Immigration remains one of the most important issues that the Policymakers in the United States are facing. While the House of Representatives continues to study the issue, the Senate recently passed a bill, S.744, that can serve as a starting point for understanding what immigration reform could mean for American workers.
How immigration affects the US market depends mostly on the fact whether US citizens and immigrants are competing for the same kind of jobs or complement each other on the labour market. Despite the popular fears that immigrants may steal jobs from local citizens, many economic studies suggest that foreign workers actually increase the average salaries and expand job opportunities available for Americans.
How is this possible? The answer lies in the way that the economy evolves to incorporate immigrants. For instance, less-skilled immigrants working in, say, agriculture, construction, or household services, appear to improve the wages and earnings of Americans by expanding the capacity of American businesses and farms, increasing the responsibility and pay of American foremen and supervisors, and providing expanded opportunities for higher-skilled Americans, particularly women, to pursue higher-paying careers.
In addition to that, the level of skills that the foreigners have is also crucial when assessing the impact they have on the labour markets. According to the recent statistics, most of the US immigrants have at least a high-school degree.
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