Immigration has been an issue since the colonial era, for many years the United states has opened its doors to welcome immigrants that come to seek for better opportunities such as higher education and to make better lives for themselves and their children, as well as other reasons like for example, political and religious freedoms. The topics of immigration and economy have been very interesting to me because those are two major topics that I want to study in college. The subject is very important and worthy to study because throughout the years many presidents of the United States have seen immigration as an issue that hurts the economy, while others believe that immigrants contribute to the economy of the U.S.
Mexican immigrants compose a very essential proportion of the labor force. The question that this essay will be attempting to answer is, “To what extent did Mexican immigrants in the labor force impacted the economy of the U.S between 1960-2000?” this question will be answered by examining different points of view from different people on immigration within the time period mentioned in the research question. In the book “Mexico” developed by Greenhaven Press there are twenty-five essays that have different perspectives on issues related to Mexico, especially migration problems and how it affects Mexico and the United States. “Should the US Close Its Borders?” this is another book that provides a range of opinions on whether or not the United States should close its borders to immigrants, “Open Borders improve the US Economy” written by Gordon H. Hanson (Greenhaven 48) this specifically section is what is going to be using in this essay.
As was previously stated, many people believe that Mexican immigrants help improve the US economy. High-skilled immigrants produce new original products that help increase the United States productivity. Therefore low-skilled immigrants should be encouraged to start learning new skills so they can take the positions of high-skilled workers and they can continue to contribute to the U.S. economy.
Jeff Jocoby, an op-ed columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of one of the essays in the book Mexico stated that he is very concerned over Mexican illegal immigrants in the United States living back to the country of origin because of the poor US economy. There was also a decline of Mexican Immigrants crossing the border to the US, he believes that instead of celebrating for the decline in immigrants, Americans should be concern and realize that the American economy is supported by a very large part of low-skilled immigrants both legal and illegal. The reason for the decline of immigrants throughout the years is the poor economy of the United states which means that there will be less low-skill jobs for immigrants. In the early 1900s the US economy was forming more than 400,000 new low-skill jobs per year.
Eventually, immigrants in the labor force in the United states will help expand the US economy and there will be very significant gains of income for American workers. In addition to the information above, The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 which was co-sponsored by Emanuel Celler and senator Philip Hart had immediate impact. This act helped entire families from other countries to deport themselves from other countries and establish In the United states because back then family reunification was the major goal for the president Kennedy. In the first 5 years after the bill was passed immigration increased rapidly as shown in Figure 1. Most immigrants came from Asian countries especially from South Asia because they were going through war and they wanted to run away from war-torn.
Because of the Cold War during 1960s and 1970s many immigrants were running away from poverty and the communist regimes. Between 1965 and 2000 the highest number of immigrants came from Mexico which was more than 4.3 million. Due to American citizens competing with immigrants for lower wages, congress decided to pass the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which were about social programs used by immigrants and border enforcement. In summary, the United states had the major increase of Mexican immigrants from 1965-2000, but due to the fact that Americans were working for lower wages than immigrants the government had to pass new policies. The impact of Mexican immigration on the United States has been one of the major focus for policymakers. Many American employers around the world recognize the value of Mexican immigrant’s workers.
U.s industries has hired and still continues to hire many Mexicans, because there is a lot of worker shortages in America, which is very good for Mexican immigrants because this way they get to help the US economy as well as a personal growth for example, the learn of new skills so they can open their own business and create more jobs for other immigrants or even Americans. Even though Mexicans have low levels of education they have the necessary skills to work in the new jobs being created in the United States. As the Mexican population in the US increase in the 1990s it became an important part of the US labor force. In the 1990s the Mexican immigrants who were in the labor force of the United States Were nearly 2% by early 2000s this double to 4% of Mexican Immigrants working in the workforce. Mexican Immigrants will continue working towards busting the US economy as jobs for semi-skilled and unskilled workers increase. To get back to the point in order for Mexican immigrants to have an impact in the US economy there should be Jobs available for them as well as employers that recognize their work instead as using Mexican workers just because they don’t have enough workers.
The United States acquire the south west of America as a result of the treaty that ended the Mexican War of 1846-1848. In the 1940s the labor shortages were a result of World War II so the Mexican Labor Program known as the “Bracero Program”. The Bracero program was the agreement between the Mexican and the U.S governments That permitted Mexican citizens to work temporally in the agricultural work in the United States. This agreement was lasting for the duration of the War but it took more than 19 years after the World War II to be terminated. The Braceros worked in farms and railroads trying to make it possible for the economy of the US to meet the challenges imposed by war for example Braceros stopped working their land with the illusion that on the other side of the border (U.
S) they would be able to make a better profit to maintain their family. They converted the agricultural fields of the United States the most productive in the planet this is another way that the Mexican immigrants impacted the United States economy. At the same time that the Mexican Immigrants were in the labor of the United States, the Mexican Government hoped that all of the Braceros would develop new skills that later in life would benefit Mexico and stimulate its economy.
By the beginning of the 1960s an excess of illegal immigrants destroyed the Bracero program, they returned back home unable to survive due to the economy issues in Mexico, many decided to continue crossing the border illegally to work in farms and ranches in the U.S. The apprehension of Mexican illegal immigrants started to increase soon after the Bracero Program ended in after 1960. In 1986 the Immigration Reform Act(IRCA) allowed immigrants who had entered the United States before the beginning of 1982, to apply for legal status but they were required to pay fines. Because of all this immigrants entering the U.S many Americans are afraid of losing their Jobs because “unskilled immigrants” are entering the country, but the supporters of immigration claim that immigrants often do the jobs that Americans doesn’t want, immigrants doesn’t increase the unemployment of American citizens because as mentioned before, many American employers seek for Mexican immigrants because even though they have no education, they have skills that can help increase the economy of the United States.
Immigrants spend their wages on goods and services that help expand domestic economic demand, I turn this generates more jobs to build homes, and make and sell food. However, there is people who believe that Mexican Immigrants made little or no impact in the US economy during the 1960s and 2000s. Because the labor force immigrants were sending them earns to Mexico to help their families, people believe that they send the money to help the Mexican economy through the US. Many immigrants in the labor force that would go back to Mexico decided to stay in the US to continue earning profits and sending the money to their family so they can buy food or other resources that are needed. Because the barriers that immigrants have like for example language, many immigrants are less likely to take jobs that require higher communication skills, this means that because of immigrants not speaking English they are most likely to take jobs such as construction, agriculture, and farms. In result to this, they can lower the wages of Americans working in this area, and it also might be forcing Americans to look for better jobs that require high skills. In addition, it stands that Immigration from any place is not good nor bad, it depends on who the immigrants are that the rate in crimes increases, this is also another factor that hurts the economy because the United States expends more than $1.
5 billion per year, this expense includes the amount of money paid to state and local detention facilities as well as federal prison systems. Due to the fact that Mexican immigrants tend to have more children than Americans that is also a “hurt in the US economy” because it cost tax payers for the education of the children of illegal aliens, including others. There has always been a debate on whether or not Mexican Immigration impacts the US economy. By holding the jobs of many American citizens, immigrants are already having an immediate effect on the supply of labor. One of the major factors that show that immigrants contribute to the economy is their labor market characteristics.
The US economy has moved to be based on technology and information, the wages and benefits for unskilled workers have fell back behind those of the workers who are educated. Most immigrants coming from Mexico have been able to find better jobs in rural areas rather than urban areas due to the lack of the English language for communication. However, the impact of Mexican Immigration has been very significant in the rural areas economy. Most immigrants in the labor force in Texas were more concentrated in construction jobs. The arrival of Mexican immigrants to the United States have had a great significance because it permitted American Citizens employers to have access to personnel in the labor market. More than one million immigrants entered the united states illegally every year from 1970 to 2000. Between that time 15% of immigrants entering the United States were women which also helped with the growth of the labor force in the US as well as the economy. The Bracero program recruited only Mexican male workers, and expected them to leave after they were done with their contracts.
Some women and their children crossed the border illegally to live in the United States, many of the end up living in Bracero camps and work together with male workers in the fields. The work of many of these women was also the domestic labor. Some of the Bracero families gained legal status after the 1960s, workers who had families tended to stay for longer amounts of time in the united states so they could earn more money this way they could sustain their families in their homeland. The economy of Mexico was really bad at the time because of mostly all the males coming to the United States, and neglecting their agricultural fields, which for most parts it was their only way of survive. Cesar Chavez and Dolores Hidalgo, two Mexican American leaders led the fight to improve worker’s situation. Many members of the United Farm Workers (UFW) decided to join the grape pickers striking against growers in California. At least two thousand workers left the field in 1965, expecting better wages and working conditions, a boycott in 1967 was also an addition to this, the group was going around telling stores and consumers not to buy grapes.
Because of this, grapes fell dramatically. Finally, in 1970 the great pickers union won and signed contracts with most of the California’s grape owners. Furthermore, immigrant workers have a lower impact on the wages of Americans workers of three reasons. First, immigrants from every part of the world not only Mexicans tend to bring different sets of skills and different preferences for the kind of work they perform, which means that immigrants are less easily substituted for their native- born counterparts. Secondly, immigrants increase the size of the labor force, they tend to boost the returns to capital, inspiring more investments in the economy and thus raising the productivity and wages of all workers. Lastly, the number of immigrants in the United States and their output continue to be small compared to the size of the US economy that employs near 150 million workers and produces more than $14 trillion in output a year. The best way to approach immigration as the economy of the united states recovers from recession would be to expand the channels for legal entry. To sum up immigrants have low or no impact on the lower wages of American citizens.
In contrast, there are five reasons that shows how immigration can impact wages. For the most part, illegal immigrants might work for less money, researchers have found that a few years after the arrival of the immigrants they start to earn the same amount of money as those who are American citizens and have the same occupation. In general this might not be true in all places but it seems as if only recently arrived immigrants undercut native wages.
This is generally due to the lower level of education. In other words, even though, many Mexican immigrants are poor, they earn their wages based on their skills. Many immigrants are seen as better employees in the labor force, many employers rather hire people with Hispanic or Asian race instead of their own race, this result to lower wages and higher unemployment for Americans because they are seen as less desirable. Even though there is no research to prove this another factor would be the threat of further immigration may be also a significant downward pressure on wages. Even if the number of immigrants remain a small portion of the total workforce, because of our relatively open immigration policy the potential of more immigration exist. Immigration increases the supply of labor based on a survey there are more than 21 million immigrants holding jobs in the United States. 30% of the immigrants in the labor market had no high school education, in comparison with native Americans only 8% had no High school diploma. And lastly American workers are not in competition with immigrant workers because immigration reduces wages for less educated workers, meanwhile the employers can use that extra money to pay higher wages to workers with higher education or to retain as higher profits.
Through the years, labor economist have been studying the effects of immigrants within the different labor markets. The United States has been abundant in land and capital and scarce to labor relative to Mexico, which has helped to create the large wage differences between the two countries, about half of the Unites States illegal aliens are from Mexico. Due to the fact that Mexicans are known for having a big family, many Americans were mad at the time because many Mexican women were having a large number of kids here in the United States and wanted to gain welfare which was hurting the economy because of how many children there are from immigrants.
Immigrants were more likely to get welfare help than Americans. In 1960 immigrants who arrived enter the U.S labor market with a wage disadvantage of about 17%, because Mexican immigrants were more skilled at the time and suffered from poverty they could receive Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance. Many believe that the immigrants were abusing of the economy.
As welfare usage declined, employment increased. the rate of labor force participation among single mothers rose from 69% to 78% between 1990 and 2000.an important factor of this change was an increase in the number of women receiving welfare and working. As discussed above the impact of Mexican immigrants in the labor force on the overall economy of the United States between the years 1960 and 2000 is in the middle because even though it helped it also had its disadvantages, as mentioned in the investigation there are different viewpoints on this topic because everyone has different beliefs on Immigration. Many people believe that Mexican Immigrants doesn’t contribute to the growth of the economy but as it was mentioned in this essay many high-skilled immigrants produce new and original products that help increase the U.S productivity.
The reason why there are some people that does agree with the claimed mentioned above is because many of the immigrants have their families in Mexico so they have to send them money for resources such as food and clothes, and to have a place where to live, Americans believe that instead of helping the US economy they are helping the Mexican economy because they send all their profits to Mexico. Due to the Bracero program, the members stopped working their land in Mexico with the allusion that on the other side of the border they would be able to make a better profit. The limitations of this investigation are the lack of available and reliable data, for example most of the information that was found was either many years before or after the time period indicated in the research question. For example, when trying to look for information about the negative impacts of the Mexican Labor force in the US economy many articles came out but some of them were from recent years and others were not reliable because they were personal opinions of random people in the inter webs. Another limitation for the researcher is access to sources that might be helpful to the investigation for example, two books were founded that were related to the topic but the researcher could not access them because the books were for sale so they have to pay in order to use them as resources.
Lastly, the last the last limitation that the researcher had was the size of articles being used, some of them were too small and even though they had some valuable information for the research question is was very difficult to use them because it didn’t show qualitative information.