Home » Brain Gain » Giving Immigrants a Path to Citizenship Will Raise Wages and Help the Economy, Not Hurt US Workers

Giving Immigrants a Path to Citizenship Will Raise Wages and Help the Economy, Not Hurt US Workers


Illegal Immigration Benefits Economy Cartoon

Republicans commonly argue that American workers suffer with an influx of undocumented immigrants because immigrants take jobs away from low-income U.S. citizens. Although this is a popular theory, most economists and experts find there is little evidence to support this claim.

What is certain, however, is that immigrants positively impact the US economy by causing American wages to increase. This, along with the folowing reasons, is why giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship will help the economy and the average US worker.

Immigrants lift American wages by creating successful businesses and innovations at a higher rate than native born US citizens:

Patents Granted for Immigrants
From Ezra Klein

With these successful businesses come greater job opportunities for U.S. citizens. This is especially true of Silicon Valley tech start-ups, half of which have a foreign-born founder. In the year 2000 in Silicon Valley, companies started by Chinese and Indian immigrants created nearly 73,000 jobs and generated more than 19.5 billion dollars in sales.

Giving Talented Entrepenuers a Chance to Stay in the Country Will Generate More Jobs and Stop Silicon Valley’s “Brain Drain:” Although talented foreign-born businesspeople can get temporary visas, many have trouble obtaining permanent legal status. When they are forced to leave the country, they take jobs with them. Because so many foreign born engineers and entrepenuers have found it difficult to obtain permanent legal status, the tech industry has been lobbying Congress for immigration reform for years.

Immigrants Can Help the US Economy by Replacing Workers That Will Be Lost from Baby Boomers Retiring and the Birthrate Declining: Republicans are notorious for worrying about the declining birthrate in the United States and with good reason. Less workers will negatively impact the economy. However, many Republicans seem unwilling to embrace the easiest way to address the declining number of US citizens: Give illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

Worried about the economy? Then pass immigration reform Ezra Klein


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