Media figures are peddling claims by anti-immigrant advocates that immigration reform would hurt the economy and negatively impact American workers, even though economic evidence disproves this false narrative. A new poll showing that small business owners support immigration reform indicates that they also distrust these anti-immigrant arguments.
In a recent column praising the work of Mark Krikorian, executive director of the nativist organization Center for Immigration Studies, CNN contributor David Frum, also a Daily Beast contributing editor, wrote that "because the illegals are predominantly very low-income, their demand on such [social welfare] programs will be heavy -- and not only long-term, but likely multigenerational."
Krikorian also peddled this falsehood in a March 19 National Review Online column, writing that because immigrants are "so unskilled and thus earn so little money... they are inevitably net costs to taxpayers."
WND repeated similar claims in an exclusive interview with Roy Beck, executive director of nativist organization NumbersUSA who said that Republican Sen. Rand Paul's immigration reform plan -- which has many of the same pro-immigration stances as proposals being floated by President Obama and the bi-partisan group of senators known as the "Gang of 8" -- would have serious economic consequences and is "a keeping wages low plan."
However, a new poll gauging the immigration views of job creators' shows that they are not buying into these arguments. A poll released on March 27 by the Small Business Majority found that small business owners, many of whom identified as Republican and either are the child of, or are, an immigrant, overwhelmingly support a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes a path to citizenship. Included in the report:
- 84 percent of respondents believe immigration is good for America and 66 percent agree immigrant entrepreneurs drive business growth in America.
- 74 percent believe it's important for the country to have high-skilled foreign workers and 64 percent believe we need more low-skilled foreign workers.
- 45 percent of businesses with 10 or more employees have utilized legal immigrant labor
The report also found that three-quarters of small business owners believe that comprehensive immigration reform would add $1.5 trillion to the economy over the next 10 years and produce a net increase in tax revenue of $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in the first three years.
Several new studies have found that immigrants are not a drain on the economy, are less likely to receive public benefits than native-born Americans, and the potential benefits of immigration reform outweigh the costs of enacting a comprehensive plan. As Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger pointed out in a recent speech:
Providing an earned path to legal status for this [undocumented] population will also benefit other [American] workers as they will no longer have to compete with undocumented workers who are often paid below-market wages because of their legal status.