This Migration Policy Institute event discusses the release of the MPI report, Immigration Policy and Less-skilled Workers in the United States: Reflections on Future Directions for Reform. The report, and the discussion, examine economists’ views on the costs and benefits of low-skilled immigration, and some policy options to reform the U.S. immigration system to make it more economically beneficial. Among the options discussed: Providing legal pathways for low-skilled workers, allowing less-skilled workers on employment-based visas to switch employers more easily and gain a path to citizenship, and setting employer visa fees at a level sufficient to offset some of the costs that low-skilled immigration imposes. The discussion is opened by MPI Senior Vice President, Michael Fix, followed by the report author, Harry Holzer, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Commenting on the report findings are Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President, MPI; Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; and Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of MPI’s US Immigration Policy Program.
Does Low-Skilled Immigration Hurt the US Economy? Assessing the Evidence