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Writing ImmigrationScholars and Journalists in Dialogue$
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Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267176

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267176.001.0001

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Consensus, Debate, and Wishful Thinking

Consensus, Debate, and Wishful Thinking

The Economic Impact of Immigration

(p.107) 5 Consensus, Debate, and Wishful Thinking
Writing Immigration

Edward Schumacher-Matos

University of California Press

This chapter examines the economic impact of immigration—including illegal immigration—at a time of economic crisis. It argues that the answer is crucial for Americans and immigrants alike. It reviews the nature of the debates in the field of economics. The consensus among economists is that on balance the impact of immigration on the economy is positive. However, it is a complex story defying easy generations, never mind sound bites. The chapter contends that the negative effects of immigration have been on the wages of unskilled workers, many of whom are poor African Americans and United States-born Latinos, and on local taxes in communities that have to deal with the services required with the sudden influx of young families with education and medical needs. But at the macroeconomic level, immigrant workers benefit the economy.

Keywords:   United States, immigration, economy, illegal immigration, economic crisis, immigrants, wages, unskilled workers, taxes, immigrant workers

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