Yes, Illegal Immigration Hurts The Economy

The left and the neocons screech at the same pitch when it comes to illegal immigration—they both love it.

Liberals get to “feel good” about helping poor, innocent dreamers (even if it’s our own people that are often the victims).  Meanwhile, the globalist elites (the plutocrats, politicians, and big business) are busy importing a pseudo-serf class to mow their lawns and clean their toilets.

Either way, both sides try to convince the average American that illegal immigration’s in their best interests.


They appeal to the lowest common denominator: the economy.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through some of the logic, and show you that illegal immigration is actually causing an economic disaster.

More People Means More Workers—And Lower Wages

You’ve heard of the law of supply and demand?  It’s how the free market determines prices.

When demand goes up, prices go up (more people bid up the price).  Conversely, when supply goes up, prices go down (there’s lots to go around, so there’s no urgency); and vice versa.

Supply and demand applies to the cost of gasoline, apples, and to a person’s labor—if lots of people can do your job, you’ll get paid less, since employers have their pick of the litter.

A bigger labor supply gives bargaining power to employers: they don’t have to pay a decent wage, since so many people want the job, and they don’t have to give you a raise—if you don’t like it, they’ll hire someone else who does.

They’ll hire an illegal.  Don’t like it?  Too bad.

The fact is that America’s labor market has been flooded with 11-33 million illegal immigrants (depending on who you ask) looking for work.

This drives wages. Period.

Illegals Work Under The Table

Illegals work off-the-books, making less than minimum wage, and they don’t get benefits that citizen’s would get etc.

Basically, illegals undercut the labor market’s mandated floor, pulling the rug out from American workers—there’s no way a minimum wage worker can compete against someone working for $2 a day.

This means their impact on US wages is even bigger than it would otherwise be.

Wages aside, employers like to hire illegals because they have leverage over them: if the illegal misbehaves they can fire them no problem, and they can force them to work in crappy conditions that Americans wouldn’t.

This makes it impossible for American citizens to compete with illegal immigrants for the same jobs.

It’s why the youth unemployment rate is so high—fast food places used to be operated by teenagers, now they’re stuffed with illegals.

 Yes, Illegal Immigration Hurts The Economy illegal immigrants picking fruit

Only 10% of illegal immigrants work in the US agriculture industry—most work in services, contrary to what we’re constantly being told by the left.  American agriculture would be fine.  Farmers would just need to buy more tractors & equipment.

Debunking Some Common Leftist Lies

I know what you’re thinking: (I) “we need illegals to do the jobs Americans won’t do,” or (II) “the economic benefits outweigh the costs”.

“Illegal Immigrants Do Jobs Americans Don’t Want To Do”

This isn’t true.  Why?

1.  There are 23 million unemployed Americans right now, and at least 11 million illegal immigrants—even if you deported every illegal and gave that job to an American, the unemployment rate would still be around 7% (we’re talking real unemployment, not the garbage “official” number).

2.  Americans are willing to work the jobs illegals do, and they currently work them in states where there aren’t illegal immigrants.

If you read this document published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you’ll see that there are literally millions of Americans, white, black, and Hispanic, who are employed as janitors, laborers, store clerks—everything.

It’s simply not true that Americans won’t do these jobs—they can’t, because they’re being undercut by illegal immigrants.

Believe it or not, but people in states without illegal immigration (Montana or Ohio) can still afford McDonald’s and Starbucks—they just hire teenagers to do the jobs.

The same goes for entire countries, like Canada.

The fact is this: if we deported illegals from California, the labor market would begin to look more like Pennsylvania or Indiana—teenagers, and black or Hispanic Americans (who tend to be on the low-skills end of the labor market) would do the jobs, rather than be unemployed.

And even if there weren’t enough people, we could just automate.


A final note: there was a time before illegal immigration.

How do you think the jobs got done before that?

We hired teenagers and invested in better processes and technology to improve our efficiency.

“The Benefits Outweigh The Costs”


Illegals are a massive drain on government resources, which leads to higher taxes.  That’s not good for anyone.

Just look at California: they spend almost 20% of their government budget on illegals.  What a waste.  Citizens could use that.

Likewise, the drain from remittances is significant when you remember that most illegal immigrants are concentrated in a few states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona etc.).

When you consider these factors, in addition to wage stagnation and unemployment, illegal immigration doesn’t paint a very rosy picture.

It’s Time To Stop Illegal Immigration


I’ll tell you what: university professors, senators, news anchors aren’t losing their jobs to illegals.

It’s guys who work construction.

Gals who work in malls.

Ordinary folk.

I can guarantee you that if all illegal immigrants were Pulitzer-winning writers and famous actors that the borders would be shut up tighter than the gated communities where Hollywood’s elites live.

So there you have it folks.  Do with this information what you will, but please, stop pretending that illegal immigrants are an economic panacea.

They’re not.


Spencer P Morrison

Spencer P Morrison

JD candidate, writer, and independent intellectual with a focus on applied philosophy, empirical history, and practical economics. Author of "America Betrayed", Associate Editor for the American Revenant, and Editor-In-Chief of the National Economics Editorial.


  • Chris Whalen, CPA says:

    Mr. Morrison, as a CPA in practice for almost 30 years, and specializing in small to medium sized businesses, I can confirm all the points in this excellent article. Especially lower class American Citizens are devastated by illegal immigration in the communities I serve.

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