The appeal by U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark was simple. “We need more workers”, she told CNN on Tuesday. As the U.S. economy is struggling with staff shortages and record resignations, Clark’s appeal to double legal immigration to the U.S. is still highly controversial.
Data aggregated by the Migration Policy Institute shows that the presence of foreign-born populations in the U.S. has been increasing for many decades, majorly propping up U.S. population growth during a time when aging populations are a serious struggle for developed economies. While the number of immigrants in the U.S. as well as their share of the population has been rising, the level of the foreign-born population is not unprecedented.
As of 2019, the latest year available through U.S. Census data, 13.7% of the U.S. population was foreign-born, including temporary and permanent residents, naturalized citizens and undocumented immigrants. Throughout the late 19th