CBO Population Projection Off-Mark Regarding Illegals
By Joe Guzzardi
In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its projection for U.S. population growth from 2023 until 2053. CBO anticipates a huge hike from today’s 336 million U.S. residents to 373 million three-decades out, a 37-million-person surge.
Over the next decade, immigration will represent about three-quarters of the overall population increase, and the greater number of births than deaths will account for the remaining one-quarter. After 2033, population growth will be increasingly driven by net immigration, which beginning in 2042 will account for all population growth.
CBO released its report without fanfare, perhaps because it included, buried deep on page five, this sentence: “Net immigration of foreign-born people without legal status” (my emphasis) – a wokeism meaning illegal aliens – into the U.S. is projected to average 220,000 a year over the next decade, a remarkable 175 percent bump from the 80,000 average the CBO had forecast a mere six months ago.
Although the CBO identifies as objective, critics question how its analysis could arrive at the modest 220,000 annual illegal alien projection, a completely detached conclusion from the Southwest border reality. In December 2022 alone, the Department of Homeland Security announced that CBP had more than 300,000 migrant encounters. And since President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration, an estimated 5.5 million migrants from at least 160 nations have unlawfully crossed into the U.S.
The administration’s goal is to grant parole, and the work authorization that parole status includes, to as many illegal immigrants as possible. The consequences for citizens seeking entry-level employment, especially minorities and the working poor, will be devastating. Using even the low CBO estimate of 220,000 illegal immigrants annually means a significantly expanded labor pool. When using the year-to-date total since Biden’s inauguration of 5.5 million arrivals, more than the combined populations of Chicago and Houston, and the aggregate available workers, mainly unskilled or low-skilled, the labor market bloats dramatically.
The inarguable labor supply and demand fact applies. And because the nation will have an in-take of millions of aliens instead of hundreds of thousands that occurred with previous administrations, the newly arrived illegal immigrants will compete for employment not only with U.S. workers, but also with each other – a dream come true for profit-driven corporate America.
The supply and demand truism exists at all economic levels. In New York City’s subway system, next to the arriving/departing train platforms, Ecuadorians and Hondurans are, without a mandatory city general vendor’s license, selling M&Ms and Skittles for $2. But one level above, a vendor who’s done everything correctly, including paying his licensing fee, loses life-sustaining revenue, pays less in city and state taxes, and may eventually go out of business. Everyone loses including the migrants who sell candy in New York’s dangerous underground.
Annual illegal immigration totals are twice those of legal immigration. In 2021 and 2022, and referring back to the 5.5 illegal entrants, about 1.25 illegal immigrants on average crossed each year contrasted to about 1 million legal immigrants.
U.S. workers deserve a break. Not only does the federal government issue more than 1 million annual permanent residency green cards that include lifetime valid work permission, the State Department approves another 1 million guest worker visas, some without numerical ceiling, and without risk that the government might intervene to assure that employers comply with the regulations.
Employers have a bottomless supply of foreign-born workers to hire. Evidence: At the end of 2022, 29.6 million legal and illegal immigrants were employed, 1.9 million more than during the pre-pandemic years. Meanwhile, the Labor Force Participation rate for Americans continues to decline. As long as Biden continues his reckless and wanton policy of welcoming the world, then workers’ best friend – a tight labor market – won’t exist
Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. Joe joined The Project for Immigration Reform in 2018 as an analyst after a ten-year career directing media relations for Californians for Population Stabilization, where he also was a Senior Writing Fellow. A native Californian, Joe now lives in Pennsylvania. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.