Myths About Immigration: Myth 8

There are many translators that work directly or indirectly with immigrants so I thought it would be interesting to write a series of posts on myths relating to immigration, especially immigration coming across the Mexican/ U.S.  Border.

Immigrants take jobs and opportunity away from Americans.

There have been many studies that have proven that immigrants do not cause native unemployment even among low-paying jobs. Immigrants have proven their worth by creating jobs, their purchasing power and starting new businesses. Immigrant entrepreneurs can be credited for 25% of all technology companies that have been launched in the U.S. including Google which, was co-founded by Russian immigrant Sergey Brin. Immigrants fill the increasing gap between the growing amount of low-skilled jobs and the diminishing pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs. Low-skilled immigrants have allowed industries such as retail, agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels to grow. This growth has attracted investors and created middle-class jobs. Management, design and engineering, bookkeeping, marketing jobs all have been created and are filled by native-born U.S. citizens. Immigrants, legal and illegal, with little job or English language skills, often take work that most Americans find to be beneath them. Janitorial services, crop pickers, and garbage collectors all need workers, and they find them in immigrants and not from high-school-educated, English-speaking citizens. In 2011, Georgia deported many illegal immigrants and many more left the state causing a shortage of workers on the state’s farm. This just goes to show that immigrants in Georgia did not compete with Americans for these jobs. The American economy needs immigrant workers. Deporting millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers, and taxpayers. Jobs would actually be lost. Better education and an aging population have caused a lower number of Americans willing or available to take low-paying jobs. Employers often hire immigrants to fill that discrepancy.  Unfortunately, many of these same employers are corrupt and take advantage of this labor source by paying immigrants less, not providing benefits and ignoring worker-safety laws. Immigrant workers face the highest rates of wage theft, sexual harassment, and death and injury on the job.

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