Monday, September 17, 2007
Another Myth that Immigrants take jobs from native-born -workers; There are many Jobs that Native born workers do not wanted at all..
According to an in-depth 1994 study by economists at the Alexis De Tocqueville Institution, areas with high immigration rates actually increase employment opportunities for native-born workers. They wrote,
First, immigrants may expand the demand for goods and services through their consumption.
Second, immigrants may contribute to output through the investment of savings they bring with them.
Third, immigrants have high rates of entrepreneurship, which may lead to the creation of new jobs for U.S. workers.
Fourth, immigrants may fill vital niches in the low and high skilled ends of the labor market, thus creating subsidiary job opportunities for Americans.
Fifth, immigrants may contribute to economies of scale in production and the growth of markets.
Recent studies also discount displacement in higher-skilled occupations. Furthermore, immigration opponents base their theory on competition for a static number of jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of jobs in America has increased by fifteen million between 1990 and 2003, and will continue with more than thirty-three million new job openings likely created between 2000 and 2010. Largely low-skilled jobs that will likely be filled by immigrant workers, they represent 58 percent of all new job openings.
While this data demolishes the idea that immigrant workers steal jobs from other workers, their internal segregation within the labor market led one Pew Hispanic Center Study to conclude that while Latino immigrants and native-born workers appear to be on “different paths,” “[immigrants’] growing supply and concentration in certain occupations suggests that the newest arrivals are competing with each other in the labor market to their own detriment.” These two factors fuel the further decline in wages.
Political scientist Rudolfo O. de la Garza attributes the segregation-like factors facing Mexican workers as the reason for their perpetual restriction to the basement of the working class. The racial divides ensure that even the fourth generation of Mexican-Americans lag behind other Americans in education, home ownership, and income.
The average family income in 2003 for undocumented migrants living in the U.S. for less than ten years was $25,700, while average family incomes were considerably higher for both legal immigrants ($47,800) and the native-born ($47,700).
Furthermore, far from bringing economic hardship, immigrants revitalize communities as a whole. In many cases, inner-city decay has been countered by what Mike Davis calls the “sweat equity” of Latino migrants.
For example, the “75,000 or so Mexican and Salvadorean homeowners [have] become an unexcelled constructive force (the opposite of white flight) working to restore debilitated neighborhoods to trim respectability.”
Recent studies have also demonstrated a similar impact by Latino immigration in stagnating towns in the northeastern United States.
Latino immigrants in the U.S. are the fastest growing sector of the population. According to U.S. Census predictions, by 2050 minority groups will be, as they already are in Texas and California, half or more of the nation’s population, driven to an important extent by Hispanic immigration. Between April 2000 and July 2004, the Latino population of the U.S. grew by 17 percent, while the overall population increased by 4.3 percent.
Though the economy has been in recovery, wages overall have been declining. As Latinos become more integrated into and central to the economy, they have become an easy target of scapegoating. But pitting immigrant workers against native-born workers weakens both. The anti-immigrant climate helps drive down the conditions of immigrant workers, making it easier for employers to impose lower wages on all workers. As the old adage of the labor movement says: an injury to one is an injury to all. Only by building a unified labor movement that champions the rights of immigrants, and that organizes immigrant workers as equal partners in the struggle, will workers be able to fight for jobs and better conditions for all.