In countering a recent Post editorial on immigration [letters, May 18], Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) contended that if the administration enforced immigration laws, “we could open up millions of jobs for unemployed legal workers.”
As The Post well noted, however, the majority of American-born workers are unwilling to take the low-skill jobs many immigrants fill in landscaping, hospitality, poultry processing and other industries. Immigrant workers actually fill gaps in American labor markets and help to preserve and create more jobs. Economists have calculated that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created.
The added value and productivity of immigrants are also typically overlooked. For instance, a large number of immigrants from Mexico (50.3 percent) have at least a high school diploma to two years of college preparatory education. Immigrants tend to take jobs in which their skills are far superior to the tasks they undertake, thus enhancing their value to their employers and the economy. In addition, immigrants often take entry-level jobs, enabling native-born workers to be promoted to supervisory or management positions.
Overall, the wages of immigrant workers generate new consumers and businesses, increase tax revenue, and help fuel the nation’s economic growth.
Alejandro Becerra, Silver Spring