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How to answer those who repeat the myth that“ immigrants steal jobs”

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After almost a year and a half of the war against immigrants unleashed by President Donald Trump, the defenders of mass deportations are running out of arguments to justify the cruel separation of thousands of families.

Trump and his gang beat their chests saying they are going to toughen immigration laws to “protect American jobs.” However, a new study says that immigrants do not take jobs, but actually tend to create new jobs, which are often occupied by Americans.

The presence of immigrants “does not increase U.S. natives’ unemployment or reduce their labor force participation.” This was the conclusion of a recent study by the National Foundation for American Policy. It was conducted by Madeline Zavodny, professor of economics at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville, who analyzed the labor and immigration statistics of the 50 states from 2005 to 2013.

In fact, “a 1 percentage point increase in the share of the labor force comprised of immigrants appears to reduce natives’ unemployment rate,” said Zavodny, who was also an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Even if you are not a skeptic, you might ask how immigrants can reduce unemployment for Americans. Zavodny says that this phenomenon, which is clearly documented, is due to several factors.

First of all, immigrants help various jobs stay in the United States. This is because their cheap, local, and available labor prevents companies from contracting manufacturing services carried out in other countries (offshoring).

To this we must add that statistically speaking, immigrants tend to create a greater number of new companies than natives, and then they eventually hire American workers.

Finally, if Americans feel affected by immigrant labor, they tend to move into different jobs. According to Zavodny, this occurs with both high skill and low skill jobs.“Further, the jobs that U.S. natives move into tend to be higher paying than the jobs disproportionately filled by immigrants,” she says.

Only people who lack a minimum knowledge of economics may think that immigrants generally take jobs away from Americans, because that would mean that in the United States there is a fixed number of jobs and that any newcomer can easily displace a native. This simply does not happen in any economy on the planet.

Trump and his band of followers continue to advocate prejudice, threatening to deport young people with DACA, and asking that the principle of family unity in immigration be destroyed, all to “protect American jobs.” However, the latest employment report showed that 223,000 new jobs were added in May, which reduced the country’s unemployment rate to only 3.8%. This is the lowest it has been in almost half a century.

The myth that immigrants take jobs away from Americans is based on hate, not on statistics or facts. We only hope that voters remember this unacceptable level of cynicism in the upcoming November elections.

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Con más de 25 años de carrera profesional, Diego Barahona, es un destacado periodista quien ha incursionado en múltiples campos de la comunicación tanto en su natal Ecuador, como en Estados Unidos. Actualmente es el editor de La Noticia. Ha recibido múltiples galardones a lo largo de su trayectoria, entre ellos, el año 2016 y 2017 fue nombrado como el periodista de un medio impreso en español más premiado en Estados Unidos, al recibir una docena de Premios José Martí. Es autor del best seller en Amazon.com “¿Cómo leer a las personas?”

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