Facts About Immigration and the U.S. Economy

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has put together this helpful report, Facts About Immigration and the U.S. Economy: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, that answers questions and straightens out misconceptions about our immigrant population and work.  The report is organized around these questions:

1. How many immigrants reside in the United States?

2. How many unauthorized immigrants are in the United States?

3. Are most immigrants Hispanic/Latino?

4. How much do immigrants contribute to the economy?

5. Are most immigrants employed in low-wage jobs?

6. Are most immigrants poor?

7. Do immigrants take jobs away from American workers?

8. Does immigration depress wages for American workers?

9. Do unauthorized immigrants increase budget costs for states or the federal government?

10. Do unauthorized immigrants use public support programs like welfare, unemployment insurance, and food stamps?

11. Couldn’t we just deport the 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants?

12. Should we wait until the economy has recovered before regularizing the unauthorized immigrant population?

13. Why are tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America showing up on the Southwest U.S. border?

14. How many unaccompanied migrant children have arrived from Central America and Mexico in the past few years?

15. Is the United States the only country that Salvadorians, Guatemalans, and Hondurans are fleeing to?

16. Does the arrival of unaccompanied migrant children mean the U.S. border is not secure?

17. What happens to these unaccompanied migrant children? Do we just send them home?

18. Is the U.S. immigration system equipped to handle the increased flow of unaccompanied migrant children?

19. Which legal routes are available to immigrants seeking to work in the United States?

20. What are the different classifications of employment-based (EB) immigrant visas?

21. What are the annual numerical limits on EB immigrant visas?

22. What are the different classifications of nonimmigrant visas that permit employment in the United States?

23. What are the annual numerical limits and periods of stay that are allowed on the major nonimmigrant visa classifications that permit employment?

24. Are employers required to pay temporary foreign workers the minimum wage?

25. Can temporary foreign workers switch employers?

26. Which regions and countries do permanent immigrant workers come from?

27. Which regions and countries do temporary foreign workers come from?


The link for the report is http://www.epi.org/publication/immigration-facts/?utm_source=Economic+Policy+Institute&utm_campaign=b658bca499-EPI_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e7c5826c50-b658bca499-55895069

Donna Brian, SME Career Pathways




Thanks, Donna, for posting the link to the report on immigration facts. I am going to bookmark the link to the report.  I wish everyone could read this report as it is not a screed from either point of view, but points out the pros and cons (okay, they're mostly pros, but short term and regional and local negatives are mentioned) of immigration - both authorized and un - to the American economy.

As I perused the document, I came to number 13, and I flashed on the article I read in the Washington Post this morning on a Honduran family who were separated from an 10-year-old daughter  in Mexico as they headed north to escape  violence and poverty. It's a very powerful story. I won't give away the ending here, but I'll give you the link http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/for-a-honduran-family-deportation-means-a-child-vanishes/2014/08/19/f1bd99e1-6705-4c14-97a0-53968d96bf99_story.html

Miriam. SME Adult ELL CoP





Thanks for this link. Students in the advanced class I taught this summer studied widely held myths about immigration and presented the facts to the class. I will forward this link to everyone.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Donna, Thank you for sharing the report, "Facts about Immigration and the US Economy" from the Economic Policy Institute.This type of material is a useful civics instruction supplement for use in the ESL/ESOL classroom. 

The Migration Policy Institute recently published a series of documents on several immigrant populations in the U.S., titled "Select Diaspora Populations in the United States" (July 2014).  http://migrationpolicy.org/research/select-diaspora-populations-united-states

Here is the introductory statement from their report website: (I underlined the list of countries included in the report.)

Diaspora populations often perform essential functions in the economic and human capital development of their countries of origin, and can continue playing a strong role in shaping these countries long after they or their forebears departed. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora Program (RAD), a joint venture to better understand diaspora members’ financial and human capital investments and to design an approach to foster further growth in these areas. The Migration Policy Institute has partnered with RAD to produce profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, which is home to nearly 60 million first- or second-generation immigrants.

These profiles address 15 different diaspora populations in the United States, gathering in one place key data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Each profile explores the demographic characteristics of first- and second-generation immigrants in a particular diaspora, their educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Five longer profiles, focusing on Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Philippines, also detail historical immigration pathways and contemporary entry trends, poverty status, active diaspora organizations, and country-of-origin policies and institutions related to interaction with emigrants and their descendants.

The section on the educational characteristics of the different populations provides useful information that may help teachers to have a general notion of what their students may bring to the educational experience.

The information in the report on Haitians and  Dominicans coincides with what I have learned about them from living in both countries and continuing to work with them in the US.

Philip Anderson, Adult ESOL Program Spcialist

Florida Department of Education

Thanks, Phil, for posting this information on a (very!) recent publication from MPI. I browsed the section on the Philippine diaspora and found it fascinating and not surprising. LIke you, the story told in the profile coincides with my knowledge of the country and the people from the experience of working with Filipinos both in the Philippine Islands (PI)  and here in the U.S.

I agree with your suggestion that the information is certainly of interest and likely of great use to people working with students from these places.