Thursday, November 1, 2018

Research Evidence: We Should Welcome Asylum Seekers, Not Resist Them

A body of research on the impact of immigration on income levels suggests that instead of resisting immigrants and asylum seekers, we should welcome them with open arms and help them transition to full citizenship as soon as possible.  

Specifically, research suggests that “a 1 percentage point increase in the share of migrants in the adult population can raise GDP per capita by up to 2 percent in the long term.”  See:  

The increase in GDP comes from a combination of labor productivity increases and an increase in the ratio of working-age to total population.  Both high- and low-skilled immigrants raise labor productivity, the benefits of which are shared in average per-capita income growth for the bottom 90 percent and top 10 percent of wage earners.  An increase in high-skilled immigrants tends to benefit the top 10 percent more whereas an increase in lower-skilled immigrant workers benefits the top 10 and bottom 90 percent of wage earners equally.

The GDP benefit from an increase in the ratio of working-age population is most pronounced when the host economy is an advanced economy with an aging population and the immigrant population is working age or younger.

The research suggests that not only should we welcome immigrants and asylum seekers but that we should adopt programs and policies to help their transition/assimilation process by, for example, providing language training, helping immigrants access and upgrade their existing skills, and reducing barriers to entrepreneurship.  In short, we should help immigrants to become fully employed and integrated into U.S. society as quickly as possible.

Read more on this research here:

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