Immigration affects citizens who live in the United States as well as immigrants who come to the United States. There are positive and negative affects of immigration. One negative result is that many immigrants take away jobs from native workers. Nevertheless, many Americans benefit from that because Americans perform jobs that are very difficult and low-paying. Immigration also affects refugees who come to the United States because they can not get the job they want. However, one positive outcome is that many immigrants gradually acquire good and payable jobs.
Native workers without a high school education have seen their wages fall because of competition by the lower-skilled new immigrants. According to one of the researcher, Moore Sullivan, studies show that for each immigrant who entered the United States (between 1960-1977), 0.93 natives were unemployed. In addition, most immigrants and Americans who did not complete their high school education are likely to work in specific areas of the economy such as “manufacturing and “service industries.”
Moreover, migration in to California affected the earnings of less educated natives in 1970. For example, many African and Hispanic Americans who dropped out of school, made salary of only $45 to $76 a week, because of immigration. All these statistics show that immigration has more negative impact on minorities than on White Americans. Thus, because of their educational background, immigrants had low incomes that further lead to poverty.
However, many Americans benefit from immigrant labor. It permits many goods and services to be produced for cheaper costs. Also, immigrants gave their working power to many businesses. For instance, “immigration helped to build and maintain America’s textile and agricultural industries” (Overall U.S. Economy Gains From immigration, But it’s costly to some states and Localities May17, 1997). In addition, jobs like garment workers, home attendants, service workers and others are occupied by immigrants.
Therefore, Americans benefit because they have more opportunities to get better jobs with good working environments and high salaries. According to National Academy Press of 1970, new immigrants’ wages were 17 percent lower than the native workers and in 1990 immigrants were paid 32 percent less than the native workers. This proves that the more immigrants arrived to the United States, the more native workers wages may increase by 15%.
It is difficult for foreigners to find a job that would satisfy and please them. One of the biggest obstacles for immigrants is the language barrier. Many foreign doctors, lawyers and professors have language barrier when they come to the United States. Therefore, they can not get a good job in the U.S. For instance, the article “Language is a huge Obstacle to an immigrants’ success,” describes a women, Violeta Papka, who was infectious disease specialist in Ukraine. She could not find a job in America because she did not know English. As a result, “language had prevented her from getting a job that could pay her $100,000 annually.”(Language a huge obstacle to an immigrant’s success The Norwich Bulletin June 18, 2001)
Some people who come to the United States can’t learn English because of their age. For example, a person who is over 55 years old does not have the same memory capacity as a 25 year old. Thus, they have a harder time finding an occupation. According to findings of Veddar and Gallway, employed person who does not speak English will earn $15.73 a year less than a wage earner who is fluent in English.
Nevertheless, many immigrants who are eager to learn English become very successful and obtain high qualified position. Studies also time after time show that the longer an immigrant lives in the United States the better his/her English abilities become. In addition, the U.S. government helps legal immigrants financially. The government gives away grants for immigrants to attend institutions and learn not only English, but also to help them earn a degree. A good example would be my mother.
When we came to the United States, my mom did not know any English and so she could not find any decent paying job. However, because she could go to the institutions for free, she was able to learn English and eventually get a job. From this example, one can conclude that America provides many opportunities for immigrants who are willing to work hard.
The United States is not only striking to other people in the world for its huge “economic machine”, but also because it has justice and democracy. Therefore, many immigrants come to the United States. Immigration affects individuals who are born in America and settlers who come to the United States. In spite of the fact that immigrants have a hard time adapting to a new place of living, they come here with big families, striking for better life for their kids and for themselves.
1. Moody, Suzanna. The Immigration History Research Center. New York: Garland, 1991. Reference Center Z1361.E4U58 1991
2. Robert Pear, “Report Says Immigration Is Beneficial to the U.S,” New York Times, May 18, 1997.
3. “Urban Labor Markets: Immigrants vs. African Americans” by Dr. Frank L. Morris
4. “Chasing the American Dream: After fleeing their homeland many Immigrants
struggle to find a job” by Dorene Englert
5. “Coming to America: The Way to Success in the United States” excerpted from the
Immigrants and Refugees: Create Your New Life in America by Raimonda
6. U.S. Border Control “Language a huge obstacle to an immigrant’s success” The
Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin June 18, 2001 Revised 06/24/2001