Want to Increase U.S. Manufacturing? Increase Immigration.

September 16, 2013

Adding to the mountain of evidence that immigration is a crucial driver of the U.S. economy,  the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy recently released a study looking at the impact of immigration in 3,000 U.S. counties. From the study’s summary:

  • For every 1,000 immigrants living in a county, 46 manufacturing jobs are created or preserved that would otherwise not exist or would have moved elsewhere.
  • For every 1,000 immigrants that arrive to a county, 270 U.S.-born residents move there in response
  • The average immigrant who moves to a community raises the total value of housing wealth by $92,800

The United States has durable political institutions, a functional court system, and reasonably safe and reliable infrastructure, not to mention the world’s greatest cultural engine. In addition, we already have  immigrant communities of basically every nationality and ethnicity. These great things about the U.S. mean that lots of people from around the world want to move here.

Little Italy in New York, ca.1900 (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

If immigrants placed a strain on the economy or caused native-born workers to lose their jobs, we would face a delicate moral question: to what extent should we open our borders to refugees or economic migrants seeking a better life, if that comes at the expense of quality of life for those already here? Luckily, immigration creates jobs, raises wages, and creates wealth. The United States is uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of immigration. All we have to do is allow it to happen.


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