Image credit: NBC News
Trump’s harsh message to immigrants could drag on economy
James Harrison, the owner of a Phoenix-based specialty construction firm, employs three workers protected by an Obama-era immigration program that the Trump administration took steps Tuesday to eliminate.
Should those workers — who were brought to the United States illegally as children — be deported, Harrison doubts he would find other workers to replace them anytime soon.
“These are some of my top guys,” Harrison said. “They don’t drink, they don’t do drugs, they don’t do anything but work.”
His own grandfather, Harrison said, immigrated to the United States from England without any paperwork.
His on-the-ground viewpoint couldn’t be more different from that of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made the questionable assertion Tuesday that the Obama administration’s measure “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”
Nearly all economists and most business leaders reject Sessions’ view. Ending the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, won’t boost U.S. employment at a time when an aging workforce and a low jobless rate have left many employers struggling to find skilled workers. Eliminating the program might even cost jobs in the long run, they say.
The program allows immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the United States, attend school and find jobs. Those who benefit are sometimes called “Dreamers,” after early proposals in Congress that never passed. President Barack Obama implemented the program in 2012.
The administration said the measure will phase out over six months, giving Congress an opportunity to approve a replacement plan.
More broadly, economists warn that eliminating DACA, along with other steps the Trump administration has taken, such as banning travel from several Muslim nations and proposing cuts to legal immigration, could inflict long-term damage on the economy. The proposals could discourage potential immigrants, including those with advanced degrees and skills, from entering the United States. Some immigrants already in the U.S. might refrain from starting businesses, analysts say.
“It says to immigrants in the United States that you have no certainty in this country,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “That will have economic impacts that will go well beyond the employment circumstances and prospects of the Dreamers themselves.”
Immigrants are generally more likely to start companies than are native-born Americans, Alden said. About 40 percent of Silicon Valley companies have had at least one immigrant founder.¹
Harrison’s company performs sand-blasting work that strips lead paint and mold. He was planning to leave for Houston to take part in recovery work from Hurricane Harvey.
Last week, Harrison signed a letter , along with about 400 other CEOs, urging the administration to preserve the DACA program. The letter says nearly three-quarters of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ some of the roughly 800,000 people protected by the measure.
Microsoft, which says it employs at least 39 beneficiaries of the program, urged Congress to approve legislation that would keep the policy before it takes up tax reform.
Studies have found that the economic damage caused by expelling those protected by the measure would be modest but noticeable. The libertarian Cato Institute estimated it would cost the U.S. economy $215 billion over 10 years, a small drop given that the nation’s output is roughly $17 trillion every year.
But most economists see immigration generally as an economic boon. That’s particularly true as the U.S. ages, which means more Americans are retiring. Those retirements have slowed the growth of the U.S. workforce — a trend that, in turn, limits the economy’s potential expansion.
The U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate since the Great Recession ended in 2009. President Donald Trump has said he wants to raise that pace to at least 3 percent.
“If you want to raise the economy’s underlying growth rate, we should be increasing immigration, not reducing it,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
The Cato study notes that beneficiaries of DACA are similar to the highly-skilled immigrants who are granted H-1B visas to work in the United States. The average beneficiary is 22, has a job, and earns about $34,000 a year, Cato says.
Nearly three-fifths reported finding work after the program was implemented, a 2014 survey found, and 45 percent said they received a pay increase.
Deporting DACA recipients would reduce Social Security and Medicare tax revenue by $24.6 billion over a decade, according to research by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.²
Like Harrison, many business owners say they are struggling to fill open jobs. The unemployment rate is near a 16-year low, and the number of available jobs in June reached the highest level on records dating to 2001.
Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys & Poets, a six-restaurant chain in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, said he is always looking to hire more people.
“Immigrants are the ones who show up looking for work,” he said. “We’re not passing over people who are citizens.”
Shallal, who once ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Washington, D.C., emigrated from Iraq in 1966.
Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, a company that makes recruiting software, also signed the business letter opposing Trump’s decision.
He agrees that the U.S. needs more workers and believes the information technology industry has benefited from greater immigration. But he was also moved by other concerns.
“It just struck me as immoral and un-American to send children who are not responsible for the decisions of their parents back to a nation, wherever they come from, that they don’t know,” he said.
Article source: AP
This is not for the diehard “illegal is illegal period” mindsets out there so for those who think that way, you are dismissed at this point. But before you go consider this; barely 100 years ago interracial marriages and women’s ability to vote was – and still would be if certain people had their way – illegal. So if you live your life strictly by the books on paper of what’s illegal, then you have to admit that consciousness and cognitive thinking is not your cup of tea.
As a matter of fact – “by the books” – you’ve already broken three federal and possible state laws, financial and tax related offenses before you even walked out of the door, including driving over the speed limit during your commute because that’s illegal too – according to you. So I guess as humans we’re all doing something illegal at some point while certain people continue being the pot calling the kettle black.
NOW you are dismissed.
Wait, don’t go anywhere because I’m talking about you so stay tuned.
¹I know this from personal experience; I’ve gotten most of my business education and shadowing from business owners and leaders who were immigrants, some were even undocumented. But as human beings, they had a family to support, they had passions they were pursuing, and they invested heavily in developing their mind and personal growth. All while your average LEGAL citizen paid more attention to looking for jobs from these undocumented immigrants, worshiping celebrities and political dogma while consuming products from these same undocumented immigrants. I’m just grateful that I do live in a country where starting a business doesn’t require a citizenship status. Oh my goodness what trouble we would be in.
²So to recap; in order for your social security PONZI SCHEME (based on the business model most believe it runs on) to continue, looks like they’d need these undocumented immigrants to work after all. I mean think about it; if most believe that workers who doesn’t pay taxes into social security would somehow cause SS to go bankrupt or depleted, they’re saying they want this Ponzi scheme to keep going. In this case, they should repair Charles Ponzi’s reputation and award him a Nobel Peace Prize for economics and finance post-mortem, and they should release Bernie Madoff immediately.
The facts is this; immigrants start more companies on their own than natural-born citizens in the U.S. The school systems here was designed to indoctrinate U.S. kids to become future consumers, and get a job. It sure wasn’t designed to encourage them to start a business – even if these kids wanted to start a business. The dotcom boom busted the paradigm of age requirements in creating a multibillion dollar company out of the water. So immigrants are the economic superpower of this country.
Regardless of the law, humanity is humanity. With that being said, I’d like to apologize to the prison-industrial-complex, the politicians who’s bought and paid for via lobbying WITH LEGAL CITIZENS’ TAX DOLLARS, and the DEA for ME saying they are the problem.
It’s the people that keep them in business with their bigotry and political beliefs. The people attach a price tax on human life and dignity in the form of their so-call tax dollars. The people encourage the POTUS to break families apart because of a piece of paper without due process, and hold them in these detention centers. The people look at these undocumented human beings with dreams and goals to be violated of their personal space and secured homes as commodities being shifted and rounded up like cattle at a meat processing plant.
These are the same people who talks about what’s “illegal”, which in this case is a NON-VIOLANT ISSUE. And they complain about why rapists, murderers and child molesters get a lesser sentence than a pot smoking hippy or a drug dealer selling the same damn thing as your doctor – which is more potent than the dealer you call “Ace” on Third and Main Street can even dream of because you use it only as directed.
My whole point here is the sickening contradiction of those who play by the damn books THEY fail to read (if they can even read at all) calling for the deportation of undocumented citizens. It’s appalling to me to even listen to the de-humanization from anyone who’ve NEVER EVER been through the immigration process, and have no clue on the red tape and regulations attached to it. For (devil’s advocate in me), if I was making bank off of the immigration industry (which tax payer’s politicians has turned it to, and became very lucrative), I would make damn sure that it becomes more complicated and more expensive and time consuming. All while, they’re sent to my for-profit tax payer funded detention centers.
At the end of the day, it’s nothing personal (although in this case humanity is to me) – it’s just business.