NumbersUSA: “October 2012 TV Ad”

An ad from anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA suggests that lawmakers’ motivation for granting green cards to immigrants is a belief that “black Americans don’t want to work,” basing this on the false premise that immigrants displace jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans. But there is little truth to this; immigrants expand the economy by increasing demand, thereby creating new jobs and driving up wages for native workers.

Immigrants Create Jobs And Increase Wages

‘1 Million’ Is Number Of Legal Immigrants Issued Green Cards Per Year. From NumbersUSA: “Over the past 20 years, the United States has granted legal permanent residence (green cards) to an average of more than 1 million persons per year.” [, 5/4/09]

Immigrants Expand The Economy, Create Jobs, And Drive Up Average Wages For Native Workers. From “Do immigrants take American jobs? It’s a common refrain among those who want to tighten limits on legal immigration and deny a ‘path to citizenship’ — which they call ‘amnesty’ — to the millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. […] But most economists and other experts say there’s little to support the claim. Study after study has shown that immigrants grow the economy, expanding demand for goods and services that the foreign-born workers and their families consume, and thereby creating jobs. There is even broad agreement among economists that while immigrants may push down wages for some, the overall effect is to increase average wages for American-born workers.” [, 8/29/12]

Larger Labor Force Means More Demand And A Larger Economy, Not Job Displacement. From the Economic Policy Institute: “An important thing to keep in mind is that the labor force is growing all the time. All else equal, more people, including more foreigners, do not mean lower wages or higher unemployment. If they did, every time a baby was born or a new graduate entered the labor force, they would hurt existing workers. But new workers do not just have supply-side impacts, they also affect demand. Those new graduates buy food and cars and pay rent. In other words, while new workers add to the supply of labor, they also consume goods and services, creating more jobs. An economy with more people does not mean lower wages and higher unemployment, it is simply a bigger economy. Just because New York is bigger than Los Angeles does not in and of itself mean workers in New York are worse off than workers in Los Angeles.” [, 2/4/10]

Immigrant Workers Lower Wages For Prior Immigrant Workers, But Raise Them For U.S.-Born Workers. From the Economic Policy Institute: “A key result from this work is that the estimated effect of immigration from 1994 to 2007 was to raise the wages of U.S.-born workers, relative to foreign-born workers, by 0.4% (or $3.68 per week), and to lower the wages of foreign-born workers, relative to U.S.-born workers, by 4.6% (or $33.11 per week). In other words, any negative effects of new immigration over this period were felt largely by the workers who are the most substitutable for new immigrants—that is, earlier immigrants.” [, 2/4/10, italics original]

EPI: Immigration Positively Affects Wages For Black Americans Too. From the Economic Policy Institute: “[I]n the aggregate, immigration has essentially the same relative effect on native blacks as it has had on native whites—a small positive relative impact on wages.” [, 2/4/10]

NumbersUSA Is Part Of The American Nativist Movement

NumbersUSA Is Part Of The “Core Of The Nativist Lobby.” From the Southern Poverty Law Center: “FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA are all part of a network of restrictionist organizations conceived and created by John Tanton, the ‘puppeteer’ of the nativist movement and a man with deep racist roots. […] Together, FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA form the core of the nativist lobby in America. In 2007, they were key players in derailing bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that had been expected by many observers to pass. Today, these organizations are frequently treated as if they were legitimate, mainstream commentators on immigration. But the truth is that they were all conceived and birthed by a man who sees America under threat by non-white immigrants.” [, February 2009]

NumbersUSA Head Roy Beck Is Tied To Nativist Extremist John Tanton. From the Southern Poverty Law Center: “The truth is that [Roy] Beck was an employee, as Tanton has often written, of Tanton’s U.S. Inc. for 10 years. He was one of the editors for Tanton’s immigrant-bashing publication, The Social Contract, and helped edit a book by Tanton and another U.S. Inc. employee, white supremacist Wayne Lutton. He and his wife vacationed with Tanton, a man who calls the Becks ‘dear friends,’ and he once developed a program with Tanton that targeted Republicans for recruitment to the nativist cause. At one point, in fact, Tanton named Beck his ‘heir apparent,’ with Beck’s consent. As recently as last year, Beck was an invited speaker at Tanton’s Social Contract conference.” [, February 2009]

  • Tanton, Who Founded FAIR And U.S. English, Is Connected To The White Nationalist Movement. From the Southern Poverty Law Center: “Over the years, more and more information has emerged about the racial attitudes of John Tanton, who, like Beck, initially came to the immigration debate through concerns about overpopulation and the environment. As long ago as 1988, a set of his internal memoranda to the staffs of two groups he founded — the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and U.S. English — were leaked and showed Tanton warning of a coming ‘Latin onslaught,’ questioning whether Latinos were as “educable” as others, and worrying that Latinos were outbreeding whites. A decade later, he told a reporter that whites would soon develop a racial consciousness, and the result would be ‘the war of all against all.’ He hired and worked alongside Wayne Lutton, who has held leadership positions in four white supremacist hate groups. He published and endorsed a racist book on immigration, and he published numerous white supremacists. Tanton compared immigrants to bacteria that will continue growing until the population crashes, and sneered at immigrants’ ‘defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.’ But that wasn’t all. Late last year, the Report revealed that over the course of some 20 years Tanton had corresponded with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers, and leading white nationalist thinkers. He introduced leaders of FAIR, on whose board he still sits today, to the president of the Pioneer Fund, a racist outfit set up to encourage ‘race betterment,’ at a private club. He promoted the work of an infamous anti-Semitic professor, Kevin MacDonald, to both FAIR officials and a major donor. At one point, pursuing his interest in eugenics, the utterly discredited ‘science’ of breeding a better human race, he tried to find out if Michigan had laws allowing forced sterilization. His concern, Tanton wrote in a letter of inquiry, was ‘a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them.’” [, February 2009]

Tanton’s Foundation Ran NumbersUSA Until 2002. From the Southern Poverty Law Center: “Through his foundation U.S. Inc., Tanton channeled thousands of dollars to several organizations that sought to restrict immigration. In addition, the foundation has run several anti-immigrant programs itself, including The Social Contract Press (listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), Pro English and, until 2002, NumbersUSA, perhaps the most important grassroots nativist organization. In 1979, Tanton founded the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group. Because of its ties to white supremacists and the beliefs of Tanton, the SPLC designated FAIR as a hate group in 2007.” [, accessed 8/29/12]

[YOUNG MAN:] I’m tired of the stereotype that black Americans don’t want to work. I’ve worked hard my whole life, but I got laid off, and I’ve got mouths to feed. I need a job. What I don’t understand is why our leaders are going to admit another million immigrant workers next year to take jobs when three million black Americans can’t find work. I mean, do our leaders really believe that black Americans don’t want to work? Let’s slow down mass immigration and save jobs for Americans. All Americans. Paid for by [NumbersUSA via, 10/2/12]