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Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System

Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System

Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System

Wheelan (2010) argues that the price of a skill is not related inherently to the social value but to the rarity of the skill. Although many people in the US are poor because of a lack of jobs, it is not because they lack skills but because of their worth as human capital. The poverty rate of college graduates is 12 times lower than that of high school graduates. Low-skilled workers are also less mobile than high-skilled workers. In an economy that is modern, skills, specialization, and technology affect productivity, all of which comprise human capital. The reason that America is wealthy is due to the fact that it is productive. The country has become better at producing services and goods over the last decades, and this includes the entertainment and healthcare industries. As the country becomes more productive, it begins to use technology over labor; hence, there is an increase in unpleasant tasks even as human capital increases.

Bonello & Lobo (2015) argue it is because of these unpleasant tasks and an increase in human capital that a gap exists. Those who are highly skilled are not willing to do unpleasant tasks. That is where immigrants come in; they are mostly low-skilled but willing to do unpleasant tasks. Will the economy survive by ignoring unpleasant tasks? The answer is NO. Factories producing goods and having no one to take care of the by-products will eventually close down. Low-skilled immigrants do jobs that Native Americans do not want to do; housekeeping, janitors, funeral service workers, groundmen, and nannies among others. Additionally, high-skilled immigrants also take up jobs that Native Americans refuse to take on, including software engineers, dentists, and research scientists. God told the Israelites that they should not harvest all that was in the field but rather leave some of the harvests for the foreigners (Deuteronomy 24:19-21). Americans cannot do all the jobs; they need immigrants to do some jobs (usually low-paying). Immigrants are not substitutes but complements who help reduce economic bottlenecks.

Therefore, we ought to treat immigrants with respect and dignity, for they, too, play their part in enriching the country. If all immigrants were to leave the US, the economy would surely go downhill; parents would need to quit their high-paying jobs to stay at home with their children; incomes will be affected, and mortgages would go unpaid, resulting in homelessness, etc. The cascade of events would be endless. The Bible admonishes us in several passages that we should love immigrants because God loves them too. US people can become immigrants if the scales are tilted: Exodus 23:9 “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. No one chooses to be an immigrant; war, strife, and other push factors displace people from their homes and countries. So, just as God told the Israelites never to forget that they were once foreigners, Americans, too, should not take their economic power status for granted. Nations rise, and nations fall. We need to be fair and loving toward foreigners: Psalms 146:9, The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.


Bonello, F., & Lobo, I. (2015). Taking sides: Clashing views on economic issues (16th ed.).

Wheelan, C. (2010). Naked economics: Undressing the dismal science. Chapter 6: Productivity and Human Capital


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Discussion assignment

Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System (Connecting Domestic and International Issues)

There is much concern that immigrants from foreign countries flood

Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System

Impact of Immigration on our Socioeconomic System

the job market, raising unemployment and keeping wages down for American workers. Read the case study “Does Immigration Benefit the Economy” in our Taking Sides text. Which side of the argument do you agree with?

Then read Leviticus 19:33–34 (NIV). How does this passage of scripture ask us to treat immigrants? Does this change your view on this topic? Can you think of any other verses on this topic?

The reading assignment

Wheelan, C. (2010). Naked economics: Undressing the dismal science.

  • Chapter 6: Productivity and Human Capital

Bonello, F., & Lobo, I. (2015). Taking sides: Clashing views on economic issues (16th ed.).

  • 2.6 Does Immigration Benefit the Economy?
  • 3.8 Is the Inequality in U.S. Income Distribution Surging

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