Immigration

Immigration: Good for Immigrants, Good for America

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Daniel Griswold, the director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies, has a very interesting new paper arguing that as immigrants arrive in the U.S., native-born Americans become better off in terms of both skills and income. A snippet:

One argument raised against expanded legal immigration has been that allowing more low-skilled foreign-born workers to enter the United States will swell the ranks of the underclass. The critics warn that by "importing poverty," immigration reform would bring in its wake rising rates of poverty, higher government welfare expenditures, and a rise in crime. The argument resonates with many Americans concerned about the expanding size of government and a perceived breakdown in social order.

As plausible as the argument sounds, it is not supported by the social and economic trends of the past 15 years. Even though the number of legal and illegal immigrants in the United States has risen strongly since the early 1990s, the size of the economic underclass has not. In fact, by several measures the number of Americans living on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder has been in a long-term decline, even as the number of immigrants continues to climb. Other indicators associated with the underclass, such as the crime rate, have also shown improvement. The inflow of low-skilled immigrants may even be playing a positive role in pushing nativeborn Americans up the skills and income ladder.

Whole thing here. Read Reason's extensive immigration coverage here. And click below to watch Reason.tv's Drew Carey on the tragically high cost of building a border wall.

And click below again to watch the Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley make the case for open borders.

NEXT: The Drug Czar's High Math

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  1. “Immigration: Good for Immigrants, Good for America”

    I beg to differ.

  2. pre-empitve shut the fuck up, Chris Kelly.

  3. I think a nation has every right to defend it’s borders. Unfortunately, our problem is not that the borders are no defended well enough, it’s that it’s too damned hard to come here legally.

    We’re artificially driving up the numbers that come here illegally. Instead of putting more fingers in the leaking dam, how about we do something about the rising water? Give immigrants an easy path to citizenship, and they’ll take it.

  4. Daniel Griswold, the director of theCato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, has a very interesting new paper arguing that as immigrants arrive in the U.S., native-born Americans become better off in terms of both skills and income.

    Well gee! The Cato Institute finds immigration is good for us! Whoda ever thunk it?

    Ok – does anyone here have the wherewithal to play Find The Bullshit with this article (again), or at this point can we just assume it’s in there and move on?

  5. “…as immigrants arrive in the U.S., native-born Americans become better off in terms of both skills and income.”

    Even if the immigrant’s name is Barack?

    /heh, heh.

  6. As plausible as the argument sounds, it is not supported by the social and economic trends of the past 15 years. Even though the number of legal and illegal immigrants in the United States has risen strongly since the early 1990s, the size of the economic underclass has not.

    Some people say that Hispanics commit a lot of crime. The number of Hispanics has increased, but crime hasn’t gone up. Despite the fact that Hispanics do actually commit more crime, the overall stats show that Hispanics don’t have a high crime rate, right?

    NO!

    That’s the same argument here.

    Some people say immigrants increases the size of the underclass. Indeed, the number of underclass immigrants has risen. But for society as a whole, the poverty rate has gone down. Thus, immigration reduces poverty.

    Pure idiocy.

  7. The need to “show your papers” is a sign of tyrany.

  8. Legal immigration should be expanded and illegal immigration should be decreased.

    Regardless, it should be cause for concern that millions of people come into this country illegally and most from a country that those people helped run like crap.

    People should want to flee Mexico, but people should also want to stay and improve things. When the going gets tough, these people run. I’m not sure that’s a good sign.

  9. ?people should also want to stay and improve things. When the going gets tough, these people run. I’m not sure that’s a good sign.?

    Couldn’t one say that about every single immigrant to the US ever?

    At what point is it okay for someone to say, “Fuck it, this place is too screwed up, I’m going someplace better.”?

  10. People should want to flee Mexico, but people should also want to stay and improve things. When the going gets tough, these people run. I’m not sure that’s a good sign.

    People emigrate for their own benefit. This should not come as a surprise.

  11. Ok – does anyone here have the wherewithal to play Find The Bullshit with this article (again), or at this point can we just assume it’s in there and move on?

    Since you said “(again)”, can you offer an example from the recent past?

    Failing that, can you give us a hint what to look for in this article?

  12. “Legal immigration should be expanded and illegal immigration should be decreased.”

    Why do you view the one as better than the other? Just because a politician passes a law it is better? Please explain your thinking.

  13. Some people say immigrants increases the size of the underclass. Indeed, the number of underclass immigrants has risen. But for society as a whole, the poverty rate has gone down. Thus, immigration reduces poverty.

    pure idiocy

    f, are you familiar with Simpson’s paradox? The situation here is fairly close. Indeed, if everyone already in the US is better off, but very poor people come to the US and become better off, it’s possible for everyone to be better off but the overall US statistics look worse. In this case, it’s remarkable that the overall statistics actually got better.

    The poor will always be with us. Merely because recent immigrants make up the poor does not mean that others would not replace them if there weren’t immigrants.

  14. I wish the open borders types all the luck in the world – or at least enough luck to create the kind of backlash they created in Europe. Who knows? Maybe a homegrown SVP or Vlaams Belang or BNP will manage to get some people elected here.

  15. Illegal immigration is worse because it is illegal. Like it or not, society must be governed by laws, and disregarding those laws degrades the effectiveness of the whole system. Our laws are overbearing, overly complex, and for the federal government, well beyond their mandate. Yet that still doesn’t excuse the millions of people that disrespect our laws, and by doing so disrespect those people who are using the system to become American citizens, within the law, and those who through their work, pay for the services that the law-breakers didn’t earn.

    For disclosure, I do not consider myself a libertarian. I am not a fan of open borders, at least not so long as we have federal taxation on American corporations, income taxes, social security, and all of the social programs those pay for. Even then I think there needs to be some kind of mechanism in place to encourage, and aid immigrants in becoming Americans, not just in citizenship, but in heart and mind also.

  16. Mike in PA completely agree with your 12:26pm comment, until:

    Give immigrants an easy path to citizenship, and they’ll take it.

    Many immigrants are not interested in staying longterm. Many would just as soon be seasonal or intermittent.

    Some would just as soon come for long enough to build up a stake to build a house and/or a small business back home and then go back more or less permanently.

    I see this as a plus for both countries. While there are profound problems of misrule and corruption, Mexico is nowhere near the hellhole that many conservatives seem to think it is. Having its middle class built up would be a big improvement, in my opinion.

    Of course, ending the war on drugs is essential for stabilizing Mexico. But then everyone here knows that.

    Having said that, I am in favor of only one class of immigrant. But pushing immigrants into citizenship is not an awfully big priority for me.

    On the other hand, if an itinerant or temporary class if immigration is necessary to make it politically palatable in my view it would be better than what we have.

  17. Dear non-libertarian reader:

    You know how libertarians like to play cute dress-up games, with the tri-corner hats and the like? They pretend they’re pro-America, but their policies are anything but that. In fact, when you examine their policies you say that they’re both anti-American and un-American.

    Strong words? Well, for an example, see this takedown of Daniel Griswold (by NRO). How could anyone say he support pro-American policies? He’s as tranzi and a tranzi.

    For another example, see the Bush guest worker program that he inspired and was involved in in some way. That plan would have eviscerated the middle class, lowering wages for skilled occupations like teaching and nursing to near the minimum wage.

    Communism used to be one of the main threats to the U.S., and it still is. Over the past several years another threat has emerged: globalist libertarians who have no patriotic interest in the U.S. but who simply see us as yet another branch of Wal*Mart.

    If you want to learn the truth about this issue, subscribe to my feed or search my archives. I have thousands of posts about the wider topic covering nearly every politician who’s been involved in this area. And, unlike Reason, I’ll tell you the truth.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  18. Argh, I meant to include a second point in that first paragraph. Security reasons dictate a certain amount of control over the flow of immigration. We can’t in good conscience allow people in who are coming here to cause problems for those who are already citizens. It would be valuing the immigrant over the citizen. That would cause a clear degradation of the quality of the society, and eventually the death of that society.

  19. Maybe a homegrown SVP or Vlaams Belang or BNP will manage to get some people elected here.

    Our more-open borders are what have prevented that from happening.

  20. I don’t have the time to mock LoneDumbo right now. It pains me.

  21. HOLY CRAP!!! ARE THEY CRAZY? Think of all the Irish that would flood this country if we opened borders. What about those damn Quakers? They can’t be trusted. You know, if we allow imigrants to come here simply by getting off a boat and giving thier name (which is subseqwuently misspelled) then this country would disintigrate. I we get one more German, or Russian, or Indian then all us real Americans will be out numebred. We can’t have that. Mr Schmidt down the street might lose his job to a German worker. My O’Dell may have to close his brewery. And let us not forget about thoe insipid Canadians. GRETSKY GO HOME!!! SCREW BOB SAGGAT!!! I am sure glad we have stringant imigration laws that have been in place for hunrdreds of year to protect us from the ravages of immigration. Adn that law thing? You know you are right. I think outlawing alcahol was a great idea and if more people had just been moral creatures we would would not have had to set up organized crime task forces. You know if we had not had those tight requirements in the early 1900s we might see a country FULL of imigrants. Thank god for border legislation.

  22. Wow perspective man, way to have nuanced and reasoned debate. Nothing like hyperbole to shut things down, eh?

  23. 24AheadDotCom,

    That NRO “takedown” was obsessed with illegal immigrants who may turn out to be terrorists.

    Surely you see — even if the NRO’s John Fonte does not — that the problem here is that it is easy to hide a few terrorists in a flood of half a million illegal immigrants a year.

    The solution, of course, is to make all migration legal unless the individual immigrants are individually proven to be threats to the country, such as terrorists, foreign agents, violent felons, or carriers of contagion. Then you are pretty sure that illegal immigrants actually deserve to be illegal.

  24. f: nice job, you beat me to the argument I was going to make. If we’re going to let in immigrants, lets at least make sure that they are

    1. Smarter and harder working than the average American
    2. More libertarian than the average American
    3. Not all from the same part of the world

  25. We can’t in good conscience allow people in who are coming here to cause problems for those who are already citizens. It would be valuing the immigrant over the citizen.

    Exactly what limits would you put on the “problems” caused for citizens that you think should be handled by the force of government?

    I would agree that the “problem” of being killed by terrorists would be one that the government should try to handle.

    How about the “problem” of hearing Spanish spoken at the grocery store?

    Interestingly, I draw the line for government action in thwarting problems caused by immigrants for citizens in pretty much the same place that I draw the line for problems caused by citizens for citizens. Where do you draw it?

  26. At what point is it okay for someone to say, “Fuck it, this place is too screwed up, I’m going someplace better.”

    I don’t have much problem with this, but I do have problems with millions of people having that attitude while simultaneously deciding to ignore the laws of the place they think is better.

    People that run from problems and ignore the law is not a good combination.

  27. “Like it or not, society must be governed by laws”

    And why do you assume laws must be created and / or enforced by a government?

    “and disregarding those laws degrades the effectiveness of the whole system.”

    So the problem is . . . .

    “at least not so long as we have federal taxation on American corporations, income taxes, social security, and all of the social programs those pay for.”

    All things libertarians oppose.

  28. f: nice job, you beat me to the argument I was going to make.

    qwerty, perhaps you could try to make the argument f was trying to make. I didn’t really understand f’s point.

    Unless f’s point was that individuals born in poorer places don’t deserve the same rights as individuals born in richer places. That’s easy to understand. It’s wrong, but easy to understand.

  29. I wish the open borders types all the luck in the world – or at least enough luck to create the kind of backlash they created in Europe.

    Keep dreaming, pal.

    Immigration to the US can only create that kind of backlash if Latin Americans are as a culturally foreign to the USA as Turks and Algerians are to Europe.

  30. Exactly what limits would you put on the “problems” caused for citizens that you think should be handled by the force of government?

    You seem to have missed my point. We should attempt to weed out people who are coming here for the purpose of causing death, destruction, and/or the breakdown of our way of life. The specifics of that would clearly be difficult to address in a small space provided here (not to mention time).

  31. I agree with allowing more in legally while taking steps to decrease illegal immigration. Sadly, the current legal process seems to allow in too few, is overly complicated and takes too long.

    In answer to Yahoo Answer’s question about the value of legal vs. illegal immigration:

    Legal immigration allows us to know who is coming and to filter out criminals, the unproductive, the diseased, etc? Additionally, it can help the immigrant by ensuring they understand our shared values, our laws and our language.

    By contrast, illegal immigration has no filters.

    We can debate the value of the filters and how they are weighted, but I don’t think it is unreasonable for a society to want certain limits on membership. Culture, economics, health, values and security all play a role and should be considered.
    ——————————–
    As a Republican, I was never against legal immigration, as stated above, I’m for increasing it. However, I opposed the general amnesty proposed not too long ago. My reasoning was that congress has lost all credibility on the issue – they promised enforcement in the past and failed to deliver. Amnesty without enforcement only serves to encourage more illegal immigration. That is why I wanted enforcement first. I wanted congress to prove they were serious about enforcement and then we could look at amnesty for those already established here.

  32. Immigration to the US can only create that kind of backlash if Latin Americans are as a culturally foreign to the USA as Turks and Algerians are to Europe.

    I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that.

    If people are pissed off already, I have little reason to believe more immigration will make them less pissed off.

  33. @24AheadDotCom

    You’re right. We hate the Americans. We hate them for their freedoms.

    STFULW

  34. SCREW BOB SAGGAT???

    I wouldn’t even screw that bitch with Weigel’s dick.

  35. “for a society to want certain limits on membership. Culture, economics, health, values and security all play a role and should be considered.”

    How do you define society? Who sets these limits? In our present paradigm the limits are set by corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats who work for them.

  36. And why do you assume laws must be created and / or enforced by a government?

    Did I say that? Hmmmm….nope, guess not. However, we do in fact have a constitution, and a system of government. I am 100% behind any effort to reduce the role of the federal government to it’s constitutional mandate, but would not support pursuing anarchy. I would consider my dream of limited federal government to be pretty extreme under the circumstances, but being without government is, well, incomprehensible. In addition, I don’t believe you can show me any system where there hasn’t been some sort of government, that has been successful. I don’t think there are a high enough portion of the population that can live peaceably enough, accepting their lot in life, to keep a society without government from collapsing in upon itself.

    I’m aware of the fact that those things I stated shouldn’t be, income taxes and such are opposed by libertarians. However, just because we agree on those things, doesn’t mean I therefore need to be supportive of open borders. If I had my way, and we had a constitutional federal government, allowing the local and state governments to manage social programs as they each saw fit, I would be much more open to nearly open boarders. Keeping in mind that we still need to keep those with malicious intent, and history out. As we currently have a system that includes massive, and expensive federal social programs, I am of the opinion that people let in, should have to demonstrate the ability to be self sufficient before being granted citizenship. They should have a reasonable time within which they need to prove that they are going to positively contribute to society, not harm.

  37. Yahoo, you sure do ask a lot of big questions that seem to muddy the discussion for someone who is listed as an answerer. I’m 100% certain that punditjoe wasn’t suggesting that our current system of government was perfect. I’m also certain that asking him, or anyone to define precisely how he defines society, or who defines limits is going to make the slightest bit of difference in your opinion. His bit was clearly understandable, and well written. I agree with what he said and held the same position on the immigration debate last time around.

  38. qwerty, perhaps you could try to make the argument f was trying to make. I didn’t really understand f’s point.

    Suppose that 10 years ago I had two kids, ages 8 and 6. Their average age would have been 7. Suppose now I have three kids, ages 18, 16, and 5. Now the average age is 13. Griswold’s argument is equivalent to saying “See, you had a baby, and the average age of your children still went up, therefore the new child didn’t lower the average age.” Of course, he would be wrong, because without the new child, the average age would have been 17.

    Similarly, just because we have more immigrants and less poverty doesn’t mean that someone can claim that immigration can’t create poverty. It is possible that there would have been even less poverty without the immigrants (at least the unskilled ones–I’m all for admitting smart, skilled immigrants).

  39. The things we should be encouraging the rest of the world to give us:

    * Their smartest and hardest working people
    * Their best vocabulary
    * Their best recipes

    As long as we keep getting these things (and don’t spend ourselves into hyper-inflation, but that is another thread) we’ll remain on the top of the heap.

    We have been neglecting the first point for some time now.

  40. Aelhues,

    “Did I say that?”

    Your argument that people should be prevented from crossing an invisible line said it. You did not have to say it directly. Where are these immigration laws going to come from if not from a government?

    “but being without government is, well, incomprehensible.”

    It was for me at first as well. Now it seems incomprehensible I ever would have supported government. I sometimes find myself arguing with people who remind me of myself five years ago. This may help http://tolfa.us/

    “In addition, I don’t believe you can show me any system where there hasn’t been some sort of government, that has been successful.”

    The argument that a thing has not yet occurred is not an argument that it could not occur. Those in power have an incentive to prevent anarco-capitalism from forming anywhere.

  41. In fact, when you examine their policies you say that they’re both anti-American and un-American.

    How paradoxical. I’m a native-born American of native-born American WASP parents, yet I have the wrong political views. It’s almost like I’m an individual who doesn’t conform to the political views that you ascribe to the demographic group to which you have consigned me.

    I wonder if it would be possible for a Latin immigrants to have individual political views that vary from the those programmed into him by the MexicanGovernment. Nah.

  42. Similarly, just because we have more immigrants and less poverty doesn’t mean that someone can claim that immigration can’t create poverty. It is possible that there would have been even less poverty without the immigrants (at least the unskilled ones–I’m all for admitting smart, skilled immigrants).

    So every single individual in the country could be better off due to the immigration, yet because some collective metric is lower than it might otherwise be, it is a bad thing?

    No wonder I didn’t understand it.

  43. So every single individual in the country could be better off due to the immigration, yet because some collective metric is lower than it might otherwise be, it is a bad thing?

    No wonder I didn’t understand it.

    God you’re simple. Let’s put it another way. Today I find $100. Somebody reaches into my pocket and takes out $20. He then goes, “I didn’t take any money from you, we’re both better off!”

  44. Today I find $100. Somebody reaches into my pocket and takes out $20. He then goes, “I didn’t take any money from you, we’re both better off!”

    In order for the analogy to hold, I had to find the $100 because the person is now available to take the $20 from me.

    Without the person, I have $0 and he has $0. With the person, I have $80 and he has $20.

  45. “Somebody reaches into my pocket and takes out $20. He then goes, “I didn’t take any money from you, we’re both better off!”

    So who is the thief then? If your argument is that the immigrant is a thief because they accept government-welfare would you support deporting ANYONE who accepts government-welfare? Or, better yet, getting rid of government-welfare? Just asking.

  46. aelhues,

    We should attempt to weed out people who are coming here for the purpose of causing death, destruction, and/or the breakdown of our way of life. The specifics of that would clearly be difficult to address in a small space provided here (not to mention time).

    How could the specifics of that simple directive you offer be much more complex than “terrorists, foreign agents, violent felons, or carriers of contagion?”

  47. In my experience, there are two groups that don’t like Hispanic immigrants.

    1) Unskilled “blue-collar” types who blame “illegals” for the fact that having zero knowledge and zero skills, and making no attempt to boost same, is not the sure path to middle-class happiness it used to be.

    2) Old people, who are self-explanatory.

  48. Wow Yahoo Answer – I just read some of the stuff at the site you recommended.

    Your linked site lays the blame for the Holocaust on the US as well as Britain’s war against Hitler.

    I quote:

    “?absent US intervention or the prospect of it Britain would have had to reach an accommodation with Germany such as Hitler repeatedly sought; absent that Western Front Hitler would almost certainly have prevailed over the Soviet Union and a German-dominated peace, of sorts, would have been restored in Europe. That would have been dreadful, of course, but it’s quite possible that Jews would have been allowed to emigrate (as they were actually, through 1940) rather than be murdered?”

    Did it ever occur to you that sometimes people do things for their own reasons that have nothing to do with you? Hitler was an evil bastard for his own reasons; our opposing him didn’t force him to divert resources away from the war in order to murder of millions of Jews. He did it because he was a rotten murdering bastard.

    Additionally, we all saw how well “accommodations” with Hitler worked out for Russia. How long would it have been, in the scenario listed above, before Britain befell the same fate?

    Yahoo Answerer, I think our world views are sufficiently different that any further interaction with you would simply be a waste of time for both of us.

  49. I can’t say the ILLEGAL ALIENS are completely to blame for the shape of our economy, but they are a BIG part of the problem. The ILLEGAL ALIENS send BILLIONS upon BILLIONS out of this Country every year, money we will NEVER see again. Does this help our economy?

    How about the BILLIONS the American taxpayers fork out for the ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES, the schooling of them, the medical care and the list goes on, and on, and on.

    How about the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS paid to jail ILLEGAL ALIENS for the crimes, then the cost to deport them. Does this help our economy?

    Then you have these activist groups, the Catholic Church and the ACLU that want AMNESTY for these ILLEGAL ALIENS. It would be absolute suicide for this Country if AMNESTY were granted to the 20 million or so ILLEGAL ALIENS. We have more and more people out of work everyday and they want to add another 20 million to this Country? I say, “NO”!

    If AMNESTY were ever granted to these 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, you can bet big money that 3 years from now, there would be ANOTHER 3-5 million ILLEGAL ALIENS demonstrating on our soil for AMNESTY.

    An end MUST come to this illegal immigration. The perfect tool we have so far is E-Verify. It MUST be used by ALL businesses and Government Social Services. EVERY employee must be checked! If they are illegal, they are to be dismissed!

    I believe it is time for all 50 States to pass a State law, like Arizona, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and a few others. It is time for these ILLEGAL ALIENS to go back to their home Country and get out of this Country. The problems they are causing will not go away until the ILLEGAL ALIENS are out of this Country. I think that is plain to see.

    It’s time for ZERO TOLERENCE with these ILLEGAL ALIENS. It’s time for them to get back to their own country where they belong. If they truly want to be part of America, let them apply and wait their turn like the millions of others who want to come to America LEGALLY. They will then be welcomed with open arms.

  50. The ILLEGAL ALIENS send BILLIONS upon BILLIONS out of this Country every year, money we will NEVER see again. Does this help our economy?

    Actually, yes, it does. Not only should you be paying more attention to the wealth the illegal aliens produce rather than the little green pieces of paper they are given for it, the only way those little green pieces of paper can be useful to their foreign recipients is to eventually come back to the US.

    Incidentally, thank you for putting the 17th century economic thinking at the top of your rant. Usually one needs to suffer the whole thing before getting to the mercantilist payoff.

    If they truly want to be part of America, let them apply and wait their turn like the millions of others who want to come to America LEGALLY. They will then be welcomed with open arms.

    Number of illegal immigrants per year: 500,000.

    Number of visas they qualify for per year: 5,000.

    Average number of years before applicants will be welcomed with open arms: ?.

  51. How about the BILLIONS the American taxpayers fork out for the ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES, the schooling of them, the medical care and the list goes on, and on, and on.

    To be fair, I think that one thing that does needs repair is that citizen children of immigrants should be on the welfare schedules of their parents and not on the welfare schedule of long-time citizens. Just as there are means testing, residence durations, and other qualifications for welfare, another qualification should be that your parents are eligible for it.

    But to be even fairer, the list does not go “on, and on, and on.” With the simple modification I propose here, the list contains those two items and nothing else.

  52. “Hitler was an evil bastard for his own reasons”

    Yes, of course he was evil. But let us go to the root of his motivation. He, and the people who adored him, were bitter over the shaft the Germany got after the end of World War I (at the time it was known as “The Great War”.

    “He did it because he was a rotten murdering bastard.”

    Yes, he was a rotten murdering bastard. No disagreement here. Let us go to the root of why he was popular however. What was it that the German people craved and why did they crave it. It was not judenhass qua judenhass. Judenhass was merely a convienient vehicle. They sought pride, pride that they lost at the end of the First World War.

    “Yahoo Answerer, I think our world views are sufficiently different that any further interaction with you would simply be a waste of time for both of us.”

    Why? I enjoy debating people who have very different world views.

  53. How about the BILLIONS the American taxpayers fork out for the ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES, the schooling of them, the medical care and the list goes on, and on, and on.

    By ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES you mean young American citizens. What, you want to punish them because they didn’t choose the right parents?

  54. An end MUST come to this illegal immigration. The perfect tool we have so far is E-Verify. It MUST be used by ALL businesses and Government Social Services. EVERY employee must be checked! If they are illegal, they are to be dismissed!

    Sounds really expensive and complicated. I have an idea — let’s make the illegal immigrants legal by making more visas available. Then we could make sure they are paying taxes just like the rest of us. All the problems you mention solved!

  55. A comprehensive immigration reform is a matter of when not if. And it is the just thing to do. No yhuman being is illegal. This is no longer a good’ole boy America, Billy Bob! Get used to it! Demographics is a losing game for you!

  56. More lying with statistics. I clicked in the article, intrigued and found data comparisons between 1993 (business cycle bottom) and 2007 (top) trying to show trends.

    If you choose 1989-2007, the actual cycle peak years for the data in question, you see that families in poverty *increased* by 1.2 million from 6.8 to 7.6 million. But if you choose 1993-2007 you see a 0.8 million *decrease* from 8.4 to 7.6 million, all because of the 1.6 million rise from 6.8 million (business cycle peak in 1989) to 8.4 million (business cycle trough in 1993).

    You have to take business cycles into consideration if you want to get valid data, but then of course this is Cato and so that is not their goal.

  57. History and the current economic crash caused by ninja liar loans to these immigrants does not agree with the ludacris notion we are better off since the Kennedy immigration act. The entire housing and banking sectors are failing, by design – which included the immigration.

  58. Big difference in the US wall and Iron Curtain: The US does not have people trying to get out, we do have a real immigration problem!

    WALL; GUARDS; MACHINE GUNS; MOTE; LAND MINES; NUKE IT (terrible fallout, maybe the MOAB)

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