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July 31, 2011


IMMIGRATION AND POLICY: EXPLORING THE ECONOMICS OF IMMIGRATION: "Posted by Norka M. Schell, Esq. In the United States, the economic consequences of immigration have been fiercely debated since the ninet..."


Posted by Norka M. Schell, Esq. 

In the United States, the economic consequences of immigration have been fiercely debated since the nineteenth century. Some of the debate has centered on fiscal questions, such as the amounts immigrants contribute in taxes and the amounts they receive in public welfare benefits. But most the animated debate has concerned the impact of immigrants on the labor market. Do they siphon jobs away form Americans? Do they, by consuming goods and services and by sustaining otherwise marginal companies or industries, create jobs for Americans.

Most economists today recognize the positive effects that immigration has in our economy.

On the economically optimum level of immigration, immigrants are entrepreneurial and create jobs in the United States. Immigrants started 25 percent of the highest-growth companies between 1990 and 2005, and  these companies directly employ an estimated 220,000 people inside the United States. These immigrant-founded companies include Intel,Google,Yahoo, and eBay, which have all helped drive American leadership in the computer and Internet revolutions and have stimulated business and job creation throughout our economy. These immigrants give the U.S.workforce an important competitive advantage. 

Research shows that immigrants are more likely than U.S. born workers to start new businesses and are among the most prolific inventors in the American economy, generating ideas that lead to new products and more jobs in many sectors including pharmaceuticals and information technology, It is in our national interest to encourage people with great ideas to create new business, industries, and quality jobs in the United States.

Recent research highlights that in the 1990s alone, skilled immigrants helped boost GDP per capita by between 1.4 percent and 2.4 percent. Currently, immigrants represent 24 percent of U.S. scientists and 47 percent of U.S. engineers with bachelor or doctorate degrees. Moreover, foreign-born students studying in our universities have the potential to make significant contributions to our future economic growth if they could stay and work in the United States after they graduate. Exporting this talent to other countries is not in our economic interest. 

Immigrants help address other fiscal challenges by paying their fair share of taxes. Studies consistently suggest that immigrants contribute more in taxes revenue than they use in services.

Texts extract from Building a 21st Century Immigration System: www.whitehouse.gov/immigrationaction.

Immigration And Refugee Law And Policy, Second Edition.