If companies pay more for low-skilled work, they’ll have an easier time finding native-born workers and legal immigrants to fill the jobs. That will decrease the demand for illegal workers.
While Obama didn’t make that point, others have. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, co-wrote a New York Times op-ed in 2006 headlined “Raise Wages, Not Walls.” “If we want to reduce illegal immigration,” they wrote, “it makes sense to reduce the abundance of extremely low-paying jobs that fuels it.”
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Keywords: value chain, minimum-wage jobs, unskilled labor, immigration reform