Research & Policy

Immigrant Workers

1. AFL-CIO, Immigrant Workers At Risk: The Urgent Need for Improved Workplace Safety and Health Policies and Programs (August 2005).
"Today, immigrant workers in this country face an epidemic of workplace injury and death. In fact, immigrant workers are at far greater risk of being killed or injured on the job than native-born workers. Overall, workplace fatalities among foreign born workers increased by 46 percent between 1992 and 2002." Download this document

2. American Immigration Law Foundation, Mexican Immigrant Workers and the U.S. Economy: An Increasingly Vital Role, Immigration Policy Focus Volume 1 Issue 2 (September 2002).
"American's current immigration policies are antiquated and file to recognize the importance of Mexican workers to the national economy. A year has now passed since the Bush-Fox visit of 2001. The nation must act to reform immigration laws so that they give the immigration system the integrity to keep Americans safe, while at the same time giving businesses the essential workers they need to succeed." Download this document

3. B. Lindsay Lowell. Julia Gelatt, Jeanna Batalova, Immigrants and Labor Force Trends: The Future, Past, and Present, Migration Policy Institute (July 2006).
"The number of immigrants in the US labor force reached a historic high of 22 million, or 14.7 percent of the total labor force, in 2005.  If the level of immigration to the United States continues along its current trajectory, immigrants may make up between one-third and one-half of the growth of the US labor force through 2030.  Immigrant workers have played an important role in the growth of the US labor force in recent history, and will continue to play an important role in the future." Download this document

4. Daniel T. Griswold, Center for Trade Policy Studies, CATO Institute, Willing Workers: Fixing the Problem of Illegal Mexican Migration to the United States (October 15, 2002).
"Demand for low-skilled labor continues to grow in the United States while the domestic supply of suitable workers inexorably declines-yet U.S. immigration law contains virtually no legal channel through which low skilled immigrant workers can enter the country to fill the gap." Download this document

5. David A. Jaeger, Ph.D., Replacing the Undocumented Work Force, Center For American Progress (March 2006).
"Perhaps no aspect of the debate over immigration policy is more hotly contested than the impact illegal immigrants have on the U.S. economy. With more than 7.5 million undocumented immigrants currently employed in rapidly growing sectors of the economy, understanding the effect of immigration on the labor market is critically important for policymakers grappling with immigration reform." Download this document

6. Julie Murray, Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, The Impact of Immigration on Native Workers: A Fresh Look at the Evidence (July 2006).
"Immigrant workers have long contributed to the strength of the US economy. However, concerns that immigrants compete with native workers to the latter's detriment persist in a period of high, sustained immigration." Download this document

7. Migration Policy Institute, What Kind of Work Do Immigrants Do? (January 21, 2004).
"Approximately 14 percent of the civilian labor force in the United States is foreign born, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But what kind of work do immigrants do?  The Migration Policy Institute has compiled the following information on the occupation and industry of foreign-born workers from the 2002 Current Population Survey. All of the information presented below refers to employed workers age 16 and over." Download this document

8. Migration Policy Institute, The Foreign Born in the US Labor Force: Numbers and Trends (January 2004). 
"President Bush's initiative on immigration reform has raised questions about the participation of the foreign born in the civilian labor market of the United States. The Migration Policy Institute has compiled the following information on immigrant workers from census and survey data." Download this document

9. National Immigration Forum, Is "Work and Return" a Solution or a Sound Bite? (February 16, 2006).
"Workability is the touchstone by which any proposal to fix our failing immigration system should be measured. The American public is tired of failed policies and political posturing, and thirsts for a realistic solution. All sides agree that success ultimately hinges on dramatically reducing the number of people living in the United States without legal status." Download this document

10. National Immigration Law Center, Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Legislative Priorities for Immigrant Workers (February 2007).
"Immigrants currently comprise 15 percent of the United States' overall workforce and 20 percent of its  low-wage workforce.  In fact, half of all new participants added to the U.S. labor force between 1990  and 2000 were immigrants.  Many immigrants, however,  work under dangerous and exploitative conditions akin  to those of over a century ago that led to the adoption of  today's labor and employment laws." Download this document

11. Pew Hispanic Center, The Labor Force Status of Short-Term Unauthorized Workers (April 13, 2006).
"As the U.S. Senate concluded a two-week debate on immigration reform on April 7, 2006, attention focused on proposals that would divide the unauthorized population into two groups: Long-term illegal immigrants, generally defined as those who have been in the country for more than five years, would be eligible for benefits such as a legalization program. Short-term illegal immigrants would either have to leave the country permanently or would have to leave and then apply for temporary worker status." Download this document

12. Rob Paral, Immigration Policy Center, Essential Workers: Immigrants are a Needed Supplement to the Native-Born Labor Force, Immigration Policy Brief (March 2005).
"An analysis of data from the 2000 census reveals that employment in about one-third of all U.S. job categories would have contracted during the 1990s in the absence of recently arrived, noncitizen immigrant workers."
Download this document

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