High-skilled immigrants create jobs for Americans (and for Malta and many other cities in the world too). Cities with the most foreign tech workers created the most new tech jobs for natives.
What is the difference between a high-skilled and low-skilled immigrant?
High-skilled immigrants are typically professionals who have a degree in their field — often in science, technology, engineering, or medicine. They tend to come from Europe, South Asia, and East Asia. This category includes immigrants who arrived on H1-B visas and foreign students who stayed after graduation.
Low-skilled immigrants are those who work in blue-collar jobs, including construction, hospitality, maintenance, and agriculture. They commonly come from Latin America and arrive on either H2-B unskilled visas or H2-A agricultural visas.
There’s broad agreement that having educated, skilled immigrants helps the US economy. Low-skilled immigration is more controversial politically, because of the fear that low-skilled immigrants will take American jobs and hurt US wages. (Many economists have found, however, that low-skilled immigrants don’t necessarily drive down the wages of native workers — instead, they compete with other immigrants.) Immigrants of all skill levels can also boost the economy by spending their earnings back into their communities, and by starting businesses of their own that employ Americans.