Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - Page 9 News List

Donald Trump is selling false stereotypes about immigrants

By Josh Boak  /  AP, WASHINGTON

However, there is a largely overlooked reason for that: Native-born Americans are having fewer children. The falling birthrate means that immigrants now make up a greater share of the population. In 2030, it is projected that immigrants will become the primary driver for US population growth, overtaking US births.

MYTH: Immigrants are taking away jobs.

REALITY: Many people have firsthand stories of losing a construction bid or an office job to a foreign worker. This happens in an economy as large and diverse as the US’, where numerous people also lose jobs to native-born Americans.

However, employment data suggest that the influx of immigrants helps increase overall hiring for the US economy rather than erode job growth.

The trend is clear in the government’s monthly jobs report. The data does not distinguish between immigrants who are in the US legally and illegally.

Nearly 64 percent of immigrants hold jobs, compared with about 60 percent of workers born in the US, according to the US Department of Labor.

Last year, immigrants accounted for about 40 percent of the 2.4 million jobs added.

As a steady growth in the workforce helps the economy expand, economists say fewer immigrants would equal slower growth and fewer jobs.

Falling birthrates and the retirement of the vast generation of baby boomers mean fewer people flowing into the workforce in the coming years — a drag on economic growth, which would likely, in turn, limit hiring.

Many economists have noted that adding immigrants would help maintain the flow of workers into the economy and support growth.

MYTH: Immigrants are uneducated.

REALITY: The president has pledged to create an immigration system based on “merit,” thereby implying that the US is a destination mainly of unskilled and uneducated workers.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said at the launch of his 2015 campaign.

However, today’s immigrants are more likely to be better educated than Americans, and the country has increasingly become a magnet for foreigners with doctorates and master’s degrees.

Sixteen percent of all immigrants who arrived since 2000 hold an advanced degree, compared with 13 percent of the native-born population, according to the US Census Bureau.

As of 2017, immigrants who had become citizens were almost twice as likely to hold a doctorate than native-born US citizens. Foreign-born citizens were more likely to have a doctorate at least as far back as 2000.

Census records also show that the children of immigrants are more likely to graduate from college than are those of native-born parentage.

This does not mean, of course, that all immigrants are better educated. Such are the disparities within the immigrant population that immigrants as a whole are less likely than native-born Americans to have completed high school.

However, the trend shows that the US is increasingly a home for foreigners with graduate degrees and higher earnings.

MYTH: Immigrants are to blame for today’s sluggish wage growth.

REALITY: The weight of the research suggests that immigrants have not suppressed wages.

David Card, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, first studied the issue in 1990 by reviewing the arrival of Cuban migrants in Miami during the 1980 “Mariel boat lift.”

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top