How Immigration Affects the U.S. Economy

Image of economy chart, immigration benefitsIn the current political environment, immigrants are facing a considerable amount of negative backlash. With the possible rollback or elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly calls the DACA Program, the financial consequences could be costly. According to calculations at the CATO Institute, the deportation of 750,000 will cost in excess of $60 billion. They also estimated that in addition to this substantial financial cost, the loss of these immigrants would cost approximately $280 billion in economic growth between now and 2027.

Immigration has been part of the foundation of the United States. While immigrants have certainly been discouraged over the country’s history, with different places and eras being particularly opposed to certain nationalities, the truth is that immigration has benefited the economy.

Financial Benefits

The US benefits from the arrival of immigrants as much as immigrants benefit from being in the country. One of the failings of the recently re-introduced H-1B visa bill is that it fails to account for those benefits. The focus has been on how much immigrants cost the US, but ideology fails to account for the economic benefits that usually outweigh the costs.

With the assistance of DACA, immigrants were able to find jobs, earn raises, and pay taxes. They are more likely to start new businesses, as well as file patents, at a rate much higher than Americans. According to The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, the second generation American (the child of an immigrant) provides a net positive growth.

Other Economic Growth

One of the greatest economic benefits from the continuously changing social and cultural norms is innovation. The US has been one of the leaders of innovation and technology for nearly the last 100 years.

With globalization, the ability to innovate is what makes countries competitive on a large scale. Some of the biggest names in technology are first, second, and third generation immigrants. Immigration helps innovation by bringing in new ideas and ways of accomplishing tasks. It also lowers the cost of doing business. It creates new jobs and encourages development that is less prevalent in countries that have stagnant ideas.

Immigrants face a range of problems, both socially and legally, that require careful consideration. An immigration lawyer can help those in need to understand the laws and their rights, from visas to family matters. As politicians consider changing the laws regarding immigration, it is important to consult an immigration lawyer about current requirements and possible changes.