Does Immigration Actually Lower The Wages Of Native Workers?

A U.S. Border Patrol agent holds an IV bag for an immigrant suffering from heat exhaustion after taking her into custody on July 02, 2019 in McAllen, Texas.
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Although members of the new nationalist right tend to argue against immigration by suggesting that it hurts working-class Americans by dragging down their wages, a new paper from the Journal of Development Economics and posted by Science Direct suggests that most immigration doesn’t lower wages.

The idea that immigration harms Americans makes sense to many and is pushed by many prominent figures. Tucker Carlson said on Fox News that new immigrants “compete primarily with the very Americans most likely to have lost their jobs, and the effect is lower wages.” Controversial University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax said that low-skilled immigration is responsible for slashing the wages of Americans on their own soil.

But the data in the Development Economics study reveals that after reviewing the flow of Syrian refugees into Jordan, “Jordanians living in areas with a high concentration of refugees have had no worse labor market outcomes than Jordanians with less exposure to the refugee influx.”

Reason reports that although the results of the study are consistent with most economic research on immigration’s impact on wages, the current study is particularly revealing given the massive scale of the immigration examined — over 1.3 million Syrians moved to Jordan from 2011 to 2015 due to the Syrian civil war.

The publication also highlights that although basic economics laws suggest that increased supply of labor should lower the price of labor, increases in immigration also increases the demand for labor as immigrants aren’t just workers, but they also “help start businesses, and they purchase goods and services from existing businesses.”

In the United States, Harvard Business Review suggests that immigrants start 25 percent of new businesses, although they only make up approximately 15 percent of the population. Not only that but a study by The New American Economy Research Fund found that nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by high-skilled immigrants or their children.

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Per The Inquisitr, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is cracking down on immigrants and expanding its powers. In particular, Business Insider reports that ICE expanded requirements for the “expedited-removal” deportation program to allow for the deportation of immigrants that have been in the U.S. for less than two years — a big jump from less than 14 days.

According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), the new fast-tracked immigration essentially “permits the immigration officer to serve both as prosecutor (charged with enforcing the law) and judge (rendering a final decision on the case).”

The AIC plans to sue President Donald Trump’s White House along with the American Civil Liberties Union over ICE’s planned expansion of the expedited-removal program.