Immigration’s impact on domestic employment

It is a common refrain in political circles that immigrants are “taking American jobs.” It is the converse of another popular campaign soundbite that businesses are “sending American jobs overseas.”

As common as both are, few take a breath to ask some fundamental questions, such as “whether the foreign born take jobs from the native born or instead create more jobs, on balance, and what types of immigrants generate the most jobs for native-born workers.”

Those are just the questions posed by the American Enterprise Institute in a new report that “seeks to fill this gap and answer the question of what specific changes to immigration policy could speed up American job growth.”

The study found that immigrants with advanced degrees actually boost employment for US natives, as do non-skilled workers; and that highly educated immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Furthermore, AEI analysts reported finding no evidece that temporary workers harm US employment.

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