Essay about Immigration: United States and Immigration

Submitted By simransyrup
Words: 1014
Pages: 5

The effects that immigration has on the United States are limitless. There have been endless debates over these effects since as early as the colonial times. The economic and demographic effects are two major topics that tend to rule these debates. Based on both positive and negative effects immigration has on the economical, fiscal, and demographic sides of the United States, one can conclude that immigration is good, but should be limited. The effect of immigration on the economy is a major topic discussed among much of the nation. It is said to have both positive and negative effects that cancel each other out. Many agree that immigration brings a gain to the economy. James Smith gives an explanation of how the immigrants increase the economy, yet still may have negative effects for some people. At the most basic level, immigrants increase the supply of labor and help produce new goods and services. But since they are paid less than the total value of these new goods and services, domestic workers as a group must gain. On the production side, immigration allows domestic workers to be used more productively, specializing in producing goods at which they are relatively more efficient. Specialization in consumption also yields gain. Even when the economy as a whole gains, however, there may be losers as well as gainers among different groups of United States residents. (4) Some argue that while immigrants help the growth of the United States economy, the effect is very small. According to David Lagesse, a recent study says immigrants contribute as much as $10 billion in economic growth each year, largely because they help keep prices lower. But the effect is small on a United States economy that produces nearly $8 trillion (1). It has also been argued that the poverty rate of the United States has been negatively affected by immigration. Peter Brimelow agrees, saying, because many immigrants are relatively unskilled, their poverty rate is significantly higher at 18 percent, compared to the 12.1 percent poverty rate for the native-born (11).
Immigrant workers also play a role in the economy. There has been a debate within the last few years involving the computer industry and immigrants. Many companies feel that there are not enough skilled people in the United States to fill the demand for computer programmers. They also argue that these companies do not give Americans the chance to work in these positions, and are unwilling to retrain older programmers. They want only people trained with the latest computer skills, and look to foreigners to fill these demands. Roy Beck explains that industry officials counter that American programmers often don t have the specific skill needed for a new task and that companies like to be able to scout the whole world for somebody who can step right in and do the job (141). Beck also argues that for other businesses, the preference for foreign workers is no accident; they are looking for people who will work for less money and put up with worse working conditions (142). Only in areas with high concentrations of low-skilled, low-paid immigrants are state and local taxpayers paying more on average to support the publicly funded services that these immigrants use (Lagesse). While the immigration of workers does have its downside, it mainly has a positive effect: The benefits of immigration however are manifold. Immigrants are highly entrepreneurial. Their rate of business start-ups and self employment tend to be higher than that of United States born citizens. Immigrants contribute to the global competitiveness of US corporations, particularly in high technology industries. Perhaps the most important benefit is that immigrants come to the United States with critically needed talents, energies that serve as an engine for economic progress (Kposowa 78). The benefits and downfalls of the immigration workers both play a big part in todays debate over…