One of the most frequently cited reasons for why the government should crack down on illegal immigration is because those immigrants take jobs away from Americans. But is that true?
As with any issue involving economics, the answer is a kind of muddled yes and no.
It is true that an influx of low-skill workers in the United States would cause the demand for that kind of job to drop, but one could argue that the increased competition would benefit American businesses.
There are currently 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, sometimes termed illegal immigrants.
These people entered the U.S. and stayed indicating that they may have some more stake in their stay in the country than that of a low-skilled worker.
Many of these people surely crossed the border illegally, but why? It’s likely the reason is because they did not have the opportunity, the resources or the wherewithal to immigrate legally. But they did have the ambition to do so.
Suppose these illegal immigrants were given the resources and opportunity that they lacked in their home countries, the same elements that led them to immigrate illegally.
Their ambition may very well carry them away to great heights, away from taking jobs from other Americans. Rather they may create the jobs that those Americans currently struggle to acquire.
The United States often likes to call itself the land of opportunity, but that name came from a time when the borders were mostly open and the borders relatively porous. This was also a time when many immigrants and their families became enormously wealthy economic powerhouses in the U.S.
Perhaps it’s time to return to the ideals of the land of opportunity, because it seems that the system that labels immigrants illegal is the thing that is the real burden on the U.S. economy.