Q&A - Are Extended Unemployment Benefits Related To Biden’s Border Policy?

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Q&A Of The Day - Are Extended Unemployment Benefits Related To Biden’s Border Policy?

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 


Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio 

Today’s entry: Is it beyond the realm of possibility that the Dem push for extended and enhanced unemployment benefits fits in with the rush at the border. You stated that there are more jobs than people. If they push through amnesty via reconciliation those jobs will be filled with people that will accept minimum wage, not care about American holidays off, and give the excuse of they are doing jobs Americans don't want while conveniently leaving out the part about paying citizens to stay home. 

Bottom Line: It’s an interesting line of thinking that potentially has merit, though it wouldn’t apply in Florida or the 23 other states which cancelled the federal extended unemployment benefits. Incidentally, Arizona and Texas are two border states which likewise have ended the federal extension of unemployment benefits and are top end destinations for migrants. With Florida being the most common end destination for undocumented migrants and without the federal unemployment benefits being a factor for over a month now, there doesn’t appear to be a connection. For that matter, out of the 12 states where migrants are being sent to (that we’re aware of), only six of them are still participating with the federal extension of unemployment benefits. Instead, what’s driving it are two other factors. Family and opportunity. 

The Biden border policy pays deference to where migrants seeking asylum status want to go. Most commonly that’s appeared to be Florida based on investigative reporting by the Center for Immigration Studies (along with Governor DeSantis’s anecdotal findings when visiting Florida’s contingent at the border. When determining where migrants want to go the first consideration is family, if there is family in the United States. The second has been opportunity for work – which speaks to your point. A Census study revealed 76% of migrants find work. The top three industries undocumented migrants work in are...

  1. Agriculture (18% of all workers)
  2. Construction (13% of all workers)
  3. Leisure and Hospitality (10% of all workers)

Clearly Florida’s ripe with opportunity in all three of those industries and it’s well known by many of the migrants who’ve done their homework before coming to the border. To put it altogether...there’s no question that hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants coming across our border and staying, with over three-quarters of them finding work, is having an impact on our labor market. They could well be contributing to higher rates of unemployment among Americans as a result, however, there doesn’t appear to be a specific connection to the extended federal unemployment benefits else Florida wouldn’t likely have both a below average unemployment rate and more jobs available than Floridians looking for work to fill them, while being the top destination for undocumented migrants. 

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