Immigration remains one of the most controversial political topics among Republicans, Democrats and pretty much everyone who studies American politics. The United States has the largest immigrant population in the world at 41 million. This began to rise significantly in the 1960s when a lot of strict policies were removed or softened.
Supporters of these new policies suggest that this is part of the reason why the American policy is looking so peachy at the moment. Indeed, there are many studies which support the argument that an increase in international workers is great for the economy.
Other arguments are that too many immigrants are bad for the U.S economy in spite of its policies.
Here, we present some of the main arguments surrounding these ideas.
Many economists have linked strong migration into the country with improved gross domestic product and increased productivity across the nation.
The idea is that the population growth caused by migrants causes an increased demand for goods, which creates extra jobs. Labor markets have been shown to adapt well to a fast influx of extra workers. The highly-skilled workers who get the pay rises tend to spend the majority of that money boosting the economy even further.
Studies have shown that communities with a percentage of highly-skilled migrant workers tend to have a high surplus. Indeed, highly-skilled immigrants tend to be the biggest innovators. Foreign-born entrepreneurs register around one in four patents in the United States. Doubling the quota for H2B Visas led to an average of 15% revenue increase for the companies that participated.
A lot of anti-immigration agendas are aimed at undocumented workers, but the other side of the coin suggests that giving these workers legal status would encourage them. Whether it’s right to reward undocumented immigrants for breaking the law is an ethical issue in itself though.
It’s often suggested that the majority of immigrants are unskilled and that these workers are likely to remain poor in the United States. Poor, unskilled parents are likely to produce poor unskilled children or so the argument goes. Essentially, letting this brand of immigrants into this country creates new generations of families providing little towards the country, while taking social services.
Outside of economic arguments, it’s often suggested that a loser border control comes as a safety sacrifice. It has been suggested that this could lead to more drugs being imported in the United States and more criminal activity in general.
President Donald Trump has pitched several policies when it comes to internationals working in the U.S, so we could soon see for ourselves what a reduction in this could do to the economy.
Interestingly, general sentiment towards the economics of international workers has grown in recent times. In a recent Pew Research Survey, around half of U.S citizens agreed that it was good for the economy, while 40% said it was bad. That proportion is rising and younger people were more likely to display positive sentiment, meaning it’s likely to increase in the near future.
If that’s not enough encouragement for businesses to engage in immigration advertising in order to recruit bright new staff, little else will.