President Obama may have made the fight against income inequality the centerpiece of both his re-election campaign and his second-term agenda, but a new White House report promoting citizenship for illegal immigrants completely ignores how that policy would drive up income inequality.
“This is the defining issue of our time,” Obama said in his major address on income inequality in Osawatomie, Kansas, on Dec. 11, 2011. “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class.”
But according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate immigration bill that would give citizenship to those people currently in the country illegally, would also reduce wages and per capita gross national product by .7 percent by 2023. CBO does stress that “the estimated reductions in average wages and per capita GNP for much of the next two decades do not necessarily imply that current U.S. residents would be worse off.” However, CBO goes on to explain, “the additional people who would become residents under the legislation would earn lower wages, on average, than other residents, which would pull down the average wage and per capita GNP.”
In other words, S. 744 will greatly increase income inequality in the United States.
Which is why income inequality is never mentioned in the new economic analysis of the Senate immigration bill the White House released Wednesday.
A quick look at state level income inequality and immigration levels also shows a clear link between higher levels of income inequality and increased immigration.
According to a recent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report on state income inequality, the states with highest levels of income inequality are: 1) Arizona, 2) New Mexico, 3) California, 4) Georgia and 5) New York.
Arizona, New Mexico, and California are all border states with higher than average levels of illegal immigration. And according to the Department of Homeland Security, New York has the 4th largest illegal immigrant population while Georgia has the nation’s fastest growing illegal immigrant population.