Economists are lining up to criticize the Trump administration’s proposal to crack down on legal immigration this week, saying that immigrants – despite Trump’s rhetoric – benefit the economy; they don’t hurt it.
According to a report from The Hill, economic experts say the Trump-GOP legislation would hurt the country because immigrants “fuel” the economy and actually help non-immigrant workers, too.
Those experts broadly agreed that immigration improves the economy for the native population, even on the per-person level.
“There’s no disagreement. I don’t think you’ll find an economist or demographer that doesn’t think immigration increases the size of the pie going to natives,” said Rutgers Economics Professor Jennifer Hunt, a former Labor Department Chief Economist and one of the committee members that worked on the Academies’ report.
Overall, the study found that immigration had no negative effects on wages in the long run.
Not only is the United States a nation filled with immigrants, but each generation of those immigrants contributes more to the economy than the last generation.
As The Hill report continued:
“Immigrants’ children — the second generation — are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the population,” the report found. The second generation ends up adding roughly $30 billion to government coffers, while the third generation creates a $223 billion surplus.
The criticisms come as Trump teamed up with two Republican senators earlier this week to propose legislation that would actually cut legal immigration by half over the next 10 years, claiming that it would accelerate economic growth.
“This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first,” Trump said when unveiling the plan.
The irony here is that, even though Trump spent his entire campaign blaming immigrants for the struggles faced by non-immigrant workers in the United States, it’s his anti-immigrant policies that could end up squeezing U.S. workers the most.