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"Foreign labor: for US, too much of a good thing?"

The CSMonitor crunches the numbers:

More than one-third of all people who ever immigrated to the US have come in the past three decades. Most have been men looking for jobs, legally or illegally, who compete directly with native- born men. George Borjas, a Harvard University economist and expert on immigration economics, estimates that between 1980 and 2000 immigration reduced the average annual earnings of native-born men by $1,700, or roughly 4 percent.

Because most immigrants in those 20 years had relatively little education, the impact of their arrival was greatest on natives who didn't graduate from high school, Borjas found. By adding to the supply of less-educated labor, immigration reduced their wages by 7.4 percent...

Immigration also exaggerates the gap between the rich and poor, Borjas determined. For example, while the poor and less educated in the US see their wages fall sharply because of the influx of new workers, the well-to-do and some businesses benefit from the cheap supply of gardeners, house cleaners, factory workers, day laborers, and so on. So wealth - in the "tens of billions of dollars" a year - is redistributed from labor to buyers of immigrant services, he estimates...

Then there's the drain on government budgets. Providing immigrants with things such as welfare, education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care costs taxpayers a net $11.4 billion to $20.2 billion, a 1997 National Research Council (NRC) report found. That's the total after accounting for the added taxes that immigrants pay into the system. And it surpasses the NRC estimate of $1 billion to $10 billion in benefits to natives - primarily the well-to-do - accruing from having so many immigrants in the labor markets...

A more recent Columbia University study pegs the net cost of immigration at $52 billion a year, or about half of 1 percent of gross domestic product, the nation's total output of goods and services.

"Generally, people don't want to hear these results," says David Weinstein, economist and coauthor with Donald Davis of the Columbia study...

Immigration2003 · Thu, 07/22/2004 - 11:12 · Importance: 1

Wed, 03/16/2005 - 06:22
A proud immigrant

I'm doing a project on immigration and I read this article. The statistics presented on this article are very reaseonable adn understanding but in my opinion saying that immigrants take away jobs from people born on the US has not sense at all. People born here have greater opportunity than somebody that comes from another country not knowing the language and many other things that americans simply can not releate to. Americans don't know what it is to live in a country where there's no opportunity at all for young or older peolple. IN many countrys graduated students are driving taxis or working as a cashier on a supermarket, simply because theres no way of finding a job if your parents don't have friends who can give you a job in what you study.

People born here on the contrary don't have an excuse at all. Americans who are consideres "poor", are poor because they want to. The goverment gives public education, gives money for people to go to college and after college you can find a decend job. Even of you don't want to go to college you can go to a technical school. This people simply doesn't have the drive and deseared that immigrants have.

I think is unfear to said that immigrants take away jobs from americans. The statiscs are very true but, if you look very deep into the problem you will find the true reason for this.

Thanks.... a proud IMMIGRANT