Immigration, it makes America great, and always has. There have been countless songs written about coming to America, from early folk songs to modern day pop. The dream, the allure of America, with its shining seas, majestic landscapes, freedom from religious persecution and political repression, and the promise of a good life, is a dream that many immigrants have shared. America is opportunity. America is the place where you can reinvent yourself, a place where you’re supposed to be able to work hard and achieve. And for these and many other reasons, people from all corners of the globe have been immigrating to America for a very long time. In fact, some scientists have theorized that humans were coming to America via the Bering Straits as long as 20,000 years ago. Many of these were the ancestors of the early Native Americans who lived and prospered here for thousands of years, long before the British colonization of the Americas that we all learned about from the history books.
The bottom line: America is immigration, and immigration is America. We are a nation of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and it is this diversity that has made us great. Over time, millions of people have endured harsh travel conditions, seasickness, disease, and lack of food, just to have a chance to build a life in America. With all this in mind, we have to pay respect to those who came before us, and to those who are still coming to America to join our great melting pot.
Immigration was, is, and will always be… good for the people who come to our shores, and good for America itself. Immigrants improve our creativity, productivity, and efficiency as a nation. Immigrants help to mitigate any labor shortages we may have in highly skilled careers, trade jobs, service jobs, and everything in between. Immigrants are CEOs and civil servants, accountants and architects, assembly line workers and fork lift drivers. Immigrants are all this and more, and unless we are indigenous people, we are all immigrants. And the economic benefits to America because of immigration, and the benefits for immigrants themselves, are significant. And while some have held the belief that a more open immigration policy would cause American workers to suffer, many economists have demonstrated that immigration actually increases wages overall, of native-born Americans. Let’s consider just a few of the many ways that immigrants boost the economy and support American initiatives.
As we mentioned above, studies have shown that immigration, including undocumented immigrants, has had hardly any effect at all on the wages or employment of native-born workers, though this issue is consistently used as a talking point by anti-immigration politicians and the constituents who support their rhetoric. Select provisions in recently passed legislation could bring hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant entrepreneurs into our economy, and data shows that, on average, one immigrant-owned business will hire eleven employees. If you extrapolated those numbers you’d find that these hirings would account for several million new jobs created.
Again, taxes, specifically immigrant tax contributions, is yet another talking point that immigration opponents weave into their false narrative. Opponents of immigration often cry out about immigrants getting a ‘free ride’ so to speak in regard to their tax contributions. But undocumented immigrants contribute greatly to the annual tax pool, which of course helps to boost the economy. Studies show that undocumented immigrants dole out upwards of $11 million in local and state taxes.
FACT CHECK: Over a lifetime, the average immigrant will put about eighty-thousand dollars more into the system via taxes, than they will receive in government benefits or services.
There are a lot of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation out there when it comes to immigration and immigrants (documented and undocumented), and the financial pluses and minuses that are associated with them. Much of the information that is disseminated originates from those who are pushing an anti-immigration, and thereby anti-immigrant, platform that seeks to devalue immigrants and their immense contributions to American society culturally as well as financially. Let’s look at the DACA program as one prime example of when the misinformation simply doesn’t pass the litmus test.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a US immigration policy that allows certain individuals who, through no fault of their own, are unlawfully residing in the United States (after being brought to the US as children) to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation as well as eligibility for work permits in the US. DACA recipients pay, on average, a $465 application fee, therefore the program sustains itself, and is in fact a boost to the economy, contributing an estimated and projected $400+ billion dollars into the GDP over an average decade.
The myths continue regarding the Social Security system as well. Immigration opponents would have you believe that immigrants don’t pay into the system, but they do. Undocumented immigrants, on average annually, pay many times more into retirement accounts than they get back in return. Immigrants contribute greatly to the overall Social Security Trust Fund, and without immigrants paying into the system, economists estimate that Social Security would not be sustainable as a program for even two more decades.
For those who are seeking to find a new life in America, an immigration attorney in Las Vegas can be of great service. If you’re a single person looking to start anew in America, or a father or mother seeking to bring your entire family, there are multiple options to consider, and multiple avenues you could pursue, and an immigration attorney can help you make sense of it all, to ensure you make the best decisions to accomplish your immigration goals.
When you meet with me, Robert West, I’ll walk you through all your options and devise a strategy through which we can accomplish your immigration goals.