The Bittersweet Effect of Immigration in the U.S.

There is a consensus among those opposing immigrants coming in whether they are illegal or legal, that the United States should take care of their citizens first and that the government should operate to help the citizens of their country. That means employment. According to Laura Shierholz’s EPI briefing paper on immigration and wages, although new immigrant workers add to the labor supply, they also consume goods and services, creating more jobs. Meaning that the labor force was always destined to grow and immigration is only pushing us there sooner than we expected. It is natural for the labor force to increase because it always has due the population growing everyday. The only issue with the article is that it only presents statistics for legal immigrants and not illegal. Legal immigrants tend to have a stable income in order to come to America legally and some may take jobs that require low skill or physical work. It may be a stretch but it sort of makes the assumption that because legal immigrants spend money in the U.S. and doesn’t affect the worker’s average wages the same can be applied to illegal immigrants which is simply not true. Those that do come illegally work slave-wage jobs and do skew the statistics since there isn’t a reliable way to record the amount of illegal immigrants in the country. Shierholz does reaffirm the belief that legal immigrants don’t affect the economy by stating “The wages of male U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education were largely unaffected by immigration over this period, experiencing a relative decline of 0.2% due to immigration (or $1.37 per week). Female U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education experienced a relative increase in wages of 1.1% due to immigration ($4.19 per week).” The only issue that could be debated is whether skilled immigrants are capable of taking the jobs away from other skilled people that are wanting to work in the same field. Even with that question brought up, The EPI report shows that the impact is minimal to those working for the same specific field with the wages of workers only being cut down by 3%.

Assignment 4-8, Immigration Policy, , ,

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