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Latino Daily News

Tuesday March 1, 2011

STUDY:  Immigrants are Not the Cause of High Unemployment and Low Wages Among Minority Workers

Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, some are still trying to make the claim that deporting millions of unauthorized immigrants would free up jobs for unemployed American workers, and minority workers specifically. However, the best available evidence suggests that there is no correlation between high levels of immigration and high unemployment among native-born workers.

Immigration is not the cause of poor employment prospects for American minorities. According to noted scholar, Gerald Jaynes, the impact on less-educated native-born workers of competition with immigrant workers “is swamped by a constellation of other factors (such as declining factory jobs and other blue-collar employment).”

Immigrant workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs help to create jobs and give a slight boost to the wages of the vast majority of native-born workers.

Manuel Pastgor of the University of California, Santa Cruz concluded: There are many other, far more significant factors contributing to unemployment and low wages among African American men in particular, such as “the rising level of skill requirements of jobs, racial discrimination, and spatial mismatch between the location of employment opportunities and residential locations of blacks.”

Moreover, the most recent economic research indicates that immigration produces a slight increase in wages for the majority of native-born workers. A recent report estimates that, from 1994 to 2007, immigration increased the wages of native-born workers - including African American workers - by 0.4 percent.