Is immigration bad for America? | The Tylt

Is immigration bad for America?

President Trump is leading the charge to crack down on undocumented immigrants and revamp the immigration system entirely. He and his supporters think immigration is a bad deal for native-born citizens—immigrants are taking up jobs and driving down wages. Others say the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and has defined America's status as a global leader. Immigration has also been shown to boost the economy and drive innovation. What do you think?

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Is immigration bad for America?
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The impact immigrants have on the American economy is complex. It's true immigrants benefit America, but it is not true immigrants benefit all Americans. The wealth generated by highly skilled immigration is not evenly distributed. Highly skilled immigrants tend to be concentrated in a few sectors, typically engineering and tech. Those sectors tend to be concentrated in a handful of geographic areas, typically anchored by coastal cities. This means immigration sends money flowing to already wealthy people, but not to others. 

Here's how George J. Boras of POLITICO puts it:

What does it all add up to? The fiscal burden offsets the gain from the $50 billion immigration surplus, so it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers—the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans—sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners. Those winners are primarily their employers. And the immigrants themselves come out ahead, too. Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.
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Proponents say framing immigration in the form of winners and losers misrepresents the situation. Immigration does not have to hurt blue-collar workers. Immigration does not have to benefit only some groups. There are over 200,000 unfilled construction jobs across the nation. Obviously, the 1,000,000 green cards issued to immigrants every year have not destroyed all the jobs. 

Here's how David Brooks of The New York Times puts it:

The essential point is that immigrants don’t take native jobs on any sort of one-to-one basis. They drive economic activity all the way down the river, creating new jobs in some areas and then pushing native workers into more complicated jobs in others. A comprehensive study of non-European Union immigrants into Denmark between 1991 and 2008 found that immigrants did not push down wages, but rather freed natives to do more pleasant work.

David Brooks points to Houston as an example of how immigration can benefit a region. Houston is a booming city, partly thanks to immigrants.

Houston has very light zoning regulations, and as a result it has affordable housing and a culture that welcomes immigrants. This has made it incredibly diverse, with 145 languages spoken in the city’s homes, and incredibly dynamic — the fastest-growing big city in America recently. (Personally, I wish it would do a bit more zoning — it’s pretty ugly.)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The large immigrant population has paradoxically given the city a very strong, very patriotic and cohesive culture, built around being welcoming to newcomers and embracing the future. As the Houston urban analyst Tory Gattis points out, the Houston Rodeo has so many volunteers it has recently limited their special privileges. In 2015 it had the healthiest philanthropic sector in the nation. The city is coming together to solve its pension problems better than just about any other big place.
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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is immigration bad for America?
#CrackDownonIllegals
A festive crown for the winner
#DontVilifyImmigrants