President Trump’s immigration policies have made one thing clear: he does not like immigrants.
But the acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney recently stated something very different. That they are desperate for immigrants.
“We are desperate, desperate, for more people” Mulvany said at a private event in England. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth.”
He then said that the country needed “more immigrants”, but wanted then in a “legal” fashion.
Although economists have regularly expressed that the United States needs immigration to fuel future economic growth, Trump has routinely ignored this and continued with his policies to cut illegal and legal immigration.
Mulvaney’s statements are contradicting to what the rest of his fellow Trump Administration believes, but they reflect the viewpoint of economists and business owners who say that immigrants are necessary to power the U.S. labor market as growth in the native-born force rapidly slows as the population ages and people have fewer children.
In fact, over the past two decades, immigrants have accounted for almost half of the labor force. However, with Trump’s ever-increasing immigration policies, we can expect the labor force to fall dramatically.
The slow down could have long-lasting and detrimental effects on our economy. “Immigration, while a sensitive topic, has been a key part of workforce growth in the United States,” said Robert Kaplan, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Immigrants “have been additive to the U.S. economy and they’ve helped us grow faster.”
Product and economic growth is a result of two basic gains; population and productivity. To produce more goods and services, which lead to a healthier economy, businesses need to increase in their efficiency or workforce.
However, productivity improvement has been lacking in America over the past decade, despite the inventions of many new technologies and robotics. As far as population increases, studies show that the number of births have decreased dramatically after the baby booming era. In order for the population to remain steady – neither increase nor decrease – each woman would have to have an average of a little over 2 children. The average births per woman currently is 1.73.
Where population has decreased in citizens, we have steadily been able to add immigrants to our workforce to keep the population up enough to increase our economy. However, with the immigration policies enforced by Trump, immigration- legal and illegal -has been at its lowest since the 1980’s.
With the decrease in new immigrants, there will be a decrease in the overall population and workforce, which will dramatically hurt our economy.