The Positive Impact of Illegal Immigration

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Today, the United States has the world's largest number of undocumented immigrants (Clark 35). Although most people equate illegal immigration with a variety of negatives, studies from credible and nonpartisan outlets show that illegal immigrants have many benefits to the United States. Over the years, natives have supported the policies put in place by the government to control illegal immigrants. One of the reasons most people oppose illegal immigration is that they believe immigrants receive government benefits while paying little to no tax. The reality is just the opposite: they pay more taxes but get fewer rewards than locals. People who argue that illegal immigrants in the United States are a burden to the country should consider some factors like; these people pay taxes through value-added tax and income deductions (Alejandro 72). They also pay social security contributions but do not request for benefits, they become entrepreneurs, bring innovation and new technologies and so forth. The natives should also consider how these people make the companies that require low-skilled labor to operate and how their provision of workforce while getting low income give them an advantage as consumers. This paper will analyze the positive impact of illegal immigration to the United States.

Economic impact

As the debate concerning illegal immigration continues to heat up, the contributions which undocumented immigrants make to the economy remains an issue that Americans cannot overlook (Alex 90). Economists admit that the influences of unlawful immigrants on United States economy are broadly positive. Illegal immigrants, whether high skilled or low skilled have enabled Americans to realize benefits in various sectors. Immigrants, whether legal or illegal fuel the U.S economy. When these people enter the labor force, they enhance productive capacity of the economy and increase GDP. This makes their level of income to rise, but so do those of the Native Americans. The following are some of the areas where illegal immigrants have played a key role in boosting U.S economy

Influx of low skilled labor

According to recent research, some sectors entirely depend on workforce from Illegal immigrants (Roman 129). Most of these segments are those that rely on low-level skills and ones that offer low wages. The presence of illegal immigrants has made these industries to grow and also to in cure fewer expenses on matters concerning salaries. For example, the fruit and vegetable industry has been growing over the years primarily because of being able to attain cheap labor from these people.

Illegal immigrants have been supplying low skilled manual labor that even the unemployed natives are unwilling to do (Anderson 58). As time goes on, high demand for higher education has made most people to be on demand for jobs that require high skills, a factor that has made companies that need low skilled manual labor to experience labor shortages. Some of the sectors that require this kind of labor such as agriculture are fundamental to the country and therefore being unable to operate because of labor shortage can significantly hurt the economy. The presence of illegal immigrants who are entirely willing to take these jobs has enabled companies which belong to this category to attain workforce which can keep them in operation.

The existence of illegal immigrants has made Americans to take jobs that match their field of specialization and skills. If the government were to remove illegal immigrants from the United States, most companies especially those that depend on low-skilled labor would face a substantial shortage of workers (Roman 125). This would make Americans to be induced into labor pool or forced to take jobs that do not match their education and skill level.

Social security subsidization

Illegal immigrants have been paying for social security payrolls, yet they are not eligible for benefits (Anderson 60). In every year, the vast majority of money received by the US social security administrations are attributable to illegal immigrants who never claim for their welfares. Reports from the social security officials have been implying that the country continues to receive a lot of money in suspense files. This means as the debate regarding illegal immigration continues to heat up, the estimated eight million unlawful immigrants in the country are providing the social security system with a huge subsidy.

If it were not for the illegal immigrants, the Native Americans would be paying higher contributions because the social security administration must get enough money that can enable it to perform its duties in the right manner (Magnus 879). The existence of unlawful immigrants in the United States benefits not only Native Americans through utilizing the social security funds they pay, but also their employers by making them to incur few expenses. For example, hiring an illegal worker who is desperate for a job and prepared to accept low wage gives the employer an advantage of paying less in various aspects such as welfare contributions and other non-wage costs.

Budget surplus

Illegal immigrants provide not only most of the US' most key industries with the required low-skilled labor, but also most of its states with a Budget surplus (Roman 126). Recent research has shown that in some states such as Texas, illegal immigrants have been paying billions of dollars to the state’s economy but only receive very little of that in benefits. Unlike the native Americans who are eligible to access various benefits that are fundamental in their lives, illegal immigrants have tax obligations but do not have eligibility to obtain assistance from key aid programs such as Medicaid, supplementary security income, supplemental nutrition assistance program among others. Paying taxes and failing to receive these services leads to budget surplus because the government attains revenue from these people but spend very little for their wellbeing.

Illegal immigrants migrate to the United States solely for job opportunities, not welfare (Parr 458). Through these jobs pay taxes of different kinds. For example, some money is deducted from their salaries for income tax, they pay VAT for the products and services they buy, and so forth. Paying for these taxes while receiving minimal benefits makes the government to experience an income that exceeds its spending. This plays a significant role in enabling the country to avoid a situation where the citizens are burdened because of paying huge taxes due to huge deficits.

Price levels

The fact that they are willing to provide workforce at low wages benefit the consumer through access to cheaper products (Magnus 882). This occurs because as the wages of low-skilled workers decreases, the selling prices of products and services that they assist in producing also decreases.

Being able to purchase products at lower prices makes almost all Americans to be able to afford most of the essential products such as food and other commodities (Nah 28). Recently, the national milk producers federation stated that retail milk prices would significantly increase if immigrant workforce were eliminated.

Apart from making Americans to purchase products at lower prices, they also make companies to balance their income with expenses through minimizing costs associated with salaries (Nah 30). Playing a pivotal role in making businesses to sell products at reduced prices has made most of them to remain in operation. If for example products were sold at low prices while paying huge salaries due to lack of people who are willing to take jobs at low wages, most of the companies would have collapsed because of profitability and expense imbalance.


Most of the undocumented immigrants lack qualifications that can enable them to access better jobs (Nah 29). Some of them are also not able to speak English and hence do not qualify for jobs that require a lot of communication. As a result of these factors, they opt to become entrepreneurs. Running their businesses contributes significantly to the economy based on the fact that irrespective of being in the country illegally, they are obliged to pay taxes from the businesses they run (Roman 130). When they buy or sell products, they pay VAT, when they compensate their employees they also pay tax, when they import goods, they pay duties. These levies are used to improve the welfare of all people irrespective of whether one is in the country legally or illegally.

Starting their businesses also creates job opportunities for the unemployed (Anderson 66). Creating jobs uplift and support the society by improving the quality of life and the overall standards of living. Since the illegal immigrants want to do anything for their business to succeed, they come up with inventions that make their businesses to remain competitive. Incorporating innovation into their businesses makes the consumers to get products which meet their needs.


Since the 1990s, United States has witnessed an increase in high-skilled illegal immigrants (Anderson 62). Based on the fact that these people have expertise in different fields and want to attain success in everything they do, they have come up with innovations which have been of importance to the country. Interestingly, illegal immigrants seem to have contributed more to inventions than the natives. The reason why they innovate more than natives is that most of them take STEM occupations associated with lots of R&D and entrepreneurial activities.

Being innovative has made most companies to realize benefits in various areas such as production processes, supply chain, new products development among others (Magnus 885). Being able to innovate outstanding things in the companies they work has enabled those firms to attain a competitive advantage and significant market share.

Apart from benefiting companies, innovative illegal immigrants have assisted consumers in various ways (Clark 39). For example, they have assisted them in attaining goods and services that are of high quality and ones that can address their needs. Based on the fact that innovation leads to a decrease in production cost, illegal immigrants have enabled Americans to receive essential commodities at low prices.

Innovative illegal immigrants have remained essential assets to the US market which attracts investors from all over the world. Studies indicate that undocumented immigrants account for nearly one-third of US innovations (Magnus 881). This means the presence of these people in the United States has a significant influence in making different sectors to come up with new ways of doing things. The fact that illegal immigrants have a positive impact on inventions, they have played a key role in attracting investors and making businesses to grow because innovations play a major role in the business sector.

Professional expertise

Highly educated illegal immigrants are assets to for the United States on matters concerning technical jobs (Magnus 880). Some Illegal immigrants are intelligent, hardworking and able to take some courses which only few of the natives wish to pursue. This makes them to play a role in bringing skills and ideas to do greater things in various fields such as engineering, aviation, medicine and so forth. Close to forty-four percent of medical scientists are made of legal and illegal immigrants while forty-two percent of computer software developers are made up of these people (Clark 39). Although some people may feel these people have taken their jobs, these areas have few people who have the required qualifications due to nature of their intricacy.

Illegal immigrants have also taken highly –skilled jobs such as college professors, engineers, doctors and dentists, mathematicians, nurses just to mention a few (Magnus 878). Based on the fact that the United States does not have enough people to work under these areas of specialization because only few people pursue courses related to this areas, the country has been experiencing challenges in getting enough people who can serve in these fields. The fact that some illegal immigrants can work in these areas has made the country to balance supply and demand.


From this analysis, it is clear that illegal immigrants have positive impact that most people do not recognize. Americans think these people are there to exploit their resources. They little understand that they pay taxes but don’t get as much benefits as they receive. They also provide labor to the sectors that require low-skilled labor and ones that most of the natives do not want to work.

Illegal Americans play a significant role in making consumers to access products at reduced prices because they provide labor at low wages. They also make their employers to pay less in some of their expenses such as their social security contributions and other low-wage related costs. Based on the fact that some of them have low skills and unable to speak English, they prefer starting their businesses. These businesses provide employment, income to the government and also makes the consumers to access products and services without difficulties. Illegal immigrants make economy to be large, efficient and productive.

Illegal immigrants bring innovations which make the American companies to remain competitive. They also serve in some fields which few Americans have qualifications because of nature of their complexity. Looking at these benefits, one can argue that the advantages of having these people in the United States outweigh the disadvantages. When criticizing their presence in the country, Americans should consider these factors and think about the problems such as high prices for some commodities, insufficient labor in some sectors, budget deficits and other issues that the country would be facing if illegal immigrants were evacuated.

Work Cited

Alejandro. Portes. America and Its Immigrants: A Game of Mirrors1. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 155, No. 4, 2011, PP. 68-95.

Alex. Nowrasteh. Introduction: The Economics of Immigration. The Cato Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2017, PP. 89-102.

Anderson. Stuart. Immigration. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2010.

Clark. Cebula. Migration, Economic Freedom, and Personal Freedom: An Empirical Analysis. Journal of Private Enterprise, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2011, PP. 24-52.

Magnus. Lofstrom. Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Trends and Contributions. The Cato Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2017, PP. 878-902.

Nah. Kim. The Effect of High-Skilled Emigration, Foreign Direct Investment, and Policy on the Growth Rate of Source Countries: A Panel Analysis. East Asian Economic Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2016, PP. 25-68.

Parr. Rosson. Regional Views on the Role of Immigrant Labor on U.S. and Southern Dairies. : Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2012, PP. 457-485.

Román. Ediberto. Those Damned Immigrants: America's Hysteria over Undocumented Immigration. New York: New York University Press, 2013.

December 15, 2022

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