Immigration

Let's Open the Doors to Lots More Immigration

Immigrants are more likely to start a business, more likely to work, and less likely to commit crime.

|

Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote a pitch for a GOP-backed measure to admit more foreign-born scientists and engineers. The piece, meant to telegraph a post-election Republican shift on immigration, shows how fervently some conservatives hope greater openness on the issue could save the GOP's neck. Maybe it will, and maybe not. But it could save everyone else's.

Compared with native-born Americans, immigrants are more likely to start a business, more likely to launch a hugely successful one, more likely to work, and less likely to commit crime. They're also willing to take jobs many Americans refuse to do.

Immigrants make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 18 percent of all small-business owners, notes Jillian Kay Melchior in National Review, and they employ 4.7 million Americans. According to The Economist, immigrants or their children make up 40 percent of the founders of Fortune 500 companies.

A higher percentage of immigrants—legal or otherwise—work than do native-born Americans. Many of them, present through a temporary visa program known as H-2A, do a lot of hard farm labor, such as picking crops and working in poultry plants. Yet because the program does not allow enough guest workers in, "Plant managers in the Carolinas . . . have been forced to turn to prisons to man assembly lines," reports McClatchy Newspapers. Unfortunately, the H-2A program is a bureaucratic, burdensome, inefficient mess. It permits only seasonal workers, not year-round ones. And it "doesn't deliver workers quickly enough when farmers need them most," as another recent news story put it.

But wait—with so many Americans unemployed, why not hire locals instead of shipping in labor from abroad? That's exactly what Colorado farmer John Harold tried to do last year. "It didn't take me six hours to realize I'd made a heck of a mistake," he later told The New York Times. "Six hours was enough," the paper reported, "for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back [after lunch] and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard."

The story gets even worse. In a little over a decade the number of visas the U.S. hands out to skilled workers has dropped by a third, says The Economist. The result: Talent that could be creating jobs here in the U.S. is setting up shop elsewhere. The magazine recounts the story of Indian engineers Anand and Shikha Chhatpar, who started a company that creates applications for Facebook. Despite enough business success to pay more than a quarter-million-dollars in taxes, they were denied visas and went back to India. According to The Economist, "the proportion of Silicon Valley start-ups with an immigrant founder has fallen from 52 percent to 44 percent since 2005."

Americans who resent having to compete with immigrants for jobs suffer from a double delusion. First, they assume the supply of jobs is fixed and that we would all be better off with a smaller population. That's flatly wrong. Immigrants are not just employees; they are also employers and consumers. Second, talk of immigrants taking "our" jobs implies some people have prior claims to jobs they have not yet been hired for. The term for that is "entitlement mentality."

But aren't immigrants driving up crime rates? Nope. Take Arizona, the Ground Zero of anti-immigration sentiment. As a 2010 piece in The Washington Times noted, "In the past decade, as illegal immigrants were drawn in record numbers by the housing boom, the rate of violent crimes in Phoenix and the entire state fell by more than 20 percent, a steeper drop than in the overall U.S. crime rate." As Arizona goes, so goes the nation: A 2007 study found that "for every ethnic group, without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants." The Immigration Policy Center, which produced that report, elsewhere has said that "a century's worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes . . . than the native-born."

Not every immigrant-related tale is quite so glowing. In her National Review piece, Melchior notes that the number of non-citizens on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001. Much of the blame for that, however, rests at the feet of Washington. From USDA-produced Spanish-language radio novelas encouraging food-stamp enrollment to get-your-free-stuff-now pitches on the WelcometoUSA.gov website, the "deliberate expansion of welfare has been particularly targeted at immigrants." Given the natural immigrant preference to strive for upward mobility, that's a rotten shame.

Anyway, welfare dependency has soared among native-born residents, too. There are now only 2.5 workers for every Medicaid recipient, down from an 18:1 ratio four decades ago. For every person on public assistance in the U.S., there are only 1.65—that's one-point-six-five—persons employed in the private sector. As Baby Boomers age out of the workforce, the weight of social-welfare spending is going to grow even heavier on those who remain. Without deep and therefore politically unlikely cuts, we're going to need a lot more shoulders to help carry it.

NEXT: Jets Sticking with Mark Sanchez as Starting Quarterback

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Six hours was enough,” the paper reported, “for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back [after lunch] and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard.”

    Cut back on entitlements. I bet the work wouldn’t seem quite so hard if the other option was you didn’t eat.

    1. Nonsense, everyone knows cosmotarians only support open borders so that Mexicans can get welfare.

      1. It would seem that way, actually.

        We have a lot of unemployed Americans, but they make more money doing nothing than working hard, so they don’t want these jobs.

        While I support open immmigration policies, it does seem that, if there’s a labor shortage in the presence of massive unemployment, we should be interested in asking WHY that is. Here’s a hint: it’s not because we don’t have enough unskilled immigrants.

        1. Indeed, and might not rising wages for unskilled labor be a good thing?

          1. What? No no no, it is NEVER that the job doesn’t pay enough, doesn’t have enough benefits or is too backbreaking. Instead it is YOU that is demanding too much, like not being worked to death and asking for a living wage. Stop being a pussy and offending your Galtian betters!

            1. By living wage I’m assuming you mean a wage less than the minimum wage?

              1. I mean whatever the bare minimum is to afford food and shelter.

        2. You’re falling into the same stupid as the cosmo-bashers. One can be for open-borders and against welfare at the same time. Gasp.

          1. Right. One can be.

            However, sequence matters. Cosmotarians are smart enough to know that, and have presumably all seen this scene before.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v-4Ug0IgVo

            The point is that calling for the Republicans to open the borders because anything less is really just racist, without the mere mention of the welfare problem, is not good for cosmo credibility. It certainly won’t win over any Republicans.

            Moreover, it’s the Union Democrats who want unskilled labor to pay more. By and large, Republicans want to hire cheap maids and gardeners.

            As an anarcho-capitalist, I see open borders and the abolition of government handouts as two inseparable sides of the same coin.

            1. No.

              As a libertarian, I am not against open borders because I am trying to reach some result besides open borders. Government restriction on immigration is wrong regardless of welfare. There is no reason to talk about welfare when I am making that simple statement. It’s merely a red herring thrown out by nativists and protectionists for idiot libertarians to bite on.

              1. And your reply will be much of the same hand-waving I’m sure.

              2. Well, I read the post, and was responding to it. The whole point was that immigrants do jobs that Americans are too coddled to be willing to do.

                So you can make whatever point you want, but it has nothing to do with my response to the article generally.

                And if you accept that government is “right”, then why is government restriction on immigration, specifically, “wrong”?

                The problem with idiot libertarians (look in the mirror to find one) is that you make absolute moral statements like that, with no basis whatever. If you accept that government force is okay for some things, then why not immigration?

                Because you feel differently about it?

                That’s dumber than the Republicrats.

                1. BTW the article is equally dumb, because it simply reiterates the “we need more immigrants to do the jobs Americans won’t do” mantra without looking any deeper into it.

                  But to simply state that anything but open borders are “wrong” in any context requires either a grander philosophical scheme than simple libertarianism, or a justification for why this moral absolute is a moral absolute.

                  1. Simple libertarianism: Closed borders is government initiating coercion (government restricting your movement, when you are not coercing anyone). Libertarians hold that government initiating coercion is wrong.

                2. And if you accept that government is “right”, then why is government restriction on immigration, specifically, “wrong”?

                  The problem with idiot libertarians (look in the mirror to find one) is that you make absolute moral statements like that, with no basis whatever. If you accept that government force is okay for some things, then why not immigration?

                  When did I say government is right? When did I say government force is OK for some things?

                  Check your premises, dumbass.

          2. Dude, the people snidely saying “cosmotarian” and “cocktail party” every time there’s a disagreement are usually the ones “falling into the stupid”.

            1. Oh, that’s what you meant. My apologies, I interpreted your comment differently at first.

  2. Our jobs? They didn’t take them. One wonders, however, if immigrant labor would be as attractive to certain businesses if the laborers were documented, and subsequently weighed down with all the regulations that come with employment that the government knows about.

    The Republicans are at a point that they can sink to the bottom or swim to renewed prominence. The Democrats are going to wreck whatever chance the country has at prosperity, so if you have a GOP that has jettisoned Socon false memes and narratives and is ready to focus on fiscal responsibility and economic stewardship, smaller government with less punishing regulation- Meh, forget it. They’re going to sink, as will all of us.

    1. “We’re goin’ down, and we’re takin’ you with us!”

    2. They’re going to sink. Our loss is their gain, power-wise. Yeah, it would seem to make sense for them to embrace liberty to get votes, but…it never makes sense for the power-mongers to embrace liberty. Ever.

    3. One wonders, however, if immigrant labor would be as attractive to certain businesses if the laborers were documented, and subsequently weighed down with all the regulations that come with employment that the government knows about.

      BINGO! The reason “Americans won’t do” XYZ job is because the pay is shit, welfare is easier, and price floors and regulatory compliance costs drive up the price of labor, and consequently the cost of goods. In the absence of those market distortions (welfare, wage controls, price controls, labor regulations, tariffs, etc), unskilled labor would probably be a lot more competitive.

      1. I tried to make that point in the Canada on Immigration article – I guess I was a little late to the party.

        My actual comment included this:
        So how exactly does making them legal help anyone? They then become just as expensive to employ as legal residents, making them less desirable to businesses, and more legitimate to demand other “entitlements” without calling attention to their illegal status – which seems like it would just be another big burden on the tax payers of this country.

        Which is what I thought BarryD was trying to point out before Heller went on a blinder driven narrow view of immigration being isolated from anything else in this country.

    4. I agree. There are certain people on this board who seem to think if only the GOP kicked out all the “socons,” they would be joined by thousands of really libertarian non-voters and liberals. In fact, most libertarian Americans already vote either for the GOP or the LP. While Libertarians may hope that the GOP adopts their ideology, they shouldn’t pretend it will bring them sucess.

  3. Yeah, this is so LAST YEAR.

    THEY TUK RRR JRRRRBBZ!

    1. DEY TOOK ER JERBS!!!!

      1. DUK RRR DRRRR!!!

        1. BACK IN THE PILE!

  4. PS ANKUR BAYBEEEZZ!

    1. The 14th Amendment was never meant to allow anyone born on US soil to become a citizen. We are the only country in the world that implements such a policy.

        1. I guess I need to expand my research before I comment. Let me rephrase that to we are one of only two advanced economic countries to implement such a policy.

          Regardless of my error the first portion of my statement stands true.

  5. Sounds like he needs to raise wages instead of importing hordes of 3rd world savages to keep them artificially low.

    1. Sounds like you’re retarded!

    2. Sounds like you want poor people to pay more for food. Why do you hate poor people?

      1. Wages are artificially high due to government restrictions on the importation of labor, but try telling that to the TURKERJERBS Nativists.

        1. Economic illiterates, all of them.

        2. So you want the poor to make less wages?

          1. I want the market to decide the true value of labor. Not government.

            If “the poor” make less money but their money is worth more because the market is allowed to work as an efficient allocator of value.

            1. That’s a good thing.

              1. But the poor people would have higher wages and more money to buy food?

                1. And the rest of the economy would suffer due to market distortion, hurting the poor even more.

                  When wages are forced to be artificially high, money loses value. That’s because the market knows the true value of the dollar regardless of what government tells it.

                  You can’t legislate poverty away. The government only knows how to move money around. It can’t create real wealth for the poor like the market does.

      2. Harvest workers have to pick hundreds of fruits every hour. You’d have to raise their wages by a ton to noticeably affect the price of fruit.

        1. What matters, of course, is the percentage of the total cost of production that harvest wages are and the margins and negotiating power of the growers.

          Unless the growers have an odd combination of high margins and low negotiating power, so that they eat the increased cost of production with no ill effects, raising the cost of production will wash through the supply chain and affect prices. Maybe by a noticable amount.

          1. But unless there’s some vicious circle involved, which I don’t see and no one on the side of illegal labor has specified either, the effect on consumer prices would certainly not be higher than the extra wages paid per unit output. And the wages paid to the harvester per piece of fruit are rock bottom.

            Most of the price of fruit comes from other factors. No one has disputed this beyond questioning my farming expertise, while curiously being totally unconcerned with whether A Barton Hinkle spends his work day in a pair of overalls or an Armani suit.

    3. 3rd world savages

      So you have never met a immigrant worker then? I have met lots, and none would I describe as you do.

      1. Try AFTER quittin’ time.

        (Not to suggest that native-born Americans can’t be savages as well.)

        1. But we’re the CIVILIZED savages!

    4. Chris Mallory is just following the long illustrious tradition of retarded American nativists

      Keep fighting those degenerate Irish Mexican hordes!

      1. Do you mean the degenerate Irish that just elected Fauxcohontus?

        Cause, yeah, we’d be better off without them.

        1. So deport them?

          Fuck off statist.

    5. Ok, let’s keep this simple.

      You start a company and you make widgets.

      Each widget sells for $3 because it is what supply and demand dictates. Or to simplify, this is what folks are willing to pay.

      You pay your employees $7.50 an hour. After all your overhead is paid, you make a grand profit of $0.50 on each widget.

      Now comes the magical gubmint, oh great creator of jobs and fairness and tells you that you have to start paying your employees $11 an hour.

      You do the math and see that now you are going to lose $1 on each widget that you make.

      So you now have two choices. You raise the price of your widgets to $4.50, which no one will pay, or you close shop.

      See how this works? So what’s the new plan, Einstein?

      1. Obviously demand is artificially low. The solution of course, is to bash immigrants.

      2. It depends. Is your widget company too big to fail? Have you made significant campaign contributions to certain influential politicians? No? Well then I guess you’ll have to just close down and all your workers go on the dole. Because FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY.

      3. You pay your employees $7.50 an hour. After all your overhead is paid, you make a grand profit of $0.50 on each widget.

        Now comes the magical gubmint, oh great creator of jobs and fairness and tells you that you have to start paying your employees $11 an hour.

        You do the math and see that now you are going to lose $1 on each widget that you make.

        That means you need almost an hour of labor to produce 2 widgets. That’s not the case for fruit.

        Fruit prices would go up but not by much. You could raise wages by $10 an hour and only raise the price of a piece of fruit by a few cents.

        1. How many farms have you run, Tulpa?

          1. Is this the new “only women can have an opinion on abortion”, RC?

            All it requires is basic math and an open mind to figure this out. If any farm experts know of a counterintuitive way that paying higher wages to fruit pickers increases the price of a piece of fruit by more than the amount of extra wages per fruit picked, I’m all ears.

            I didn’t notice you questioning the farming credentials of the people on this thread or in the original article, btw.

          2. I mean seriously, the next time you complain about Obama’s budget, would you accept Shrike showing up and asking how many years you were president?

        2. Fruit prices would go up but not by much. You could raise wages by $10 an hour and only raise the price of a piece of fruit by a few cents.

          Not to mention that the retail markups on produce are insanely high.

          Produce at a small ‘farmer’s market’ that i shop at routinely costs 1/3 or less than the same produce at chain stores.

      4. More realistic parameters for your thought experiment

        Productivity of harvest workers varies by crop, growing conditions, weather, and the physical stamina of a worker. On average, citrus harvesters pick between 8 and 11 boxes per hour (Polopolus et. al. 1996); tomato harvesters average between 15 and 27 buckets per hour (Roka and Emerson 1999). If the piece rate for harvesting oranges is 80 cents per box (90 pounds) and a worker picks 80 boxes (7,200 pounds) of oranges during the course of one day, his total earnings for that day would be $64. If the same worker spent 8 hours harvesting, his average productivity would be 10 boxes per hour and his average hourly earnings would be $8.

      5. And people could then starve to death becuase they don’t have any food.

    6. Sounds like he needs to raise wages instead of importing hordes of 3rd world savages to keep them artificially low.

      …and then raise prices to complensate for his increased labor costs. Meanwhile the farmer down the road continues to employ “3rd world savages”, as you no doubt call anyone with brown skin and a funny accent. Then the farmer who raised his wages and his prices can go out of business because he’s unable to compete with his neighbor anymore.

      Think for 5 seconds before spewing your bullshit, you fucking moron.

      1. The labor costs of picking fruit are a tiny fraction of the price of fruit. Distribution and insurance costs are far higher.

        Each worker is expected to pick hundreds of pieces of fruit in an hour, so to raise the price of a piece of fruit by 10c you’d have to raise the worker’s wages by tens of dollars.

      2. Then the farmer who raised his wages and his prices can go out of business because he’s unable to compete with his neighbor anymore.

        And herein lies the irony. If farmers (by which we mean to say “multi-billion-dollar corporate farming conglomerates” – the poor family dirt farmer hiring Mexicans just so he can put food on his table is the only canard in the immigration debates possibly more stupid than the noble Mexican who busts his back for the pure joy of labor and the lazy American cunt who hates him because he is brown). Anyway, if farmers ostensibly can’t make a living paying wages and the accompanying taxes and compliance costs that are legal, let alone that Americans will accept, rather than look at the fucked up system of price controls, oppressive taxes and regulatory costs, and perverse incentives involved with the labor market, the government gives farmers special dispensation to hire black market labor, and then libertarians cheer the government for its compassion towards black market labor and start screaming “BIGOT” at anyone who disagrees. Maybe a better way to go would be to either remove the problems that make it impossible for poor old Farmer John to pay legal wages, or make it so every industry has access to black market labor. Some consistency in both policy and rhetoric would be nice though.

  6. So what’s happening with Blue Seed these days?

  7. Immigrants make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 18 percent of all small-business owners

    Asians. There were several Asian owned businesses in my former neighborhood, and all of their employees are poor migrant workers from Mexico and other Central American countries. And no Americans will take those jobs because they are on da welfah, they are at home in mommies basement, or they just graduated college with a degree in social justice and expect a job starting out at 6 figures. And you sure as hell don’t want any of the aforementioned American ringing up your groceries, you will be in line for 2 hours because they don’t know what a jalapeno pepper or cilantro is.

    1. “Waaah, waaah, all of the businesses in this neighborhood are Asian-owned. I want to shop at a store owned by the ‘right’ people.”

      “Then let the ‘right’ people get off of their butts and start one.”

      “….”

      1. You know, it’s always funny on immigration threads. You have, broadly speaking,

        1)The herp derp nativists/they took our jerbs/third world savages crowd.

        2)the fluffy kittens and rainbows who loudly denounce any criticism of any aspect of immigration as racist nativism.

        Then you have people who seem to just have a realistic view of the world. Yes, the guy I buy peppers from at the Mexican grocery probably doesn’t have papers. I don’t care. He has amazing peppers. The cholos hanging out in the lot all day probably don’t have papers either. I look down on them the same way I look down on any other scumbag gangbanger, of any color.

        Does that make me a racist? Or does it mean I have an honest appreciation for the reality of the matter, which is that immigrants are people, and a certain percentage of all people are violent, or slothful, or lazy, or what have you.

        1. So you’re willing to sell the rule of law down the river in return for some peppers.

          1. The rule of law left a long time ago. Might as well get good peppers before the drone strikes begin.

          2. So by the rule of law you mean not engaging in victimless crimes?

            Fuck off statist.

            1. Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. Crossing a border undocumented and then stealing someones social security is not legally equivalent to someone smoking weed in the privacy of their home.

              1. So illegal immigration = stealing social security

                Got it, you’re a retard and should not be taken seriously.

                1. I meant to say number, obviously. And yes, if any illegal immigrant takes money from a social program then it’s not a victimless crime. The victims are the U.S. Tax payers that spend billions on them each year.

                  1. So all illegal immigrants steal social security numbers?

                    Got it, still retarded and still not to be taken seriously.

        2. Yep, that’s pretty much the immigration debate in a nutshell. For a lot of people, the concept of an “immigrant” or a “minority” only exists in policy debates.

          I say this unto you as am immigrant myself – “Immigration is good no matter what” can only be described as a delusion. Your typical immigrant is not well adjusted worker who can latch onto different parts of American economy. They have to burrow into big ethnic enclaves to survive, finding jobs in “immigrant” businesses like Koreatown where tax cheating, shady owners await theme.

          I’m aware of all the textbook arguments for immigration that makes a ton of sense in a vacuum. In real life, immigration is just not as viable to the country’s future as pundits claim to be. If 2,3 million immigrants “self deported” over the next 5 years, nothing too catastrophic will happen to this country.

          1. This is the first thing I’ve read in this thread that has made sense. I consider myself a libertarian but don’t see why so many under that flag believe in open borders. This is already the easiest country to get into and make a dime. Be that legally or illegally. I want to reverse some of that, not push it further.

            1. No, you’re a statist who supports government coercion.

              Fuck off, statist.

              1. I am most definitely not a statist.

                Fuck off, hippy.

                1. You support government coercion, therefore you are a statist.

  8. And you sure as hell don’t want any of the aforementioned American ringing up your groceries, you will be in line for 2 hours because they don’t know what a jalapeno pepper or cilantro is.

    Yeah, what is up with that? I had a cashier ask me what an eggplant was. AN EGGPLANT.

    Having said that, I would love to see a bit more diversity around here (SW Baltimore County). There are a lot of Hispanics, but not so many Hispanic-owned businesses; like you said, mostly Asian (and specifically mostly Chinese).

    1. You actually have them ask? In my experience they usually just hold it up with a quizzical look on their face.

    2. I’m probably pretty close to where you live. My neighborhood, I would guess is about 90% white.

    3. Yeah, what is up with that? I had a cashier ask me what an eggplant was. AN EGGPLANT

      I had one to ask me what a lime is, not joking.

      What is up with it, is that they have been indoctrinated into the entitlement mindset by our public schools, and dumbed down to a level of stupid probably not seen before since the beginning of civilization.

    4. I like to self-bag. It’s ideal for us empathy-challenged Libertarians, especially those of us who, for some reason, don’t want the eggs at the bottom of the bag.

    5. had a cashier ask me what an eggplant was. AN EGGPLANT.

      Mind blown. Clearly this wass someone who had never set foot outside of the city. Hell, probably hardly ever left their neighborhood. But you’d think they would have at least seen “Eggplant Parmesan” on the menu of an Italian resaurant before.

      1. Yeah, esp since Baltimore is famous for Little Italy. It isn’t like there isn’t a ton of Italian places/ food around.

      2. In my day we had to memorize dozens of codes for every obscure fruit/vegetable imaginable, including all the Spanish & Chinese ones. This wasn’t that long ago (90s) and it was “in the city”. Have things changed that much?

    6. I would love to see a bit more diversity around here (SW Baltimore County). There are a lot of Hispanics, but not so many Hispanic-owned businesses

      The fuck? Isn’t this kind of the same shit you were just ass-reaming the proverbial nativist white cunt for? Why do you care who owns the store you shop at? Do you hate Chinese people? White people? If so, why? See how stupid things can get when you mindlessly reduce them to racial issues?

    7. I had a hispanic ask me what cerial was. Seriously. Anyway, you know who else doesn’t like Asian buisnesses? (wink, wink)

  9. Web guys: I think Reason may be broken in Chrome right now. https://reason.com/blog just shows a white screen (the source looks like the data is there, just hidden).

    I’m using AdBlock Plus. It looks like the page loads when I have it disabled for reason.com, but it was working fine all day yesterday and most of the morning.

    1. The site is crazy slow right now for me using Firefox… must be all those donation pouring in.

    2. Works fine for me.

      1. Interesting. If I close Chrome entirely and re-open with just Hit amp Run as the only tab, it works. I’ve noticed that before, too. It doesn’t like to exist with other tabs that have media like Soundcloud or similar.

  10. Compared with native-born Americans, immigrants are more likely to start a business, more likely to launch a hugely successful one, more likely to work, and less likely to commit crime. They’re also willing to take jobs many Americans refuse to do.

    In other words, they are more American than Americans.

    I’ve always said ‘America’ isn’t a place, it’s an ideal. It’s all about the sovereignty of the individual. How many ‘Americans’ would be willing to pack their bags and move to a foreign country merely for the *opportunity* of – not the guarantee of, but simply the opportunity of – making a better life for themselves and their children and their childrens’ children? Almost all of us here, at some point, had an ancestor with the gumption to take that risk. Do you think that if looked your immigrant ancestor in the eye right now and told him to survey what his ambition had granted his progeny and then told him “you didn’t build that” he wouldn’t shoot you right in the fucking head?

    1. In other words, they are more American than Americans.

      Actually, they are more like Americans of a few generations ago than Americans today. Today being American is all about big government gimmedats.

      1. Uh, they’re like the Americans of a few generations ago, who were immigrants. So they’re pretty much just like, uh, Americans!

    2. In other words, they are more American than Americans

      I think it’s more likely that they just don’t know the levels of government meddling and crushing regulation and taxation that they are about to get themselves into.

      Americans are scared to start businesses, and for good reason. Starting a business in the new Amurika is like painting a target on your back. Unless you have an army of lobbyists in DC, then you are good to go.

      1. Puh-lease! take a look at the IMF ease of doing business index or Heritage’s index of economic freedom before insulting the intelligence of 3rd world immigrants. In the IMF ease of doing business ranking the U.S. is number 4, Mexico is 36 and Brazil, where I live, is 130. India is 132 and China, 92.

        1. Yes, but the US is getting worse in this regard.

    3. Yeah, it’s that simple. *sigh*
      Tell you what, pay me 40 times what I make now and I’ll be on the first flight.

      Most Americans would do the same if the end result was as large an improvement as the immigrants experience when the go from nothing or $5 a day to 20,30,40, or 50 times that.

    4. “You didn’t build that” Obama was referring to roads and bridges and law enforcement (infrastructure) that allow a business to operate, not to the business itself, but please don’t let me stop you from further (knowingly) propagating this pathetic lie.

      1. And when BO resolves to reduce government to road and bridge building and law enforcement, that distinction will matter.

        He was justifying the massive scale of the current US govt based on something that accounts for 1% of it.

      2. “You didn’t build that” Obama was referring to roads and bridges and law enforcement (infrastructure)

        If that’s what he meant, that’s what he should have said.

        But that’s not what he said, either in the sound bite or the surrounding remarks.

      3. Yes, actually, we did. Who do you think paid for it?
        The Fairy Goverment Mother?

    5. In other words, Russian Jews are more likely to be rich than inner city blacks or appalacian whites. Now who’d a thought? I wouldn’t use this talking point for long, though. Russia is running out of Jews.

    6. Nah, my ancestor was too busy shooting the British.

  11. Chris Mallory| 12.5.12 @ 10:46AM

    Sounds like he needs to raise wages instead of importing hordes of 3rd world savages to keep them artificially low.

    This is you brain on collectivism. Just say no, kids.

  12. “Six hours was enough,” the paper reported, “for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back [after lunch] and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard.”

    I can see it now: “I have a BA in Russian Literature from [insert pretentious sounding university here], I don’t need to put up with this crap! Just find some brown person to do it instead.”

  13. Compared with native-born Americans, immigrants are more likely to start a business, more likely to launch a hugely successful one, more likely to work, and less likely to commit crime.

    …Anyway, welfare dependency has soared among native-born residents, too.

    Seems like we should hold immigrants to a higher standard than the average native-born American..

      1. If you’re looking at neighborhoods in Peoria, would you compare the crime rate to the Illinois average?

        1. I didn’t know we can import countries.

          1. Are you retarded?

            1. Nope, but collectivist thinking like

              Seems like we should hold immigrants to a higher standard than the average native-born American..

              certainly is.

    1. We should hold them to the same standards.

      We should deport a lot more native-born Americans than we do. A LOT more.

      1. We should hold them to the same standards.

        Right. There should be lots of immigrants that are similar to the current American socioeconomic milieu. We need restaurateurs, small businessmen, technology entrepreneurs, middle managers, street gangs and polygamous cults. Or maybe some of those are undesirable. Is it collectivists to say that street gangs are undesirable?

        1. Saying street gangs are undesirable doesn’t justify government restricting immigration. It does justify government arresting criminals.

          1. Saying street gangs are undesirable doesn’t justify government restricting immigration. It does justify government arresting criminals.

            So known gang members should be allowed to immigrate? And anyone who doesn’t agree with this is a “hardcore nativist”? … Are you retarded?

            1. So known gang members should be allowed to immigrate?

              Wow, that would be such an awesome point if we were arguing about gang members immigrating. We’re arguing about immigration in general. Are all immigrants gang members? No, so shut the fuck up.

  14. A 2007 study found that “for every ethnic group, without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants.”

    I don’t think this means what Mr. Hinkle thinks it means.

    1. What exactly does it mean, Mr. Finch?

      1. Lithuanian immigrants don’t feel comfortable being White Trash, but their children do!

  15. Lately, I’ve come to a realization: what we call “illegal immigrants” are the true Americans, modeled after the Americans of generations ago. They risk much to come here, and once they get here they make the best of that opportunity by working hard, usually at menial low-paying jobs, but slowly ascending the ladder until they have enough for some level of stability. They contribute mightily to he economy. Some even start their own businesses. They make families and grow them, teaching their children the values of hard work and self-reliance. And they do all this without their hands out for government “assistance” (I realize that they can’t collect because they’re here illegally but that’s sort of beside the point).

    1. (I realize that they can’t collect because they’re here illegally but that’s sort of beside the point).

      LOL. You’re adorable.

      Hey, if you’re ever outside of Manhattan for an hour or two you should pull your head out of your ass – there’s all kinds of things for you to see.

    2. Funny. I almot think it’s satire. It’s funner to read that way. I went to school with these people. They certanly weren’t keen on “ascending the ladder.” They thought math was “white.” They thought getting suspended for fighting was how you “become a man.” NOT ALL OF THEM WERE THIS WAY, IN FACT I KNEW A HALF-JEWISH HALF-WHITE CHILEAN “HISPANIC” WHO WAS VERY INTELLIGENT. But most are, certanly the illegall fruit pickers.
      “They make families and grow them, teaching their children the values of hard work and self-reliance”
      Nothing says that like the fact that over half will grow up without a father. Family values!!
      “And they do all this without their hands out for government “assistance””
      If you think that illegals either don’t or can’t take out welfare, I have a seaside Condo to sell you.

      1. Looks like Mr. Average American IQ ordered a side of caps lock with his crazy.

    3. WTF are you talking about? My ancestors, as with many others got off a boat in this country just to get on another one and go risk their lives in a war. The people you are talking about hopped a fence so they could go sleep head toe by the dozen in a one bedroom apartment and send all their earnings back to their country of origin.

      1. Distinction without a relevant difference, fucktard.

        1. How is that not a relevant difference? One fought for this country for their citizenship. The other sends the majority of their money to a different country and hope for amnesty.

          Fuck off, anarchist.

          1. And that has what to with rights, retard?

  16. Brace Yourselves.

    The Yokeltarians Are Coming.

  17. Another story where Reason accepts as gospel the word of someone who has every incentive to lie, perhaps because their statements line up with what Reason wants to believe. Did Mr Hinkle even stop to consider the fact that a fruit farmer, who has gotten fat off using illegal labor for sub-minimum wage and horrid working conditions, has every incentive to overstate his difficulties hiring Americans?

    Disclaimer: I have ALWAYS supported increasing legal immigration while maintaining control over it, and using market-ish mechanisms to discourage employers from hiring foreigners if there are US citizens willing to do the work for a reasonable wage. Won’t stop the usual suspects from calling me a racist xenophobe, but they’re not my target audience.

    1. a fruit farmer, who has gotten fat off using illegal labor for sub-minimum wage and horrid working conditions,

      Tell us, Tulpa, what’s the average margin on a fruit farm? What’s the volatility on output, input costs, and market prices?

      While I don’t know any fruit farmers, I know plenty of farmers, and I would be very surprised to learn that fruit farms are unique in having high margins, stable output volumes, low and stable input costs, and stable market prices. Meaning, I doubt very many fruit farmers are getting fat on anything. Could be wrong, though. Maybe this is that hidden corner of American agriculture where the living is easy.

      1. R C Dean apparently lives in a world where farm subsidies and government-monopolized crop insurance don’t exist, and most farming is done by small, independent, family farmers instead of massive, billion+ dollar corporate farming conglomerates. Give me a fucking break.

        1. Too bad we’re not all farm experts like you, PM! If only we all had your gift of pointless whining sage wisdom!

          1. Funny, everyone here was a farm expert until someone questioned the groupthink. Then y’all suddenly became skeptical.

            1. Saying something patently stupid is not the same thing as questioning groupthink.

              1. It’s patently stupid to point out that, in contradiction to R C Dean’s fact-free snippet, there are, in point of fact, a very vast number of farmers getting very, very fat off of government subsidies, including subsidized crop insurance, as has been extensively covered in this very publication? What makes it so? The fact that it pops your narrative bubble on this particular issue and makes it more difficult to rely on anecdotes and idiotic fairy tales?

                FWIW, I used to be acquaintances with a local apple farmer. Do I get the same credibility as R C Dean now? Or does that 2nd hand access only confer credibility when its someone drooling retarded platitudes that you agree with?

                1. No what’s patently stupid is what Tulpa originally said:

                  Did Mr Hinkle even stop to consider the fact that a fruit farmer, who has gotten fat off using illegal labor for sub-minimum wage and horrid working conditions, has every incentive to overstate his difficulties hiring Americans?

                  So it isn’t farm subsidies that makes farmers fat, it’s those damn Mexican laborers who work cheap!

                  Of course, Tulpa and the nativists argued elsewhere that increasing wages dramatically would negligibly affect the price of fruit. So apparently farmers can get just as fat off of American workers, rendering his point meaningless.

                  1. Right, I agree, to say that anybody “gets fat” off of a voluntary labor transaction is retarded. I was merely point out that saying:

                    I doubt very many fruit farmers are getting fat on anything… Maybe this is that hidden corner of American agriculture where the living is easy.

                    Is equally retarded in a market as distorted as agriculture in the United States. Because of the threading I thought you were replying to my post, not Tulpa’s. Sorry for any confusion.

          2. You might want to pen a letter to the editors – Reason has written extensively on the issue of direct farm subsidies (which have been phased out) and government monopoly crop-insurance (which replaced the direct subsidies this year) as a form of massive corporate welfare. You don’t have to be an expert to not have your head shoved up your ass.

    2. Disclaimer: Tulpa is a statist douche. Engaging him as a logical thinking person is futile. Just read and laugh. Read and laugh.

    3. But I don’t even like the more legal immigration idea. We already allow 1 million new immigrants a year into this country legally. With those numbers we will have an estimated 600 million people in this country by 2050. I really don’t want to start having China like problems.

      We need to finally deal with our illegal immigration problem and lower legal immigration.

      1. Yeah, but that’s because you’re a retarded statist.

        1. Believing in a sovereign government and their limited role in the lives of the citizenry does not make one a statist.

          Fuck off, anarchist.

          1. No, but believing that government has the right to tell people where they can and can’t go/work does make you a statist.

            Retard.

  18. This is the main reason why I will never be an idelogically pure libertarian.I know from experience how outsourcing has destroyed the career propsects and potential salaries for those with technical degrees that once could look foward to a bright future. I mean its not as if the thousands of unemployed skilled works out there are in that situation becuae they are too lazy to do what is asked of them. And the argument that there is simply not enough local skilled workers to fill all the available positions is a total crock perpetuated by companies so they can justify employing cheap labor from overseas. Sorry Im never going to get behind the argument about increasing work visas even if it makes me a hypocrite.

    1. Immigration and outsourcing are totally separate issues.

      1. That might be so, and I probably should have replaced the word outsourcing with Increasing the work vias quotas But the article does bring up the the decrease in visas issued as a negative. Sure some of those visas might go to creating jobs domestically, but not to the point that it balances out the number of jobs lost to foreign workers. I understand that no one is entitled to a well paying job simply because they were born and went to shcool here. But i really dont like how the article just fuzzes over a complex subtopic in itself, citing one case where a particular company decided to go back to India becuae of a lack of visas and making that out to be a general trend.

        1. This is the main reason why I will never be an idelogically pure consistent libertarian. I know from experience how outsourcing has destroyed the career propsects and potential salaries for those with technical degrees people of my tribe that once could look foward to a bright future.

          Please explain why an unemployed American concerns you, but an unemployed Indian doesn’t.

          1. Because, like so many Americans, this man is addicted to collectivist thinking. Continued abuse will eventually rot his brain.

          2. What exactly is ideologically inconsistent with being a Nationalist libertarian?

            Believing that the government’s function if for its citizenry but that its role in its citizens lives is minimal is not an inconsistent philosophy.

            What you suggest is that which people who patently believe in globalization believe – that our government’s job is for EVERYONE whether you be an Afghani who we swear wants to vote in a democracy or giving jobs to an Indian, Chinese, or German even if it might harm our own citizenry.

            While I will acknowledge that the harm immigration will do to our citizenry is up for debate, this guy is not ideologically inconsistent – he just isn’t a global libertarian like you are.

            1. You may not be familiar with the most fundamental principle of libertarianism, which is the non-aggression principle. A product from country ‘A’ who crosses a border to be sold in country ‘B’ is not harming anyone; analogically, a person from country ‘A’ who crosses a border to get a job or start a business in country ‘B’ is not harming anyone, no more so than someone who is born inside the border of country ‘B’ and gets a job or starts a business. So one cannot be consistent while in favor of free movement of products and not in favor of free movement of people. If you still think there’s harm involved in immigration per se then you haven’t understood the non-aggression principle (and you might as well join the protectionists who think Chinese imports are “harming” the American people).

              1. *A product who which

    2. There is a principle in economics that if there is a scarcity of something, the price rises. If there was scarcity in “STEM” occupations, then the wages would have gone up.

      1. The wages have gone up, thankfully.

        I told my PhD advisor about the recent offer I accepted from a certain private sector entity and he about dropped the phone.

      2. Scarcity can be real or manufactured though. When union shops keep businesses from hiring non-union labor so that they must purchase it from an artificially constrained labor pool, the scarcity exists, but it is manufactured. It’s the same with immigration. At what point do you decide that America has reached the magic number of people to create an ideal labor pool?

        1. At what point do you decide that America has reached the magic number of people to create an ideal labor pool?

          100% employment for Real Americans? apparently.

  19. “Immigrants are more likely to start a business”

    Thats because they get preference in Small Business loans, largely do to their skin color.

    1. “Thats because they get preference in Small Business loans, largely do to their skin color.”

      Oh, come on now. Don’t go there.

      They’re more likely to start businesses because there’s an established market for immigrants. Ethnic food and such.

      Also, they have the seed money, depending on their connection to their homeland. I always get my computers fixed at a local Asian computer shop, and not at some “geeksquad” centers that takes 3 times the money. If you do small business in perfect law abiding fashion, you are either a square or a loser.

      1. I never want to be a “square.” That’s why I voted for Obama. Change!! I used to buy my fruit from my nieghboors shop. She was a church-going, law abiding citizen, she followed the regulations even though she oppoesed them in principle. Then I realized I could buy it from illegals who most likely stole it from the farms they work at. That lady is a “square” anyway.

  20. Immigrants are more likely to start a buisness. In a certain distrcit of LA, all the buisnesses are owned by immigrants, while the natives sit around on welfare. Anyone want to guess the district? As for starting silicon valley enterprises and fortune 500 companies, those immigrants are mostly Europeans, Russian Jews, and Asians. No one is demanding that we don’t let Russian Jews immigrate. Why did the proportion of silicon valley start-ups fall since 2005? It might have to do with the differing Jewish populations of Russia and America. Russia has less than 200,000 Jews left. Sure some Mexicans somewhere have started buisnesses. But not anywhere near the numbers that this article would lead you to believe. As for the ancedotes about immigration, ancedotes are used where the data doesn’t agree. Hispanics commit far more crime than white Americans. The overall rate for immigrants is is lower due to the presence of those Asian and white immigrants, who tend to be richer and more educated than the native born. “for every ethnic group, without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants” All that is saying is that Mexican immigrants are less likely thn Mexican native-born to commit crimes. Why? The reason is that thanks to our immigration policy, criminals who are illegal or resident non-citizens are deported. And if the children of Mexican immigrants are worse than their parents, why is continud Mexican immigration a good idea? Mexico is bad enough.

    1. You nativist retards spouted the exact same bullshit about the Irish 200 years ago. History’s idiots never die.

      1. And blacks. How’d that work out?

        1. Retard, I’m still waiting for a logical argument about why black people or Mexicans shouldn’t be free.

          1. So blacks proved all of “history’s idiots” wrong? When did this happen? The Grey Lady thrown on my stoop everyday is obsessed with noticing all the ways blacks prove “history’s idiots” kinda sorta correct. In fact, the entire post-colonial era seems like an elaborate plot of the ghosts of “history’s idiots” to prove their wisdom.

            1. So blacks proved all of “history’s idiots” wrong?

              When did I say this? It’s not my fault you can’t read.

          2. Retard, I’m still waiting for a logical argument about why black people or Mexicans shouldn’t be free.

            Umm, [strokes beard] all non-violent people should be free. Well, that was an exhausting mental exercise.

            1. OK, so you’re for open borders then.

  21. Hispanics commit far more crime than white Americans.

    Pretty sure that’s not true. It’s hard to measure precisely because of government shenanigans involving “white” and “Hispanic,” but the most sophisticated analysis I’ve seen suggests their violent crime rate is slightly higher than whites.

  22. the welfare argument against immigration is particularly specious.

    Let’s say a foreign solar energy company comes to America to take advantage of government subsidies; would a libertarian then suggest that we ban all new foreign companies from investing in American soil? Obviously not; a person who values freedom would fight against the subsidies, not against foreign investment altogether. The same applies to immigrants and welfare.

    1. While that argument may work for some confused libertarians, the majority of these people are hardcore nativists. Yes, they probably do oppose foreign companies.

      Native = good. Foreign = bad. That’s really their only argument.

      1. Native = good. Foreign = bad. That’s really their only argument.

        I guess openborders.info is wasting their time refuting all those other arguments that they must have just imagined.

        1. The root and/or motivation of those arguments is

          Native = good. Foreign = bad.

          That is what’s left when you refute a nativist’s shallow attempts at argument.

      2. “Native = good. Foreign = bad”

        Maybe, but that’s more true outside America where people really do hate their cultural rivals and foreigners with a burning passion. In America, people generally leave immigrants alone or you burrow yourself into nicely settled ethnic zone where you spend the rest of your life speaking your native tongue or not mingling with other racial groups other than hired work.

        I think the immigration debate country is getting stale. It can only be refreshed when people explore the nuances of immigration and immigration policies of other nations for sense of perspective.

        The myths dismissed in this article is embellishment of truth. Immigrants almost certainly do cheat on taxes (and other shady tactics I won’t mention here) and pay each other crappily low wages.

        Sure, immigrants are a positive in the economy. But keep in mind that this is a nation of easy credit and discount superstores. And immigrants have almost no choice but to spend on certain industry to get their cultural products.

        Immigration reform is nice. If you ask immigrants if they actually want way more immigration than now, they’ll be more skeptical.

    2. How likely is it that the subsidy will be repealed when it is attracting millions of companies (people) who depend on it and can vote for its continuance? Simultaneously arguing for an increase in the number of people who are dependent on the subsidy and for repeal of the subsidy that attracted them in the first place is also more than a bit specious. It certainly puts you in an interesting political/strategic position.

      1. Subsidies are a non-sequitur. If immigration restriction is coercion, it is wrong. Whether or not subsidies exist does not change that. This necessitates that you argue the existence of subsidies somehow makes restrictions on freedom. Sorry nativist fools, but two wrongs does not make a right.

        1. *This necessitates that you argue the existence of subsidies somehow makes restrictions on freedom right.

          1. I didn’t bring it up, I just find it interesting to be simultaneously arguing in favor of one policy which is likely to exacerbate another policy which you oppose. Unless both policies (immigration and welfare) are changed simultaneously, the sequence in which they are changed can dramatically affect the actual implications of the policy. In that sense, welfare is anything but a non-sequitur. One need not be a nativist to contemplate the implications of opening the borders prior to abandoning the welfare state that would likely be further entrenched by an expanding population of largely poor people. I don’t consider Ron Paul a nativist, for example:

            http://www.ronpaul.com/on-the-…..-security/

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul344.html

            Maybe you do.

            1. So I guess we shouldn’t have been so hasty to throw away compulsory sterilizations. After all, not sterilizing the poor increases the amount of welfare recipients!

              Yes it is a complete non-sequitur, and yes Ron Paul is a nativist.

      2. One could easily argue that repealing a specific subsidy is also unlikely to happen because of the special interests of the subsidized companies in preserving the subsidies while most of the public doesn’t care about them (that’s pure public choice theory, right?). Thanks to Citizen United, the company can even influence elections (NTTAWWT). The situation is analogous, so that a principled position has to be either against open borders for companies and people or in favor of open borders for both.

        Another question: do you think the government has the right to restrict soft drinks and smoking in a country with universal healthcare? If you don’t, you’re simultaneously arguing for unhealthy lifestyles and for paying their healthcare.

  23. LET’S OPEN THE FLOOD GATES TO MORE UNSKILLED WORKERS AND DRIVE UP UNEMPLOYMENT AND CRIME RATES

    LET’S TURN AMERICA INTO CALIFORNIA–BETTER YET, LET’S TURN IT INTO MEXICO

    GOOD THINKING, REASON

    1. Fucking retard

  24. I can hear them now “Lies, damned lies and statistics”….. particularly when they don’t support xenophobic paranoia that about half the country loves to wallow in.

    Too bad the simple truth keeps coming back to the same thing: immigrants are NOT the problem (*), give-aways and idiotic laws and regulations are.

    (* they may even be the solution!)

  25. Yet because the program does not allow enough guest workers in, “Plant managers in the Carolinas . . . have been forced to turn to prisons to man assembly lines,” reports McClatchy Newspapers.

    God forbid that our prisoners learn job skills and the value of hard work!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.