Friday, July 3, 2015
In light of Ann Coulter’s book against immigration, I thought I’d do some research about the benefits of immigration. I came across an interesting report conducted in North Carolina. Certainly not an immigration hub, North Carolina has recently seen a tremendous rise in its immigration population; the rate has quintupled from 1990 to 2013. This trend has provided some interesting data on the economic impact of immigration.
While most immigrants continue to settle in large cities, rural and suburban parts of North Carolina have also seen an influx of immigrants. In fact, the report found that from 2000–2014, more immigrants lived in suburban areas than in city centers. In addition to helping the economies in these areas, their presence has limited or reversed population declines in many rural NC communities. Below, I will highlight a few interesting facts contained in North Carolina Justice Center report.
- - In 2011, immigrants made up 6.1% of all white-collar employees in NC, not far below their share of the state’s total population.
- - Immigrants’ economic contributions to the NC economy exceed their share of the overall population. In 2011, the immigration population of NC was about 7%. But they generate more than 8% of the state’s total economic output- 2011. Put in terms of dollars and cents, immigrants produce roughly $1,500 more per person in goods and services than the average native-born North Carolinian.
- - In the U.S, immigrants or children of immigrants founded more than 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies Ex. Google, Apple, McDonalds, GE.
- - Immigrants strengthen local economies by bringing in needed skills and experience. As active entrepreneurs, immigrants create jobs as well as well as purchase from other businesses in the area, increasing commerce in struggling neighborhoods.
- - Most of North Carolina’s immigrants come from Mexico and other Central and South American countries.
- - Financially prosperous counties have a higher immigrant population than financially distressed counties. Since the economic status of immigrants factor into the county’s overall economic picture, this fact seems to refute the idea that most immigrants from less prosperous countries survive off of government welfare checks.
- - New immigrants compete more with previous immigrants rather than native-born workers. This might lower previous immigrants wages but generally does not affect native-worker wages
- - Counties, both metropolitan and rural, with more immigrants, have lower unemployment rates, poverty rates, and higher weekly wages.
With these facts in mind, I leave you with a quote by Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “America’s prosperity has always depended on the hard work, sacrifice, drive, and dreams of immigrants. Our future will depend on them even more.”
Vicky Yau is a rising second year law student at UC Davis School of Law