The Economics of Immigration: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why

  • Share
  • Read Later
JASON REED / Reuters

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration reform at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas on Jan. 29, 2013.

Washington’s focus has shifted to immigration reform this week as a bipartisan group of Senators put forward a comprehensive plan on Monday and President Obama followed with a proposal of his own yesterday. The debate thus far has been anchored around the bipartisan Senate proposal, the President’s support for a “path to citizenship,” and House Republican’s opposition to it. The opposition to the plan so far has centered around concerns about such a deal inviting a new influx of undocumented workers, or its rewarding those who have violated the law. These are important discussions to have, but with the economy here at home still so fragile, many are wondering what sort of effect immigration has on the American economy.

Here’s a look at four big questions concerning the economics of immigration:

Does immigration reduce wages for native-born Americans? 

It might seem like a no-brainer that increased immigration would reduce the wages of native-born Americans. A simple supply and demand model would tell you that more workers means lower wages. But the story is actually more complicated than that. According to a 2010 survey of the economic literature on the subject, the Brookings Institute concluded that, “The most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices.”

(MORE: Will Immigration Reform Work This Time?)

How can it be that more workers competing over the same jobs can lead to higher wages? The reason is that it’s not actually more workers competing over the same jobs. Immigration actually changes what jobs employers need to fill. For one, an influx of cheap labor can make certain businesses like farming or restaurants feasible. (Absent cheap labor, these firms simply could not compete with foreign rivals.) Second, immigrants not only supply labor, but demand it, too. And a larger domestic population through immigration creates more potential customers for business, as well.

Is immigration a drain on the welfare state?

Another popular argument for maintaining tough restrictions on immigration is that without strict laws limiting immigration, unskilled workers would flock to America to take advantage of its relatively robust welfare state. The economic literature in this area yields conflicting conclusions and varies greatly depending on the country being studied. Some studies show that immigrants take out more in benefits than they pay in taxes, while other studies show the opposite. But George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan argues that the welfare state in America specifically dissuades folks from coming here purely for welfare benefits. First, writes Caplan:

“Contrary to popular stereotypes, welfare states focus on the old, not the poor. Social Security and Medicare dwarf means-tested programs. Since immigrants tend to be young, they often end up supporting elderly natives rather than ‘milking the system.’ Illegal immigrants who pay taxes on fake Social Security numbers are pure profit for the Treasury. In 2005, Social Security’s chief actuary estimated that without all the taxes paid on invalid Social Security numbers, ‘the system’s long-term funding hole over 75 years would be 10 percent deeper.'”

Second, Caplan points out that most government spending is what economists call “nonrival,” meaning that the government “can serve a larger population with little or no extra cost.” For instance, he argues, the United States military could adequately defend a population of twice the size of America for the same, or just slightly higher, cost. “An even clearer case,” Caplan writes, is “if the population of the U.S. doubled overnight, the national debt (not deficit) would remain the same, and the per capita debt would halve. The lesson: Immigrants can pull their own fiscal weight even if their tax bills are well below average.”

(MORE: Why Undocumented Workers Are Good for the Economy)

Does immigration help the economy grow?

The most important factor driving economic growth is innovation. To put it simply, if American workers and firms can figure out how to do their jobs more efficiently, we’ll see economic growth. And according to University of California economist Gordon Hanson, immigrants — specifically high-skilled immigrants — are great for innovation. Immigrants are more likely than native-born Americans to secure patents on new inventions or processes, and Hanson argues, immigrants can bring unique knowledge about foreign markets to American firms.

But it’s not just high-skilled immigrants who can help boost economic growth in America. According to Hanson, low-skilled immigrant workers can make the American economy more efficient as well. First of all, low-skilled immigrant workers are more willing to move to find work than native-born American workers. Writes Hanson:

“Low-skilled U.S.-born workers tend to be immobile across regions. When, say, the demand for low-skilled labor picks up in North Carolina, native-born workers in other regions are slow to move in . . . The consequence of the immobility of low skilled labor is to gum up the labor market, slowing the pace of growth in booming regions and the pace of recovery in slumping regions.”

(COVER STORYWe Are Americans—Just Not Legally)

In addition, an increase in low-skilled immigrant workers can also help to make the high-end of the labor force more efficient. Increasingly, high-skilled workers are women who are also married to high-skilled husbands. And an increase in low-skilled labor willing to do everyday housework like laundry, cleaning, and childcare frees these workers to spend time more productively at their jobs.

Whom does immigration hurt then?

Economists, as a rule, like to look at the big picture. And the vast majority of the economic literature argues that a more liberal immigration policy would be good for the U.S. economy as a whole. The problem is, of course, that not everyone is going to come out a winner. A particularly contentious issue as far as economists are concerned is the effect of immigration on low-income, native-born workers. As I mentioned before, the literature is divided on whether an increase in low-skilled immigrant labor hurts low-skilled native workers in the long-run or not.

But it’s almost certain that in individual cases there will be workers who get put out of work by immigrant competition. And these individual stories of hardship are a much more salient effect of immigration than a slew of patents that make hundreds of products ever-so-slightly more efficient. In other words, the benefits of increased immigration will be spread out among the entire population, while the costs will be borne by a relatively small group of individuals who will feel the effects acutely.

In addition, we must not forget that there is more at stake here than purely economic considerations. Those who are opposed to more liberal immigration policies, or a “path to citizenship” for undocumented workers in America are concerned about ideas of fairness, the sanctity of the law, and the integrity of American culture. And these are all issues that will be debated openly and forcefully in the coming months as Congress considers the issue. But as these debates continue, it’s worth noting that mainstream economists mostly agree that more immigration is, on balance, good for the economy.

PHOTOSFamily Photos of an Undocumented Immigrant

127 comments
BryanTansy
BryanTansy

It's easy! Why hire an American for $20/hr when u can hire José at $7.50/hr to do the same thing?

Worstcountryintheworld
Worstcountryintheworld

The US citizens are the real losers. I find it interesting that when the immigrants started coming in droves we were told that "they are doing the jobs that American's don't wants" and around the same time our jobs were being outsourced.  What was once the middle class is now the new poor and our wages have dropped to a new low.  We are fighting just to survive and it's not getting any better.  The job creation BS is thrown into the news every now and then but we're all on a downhill slide and there seems to be no end in sight.  When will we all wake up and decide we've put up with just about enough with these clowns in Washington.  I for one am just about to the end of my rope.  These immigrants are now in construction and are taking many jobs that we as natural citizens want and need in order to provide for our families.  They are considered minorities and are given first rights to many jobs over "non-hispanic whites" (where the heck did that term come from????)  My carpenter husband has been laid off many, many times as hispanics are hired in his place.  Should we move to Mexico and try to buy land to live and work there?  Oh, wait that's not allowed for US Citizens.. Canada keeps their jobs for their citizens and you can't be come a citizen unless you are a millionaire or are able to do a job their citizens can't. So where should we go to survive?

jaydawg137
jaydawg137

when only hanson and the brookings institute (both skewed to the far left) are the only people giving opinions , when what we really need is an opinion from the center which is protecting american citizens as far as i can see this economy is far from what it was .. i'm not arguing for the Right repubs on the contrary both want immigrants , on the right its cheap cheap labor for the wealthy corporate farmers... on the left dems    its more poor people to assure a welfare state that by and large vote democrat thereby increasing their voting base .... and the same goes for hispanics in congress that encourage this .. it would really be nice if our own gov had the .. what was once called the 'silent majority' in mind instead of being pushed aside as though they have some great advantage ... when the silent majority has taken the brunt of the economic melt down, the brunt of the 2 wars in the last 10 years .. ... to say that an immigrant is more likely to move  or is a  harder worker is a bold faced slam to every american citizen that wants a home , stability and a family that doesnt want to live in a shack or a tent in order to be a hard worker .. arent they people too ? 

itzy39
itzy39

What is BS is that Americans don't have a claim to this land this land was originally the Native indians, and the even funnier this is those "illegal aliens" are actual descendants of  native Indians so they hold an even bigger claim to this land then actual american. So before anyone goes and calls people Traitors for helping hard working people you might want to think about how narrow minded and a hypocrite most people are being about mexicans stealing jobs and etc when this land was stolen.

LynneShelby
LynneShelby

This is NOT immigration reform. It is  amnesty.  Stop calling it "immigration". 


If Obama gets away with this, just remember another president can UNDO the "amnesty".


Obama is a traitor and this is part of his "fundamental transformation". 

HaywoodJablomie
HaywoodJablomie

The FACT is that Hispanic Americans do NOT want amnesty for illegal aliens. So, then, just who do these so-called "immigrant rights" groups represent?

The answer is that they have nothing whatsover to do with "immigrants" OR "rights." They are seditious "Reconquista" groups.

Reconquista groups are groups that believe the Southwestern U.S. was stolen from Mexico. They want to reconquer (reconquista) the area and create a Chicano homeland called "Aztlan."

Under the euphuism 'Hispanic Homeland' and 'Nation of Aztlan,' activists from numerous organizations including Mexican American Legal Defense and La Raza (The Race) activists are attempting to annex large portions of SW United States to Mexico. "Republica del Norte," the Republic of the North, which would include the present U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texa...s, plus southern Colorado, along with several current Mexican states, is "an inevitability" says Charles Truxillo, professor, University of New Mexico. He further states the new "Hispanic Homeland" should be brought into being "by any means necessary."
 
Polls show that Hispanic-Americans, like all Americans, support stronger enforcement of our immigration laws. http://tinyurl.com/k5pmyq7
 
 

MelissaTrahin
MelissaTrahin

I agree, Immigration has been a prolonged issue in the U.S because politically it has guaranteed power over minority groups who ideally threaten the American ways. The issue of immigration has served as propaganda for America, which ironically also ads to the problem. But is the concern really the economy? The desperate need of immigrants to financially support their family leads to illegal actions that create an obligatory consideration to security.  Not to say that these actions are acts of violence but instead a burden to the law, resources and past cases of discrimination or terrorism. When three out of every 100 people in America are undocumented or documented with fake papers; there is a serious and known security problem. According to “The White House Blog,” immigrants start businesses, boost earnings for American workers, develop technologies and companies, boost demand for local consumer goods etc.

            I propose that a limited worker program in which immigrants are given legal documentation for the purposes of employment would decrease illegal actions and benefit the economy. A form of citizenship such as the DREAM Act was found effective towards reducing the deficit.Although it is a tough thing to suggest, an immigration reform would help the government know who people are, where they are and what they do. Otherwise, many illegal immigrants have and will continue to get away with acts of crime due to the fact that they don’t have an identity. Lastly, the U.S government is responsible for encouraging immigrants to become invested in the American culture by learning English, paying taxes and following the law. (Consider “The Melting Pot”). As a result, immigrants would feel the need to act as a citizen and take care of this country as well as their home country. 

carolcarol
carolcarol

@MelissaTrahin I find it interesting that you highlighted the idea that undocumented immigrants do not take personal responsibility for the outcome of this country because they are not given the opportunity to be accepted in it. Thus, taking action to give them an identity within the United States may be beneficial for all, including existing citizens.

Thanks for the insight!

bjoe427
bjoe427

This is just another biased,lie artical trying to make Illegal Aliens seem important to our econamy,yes they hold down wages.because they work for what the employer WANTS to pay them whitch is slave wages at best!.,yes they suck our safty nets dry because it costs up to $10,000 a year for one illegal alien child to go to one of our scools,They collect the welfare,attend the scool undercut an americans job,and pay no taxes.except sales taxes.thats nothing compared to a USA Citizen or legal resident immigrant!.We give and they take period.problem wqith Pathway to citizenship (AMNESTY)no matter how long they say it will take is still Amnesty,We break a law we dont get rewarded for it,we get punished.The crime,gangs,prison costs,the verry fact some hang the United States flagg upside down under the Mexican flagg is reason enough for me to want them all gone!.Our Emergancy rooms,and welfare offices are allways packed full of Mexicans.and the USA Citizen allways come up short on the fareness side of this bias stick!.Our healthcare costs go up because we the USA Citizen pay for what they get.But we are suposed to be Politically correct.This is a sham artical at best!.

CoryHernandez
CoryHernandez

We invite organizations and individuals from all countries to march with us for a "JUST AND ATTAINABLE IMMIGRATION REFORM FOR ALL" to show our elected officials that we are all united in this cause. Please contact us right away if you will be participating and make sure to tell your friends that are sympathetic to our cause. We request that, if possible, everyone wears white. Please take only US flags to the march and if you have posters keep them positive.

We will meet at corner of Fremont St. and S. Main St. and travel East to 4th Street.
From 4th Street we will travel South to Lewis Ave.
From Lewis Ave. we will travel East to Rally on the West side of Las Vegas Blvd.


RoyLawson
RoyLawson

Out of the 65,000 primary cap, over 42,000 go to just 12 offshore outsourcing companies based in India. That is killing us.

GloriaHiggs1
GloriaHiggs1

upto I looked at the receipt which had said $9927, I did not believe that my cousin was like they say actually bringing in money in there spare time from there labtop.. there best friend has done this 4 less than 21 months and as of now repaid the mortgage on there house and bought themselves a BMW 5-series. read more at, Great60.comTAKE A LOOK

ShreeShrestha
ShreeShrestha

All these illegal immigrants are already here and they are working and supporting their families. They are just not paying taxes, driving without license and have no liability and health insurance. Making them legal means bringing them out of shadow and making them pay taxes which will benefit government. One more point, the people here always take Mexicans and illegal in one breath. There are many whites from Sweden or Poland or Britain and many more blacks from Sudan or Nigeria illegally in USA. But the people here have no courage to ask where they are from. Whites are whites and blacks - you will be called racist just asking their nationality. Mexicans are easy to brand as illegals.

BorisIII
BorisIII

If Mexico keeps financially growing maybe they will build a wall to keep guns out and cut way back on the cartels income that keeps drugs from crossing the border.  Also, if all you have is a high school degree it will be a lot harder to get a job.  People from developed countries are more motivated to work hard labor jobs for minimum wage.

StopH1bNow
StopH1bNow

stop job-killing H1b's now, right now. Let your rep's know that is poison, and that you'll be remembering who voted for this when it's your turn to vote. The H1b system is full of fraud and corruption, don't believe the b/s about how everyone is following the rules and how we need this to stay competitive. It's bad for the economy and bad for the STEM professions. Stop H1b now

kenn28hall
kenn28hall

There should be NO amnesty and politicians who support it should not be re-elected.

BobStemple
BobStemple

I for one will pay attention to who votes for this new amnesty bill and when it comes time to reelect the person I shall vote for someone else. I will not care which party they belong to. I shall just vote for the other person. I know that the media and the official thinks that I will forget by the time there is an election, but I shall make a bucket list just for elections from now on and I can go to the bucket list and vote against them. Any official that votes for a law that takes away my rights of any kind will lose my vote. If they vote against a constitutional law they will lose my vote. I'm tire of voting for someone who claims to be a one way and they when they are elected they are the other. I have to work for a living so I do not have the time nor should I need to protest every time an elected official wonders off the reservation.

 

BobStemple
BobStemple

What I see with this (new?) immigration law is that if enough people break the law then the government can't enforce the law. 11 million illegal people are telling the US government to stick it. What is the government doing, they are going to make them citizens of the US. Was it 3 million when Ronald  Reagan gave them amnesty? Seems to me that the government and those in the press willing to tell us law abiding citizens how great this is are selling us down the river. What a shame for our children and grand children. 

I do know one thing for sure, any time when and if I'm a juror I'll decide for myself which laws I will believe in and which I will disregard. I'll tell the judge what he wants to hear to make sure I set on the jury. It is the only way I'm able to fight back at this point and fight back I shall! I shall disregard any instructions from the judge and make my own decisions. I'm sick and tired of the elected elite picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore. The swore to uphold the law and they are not.  

It should be a new movement. It will be a way to push back. The heck with what laws lawmakers come up with. Just follow the constitution of the United States of America. 

Bob

RyanLeonard
RyanLeonard

This is an absolute joke. The entire foundation of this article is based off of his own opinions as a REPORTER. Anybody that has an understanding of economics can shoot massive holes into each and every one of these conclusions. 

fxmaven
fxmaven

What a pathetic article. Simply cheerleading for Obama and his new Latino perma majority.

DanielGenseric
DanielGenseric

ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!"

No one is flooding Asia with millions of non-Asians and saying 'Breed yourself out of existence. That's life.'

No one is flooding Africa with millions of non-Africans and saying 'Breed yourself out of existence. That's life.'

No one is flooding Mexico with millions of non-Mexicans and saying 'Breed yourself out of existence.That's life.'

You are advocating genocide for White children.

Why do you anti-Whites hate White children so much that you would breed them out of existence? Why genocide?

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

GilbertGonzales
GilbertGonzales

we call this poetic justice, just as the americans, portuguese and spaniards came to our shores to enslave us, they educated us in their "western ways". now its payback when our brethren come to their shores not with guns and cannons but with education, hard work and quest for a better life. most of them send monies back home to their relatives, just as our early caucasian conquerors sends back the fruits of our enslavement back to their homeland.

LanceJohnson
LanceJohnson

Let’s face it, this immigration thing is a 20th century issue that has slopped over into the 21st century. The time has come to finally resolve it in an intelligent fashion, as three-fourths of Americans favor and Obama will undoubtedly confront. An interesting new worldwide book/ebook that helps explain the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language and more.”  Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding.As the book points out, immigrants and minorities are a major force in America, as Romney recently discovered.They come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon. Chapter after chapter identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and contributed to our society. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House-Congress cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a helping hand. www.AmericaAtoZ.com

challenger_girl
challenger_girl

These figures are taken from a table showing the average years of schooling that adults of different countries attain. The average number of years for the US is 12.

1. Mexico: 7.2 years of schooling
2. Guatemala: 3.5 years of schooling
3. El Salvador: 5.2 years of schooling
4. Honduras: 4.8 years of schooling

These 4 countries send the majority of illegal aliens to the US. Giving citizenship to millions of poorly educated people, most of whom do not speak English and tend to have larger than average size families is not a recipe for economic growth. One is led to suspect that instead of any positive impact on the economy, we will see an increase in taxes needed to support millions of additional recipients of services and benefits who will pay little or nothing in taxes.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_ave_yea_of_sch_of_adu-education-average-years-schooling-adults

RexJ123
RexJ123

Well shoot!  If "more immigration is, on balance, good for the economy", then unlimited immigration must be great!  Let's throw open those borders, dismantle those fences, get rid of ICE, and tell the world that, "If you can get here, you can stay here!"  Cannot wait for the great times that are surely just around the bend as we rocket towards 1 billion people in the USA.

mikeylikeychiptole
mikeylikeychiptole

Let us Americans decide if we will take jobs that illegal immigrants do.  We won't do them because why?  because it sounds good saying "they're doing jobs we won't do?"

Bob2468013579
Bob2468013579

As lazy as everyone wants to claim American citizens are, if you remove illegal workers, US citizens will go out and work in the lower paying jobs that exist. We all need income. Low paying jobs are usually stepping stones. New high school graduates and current students need these jobs also. The fact that under the table cheap labor is abused, is unhealthy for everyone.

Again I say:

Require all employers to perform legal Employment status checks for all employees nationally. Include it with tax filing. Enforce it! Raise fine for having an illegal worker to $100,00/worker. No company would risk the fine. Immigration solved

romerjt
romerjt

It seems to me that a lot of people commenting do n ot realize that immigration from Mexico hasa stopped and actually may be negative. 

Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/04/23/net-migration-from-mexico-falls-to-zero-and-perhaps-less/  That in large part to the recession and the collapse of the housing market, but not entirely from those causes.  Consider this:

"In the United States, the image of Mexico is abysmal and largely wrong. The average American seems to believe that Mexico is a destitute, quasi-socialist nation with rampant drug violence that is sending waves of illegal immigrants to the United States.

This is from Ivan Eland, "The U.S. Should Take Lessons from Mexico," June 20, 2012.

Yet in 2011, the relatively open Mexican economy, which has increased competitiveness, outgrew its Brazilian counterpart, dominated by large state-owned industries, 3.9% to 2.7% and is expected to maintain that gap in 2012. Whereas Brazil, like the United States, has debt-burdened consumers, Mexico has had manageable debt, low inflation, 17 years of macroeconomic tranquility, and thus investors in the automobile, aerospace, and electronics sectors banging down the door to get into the country."  The stereotypes are wrong.

ToddGilbert
ToddGilbert

There is one thing no one mentions. We have over 300 million people here now.  We let in legally 150,000 immigrants per yr. in a hundred years that will amount 600 million people. The government wants to increase that to 250,000 per year. In the same time frame that will be 900 million people. Neither is sustainable.  More people means more auto pollution, more crowding in city's, freeways, more sewage pumped into the ocean, more land fills from all the garbage. Less open space as more housing and business will be built. We are already taking areas away from wildlife. We use to have a limit of 50,000 per year. We need to go back to that. All of our population growth is due to immigration as the native population has leveled off at 2 kids. Immigrants from south of the border have more that that. This is a disaster

BenHargy
BenHargy

You people simply don't think logically about the issue at hand. This law is proposing a path to citizenship.... for the undocumented migrants that are ALREADY HERE! The economy has already absorbed any minute effect that they have had on wages. In addition, you clearly have not bothered to read or understand the proposed law... it's not suggesting that we allow millions more migrants to come here... in fact if you had read the law at all you would realize that another intention of the proposed law is to increase security at the borders to prevent precisely that! Which do you think is better for America... to have 11 million UNDOCUMENTED immigrants living here, or to legalize them so that they are at least on the radar and we can document (and collect tax revenue from) them?! Not to mention, if you are looking for ways to increase the wages for ordinary Americans, there are MANY other macroeconomic issues that should be addressed in order to help increase wages, which would be far more helpful than waging war on people that are already living in this country. The problem with our current labor market is that we are not creating enough HIGH PAYING jobs... the average struggling middle-class family is not about to go into the fields and pick fruit under the hot sun for minimum wage 12 hours per day. And finally, have you considered the economic boost (in the housing market, and in consumer spending) that additional citizens would provide? Almost all developed countries in Europe are STRUGGLING with DEpopulation, where their populations are becoming older and sicker because there aren't enough young people being born due to declining birth rates. Immigration is one of the only things that is preventing our country from facing the same problem! We need to legalize young immigrants so that they can start providing tax revenue and funding Social Security as our population of native Americans becomes older. I don't understand why you people don't THINK THINGS THROUGH!

TimothyL.Martin
TimothyL.Martin

I am an electrician and I have seen first hand the effects of illegal immigrant labor.There used to be well paying jobs hanging and finishing sheetrock,framing houses,metal stud framing and concrete forming and finishing.These jobs are now gone,they are being done under the table for substandard wages and no benefits.The sad thing is that nobody in power cares as this has no immediate effect on them.Whoever wrtoe this article should be ashamed of themselves for cheerleading the destruction of the middleclass for the greedy few.

fightthepower13
fightthepower13

Not mentioned is the fact that 2/3 of all jobs during Obama's presidency have gone to immigrants (both legal and illegal).  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/31/two-thirds-of-jobs-go-to-immigrants/   So even though the job numbers have been horrible the last four years, they are actually a lot worse for native-born Americans.  Meanwhile, Obama has just granted amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens and wants to eliminate the cap on h-1b visa's which floods the IT field with cheap, foreign workers.  


CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown

Millions of low skilled laborers are going to force wages down for the poorest Americans. Immigrants who have high skills often force more competition for existing jobs and can force labor down for Engineers and Computer Scientists. H1B visa holders often work 60 hour weeks and are afraid to ask for a raise or any extra compensation. These immigrant engineers are often no better than existing worker, but can be more easily bullied by companies. Highly skilled immigrants with Graduate degrees and a lot of experience are often the best immigrants and are the best hope for new jobs and new job creation. The others are a waste of American resources.

drnono
drnono

Mass immigration worked out just fantastic for the Native Americans. More jobs where created, the economy grew, their future collapsed along with a future for their kids. It didn't benefit the average american native then and it will not now. This is not a debate over immigration, this is a debate over MASS - EXTREME - immigration. The so called economic arguments are nonsense as far as the average american native is concerned. Economically if there is demand for Labour, wages rise, and more people can afford to have kids etc..  This takes profits from the 1%. US profits as a share of GDP have never been higher. US wages a a % of GDP are at a all time low - all because of MASS immigration.

 If 11m illegals are legalized they have the right to pull over family members - this is called chain migration. 11m will become 22m, then 30m etc... overnight.

 

drnono
drnono

Garrett Hardin won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1967 - He PROVED that MASS IMMIGRATION hurts the existing population. 

He proved that agents operating on the profit motive alone, will import as many new units of population as they can, REGARDLESS of lower wages, higher rents and damage to the existing population, its culture, norms and community etc.... This is called the 'Tragedy of the Commons' or the 'Wicked Foot' of capitalism. There is no 'bottom' to lower living standards from massive population increases. 

In this case 'the commons' is the population of America itself. 

If economic growth was all about population why are the very high population countries - Pakistan, Bangledesh, Nigeria, China, Egypt etc.. so poor?

 

Bob2468013579
Bob2468013579

Require all employers to perform legal Employment status checks for all employees nationally. Include it with tax filing. Enforce it! Raise fine for having an illegal worker to $100,00/worker. Immigration solved! Mo business will keep or hire an illegal immigrant. Financial waste to protect our border or track down illegals who hide or move is solved. Leave open application for citizenship for those who desire to enter the USA. Require those here to leave, and apply when entering country-crime committing applicants barred.

sixtymile
sixtymile

Some of the economic "benefits" cited would apply to slavery also. It's hard to follow this with any degree of certainty, wondering in what context the immigration cycle was assessed. No useful conclusions result. As others have commented, there are many issues that are not economic.

jssk
jssk

This is a good article.

markhnkc7561
markhnkc7561

One day in the near future the mexican/ us borders will be open to all mexican people to come and go. To work freely in the usa. The new borderof america will be the south mexican coast. It is the mexican people that will one day run this country

markhnkc7561
markhnkc7561

It is the latinos and the mexican immigrants that is the future of this country. They will save this country

Not your lazy american children. They will be the majority. They will be officers in they military. The military will be comprised mostly of latinos. It is they that will save this country

FreeComentator1961
FreeComentator1961

Illegal immigration should not be rewarded with Amnesty, but charged accordingly. Ex.: Every year of ilegal status, could be charged with a "penalty fee" $ 1,000, not including back taxes. To even qualify, the applicant should have absolutely no criminal record and probe of employment and taxes paid (even with a fake SS#) If taxes were never paid, a nominal tax bill should be paid based on the minimun wage starting on the date the applicant began worked in this country illegaly. If any welfare help was received, that also should be reimbursed. The applicant should not have any access to welfare or goverment help for at least five years, starting the day the applicant became legal. The applicant would receive a temporary "green card" subject to compliance with the law for five years and should should apply for the permanent residency again after that. All applications fees should be completed by the time the application for the permanent residency is presented and would not be deducted from the "penalty fees". This would give residency to a person who then will know that he o she has to pay for his or her actions and the whole process would be less costly to the taxpayers.

markhnkc7561
markhnkc7561

My grandparents came from mexico in 1930s to work for the railroad. Now 4 generations later and 250 children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, all contributing law abiding hard working in all areas of employment. We bring morals , religion, and economic impact to this country. The united states armed forces will one day be mostly people of latino origin. it is time to get the good old boys network out of the government.

markhnkc7561
markhnkc7561

The lower middle class is lazy. So are the children of the upper middle class. Just look in your own homes and look at your grown child who is living in your basement. The mexican people are a hard working people who brought this country out of the economic depression. It wasn't your american children who works these jobs. The mexican people dont want to leave their families and come here and work. Until the american government puts into law that these american companies that set up shop in mexico pay these people usa minimum wage and fair salary then they would stay in mexico. American companies do not have epa, or any regulations in mexico. American companies are crooks. North america should be one country with one currency and prevailing wages across north america

jaywoodward71
jaywoodward71

No one is talking about the social implications of mass legalization of illegal immigrants. It's not all dollars and cents. Allowing 11 million illegals a path to citizenship, the majority of which are Mexican Nationals, will be far more damaging to the social fabric of American culture than the economic and political advantages they offer. Most illegals have no connection whatsoever to American culture, the English language, and our society as a whole. They do, though, maintain their connections to Mexico, and will eventually fall under the influence of organizations such as La Raza, who support the secession of the American Southwest back to Mexico. This will happen. We saw this in the 200s, when Caracalla granted universal citizenship to all people within the boundries of the Roman Empire, all to increase the tax base. In effect, the granting of universal citizenship to millions of people, all of whom with no connection to Roman culture, the Latin language, or the Roman pantheon of gods, contributed to the further decline of the Roman Empire and Pax Romana. This is fact, and history is repeating itself. 

RodSwindlehurst
RodSwindlehurst

No effect on the concept of the rule of law? Well, at least there are a few economists who can rationalize why we should embrace these criminals. Which crime shall we abolish next? We can save a lot on enforcement if we just encourage and legalize any behavior that is now illegal.