Economist Giovanni Peri has found that an influx of immigrants doesn’t increase the poverty rate by depressing the wages of low-income, native-born Americans and can actually decrease poverty when higher-skilled immigrants enter the workforce.
Peri, a professor at the University of California-Davis, looked at the economic impact of immigration in the United States on wages, then examined whether there was any correlation with the rise in U.S. poverty from 2000-2009. Here are his findings in a new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research:
There is essentially no effect of immigration on native poverty at the national level. At the local level, only considering the most extreme estimates and only in some localities, we find non-trivial effects of immigration on poverty. In general, however, even the local effects of immigration bear very little correlation with the observed changes in poverty rates and they explain a negligible fraction of them.