Immigration Reform Will Leave American Workers Better Off, Not Out of Work

Those who oppose the comprehensive immigration reform legislation currently undergoing congressional approval often make the argument that immigrants will replace American workers and take their jobs.  In reality, findings point toward the opposite outcome.

If approved, the bill would expand visa programs to admit hundreds of thousands of both low and high skilled workers.  It would also offer legal status and a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants across the country that are currently working here illegally.  Many American workers anticipate a surge of immigrants leaving low-paying dead-end jobs and wandering across the country in search of higher pay and opportunity.  They worry about competition and they worry about their job security.

Despite conventional supply and demand laws, findings point to the idea that immigration will actually leave American workers better off.  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the immigration bill would add six million workers to the job market by 2023 and nine million by 2033, thus increasing the labor force by 5 percent.  The CBO also anticipates that by 2033 wages would be 0.5 percent higher than they would have been without the new immigrants.

This is because businesses, in response to the increase in the overall labor pool, will actually invest and expand in order to increase their profits.  This will increase the growth rate of the economy and push wages higher.  Ultimately, this will provide new job opportunities for immigrants and domestic workers alike.

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