The Profit Value of Immigrants

Although we often hear that immigrants cost the U.S. government thousands of taxpayer dollars annually, an ethnographic study by Altha J. Cravey of the University of North Carolina reveals the exact opposite effect: immigrant workers provide subsidies to the government and corporations due to their lower social reproduction costs.

In the fast-paced world of globalization, it is no secret that many American jobs are being outsourced to overseas workers or non-citizens within the U.S.  What is not always explained is that globalization tends to increase production while limiting the costs of government-funded social support benefits.

Still not convinced?  Check out these facts from the ACLU:

  • A U.S. Department of Labor study prepared by the Bush Administration noted that the perception that immigrants take jobs away from American workers is “the most persistent fallacy about immigration in popular thought” because it is based on the mistaken assumption that there is only a fixed number of jobs in the economy.
  • Experts note that immigrants are blamed for unemployment because Americans can see the jobs immigrants fill but not the jobs they create through productivity, capital formation and demand for goods and services.
  • Immigrants pay more than $90 billion in taxes every year and receive only $5 billion in welfare. Without their contributions to the public treasury, the economy would suffer a $220 billion drop in U.S. economic output.
Despite the fact that immigrants help the U.S. economy to grow, it is important to keep in mind that Latino migrants represent more than a labor production force; these are hardworking individuals with knowledge, skills, families, and dreams.  Latinos are more than willing to contribute to the economic growth of the United States, but it is time for the American majority to fully appreciate these efforts and acknowledge the socio-economic benefits that this community has been deprived of throughout history.
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