Immigrant Contribution to American Success

Photo Credit: Eric P. (Flickr name: “ep_jhu”)

Today in class we discussed we discussed how immigrants are a growing part of the labor force in the United States, holding jobs in many industries, including Accommodations, Food Services, Management and Administration, Information Technology, and many other fields. Even though these immigrants are becoming an important part of these industries, some still push back against the success of these immigrants, claiming that they take jobs away from native-born Americans.

Currently, America’s unemployment rate is 8.1%, and some people blame immigrants for this high percentage. However, in reality, immigration has created more jobs in the United States and has added to the success of our economy in general. It is extremely important to understand that immigrants all offer different skills and contributions, which allow America to improve and grow. For example, Fiscal Policy reports that immigrant-owned small businesses employ about 4.7 million people. I find it interesting that while people claim immigrants take away jobs from natives, statistics show that immigrant-owned businesses actually provide more opportunities. Many household names such as AT&T, Kraft, Google, Yahoo!, and eBay were either started by immigrants or their children. Just hearing this fact makes me wonder what the United States or even the world be like if these immigrants did not have the chance to come to America and realize their potential to change the world.

The United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and other nations are giving legal residency to more than half of the immigrants coming to work in their countries. These legal actions show that the rest of the world understands how much immigrants have to offer bringing in specialized skills to a country’s economy. An article from the Huffington Post, “The U.S. Needs More Immigrants to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs,” explains “specialization makes economies more efficient, and efficiency drives economic growth.” Limits on immigration or immigration reform have the ability to slow the economy and end many jobs. American needs to remember that we are a country that was built on immigration. If we forget where we come from, how can we know where we are going?

3 responses to “Immigrant Contribution to American Success

  1. In the policy paper I wrote recently, I took a libertarian stance. This post’s message regarding how immigrants benefit the economy is one of the reasons that libertarians are so passionate about the open border policy. Immigrants DO contribute to our economy immensely. They have the connection of being part of two countries’ society, which benefits the economy of both countries. A problem that may arise is the issue of which country the immigrant truly holds his/her loyalty to.

  2. I agree, immigrants also perform jobs that many Americans refuse to do. Our economy depends on them, yet many people in our country continue to consider them inferior. Like in the film, El Norte, the people want to be known as more than just “strong arms.” Immigrants contribute significantly to our economy and it is important that Americans realize this fact.

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