Immigration Policy and Its Effects on Manufacturing

Published on: July 12, 2019

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The United States is made with the toiling of immigrants. Right from the civil war, numerous immigrants joined the United States army in prosecuting the war just for the purpose of La’Unita America. America is indeed a nation built with the help of immigrants. Generations of immigrants have helped the American journey is every area, including manufacturing. The impact and contribution of immigrants to the industrial transformation of the United States cannot be overlooked. Immigrants and their descendants have always made up 50% of the United States manufacturing workforce since the 1920s. Today, 25% of United States public companies including Google, Yahoo, Intel, Sun Microsystems and eBay are started by immigrants. One of the 10 ways immigrants are helping to build and strengthen the United States economy is manufacturing.

Immigrants represents 13.7% of the United States population, around 45 million people. In the words of Industry Today, out of every 1000 immigrants living in a US county, 46 manufacturing jobs that does not exist would be created. Nationally, 1.8 million manufacturing jobs are preserved by immigrants. Immigrants therefore are a significant part of the United States manufacturing workforce. Currently, a number of immigration policies are having an effect on the manufacturing sector of the United States. Among these policies are; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, and the Worksite Inspection Executive Order. All of these immigration policies and more are affecting the manufacturing sector of the United States.

Majority of the job growth experienced in the manufacturing sector of the United States are traceable to immigrants. What the policy makers are oblivious of is that if the United Sates continues to close her doors to immigrants, majority of jobs could vanish. This is not just the case, most manufacturing factories are manned by immigrants, which means that tougher immigration policies could lead to shut down of these factories and a corresponding increase in labor costs. Even before Trump got to the White House, he has never been quiet about his immigration agenda especially towards undocumented immigrants.

According to Chicago Tribune, of the 475,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois, 350,000 are part of the workforce. Employers and manufacturers all over the United State are heavily reliant on immigrants which makes them also worried about the the United States immigration policies. It is expected that if the 11 million of the illegal immigrants in the United States are deported, there will be no sector that will be spared most especially manufacturing firms. Being home to the largest immigration population in the world, there are both positives and negatives. However, as regarded manufacturing, a favorable immigration policy is required to keep the industries at their optimum. There is no other country that has benefited so much from immigrants like the United States. This should make the United States more receptive and accommodating to immigrants especially for the benefits of the manufacturing sector which has always benefited from immigration.

 

Golden, Ryan. “With 400K Jobs to Fill, Manufacturers Seek Immigration Reform.” HR Dive, 21 Feb. 2019, www.hrdive.com/news/with-400k-jobs-to-fill-manufacturers-seek-immigration-reform/548842/.
“How Immigration Revitalizes U.S. Manufacturing.” Industry Today – Leader in Manufacturing and Industrial News, industrytoday.com/article/how-immigration-revitalizes-u-s-manufacturing/.

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