Illegal and often even legal immigrants are all too often looked upon in these days as parasites with dark skin, too many children and no desire to learn English, as people who will come and take away jobs from “real” Americans. Such stereotypes about immigrants have been responsible for anti-immigration passed recently, such as the passage in California of Proposition 187, which was based on the assumption that illegal immigrants are an overall drawn on the economy, not only taking away jobs from U.S. citizens gut drawing from the public coffers more in social services than they return in the form of taxes paid. However, this has been found not to be the case (Scheer, 2000, p. B5).
However, even if immigrants did cost the country a substantial amount in terms of social services, which they do not, they would still make immeasurable contributions to our culture, giving a richness to our art, literature, music and national dialogue as well as strengthening our economy. Without immigrants, we would be poorer as a nation in every way. But in fact, immigrants benefit the economy as well – adding to the country’s gross domestic product and its overall productivity. Nor does immigrant labor has far less impact on native skilled labor (i.e. it does not tend to displace local workers) or on depressing local wages as is commonly thought (Antin, 1997, p. 19).
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