More green cards than diplomas in South Carolina

Published 9:55 pm Saturday, February 13, 2016

By Jeff Sessions | U.S. Senator from Alabama

Each year, the United States grants Lawful Permanent Resident Status — a “green card” — to an average of approximately 1 million aliens.

A green card allows an alien to reside in the United States permanently so long as they do not commit certain crimes, it provides access to some federal benefits immediately and generally all other federal benefits after five years (including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps (SNAP) and cash welfare (TANF) benefits) and it allows them to apply for citizenship after five years.

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That means, under current law, approximately 83,333 new aliens are placed on a pathway to citizenship, provided work authorization and granted access to federal and state benefits every month.

By contrast, an estimated 45,137 students in South Carolina graduated high school in 2014.

Not only will these 45,137 young men and women compete against these new Lawful Permanent Residents for jobs and spots in universities and trade schools, but they will also face competition from the approximately 700,000 guest workers allowed to work in the United States through other visa programs each year, or the roughly 500,000 foreign students who are permitted to study in the United States each year (and in some cases, who have been permitted to work in the United States contrary to Congressional authorization).

According to Pew research, after five decades of unprecedented immigration, a record number of Americans are not working.

The civilian labor force participation rate has steadily dropped since President Obama took office, and is currently at 62.7 percent ­— meaning that the percentage of Americans who are currently not working is at a level not seen in nearly four decades.

The share of men in their prime working years who do not have jobs has tripled since 1967.

Workplace participation rates for women have declined more than three full percentage points since 2000. Median household incomes today are $4,000 less than they were 15 years ago.

By a 3:1 margin, voters in all parties say the level of immigration should be reduced — not increased.