There have been long-term debates regarding immigration and its effects on the American Economy. The opponents have argued that immigrants are taking the citizen’s jobs and living off the government. The supporters stand on the position that immigrants are doing the jobs that no one wants and are contributing to the growth of the economy. On February 16, 2017, a day without immigrants was organized across the nation to show how much immigrants genuinely contribute to the economy. It was eye opening and forced economists to consider how these migrants impact the national economy. The diversity of the nation is what makes it great, and the hate and fear that is directed towards immigrants do not change their impact on the economy. The movement resulted in favorite restaurants being closed, and many businesses were forced to run short-handed, and it provided a clear look at the many roles immigrants are serving in the United States. Immigrants offer essential cultural diversity to the nation and contribute to the growth and long-term economic well-being of society.
As discussed, the day without immigrants opened the eyes of many to see the role that these individuals fill in society. They have far more of an impact on everyday functions than most people even acknowledged. “While the economic impact of today’s actions remains unclear, several economic experts told ABC News that the U.S. economy and workforce would be a ‘disaster’ without immigrants” (Tan). Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy located at the Economic Policy Institute, argued that if all immigrants were to vanish from the American workforce, the economy would be affected negatively. They are overrepresented in many difference occupations, both high and low skilled jobs. The economic landscape would be impacted in many different industries and professions, from IT to construction. There is no arguing that citizen could fill some of those jobs, but do they want to? Significant gaps in many sectors would stay unmanned, and it would result in an economic decline. According to ProCon.Org (2017), immigrants who are undocumented contribute a significant amount to local and state taxes, paying around $11.64 billion each year. Regardless if the immigrant is documented or undocumented, that is a substantial amount of revenue for the United States.
There is a substantial amount of arguments regarding immigrants taking Americans’ jobs, but studies have found that is not the case. They are filling voids in occupations that are not being pursued by citizens. Francine Blau, an economics professor at Cornell University, generated a report that detailed the study and its outcome. “Many important benefits of immigration – including on economic growth, innovation and entrepreneurship – with little to no negative effects on the overall wages or employment of native-born workers in the long term” (Soergel). The belief that affects the American attitude is founded on false positions. The truth is, immigrants are filling a prominent place and aiding in the growth of the economy. Blau was able to substantiate a position that contradicted the chronicle that immigrants are taking American jobs. Also, it disproves that they are hurting citizens by working for lower wages than others would find acceptable. President Trump had rested on the false facts when he advocated for the limiting H-1B visas for immigrants with specific skills. Instead, the focus should be on what skills would benefit the national economy and opening a more significant number of visas. It would be beneficial, long-term to have the vast cultures investing in our domestic growth.
Qian has committed to future studies to learn how immigrants are spurring economic prosperity in the United States. There is a need to understand if the mix of language and cultures is influential in yielding more significant growth. The distinct attributes generated from their culture aids in the immigrant’s success in the nation. Qian, an economist, stated, “we’re particularly interested in the diaspora of cultural values that would affect the economic activity or investment in going to school” (Nunn, Qian, and Sequeira). The immigrants of today come from different cultures and countries than other migrants. Based on their studies they have found value in modern-day immigrants and how they influence the economy. The argument is based on the contemporary and historical fundamentals and how they are still the same. Immigrants, historical and modern, are uneducated in comparison with American society, and they have different cultural and religious backgrounds. But they have a lot they can offer to economic growth. Qian argues that policymakers have to recognize the economic effect, long-term and that it is far more beneficial than the short-term disadvantages. The country has to remember, that the focus is not on how our economy grows today, but the next decade and beyond, and how our economy will continue to evolve.
Immigrants provide essential cultural diversity to the nation and contribute to the growth and long-term economic well-being of society. There are many misperceptions about what immigrant is doing to our economy, but studies have shown that is not the case. Immigrants have made a significant contribution to our economy and aided in its growth. They are spending billions of dollars in the state and local government, furthering their impact on society. The migrants are in every avenue of industries, and fill roles from finance to landscaping. Contrary to some beliefs, immigrants are not taking Americans jobs. They are filling the void and aiding in the long-term growth and well-being of the United States economy.
- Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America? ProCon.Org, 2017, https://immigration.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000788. Accessed 18 December 2017.
- Nunn, Nathan, Nancy Qian and Sandra Sequeira. Does Immigration Help or Hurt Local Economies? Kellogg Insight, 2017, https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/economic-impact-of-immigration-in-the-us. Accessed 17 December 2017.
- Soergel, Andrew. The Economic Cost of Immigration. US News, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-23/study-examines-immigrations-economic-costs. Accessed 16 December 2017.
- Tan, Avianne. Without immigrants, the US economy would be a ‘disaster,’ experts say. ABC News, 2017, http://abcnews.go.com/US/immigrants-us-economy-disaster-experts/story?id=45533028. Accessed 18 December 2017.