Analysis: Immigration reform could boost U.S. economic growth

Comments (20)
fromthecenter wrote:

“Numerous industries in the United States can’t find the workers they need, right now even in a bad economy, to fill their orders and expand their production as the market demands,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration specialist at the libertarian Cato Institute.

We’ve got 8 percent unemployment and millions working 2 menial jobs to make ends meet and industries can’t find workers? That is nothing but an outright lie. This is their PR reply to why they are sending millions of jobs to india/china/brazil and any country where they can get people to work for a fraction of what we need to survive in this country.

Jan 29, 2013 1:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Andao wrote:


Sergey Brin was the Russian immigrant who founded Google. How many jobs did he create? It’s wrong to immediately assume immigrants will only work menial tasks for low pay. A lot of them go on to become our nation’s top scientists and entrepreneurs. If we scare them all away with needlessly harsh immigration laws, they will take their money and ideas elsewhere.

Jan 29, 2013 5:40am EST  --  Report as abuse

Thank you, Andao, for a refreshingly knowledgeable comment. Small-minded thinking is not what made the US a strong economic force. Look at it this way: perhaps if immigration laws encouraged the world’s brightest and ambitious to come to the US and start new businesses here, our unemployment rate would actually decrease. History has proven that this is the case whether the majority of Americans are aware of this fact or not.

Jan 29, 2013 6:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
Pete_Murphy wrote:

Population growth will indeed fuel macroeconomic growth. But what economists have thus far failed to recognize is that, because of an inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption, beyond a certain population density, the interests of average people diverge from the interests of those served by a bigger macroeconomy. In other words, while corporations profit from growth in total sales volume, declining per capita consumption fuels unemployment and worsening poverty. This is exactly what we’ve seen happen over the past few decades. In spite of dramatic population growth, the economic prospects of average Americans have actually declined.

Nearly all of our population growth has been driven by immigration. Keep it up and, yes, the macroeconomy will grow, but so too will the economic woes of the American people.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

Jan 29, 2013 6:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
lensmanb wrote:

The Latin States of America awaits.
Adding 30 million (plus a new influx)illegals to the welfare and social security roles will leave how much left over for the rest of us?
Add that to the cost of obamacare too. We are already a society in decline. This will just speed things up.
What don’t our elected politicians understand about ILLEGAL? Yesterday I heard a senator (or was it a house member) from New Jersy giving a speach in spanish. WTF…..

Jan 29, 2013 7:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

The ‘golden age’ of immigration fueled growth because we had frontiers to fill and unregulated capitalism with factories in need of workers. Today we do not.
Now, population growth only ‘helps’ continue our pyramid schemes, namely S.S. Medicare and Medicaid. Since all pyramid schemes eventually fail, the real effect of high immigration is only high unemployment and high welfare costs. I know the Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor and the Democrats want voters for handouts and race based policies, but these people personally profit at the expense of others. This is why they lie about immigration.

The world does NOT have a monetary crisis, a health crisis, a food crisis or a global warming crisis. We do have a population crisis. If we want to reduce human suffering, we need to address the cause of human suffering – overpopulation.

Jan 29, 2013 7:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
JoeDietz wrote:

fromthecenter: It is cheaper for many of the “unemployed” to stay of the government’s tit versus working. Many folks solution to this is to raise the minimum wage… driving more jobs overseas. A little ironic to drive the jobs overseas but bring more people into the country. How can we get more teets?

And please folks, stop with the “top scientists and entrepreneurs” bit. The illegals that are here are 99% not part of this group. The ones who ARE part of this group have no issue making into the country. Great example with Google, Andao.

Jan 29, 2013 7:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
yummy8755 wrote:

Gosh, the new spin is even sillier than the old spin: the old spin being more or less there were wonderful, brainy, scholastic problem free immigrant children ready to go conquer the world — except for some silly old laws about their being illegal immigrants. [The Associated Press solved the problem for everyone by deciding “illegal immigrant” would not be used in stories any more.)Now we discover the solution to our problems was there all along: if only we made another 11 million illegal immigrants legal. I think the only realistic effect will be to create a more accurate employment report.

Jan 29, 2013 8:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
AdamSmith wrote:

Immigration is destroying the American middle class.

Nature has not yet rescinded the law of supply and demand.

The plain fact is that immigration into any modern country has two serious, lethal effects on the native-born citizens:
1. Immigration sharply drives down wage rates.
2. Immigration sharply drives up housing costs (rent rates).

Thus employers and landlords benefit from immigration.

Thus common workers are greatly harmed by immigration.

Today in America, apartment rental rates are skyrocketing. I’ve lived in the same apartment building about 8 years. When I moved in it was mostly native-born Americans.

I’ve watched it change. Today it is about 60% foreign-born people. There is now a waiting list to move in. More and more foreigners every day.

The rental rates go up, and up and up. The large company that owns it greatly benefits from immigration, and of course gives great political support for further immigration.

But the native-born Americans, working class, already in financial straits, see their rents go up and up and up. Often they go from an apartment to being homeless.

The immigrants, coming from poverty, squalor and violent crime in Latin America, end up causing the native-born American working class to fall into squalor and destitution in America.

Immigration is a giant crime against the American working class, while the wealthy reap more profits, and then attend the same country club as the senators sponsoring this bill.

Jan 29, 2013 8:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZreb wrote:

According to one report, we have lost 60% of the middle class jobs paying $13+ per hour and those have been replaced with an increase of lower-paying jobs by 58%.

Lower prices? Maybe, but also lower wages for ALL employed. Rental prices are up – food is up – utilities are up – clothing is up – medical up – so how are those with lower-paying jobs supposed to make ends meet? 47 million now on food stamps, Medicaid numbers going up – more government help needed for the millions of unemployed, under-employed and minimum wage earners.

How did dumping almost a MILLION young illegals into the job market help the young LEGAL immigrants and citizens who are unemployed now?

Jan 29, 2013 8:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
AdamSmith wrote:

@AZreb – Very well said.

Jan 29, 2013 9:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
Speaker2 wrote:

You guys seem to not understand the simple fact these people are already here and already working. In many cases doing working on farms, in construction and meat packing plants, hard dirty work that many American refuse to do. So granting these people legal status will not impact the job market at all.

We have an aging population, a national birth rate below the population replacement rate. We actually need more people to come here.

yes, unemployment remains high, and in many cases it is because the location of jobs have moved to new locations, while at the same time, people are unwilling to relocate and go where the jobs are.

Other factors causing employment dislocation is automation. Computers and automation in the factories has displaced more jobs to the middle class then jobs lost due to immigration.

And you have had whole industries moved overseas to chase cheaper labor, fueled by government policies (republican) that fuel the move to third world countries.

Rents are up, largely due to home owners suffering foreclosures and forced to rent.

End of the day, the US is not going to round up and deport 11,000,000 people, not without creating a police state, where ever citizen must be registered and tracked.

Jan 29, 2013 10:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
bdm78704 wrote:

@from the center: it is not a lie. the truth of that matter is that we are not educating our youth sufficiently for engineering and science jobs. i have a friend who works HR for a large multinational corporation and she cannot fill the technical job openings with americans because they are not qualified. i live in texas where our esteemed governor keeps cutting funding for education, like so many other republican governors. our youth cannot keep up with the rest of the world from a professional standpoint when their educations are mediocre at best.

Jan 29, 2013 1:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MetalHead8 wrote:

“Numerous industries in the United States can’t find the workers they need, right now even in a bad economy, to fill their orders and expand their production as the market demands”

Im calling BS on this. There are plenty of LEGAL Americans without jobs. The Border jumpers certianly arn’t entering the country with college degrees or some skill set that isnt already plentiful.

Jan 29, 2013 2:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse

I’ve already experienced losses to competing illegal labor exceeding $500,000 in the construction field over the last decade, for most part in AFL-CIO union positions, an alledgedly legal endeavor. Employer fraud already runs rampant there, an annual multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise unchecked and dismissed as non-existant by Homeland Security, politicians and major media outlets alike.

The increasing competition of unregulated immigration has driven compensation into the gutter. How might we compete and thrive with an overabundance of labor provided for pennies on the dollar?

The irony of the situation became shockingly apparent to me when an illegal friend and co-worker of many years stated, “I wish I had a license to shoot everyone coming across the border.”

I wonder if my family might fare better by simply joining the welfare rolls?

Jan 29, 2013 2:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

11 million people instantly eligible for SS, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, home loans, and all other state and government benefits, without having paid a penny into the system. Then there is the cost to administer the benefits to 11 million people. Yea, that will work out just great for America.
11 million. That’s about 5% of the entire US population.
Forget SS and the rest, it will collapse and won’t be there.
The entire goverment system will collapse.
Congress will sell out the entire country for the Hispanic vote and to keep their jobs for the millions in bribe money they each get every year.

Jan 29, 2013 3:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

@andao Tell you what, send your resume out for some I/T jobs and come back and explain that too me again.

Jan 29, 2013 3:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

@andao Also, the h1b visa program that is used as a reason to bring the so called ‘skilled’ workers that we don’t have do come with a salary cap. I suppose it has nothing to do with wages though..

Jan 29, 2013 3:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

“Though most people think of identity theft as a financial crime, one of the most common forms in the United States involves illegal immigrants using fraudulent Social Security numbers and documents to conduct their daily lives.”

A major source of indentity theft in the US is illegals.
No way, no how. I know this for a fact.
Don’t let them get benefits for 10 years, make them pay double payments, and phase them, OK. Otherwise this stupid legislation will bankrupt the entire Government benefit system at all levels.

Jan 29, 2013 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PseudoTurtle wrote:

I posted this to the following Reuters article:

Immigration plan does only half the job

There is NO economic advantage to allowing lower level immigrants to remain in the US. Quite the contrary, it will cost us massive amounts of money to do so.

“Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will only cost taxpayers more money.

Illegal immigrants already cost U.S. taxpayers billions annually and the Heritage Foundation reports that it will cost at least $2.5 trillion in retirement expenditures, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income if they are granted amnesty.

With so many of our entitlement programs on the verge of insolvency, it makes no sense to further jeopardize them.”


Try the real truth from these Washington Times articles:

(1) “Fix immigration system to benefit Americans”

In his recent op-ed Alex Nowrasteh argues that we should increase our legal immigration system and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in order to bolster our sluggish economy (“Free markets require increased legal immigration,” Wednesday).

There is a consensus among nonpartisan economists that low-skilled immigrants, both legal and illegal, are a fiscal drain on taxpayers.

Our immigration system does not always put American interests first; in fact, we select just 5 percent of our immigrants based on the skills and education they bring to the United States.

We should change our immigration system to bring in more skilled labor to help improve our economy. But because immigrants admitted to the United States today are generally lower-skilled than American workers, they compete with low-skilled natives for scarce jobs and drive down wages.

A Harvard economist has estimated that immigration in recent decades has reduced the wages of native-born workers without a high school degree by nearly 9 percent.

These vulnerable American workers have been especially hard hit by the ongoing recession. The unemployment rate for those with less than a high school diploma is more than 12 percent, about 4 percent higher than the national rate.

Low-skilled immigrants without a high school education very often pay little in taxes but receive huge amounts of taxpayer-funded benefits.

In fact, the Heritage Foundation found that the average household headed by an immigrant without a high school degree receives more than $19,000 more in total government benefits each year than it pays in federal, state and local taxes.

And the nonpartisan National Research Council found that an illegal immigrant without a high school degree will, over the course of his lifetime, impose a net cost on taxpayers of $89,000.

Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will only cost taxpayers more money.

Illegal immigrants already cost U.S. taxpayers billions annually and the Heritage Foundation reports that it will cost at least $2.5 trillion in retirement expenditures, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income if they are granted amnesty.

With so many of our entitlement programs on the verge of insolvency, it makes no sense to further jeopardize them.

We have the most generous immigration system in the world, admitting more than 1 million legal immigrants each year. This generosity should continue – but we must ensure our immigration system benefits American taxpayers and workers.


Texas Republican

Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

Washington /may/25/fix-immigration-system-to-benef it-americans/


(2) “Two-thirds of jobs go to immigrants during Obama’s four years”

Two-thirds of those who have found employment under President Obama are immigrants, both legal and illegal, according to an analysis that suggests immigration has soaked up a large portion of what little job growth there has been over the past three years.

The Center for Immigration Studies is releasing the study Thursday morning, a day ahead of the final Labor Department unemployment report of the campaign season, which is expected to show a sluggish job market more than three years into the economic recovery.

That slow market, combined with the immigration numbers, could explain why Mr. Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have struggled to find a winning jobs message in some of the country’s hardest-hit postindustrial regions.

“It’s extraordinary that most of the employment growth in the last four years has gone to the foreign-born, but what’s even more extraordinary is the issue has not even come up during a presidential election that is so focused on jobs,” said Steven A. Camarota, the center’s research director, who wrote the report along with demographer Karen Zeigler.

His numbers are stark:

Since the first quarter of 2009, the number of immigrants of working age (16 to 65) who are employed has risen 2 million, from 21.2 million to 23.2 million.

During the same time, native-born employment has risen just 1 million, to reach 119.9 million.

It’s a trend years in the making: Immigrants are working more, and native-born Americans are working less.

In 2000, 76 percent of natives aged 18 to 65 were employed, but that dropped steadily to 69 percent this September.

By contrast, immigrants started the last decade at 71 percent employment and rose to a peak of 74 percent at the height of the George W. Bush-era economic boom. /oct/31/two-thirds-of-jobs-go-to-immigr ants/


Wonder where your job went?

To an immigrant, so the wealthy could make more money, than if they hired you instead.

Mr. Nowrasteh argues for a “free market” system, which will reward immigration, both legal and illegal at the expense of the American people.

The right economic solution is to get rid of the immigrants and restore our employment to American citizens ONLY.

Immigration is literally bleeding this country to death.

Jan 29, 2013 5:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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