Pros and Cons of Immigrants on the Economy

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  • Topic: Immigration to the United States, Immigration, Illegal immigration
  • Pages : 2 (650 words )
  • Download(s) : 501
  • Published : October 30, 2008
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#2 Pros of undocumented immigrants in the United States
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 22 percent of construction workers are foreign born, with 2.4 million immigrants working in the sector of construction, the largest source of jobs for immigrant labor. Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, estimates that 25 to 30 percent of those working in resident construction are immigrants, though no one knows how many are here legally. Some economists say that if immigrant workers weren't present, rather than native-born workers getting better wages to do the same jobs, many jobs done by immigrants might not get done at all. If immigration reform pushed wages higher for lower-skilled workers, which would probably stop many average Americans from hiring household help they can now afford. The same is true for some manufacturers and service sector employers as well. Illegal immigrants seem to have very little impact on unemployment rates. Undocumented workers certainly do take jobs that would otherwise go to legal workers. But undocumented workers also create demand that leads to new jobs. They buy food and cars and cell phones, they get haircuts and go to restaurants. On average, there is close to no net impact on the unemployment rate. Some economists argue that not only do U.S. consumers benefit from lower prices as a result of the low wages most immigrants are paid, but that the availability of lower-wage labor helps create more work for higher-skilled, higher-paid workers who are generally native born. Cons of undocumented immigrants in the United States

Since undocumented workers generally don't pay income taxes but do use schools and other government services, they are seen as a drain on government spending. Nearly 26 million legal and illegal immigrants settling in the United States since 1970 cost taxpayers a net $69 billion in 1997 alone, in excess of taxes those immigrants paid. This represents a cost of $260 in...
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