One of the more annoying arguments in the immigration debate is that undocumented immigrants coming to this country take jobs away and have a negative effect on the economy. These recurring arguments make terrific sound bites and usually appeal to the emotional and uninformed voter, especially during hard economic times. And yet these are the false viewpoints that still guide today’s immigration policy debate.
Over the years there have been numerous studies which debunk these false narratives. Here’s another by the Urban Institute.
In short, this study and others demonstrate that immigrants help to fill gaps in our labor market, immigrants complement rather than replace existing workers, and increase, not lower, wages and productivity.
The Urban Institute’s study again helps to quash the notion that immigrants are “stealing” American jobs. In fact, as the study points out, many low skilled immigrants and native workers aren’t competing for the same jobs. If this isn’t enough evidence, a recent study by PEW suggests that immigrants are “much more likely than U.S. foreign workers to be self-employed.” From a Latino perspective, immigrants were nearly twice as likely as U.S. born Latinos to be self-employed. So in other words, the PEW study suggests that immigrants are in fact job creators (aka entrepreneurs) not job takers!
So don’t fall into believing this overused false narrative.
And while it seems that immigration reform won’t happen anytime soon, when it does, let’s hope it’s developed based on facts – not fiction.