By Daniel D’Amico, Trending Writer
While the benefits of immigration are not always obvious, they are certainly always there. They play a vital role in the United States labor force and economy. There are a wide variety of social benefits immigration has for the U.S. as well.
A common belief among people is that immigrants take jobs from native born Americans. More generally, that they negatively affect the job market, decrease opportunities and wages for U.S. workers. However, research has shown this is not the case for a variety of reasons.
An article in the Center for American Progress states, “Native-born workers and immigrant workers generally complement each other rather than compete for the same job.” This is the case because immigrants generally come with different skill sets than native born workers and therefore take different jobs and do not increase competition.
In fact, firms typically respond to an increase in labor by expanding their businesses. Immigration ends up increasing the demand for labor as opposed to taking away from it. In some cases, they even keep industries alive which benefits other workers, who are connected to it in some way, and helps to secure their positions.
More specific cases include the effects on manufacturing industries and on African Americans specifically. As immigrants come in, the jobs offshore decrease and thus manufacturing industries benefit and take on more native born workers. As for African Americans, research shows that they typically move in to higher skilled and paying jobs as immigrants come in.
Some social benefits also exist from immigration. Immigrants have certainly not made the United States any less safe. In fact, an article in The New York Times states, “in the regions where immigrants have settled in the past two decades, crime has gone down, cities have grown, poor urban neighborhoods have been rebuilt and small towns that were once on life support are springing back.”
While it cannot be said for certain that immigrants caused all these positive changes, scholars are certain that they have not worsened things. In rural areas as well as larger cities, immigration has been connected to increases in crime, specifically homicides as well as economic revivals. This can be due to the fact that largely, immigrants were more willing to comply with the laws without much of a struggle and as a consequence did not commit as much crime.
The benefits of immigrants whether or not they are directly seen are certainly evident in daily life. These positives must be acknowledged when discussing the treatment of immigrants in the future. This extends to legislation about them as well.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 7th print edition.
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