Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five Myths About Immigration

The Washington Post has an article  that dispels 5 mythis about immigration. The myths are:

1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.  

The article notes that immigrants form a higher percentage of the workforce than of the overall population, i.e. more immigrants work than US workers. The article also quotes economists saying that
immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created. 

2. Immigration is at an all-time high, and most new immigrants came illegally.

The article notes that the historic high was in about 1980, when about 14.8% of the population were immigrants. Now the figure is about 12.5%. About 2/3 of these are here lawfully.

3. Today's immigrants are not integrating into American life like past waves did.

The same charge was levied at  prior influxes of immigrants, according to the article. As with previous immigrants, integration takes a generation and evidence shows that current immigrants are as keen as prior ones to integrate.

4. Cracking down on illegal border crossings will make us safer.

The article discusses the extremely difficult task that the government faces in securing
7,500 miles of land borders, 12,380 miles of coastline and a vast network of sea ports, international airports, ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders and visa-issuing consulates abroad. 

5. Immigration reform cannot happen in an election year.

Immigration is a controversial issue, however all major immigration acts that have passed in recent decades have passed in elections years.

For the full text of the article, see here.

No comments:

Post a Comment