National Academy of Sciences: Immigration Not Costing Jobs


Long Island Wins is looking in-depth at the new report on the economics of immigration released last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) entitled The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of ImmigrationThe report is both long and extremely in-depth and I urge you to take the time to read it. However, the American Immigration Council has prepared a summary of some of the report’s key findings:

  • Between 2015 and 2016, the estimated GDP growth due to contributions of immigrant workers amounted to nearly $2 trillion.
  • Immigration helps to slow the aging of American society, and labor force growth from 2020 and 2030 will “depend completely on immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants.”
  • There is little to no negative effects on the wages or overall employment levels of native-born workers. Any negative effects were small and were experienced primarily by other recent immigrants and those who did not graduate high school.
  • The children of immigrants are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the U.S. population overall. Thus, educating all children is an important investment that will reap large rewards for the nation in the future.
  • Everyone in the Unites States contributes to government finances by paying taxes and also adds to expenditures. However, while on average, first generation immigrants are more costly to governments than the native-born (mainly because they earn less and pay less in taxes), by the second generation, they are better-educated, pay more in taxes, and are strong economic and fiscal contributors.
  • Immigrants have also contributed to the reduction in the cost of consumer goods and services such as child care, food preparation, house cleaning and repair, and construction—meaning Americans spend less.

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting more on the specific findings of the report. The economic, demographic, and social statistical data contained in it are all enlightening well beyond the toplines.


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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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