During the 2016 campaign, now President Donald Trump repeatedly alluded to “the Wall”, his shorthand name for his general proposal to build a large impediment on our southern border in order to stop the flow of immigration traffic. After four months in office, President Trump has yet to make much, if any, real progress on building an actual physical structure. In the first major budget deal of his term, which funds the government through the end of September 2017, no money was included to pay for construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.
Yet, while a physical wall remains far off, an even deeper, more destructive, virtual wall may have already been built. According to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, southwest border crossings are down by as much as 76 percent in 2017, the lowest rate that we have seen in nearly two decades. What’s the reason for this sudden decline? Many more immigrants have decided to forgo coming to the United States, instead heading north to Canada or turning to Mexico. For the United States, this change in the migration flows could cause serious long-term problems for our economy.
Three Ways the Loss of Immigrants Will Affect Our Economy
- Many Prominent California Industries are Reliant on Immigrant Labor
In Los Angeles County, immigrants make up nearly one half of the overall labor force. In many of our most important industries, immigrants account for an even larger share of the workforce than that. Indeed, in sectors such as agriculture, construction, and entertainment, immigrants make up a highly disproportionate percentage of workers. Without the contributions of immigrants, these sectors, and Southern California as a whole, would not be able to thrive economically.
- Immigrants Have High Rates of Entrepreneurship
According to data for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) first generation immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as are native born Americans. This propensity for entrepreneurship is incredibly valuable for the United States. The loss of new immigrants means the loss of many potential new businesses. Not only could we lose out on the next Google or Tesla, but we will also lose out on thousands of small businesses that would have helped to support our local communities.
- Without Immigration, America Will Have a Serious Budget Crisis in the FuturThe United States is currently running a considerable budget deficit. This is especially concerning, as our country has a large and aging native born population along with a relatively modest birth rate. This has the potential to create serious financial problems as more and more people leave the workforce for retirement. Immigration can fix this problem. Indeed, the Pew Research Center has determined that immigrants and their children are desperately needed to keep the total working age population in balance with our retired population in the coming years. If immigration declines, expensive programs such as Social Security and Medicare may become unsustainable.
We Fight for Immigrants’ Rights in Los Angeles
At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to provide high quality legal services to immigrants in L.A. If you need assistance or are facing deportation, please call our immigration lawyer in Los Angeless today or reach out to us directly online. We represent immigrants throughout Los Angeles County, including in Glendale, Palmdale, Pomona and Torrance.