Economy / Politics

Immigration Reform Today, Prosperity Tomorrow

Almost 30 years have gone by since the way by which these United States of America have considered how to bring new, thoughtful, hard workers into this country. In that time, we’ve sent away millions of hopeful men and women waiting for a chance to work and contribute to our economy. It has come to the point where potential citizens, knowing their chances of legalization are slim to none, have become, as the media likes to call them, illegal aliens, a misnomer to say the least. These people, these tired, these poor, these huddled masses, are looking for nothing more than a chance to breathe free; to contribute, to learn, and to participate in the true, living, democracy of the United States of America.

Beyond the fact that a yearning for a chance to succeed is what most immigrants want when entering the United States; the economic benefits of bringing more people into the United States are undeniable. A recent study by the American Action Forum reports that passing immigration legislation that leads to hiring more workers in the U.S. would reduce the federal deficit by about $2.5 trillion dollars.  With a federal deficit of over $17 trillion, a reduction of that amount is crucial.

The fact of the matter is we see less and less men and women having children in the United States. The birth rate of the U.S. is the lowest it’s ever been.  If the amount of natural born citizen workers in the U.S. is on the decline and the GDP relies on the total number of workers and their average output, it is safe to say that America is in need of more workers. If we continue to turn these immigrants away or let them stand in line as undocumented then the GDP will continue to suffer as well.

Many worry that these foreign-born workers take jobs away from American citizens and cost money to the tax payers but, this is simply not the case.  The jobs that most of these immigrants take are ones that most Americans are not willing to take.  They take jobs harvesting crops, and when those jobs run out, they move to the next possible job they can. For this reason, undocumented immigrants are more “mobile” and willing to “take jobs where high labor turnover and poor working conditions have become a part of the labor process” according to Ramanujan Nadadur in his article titled “Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States”.

Furthermore the argument comes up that the undocumented immigrants pay fewer taxes and reap the benefits of American social services. This too has been disproven.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) proved that “tax revenues for state and local governments generated by undocumented immigrants are visibly higher than the total cost of services provided to these people”.

The amount of money that could be put back into the U.S. economy would be astronomical if the people that moved into this country for work or school would be allowed to stay permanently. The United States brings in over 800,000 foreign students a year to receive a top-of-the-line college education but, what happens when they graduate? Usually, they go back to the country from whence they came. Why? They are not allowed to legally stay in the U.S. This means we invest time, money, and knowledge into bright individuals and then send them back to where they are from to influence the economies abroad rather than our own.

Is it not time we reduce the deficit? Is it not time to invite others in, not with a  promise of a job, or benefits but, with the promise of the same desideratum our founding fathers so hoped for when designing this great experiment of democracy called  the United States of America: the pursuance of life, liberty, and happiness?

Other sources: The Mathematics of Mexico-US migration and US immigration Policy by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Miriam Rojas-Arenaza

Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States by Ramanujan Nadadur