Why immigration has strengthened the economy

On Thursday, President Biden and former president Donald Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border, underscoring how central immigration is in this year’s presidential campaign. 

As Biden and Trump clash over how to address immigration at the southern border — and as Congress stalls on a border deal — data shows that this immigration has actually propelled the U.S. job market further than expected, helping cement the country’s economic rebound from the pandemic as the most robust in the world.

“Immigration, it turns out, has played an absolutely crucial role in that growth,” says economics reporter Rachel Siegel. “There is absolutely no way — economists told me — that we could have seen the kind of booming labor market — especially over the past year — without a really strong surge in immigration in 2023.”

Today’s show was produced by Sabby Robinson, with help from Rennie Svirnovskiy. It was mixed by Sean Carter and edited by Lucy Perkins. Thanks also to Lauren Kaori Gurley and Meryl Kornfield.

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