Immigration has the biggest claim to being President Trump’s signature issue. Years of discontentment with the open border status quo fueled the massive popular support for Trump that propelled him to the presidency.
Trump ran on curbing undocumented immigration in order to protect the jobs and wages of Americans. Workers are already seeing the results. Texas construction workers are getting higher wages thanks to Trump’s crackdown on undocumented labor, according to Breitbart.
Undocumented laborers drive down wages for American workers. Undocumented immigrants tend to live in meager conditions, often because they send money to their families back home in their countries of origin. They are more likely to take low wages as long as they aren’t deported.
When undocumented laborers are removed from the available labor pool, companies are obliged to compete for local labor by offering higher wages and better benefits. It’s a simple truth that Texas construction companies are now learning.
Stan Marek, CEO of Marek Construction in Dallas, told Fox News that his business relied heavily on undocumented immigrant workers. With fewer of them around, thanks to Trump, Marek and other construction companies are having to pay more to attract US citizen workers.
“Half of the workers in construction in Texas are undocumented,” Marek said. “We do hear that there are a lot of undocumented workers that are leaving the state, going to other states that don’t have the anti-immigrant sentiment and many of them are going back to Mexico.”
According to Ted Wilson, owner of Residential Strategies, Inc., construction companies are now paying as much as 30 percent more in wages. “We’ve seen direct construction costs climb by over 30 percent, and a lot of that is directly attributed to what builders are having to pay their subs and trades in wages.”
The rise in American worker wages comes as President Trump has empowered immigration officials in the federal government to fulfill their responsibilities and enforce the law without the restraints imposed by former administrations.
According to the The Washington Examiner, ICE’s Acting Director Thomas Homan says that President Trump has “taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement.” Under President Trump, there has been an 80% jump in undocumented immigrant targets and a 70% drop in undocumented immigration. Arrests of undocumented immigrants have gone up by 40 percent.
Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has made significant moves to counter the long-held sanctuary city policies of locales like San Fransisco, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. As reported by The Daily Signal, Sessions’ Department of Justice is cutting law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with ICE–including those that prohibit ICE officers from entering jails to deport undocumented criminals.
President Trump is now spearheading legislation to curb immigration by 50 percent. Breitbart reports that the RAISE Act, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), and David Perdue (R-GA), would put an end to the visa diversity lottery, place a 50,000-a-year cap on refugees, and stop “chain migration.” It would also only allow green cards to be issued to highly-skilled immigrants who speak English.
Because of fewer undocumented workers in Texas, wages are rising for legal workers. Will this trend have a positive impact on the economy?
According to The Washington Times, the RAISE Act would help raise the wages of American workers by reducing the number of unskilled laborers in the country.
If President Trump can get congressional support for the RAISE Act, it would be the most significant immigration legislation passed in decades. Hopefully, it would also mean legal American workers can continue to receive better wages and benefits.