American Workers’ and Immigrants’ Fortunes are Intertwined

Communications Associate

January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Immigrant contributions cause higher wages for native-born American workers, according to panels of top economists.

Immigrants who have degrees in science and engineering are likely to cause incomes to increase overall in the long-term, as well as to strengthen our economy.

Immigrants and their children are essential to labor force and economic growth. They comprise more than half of the labor force’s growth over the past two decades, according to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. And in New England, experts say that the continued growth of the already strong Massachusetts and New Hampshire economies depends on immigration.

And the Wall Street Journal reports today that recent immigrants have higher levels of education than previous generations and are likely to fill jobs that require technical and professional skills. Almost half of immigrants 25 and older who came to the U.S. after 2010 have a bachelor’s degree.

Meanwhile, leaders across the country are speaking out in light of Wednesday’s Cato Institute findings that a repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would cost Americans billions.

“How can we find a way to help these young people have a hope and a future in a way that benefits us all? The best way to help Dreamers is to build a multifaceted program of immigration reform that deports violent criminals, but provides multiple paths to legal status for other undocumented immigrants,” said Bruce Ashford, Provost of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, who also published a related blog post.

“Those who have received DACA are advancing on every front as a result of their status,” said Kit Danley, Executive Director of Neighborhood Ministries in Phoenix. “ … They are advancing their sense of self and are dominantly driven by a sense of giving back. Many, many of them are studying to be teachers, criminal justice professionals, lawyers and in careers in which they can serve those who are on the margins. This is their country. They are patriotic and love the United States.”

“An attempt to suddenly deport DACA-eligible undocumented persons is bad for business,” said John Wible, Former Chief Legal Counsel of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “The far more economically viable approach is to offer some legal mechanism to account for such persons.”

“For American workers, immigrants, including DACA recipients, are a key to short- and long-term economic strength,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress and the incoming administration must act on solutions for American workers that allow immigrants to contribute to their full potential.”

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