Researchers Say Undocumented Workers Boost American Wages - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Researchers Say Undocumented Workers Boost American Wages

Posted: Updated: - Economists say the impact of undocumented workers on the U.S. workforce is affecting the wages of American workers.

While immigration reform continues to be debated in the House of Representatives, one of the major concerns with legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants is the impact they would have on American wages.

According to the Hamilton Project, despite concerns that competition from immigrants might harm employment prospects for Americans; recent economic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise wages and expand employment opportunities for Americans.

How is this possible? The answer lies in the way that the economy evolves to incorporate immigrants. For instance, less-skilled immigrants working in, say, agriculture, construction, or household services, improve the wages and earnings of Americans by expanding the capacity of American businesses and farms.

Economists find that, on average, previous waves of immigrants tend to boost American wages not lower them.