Others argue that legalization has advantages. Giovanni Peri, an economics professor at the University of California at Davis, said opening a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million people, seven to eight million of whom are employed, is equivalent to an “economic incentive.”
Between 2005 and 2015 there were no new immigrants Almost half of the working-age population growth and over the next two decades, immigrants will be the key to replacing retirees. According to demographers, a shortage of workers underscores the need for immigrants to be in increasing numbers in low-skilled jobs. Approximately five million of them work in jobs that have been classified as “essential” by the government.
The biggest supporters of the Biden initiative include employers who rely on immigrants. Over the years dairies, packaging plants, and other construction sites have been involved in immigration raids against unauthorized workers.
The 1986 Reagan-era amnesty only caused a temporary decline in the number of undocumented immigrants as it was not accompanied by a robust system of legal recruitment of low-skilled workers. Employers faced fines for knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants, but were not responsible for verifying documents submitted by applicants, creating a huge industry of fake social security numbers.
“The principle is simple: if you do full legalization, undocumented migration flows will not be frozen as long as labor demand continues,” said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego.
The illegal influx began to pick up again in the early 1990s.
Economic imperatives prevailed which drove illegal immigration up year after year.
A construction boom in the Sun Belt states drew hundreds of thousands of undocumented construction workers. And when farm workers who had benefited from the amnesty aged and left the fields, young undocumented workers came to replace them.