Chapter

Consensus, Debate, and Wishful Thinking

Edward Schumacher-Matos

in Writing Immigration

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267176
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950207 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267176.003.0007
Consensus, Debate, and Wishful Thinking

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This chapter examines the economic impact of immigration—including illegal immigration—at a time of economic crisis. It argues that the answer is crucial for Americans and immigrants alike. It reviews the nature of the debates in the field of economics. The consensus among economists is that on balance the impact of immigration on the economy is positive. However, it is a complex story defying easy generations, never mind sound bites. The chapter contends that the negative effects of immigration have been on the wages of unskilled workers, many of whom are poor African Americans and United States-born Latinos, and on local taxes in communities that have to deal with the services required with the sudden influx of young families with education and medical needs. But at the macroeconomic level, immigrant workers benefit the economy.

Keywords: United States; immigration; economy; illegal immigration; economic crisis; immigrants; wages; unskilled workers; taxes; immigrant workers

Chapter.  11784 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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