Recent studies have shown that the legalization of immigrants would be valuable to the Texas economy. Many native-born Americans often mistakenly believe that immigrants decrease the chances of them getting a job, but studies have shown that this is far from the truth. In fact, immigrants complement them in the work force.
Immigrants supply workforces in employment markets where there is traditionally a shortage of workers. The average American is a medium-skilled worker, which means there is a shortage of labor in the work force for both low-skilled and high-skilled jobs. Immigrants would fill this need. A good example of this can be found in the sales and services industry. 24% of native U.S. citizens are employed in the sales industry, while only 17% of immigrants are employed in the same industry. Sales is considered a medium-skilled job, while services are considered low-skilled. More immigrants are employed in the service industry (approximately 25%), while only 17% of native U.S. citizens have jobs in the service industry.
Presently, immigrants are starting more businesses in the United States than native-born citizens. In fact, since 2012, immigrant owned technology firms have generated $63 billion in sales and employ approximately 560,000 workers. Many lawmakers contend that by allowing more immigrants to live legally in the U.S., more businesses would open, which would in turn create more jobs. More jobs would mean less people relying on welfare to survive. This type of economic growth would need some time to come to surface, but experts believe that increasing the legalization of immigrants could provide long-term – and sustainable – economic growth. Despite the fact that the positives are more than clear, reforms will be necessary. Recommendations on the table include:
- Allowing foreign students who study in the United States and hold a visa the ability to convert it to a green card.
- Allowing seasonal workers the ability to leave the country without using their legal status.
A more controversial measure being discussed includes disallowing legalized immigrants eligibility for very specific welfare programs that discourage working.
The bottom line is that legal immigrants are contributing tremendously to the economy and that it’s a win-win scenario if more immigrants enter the workforce legally.
Are you in need of an immigration attorney? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas. Call our experts today at 512-215-5225.