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Friday, February 5, 2010

New Study Confirms Positive Impact of Immigration on Wages of Native-Born Workers

This release comes from the Immigration Policy Center. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational national conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society.

For Immediate Release
February 5, 2010

Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7524

New Study Confirms Positive Impact of Immigration on Wages of Native-Born Workers

Blaming Immigrants for Native-Born Labor Declines Doesn't Add Up

Washington D.C. - The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) yesterday released a new study, Immigration and Wages, which confirms what many other economists have found: "that immigration has a small but positive impact on the wages of native-born workers overall."

This report comes on the heels of other economic reports, from across the ideological spectrum, that explain how comprehensive immigration reform will lift the wages of U.S. workers, increase tax revenue and boost consumer purchasing power.

The EPI report affirms that foreign-born and native-born workers "complement" each other in the labor market through the differing skills and abilities they bring with them to the workplace. When one fully accounts for the many differences between foreign-born and native-born workers in terms of education, occupational experience, and English-language ability, it becomes clear that they cannot simply be swapped for one another like batteries. In fact, the presence of specialized immigrant workers in the labor force tends to increase the productivity, and therefore the wages, of their native-born counterparts.

The report makes clear, the plight of low-wage native-born workers can not be blamed on immigrants as some groups have attempted to do: "Declining job quality for the least-educated American workers is due to a host of factors aside from immigration, including declining unionization rates, the eroding real value of the minimum wage, and trade practices that expose U.S. workers with low levels of education to competition from much lower wage workers around the globe." In short, scapegoating immigrants for the nation's economic woes will do nothing to help American workers.

  • To read a blog post on the EPI report at click here.
  • To read the EPI report in its entirety click here or visit
  • For more economic studies on immigration reform see:
  • An IPC/CAP study Raising the Floor for American Workers conducted by UCLA's Dr. Raul Hinojosa shows comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization plan for the unauthorized workers already in our economy would contribute a cumulative $1.5 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product over ten years, as more tax revenues are collected, wages increase for U.S.-born and legalized workers, and immigrant workers spend more in our economy.

  • The libertarian Cato Institute's report Restriction or Legalization? Measuring the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform also shows that "legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers would yield significant income gains for American workers and households."

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    For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7524 or



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