Effects of Immigration on the Economy

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Illegal Immigrants Are They A Stress On Our Economy.|
Joanna Przyborski|


Illegal immigration is an issue that has been highly debated in the United States for decades, and the effects of these immigrants will be for many to come, especially with the country in a recession and many people in economic trouble. December 1, 2008 the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the U.S. in a recession. Before 2007, U.S. economy has grown in 23 of the last 25 years. During this period, the U.S. attracted record numbers of new immigrants. The U.S. foreign-born population had quadrupled from 9.6 million in 1970 to 38.1 million in 2007. In the past decade, more than one million immigrants have entered this country legally each year and about another 500,000 entered illegally. Immigrants from Latin America (including Mexico) account for 54% of all immigrants, compared to 18% in 1970. Asians account for 27% compared to 9% in 1970. Europe and Canada decreased from 68% in 1970 to 15% today. (Terrazas 2009) According to a 2007 Gallop poll 46% of Americans, believe that immigrants are making the economic situation worse. On the other hand, yearly we gain between one billion and 10 billion of the gross domestic product because of immigration. Likewise, the increase in immigration presents many problems today many believe that immigrants are imperative for the U.S. economy to grow, and without them, the losses would be significantly greater than the gains. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas(2003) identified three ways immigrants contribute to job growth in the U.S. by stating that “they fill an increasing share of jobs overall, they take jobs in labor-scarce regions, and fill the types of jobs native workers shun”(Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas,pg.3). Many economists feel that without immigrants in our workforce production levels would decrease, demand and prices would increase, this could force us to spend more money on goods less available than they are today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.4 million immigrants, nearly 30% of those are working in residential construction (Isadore 2006). Many are not only building the houses but also buying them, so if the immigrants were taken away not only would it create a problem in production of goods and the work force, it would also put the housing market at a higher risk. Simmons identified many problems that immigrants present to our economy, instead of contributing tax dollars to education, health care, and prison systems residents of California have to pay nearly $1,000.00 per household to aid in the regulation of the population of illegal immigrants (Simmons 2006). Illegal immigration has both negative and positive impacts on different parts of the economy. Wages for low-skilled workers go down, therefore that means the benefits by Americans of paying lower prices for things like meals at restaurants, produce, and construction. Another negative impact is on expenditures by the government. This is because illegal immigrants do not pay taxes but their children go to public schools and they use other services. So many people perceive them as a strain on government spending. If you averaged all the negative and positive effects over the whole economy, the effect is a small positive, according to George Borjas a Harvard professor, the average American’s wealth will increase by less than 1% because of illegal immigration. In February 2011, article the “Federation for American Immigration Reform” states that “Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state, and local levels. The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $117.00. Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost for taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion”. (Simmons 2006)....
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