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Immigration Effects on African Americans

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Immigration has been found to have a significant impact on African Americans in the United States. According to a study by the Center for Immigration Studies, immigration reduces labor force participation of the least-educated black men. Source

Another study by Northeastern University found that immigrants are displacing young native-born men in the labor market and that the largest impact is on blacks and Hispanics. In addition, blacks are more likely to be in competition with immigrants than are whites. A 1995 study by Augustine Kposowa concluded that non-whites appear to lose jobs to immigrants and their earnings are depressed by immigrants. Source

A new NBER study suggests that immigration has more far-reaching consequences than merely depressing wages and lowering employment rates of low-skilled African-American males: its effects also appear to push some would-be workers into crime and, later, into prison. Source

It is important to note that not all studies agree on the impact of immigration on African Americans. Some studies suggest that immigration has a positive impact on African Americans. For example, a report by Pew Research Center found that black immigrants have contributed significantly to the growth and diversity of the overall black population in the United States. Source

The authors put forward a straightforward theory: immigration causes wages and employment to fall for black workers. When this happens, some of those workers -- especially those with the lowest skills -- turn to crime to increase their income. Read

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