Which Immigrants Succeed? Simple Facts to Guide Better Policy

Robert VerBruggen
Date of Publication: 
April, 2023
Source Organization: 

A new report by the Manhattan Institute entitled “Which Immigrants Succeed? Simple Facts to Guide Better Policy” argues for a reorientation of the American immigration system to admit more high-skilled immigrants. Using Census data, the author tracks immigrants in their prime earning years who moved here as adults. The report looks at immigrants born between 1968 and 1972 who entered the country in 2001 or earlier. The author’s findings indicate that high-skilled immigrants perform significantly better in nearly every metric. Educational attainment, for example, translated into a maximum difference of $104,000 in mean annual earnings between immigrants with no high school diploma and those with post-graduate education. Additionally, the author found that high-skilled immigrants pay more taxes, use fewer government benefits, and spur more innovation. The author recommends a series of immigration policy reforms that would allow more high-skilled immigrants into the U.S., including limiting family-based immigration to spouses and minor children, abolishing the diversity visa program, and establishing a point-based system that will “select immigrants who (A) will likely do well given their employment prospects, degrees, and English proficiency and (B) fall into that precious young-adult age range where they can establish connections and careers early and then live their full prime earning years in the U.S. before retiring.” (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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VerBruggen, R. (2023, April). Which Immigrants Succeed? Simple Facts to Guide Better Policy. Manhattan Institute. https://manhattan.institute/article/which-immigrants-succeed-simple-fact...