How immigrants drive the economies of the Americas

Immigrants have played a significant role in developing the American labor market, contributing to the country’s economic recovery. According to the Economic Policy Institute, foreign-born workers are responsible for about 50% of the growth in the labor market between January 2023 and January 2024. Pia M. Orrenius from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas states that relying solely on the native workforce cannot lead to the same level of development. However, despite their contributions, immigration remains a concern for many Americans. A Gallup poll showed that 55% of Americans consider illegal migration a “critical threat,” and support for building a wall on the Mexican border has never been higher, currently standing at 53%, according to research by Monmouth University.

On the other hand, research by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reveals that more than 6.5 million of the 7.7 million immigrants who have left Venezuela in recent years are making significant contributions to economies in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is especially true in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. While some xenophobic Venezuelans blame immigrants for overburdening healthcare and the economy, these immigrants are filling undesirable jobs and increasing local demand for goods and services. This translates into growing tax revenues for countries benefiting from their work. For instance, in Colombia, migrants are more willing to take up low-paid official positions than Colombians, who prefer to work for cash in the informal economy.

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