3 key ways immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy

| Apr 8, 2020 | Employment Immigration

For decades, the United States has served as a new home for people from all parts of the world. Immigrants have come to build better futures and embrace the abundant opportunities in America.

As they have created their new lives here, immigrants have also supported the U.S. economy in numerous ways:

They positively impact our job market.

First, many immigrants hold jobs that complement the ones Americans strive for. For example, farm owners tend to be native-born Americans, whereas immigrants often work as field hands. Both groups need the other to operate.

Immigrants have also played an important role in providing care in recent years. As of 2015, nearly 25% of nursing, psychiatric and home care aides were immigrants. These workers are especially critical now – in the face of the current public health crisis.

Many immigrants work in high-skill occupations that help spark innovation in our leading industries. They make up almost half of the U.S. workforce with a science or engineering doctorate – and account for 60% of employees in computer and math sciences.

They pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

While first-generation immigrants tend to cost the government more than native-born Americans, second-generation immigrants help make up for this cost. Second-generation immigrants contribute $400 more per year on average than native-born Americans.

Furthermore, undocumented immigrants pay nearly $12 billion in taxes each year. This means that on average, 8% of each undocumented immigrant’s income goes to U.S. taxes.

DACA recipients have a great economic impact.

When immigrants apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), they pay a $465 fee – which directly positively affects the economy. Over 750,000 immigrants have applied for DACA since the program started in 2012. This means DACA recipients have contributed about $350 million in fees alone.

Immigrants under the DACA program also have a history of positively impacting the economy in other ways. They tend to be innovators and entrepreneurs – creating jobs for other Americans. If the DACA program were to end, it is estimated that our GDP would lose over $433 billion over the course of a decade.

Immigrants are some of the most diligent workers out there. They make direct contributions to many things we take for granted every day – including our food security, healthcare and employment opportunities.