New American Enterprise Institute Study Shows Positive Effects on U.S. Economy of Highly Skilled Immigrants
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 6, 2012 – A recent study of the role immigration plays in the American job market revealed that incremental changes to the country’s immigration policy could have a profound impact on the economy through U.S. job growth and innovation.
The study, prepared by Agnes Scott College economics professor Madeline Zavodny, did a state-by-state comparison looking at where immigrants are and what their impact is on the number of jobs held by U.S. natives.
Researchers found that immigrants with advanced degrees from U.S. universities have a large positive impact on the number of jobs for native-born Americans. About 262 natives are employed for every 100 immigrants with an advanced degree from an American school in science, technology, engineering or math. The numbers remain high for immigrants with advanced degrees from schools outside the United States and for immigrants with advanced degrees outside of the STEM fields.
“It is significant that the AEI study points to immigrants with foreign degrees enhance, not detract U.S. worker employment, the exact opposite of that critics of U.S. immigration have been espousing,” said Dallas immigration lawyer Stewart Rabinowitz.
The study also looked at the H-1B program for skilled workers and found that for every 100 H-1B foreign workers there were 183 more jobs for U.S. natives.
“Even the often attacked H-1B program, the source of many highly skilled temporary workers, showed increased U.S. worker jobs in areas with high concentrations of H-1B employees,” Rabinowitz said.
There is no evidence that immigrant workers hurt U.S. employment, according to the study. Researchers also found that highly educated immigrants pay considerably more in taxes than they receive in benefits.
Policy proposals arising from the study include giving priority to immigrants with advanced degrees from U.S. universities, increasing the number of green cards for skilled workers, and making more temporary working visas available.
“Now we hope that policy makers take heed at what helps the U.S. keep its technological advantage and implement policies consistent with these findings,” Rabinowitz said.
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