Do Immigrants Take Away Jobs From Americans?

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It has become popular in the United States to blame immigrants for the country's problems during these difficult economic times. Currently, there is a rise in anti-immigration sentiment, especially in states with large immigrant populations, like California. Trump pledged to put rules in place during his presidential campaign that might result in fewer immigrants coming to the country (Bhuiyan, 2014). The primary drivers of the immigration restrictions were to expand American job opportunities and strengthen the American economy. Some of the motivation behind president Trumps policies include Implementation of stricter deportation policies, increasing the number of border patrol agents and construction of the United States border walls in the president's point of view immigrants are stealing job opportunities for the United States citizens. “They are killing us. They are taking our money. They are taking our manufacturing jobs.’ The public opinion survey shows that most United States residents draw a distinction between undocumented and legal immigrants and that most of the United States citizens regard the undocumented immigrants with much disapproval.

One of the most significant myths about the immigrants is that the lead to excess government benefits, they steal jobs, and in general, they reprint a drain in the general united state economy. The poll carried out California in 1993 indicated that 39 percent of all respondents believed that immigrants were stealing the jobs of the residents. Many of the United States workers who are struggling to recover from recession have stated that they feel squeezed because the immigrants are taking ay their jobs.

Contrary to the belief, immigrants do not take away the American jobs. Instead, they contribute to the formation of jobs because they spend part of the income they acquire in the purchases of services and goods, raising productivity in the United States businesses and paying taxes (Mattausch, 2001). Immigrants positively contribute to the general economic growth. Based on the United States treasury report immigrates pay more than 90 billing taxes on a yearly basis. Without the contribution of these individuals, the economy could suffer (Kaestner, Reimers, & Reimer, 2001). Some of the economists have noted that many people blame immigrants for taking away their jobs because they only see the jobs they fill rather than the jobs they create through demand for services and goods, capital formation and increased productivity. The report that was conducted during President Bush’s administration concluded that it is fallacious to conclude that immigrants take away jobs.

Kind of Jobs Immigrants Want

The immigrants reprint a significant part of the United States labor force. Based on the 2009 statistic the total number of the foreign workers increased from 21 million in 2004 to 24 million in 2009. The immigrants were able to secure jobs in various sectors of the economy such as construction, healthcare, agriculture and hospitality management. Many immigrants come to the United States to realize their dream (ENCHAUTEGUI, 2008). The immigrants are majorly present in the healthcare sector because of the shortage witnessed in this area. The number of the trained Native American are unable to fill up the deficit that is experienced in the industry. By the 2009 immigrants represented a quarter of the physician and the surgeons, while the constituted a fifth of nursing workforces, health aid and psychiatric. The presence of so many immigrant highlights how crucial is the healthcare sector.

Immigrants also look up to the construction sector as for employment. The availability of immigrants benefited landowners, managers, and employers with greater output and complementary skills. Many immigrants available in this industry majorly take up jobs such as painting, carpentry, carpet installation and cement masonry. Some of the highest number immigrants have also been witnessed in the agricultural sector (Ottaviano & Peri, 2006). 53 percent of individuals who work in this sector do not have the legal documentation. It is estimated that undocumented immigrants who work in the agricultural sector earn an average annual salary of $5600. In the United States, the hospitality sector is also an attractive avenue for undocumented immigrants. Some of the immigrants do some odd jobs such as cooking and washing dishes. 19.9 percent of immigrants in the food and restaurant sector are foreign-born while 29 percent work in the travelers and accommodation. The gambling, amusement, and recreation consist of 10.8 of immigrants.

Why Immigrants for In These Sectors

The economic immigrants are looking for any job opportunities meaning they are not selective but will go for any opportunity that presents themselves. Majority of them lack academic credential implying that they fall for any job opportunity that they find (Kaestner, Reimers, & Reimer, 2001). Whether they’re low or low skilled, they complement the native workers with talent, education, and skill and their presence increase the supply of labor. The immigrants are always willing to take up any job opportunity are available in the United States. The undocumented hold fewer blue collar jobs and many white collar jobs, most of them remain concentrated in low paying and low skilled josh Based on the study that was conducted in 2007 to 2012 concluded that the number of illegal immigrants has remained at 5.1 (Kwon, 2013). The report has stated that the undocumented workforce has stabilized in the period of economic recovery.

The effect of immigration on the employment market depends on the characteristics of the host country’s economy, the skill of the presents workers and skills of immigrants. The instantaneous short-run effect on the employment and wage depends on the skills that immigrants possess (Kaestner, Reimers, & Reimer, 2001). The existing workers and immigrants are expected to raise the level of competition for the available Jobs thereby pushing down the wages in the short run. On the other hand, if the skills of the immigrants are complementary to those of the existing employees, the combined experience increases productivity a factor that can increase the amount of wage.

In addition to the expanding market for labor, immigrant tend to increase the consumption of services and goods. The immigrant contributes to the demand of services and products. In the short run as the demand for goods and service rises increases the investments also rises. Despite the fact that immigrants can increase the competition for the existing jobs they lead to the creation of other employment avenues (Kaestner, Reimers, & Reimer, 2001). The extent to which labor demand and investment respond on immigration is influenced by the size and characteristics of the economy. Immigration has the ability of changing the mix of services and goods produced in the country and thus the industrial and the occupation structure. The growing economy and the industrial sector drive the wages up and increase demand. The immigrants might also contribute to the state of technology that is used to produce services and goods. The immigrant can also change the state of technology that is used to produce goods and vices. Thee immigrant with low skills can encourage innovation and acquisition of skill-intensive technology that would affect the labor demand.

Do Immigrants Take Jobs?

The simple labor market model of supply and demand assumes that immigrant are the exact workers just like the native wit same talent, education and skills thereby their arrivals increases labor supply. The claim is also based on the premise that unemployment increases and the wage of worker go down (Kaestner, Reimers, & Reimer, 2001). The reality remains that immigrants and natives have total different labor capabilities such as the differences areas such as cultural knowledge, professional network, and language fluency. In countries with strong welfare such as the United States, the native workers might choose to remain unemployed because of the low wages that are offered in some of the industries. The immigrants, on the other hand, are willing to take up any opportunity that the country offers. The migrants just like any other consumers increase the demand for goods and services implying that companies flourish thereby creating more employment avenues. The increased labor demand affects the labor market by boosting the demand for goods and services leading to a rise in the equilibrium employment.


The quantitative evidence state that immigrants do not take the immigrant jobs in the long run and the stimulate increased jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship, self-employment and increased productivity. By reducing the number of immigrants that come into the United States will miss the opportunity for new ventures and inventions that could create more job opportunities. The government should create immigration policies that give taught people an opportunity to work in the United States. Such a policy could provide a great opportunity for economic gain while equalizing the income redistribution. Mechanisms should be designed to ensure that the natives and immigrant flow.


Bhuiyan, R. (2014). The Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks in the USA: A Forecast-Augmented VAR Approach. Australian Economic Papers, 53(3-4), 139-152.

ENCHAUTEGUI, M. E. (2008). The Job Quality of U.S. Immigrants. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 47(1), 108-113.

Kaestner, R., Reimers, C., & Reimer, D. (2001). Immigrant and the Economy.

Kwon, H. (2013). The hidden injury of class in Korean-American language brokers’ lives. Childhood, 21(1), 56-71.

Mattausch, J. (2001). After ‘ethnicity': Migration, identity, and political economy. Immigrants & Minorities, 20(3), 59-74.

Ottaviano, G., & Peri, G. (2006). Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages. National Bureau of Economic Research.

April 13, 2023

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