California’s (Im)migrant Communities
Immigrants Have A Positive Impact on the American Nation
The 2016 presidential election placed a limelight on the highly controversial topic of immigration and led to a wide-scale discussion on whether immigration is beneficial for the United States. California’s gubernatorial candidate, Darla Chavez, member of the Democratic party, proposes that immigration is both valuable, and crucial for California and the United States. Darla Chavez argues that immigrants make important contributions to the labor market, put more into public programs than they receive in individual benefits, and lastly, they and their offspring give back to the nation overtime. Due to these reasons, Darla Chavez is proposing the WAVE bill, which would increase the amount of work visas being distributed, set a minimum state wage for undocumented workers, and provide more funds for the education of immigrant children in the state of California.
When discussing immigration, it is important to analyze the impact that immigrants make on the labor force and the economy. In 2010, there were 23.1 million immigrants in the workforce, therefore making up 16.4 percent of the total workforce in the United States (Singer). Through this data, it can be seen that although immigrants only make up 13 percent of the American population (Singer), they make up a disproportionately large amount of the United States work force. Due to this overrepresentation, immigrants have a large impact on the annual GDP. in fact, during 2016, immigrants contributed an estimated 2 trillion dollars in total to the United States GDP (Nicholson), and it has been estimated that the California GDP would drop an estimated $103 billion annually if there was a massive loss of immigrant workers (Edwards, Ortega). These statistics show that without immigrant laborers, the United States and California would take a massive economic hit, and although it is likely that native born workers could fill some of the job vacancies left by the immigrant workers, there would still be a need for laborers in various low skilled and high skilled job markets.
Along with making up a large part of the workforce, immigrants also create job opportunities for both other immigrants, and native born workers through their roles as entrepreneurs In also create job growth through their roles as consumers, which lead to job creations in different markets depending on the needs and wants of immigrants. Although some may state that rather than creating jobs, immigrants take away job opportunities and lower wages for native workers (Hirschman, 606), research has shown that immigrants not only increase the productivity of native born workers since they are typically their complements rather than their competitors (Nicholson), but they also have a small yet positive impact on their wages (Nicholson).
All the data represented above makes it evident that immigrants are a crucial, and beneficial part of the...