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New Poll Shows Over Half of US Voters Think Immigrants Are Bad for the Economy

First Posted: Aug 16, 2015 04:36 PM EDT
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If a candidate such as Donald trump can make repeatedly inflammatory statements about Mexico and still be considered viable, perhaps it is partly because over half of the voting public thinks that immigrants are bad for the U.S. economy.

A recent survey released by Rasmussen Reports claims that 51 percent of the of the 1,000 people they polled say that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from U.S. citizens. Thirty-nine percent disagree, while 11 percent are not sure.

The facts behind this public opinion are certainly up for debate, as expert economists seem to be of the opinion that immigrants have no hand in driving down wages or jobs. As reported in the National Journal, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of the Brookings Institution wrote that, “on average, immigrant workers increase the opportunities and incomes of Americans.”

Economist and columnist Adam Davidson wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine trying to clarify what is behind the fears of immigrants taking away U.S. jobs. “The chief logical mistake we make is something called the Lump of Labor Fallacy: the erroneous notion that there is only so much work to be done and that no one can get a job without taking one from someone else,” he wrote.

Davidson appreciated the common economic assumptions that come into play. “If there were suddenly a whole lot more oranges, we’d expect the price of oranges to fall or the number of oranges that went uneaten to surge," wrote Davidson, who then qualified that the problem with this kind of thinking is that “immigrants aren’t oranges.”

“Immigrants don’t just increase the supply of labor,” he argued, “they simultaneously increase demand for it, using the wages they earn to rent apartments, eat food, get haircuts, buy cellphones.”

As reported earlier by Latin Post, a new Gallop poll shows that there is in fact growing support for increased immigration levels into the U.S. “The longer-term trends since 2001 are unmistakable," wrote Gallup’s Andrew Dugan, “U.S. adults' support for increased immigration is gradually growing.”

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