Robert Reich Addressed This Claims About Undocumented Workers 'Stealing Jobs'

January 18th 2017

Kyle Jaeger

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said Donald Trump is misleading voters by insisting that undocumented immigrants are taking American jobs. In an exclusive interview with ATTN:, Reich pointed out that undocumented workers tend to take low-wage jobs that have little appeal among native-born Americans.


"The last hundred years has been a history of demagogues who thrive on economic distress and who point the finger at scapegoats," Reich said. "This is exactly what Donald Trump has done."

Trump's repeated claims that undocumented immigrants are "taking our jobs" has no bearing in reality, Reich argued. A 2016 report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine supports his argument, with a team of researchers concluding that people who come to the country illegally have "little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term."


The loss of manufacturing labor in the U.S. is largely attributable to automation and outsourcing, other recent studies have found. That's why productivity in the manufacturing industry has increased by about 20 percent since 2009, while employment in the industry has only increased by five percent during that same period, as FiveThirtyEight reported.

"At the same time, undocumented workers often have to pay social security or other taxes," Reich added. "So, in that way, they’re actually subsidizing the rest of us."

According to a 2016 report from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants contribute about $12 billion in local and state taxes each year. The group also contributed about $7 billion toward Social Security, which they are barred from benefiting from, the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation estimated.

Watch the full interview with Robert Reich below.