Immigration continues to be a hot topic in the news as people on both sides of the issue have strong opinions about whether immigrants drain the economy or are an important complement to the labor force. While many argue that immigrants take jobs away from native-born citizens, or that they do not pay taxes, there is ample evidence to the contrary. In recent years, immigrants have been responsible for creating new businesses that have helped revitalize the American workforce.
According to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, immigrants were responsible for 28 percent of new small businesses. Furthermore, the Kaufman Foundation reported that, between 2006 and 2012, over two-fifths of new technology companies in Silicon Valley had at least one immigrant founder. In addition to businesses, immigrants hold one third of the valid patents issued to U.S. residents, according to Giovanni Peri, an economist from the University of California Davis. Peri found that immigrants do not have a significant impact on job growth for native-born workers because immigrants tend to gravitate towards different jobs.
Report Highlights: Immigration’s Effect on Employment and Wages
A report recently released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, entitled Culprit or Scapegoat? Immigration’s Effect on Employment and Wages, focuses on the following points:
- Immigrant workers are not forcing U.S.-born employees out of their jobs. There has been a decrease in employment among native-born employees because many of them are retiring, going back to school, or going on disability.
- The wage difference can be explained by looking at the differences in skill sets and level of education required by the particular job. Typically, industries that tend to be native-heavy pay more because they require a higher level of education and skill set than industries that employ more immigrants.
In a panel discussion, experts agreed that immigrants are an economic resource that adds value to the U.S. work force. In order to maximize the potential economic power of this population, we must create policies that allow needed workers to thrive while protecting the rights of both immigrants and U.S.-born workers.
Since 2009, a growing number of cities, from San Francisco to Philadelphia to Dodge City, Kansas, have committed to helping immigrants assimilate, and adjust to life in the United States, including the pursuit of employment. According to Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, teaching immigrants how to speak English is an important first step, but it should not stop there. Immigrants should be given the tools to thrive economically and have access to affordable healthcare. She stresses the importance of programs that connect immigrants to local leaders that can help immigrants successfully assimilate.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Advocate for Immigrant Workers’ Rights
If you are an immigrant working in the United States, contact the dedicated, experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. so that we can protect your right rights in the workplace. Call us today at 215-925-4435 to set up a confidential consultation, or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia where we serve clients across the country.