Importing cheap labor, documented or undocumented, has a real economic cost and it is black Americans who are the most harmed.
Anyone who has a basic understanding of economics knows about the Law of Supply and Demand, which essentially states
The law of supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource. The theory defines how the relationship between the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on its price. Generally, low supply and high demand increase price and vice versa.
Applying the Law of Supply and Demand to the labor market, the law of supply and demand means that the fewer workers (the sellers of their labor services) available, the higher wage employers (the buyers of workers’ services) must pay.
Conversely, then there are more workers than jobs, the price of labor falls.
This is how too many immigrants in the labor market (legally and illegally) can harm American workers.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data (in full below), it appears that black Americans are the most harmed by immigration.
In fact, the median income of “Non Citizens” is more than $9,000 than black Americans. Overall, Hispanics earn nearly $10,000 more than than black Americans.
“Claims that immigration enforcement equals racism ignore the reality that the group most likely to benefit from a tougher approach to immigration enforcement is young black men, who often compete with recent immigrants for low-skilled jobs,” noted the Los Angeles Times last year.
This dynamic played out recently at a large bakery in Chicago that supplies buns to McDonald’s. Some 800 immigrant laborers, most of them from Mexico, lost their jobs last year after an audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Cloverhill Bakery, owned by Aryzta, a big Swiss food conglomerate, had to hire new workers, 80% to 90% of whom are African American. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the new workers are paid $14 per hour, or $4 per hour more than the (illegal) immigrant workers.
While the fact that blacks earn less than non-citizens or Hispanics should not be construed as “anti-Hispanic,” in terms of economics, it does explain how immigration affects the Law of Supply and Demand.
Further, if politicians are truly concerned about erasing income inequality, the easiest thing to do would be to stem the tide of illegal immigration.