Arguments Against Immigration

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The United States has had a long and troubled history with immigrants and the citizens’ reactions to immigrants. For many, pro-immigration equates to anti-economy. The popular belief that immigrants take jobs from citizens, drive down wages, and lead to the eventual recession of the economy has generated widespread anti-immigrant perceptions. Held to more scrutiny, though, the historical evidence points to immigration being beneficial to both the native population and the immigrant population. Even still, vocal hardline opponents of immigration in recent years has caused the US to adopt stricter immigration policies. Drafted as a means of defining immigration laws and procedures, the Immigration and Naturalization Act sets immigration ceilings,…show more content…
Namely, the concern is that jobs will be taken from US citizens and given to non-citizen immigrants. Resulting from this shift would be lower tax revenues, decreased consumer spending, lower wages for US citizens, and a multitude of other ripple effects. Though incorrect, when taken at face value this argument appears to hold water. Traditionally, the assumption is that immigrants are coming to the US from underdeveloped or third-world countries in the aims of improving their current living situation. Therefore, these immigrants who were making pennies on the dollar compared to their US counterparts would be willing to work for wages that are higher than in their home country but lower than what US citizens are paid. This wage effect could be even more prominent for illegal immigrants, whose illegal status could be exploited for even lower, increasingly even illegally low, wages. Thus, if massive amounts of immigrants were to immigrate to the US, citizens workers would be laid off or forced to accept lower wages because of this influx of cheap labor. Additionally, there is a fear that because the typical immigrant is impoverished, the US welfare system would become overburdened by an increased demand. Citizens would be suffer through longer waiting periods and as resources, that were once for US citizens, are redirected to accommodate…show more content…
The economic logic behind protectionist immigration agendas is that an increased population increases the labor supply and stops there. In this scenario, the equilibrium wage rate of labor supply and labor demand would be lower than the pre-immigration equilibrium wage rate, and the logic holds. Instead, separating scenario from real-world application would present previously unaccounted for effects. Being so, what actually occurs is as follows. As before, as the population increases with immigration, the labor supply would also increase, but the increased population would also lead to increased consumer spending and demand (i.e. money flowing into the US economy). When this new shift is taken into consideration, the labor demand would need to also increase to accommodate the new consumer demand. Thus, the change to wage rates would be subject how much labor supply and labor demand shift; a larger shift in supply over demand leading to decreased wage rates and vice-versa. Consequently, the resulting outcomes from immigration could be positive, negative, or neutral towards economic factors. Luckily, the historical outcomes from immigration for the US, especially for wages, have largely been positive. Separate studies actually have shown that immigration alone, between 1990 and 2007, rather than decreasing wage rates has raised real wage rates by six to
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