Essay Example on the Role of Low-skilled Immigrants in the American Economy

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Article: Porter, Eduardo. (2017). The Danger from Low-Skilled Immigrants: Not having them. New York Times. Retrieved on August 15, 2017 from

The American economy relies a great deal on low-skilled immigrants. There are jobs that most American citizens treat with contempt and as a result, shun from the jobs. Most American citizens treat with contempt jobs that do not require expertise. Given that for a long time low-skilled jobs have been treated with contempt by Americans, there has always been a high demand for low-skilled workers. With time, immigrants have always filled up the job opportunities that require low skills. The demand for low- skilled workers in the United States has been compounded by the fact that baby boomers are retiring and getting out of the labor force. Some of the professions that require low-skilled employees include janitors, personal care, workers involved in preparing food in hotels and nursing home aides. Current immigration laws in the United States have led to a decrease in the number of immigrants who are available to perform jobs that require low-skilled workers. With an increase in older people in the United States, it has been forecasted that in ten years there are going to be many old people who would require services of low-skilled workers.

Current immigration laws have led to an employment hole that could prove deleterious to the United States economy. Therefore, it can be said that low-skilled immigrant workers are invaluable to the United States economy. Low skilled immigrants have largely improved the lives of Americans because they perform tasks that most ordinary Americans have difficulties performing.

The current immigration laws that deter low skilled immigrants from living in the United States are fuelled by a notion that immigrant workers are taking up jobs meant for American citizens. There is also an argument that low-skilled workers are contributing to a decline in wages for Americans in the workforce given that most immigrants are willing to work for any amount of money that an employer offers them. The politics of immigration asserts that an increase in the number of immigrants getting into the United States will lead to a reduction in the cost of labor.

Presidents Trump's threat to get rid of unauthorized immigrants in the United States is pegged on the aforementioned politics of immigration. Trump intends to use the politics of immigration to reduce legal immigration to the United States by almost half. The President wants to ensure that only immigrants that are highly skilled are allowed to get entrance into the United States.

The argument that low-skilled immigrants are reducing the cost of labor fails to take cognizance of the fact that the low-skilled workers are also consumers of American goods and services and by doing so they boost the American economy. The politics of immigration also fails to appreciate the fact that the cheap labor that is offered by the low-skilled immigrant workers plays an important role in lowering prices of goods and services in the United States. Studies have revealed that children of low-skilled immigrant workers tend to have more skills than children of American citizens and that they tend to make more contribution to the United States coffers when compared with the contribution made by native born Americans. The politics of low skilled immigrant workers fail to understand that less skilled immigration creates new jobs at better wages for Native Americans. Less skilled immigration goes a long way in helping Americans to climb the income ladder. The immigration is also likely to stimulate investment and increase productivity. Given that many low-skilled immigrants cannot communicate fluently in English, Native Americans should not be jittery about immigrants competing with them when it comes to jobs that require fluent communication in English.

Native Americans should be grateful to low skilled immigrants because the latter have made eating out affordable. If many Americans lived in Norway, they would have found eating out too expensive because of the high wages that are prevalent in Norway. Many restaurants in the United States rely on lower paid immigrant workers for performing odd jobs in restaurants such as washing of dishes and preparation of ingredients.

Many sectors of the American economy owe their success to low-skilled immigrants. The American agriculture sector relies a great deal on labor from low skilled immigrants. For many years, shrimping has been conducted by immigrant workers. As we speak, many American fishermen continue to suffer losses because immigrant workers who used to conduct shrimping are yet to receive visas from the Trump administration. The state of California depends on immigrant workers when it comes to picking strawberry. The dairy industry in the United States relies a great deal on low-skilled immigrants. The tomato crop has for many years relied on immigrants in ensuring that the crop is available to the public. The building and construction industry would not have enjoyed the success that it has for many years enjoyed if it were not for low skilled immigrants (Constable, 2013). The hotel industry profoundly relies on low skilled immigrants for odd jobs in the hotel industry. Washing of dishes and chopping of onions in many American restaurants are tasks that are performed by low skilled immigrants.

Low skilled immigration has played an important role in motivating Native Americans to improve their work-related skills. As a result, many Americans have moved into occupations that are better shielded from newcomers and ones that require individuals to have certain types of skills. Immigration has contributed to occupational specialization. Many Native Americans have become specialized in their work related activities courtesy of low skilled immigration. According to Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers University, that presence of immigrants who are less skilled in the United States play an important role in encouraging native Americans to complete high school education at a faster rate. Hunt goes further to reveal that less-educated Native Americans in states that receive a high number of low skilled immigrants tend to shift from jobs that require few skills to jobs that require workers to have skills of some sort.

Suffice is to say that Americans should not be afraid of low skilled immigration. In contrary, Americans should embrace lower skilled immigrants because they are not only taking part in jobs that have for many years been neglected by Native-Americans, they also play an important role in encouraging Native-Americans to further their education and improve their skill set. Low-skilled immigrant workers are also important to the American economy because they have for many years filled an employment hole that has been created by an aging workforce.

Based on the economic issue at hand, I would naturalize low skilled immigrants who have exhibited good behavior. If possible, I would amend the American constitution so that low-skilled immigrants who are well behaved are not barred from working in the United States.

The economic issue of barring low skilled immigrants from working in the United States is likely to have a direct impact on my daily life, in different ways. Barring low skilled immigrants from working in the United States is likely to lead to an increase in prices of goods and services affiliated with industries that have for a long depended on low skilled immigrant workers.



Constable, P. (2013). Low-skilled immigrants: economic burden or boon? The Washington Post. Retrieved on August 15, 2017 from

Porter, Eduardo. (2017). The Danger from Low-Skilled Immigrants: Not having them. New York Times. Retrieved on August 15, 2017 from

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