Kenlee Hess: Immigrants improve American economy

For many years, immigration has played a huge part in the building of our country. The 1880 industrial boom brought the first big wave of immigrants to the United States. The wave continues today, with people seeking opportunity and the desire to have the “American Dream.” Work and schooling provide that opportunity.

Many Americans today believe immigrants take away jobs from their citizens. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed there were 58 million working-age, native-born Americans not working. It was also reported the total number of working-age immigrants holding a job increased 5.7 million from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, while declining 127,000 for natives. It is the least-educated native-born who are most likely in competition with the immigrants. As of January 2015, the above statistics cannot be taken at face value. The debate should not center on replacement but on displacement.

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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…