Steven A. Camarota's blog

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Unilateral Amnesty Scheme Could Impact the Most Vulnerable Americans

By Steven A. Camarota, November 21, 2014

President Obama's executive amnesty announced this week may well come at the expense of the most vulnerable and poorest American workers. Once given work authorization, illegal immigrants are likely to compete with Americans for better-paying jobs that are now generally off-limits because they require background checks and valid Social Security numbers. Such jobs include: security guards, screeners, janitors, grounds keepers and clerks employed in the public sector, as well as most jobs associated with interstate transport and delivery. Read more...

AFL-CIO Gets Facts Wrong on Immigration

By Steven A. Camarota, October 31, 2014

New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie released a nonsensical statement about Center for Immigration Studies research cited by Senate Candidate Scott Brown in last night's debate: Read more...

Cato Institute Rebuttal to CIS Employment Report Is a Non Sequitur

By Steven A. Camarota, September 16, 2014

Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, which argues for open borders and amnesty, has published a posting at Cato's blog that tries to refute a report authored by Karen Zeigler and myself showing just how bad the labor market is for native-born Americans. His efforts to refute our analysis are very odd. In some places he does not seem to have read the report. Read more...

A Shortage of STEM Workers?

By Steven A. Camarota, May 23, 2014

Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute and Philip Wolgin at the Center for American Progress (CAP) each comment on, but don't really try to refute, a new report that I co-authored on the lack of a shortage of STEM workers. The American Immigration Lawyers Association's Paul McDaniel also comments on the report at the association's American Immigration Council website. Like Nowrasteh and Wolgin, McDaniel doesn't really try to refute the report. He cites Cato and CAP and also repeat a number of the points from our report. Read more...

Immigration and Health Care

By Steven A. Camarota, May 6, 2014

Download a PDF of this PowerPoint presentation.

I presented the following PowerPoint yesterday at a panel discussion on immigration and health care sponsored by the Galen Institute and the Heritage Foundation. It provides a brief overview of statistics on immigration and health care. It shows that immigration has enormous implications for the nation's health care system. Read more...

Immigration Has Little Impact on U.S. Aging: New Census projections show small effect on working-age share of population

By Steven A. Camarota, May 16, 2013

The Census Bureau has released new projections that examine the impact of different levels of immigration on the United States. The projections, analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies, show what demographers have long known: immigration has only a small impact on slowing the aging of America. Read more...

Is the Gang of Eight Plan "Amnesty"?

By Steven A. Camarota, May 3, 2013

The "Gang of Eight" senators argue that their bill (S.744) is not an amnesty because illegal immigrants would have to pay a fine and fulfill other requirements as a condition of legalization. Yet seven recent tax and parking-ticket amnesties imposed conditions and payments on those who violated the law, and in every case these programs were considered to be amnesties by elected officials, the public, and the media. Like the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, each of the amnesties discussed below set aside the normal penalty, but still required payment.

Examples of recent amnesties: Read more...

The Employment Situation in South Carolina

By Steven A. Camarota, February 26, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently explained his participation in the "Gang of Eight" working to provide legal status to illegal immigrants and to create a new guestworker program by saying he thinks there is a "shortage of labor." But the statistics for his home state of South Carolina do not seem to support this conclusion. Read more...

Socio-Demographic Variables for U.S.-born Hispanics that May Matter Politically

By Steven A. Camarota, November 16, 2012

There has been a good deal of debate in the media about what Republicans can do to gain a larger share of Hispanic voters, who accounted for 9-10 percent of the electorate in the last presidential election. About three-fourths of Hispanic voters are U.S.-born. If Republicans are going to increase their share of the Hispanic vote, this is the population that they will have to reach. Read more...

Immigrants Neither More nor Less Entrepreneurial than the Native-Born

By Steven A. Camarota, June 18, 2012

A recent report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) seems to imply that immigrants are particularly entrepreneurial. The authors of the report, "Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing part of the Economy", never really say this because the data does not support such a conclusion. But some of the coverage of the report is not as careful; see, for instance, "When You Think 'Immigrant,' Think 'Small Business Owner'", or "Immigrants Make Big Impact through Small Business".

The idea that immigrants are uniquely entrepreneurial is longstanding and common, but it is largely mistaken. It is true that immigrants were once more likely to operate their own business, but this has not been true for decades. For at least the last 20 years government surveys have repeatedly shown that there is no meaningful difference in the share of immigrants and natives who operate their own business. Read more...

New DHS Estimates Confirm that Illegal Immigrant Population Stopped Declining Under Obama

By Steven A. Camarota, March 26, 2012

In February of this year, the Center for Immigration Studies issued a press release reporting that preliminary analysis of Census Bureau data showed the illegal population held roughly steady from January 1, 2009 (the month Obama took office), to January 1, 2011. The just-released Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates for 2011 confirm our prior observations. Read more...

DHS Estimates: Long-Time Illegals Do in Fact Self Deport

By Steven A. Camarota, February 14, 2012

Will illegal immigrants, particularly the well-established, ever leave? Some advocates of amnesty say they never will and for this reason we have to legalize them. But DHS estimates tell a different story. They indicate that long-time illegal residents do, in fact, go home. Read more...

Job Growth in Texas – Responding to Criticism

By Steven A. Camarota, September 23, 2011

In our new report on jobs in Texas we showed that newly arrived immigrants got most of the recent job growth in that state. There has been some criticism of the report, some from people who apparently did not read it. The comments below, which were forwarded to us, seem to be representative, so I want to address them. Read more...

Skills Gap Grows, Even as Immigrants Are More Educated

By Steven A. Camarota, June 9, 2011

A new Brookings Institution study entitled "The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas" examines the education level of immigrants at the national and local levels. The education level of immigrants is a very important topic because there is no better single predictor of how an immigrant will do in the United States than his or her educational attainment. Read more...

Does It Pay to Enforce the Law?

By Steven A. Camarota, September 22, 2010

Recently a blog posting at the American Enterprise Institute web site included an excerpt from a new AEI book by Gordon Hanson. The book is entitled, Regulating Low-Skilled Immigration in the United States. The excerpted passage attempts to make the case that making illegal immigrants return home is probably not good idea. The passage itself uses percentages of GDP to make it case. Read more...

A Right to Immigrate?

By Steven A. Camarota, September 3, 2010

I recently came across a paper by University of Colorado philosophy professor Michael Huemer entitled "Is There a Right to Immigrate?" Huemer's answer is clearly "yes," there is such a right. By a "right to immigrate" he means the right to enter another country of one's choosing, rather than just a right to leave one's country. While only a tiny share of the American people would agree with Mr. Read more...

Interview on C-Span's Washington Journal

By Steven A. Camarota, July 10, 2010

On Wednesday, July 7, I traveled to C-Span's studios to be interviewed on Washington Journal. On the program, I explain the Center for Immigration Studies' view on the Federal government's lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. Additionally, the Obama administration's renewed push for amnesty is also discussed. A video of the Washington Journal program is now available on the C-Span website. Read more...

Guilt by Invented Association

By Steven A. Camarota, April 5, 2010

Imagine 2050, a web site devoted to smearing those who do not share their support of high immigration, claimed last year that I wrote an article for the American Free Press (AFP). First, I did not give permission to AFP to publish anything I have written. I was unaware that AFP even existed until this issue came up. AFP simply lifted from the internet parts of something I wrote for the Center for Immigration Studies. Read more...

Welfare Use By Immigrant- and Native-Headed Households with Children

By Steven A. Camarota, February 12, 2010

In 2008, 53 percent of all households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) with one or more children under age 18 used at least one welfare program, compared to 36 percent for native households with children. Immigrant use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Use of cash and housing programs tends to be very similar to natives. A large share of the welfare used by immigrants is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants still have a welfare use rate of 47 percent. Read more...

CIS Staffer Featured on CNN

By Steven A. Camarota, November 30, 2009

The Center for Immigration Studies' Director of Research, Steven A. Camarota, debated immigration's impact on the labor market during a segment that aired CNN's "Your $$$$$" on November 28. View the segment below. Read more...

Stimulus Jobs for Illegals 2.0

By Steven A. Camarota, March 25, 2009

In February we estimated that 300,000 construction jobs could go to illegal immigrants as a result of the stimulus bill. We stand by this number as a reasonable estimate of how many stimulus-related jobs could go to illegal aliens.

Some have taken the view that it is impossible to know how many stimulus-funded jobs might go to illegal immigrants. This way of thinking misses the point of how an estimate can inform public policy. We would never argue that our estimate is precise, but instead, as our press release stated, this is an "estimate" of jobs that "could" go to illegal immigrants. In fact, the headline of our press release is followed by a question mark to emphasize that the number is an estimate of what could happen. Read more...

Wages Will Go Even Lower

By Steven A. Camarota, March 18, 2009

From the New York Times

The first thing to note about workers in low-wage jobs that require relatively little education is that the overwhelming majority are born in the United States. For example, the 2007 American Community Survey by the Census Bureau showed that 65 percent of meatpackers, 68 percent of construction laborers, 73 percent of dishwashers and 74 percent of janitors were U.S.-born. Of course, the immigrant share (legal and illegal) of any occupation varies enormously from city to city. But it’s clear from this data that Americans are willing to do this work. Read more...

Size Matters: Analysis of Census Bureau's Population Projections

By Steven A. Camarota, August 14, 2008

While the Census Bureau’s press release accompanying its new population projections emphasizes the importance of the country’s changing racial composition, this is almost certainly not the most important finding. The new report shows a U.S. population in 2050 that is 135 million larger than it is today. This could have profound implications for the environment and quality of life in the United States in the future. Immigration policy is the primary factor driving population growth. Read more...