Tucson Examiner: New study shows importance of immigrants to U.S. economy

By Luke Witman, March 18, 2012:

Earlier this month, the Federation for American Immigration Reform debuted a new advertising campaign urging the federal government to restrict the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. each year. FAIR argues that in our current economy, we need to work to preserve the paucity of available jobs for natural born U.S. citizens. Many have repeatedly made the same argument, especially during periods of economic distress: immigrants come and take our jobs, so we need to restrict how many can come in the first place. However, it has yet to be proven that stricter immigration controls will in any way reduce unemployment in this country.

A new study by the Brookings Institution and the Partnership for a New Economy actually reveals quite the opposite, essentially showing that natural born citizens and immigrants are rarely in competition for the same jobs. In both the skilled and unskilled labor markets, immigrants in fact inhabit a unique position, taking jobs that non-immigrants are too often unwilling or unable to take. Thus, the study reveals that the U.S. economy is actually dependent on an immigrant workforce, and severe restriction of the number of immigrants allowed to enter this country could be a detriment to our nation’s economy.  Read more …