Immigration reform has been an ongoing topic in the United States. Many agree that reform is necessary, in order to boost the economic recovery. However, others disagree, and convince themselves that immigrants steal our jobs, depress our wages, and are a net drag on the economy. According to Ben Powell, Professor of Economics at Suffolk University, when immigrants come, they largely complement our towns; they don’t substitute for us.
Immigration reform will create more jobs for both U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants. President Obama’s book, Change We Can Believe In, states that small businesses are the engine source of our economy, which means millions of immigrants will start up their own business due to their eagerness of progressing. In fact, according to the White House blog, immigrants create businesses and file patents at a much higher rate than native-born residents do. Therefore, for those who oppose the immigration reform, because they’re scared of being unemployed, think again.
Not only will reform create more jobs for people, but also increases wages. Here’s another myth about immigration: Immigrants will depress our wages. False. American workers have also convinced themselves that the reform will have a negative effect on the economy. The way they see it: More immigrants, less high-paying jobs for Americans, which means, lower wages. They way they should see it: More immigrants means more workers, which leads to an increase in cumulative earnings. Eventually, workers would spend the money they are being paid, strengthening the economy.
According to the same blog mentioned above, immigrants are our engineers, scientists, and innovators. Immigrants represent 33% of engineers, 27% of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists, and 24% of physical scientists. Even numbers can attest that immigrants come to America for opportunities to improve their lives, and they do so by funding higher education. Immigrants will add to the labor force, helping to reverse a decline in workforce participation that began a decade ago.
In addition to job creation and higher wages, immigration reform will curb the federal deficit. According to an April analysis by the American Action Forum, the reform will reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion during the next 10 years, and according to a Social Security Administrator analysis, the reform would help bolster Social Security. Because undocumented workers already contribute $15 billion per year to Social Security, more legal workers would mean more contribution to payroll taxes to its trust fund.