Two thirds of U.S economic growth since 2011 has been greatly attributed to migration. The same study found that U.S immigrants are two to three times more likely than U.S natives to do things like start a company or create a patented innovation. Researchers say this because they see migration as a risk. Meaning the type of person who chooses to migrate tends to be more entrepreneurial. This entrepreneurial spirit may be why migrants have started 30% of American businesses, despite making only 15% of the population. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies where started by immigrants. Another study found out that most businesses have immigrant founders. These businesses employ an average of 1200 people each. While these trends are impressive, they do skew toward higher skilled migrants. Both high and low skilled migrants contribute to higher productivity. But despite this, why is there so much backlash against immigrants? While immigration helps an economy overall, those benefits aren’t felt evenly across society. Many migrants face a language barrier, which can mean, integration may take a while, but they are still able to contribute to a country’s economy through fast growing scientific and technical industries, where they don’t necessarily need to command as many communication skills.
Lower skilled migrants who came to America illegally also skew towards jobs that don’t require communication. But there’s one industry that relies on undocumented workers here in the US. More than half of all hired farmers are estimated to be undocumented. This sector has the highest share of unauthorized workers. Following farming, is construction, where about 15% of its workers are undocumented. Overall immigration’s effect on American wages are very small. But it has pushed down wages in these industries, particularly farming and construction. The country’s existing immigrants are likely to be impacted by newer immigrants and lower wages. That’s followed by American born high school drop-outs where wages can fall between 2 and 5 percent. But some argue these are jobs native-born Americans don’t want and that lower wages are indirectly helping local businesses succeed and then grow. A booming economy would mean native born residents will see more opportunities in better paid industries like sales and personal services, both of which require a command in the English language. Low wages in the farming sector would mean lower food cost for the consumer.