Dan Tortorice may be a fine attorney; however, he is not much of an economist. In his column of Nov. 20, he posits that more unskilled immigrants will help the labor market. He does not understand the basic principles of supply and demand.

The arrival of more unskilled immigrant workers will only serve to drive down wages for those who are currently employed. If you have more of something, in this case unskilled labor, the price (in this case hourly wages)  will go down.

One of the principal factors in the lack of wage growth in the U.S., and disparity of incomes (over which much concern has been exhibited by the presidential candidates), has been the unlimited supply of labor from illegal immigration. This has seriously hurt hard-working citizens who have regularly seen their jobs disappear to illegal immigrants, who are willing to work for less.

Put another way, if half of the employed illegal workers were no longer in the labor force, businesses would be compelled to raise wages in order to fill jobs and keep operating. Wage growth for ordinary citizens would resume. People who are not willing to work in landscaping, home care or at McDonald’s for $10 an hour might be more than willing at $20 an hour.

The unlimited supply of illegal immigrants, willing to work at low wages, has been a principal cause (along with globalization) of the decline of wage rates, and the declining standard of living of ordinary working folks.

Illegal immigration may help businesses by keeping wages low, but it hurts average working people.

Lawrence Burnat, Pinehurst

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

Illegals break the law by their presence in our nation. Employers break the law when they knowingly employ them. Chasing cheap labor is a spiral the the bottom. It is a disincentive for businesses to use better processes and equipment to improve productivity. Machinery exists today to replace most tedious farm labor. As a boy I watched poor farmers labor in their fields hand-picking cotton in Alabama. Today they do this in the air-conditioned comfort of their combines. Tomorrow these amazing American inventions will do the work autonomously. In Europe, efficient houses are made by robots in factories and then assembled on site in a few days. In the US foreign workers nail sticks together and call them houses.

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