Effect of Immigration Policy on Domestic Workers

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Supply and demand, Immigration Pages: 6 (2182 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Effect of Immigration Policy on Domestic Workers|
Effect on Domestic Wages|


The United States is known for being a large and varied country with many different races. In recent years, the number of foreign-born individuals in the U.S. has been increasing noticeably. In fact according to Steven Camarota, in 2010, 40 million people were (legal and illegal) immigrants in the United States (Camarota, 2012). Immigration is emerging as a critical issue in the United States. The issue brings cultural and economic concerns among the population. A fundamental controversy and debate concerning immigration is the effects US immigration policies have on domestic workers. Some individuals consider that immigrants hurt the U.S. economy, while others believe that they contribute and benefit the country. The purpose of this paper is to explain both side of the arguments and describe how this social issue is relevant and relates to the course Economic Ideas and Current Issues. Finally, the paper will conclude with a summary and a personal discussion on the issue. Before moving into the arguments for both sides it is important to define what an immigration policy is and what it refers to. An immigration policy refers to any set of federal government policies that determine who enters the United States and in what numbers. In addition, Michael Fix and Jeffrey S. Passel, state that “immigration policy involves three fundamentally different sets of laws, regulations, and institutions—those that govern legal immigration, those that govern humanitarian admissions (refugees and asylees), and those that control illegal entry” (Fix & Passel, 1994). As the public debate intensifies, disagreement arises. On one side, those opposing immigration argue that immigration increases the supply of labor, resulting in lower wages and employment levels for domestic residents ("Policy debate: Does," 2006). This group of people believes that immigrants take advantages of the benefits offered by governments. They also argue that immigrants take away job opportunities and the employments that correspond to Native Americans. On the other hand, those favoring immigration, focuses on the benefits immigration brings to the United States. They specifically focus on the long-run benefits. One argument in favor of immigration is the one made by Professor Thomas E. Lehman. Lehman argues that immigration turns the American labor market more competitive, thus increasing its efficiency. He also believes that immigration policy should not be viewed any differently than trade policy (Lehman, 2012). Additionally a professor of economics, Tyler Cowen state that immigration skilled and unskilled, not only create more jobs but it also increases tax revenues, help finance Social Security, and bring new home buyers, but most importantly improve the nation’s business environment ( Cowen, 2010). Steven Camarota declares that there is anecdotal and systematic evidence that shows that in comparison to native-born African Americans, immigrants are seen as better workers (Camarota, 2005). Overall supporters of immigrants believe they are a great contribution to the American economy. They consider that immigrants bring creativeness, promotes entrepreneurship, and increases productivity. However they do admit that immigrating can have some short-run effects, but in the long-run the benefits they bring to the country are greater (Hall, VanMetre & Vedder, 2012). DISCUSSION

The Immigration policy issue greatly relates to the course of Economic Ideas and Current Issues. Primarily, it is relevant to the course in the sense that it involves a current social issue and to better understand it economic contexts can be used. Immigration has enormous aspects and has different effects to the country. However for simplicity we will specifically focus on the market force. First we will analyze the effect immigration has on...

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