According to News America Media,
Businesses rely on immigrant workers for their existence as viable enterprises, argues Jacoby. It is nearly impossible to hire U.S. workers for many jobs (as farmhands, meatpackers, dishwashers, etc.). Unlike in 1960, when about half of all American men dropped out of high school, today nine in 10 graduate. Without a critical mass of unskilled U.S.-born workers, there’s a labor shortage in many sectors of the economy.
In the introduction to her 2004 book, “Reinventing the Melting Pot: the New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American,” Jacoby refers to this problem with the same unsentimental pragmatism that characterizes her general approach to the debate.
“Of course, however hard they work, many poor, ill-educated immigrants who start at the bottom of the ladder remain there throughout their lives,” she writes. “This is not particularly surprising, and it may seem to vindicate those who claim that the United States today is importing a new lower class.
“But that’s part of the point of our immigration policy: America no longer has this kind of working class, and it turns out that we need one.” That’s why Jacoby says employers are passionate about this. “Who’s going to be telling their representative how to vote on this? The people who have a real stake in it, and that’s small and mid-sized business.”
Yet, as the current system works, American employers seem to be facing a choice between growing their business and obeying the law. According to Jacoby, the government issues about one million work visas a year, when the market’s real need is probably closer to 1.5 million.
Her organization calls for tougher enforcement at the workplace and along the border. Jacoby is against the border wall, calling it “ridiculous” but adds, “I think we need a virtual wall, we need to know who’s crossing the border.”