Why Immigration is Great for the Economy

Immigration, especially the illegal variety, is a pretty hot topic. With such a large number of unemployed in America(4.9%), it seems likely that social welfare associations like the NASW(National Association of Social Workers) would lobby to tighten up border control and generally work to ensure that less illegal immigrants are able to find jobs, allowing “true Americans” looking for work able to obtain it. Thankfully, social welfare associations have learned that illegal immigrants provide not only unique and diverse cultures, but significant contributions to the economy as well.

How do illegal immigrants help the economy if they supposedly take away jobs? They don’t even have to pay taxes for using public infrastructure. First of all, keep in mind that these immigrants only take a relatively low percentage of available jobs(5%); furthermore, this statistic doesn’t take into account that these are not usually white-collar, prestigious jobs either. Due to a lack of work papers and social security cards, illegal immigrants are often forced to take low-wage, low-security jobs. Furthermore, they pay sales tax whenever making purchases, as well as Medicare/Social Security payroll taxes, which should definitely be acknowledged. Most immigrants, legal or illegal, aren’t eligible to receive any of the retirement benefits American citizens feel obligated to receive, despite working just as hard. As discussed in previous articles, both social security and Medicare benefits are also slowly becoming insolvent, and the “free” money immigrants pour into these programs help keep them running longer.

Furthermore, illegal immigrants don’t actually take jobs away from citizens. The United States is like a giant ecosystem, capable of taking in a large new group. Although there will inevitably be some initial confusion and disruption, said new group will eventually become an essential part of the ecosystem, valuable as any other. A large number of new immigrants will undoubtedly disrupt an economy upon their arrival. However, these effects soon disappear, and the economy is strengthened from new workers and consumers.

As illegal immigrants more than pay for their stay through taxes, the process of becoming a legal immigrant should be streamlined, and the ones already here should be pardoned. Look at the news: the worst criminals aren’t people illegally crossing the border, they are the ones who were born and raised here. It shouldn’t be a crime to pursue a new life; if someone wants to follow their American dream, why stop them?


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