Immigrants Actually Improve the U.S. Economy, Despite What Political Talking Points May Tell You

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Apr 19, 2024

The ever-increasing influx of immigrants to the US has been a widely departed topic in recent years, with both political parties having strong opinions either in favor or against the extensive migrations.

Yet, despite what some politicians say about immigrants, according to various financial experts, they may actually be improving the US economy. Here’s how.

The Land of Immigrants

The United States is home to around 45 million immigrants, more than any other nation on earth, according to CNN.

An image of a family as they prepare to migrate to a new country/An image of a man and a woman holding an American flag

Source: Freepik/Freepik

This figure suggests that close to 14% of the entire population of the US are immigrants, and this doesn’t count those who are undocumented, which could add another 11 million people.


Can America Afford to House So Many Immigrants?

The fiscal burden of housing so many immigrants has begun to take its toll on various states due to the so-called border crisis.

An image of a family as they prepare to migrate to a new country

Source: Freepik

States like New York have seen a drastic increase in the number of migrants in recent years, which has added additional financial stress to the region’s economy.

New York Set to Spend $12 Billion on Immigrants

Speaking in August 2023, New York’s Mayor, Eric Adams, announced the city may be forced to spend around $12 billion to accommodate the thousands of migrants arriving in the region, per Bloomberg.

An image of downtown Manhattan during the early hours of the evening

Source: Wikimedia

At the time, the mayor, along with various officials, suggested the hefty price tag could begin to negatively affect the city’s ability to provide regular services to its 8 million residents.

A Labor Shortage in the United States

Despite all the negative attention surrounding immigrants, others are under the impression they ultimately have a net positive effect on the nation and its economy as a whole.

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According to Dhaval Joshi, chief strategist at BCA Research, an economic analysis firm, the US is experiencing a severe labor shortage. However, the surge of immigrants arriving in the US since 2022 has helped to fill many of the open vacancies.

Dodging a Recession

Various economic experts believe the influx of immigrants filling roles in the labor department actually allowed the US to avoid a recession.

An image of a man as he looks over stocks on his laptop

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According to David Bier, associate director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute, “One important way to reduce inflation is to increase the production of goods and services,”


Immigrants in the Labor Force

Bier continues by suggesting that the US narrowly avoided a recession in recent years due to the influx of immigrants into the labor department.

An image of a group of construction workers

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“One reason why the economy has adjusted over the last three years is the fact that we have started to get these immigrants into the labor force,” he said.


Immigrants Fill Important Roles

Immigrants who come to the US typically fill understaffed positions, including roles in care homes and construction.

An image of a care home worker helping an older woman

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While many Americans fear they are losing their jobs to lower-paid, unskilled laborers, Bier argues that this isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, he argues that it incentivizes workers to become better educated and learn more skills to compete for the position.


Banning Immigration Would Be Detrimental for the Nation, Says Analyst

“The story of the last 40 years is not declining living standards,” says the analyst.

An image of a visa application form alongside a passport

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“It’s a shift toward a more skilled, more service-sector economy. Banning immigration would disrupt that change in a very significant way.”


Economist Believes Immigrants Create More Economic Growth

Tarek Hassan, A BU College of Arts & Sciences economics professor, argues that “More immigrants create more economic growth.”

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He continued, “And because it creates more economic growth locally, it raises the wages of the people who are already there.”


Increase in Foreign Labour Comes at a Good Time

According to some experts, thousands of immigrants continue to venture to the States in hopes of securing long-term employment, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

An image of several factory workers in a large warehouse

Source: Freepik

The US birthrate has continued to drop over the last decade, and the increase in foreign labor has helped ensure the filling of various positions in many industries.


Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the US

The truth is that America as a nation was built by immigrants from across the world who set out to find a better life for their families and future generations.

An image of a businessman holding a cup of coffee in his office

Source: Freepik

Many have been able to achieve this and continue to do so in the 21st century. According to a study published in 2022, over 55% of US startups valued at over $1 billion were created by immigrants.