America Needs More Immigrants
America is sometimes referred to as a "nation of immigrants" because of our largely open-door policy toward accepting foreigners pursuing their vision of the American Dream. Recently, there has been a clamor by some politicians and citizens toward creating a predominantly closed-door policy on immigration, arguing that immigrants "threaten" American life by creating unemployment by taking jobs from American workers, using much-needed social services, and encroaching on the "American way of life." While these arguments may seem valid to many, they are almost overwhelmingly false, and more than likely confused with the subject of illegal immigration. In fact, immigrants actually enhance American life by creating, not taking jobs, bolster social service funds through tax payments, and bring valuable technical knowledge and skills to our country. If we are to continue to excel as a nation, the traditionalists who fear an encroachment of foreign-born Americans must learn to accept that we achieved our greatness as a result of being "a nation of immigrants."
A common argument among those opposing further immigration is that foreigners take U.S. jobs and cause unemployment among the displaced American workers. In the July 13, 1992 edition of Business Week , a poll states that sixty-two percent of non-blacks and sixty-three percent of blacks agree that "new immigrants take jobs away from American workers." This is a widely held, if erroneous belief, among Americans. However, Julian L. Simon, author of The Economic Consequences of Immigration , states:
immigration does not exacerbate unemployment...Immigrants not only take jobs, but also create them. Their purchases increase the demand for labor, leading to new hires roughly equal in number to the immigrant workers.
In the same Business Week poll, eighty-three percent of non-blacks and eighty-seven percent of blacks agree that "many new immigrants are very hard-working." The results of the poll may seem somewhat contradictory, but not necessarily negative. Those polled seem to be at least a little open-minded in their view of the quality of new immigrants. However, in order to overcome their distrust of foreigners, Americans must abandon their suspicions and recognize, as Simon has, that our lives are enhanced by immigrants creating, not taking, U.S. jobs.
Another widely held belief among Americans against immigration is that foreigners "strain social service budgets." According to the same poll, sixty-two percent of non-blacks and fifty-nine percent of blacks agree "immigrants use more than their fair share of government services, such as welfare, medical care, and food stamps." This...