Benefits of Immigration to the United States Economy

Immigration is one of the hottest topics in the USA nowadays. Be it for patriotic or economic reasons, every US citizen has an opinion about non-native-born employees. While some consider immigrant workers as a threat to the national economy, others find such a workforce a significant benefit. It is not viable to say that people coming from other countries merely take away the opportunities that the Americans could use. The present paper argues that immigration should be encouraged because it is advantageous for the US economy.

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Immigrants constitute the basis of the prime-age population’s growth in the US. However, while the size of the non-native-born population is large, these individuals do not have a significant effect on native-born Americans’ wages (Nunn, O’Donnell, & Shambaugh, 2018). As Costa, Cooper, and Shierholz (2014) remark, the effect of immigrants on native-born workers’ salary is “extremely modest” (para. 17). Nunn et al. (2018) note that immigrants improve “the productive capacity” of the US economy (p. 10).

The contribution of immigrant employees amounts to approximately $2 trillion, which is 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) (Nunn et al., 2018). Meanwhile, 2.6% of GDP is believed to be provided by unauthorized immigrants (Nunn et al., 2018). Thus, it is wrong to say that the immigrant workforce has a negative effect on the country’s economy. As the evidence indicates, the USA benefits from its non-native-born workers greatly. An important issue to consider is increasing the options for immigrants’ documenting status so that they could bring even more advantages to the country.

Another crucial aspect in regard to immigrants’ impact on the US economy is the diversification of the workforce. The mix of skills brought by non-native-born laborers is different from that of native employees (Nunn et al., 2018). Furthermore, due to high-skilled immigrant personnel, innovation is likely to escalate. There is a widespread opinion that immigrants affect low-skilled native-born earnings. However, researchers note that such an assumption is not true (Costa et al., 2014; Nunn et al., 2018).

Moreover, it has been estimated that non-native-born workers actually contribute to the enhancement of native laborers’ payment statistics. In particular, Nunn et al. (2018) remark that due to the higher access to education, native citizens tend to have higher wages than immigrants. Non-natives’ contribution to innovation is also substantial due to their tendency to work in STEM fields more often (Nunn et al., 2018). Thus, the workforce is diversified with the help of immigrants, which proves that their role in the US economy is positive.

Those opposing the beneficial effect of immigration on the US economy argue that foreign-born citizens use too many resources and that the functions performed by them may become redundant in the near future. Rabushka (2019) claims that while at present, immigrants help to reduce labor shortages, they may pose a threat to the economy in the future when robots take over many functions of men. The scholar suggests that when more jobs are robotized, US citizens will feel depressed due to feeling useless. According to Rabushka (2019), the fewer people are affected, the less problematic it will be.

While this opinion makes some sense, it does not seem reasonable to treat it seriously at present when immigrants are employed in various low-paid jobs which native-born Americans are not willing to take. Moreover, research indicates that immigrants tend to have the same level of patriotism as native-born citizens or even higher (Nowrasteh & Forrester, 2019). Thus, it would be wrong to say that immigrants’ functions will become unneeded soon and that these people harm the US economy.

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The major factors from research testifying the positive impact of immigration on the US economy involve innovation, diversification, and the increase in GDP. Evidence indicates that the performance of the immigrant workforce is not lower than that of native-born laborers. Thus, it seems viable to conclude that the contribution of immigration to the US economy is too great to underestimate or reject. While native-born workers are not willing to engage in some low-paid jobs, non-native employees fill such niches and do their best to improve them.

References

Costa, D., Cooper, D., & Shierholz, H. (2014). Facts about immigration and the US economy: Answers to frequently asked questions. Web.

Nowrasteh, A., & Forrester, A. (2019). Immigrants recognize American greatness: Immigrants and their descendants are patriotic and trust America’s governing institutions. Immigration Research and Policy Brief, 10. Web.

Nunn, R., O’Donnell, J., Shambaugh, J. (2018). A dozen facts about immigration. Web.

Rabushka, A. (2019). Does America need more immigrants? Does america not need more immigrants? That is the question! Web.

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