Immigrants are a large and diverse group of people who move to another country with the intention of living there permanently. They can be citizens of the destination country, lawful permanent residents, or unauthorized immigrants.
They come from many different countries and ethnic groups, have diverse levels of education, and come from a variety of social, political, and economic circumstances. They arrive with a wide range of expectations and goals and often face serious challenges in their new home.
Despite their many difficulties, immigrants are a significant part of our nation’s culture and economy. They contribute to the economy by paying billions in taxes, filling low-wage jobs that keep the domestic economy competitive, and spurring investment and job creation.
Immigration has both positive and negative impacts on our society, and many social scientists have debated how to best manage this phenomenon. The best-known example of an immigrant’s benefit to the economy is the “immigration surplus.” When immigrants enter the labor market, they increase the productive capacity of the economy, raising GDP. They also increase the size of the workforce and bolster the nation’s aging native-born population, increasing social security and Medicare trust funds.
But there are many other benefits, too. As a group, immigrants are engaged in the labor force at high rates, are more likely to work in high-quality jobs, and their children perform better on a variety of outcomes than their counterparts who stay in their homeland.
In addition, the children of immigrants are more likely to earn a college degree than the children of natives.
They also are more likely to attend health care centers and take other preventive measures than their native counterparts.
Their success is largely a function of their ability to integrate into their new country and build a life here. They often do this with support from family, community, and governmental agencies.
For many families, the decision to leave their homeland for a safer and more prosperous future in the United States is an empowering one. But the reality is that a significant percentage of immigrant families struggle with poverty and lack access to the services they need to live happy and healthy lives in their new homes.
The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants who have brought with them fresh ideas, ambitions, and energy. And many immigrants have become devoted American citizens who contribute to the fabric of our nation.
But we still have a long way to go before the nation’s leaders are able to build a genuinely inclusive and vibrant society. We must recognize the diversity of the immigrant experience, attend to the unique challenges that each migrant faces, and commit ourselves to building a more equitable, inclusive, and welcoming country for all.
In order to create an inclusive and democratic society, we must embrace the many ways that immigrants contribute to our culture and economy. We must also ensure that our laws and policies respect and protect the rights of all immigrants to make the most of their opportunities.