Illegal Immigrants: A Shortage Of Labor

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Many labor-intensive industries face a severe shortage of workers. There is currently a shortage of labor in construction, agriculture, building maintenance, hospitality, childcare, and retail (Altman). The construction industry estimates it will face a million person labor shortage in the next ten years as native born Americans find the industry unappealing (Altman). The critical shortage of labor cannot currently be met by the extremely limited government quotas for legal immigrants (Altman). Not many native-born Americans are interested in pursuing essential but often unpleasant jobs such as janitors, fruit harvesters, or daycare workers, but unskilled illegal immigrants are (Passel and Cohn). Illegal immigrants doing these unpleasant jobs…show more content…
Immigrants contribute greatly to America’s science and engineering developments. According to a report by the American Immigration Council, immigrants working in STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering) on average each create 2.62 new jobs due to their breakthroughs in research and innovation (“Always in Demand”). A 2001 study found that immigrants are greatly overrepresented among individuals elected to the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering in the United States (“Always in Demand”). These are two prestigious organizations for the country’s top scientists and engineers. Sixty-five percent of America’s Nobel Prizes were won by immigrants(Peri). Fifty percent of Silicon Valley computer programmers, and forty two percent of cancer researchers are foreign born (“Always in Demand”). The United States is working to increase native born participation in STEM, but these efforts will take years to accomplish. Right now, immigrants meet the critical need for STEM workers (“Always in…show more content…
Neither “cluster” of immigrants steals jobs, and highly skilled immigrants create more jobs through scientific breakthroughs and research (“Always in Demand”). To stay economically competitive, America needs to increase the visas available for legal immigrants, as well as finding a way to naturalize the illegal immigrants already working and contributing to the country. Welcoming immigrants is not just a tradition in American history, it is a clear and proven opportunity to keep our country economically strong for the future. Immigrants make America great- prejudice, nativism and falsehoods do
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