Immigrants benefit the rest of America

In Peter Kwong’s essay titled “Whats wrong with their U.S immigration debate”, he speaks about in detail about the discrimination that’s seen daily towards immigrants. Even though the United States today is made up mostly by people who were once immigrants, as each group of immigrants come they are “confronted [with] hostile responses” from the people who have been  living in the US for longer. But studies have shown that immigrants are actually beneficial for the economy. When immigrants start working in the United States, they increase the productive capacity of the economy. It raises their own personal income but also the income of the long time citizens. In addition, it raises the general GDP of the entire county. And yes, part of this money is going directly to the immigrants, but thats only 0.2- 0.4% of whats being brought in by them. They also help by making the money move around the country. Immigrants are more likely to move to where the job opportunity is while natives would rather stay where they are comfortable. They’re more fluid about what job they accept and this also makes a tremendous impact not the economy. They generally accept jobs that others aren’t willing to work for but they are they payed less because of their status. People blame the immigrants for their issues because they are naive about what their role is in this country. I also think that its because its easier to blame others for issues instead of taking responsibility for it themselves.

Assignment 4-8, Immigration Policy, ,


  1. Before reading your blog post, it was unbeknownst to me how “immigrants are actually beneficial for the economy” because they can help “increase the productive capacity” and “raise the general GDP of the entire county.” But if this is the case, why is it that immigrants are given only “0.2-0.4% of what’s being brought in by them” and not the same amount of equal pay for performing as much abundant work as everyone else? They’re even eager enough to “generally accept jobs that others aren’t willing to work for,” and yet they’re still given the short end of the stick for all the hard and tireless work that they somehow manage to pull off. It’s quite shameful how most people still find blame in the immigrants for the weakening of their country when all they’re really trying to do is get by in life by any means necessary. This situation could possibly relate to an idea that Matthew Dsemond and Mustafa Emirbayer address in their book “Race in America,” as “so many Americans fear an ‘immigrant invasion’” since “foreignness has become intertwined with our notions of criminality, so much so that immigration itself is conceived as a criminal act, as something that offends the American consciousness.”

  2. Kimani, thank you for bringing Desmond and Emirbayer into this discussion. I think you are on the right track with your point about the intertwining of foreignness and criminality.

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