A common argument among those who want to limit immigration, both legal and illegal, in the United States is that “immigrants take American jobs.” At worst, the claim is false; at best, it’s a gross simplification of the facts. As with most things in life, the real situation is much more complex than a short, punchy political slogan, as was explained in an article by FactCheck.org.

While it’s true that the millions of legal and illegal immigrants living in the U.S. are a significant portion of the country’s workforce, the argument against immigration isn’t supported by most economists and other experts who have closely studied the issue.

Some of the economic benefits of immigrant workers and their families in America include:

  • Long-term growth of the overall U.S. economy
  • Increase in demand for goods and services
  • Job creation and filling new positions
  • Improving labor market efficiency

Many economists also agree that while immigrants may reduce wages for workers in certain industries, the big-picture effect is that the average wage for U.S.-born workers actually increases. Part of this has to do with the differences in worker education and the types of jobs in which many immigrants are employed.

As one expert explained: “The addition of low-skilled immigrants expands the size of the overall economy, creating higher-wage openings for managers, craftsmen, accountants, and the like. The net result is a greater financial reward and relatively more opportunities for those Americans who finish high school.”

In general, immigrants help create jobs and work in those new positions — they don’t take many existing jobs from U.S.-born workers. Tightening American borders or deporting immigrants would do little to improve the nation’s unemployment rate. As the facts show, immigrants provide a lot of positive benefits to employment and the American economy as a whole. Their value should be acknowledged and respected.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with immigration-related issues, such as securing visas, defending against deportation or other problems, it’s important to know your legal options and get quality advice.