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As Dalmia explains, this is $230 billion more than the money spent by the developed world on foreign aid. While foreign aid often only serves to enrich corrupt governments, open immigration would confer benefits directly to those who need it by allowing them to seek their own fortunes. Better yet, according to the World Bank study, these welcoming countries would gain $51 billion by boosting returns to capital and reducing the cost of production. This is a true win-win scenario.
Since the very beginning of the United States, immigration has been an issue that has inflamed passions and anxieties. Benjamin Franklin famously feared the influx of Germans into his adopted home state of Pennsylvania. After decades of heavy immigration from southern and central Europe, restrictionists in the 1920s openly invoked fears of racial degeneration if yet more Italians, Jews, and Poles arrived “direct from the slums of Europe.”
Now it’s non-English-speaking migrants from Latin America who are pushing the panic buttons. This kind of emotional response may never go away, but the economic case for immigration, both high-skilled and low-skilled, is stronger than nativists’ fears.