(NaturalNews) A new report says that the number of illegal aliens currently residing in the United States has surpassed the number of unemployed Americans looking for work, a statistic that is bound to become a factor in the 2016 presidential race.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, new data from the Pew Research Center found that there were approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, compared to 9.6 million American citizens who were unemployed in the same year.
The Pew report, which utilized data from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, notes:
An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014. The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.
Of the 11.3 million illegals, 8.1 million are currently participating in the labor force.
“Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1 percent of the U.S. labor force,” said the Pew report. “In the U.S. labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or looking for work in 2012.”
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Issue will be a priority for many Americans in 2016
By 2014, the report states, 1.7 million more illegal immigrants were living in the country than there were jobless Americans. The BLS data indicate that the average number of unemployed Americans in 2014 was 9.6 million; the agency defines an unemployed person as someone who was without a job but who was actively searching for one in the previous four weeks.
The WFB noted that President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigrants, which critics say amounted to an unconstitutional executive amnesty, that he enacted in November of 2014 will ultimately result in more illegal aliens becoming active in the U.S. labor force.
“Last year, President Barack Obama took executive action to expand an existing program and establish a new one that would offer work permits and deportation relief to an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants,” the Pew report stated. “The actions—which are on hold because of a lawsuit by 26 states—would be open to unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who are parents with a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, as long as they meet certain requirements.”
The Pew report noted that illegal immigration to the U.S. exploded between 1990, when there were about 3.5 million inside the country, and 2007, when the figure grew to more than 12 million.
But the employment disparity is certain to garner attention, not only among the American electorate, but also from presidential candidates, some of whom have already made headlines criticizing Obama’s immigration policies.
‘You can’t be talking about anything else’
Billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump was the first to really broach the subject in a manner than rankled the political elite but nevertheless struck a chord with average Americans, judging by his meteoric rise to the top of Republican polls.
When he launched his bid in July, Trump emphatically stated that a large number of aliens crossing illegally into the U.S. were criminals – specifically “rapists” and “murderers” – and that Mexico was not sending its best citizens. Less than a week after making his controversial comments, 32-year-old Kate Steinle of San Francisco was killed by a 45-year-old illegal alien from Mexico who had been deported five times and recently released from custody by San Francisco officials. Since then, Trump has elevated the topic of “sanctuary cities” – like San Francisco – to the fore, calling such local policies dangerous and caused by an “unsafe border.”
Another top Republican candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, has made standing up for American workers versus those who are in the country illegally part of his campaign.
“You can’t be talking about anything else until you do that,” Walker said during a recent appearance on Fox News‘ “Hannity” program.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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