It is time to have a national discussion on legal immigration.

According to the Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, the overwhelming majority of immigration to the United States is the result of our visa policies.

Each year in the United States millions of visas are issued to temporary workers, foreign students, refugees, asylees, and permanent immigrants for admission into the United States. The largest share of these visas are for lesser-skilled and lower-paid workers and their dependents who, because they are here on work-authorized visas, are added directly to the same labor pool occupied by current unemployed jobseekers.

When they arrive legal immigrants will be able to draw on many taxpayer-funded benefits, and our businesses will be allowed to hire these workers at the cost of U.S. citizen’s jobs.

We are not talking about illegal immigrants that is an entirely different issue, we are talking about legal immigrants.

Legal immigrants who are taking much needed jobs from Americans as well as our welfare benefits.

According to an article I read in Breitbart News, “when a foreign citizen is issued a green card it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.”

Is it time to slow this legal immigration down?

Did you know that under our current federal policy, the U.S. issues approximately 1 million green cards every single year?

That is potentially 1 million jobs per year that U.S. citizens would not have access to and as well as the welfare benefits they can draw.

Not only would our citizens have to compete for jobs against these green card holders but it will depress wages, it is the natural law of supply and demand.

According to the article, if “Congress does not pass legislation to reduce the number of green cards issued each year, the U.S. will legally add 10 million or more new permanent immigrants over the next 10 years—a bloc of new permanent residents larger than populations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.”

Legislation enacted in 1965 by President Johnson, greatly increased low-skilled immigration to the United States. Since 1970, the foreign-born population in the United States has increased more than 400%, to a record 42.1 million today.  The problem is there is a direct correlation to the increase of available labor and the downward pressure on wages.

In the Breitbart article Georgetown and Hebrew University economics professor Eric Gould were quoted as saying “the last four decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the wage and employment structure in the United States… The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.”

Something else you should know, during the low-immigration period from 1948-1973, real median compensation for U.S. workers increased more than 90 percent. By contrast, real average hourly wages were lower in 2014 than they were in 1973, four decades earlier.

Now let us look at the immigration “reform” considered by Congress recently.  The 2013 Senate “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration bill—would have tripled the number of green cards issued over the next 10 years. Instead of issuing 10 million green cards, the Gang of Eight proposal would have issued at least 30 million green cards during the next decade (or more than 11 times the population of the City of Chicago).

Does that sound logical to you?

I am not against legal immigration and do not fault people from other countries trying to get into the U.S., but should we not consider their impact on U.S. citizens already living here?

We must first take care of our own before we can attempt to help others around the world.

Let’s discuss this today on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.