According to the Critical Labor Coalition, recent data shows that if each unemployed person from the most recent jobs report in the U.S. were to be hired the nation would still have over 1.4 million positions left open. These staffing deficits can contribute to potential economic contraction and stifle economic growth.

“The most recent data shows that if every single unemployed person from today’s jobs report [were] hired there would still be 1.4 million positions unfilled,” Executive Director of Critical Labor Coalition, Misty Chally said. “The workforce shortage is real. We need to remove barriers through common sense guest worker and tax policies.”

As President Joe Biden commits to assailing the right to seek asylum and attempts a Trumpian shutdown of the border, questions about the economy sustaining such policies are beginning to arise. Biden’s commitment to closing the border stems from xenophobic rhetoric from far-right commentators and has since largely been adopted by mainstream news media.

While extremist pundits scream about invasions and their fears about immigrants, news media across the country bolster those ideas using words like crisis. Additionally, every media outlet has adopted the illegal aliens nonsense. Some avoid the word aliens but still refer to migrants as illegal despite migrants legally claiming asylum (according to the law), being entered into the system, and being granted appointments as part of the legal process.

In other words, they’re documented whether you like it or not.

How does all this bode for the economy? Not good. But when it comes to xenophobia and racism, we’ve seen throughout history that shooting the country in the foot is a small price to pay for bigots to get their way. The same people who wrongfully claim migrants bring down wages and increase housing prices also implement policies that hurt U.S. citizens across the country – none more than poor white and marginalized communities.

“The workforce shortage is real and many industries are grappling with critical staffing deficits, stalling economic growth and undermining American competitiveness,” Chally said. “Congress needs to act on removing barriers through common sense guest worker and tax policies.”

The correct approach is to provide more pathways to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States, fix the green card backlog, and provide a more humane approach to addressing asylum. Enforcement-only policies add to the number of migrants crossing between ports of entry and fleeing from Border Patrol Agents instead of turning themselves in as the vast majority do now. Increasing the number of “legal” migrants who work in the U.S. is crucial for the economy.

Once again, racism is hurting the country.

The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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