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ICYMI — Immigrants boost our economy. It’s time that the federal government supports them in doing so.

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Immigrant workers have played a crucial role in the current success of the American economy. Standing in their way to continue their beneficial impact is access to work authorizations.

NEW YORK — The Associated Press recently reported that one main factors allowing the U.S. have a “soft landing” – to avoid a recession from the increasing interest rates to combat inflation – is  immigrant workers. Speaking with economists from the Economic Policy Institute, the AP’s Paul Wiseman, Gisela Salomon, and Christopher Rugaber report that the influx of immigrants has raised the supply of available workers, allowing the economy to rebound and grow following a pandemic-induced labor shortage.

According to a study conducted by economists at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, Wendy Edelberg and Tara Watson, the immigration surge has allowed for monthly job growth to increase by twice the general amountwithout immigration, being 60,000-100,000 jobs a month, versus with immigration being 160,000 to 200,000without accelerating inflation.

That being said, despite the large role that immigrants have played in increasing the labor pool and generating American jobs without increasing inflation, many struggle to obtain work permits. Thankfully, some states have made efforts in the right direction to support immigrants in getting work authorizations. CBS News recently highlighted Mayor Mike Johnston of Denver, Colorado’s new Asylum Seeker Program, aiming to help immigrants transition out of shelters.

Mayor Johnston’s program will support migrants for six months following leaving a shelter via assistance with rent and food, as well as on asylum applications, with the idea that migrants will be eligible for work authorization following those six months. 

Here are key excerpts about the positive impact immigration is having on our economy:

AP News: How immigrant workers in US have helped boost job growth and stave off a recession

  • “There are significantly more people working in the country,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week in a speech at Stanford University. Largely because of the immigrant influx, Powell said, “it’s a bigger economy but not a tighter one. Really an unexpected and an unusual thing.’’
  • “There’s been something of a mystery — how are we continuing to get such extraordinary strong job growth with inflation still continuing to come down?’’ said Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute and a former chief economist at the Labor Department. “The immigration numbers being higher than what we had thought — that really does pretty much solve that puzzle.’’
  • “Without employees, you are broken,” said Jan Gautam, CEO of the lodging company Interessant Hotels & Resort Management in Orlando, Florida. “If you want to boost the economy,” he said, “it definitely needs to have more immigrants coming out to this country.”
  • “We would not have an economy, in Maine or in the U.S. if we did not have highly skilled labor that comes from outside of this country, Tilton-Flood, a partner in the Flood Brothers farm in Maine’s “dairy capital’’ of Clinton, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press from her farm. “Without immigrants — both new asylum-seekers as well as our long-term immigrant contributors — we would not be able to do the work that we do,” she said. Every single thing that affects the American economy is driven by and will only be saved by accepting immigrant labor.”

CBS News: Denver Asylum Seeker program to provide pathway to stability, job opportunities for migrant families

  • As one of the nearly 1,000 migrants who will benefit from the launch of the program, people like Pastor and her family would receive rental assistance and food for six months. At the same time, they will receive help on their application for asylum, with the end goal of becoming eligible for work authorization after those six months.
  • “Our job is through that six month period is to be able to find the right opportunities to make individuals as successful and as ready as possible to be able to enter the workforce,” said Adeeb Khan, Denver’s executive director of Economic Development & Opportunity.
  • Khan says migrants in the program will be provided training opportunities and certifications for areas in which they hope to work once they receive their work authorization… The plan is to set up migrants for success in their future employment, while also introducing businesses that partner up with this program to migrants who are ready to work.