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The New Changes in the Marketplace and Immigration Law: Impact on the U.S. Job Market

Immigration Law

As Donald Trump promotes increasingly aggressive plans to crack down on illegal immigration, economists express concerns that his proposals could significantly harm the U.S. job market, which has remained robust partly due to foreign-born workers. Trump is strict immigration Policies, included mass deportations, detention camps, or an expanded border wall, are central to his promise for an stronger economy. He argues that immigrant workers Reduce wages or take jobs from native-born Americans. However, they specifics of his plans remain vague, making it difficult the predict they precise implementation.

Economic Concerns Over Immigration Crackdown

Economists and business leaders warn that Trump’s proposals could lead to higher unemployment and slower economic growth, particularly affecting the immigrant workforce. Key industries like construction, food service, and agriculture could face severe disruptions. Additionally, these measures could exacerbate inflation, a major economic concern for many voters.

The U.S. job market has rebounded strongly from the pandemic, thanks in part to immigration. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the labor force will grow by 5.2 million people by 2033 due to net immigration, contributing an additional $7 trillion to the economy over the next decade. Economist Chloe East from the University of Colorado Denver emphasizes that the economy is not a zero-sum game: “When one person has a job, that does not mean one less job for somebody else.” She warns that mass deportations would likely increase the unemployment rate for U.S.-born workers, with long-lasting effects. An asylum lawyer might argue that such policies not only harm the economy but also infringe on the rights and protections of vulnerable individuals seeking refuge in the U.S.

Trump’s Immigration Plans and Potential Impacts

Trump has pledged to execute the largest domestic deportation operation in American history, targeting over 11 million undocumented immigrants and possibly building detention camps to expedite the process. He also intends to reimplement policies from his first term, such as “Remain in Mexico” and Title 42, which impose stringent border controls.

Trump argues that undocumented immigrants receive better treatment than native-born Americans seeking jobs, promising to replace what he calls the “Biden economic bust” with a “Trump economic boom.” However, many experts believe his policies could backfire. For example, George Borjas, a Harvard economist, has found that a 10 percent increase in immigration within a particular group can lower that group’s wages by 3 to 4 percent, affecting workers with lower education levels. Yet, he also noted that these lower wages could lead to higher profits for employers, ultimately benefiting the broader economy.

The Role of Immigrants in Key Industries

Under the Biden administration, hundreds of thousands of migrants have entered the U.S. legally through expanded visa and refugee programs. While undocumented workers have less leverage to demand higher pay, overall wages are rising, and unemployment remains low. Economists argue that the job market would suffer from mass deportations, especially in sectors like construction and agriculture, which still struggle to hire post-pandemic.

Research by East and others on the labor market effects of the Secure Communities policy found that for every 100,000 undocumented immigrants forced to leave, there were roughly 9,000 fewer jobs for U.S.-born workers. This is because undocumented workers often hold essential jobs that support other roles. For instance, a restaurant might rely on an undocumented worker as a busboy or line cook, enabling the employment of servers and hosts, who are more likely to be native-born. Without these workers, businesses could face operational challenges.

Industry Leaders’ Perspectives

The construction industry, still short about half a million workers, would face significant challenges if 11 million people were deported. Alan Hoffmann, president of Hoffmann Homes in Dallas-Fort Worth, predicts that such a move would drive up wages and housing costs due to increased competition for workers.

Similarly, the agricultural sector, which relies heavily on undocumented labor, would be severely impacted. Michael Marsh, president of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, highlights that around 950,000 of the country’s 2.2 million agricultural workers are unauthorized. Removing these workers could lead to fewer services and upward pressure on wages, hurting the economy.

Potential Unintended Consequences

Despite Trump’s promises to combat inflation, many economists argue that his policies could worsen price growth. His proposed tariffs on imported goods and disruptions to the labor market could increase inflation. Employers, including those who supported Trump in the past, express concerns about the potential negative effects on legal immigration and their ability to fill essential roles.

In southwestern Michigan, Fred Leitz, co-owner of Leitz Farms, relies on the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers. He fears that Trump’s policies could unintentionally impact legal immigration, making it impossible to fill about 200 jobs on his farm.

Similarly, Jeremy Dougherty, general manager of the Bar Harbor Inn in Maine, relies on H-2B visa holders for seasonal staff. He recalls significant delays in 2017 due to changes in visa processing under Trump and worries about the uncertainty a second Trump term could bring.


Trump’s aggressive immigration plans could have profound and far-reaching impacts on the U.S. job market and economy. While intended to bolster employment for native-born Americans, these policies risk creating labor shortages, increasing costs, and disrupting key industries. As the debate over immigration continues, policymakers must carefully consider the economic implications to ensure a balanced approach that supports both native-born and immigrant workers.

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