Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that fewer immigrants could hurt the economy, in a letter responding to a question from a Senate Democrat.
According to a letter obtained by Bloomberg, Powell, a Trump appointee, told Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., that lower immigration would negatively affect the U.S. economy due to fewer employers being able to fill job openings.
“Thus, from an economic growth standpoint, reduced immigration would result in lower population growth and thus, all else equal, slower trend economic growth,” Powell wrote in August correspondence Bloomberg said it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Powell added, “As you know, immigration policy is for Congress and the administration to decide.”
Cortez Masto’s office did not immediately respond to inquiries to confirm the letter, which intended to answer a Cortez Masto question.
Last month, the Labor Department reported more job openings than it’s ever seen, and the unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is at a 50-year low.
President Trump has said he wants to lower immigration, and his administration is betting that it can continue pulling workers who had left the workforce back in to keep the economy going.