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Contribution of Immigrants to the U.S. Economy

The population size and diversity of immigrants in the United States has increased over the years. In 2018, it was reported that immigrants living in the U.S. accounted for 13.7% of the U.S. population. Under the Trump administration, immigration has been at the forefront of national political debate through constant amendments to the U.S. immigration policies. This increased focus in immigration has highlighted questions as to whether foreign nationals burden or strengthen the country’s economy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 immigrants made up 17.4% of the U.S. labor force. These foreign nationals occupied various managerial and service-based occupations in the U.S. The data further indicated that immigrants with a college degree held jobs that were pertinent to the U.S. economy and communities. For foreign nationals without a college degree, it is said that they contribute to the economy through their employment in service industries and therefore add value to the U.S. economy through their hard work and dedication.

Foreign nationals have continuously assisted in filling key gaps in the U.S. economy. In a research report by the National Academy of Sciences, it was determined that the economic contributions of immigrants would be hard to replace as they are not only seen holding high level positions, but also serve as low-skilled laborers. Foreign nationals increase the competitiveness of jobs and at times create a surplus in the labor supply through their entrepreneurial impact in the U.S. This was proven through a study conducted by the Center for American Entrepreneurship which stated that 43% of companies in the 2017 Fortune 500 were founded and co-founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

The current administration has long held the notion that immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens. This was evidenced by president Trump’s decision to implement a temporary immigration ban on entry into the U.S as a way to ensure that existing jobs were awarded to U.S. citizens at the wake of the increasing coronavirus pandemic. This misconception deters U.S. citizens from looking at the situation holistically. The assumption that foreign nationals take jobs alludes to the notion that there are a fixed number of jobs available. For example, the EB-5 immigrant investor program requires $900,000 capital investment and that the investment must generate a minimum of 10 jobs for U.S. persons. The program requires the direct injection of capital into the U.S. economy and the addition of jobs to the U.S. labor market.

Albeit, not all foreign nationals enter the U.S. via the EB-5 immigrant investor program therefore not all are required to fulfil the EB-5 program requirements. However, all immigrants are subject to the U.S. tax laws. Foreign nationals working and residing in the U.S. are required to pay U.S. taxes. The immigrant workforce pays taxes into Social Security and Medicare which support the nation’s senior population.

The economic benefits of immigrants are long lasting and evidently contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy. Immigration should not be seen as a hindering factor to the growth of the U.S. economy but as a stimulation and a tool for the economy to remain a superpower. Thus the relationship between the U.S. economy and foreign nationals is mutually beneficial and holistically works towards creating a better future for the country. 


Our team of U.S. licensed lawyers have years of experience in helping individuals and families apply for U.S. residency via the EB-5 program. We understand the intricacies and complexities involved in immigration to the U.S. If you are ready to start your migration journey with The American Legal Center of Dubai, contact us today for more information.


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