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New Research Makes Case For Increasing Immigration

New Research Makes Case For Increasing Immigration

A criticism of Joe Biden’s new immigration plan is it will increase the number of immigrants admitted to the United States. However, new research suggests increasing immigration is a good thing and argues that allowing in more immigrants will help America deal with an aging workforce and better address problems with government entitlement programs.

“The U.S. population is aging, dramatically,” note Ali Noorani and Danilo Zak in a new study for the National Immigration Forum. “Fertility rates are falling, life expectancy is rising, baby boomers are reaching retirement age, and net immigration levels are not high enough to keep pace. According to the U.S. Census, nearly one in every four Americans is projected to be 65 years or older by 2060. At that point, 94.7 million people over age 65 will be living in the country—close to twice the number today. At the same time, the overall population is growing at a slower rate than it has in almost a century, leaving unfilled openings in crucial industries such as health care, agriculture and information technology.”

“Our analysis suggests that a sustained increase in net immigration levels based on the Old-Age Dependency Ratio (OADR), or the ratio of working-age adults to adults at retirement age, provides a natural solution to many of the problems that demographic deficit causes,” according to Noorani and Zak. “Immigrants are well-positioned to fill critical shortages, whether in the labor market or the country’s demographic composition.

“An ethic of welcome is more than a charitable act. It is a clear-eyed solution to a demographic challenge that could torpedo the nation’s economy if left unaddressed. Only by intentionally recruiting and integrating immigrants will the U.S. be able to beat back socioeconomic malaise and continue to thrive well into the future.”

Noorani and Zak estimate how many additional immigrants America would need to address the problems cited in the research: “This approach also offers a remedy to another problem befuddling policymakers: how to set immigration levels. It helps answer the question of whether levels should remain the same, decrease, or increase. While the policy debate typically centers on the merits of each additional immigrant and what kind of immigrant to allow in, most immigration reform proposals have lacked an evidence-backed, forward-looking approach to setting overall immigration levels.

“Using publicly available census data and modern demographic concepts, we project that at least a 37% increase in net immigration levels over those projected for fiscal year 2020 (approximately 370,000 additional immigrants a year) will help prevent the U.S. from falling into demographic deficit and socioeconomic decline.”

New research from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) also makes the case that increasing immigration would benefit the United States and its citizens, particularly those living in rural communities. “Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data finds international migration was the only source of population growth in rural areas as a whole during most of the 2010s,” according to a study by Madeline Zavodny, an economics professor at the University of North Florida and a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. “International migration is strongly related to employment growth in both rural and metro counties. Each additional international migrant is associated with an additional 1.2 jobs in rural counties over 2010 to 2018.”

“The estimate for rural areas suggests that international migration adds to total employment well beyond the jobs filled by international migrants,” writes Zavodny. “International migrants may have a larger impact on employment because of the jobs they fill. International migrants may work in jobs that otherwise would go unfilled by local residents and thereby enable businesses to expand.”

As discussed earlier, in reducing legal immigration by an estimated 49% since becoming president, in the long term, Donald Trump’s immigration policies, if maintained, would have harmed U.S. labor force growth. An NFAP analysis showed: “Average annual labor force growth, a key component of the nation’s economic growth, will be approximately 59% lower as a result of the administration’s immigration policies, if the policies continue.”

In a recent executive order, Joe Biden asked the Department of Homeland Security to review and likely eliminate the “public charge” rule, a health insurance proclamation and other policies Trump administration officials designed to reduce legal immigration.

President Biden’s most important legacy for the future of the U.S. economy and population may be a welcoming immigration policy.

This article is auto-generated by Algorithm Source: www.forbes.com

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