native-born blacks, and encourage informal networks through which immigrants gain better access to these jobs,” the report states.

Dr. Carol Swain, formerly a professor at Vanderbilt University, told the Commission that the federal government ought to create an independent commission dedicated to reforming the nation’s immigration levels designed to lift Americans out of poverty while imposing far higher costs on American employers who choose to hire illegal aliens.

The Commission, at the time of the report, recommended the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collect data related to illegal aliens in the U.S. labor market and track the impact on working class wages and blue-collar American workers. While BLS collects data on the foreign-born workforce, the agency has yet to compile data on illegal aliens and their impact on American wages.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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