Immigration News: Undocumented Immigrants' Labor Complements US Economy, Workforce
Latinos account for most of the foreign-born labor force in 2014, and the participation of undocumented immigrants do not affect the labor participation of U.S.-born citizens.
Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly half, or 48.3 percent of foreign-born labor employees were Latino in 2014. The Asian community ranked second and represented nearly a quarter of the labor force, with 24.1 percent.
With foreign-born individuals accepting jobs in the U.S., is it appropriate to allege immigrants are taking jobs from Americans?
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, immigrants are complementing the U.S. native workforce.
"The immigrant labor force does not replace U.S. workers; rather, it complements the U.S.- born workforce. Immigrants tend to have skill levels at the very high and at the very low end of the spectrum and help create jobs that previously did not exist," wrote the Commerce in its "Immigration Myths and the Facts Behind the Fallacies" report.
According to the organization, immigrants have little effect on U.S.-born citizens' wages and do not compete against "comparably educated" natives.
The immigrant labor force has been positive for some states, even those not located near the border. In Arkansas, the U.S.-born population was stagnant and did not grow between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, the number of immigrants did increase. As a result, the decline of Arkansas' manufacturing jobs began to ease.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted many U.S. jobs would not exist if immigrants have not arrived in the U.S. With many of the "baby boomer" population entering retirement, the dynamics of the U.S. population and workforce is changing. There are also less children being born, as the U.S. Census acknowledged women are ending their childbearing years with an average 1.9 children each instead of the 2.1 percent "needed for replacement-level fertility." Immigrants are expected to fill that gap.
Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes every year, and often for services they will not receive. The Chamber of Commerce noted many undocumented immigrants have provided their employer with counterfeit documents and, as a result, taxes are still deducted from their paychecks.
Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are not eligible to receive welfare services despite some anti-immigrant rhetoric. Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, legal permanent residents have to wait at least five years for some welfare services. Mandated by law, immigrants are still eligible for emergency health care and public school education.
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive Medicaid -- unless it is an emergency matter, public housing, Section 8, Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Losing all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. will result in billions to trillions of lost wages. The Chamber of Commerce stated $1.76 trillion in annual lost spending and $651.51 billion in annual lost output will occur if all undocumented immigrants were removed from the U.S.
As Latin Post reported, deporting all 11.3 million undocumented immigrants would cost at least $10,070 per person, which totals to $114 billion, according to the Center for American Progress. The American Action Forum (AAF), a center-right policy institute organization, released its own estimates in March. AAF's mass deportation estimates range between $419.6 billion and $619.4 billion in a span of 20 years.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
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