Immigration remains a hot-button topic, and how it is tied to U.S. jobs and the economy creates much of the debate. Critics of immigrants, especially illegal aliens, say they have taken jobs away from American workers. Among those disagreeing with that position is immigration attorney Jacob Monty, a Republican who served on the National Hispanic Advisory Committee for then-candidate Donald Trump.
"The notion that immigrants are taking jobs from U.S. workers is just plain wrong," says Monty, author of The Sons of Wetbacks. "Studies show they're vital to keeping the economy running."
The U.S. Department of Labor's breakdown of employment shows that about 25,000,000 people in the U.S. workforce (16.7%) are immigrants. With unemployment in the U.S. trending at a 17-year low (3.9%), Monty points out that immigrant workers are needed more than ever. "We're facing a labor crisis. There aren't enough U.S. workers to do a whole host of jobs. It affects every industry, from construction to agriculture to the service industry and manufacturing.
"Immigration historically has been a way to augment our domestic labor supply, but our immigration system is completely broken, so ifs not a viable solution for employers that are in desperate need of workers. Over half of agriculture workers are undocumented. We need a temporary guest worker program; that's what businesses have been wanting for over 20 years, but Congress has not acted on that."
Monty gives three reasons immigrants are important to the U.S. economy:
Food supply and security. Recalls and news of contaminations raise concerns about shortages of immigrant workers...