According to our text, between 700,000 and 900,000 LEGAL immigrants enter the United States each year. In 2003 immigrants made up 12 percent of our population with 34 million people. Regardless of which side you may support, there is no denying that immigrants help shape our economy whether for the good or the bad.
We will be discussing the opposing views of columnist Steven Malanga and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Mr. Malanga believes that immigrants are bad for the economy for several different reasons. First, they raise our unemployment while taking jobs from native born workers. Second, they drain our welfare and social programs of funds that could go to native workers. Finally,cheap labor drives down the wage’s of everyone in the workforce,etc. In his argument he distinguishes between the benefits of the migration at the turn of the twentieth century and the high cost of today’s situation. In the end, Mr. Malanga gives credit to some immigrants and admits they have helped the economy. However, their contributions do not make up for the shortfall of the remaining immigrants.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth believes that immigrants are actually good for the economy. In her argument she states that immigration makes up a very small part of the labor force. Next, she discounts the claim that the unemployment rate of the unskilled workforce is 30 percent. Next, she cites data from a senior economist that claims “foreign-born Americans are more likely to work than native-born Americans” and they are employed in expanding industries, not shrinking. She states that immigrants do not depress wages and are willing to take the jobs that natives are not willing to do. Finally, she defends the use of immigrant labor on farms and questions the facts that immigrants are twice as likely to be on welfare.
Check this video out. Are immigrants fleeing the U.S. becuase of its economic condition?
Here is a link to the AFL-CIO showing some of their opinions on immigration:http://www.aflcio.org/issues/civilrights/immigration/
There are many issues to consider when looking at the impact of unskilled immigrants on our economy. Some to consider are:
Do unskilled immigrants take jobs from native workers? Do they lower the standard of living in America? How do they impact our health care system and public school system? What would the economy be like without them? Is there any more support for legal immigrants versus illegal?