Sept. 22, 2016 –
A massive new immigration study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and a must read piece from Bloomberg’seditorial board offer fresh reminders that Donald Trump and his nativist allies are flat wrong on the core question of whether immigration and immigrants are good for America.
In a New York Times piece titled, “Immigrants Aren’t Taking Americans’ Jobs, New Study Finds,” Julia Preston writes up the new National Academies study. We excerpt the piece below:
“Do immigrants take jobs from Americans and lower their wages by working for less?
The answer, according to a report published on Wednesday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, is no, immigrants do not take American jobs — but with some caveats.
“We found little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term,” said Francine D. Blau, an economics professor at Cornell University who led the group that produced the 550-page report.
- Some immigrants who arrived in earlier generations, but were still in the same low-wage labor markets as foreigners just coming to the country, earned less and had more trouble finding jobs because of the competition with newer arrivals.
- Teenagers who did not finish high school also saw their hours of work reduced by immigrants, although not their ability to find jobs. Professor Blau said economists had found many reasons that young people who drop out of high school struggle to find work. “There is no indication immigration is the major factor,” she said.
- High-skilled immigrants, especially in technology and science, who have come in larger numbers in recent years, had a significant “positive impact” on Americans with skills, and also on working-class Americans. They spurred innovation, helping to create jobs.
“The prospects for long-run economic growth in the United States would be considerably dimmed without the contributions of high-skilled immigrants,” the report said. It did not focus on American technology workers, many of whom have been displaced from their jobs in recent years by immigrants on temporary visas.
The report asked another question Americans are debating: Do immigrants burden government budgets?
That answer is “more mixed,” Professor Blau said.
- The first generation of newcomers generally cost governments more than they contribute in taxes, with most of the costs falling on state and local governments, mainly because of the expense of educating the children of immigrant families.
For those governments, total annual costs for first-generation immigrants are about $57 billion. But by the second generation in those families, immigrants, with improved education and taxpaying ability, become a benefit to government coffers, adding about $30 billion a year. By the third generation, immigrant families contribute about $223 billion a year to government finances.
The report called immigration “integral to the nation’s economic growth” because immigrants bring new ideas and add to an American labor force that would be shrinking without them, helping ensure continued growth into the future.”
Meanwhile, a new Bloomberg editorial piece, “Immigration Reality Looks Nothing Like Trump Rhetoric,” highlights the findings and implications of new immigration studies from the Center for American Progress and Pew Research (both of which demonstrate the incredible costs that America would incur by following Trump’s mass deportation vision). The Bloomberg editorial states in part:
“Sometimes the best response to overheated political rhetoric is one of those dull if worthy white papers issued with alarming regularity by Washington think tanks and research organizations. So it is with a report on immigration, which is a useful corrective to Donald Trump’s statements on the subject.
…That Donald Trump lacks credibility no longer qualifies as news. More interesting are the implications of this report for his immigration policy.
First, the U.S. border with Mexico is not being overrun. So an elaborate, expensive wall is entirely unnecessary. Second, most undocumented immigrants in the U.S. – about two-thirds – have been in the country for more than a decade. Pew estimates that, as of 2012, 4 million of them lived with their U.S.-citizen children.
Another study released this week — this one by the Center for American Progress, a think tank allied with Hillary Clinton’s campaign – found that expelling the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants would cost the federal government almost $900 billion in lost revenue over a decade while reducing the nation’s gross domestic product by $4.7 trillion. Those losses would be in addition to the costs of deportation.
The Pew data lead to the same conclusion that a bipartisan supermajority of U.S. senators reached in 2013: The settled, stable undocumented immigrants in the U.S. need a path to legalization and, eventually, citizenship.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “On the fringes of the immigration debate, you have Donald Trump and his small band of nativists peddling fears and falsehoods. For those of us who inhabit a fact-driven reality, you have a growing body of credible research demonstrating the benefits of immigrants and the burdens of following Trump’s radical proposals. Fortunately, poll after poll shows that the American people favor facts over lies as well as humane and pragmatic immigration policies.”