NumbersUSA's Roy Beck: No Immigrant Should Have A Job If American Unemployment Is Greater Than 5%

February 18, 2010 12:19 pm ET

During an hour-long session at the February 2010 Tea Party Convention, NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck promoted the need for greater government control over who American business owners can and cannot hire.

NumbersUSA: American Businesses Cannot Hire Whomever They Choose

Roy Beck, Executive Director of NumbersUSA:

Now, employment visas.  This is where the Chamber of Commerce will go crazy on this, but let me ask you:  If you've got an occupation that has more than 5% unemployment, and in that occupation wages have not risen, do you have a labor shortage?  I mean, this is what the business is saying.  We give away 140,000 permanent work permits every year, without any regard to whether or not the unemployment rate is. 

So what we're proposing is that we have a national website that if you want to bring in a foreign worker, either permanent or temporary, you go on a national website, you post it so everyone in the country can see it.  And it has to be posted how many Americans you turned down before you insisted on bringing in a foreign worker, you can only do it in an occupation that has less than 5% unemployment, and only if the wages have been rising in that occupation.  Because if wages aren't rising in that occupation, that suggests we aren't letting the market work.  So, we have an exception - people who find that they can really show that somebody is in the top 5% of their profession or their field, [unintelligible] the top sort of world geniuses. 

But we've got to do something about the 140,000 a year that come in, most of whom only have to have two years of experience in their field.  That's what we call skilled immigration.  Two years of experience in their field - they don't have to have a college degree, just two years of experience. 

Unfortunately, not a single member of congress has been willing to introduce anything during this jobs depression.  When Tom Tancredo was in congress, he introduced every congress a moratorium bill that dealt exactly with this.

So there are a lot of good members of congress that will never vote for an amnesty and will sign onto many of these bills, right now, we don't have a vote champion.  We do not have a vote champion.  So if you've got a good guy or gal in your district, you need to put more pressure on them.  I mean, that's the thing - when you've got somebody that's good, they're almost never good enough, right? And you gotta keep pushing, you gotta help them see they have to deal with this. 

Now, illegal immigration, you notice I'm stressing the legal because it's the thing we so always hear politicians say 'I'm against illegal immigration but we need more legal immigration' or 'if we had more legal immigration, we'd have less illegal immigration.'  Well, it's all part of the same thing - if we're trying to put Americans back to work, it doesn't matter much whether they're legal or illegal, why are we displacing, driving wages down for American workers? 

Remember, these 25 million these are not people on the sidelines, these are people looking for work.  One more thing about these people who are looking for work: the worst unemployment figures are in the 18-29 age group.  What needs to happen, especially amongst people who don't have a college degree, they need to get their feet on the ground floor, they need a bottom-rung job, they need an entry-level job, they need to learn what it is to work, what it is to get a paycheck, what it is to manage.  They need to not learn what it is to be a dependent on the taxpayer system.  But what we do with immigration, what we have been doing for 30 years is flooding the occupations that are the places where the 18-29 year olds, less educated Americans would get their foothold.  And consequently, the unemployment is higher and higher, if they don't become a worker during that period of time, they probably never will.  We are developing a nation of slackers and dependents.  This is a big economic issue.