In August 2021, the United States Senate passed the American Jobs Plan, more commonly referred to as the Infrastructure Bill, a significant piece of legislation that will require $1 trillion from taxpayers to execute. Although major infrastructure projects such as highway construction, solar power plants, and expansion of commuter rail service are at the heart of this bill, there’s also a provision for millions of undocumented migrants to gain access to legal residency and citizenship.
The immigration provision of the American Jobs Plan isn’t an add-on. It’s part of economic forecasts that estimate how many workers will be needed to complete the various infrastructure projects. Given the magnitude of this bill, it will need to obtain a majority vote in the House of Representatives, and this is where it will likely encounter resistance from lawmakers who view the issue of immigration through a lens of incorrect assertions. Specialists such as immigration attorneys in San Diego understand the benefits that increased immigration can provide, including those listed below.
Immigration Contributes to Economic Growth & Innovation
Those who are constantly opposed to immigration tend to base their economic arguments around the idea that migrant workers will cheapen the labor pool with their acceptance of low wages. Economists and actuaries who have looked at decades of salary data as it relates to foreign employees have noticed the opposite effect, particularly at the levels of high-skilled H-1B visa holders who work in the technology sector. In fact, innovation and growth are two economic factors routinely attributed to progressive immigration policies.
History shows that some of the most prosperous periods of the U.S. economy unfolded during times when immigrants didn’t face onerous difficulties settling and adjusting to American society. Even today, one third of the inventions and projects registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are filed by foreigners, who make up less than 20 percent of the workforce. According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about half of Silicon Valley technology startups valued at $1 billion or more were founded by immigrants.
Immigrants Meet the Growing Need for Younger Workers
Another immigration issue that’s seldom discussed despite being a clear benefit to the U.S. is related to demographics. The American population is aging. When we look at workforce statistics, we can see the number of workers born to U.S. parents has been on a steady decline since the middle of the 20th century. A young population is vital to maintain an adequate ratio of active workers to retirees. When this ratio is upside down in a retirement system such as social security, the system is bound to struggle to the point of collapsing.
Immigrants Don’t Burden U.S. Social Welfare Systems
Finally, and this isn’t widely known, millions of immigrant workers contribute to social welfare systems such as Medicare and social security without being legally allowed to access such benefits. Seasonal migrant workers in the agriculture sector work through dozens of harvests in their lives, and they cannot enroll in Medicaid or get social security checks despite contributing taxes to the system by means of wage deduction.
In these turbulent political times, it’s often difficult to get the truth about immigration, which is that increased immigration benefits the United States in many ways. Immigrants are understandably concerned about being portrayed as economic burdens because such stereotyping can affect immigration policies and legislation, leaving them uncertain about their futures in the U.S. If you have questions about any aspect of immigration, contact trusted attorneys who have vast experience with immigration services. In San Diego, CA, KS Visa Law is the firm to turn to when you need advice about immigration law and how it affects you and your family. Call us today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.