Constitution Day Celebrates New Citizens Who Drive U.S. Economy
(Bloomberg) -- Constitution Day and Citizenship Day celebrate the signing of one of America’s founding documents, as well as those who have become U.S. citizens.
The Constitution, signed in 1787, lays out the government’s responsibilities to its citizens along with a list of rights and freedoms -- many of which are still contested today. Constitution Day was joined with Citizenship Day by an act of Congress in 2004.
President Joe Biden tweeted Friday about immigrants making the country stronger, and the need to keep the country “worthy of the dreams and aspirations” of future arrivals.
In many ways, the U.S. economy depends on immigrant workers. Birth rates are declining, and prior to the pandemic, employers struggled to find workers in a tight labor market. Manufacturing and agriculture are among the industries where workers are in high demand.
In 2020, 17% of the labor force was foreign-born. Hispanics made up nearly half of this share and Asians made up a quarter. Immigrants participate in the labor force at much higher rates than their counterparts born in the U.S., but were also disproportionately hit by the pandemic, accounting for more than a third of lost jobs.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has flagged the need for a comprehensive immigration bill with a path to citizenship and increased protections for the undocumented. At the same time, a significant segment of the U.S. population harbors anti-immigrant sentiment, a division that further sown by President Trump during his administration.
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