Illegal Immigration's Impacts on the U.S. Economy Ally Millward

Today, social media is where most 18, 19, 20 years old receive updates about the world they are living in. People, in general, seem to believe everything they read on the internet and form their opinion about a matter by simply reading one tweet. But, there are several sides to every story and people need to find the truth out for themselves then establish their opinion. A prevalent topic right now, that is plastered all over Twitter, Facebook ect., is the impacts undocumented immigration has on the United States. President Donald Trump's new policies are causing controversy within our borders and impacting people worldwide. President Trump banned people from entering America from several Muslim-orientated countries. He also wants to build a wall along the American-Mexican border to keep out undocumented migrants from Mexico. Majority of what we see online nowadays is how illegal immigration is "bad". However, there are many facts the average young adult would not know by just looking at a single social media post about the issue; they would have to dig deeper and so some research. For example, almost half of illegal immigrants come to the U.S. legally, through work visas, but stay past the expiration date. Another common notion made about illegal immigrants is that they are taking American citizen's jobs and impacting our economy negatively. Well, that is not the case either. Actually, illegal immigration is helping the U.S. economy grow and prosper.

Illegal immigration has several positive impacts on the United States economy. Undocumented immigrants are coming to the land of the free in search of work opportunities. A particular group of employers are providing work for them. Ramanujan Nadadur, the author of the article "Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States" explains "Dual labor market theory is beneficial in understanding illegal immigration, however, because it accounts for the characteristics that separate the illegal immigrant, low-wage sector from the rest of the labor market" (Nadadur 6). The dual labor market theory separates the work force into two main sectors. The primary sector is composed of high-skilled jobs. While, illegal immigrants perform in the low-wage, secondary sector. Illegal immigrants are taking jobs most Americans are not willing to work, at least not at minimum wage. The type of jobs illegal immigrants work are usually labor intensive and sometimes even dangerous. Employers pay the undocumented workers less because they are in America illegally. Also, the unemployment rate is about 4.5%. This low number indicates a good-standing economy. This statistic further indicates undocumented workers are not taking American jobs.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Over the Past 5 Years

"Because illegal immigration serves to allow businesses to minimize their costs of production in the secondary sector, it positively impacts income of all native workers by decreasing consumer cost" (Nadadur 10). Furthermore, the secondary sector employers hire illegal immigrants and pay them less. This, in return, allows the employers to price their products and services lower. We are saving money because of the cheap labor illegal immigrants are providing. This is a positive for Americans. To add, undocumented workers are putting money into the economy. They have to survive so they purchase necessitates like food, clothes, and shelter. Undocumented immigrants are putting about 90% of their income back into the economy. This large percentage of income causes an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP measures the dollar value of all the goods and services produced in a country annually. According to a left-leaning organization research branch, illegal immigrants working in none underground economies are paying their taxes; they pay approximately $12 billion in taxes each year (Qiu 1). Undocumented immigrants are not only making American products cheaper, but are contributing their own wealth to the economy.

So, what needs to be done to stop illegal immigration if people still think it is making a negative impact on the U.S. economy? The American government needs to make the process of becoming a legal citizen easier. The U.S. only gives out 140,000 work visas a year; that number needs to be more. Since there is over 11 million undocumented residents in the U.S., it proves millions of hardworking people want to be here. Majority of illegal immigrants are seeking better lives in America. They are not coming here with the intent of ruining anything, especially not the economy. But, what about over population in certain areas? If America starts to make the process easier and faster for immigrants to become legal, there can be stipulations put in place. For example, legal immigrants could be given money to live in a less populated state or they could be given a piece of land for free in that state. Finally, what about security? The faster the process the less in depth immigrants background checks are, right? One solution could be to hire many more American citizens to process immigrants. This would not only speed up the process, but give more people jobs. Giving people jobs will positively impact the economy as well. Ultimately, evidence shows undocumented workers are helping the economy more than they are hurting it.

  • Works Cited
  • Johnson, Kirk. "The Real Problem with Immigration... and the Real Solution." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
  • Nadadur, Ramanujan. "Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States." Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, vol. 35, no. 6, July 2009, pp. 1037-1052. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/13691830902957775.
  • Politifact, and María Teresa Kumar CEO and President of Voto Latino. "How Much Do Undocumented Immigrants Pay in Taxes?" @politifact. N.p., 02 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
  • "United States Unemployment Rate 1948-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar." United States Unemployment Rate | 1948-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
  • "Why Can't Undocumented Immigrants Just "get Legal?" And Other Frequent Questions About Immigration Reform." America's Voice. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.


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