The Trump administration has implemented an immigration policy which has substantially decreased the amount of new visa and green card applications and hindered the renewal process for current recipients. The purpose of the president’s reform is to provide native-born Americans with more job opportunities and bolster the U.S. economy.
However, there is evidence demonstrating how the current immigration policies are actually harming the economy. Migration benefits economic development.
The truth is, immigration has been a significant factor in our country’s economic success since its birth. In recent years, economists claim that demographic shifts--such as aging-- have slowed the potential rate of U.S. economic growth to around two to three percent. The reason why the economy has thrived compared to Europe has been because of the nation’s acceptance of immigration and the ability to attract a massive number of them.
Both skilled and unskilled immigrants alike are integral to the U.S. economy.
For example, skilled immigrants have established over half of the new business located in Silicon Valley between 1995 and 2005, according to Inc.com. Additionally, more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants of their children. Skilled foreigners contribute to their community by providing fresh ideas and technologies which results in quicker innovation by businesses.
In a UC Davis study, a rise in foreign-born workers is associated with substantial wage increases for native-born Americans who are college educated and those who are not, thus increasing the productivity growth in cities throughout the country. So if immigrants opt to find a home elsewhere, such as Canada or China, that would mean lower wages and fewer jobs for native-born workers.
According to the Department of Labor, 63 percent of current U.S. jobs only require a high school diploma. Many of these positions consist of low-paying jobs that most native-born Americans avoid pursuing. If immigrants do not work in these jobs, then they will not be done whatsoever. For instance, immigrant workers account for 40 percent of laundry/dry-cleaning and construction workers, 47 percent of roofers, and 52 percent of maids in the country. Even when finding work is difficult, native-born Americans still void low-paying, physically-demanding jobs.
In conclusion, if the United States wants to continue to be a major economic powerhouse, labor market growth is necessary. Lack of labor market growth will not result in economic growth, which is why immigration is the key to achieving such goals.