October 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Michael Kimmel speaks to UMass students about ‘Guyland’ -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass football looks for third straight win against Toledo on Saturday -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘Love is Strange’ is beautiful, painful and groundbreaking -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

White supremacy and settler colonialism at UMass -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass hockey hopes first win will propel them past Hockey East rivals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass’ second line playing and succeeding with young talent early in the season. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘The Good Wife’ returns as strong as ever -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Professor receives grant to cover massive election survey panel -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unions rally over recent concession proposals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL Pick’em games return to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass celebrates Campus Sustainability Day -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“Fury” falls just short of greatness -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Minutewomen look to continue their season in weekend game against Saint Bonaventure. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New meal plans receive mixed reviews from students -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ISIS’s magazine is good for the West -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Immigration vital to American economy

Flickr/Victor L Antunez

On Monday, Jan. 28, a group of eight United States senators (four democrats and four republicans), introduced an outline for a complete overhaul of the current U.S. immigration system that would provide a comprehensive path to citizenship for most of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.

While the framework is similar to past immigration reform plans that have been introduced and subsequently failed, President Barack Obama supported the current structure outlined in the plan in a speech last Tuesday at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, saying it was “very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years.

Additionally, Obama said he would introduce his own immigration bill if Congress does not act on the issue soon. The statement, made last Monday, came hours after Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and other members of the bipartisan immigration effort said they planned to have a bill for the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, with anticipation the measure would be passed over the summer.

Immigration has long been a controversial topic in the United States, whether discussion is focused on undocumented immigrants, legal immigrants or those who are in America on work or student visas.

And unfortunately, misinformation has led to a widespread, borderline prejudiced belief that immigration is a threat to the country’s conjectured purist foundation.

In fact, the opposite is true for a plurality of reasons that provide America with largely overlooked benefits.

While immigration is intrinsically embedded in American history, the nationalistic hive mind is to resent immigrants for taking jobs that would otherwise, assumedly, go to the 7.9 percent of unemployed Americans in the country who desperately need them.

The logic is flawed though: Immigrants who are supposedly taking jobs away from unemployed American citizens, are actually helping to grow our economy, creating more jobs and bringing new skills into the country.

Immigrants are over “30 percent more likely to create a small business in the U.S. compared to non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small businesses are owned by immigrants,” according to the Small Business Administration. An impressive feat, considering immigrants make up just 13 percent of the population.

Not only do these immigrants successfully own small businesses, but they put millions of people in the U.S. to work. According to a June 2012 study done by the Fiscal Policy Institute, as of 2007, immigrant businesses have generated $776 billion in revenue, and employed 4.7 million people. That’s 4.7 million jobs created for people living in America because of immigration, not in spite of.

Additionally, granting legal status to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States would add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. This gross domestic product (GDP) surge, caused by the upward pressure on wages of immigrant and American workers, would subsequently translate into overall increased consumer purchasing power, effectively pushing money back into the economy.

In relation, if Congress were to pass the DREAM Act which is legislation suggesting the creation of a road map to citizenship for those who migrated to the U.S. as children. The act would effectually add $329 billion to the American economy over a span of two decades.

Furthermore (as if you needed more convincing), if all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants were granted citizenship, the U.S. government would amass $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in tax revenue over three short years.

If the staggering statistics mean nothing, it is also important to remember the families being separated by detainment and deportation.

According to the Applied Research Center, in a  2011 report titled “Shattered Families,” over 5,100 children whose parents are undocumented immigrants are in the U.S. foster care system; 5,100 children left behind because their parents have either been detained, or deported and unable to reunify.

Children should not be punished simply because their parents are illegal. But the trend will continue, if changes are not made by 2016, over 15,000 more children are going to end up in the foster care system.

For too long, politicians and American citizens alike have, at one point or another, been guilty of perceiving immigrants as an institution; a group characterized and ostracized by their foreign nationalities rather than accepted as individual human beings who see America as their chance at a better life.

To immigrants, America is still a land of opportunity, and it is, but those opportunities cannot solely be limited to American citizens who sometimes forget where their ancestors came from.

If the country turns its back on immigrants, it is effectively turning its back on the very liberties it was built to uphold.

 

Jillian Correira is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at jcorreir@student.umass.edu.

Comments
4 Responses to “Immigration vital to American economy”
  1. Kris says:

    “The logic is flawed though: Immigrants who are supposedly taking jobs away from unemployed American citizens, are actually helping to grow our economy, creating more jobs and bringing new skills into the country.”

    I love how the term ‘flawed logic’ gets thrown around. Does the Small Business Administration give statistics for what percentage of illegal immigrants own small businesses? What percentage of them do you really think are bringing new skills, or creating jobs? It doesn’t take comprehensive analysis to realize that the unskilled labor positions that are taken by illegals could be filled by unskilled American citizens who are unskilled or out of work. It’s also the sort of work that could go to teenagers who don’t have experience or savings, or college students who need seasonal work. Democrats take an idiotic stance on illegal immigration because it’s going to gain them votes in the long run. Sad to see Republicans are starting to pick up on the strategy.

  2. archambo says:

    “I love how the term ‘flawed logic’ gets thrown around. Does the Small Business Administration give statistics for what percentage of illegal immigrants own small businesses? What percentage of them do you really think are bringing new skills, or creating jobs?”

    —-This is outside of what you were explicitly referring to in the article, but I have a feeling this response will suffice for what appears to be your general worldview. Jobs are not created solely by some visionary entrepreneur putting his or her nose to the grindstone and willing jobs into the universe. An immigrant uses his or her income to purchase things, which supports the jobs of anyone who helps produce them. If there are more immigrants buying more things, then this will create more jobs. #math

    “It doesn’t take comprehensive analysis to realize that the unskilled labor positions that are taken by illegals could be filled by unskilled American citizens who are unskilled or out of work.”

    —-The amount of jobs available in an economy is not fixed. Total employment in an economy is not a zero-sum game, or at least it shouldn’t be if policymakers are conducting themselves properly. In a sufficiently growing economy, both unskilled immigrants and non-immigrants will have opportunities for work. Take your beef up with those at the helm of monetary and fiscal policy over the past 35 years, not poor migrant workers trying to eek out a living in a Californian tomato megafarm.

    “Democrats take an idiotic stance on illegal immigration because it’s going to gain them votes in the long run. Sad to see Republicans are starting to pick up on the strategy.”

    —-Having undocumented immigrants become citizens will necessarily increase the amount of Democratic votes, provided these new citizens, you know, vote Democrat. The implication that this will continue to happen has more to do with the fact that the Democratic party is simply more attractive to minorities of all kinds. Republicans will need to do much more than make a half hearted attempt at real immigration reform if they want to sway the minds of millions of people from all different walks of life.

  3. Kris says:

    Archambo–
    No.

  4. alum says:

    Archambo

    I do believe you mean that the Democrat party is more attractive to ILLEGAL immigrants. As I understand it, LEGAL Immigrants from places like Cuba are more likely to vote Republican. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your argument.

Leave A Comment