Immigration as a Boost to the Economy?

The high-immigration lobby has begun churning out reports on how increased immigration can benefit the economy.

Typical of these reports is one by Jack Strauss, a Saint Louis University economist. He asserts that he has found a key to growth for St. Louis. His study claims to show a direct correlation between an increasing immigrant population and economic growth. According to St. Louis Public Radio,“…he thinks it is likely that the city’s economic slump is partly due to a dwindling number of immigrants living in the area.” The immigrant share is reported to be 4.5 percent.

Besides being factually wrong – the foreign-born population share of the city was 7.2 percent in 2010 and had grown to more than 23,000 persons from 19,542 in 2000 – the claimed benefit from more immigrants implies that those foreigners might be more productive than American workers. But, the productivity of American workers is what has allowed us to maintain a high-wage economy. The only other explanation for an economic boost from foreign workers would be that they could be hired for lower wages thereby yielding greater competitive advantage and profits over competitors who relied on higher wage-earning U.S. workers. That strategy would have obvious negative social consequences for America.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Very sad to read the negative tones from American Citizens. Our country was founded on new beginnings. Why would you not want someone to make a better life for themselves and their family.

    I have worked with immigrants for 30 years in my community. Hard working people they pay taxes own homes and vehicles. Some have started their own business. They want only what they earn nothing else.

    Love all Gods Children

    • avatar
      softwarengineer on

      Are you a legal citizen of this country?

      Are you an employer of IAs?

      You sure don’t sound like one of us, legal citizens of this country, albeit living in an overpopulated quagmire with not enough jobs for our LEGAL citizen families.

      Take your open border overpopulation agenda to wipe out all normal paying American legal citizen jobs back to your own overpouplated 3rd world country you left because you love it so much? It isn’t the strong America we built up for you to destroy and you obviously hate your own overpopulated motherland quagmire too, that’s why you’re here.

      • avatar

        I so agree. If it weren’t for illegals we would have more jobs for Americans. There should be no thing as an “anchor baby”. Children born to illegals should be considered “mexican citizens born abroad” and NOT entitled to any benefits like welfare or medi-cal. We have to pay for medical benefits, yet they get free money, free medical and low income housing…not fair to struggling Americans who pay taxes to support these people. They fly their mexican flags so proudly. If they love mexico so much, they should go back. Employers who hire illegals should be severely punished. If they are not hired, they will stop coming.

    • avatar

      Dude, are you ever naive! Foreigners are just like Americans, some are good, and some are bad.

  2. avatar

    How many times does this true fact have to be repeated? Illegal aliens are a DRAIN ON THE U.S. TAXPAYING PUBLIC, a greater DRAIN on the California taxpaying public, and are here only because the elite in the corrupt U.S. government want them here for their agenda. PERIOD!! THEY “BOOST”, exactly NOTHING, let alone the economy.

    • avatar

      I agree, but what can we do about it. We cater to these people so they keep coming. If we stop hiring them & there are no jobs for them here maybe they will stop coming. Penalize the employers who hire them. I am so tired of my taxes going to these people & their anchor babies. Children born to illegals should be “mexican citizens born abroad” and not entitled to ANY benefits!!!

  3. avatar

    i accept that the fact what SLU Eco have say but i am a Permanent residency of st.Louis does that mean i have to work for a attainable wagers. I have work hard to get my green card and now i have been place on a voluntary deportation to my country Haiti, have leave st,Louis since 2001 have seen it growth, see progress why they have to insult us immigrant. All we want a little work opportunity just like the American, a dream that is hard to acquire, send our kids to a profitable school get our health check when we are sick we are not cheap labor but rather non citizen American that are seek a freedom from persecution. Stop treats like slave we are not cheap profitable labor we are a human been just like you from different country that all

    • avatar

      Go Back to Haiti and Fix Your Own Country

      There’s not enough jobs for our legal citizens in any profession, so why should we care about employing foreigners in any profession?

    • avatar

      Mr. Duver,

      Do you, like the citizens of Mexico, feel entitled to the benefits of our country.? I hope not, because Haiti owes me nothing, nor do I expect it. Do you vote in your country? Why not go back and rally your fellow Haitians to elect a leader who will make Haiti an economically feasible place in which to live? I know nothing has cnanged there in thirty years. I was there then, and from what I see now in the news, it hasn’t become any better. Americans stood and fought the British for our independence. Why not stand your ground in your own country? It seems you have nothing but dictators and criminals as leaders. Do not depend on the US. We’ve done our share and more for the world, We have become its dumping ground. We’re full, we’re broke and we need to stop all immigration if we are to continue as a nation. When we fail, the whole world fails.