Low-skill immigration may improve the economy

Some people in Louisville may think that if employers did not hire workers from other countries, it would mean more jobs for Americans. However, according to one report, this may not be the case.

Many economists believe that immigration is good for the economy, leading to a higher quality of life for both immigrants and those already living in the United States. For example, if the country “imports” engineers from another country to work in the United States, the money paid to these workers is taxed, and these workers spend money in American stores.

Moreover, many times if an immigrant isn’t hired, that doesn’t mean a U.S. citizen will be hired in the immigrant’s place. For example, in the 1950s and 1960s tomato farmers in California hired workers from Mexico to pick crops by hand, even though they could’ve chosen to use machines to do the job. In fact, even as late as 1964, 97 percent of tomatoes grown in California were harvested by human workers. However, when the seasonal permit program used to allow workers from Mexico to work in the United States was ended in 1964, only two years later 90 percent of tomatoes grown in California were not harvested by American workers, but instead were harvested by machines.

According to one report, while on average from 2011 to 2013 an immigrant will utilize around $1,600 in government services annually, their children and grandchildren will pay much more in taxes than the amount of money they receive in government services. Another analysis reports that if immigration was stopped altogether, yearly economic growth will decrease by 0.3 percent.

In the end, according to some, our nation needs low-skilled workers just as much as it needs high-skilled workers. Immigrant workers seeking U.S. permanent residency or who are even seeking U.S. citizenship can consult with an immigration attorney who can help them throughout the road towards citizenship.

Source: The New York Times, “Fewer Immigrants Mean More Jobs? Not So, Economists Say,” Binyamin Appelbaum, Aug. 3, 2017



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