There’s a pre-conceived notion especially with the current migrant crises that vase number of immigrants are entering western countries and are not educated and not contributing to the society or economy, but are benefiting from the welfare provided to citizens. This has led to a rise in nationalism with European countries as well as the USA but more so Europe to regain sovereignty in order to control the number of immigrants that enter the country. However, this notion is not true, the majority of immigrants both legal and illegal contribute a great amount to the economy and play a key role. For instance, in 2015 4.3 million immigrants were recorded living in the United States, as well as 11.1 million illegal immigrants recorded in 2010 that contribute $13 billion along with their employers. Almost half of the illegal immigrants living in the US also pay Social security payroll tax, knowing they won’t benefit from any welfare or state benefits.” Between 700,000 to 850,000 new immigrants arrive illegally each year. More than half slipped across the U.S. border. The rest (45 percent) crossed the border legally but didn’t return home when their visas expired.” (K. Amadeo, 2017). Even though immigrants contribute a huge amount to the economy, the majority who don’t have further or higher education usually gravitate towards labour filled jobs such as construction. With an increase in labour in those fields can lead to a decrease in wages as there more workers, also an illegal immigrant may be willing to work at a cheaper wage which then, impacts workers who are natively born in the country. This leads to companies reducing the price of services and goods as they are being created by low –cost labour. Immigration was a key point as to why a lot of people voted Brexit in 2016. This would mean the UK would not only leave the single market but will not be subject to the freedom of movement, in turn tightening immigration rules on people coming from Europe as well as abroad. Brexiters believed that this will allow Britton to economically trade more effectively with other nations as well create jobs that the British people will benefit from.  In the UK in 2016, 5.4 million non-UK born workers were recorded, which contributed to 17 percent of the UK workforce. Unlike the USA the UK has a vast majority of EU immigrants that live and work in the UK. From the chart shown, EU workers are even more likely to contribute to the UK economy than Native. Within the UK immigrants pay a huge part in certain industries such as IT and cleaning, therefore, a decrease in immigration would mean a lack of people working in these fields which could create a decrease in labour in those areas. “Data for the English National Health Service shows that in 2015 of the 1.22 million total staff around 235,000 were non-British, around 19 per cent.” (B. Chu, 2016),


Zainab M Abdullahi




  1. Amadeo, (2017), How immigration affect the economy and You?, The balance, Available at: <accessed 12/12/17>

B. Chu, (2016), What do immigrants do for the UK economy? Nine Charts conservative ministes seen to be ignoring, The Independent, Availabele at: <Accessed at 13/12/17>

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