Fed Officials Voice Concern That Immigration Crackdowns Will Lead to Workforce Shortage
On the campaign trail, President Trump missed no opportunity to share his goal to stem the flow of illegal immigration to the United States. According to USA Today, since the president signed an executive order in January to enhance immigration enforcement, arrests of undocumented immigrants have increased 38 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
Although supporters of the recent immigration crackdowns argue that they open up job opportunities for U.S. citizens, opponents point out that illegal immigrants make up a major portion of the U.S. workforce. In fact, according to a 2016 report from Pew Research, undocumented immigrants accounted for about 5 percent of the civilian workforce in 2014.
In June, Federal Reserve officials voiced their concern that a major increase in deportations could lead to a shortage of low-skilled labor. According to a report from Bloomberg, companies around the United States have had to raise worker wages to maintain sufficient labor levels. A Fed official in San Francisco pointed out that some farmers have had to discard portions of their harvest as a result of the labor shortage.
The future economic impacts of the recent immigration crackdowns are still a matter of speculation. But at least for the foreseeable future, it appears that U.S. immigration authorities will continue to arrest undocumented immigrants at unprecedented levels.
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Reuters: Hispanic Spending Down in Wake of Increased Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants
According to Reuters, discretionary spending in Hispanic-dominated areas has been notably lower over recent months. Retailers believe that the clampdown on immigration is a primary cause of the downturn.
The report from Reuters revealed that legal U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin are reluctant to go out due to fear of being harassed by immigration officials—especially in border towns.
Economists are worried that continued reduction in Hispanic discretionary spending could have a major impact on overall economic growth. The Hispanic community spent about $1.4 trillion in 2016, according to data cited by the University of Georgia.
According to Reuters, the reduction in spending has already affected footwear and apparel retailers. Those two sectors were under pressure before the immigration crackdowns due to a shift toward online retail shopping.
Bloomberg: Price of New Homes Has Spiked Due to Hispanic Labor Shortage
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, home builders in Atlanta and around the country have been forced to increase the prices of new homes due to a labor shortage. In particular, construction companies have reported a shortage of framers, a position that traditionally employs a high concentration of Hispanic immigrants. Some companies have been forced to pay framers nearly double their previous wage to mitigate the impact of the labor shortage.
Besides the 145-percent increase in arrests of non-criminal undocumented workers that has gutted much of the industry's labor pool, there's also concern that President Trump's tough stance on trade could cause the price of parts and materials to increase, which would further add to the expense of new homes.
If you are worried about how new immigration policies will affect you or your family, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. No matter what your immigration concerns are, Charles Kuck will evaluate your situation, answer your questions, and provide comprehensive legal guidance.
Call 404-816-8611 today to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney in Atlanta. You can learn more about U.S. immigration laws by visiting the USAttorneys website.