Migration produces economic impacts in the liberalized economy. In 2006, the global number of illegal immigrants was estimated at 200 million i.e. 3.3 % of the population (Maule, 2009). The number of illegals in Canada is unknown and could be up to 63,000 (Maule, 2009). The illegals are not equal participants of the economy because of their status. However, they participate in the workforce and society. This essay argues that illegal immigration has positive effects on economy as undocumented migrants pay taxes, start new businesses in immigrant hubs in Canadian cities, and work in low-skill jobs.
While undocumented people wait to receive their refugee or immigrant status, they purchase goods and live in houses. They pay sales taxes, property taxes and some income taxes (West 2011, p. 12). The economy benefits since there are more revenues available.
The economy also benefits from the illegals’ new businesses in urban immigrant hubs. Many neighborhoods in Canadian cities are recreated by motivated migrants. In Toronto, there are numerous grocery shops run by people from India, Pakistan, and other places. As Challinor (2011) remarks, illegals have capital and are willing to work. The economic impacts are mostly in the migrant hubs in Canadian cities (Challinor, 2011).
A counter-argument states that illegals take the jobs of comparable workers without high-school diplomas who receive lower wages as a result (West 2011, p. 12). The example of Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program refutes this position. In this program, the caregivers worked for many hours for a long time before receiving residency (Benach et al. 2011). During their low-skill work not popular with locals, the undocumented immigrants make an impact on the economy.
In sum, illegal immigration has beneficial effects on economy. In Canada, illegals run and launch new businesses in the urban immigrant hubs. The undocumented migrants purchase products and properties so they pay taxes. Moreover, despite the fears that it takes jobs away from the native skilled workers, illegal immigration is beneficial because illegals work for many hours in low-skill jobs like live-in caregiving.
- Benach, J., Muntaner, C., Delclos, C., Menéndez, M., & Ronquillo, C. (2011). Migration and “low-skilled” workers in destination countries. Plos. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001043.
- Challinor, A. E. (2011). Canada’s immigration policy: A focus on human capital. Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/canadas-immigration-policy-focus-human-capital.
- Maule, C. (2009). Illegal means illegal. Immigration Watch Canada. Retrieved from http://immigrationwatchcanada.org/2009/08/11/illegal-means-illegal/.
- West, D. M. (2011). The costs and benefits of immigration. Political Science Quarterly, 126 (3), 427-443. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23056953.