Syrian Immigrants Effect on our Economy


Listening to NPR this morning as I always do on the way to school with Sade (she is not a morning person and conversation is testy if at all-better to listen to soft news). They were talking about the short term and long term effects of immigrants, especially massive influx vs. a steady flow over time. What is the effect on the economy, jobs etc.? This seemed timely in light of the Syrian refugee crisis and offers to allow as many as 200,000 to come here. Of course all the Republicans are bucking it, and The Donald said if elected he would, "...send them all home, who knows how many of them are ISIS?"

To get an idea of how massive waves of immigrants have affected the United States, you don't have to go back far. The Mariel Boat Lift back in the 1980's when Castro told his people to "GO!" if that's what they wanted. And though it's true he allowed 125,000 of his citizens to make it to Key West in the first few months, he also threw in a few murderers , rapists, drug addicts, and people with mental issues, the findings were pretty surprising. The negative effects on the South Florida economy were...minimal. Undetectable even.

Sure they came speaking another language, anyone who has been in Miami understands that effect, but many of them took existing jobs, or created ones for themselves. They did not "take" jobs from anyone, in fact, with more people, there was a need for more services, more barbers, more shopkeepers, more grocers, more housekeepers, etc. The positive effect on the culture is evident when you walk the streets of Miami Beach and the downtown area resplendent with a mix of Latin cultures.

One young lady came over at 16, slept most of the way here with her mother holding onto her ankle so she wouldn't fall off the crowded boat. Arriving, her father started his own business, and she eventually went on to college and is a journalist writing for the NY Times. Her specialty: Immigration. Ain' t this nation great?


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