Immigration

Shikha Dalmia on the Hill Talking About Why Low-Skilled Foreigners are an Economic Boon

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Immigration reform has been resurrected from the dead, but that doesn't mean it is a done deal. Standing in the way are misperceptions and misconceptions about the impact of immigration on the economy—especially the low skilled variety. Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill organized by the Cato Institute to dispel some of them. She cautioned against reforms that would privilege high-skilled over low-skilled immigrants, noting:

 American employers—regardless of whether it is MacIntosh computer or MacIntosh Apples—should be allowed to decide what kind of immigrants they want, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. The high-skilled/low-skilled category is itself quite artificial. In fact, in Canada welding and plumbing is treated as high-skilled work for immigration purposes. The reality is that the labor market is a symbiotic system where every class of worker needs every other and you take away one and it makes it hard for everyone else to function. So it is very important we understand the vital role that so-called unskilled workers play in our labor market and the economy at large.

Watch the whole thing below:

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  1. “it is very important we understand the vital role that so-called unskilled workers play in our labor market and the economy at large”

    Such as keeping down labor costs for the Kochtopus?

    1. “Such as keeping down labor costs for the Kochtopus?”

      I don’t know if you’re being facetious, but just in case you aren’t…

      Single working mothers, who need access to cheap childcare, and elderly people on fixed incomes, who physically can’t do their own lawncare anymore, they’re not part of the Kochtopus.

      1. Ignore it, he’s on a roll.

    2. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR AMERICANS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR ROLES IN SOCIETY MUST BE REPLACED BY UNWASHED MEXICANS IN ORDER TO FORCE THEM ALL INTO PERPETUAL SLAVERY TO THE CORPORATE MACHINE

      /DERP

      The fact is most people – not just teh libbrals – have a zero-sum conception of everything economic, and believe that “immigrants be takin are jobz!” rather than liberating millions to help grow the emerging intellectial/service economies.

      They also seem to conveniently overlook that the period of greatest inflow of ‘unskilled labor’ into the US was also the period of most rapid economic development in the country since just after WWII. Its only now, during a period of high unemployment and virtual recession, that ‘securin the borders’! must become a national priority.

      Fuck the VDare morons.

      1. Most folks just plain don’t like unskilled work. We have unemployment/welfare rolls in our area, yet Jamaicans are imported for harvest every year.

        1. The Nativists – usually who live thousands of miles away from you – will adamantly argue that this is a grand lie and that ‘Merricans are PROUD unskilled-laborers and we LOVE the tradition of sweating it out in fields and in factories and slaughterhouses and this MYTH of the hardworking immigrant is simply a SMOKESCREEN by teh EVIL CORPORATIONS to kill the MIDDLE CLASS IN AMERICA!!

          Something like that.

  2. Such as keeping down labor costs for the Kochtopus?

    Not sure what a Kochtopus is, but why are low labor costs bad?

    1. Low labor costs are a wonderful thing.

      They’re only bad if, say, you’re in a union; or you’ve got a felony record; or if you’re a tweeker; or a high school drop out; and you’re so pathetic that you can’t compete with immigrants from Mexico–many of whom don’t have more than an 8th grade education and can’t read or write English.

      And if you’re a tweeker (or someone else who can’t compete with functional illiterates), there’s no reason for the government to arrange itself in such a way that everyone else has to suffer a lower standard of living–just so you can somehow be in demand despite your pathetic, self-inflicted flaws.

      1. Exactly. Just a couple of questions:

        What is a Kochtopus?
        What is a tweeker?

        1. The Kochtopus is manifestation of Koch Brothers–they have their tentacles in everything! Why, if it wasn’t for the Koch Brothers, I wouldn’t care at all about our presidents squandering my future paychecks to bail out Wall Street!

          A tweaker is a habitual meth user.

          Tweakers suck.

        2. “Kochtopus” is a term (in this case, I think used humorously) to describe the activities of the Koch brothers, who run the firm Koch Industries. They have been donors to libertarian causes, including the Reason Foundation. It is a favorite far-left bugaboo.

          Tweeker = someone who uses methamphetamine.

          1. Thanks both of you. Sometimes it is hard to understand what is being said here.

            1. Not only do we use more slang than the Wu Tang Clan, we are being completely facetious way more than half the time. I’m often not even sure what *I’m* saying. Its much like Speaking in Tounges at a Pentacostal revival. Good luck trying to make sense of it all.

        3. “What is a Kochtopus?”

          Shun,a “Kochtopus” is the liberal interpretation of “Koch Brothers.”

          “Sorostopus” is the conservative interpretation of “George Soros.”

  3. The high-skilled/low-skilled category is itself quite artificial. In fact, in Canada welding and plumbing is treated as high-skilled work for immigration purposes.

    They’re also treated as high-skilled work for remuneration purposes.

  4. “Arizona – 6% of population is illegal,
    Between 1996 and 2010, the federal government estimates that the illegal alien population in Arizona increased 213%.

    There were an estimated 278,460 illegal aliens working in Arizona in 2011, approximately 9.3 percent of the total workforce.
    Unemployment in Arizona in January 2012 was 8.7 percent with 262,587 Arizonans officially unemployed.

    Over 10% of children enrolled in public schools (K-12) have parents who are in the U.S. illegally.
    Illegal aliens and their children were found to be 37 percent of the uninsured population in Arizona in 2008, and the cost of uncompensated care for illegal aliens in Arizona is $320 million annually.
    The total education, medical, and incarceration costs in Arizona due to illegal immigration are $2.6 billion a year.

    An investigation by the Phoenix police department found that in 2008 there were ‘668 separate incidents’ in the city that ‘met the statutory criteria for kidnapping.’
    Phoenix formed a police taskforce in 2009 to combat the rising levels of violence, and still recorded over 300 kidnapping that year.
    The city of Tucson formed a similar taskforce in 2008 as a response to 150 home invasions.

    The Border Patrol has found that criminal gangs, such as MS-13, are drawn to Arizona because of the predominance of drug trafficking and human smuggling there. Fifty-one cross-border drug smuggling tunnels were discovered in Nogales, Arizona between 2006 and 2010.”
    (Cont’d)

    1. Sounds like we need to legalize marijuana quick!

      Jesus, if wasn’t for the Drug War, what would MS-13 do for money? I guess they’d have to do some sequestering of their own PDQ.

  5. (Cont’d)
    “The Arizona Department of Corrections estimates that 17% of its prison population is illegal aliens, and 22% of felony defendants in Maricopa County are illegal aliens.

    National Park rangers in Arizona are now heavily armed, and visitors are prohibited from visiting large areas of public parklands because of drug trafficking activity.

    Federal agents seized over 1.2 million pounds of marijuana in Arizona in 2009. Arrests have become so common that federal prosecutors in Arizona have routinely declined to press charges against smugglers who are caught with less than 500 pounds of marijuana.”

    1. So what?

      1. i think that’s just a longform translation of,

        “MEXICANS R ALL TEH CRIMINALS AND ALL THEY WANTS IS ARE WELFARE STATE AND VOTE TEH DEMOCRAT”

        …but I assure you, its not racist!

        The people convinced that 99% of immigrants are drug-smuggling welfare qeens who spread disease and socialism live on The Grand Anecdote for their data source = when you point out to them that in fact 99% of immigrants – legal or otherwise – are less criminally inclined than natives, use less entitlements than natives, and contribute *significantly* to the National economy… they run screaming back to the “but an illegal mexican got drunk and hit a bus fulla nuns and!…” Its the security blanket of Nativism.

        Also, with a name like Dona Marina, it can only be a dirty Dago Wop talking, so feel free to ignore them.

        1. The Grand Anecdote for their data source = when you point out to them that in fact 99% of immigrants – legal or otherwise – are less criminally inclined than natives, use less entitlements than natives

          notsureifserious

          1. re: Crime

            http://www.immigrationpolicy.o…..es-arizona

            “Arizona’s falling crime rates, together with a century’s worth of evidence indicating that immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes than the native-born, cast serious doubt on the claims of some SB 1070 supporters that the law is in any way a useful crime-fighting tool.”

            re: Welfare

            Immigration and the Welfare State –
            http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj32n1/cj32n1-11.pdf

            The fact is (OMG its RACIST!) that poor native rural whites and poor native urban blacks are the crime-inclined Weflare Hogs.

            1. “when you point out to them that in fact 99% of immigrants – legal or otherwise – are less criminally inclined than natives” — Your link in no way saves this obviously made-up statistic.

              http://www.cato.org/publicatio…..nts-united

              The combination of lower average utilization and smaller average benefits indicates that the overall cost of public benefits is substantially less for low-income non-citizen immigrants than for comparable native-born adults and children.

              i.e. immigrants use less welfare than poor natives, not less than natives generally.

              1. OK, “99%” was hyperbole.

                Is “significantly less than” better for you?

                And FWIW, you actually provide ZERO factoids to back your claim that immigrants use more welfare than “natives generally”. You’re assuming that sans any info. In any case – the characterization of immigrants as Scheming Welfare Addicts is complete and utter horseshit, whatever case you want to make.

                1. http://cis.org/sites/default/files/Canta_2_0.jpg

                  OK, “99%” was hyperbole.

                  Why is hyperbole better than “The Grand Anecdote”?

                  1. “The grand anecdote” is counterfactual. As in, “the opposite of the truth”.

                    You are niggling about *the way* i made my point – which was, “immigrants DO NOT cause increases in crime, and immigrants DO NOT use more welfare than Natives”

                    You disagree with either point? Or do you accept that these are facts? OR – Do you just prefer a bunch of bullshit anecdotes that convince you of a counter-factual fantasy?

                2. “OK, ‘99%’ was hyperbole.
                  Is ‘significantly less than’ better for you?”

                  Gilmore, “99%” is a blatant lie.
                  Lies color your comments irrelevant.

                  1. “Dona Marina|3.22.13 @ 6:07PM|#

                    Gilmore, “99%” is a blatant lie.

                    The point, douchebag, was that I was contrasting your characterization of immigrants as criminal welfare recipients with the fact that neither claim was true. Read my first comment. It was a simple rhetorical comparison.

                    You’d rather pick nits – who cares if immigrants aren’t criminals or welfare suckers?? (despite your claims that they *are*)… you quickly resort to “BUT TEH ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL”, which is the bottom of the fucking barrel as far as actual arguments go. You pretend to be an intellectual, but when asked to address any specific facts, you devolve into cliche, word games, and outright cultural demonization. You’re a classic stereotype VDare style nativist douchehat who pretends to some pretence of ‘Facty-ness’ but then simply resorts to anecdote and name-calling.

                    1. “when asked to address any specific facts, you devolve into cliche, word games, and outright cultural demonization.”

                      Really, Gilmore?
                      What specific fact did I fail to address? I am interested in debating you, but I find it difficult weeding through your drivel to find an actual fact that isn’t an outright lie.

                      “name calling?”

                      Wow, YOU accuse ME of that?
                      Ha ha ha ha ha.

              2. Sid, your thought processes are flawed.

                It is ridiculous to compare American crime rates and entitlement rates with those of illegal aliens.

                You see, Sid, there aren’t supposed to be, by law, ANY illegals in our country.

                Following that objective logic, Sid, one illegal incarcerated in our country is one more than necessary or expected.

                One illegal receiving an entitlement is one more than necessary or expected.

                1. “One illegal receiving an entitlement is one more than necessary or expected.”

                  The way you phrased that, it almost made it sound like you think being born an American “entitles” you to something other than the right to vote.

                  Honestly, I don’t see the difference between foreign born parasites sucking blood out of my back and native born parasites sucking blood out of my back.

                  1. Ken, there is a difference.
                    We have to accept our American parasites.
                    We don’t have to accept Mexican parasites.

                    1. “Ken, there is a difference.
                      We have to accept our American parasites.
                      We don’t have to accept Mexican parasites.”

                      What a great, logical argument. No question begging there at all. And I’m sure Ken is really reassured by knowing that he “has to accept” the Americans leaching off him.

                    2. There isn’t any difference between them.

                      If somebody picks my pocket, finding out later that the thief was an American citizen doesn’t make me feel any better about being robbed.

                      And, actually, the illegal aliens are a fraction of the parasites in this country feeding off of my paycheck! It’s the native born American parasites that are biggest part of the problem.

                      That’s one of the biggest problems I have with the anti-immigration lobby. They’re always acting like the difference between being an American and not being an American is that non-Americans don’t have a right to suck the blood out of my back–but American citizens do?

                      Send your children to public schools on my dime. Finance your college education with my paycheck. Do absolutely nothing to save for your retirement–just count on Social Security and Medicare! …and then turn around and complain that illegal aliens are parasites?!

                      It’s disgraceful.

                      All the tapeworms think they have a right to suck the life out of us–it’s the mosquitoes! They’re the ones that don’t have the right?!

                      I’d trade three self-entitled Americans for every hard-working uneducated immigrant we got from Mexico if I could.

                    3. Ken, you can’t deport Americans. You can deport Mexicans.

                      After the border is sealed and the illegals have self-deported due to mandatory federal E-verify, then we can work toward tackling our massive federal debt and in the process hopefully evict, not deport, the lazy Americans from entitlements.

                    4. “Ken, you can’t deport Americans. You can deport Mexicans.”

                      There’s no need to deport anybody–not just because of their nationality. You get rid of the parasites of other non-American nationalities, and, what, 90% of the problem still remains?

                      Just cut off the freebies. It’s not the nationality of the parasites that’s the problem; it’s our government feeding the parasites–all of the parasites–with our paychecks.

                      Cut spending. Slash taxes. Stop redistributing my paycheck by way of income taxes. Get rid of the capital gains tax. No need to deport anybody. Just stop forcing us all to make sacrifices of our paychecks for each other.

                2. I think you’re on the wrong site if you think “IT’S THE LAW!” is going to be regarded as a serious argument here.

                  1. “I think you’re on the wrong site if you think ‘IT’S THE LAW!’ is going to be regarded as a serious argument here.”

                    Cali, of course “the law” doesn’t matter to illegal-alien supporters.
                    There is no legal argument to support illegal immigration.
                    To support illegal immigration, it is not possible to cite the law.

                    Now, there are all kinds of laws against illegal immigration. Those laws can’t be debated on behalf of illegals, so illegals and their supporters cannot win a debate based on law so illegals and their supporters come up with crap like,
                    “I think you’re on the wrong site if you think ‘IT’S THE LAW!’ is going to be regarded as a serious argument here.”

                    1. Tautologies are also tautological

                    2. What’s next, are you going to defend the drug laws in this country?

                      But heck, let’s stick to legal arguments. Where exactly is the Constitutional justification for current immigration laws? (And no, naturalization does not mean the same thing as immigration)

                    3. “Where exactly is the Constitutional justification for current immigration laws? (And no, naturalization does not mean the same thing as immigration)”

                      “Naturalization – found in Article I, Section 8 creates the authority of the Congress, ‘To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.’
                      Thus from a Constitutional stand point it is the responsibility of Congress to establish all laws and rules of naturalization or immigration.”

                      Cali, even though you refuse to recognize the Constitutional meaning of “Naturalization”, SCOTUS has repeatedly upheld its Constitutional intent.

                    4. SCOTUS cannot change the meanings of words. Naturalization does not and never has had the same meaning as immigration. They’re not synonyms. Naturalization specifically refers to the process of making a foreign-born person a citizen. The Supreme Court has misinterpreted almost every clause of the Constitution at some point, it’s not surprising they’ve gotten this one wrong. And for the first several decades under the Constitution, we had very strict naturalization laws that limited the granting of citizenship to white Europeans mostly, while we had open borders with immigrants coming from other places as well.

                    5. Cali, the Supreme Court has definitely misinterpreted the 14th Amendment.
                      That Amendment was ratified during the Civil War period to validate citizenship for Negroes.

                      The Supreme Court says the 14th creates anchor babies. Drop into the U.S. toward the end of your last trimester, pop one out, go home or stay here. Either way you have an American kid who, by the way, can sponsor you for American citizenship in the future.
                      There is a thriving tourist trade going on here.

                    6. I’ll take the fact that you suddenly changed the subject as a concession that you lost the argument. And I couldn’t care less if people who want to move here (or want their kids to have the option to move here) looking for a better life have kids here.

                    7. Cali, I didn’t “change the subject.”
                      I explained to you the basis for immigration laws in this country. You refuse to believe it.
                      I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make it drink.

                      When I brought up the 14th Amendment, I was replying to your question,
                      “Where exactly is the Constitutional justification for current immigration laws?”

        2. If you’re a legal immigrant, aren’t you part of the native population? By now, there are plenty of US born immigrant children who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans (or as they say).

          It’s patently false that immigrants increase criminal activity. Asians (especially) are almost never involved in violent crimes. In terms of their dependency on welfare, that’s more difficult to answer.

          They might not qualify for national programs like medicare or food stamps, but they still take advantage of local and state programs, and other resources. In states like California, that’s no small thing. I take my parents (can’t speak English) to pick up their welfare checks, and most of the time the people in line are Latino or black (natives, I presume).

          There are ways for you get free things that you’re not eligible for. Not terribly hard to do.

          1. If you’re a legal immigrant, aren’t you part of the native population?

            No, you’re a legal immigrant. If you’re a citizen, you’re a naturalized immigrant.

        3. Gilmore, your ignorance of the name Dona Marina is exceeded only by your ignorance of the negative impact of illegal immigration.

          1. OK Malinche. You don’t like Mexicans. Whoopee. Still doesn’t explain how crime rates dropped in AZ all through a period of MASSIVE UNCONTROLLED ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Facts don’t help your cause.

            1. “Facts don’t help your cause.”

              Wow, Gilmore. Is that the basis for all your opinions, or just your opinions on illegal immigration?

              1. the fact that high levels of immigration – legal and otherwise – have coincided directly with plummeting crime rates and accelerated economic growth is part of the basis for the view i have about immigration in america. that, and being the decendent of an immigrant group myself that was widely treated as “likely to destroy america”

                1. “the fact that high levels of immigration – legal and otherwise – have coincided directly with plummeting crime rates and accelerated economic growth”

                  Sorry, Gilmore, but to have an honest debate on “immigration”, we MUST differentiate between legal and illegal immigration.

                  I have no problem with legal immigrants.
                  I have major problems with illegal immigrants.

                  Please don’t tarnish legal immigration by equating it to illegal immigration.

                  1. Dona Marina, habla ingles?

                    the fact that high levels of immigration – legal and otherwise – have coincided directly with plummeting crime rates and accelerated economic growth

                    1. Ok, I got it.

                      “the fact that high levels of immigration – legal and otherwise – have coincided directly with plummeting crime rates and accelerated economic growth”

                      I say Bull Shit. Illegals have a tendency not to report crimes because they’re, well, illegal and don’t want to be deported.
                      Haven’t you heard illegal supporters say local police shouldn’t be able to arrest illegals because it discourages them from reporting crimes?

                      What about all those flea markets with the bootleg items?

                      Go to your county jail roster. Notice all the Latino surnames. Note all the Latino surnames with I.C.E. holds on them.

                      Illegals are criminals just by breathing American air.

                    2. “”Illegals are criminals just by breathing American air.””

                      BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO STOP THE DAILY ILLEGAL MOVEMENT OF MEXICAN AIR ACROSS OUR BORDERS??

                      So…lower crime rates? you dont believe in them… because, derp = ILLEGALS!!

                      http://clclt.com/theclog/archi…..rant-rants


                      Crime has gone down nationally, but Arizona’s drop in violent crime was actually twice as big as the national average.

                      * Border cities are among the nation’s safest. Yes, that includes Phoenix, where kidnappings of human smugglers and their associates have spiked. In other words, unless you’re a smuggler of humans into the U.S., you’re safer in Phoenix than in Charlotte

                      * Counties along the Southwest border have some of the lowest rates of violent crime per capita in the nation, with rates dropping by more than 30 percent since the 1990s.

                      * There is no evidence of “spillover” of violence from Mexico. Example: El Paso is next to Juarez, Mexico, which has seen brutal drug wars take thousands of lives. El Paso, by contrast, had 12 murders last year, down from 17 in 2008. And finally, the stats that would drive the bigots nuts, if they were able to admit they’re wrong:

                      * Cities with high numbers of immigrants are actually safer.
                      “”

                    3. “BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO STOP THE DAILY ILLEGAL MOVEMENT OF MEXICAN AIR ACROSS OUR BORDERS??”

                      Actually, Gilmore, I carried a sign for months and was arrested for “Disorderly Conduct” for blocking the entrance to a city-funded day labor site for illegal aliens.

                      What have you done to protect American workers?

      2. Ken, really?

        1. Yeah, really!

          If you think immigration is the cause of problems associated with the Drug War…

          “National Park rangers in Arizona are now heavily armed, and visitors are prohibited from visiting large areas of public parklands because of drug trafficking activity.”

          Do you think that’s a result of immigration or the Drug War?

          “Federal agents seized over 1.2 million pounds of marijuana in Arizona in 2009. Arrests have become so common that federal prosecutors in Arizona have routinely declined to press charges against smugglers who are caught with less than 500 pounds of marijuana.”

          Why are you conflating immigration with the Drug War?

          Citing problems associated with the Drug war as justifications for clamping down on immigrants is like stomping on someone’s foot to get rid of a tooth ache!

          We can make the problems you cited go away by calling off the Drug War–like yesterday already. What do they have to do with immigration?

          1. Ken, illegal immigration is absolutely tied to the drug war.

            Failing to secure our borders against illegal immigration also fails to secure our borders against drug smuggling.

            Ever heard of the Mexican Drug Cartels, Ken?

            1. You do realize that everyone on this site thinks drugs should be legal? In which case drug smuggling wouldn’t be an issue?

              1. Cali, I agree drugs should be legal.
                Once it becomes legal, smuggling should not be an issue.

                Illegal immigration supports drug smuggling and vice-versa.

                1. I’m not convinced that illegal immigration supports drug smuggling, but if it does, then the solution is to make it legal so the illegal immigrants don’t have to use smuggling routes to get in and out of the country.

                  Why would they use “coyotes” if they could just show a passport and walk across the border like a normal human being.

            2. “Ever heard of the Mexican Drug Cartels, Ken?”

              Yes, and the way they use the thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants sneaking through the deserts as cover for their own drug smuggling is horrific.

              If all those Mexican laborers could just walk over the border when they wanted a job, the cartels couldn’t use them as cover. The only people out there in the desert would be the bad guys.

              Legalize marijuana in this country, and the Cartels would all but dry up and die. Then the only problem we had would be your average Maria and Jose looking for a job? America has a lot of problems. Gangs and cartels among other things. Those problems can be addressed permanently by doing things like legalizing marijuana.

              Hardworking people coming here with the hope of making a better life for themselves? That isn’t a problem! If an enormous supply of cheap labor is bad for economic growth, then China must have had the slowest growing economy in the world over the last 20 years.

              1. If all those Mexican laborers could just [legally] walk over the border when they wanted a job, the cartels couldn’t use them as cover. The only people out there in the desert would be the bad guys.

                1. “If all those Mexican laborers could just [legally] walk over the border when they wanted a job, the cartels couldn’t use them as cover.”

                  Ken, are you proposing open borders for everyone, or just Mexicans?

                  1. I have some concerns about security and there are some health concerns.

                    Show us that you’ve got some minimum vaccinations, maybe; if we and the Mexican government could find a way to verify that the people coming across with passports are who they say they are, and aren’t a threat to national security and probably don’t have some especially virulent form of TB, etc., then sure…why not let ’em come across?

                    And if you don’t want to pay for their welfare, etc., then go ahead and slash those kinds of services–for everybody! That kind of thing should be reserved for blind orphans and such anyway.

              2. “Hardworking people coming here with the hope of making a better life for themselves? That isn’t a problem! If an enormous supply of cheap labor is bad for economic growth, then China must have had the slowest growing economy in the world over the last 20 years.”

                Ken, trust me. You don’t want the U.S. to become China.

                Ken, 150 million people want to permanently leave their countries and immigrate to the U.S.
                http://www.gallup.com/poll/153…..grate.aspx

                Shouldn’t we have an orderly way of deciding who gets in?

                Shouldn’t we elevate our society by giving preferance to the educated and/or skilled?

                1. “Ken, trust me. You don’t want the U.S. to become China.”

                  Oh, we wouldn’t become like China just because we had a steady supply of cheap labor.

                  But labor is a resource, and having an abundance of a cheap resource is good for economic growth.

                  “Shouldn’t we elevate our society by giving preferance to the educated and/or skilled?”

                  The chances of the government correctly predicting what skills we need or don’t need are slim. We need lots of cheap labor, too. And the amount of that is best determined by the labor market. Since construction in the borders states crashed in 2007-2008, illegal immigration has dropped. That’s just the market reacting to changes in demand for labor. This is as it should be. Finding out how many skilled or unskilled people we need isn’t something a government bureaucrat will ever be able to do well.

                  It’s something employers and the people who want to work for them can figure out for themselves just fine.

                  And like I said, my chief reservations about opening the border have to do with national security and health screening–and our primary problems with illegal immigration mostly have to do with Mexico. We solve the problems with the country along our own southern border, and then maybe we can start talking about immigrants from other countries.

                  1. Ken, do you think slavery was ok? Wasn’t that an “endless supply of cheap labor?”

                    Ever heard of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Ken? Next to La Raza, and possibly the Catholic Church, it is the biggest organized supporter of illegal aliens in our country.

                    SEIU sees new members. If the illegals unionize, Ken, how long do you think they’d stay cheap labor?

                    Wouldn’t your plan bring an endless mass of Mexicans here, each willing to work for less than the last wave?

                    What happens to jobs and wages for Americans at that point, Ken?

                    1. “Ken, do you think slavery was ok? Wasn’t that an “endless supply of cheap labor?”

                      The problem with slavery was the coercion. Slaves didn’t get to choose to quit their employers and go work for someone else.

                      That’s in no way comparable to cheap labor coming here eagerly in the hope of getting a job, and willingly taking a low wage–and being glad for that.

                      Just because they both involved cheap labor–doesn’t mean they were comparable. Really, there’s a big difference between a slave that can be whipped to death for not working and isn’t allowed to leave, on the one hand, and someone who willingly works a job with all the civil and human rights you and I enjoy.

                      If you can’t tell the difference between a slave and me hiring someone to mow my lawn, then you’re being willfully obtuse.

                    2. “SEIU sees new members. If the illegals unionize, Ken, how long do you think they’d stay cheap labor?”

                      I’m not a fan of organized labor, but if people choose to organize, then that’s their right. There’s no reason why people should only be free to do things I approve of personally.

                      I’m not a big fan of the Catholic church, either, but I’m not about to keep people out of the country just for being Catholic.

                      You seem to be frightened of people’s freedom. You seem to be afraid that if consenting adults are free to do as they please, they may do things you don’t like!

                      I’m kind of okay with consenting adults doing as they please–even if they do things I don’t necessarily like! I guess that’s a big part of what makes me a libertarian.

                      Government working in conjunction with labor unions to encourage or force businesses to hire union workers they wouldn’t need to collectively bargain with otherwise, though, that’s not consenting adults making free choices. That’s the government imposing the union’s choices on non-consenting business and property owners.

                      We can get rid of that without arbitrarily and unnecessarily clamping down on immigration. Again, you seem to be conflating two separate issues. Government giving unions traction is one issue–immigration is another.

                    3. I’m not about to support laws that restrict other people’s freedom–only because they don’t share my personal preferences. That’s what being a libertarian is really all about: it’s the idea that people should be free to make their own choices.

                      Crime is when you violate someone else’s freedom to choose for themselves–and I bet you probably didn’t know that either. So, for instance, when you’re violating my right to hire whomever I want (and is willing) to mow my lawn, you’re committing a crime. It’s just that when that “you” that’s violating my right to make choices for myself is the government, we don’t usually call it that, we call it an “injustice”.

                    4. “Wouldn’t your plan bring an endless mass of Mexicans here, each willing to work for less than the last wave?

                      What happens to jobs and wages for Americans at that point, Ken?”

                      You’re ignoring the demand side of the equation.

                      It’s true that employers would demand more employees than they do now if they were less expensive, but just as is the case in the construction in industry since 2007, there’s a limit to the amount of labor that will be demanded.

                      Just like there’s a limit to the supply.

                      This is day one Econ 101 stuff. The demand for labor is not always insatiable–even when it’s cheap. If demand rises higher than the available supply, the unemployment rate would drop and wages would rise. If there is insufficient demand for cheap labor, the than wages would drop and–specifically in response to your question–unemployment would rise.

                      As I already alluded to earlier, the number of immigrants (illegal and otherwise) dropped precipitously after 2007, when all those construction jobs in Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, and elsewhere in the Southwest disappeared.

                      This isn’t rocket science. Supply will rise to meet demand, but demand is not always and eternally insatiable. And when there’s more supply than demand, the market reacts to that, too.

                      “Stay home, my cousin Jose. No trabajo aqui!”

                    5. Ken, illegal immigration has many factors, not just supply and demand.

                      Our job market currently sucks and we have 12-20 million illegals here. Did you really expect them to go home or quit coming?

                      You see, Ken, Mexicans and their supporters can’t debate illegal immigration using the law or logic. They offer red herrings like “Cheap labor is good.” No, Ken, it’s not.

                      By keeping alive the idea of ANOTHER amnesty,illegals continue to come and stay here, to meet any qualifiers for future amnesty. They’re sucking off our tax teat in the meantime.

                      The last amnesty got us an additional 12-20 million illegals.
                      How many more illegals will come here after the next amnesty to get in line for the 3rd amnesty?

                    6. You asked a specific question:

                      “Wouldn’t your plan bring an endless mass of Mexicans here, each willing to work for less than the last wave?”

                      The correct answer is no.

                      I explained why.

                      “Our job market currently sucks and we have 12-20 million illegals here. Did you really expect them to go home or quit coming?”

                      For someone who is so sure of your opinions, you don’t seem to have a very firm grasp on the facts.

                      “There were 11.1 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally in March 2009, down from a peak of 12 million two years earlier, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report issued Wednesday. From 2007 to 2009, the number of illegals entering the country shrank to about 300,000 per year, down by nearly two-thirds from the estimated 850,000 per year from March 2000 to March 2005.

                      “The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades,” the report said.”

                      http://www.aolnews.com/2010/09…..2-decades/

                      And that was from a few years ago–the trend has continued since.

                      So, yes, the illegal immigrant population in this country is dropping–in response to the lack of jobs–and the net migration is Mexicans and people from Central America going back home because they can’t find work.

                    7. This isn’t surprising to anyone who went to the first day of an Econ 101 class. You mean the supply of laborers shifted in response to their being less demand for laborers? Who knew something like that could happen?!

                      …um…everybody.

                      So, once again, in response to your question, “Wouldn’t your plan bring an endless mass of Mexicans here, each willing to work for less than the last wave?”, the correct answer is “no”.

                      No.

                    8. Ken, we’re not dealing with pure economics here, as I tried to explain.

                      Again, we have 12-20 million illegals still here (Nobody knows the exact number. Illegals don’t volunteer that info.)

                      This is the worst job market in the U.S. in decades. THEY’RE STILL HERE KEN.

                    9. “They offer red herrings like “Cheap labor is good.” No, Ken, it’s not.”

                      Is there another resource, like labor, that’s good for the economy when it’s more expensive?

                      Does economic growth accelerate because the price of oil goes up?

                      Does economic growth accelerate because the price of food goes up?

                      The correct answer to both questions is “no”.

                      It is better when we can get the things we want for less money. And labor is an important component (like oil) in all of the things we buy. People being able to buy the same thing (or better or more) for less–is what increases the standard of living.

                      Do you understand that?

                      This is one of the reasons why free trade is such a good thing! Consumers are necessarily better off if they can pay less for imports. When people save money by purchasing things for less, it frees up the money they save to buy other things they couldn’t have afforded otherwise. That is one of the important ways in which economies grow.

                      Labor (a resource) works the same way. If we can save money by importing workers, it means that consumers save money, which they can then spend on other things, and the economy grows. It makes it so consumers can afford to buy things that they couldn’t have afforded otherwise–thereby increasing their standard of living.

                    10. That was day two of Econ 101.

                      Why would the economy be better off if people had to pay more for things? If you’re on the labor side of the equation and concerned about getting more income, then the long term solution isn’t using the government to try to stop people from using labor that’s cheaper than yours. The long term solution is find work doing something that consumer value more!

                      You want to make more money? Don’t write your congressman. For goodness’ sake, get some skills! Then you won’t have to compete with immigrants who often don’t have more than an 8th grade education and can’t read or write English.

                    11. Jesus, Ken, life involves more than economics 101 and 102.

                      With workers making minimum wage and less, who’s going to buy the big ticket items that keep our economy aloft?

                      These “cheap” laborers will unionize and gain higer wages and benefits.

                      Ken, I get the distinct feeling you are not employed or seeking employment. Why else would you be willing to sell out American wage earners and job seekers?

                      “You want to make more money? Don’t write your congressman. For goodness’ sake, get some skills! Then you won’t have to compete with immigrants who often don’t have more than an 8th grade education and can’t read or write English.”

                      Are you serious, Ken? 150 million foreigners want to permanently move here. Out of those I would imagine several million are smarter and/or more skilled than most Americans. Would you deny them entry, Ken?

                      What effect would millions of new immigrants have on our culture and environment, Ken?

                    12. “With workers making minimum wage and less, who’s going to buy the big ticket items that keep our economy aloft?”

                      That would be consumers who make a lot more than minimum wage.

                      Really.

                      “Ken, I get the distinct feeling you are not employed or seeking employment. Why else would you be willing to sell out American wage earners and job seekers?”

                      I’ve been supporting myself since I was 14. I’ve never needed the government’s help to find a job or get a raise–ever.

                      And I think people who do should move to a socialist country like Sweden.

                      “Are you serious, Ken? 150 million foreigners want to permanently move here. Out of those I would imagine several million are smarter and/or more skilled than most Americans. Would you deny them entry, Ken?”

                      You you dismiss Econ 101 like it’s too rudimentary to concern you, but then you write things that make it seem like you don’t the first thing about how supply and demand work.

                      There is only so much demand for labor in this country–even at lower wages! Seriously! Look up scarcity. First Chapter. First paragraph. First class. You don’t seem to understand why demand would be limited–even if supply weren’t. And it is astounding that someone would argue so forcefully on this topic–without knowing the very first things about it.

                    13. No, if 150 million people came to the U.S. tomorrow, more 150 million of them would have a hard time finding work. And that isn’t theoretical–that’s why so many low wage, low skill, illegal immigrant workers have gone back to Mexico and Central America from the U.S. over the last five years.

                      There’s this discipline called Economics. And there’s this other thing called facts and statistics. And neither one of them show any support for your weird theory that if people were free to hire whomever they want, 150 million people would come here and find jobs. It just isn’t so.

                      Isn’t the unemployment rate even higher among unskilled workers? Why would I ignore that fact?

                    14. “What effect would millions of new immigrants have on our culture and environment, Ken?”

                      I’m not worried about the effect on our culture–that’s getting a little weird. That sounds like “Irish and Italian need not apply”, and I’m not worried about the effect immigrants have on our culture at all.

                      Worried about the environment? Economic growth is the solution to the worst of our environmental problems. The solution to overpopulation, in particular, is 1) keeping the infant mortality rate low and 2) more economic opportunities for women. As living standards improve and the infant mortality rate drops along with that rise in living standards, women choose to have fewer children–that’s cross cultural. It works like that in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, too. Along with that, the more opportunities women have outside the home, the fewer children they decide to have.

                      So economic growth is probably the single most important ingredient is conserving our environment. We’re so wealthy here in the U.S., and the economic opportunities for women are such that the birth rate for native born Americans has plummeted below replacement level. If it weren’t for immigration, the U.S. population would be shrinking right now.

                      Go look it up yourself.

                    15. Ken, let’s for the sake of argument agree (only hypothetically) that supply and demand is the ONLY factor to be taken into consideration when dealing with illegal immigration.

                      It is a fact 150 million foreigners want to permanently immigrate to the U.S.
                      Amongst those 150 million, there are people of all educational and skill levels.
                      Ken, there aren’t even 150 million jobs in the U.S.

                      Now, back to supply and demand:
                      We both agree these new additions to the work force would work for less than Americans currently receive.

                      Now, assuming your theory is correct, employers would hire, and society would benefit, by replacing American-wage workers with lower paid workers.

                      Ken, if we believe open borders would benefit Americans, how can that be when virtually all Americans, according to your theory, would lose their jobs to cheaper workers?

                      Ken, we just can’t open our borders to everyone. We can’t even open our borders to just Mexicans.

                      We must be judicious in allowing entry into our country, Ken, for the sake of American workers and America.

                    16. “Ken, if we believe open borders would benefit Americans, how can that be when virtually all Americans, according to your theory, would lose their jobs to cheaper workers?”

                      I’ve answered that question three times already.

                      Most Americans are not in minimum wage jobs. There are only so many of those jobs to go around. If you think the average Mexican illegal immigrant is a threat to the average American worker’s pay, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                      Most illegal immigrants coming from Mexico have no more than an 8th grade education–and they can’t read or write English. Why do you imagine such people could replace the average American worker–much less all of us?!

                      In addition to STILL not understanding that there’s a limit to the demand for low skilled labor (even at lower prices), you don’t seem to have any sense of proportion, here, either.

                      Add to that, you think the only reason American workers command a GDP per capita among the highest in the world–is because the government is keeping out the Mexicans? That’s ridiculous! We command higher salaries because of our productivity, our education level, etc.

                      Haven’t you ever gone in and asked for a raise before? Haven’t you ever gone to your boss and told him you wanted a raise–knowing you were gonna get it because you’re so productive and hard to replace and worth the extra money?

                    17. I don’t need the government to protect my job. Are you one of these people that blames other people for your problems? Do you imagine that you wouldn’t have whatever problems you have–if only there weren’t any illegal aliens?

                      Because that’s bunk! When I was younger, I worked construction in San Diego. I started out as a scrapper–busting my ass picking up construction waste all day–and stocking drywall for a living, which is some of the hardest work you can do. On some sites, I was the only English speaking non-illegal alien on the site. Having to compete with illegal aliens didn’t harm me in any way.

                      And I’ve never once thought to blame them for any of my problems. Take responsibility for your own life. Whatever’s happening to you, it isn’t because of illegal aliens! Three years from now, you could be just about anywhere in the world doing something valuable for someone. Your life’s up to you. …it isn’t up to illegal aliens.

      3. Ken, really?

        1. P.S.

          The studies I’ve seen show that crimes rates go down when immigrants move into a city.

          “Immigrants have much lower institutionalization (incarceration) rates than the native born–on the order of one-fifth the rate of natives. More recently arrived immigrants have the lowest relative incarceration rates…

          We present a model of immigrant self-selection that suggests why, despite poor labor market outcomes, immigrants may have better incarceration outcomes than the native born…

          Immigrants who were
          already in the country reduced their relative institutionalization probability over the decades.”

          ftp://snde.rutgers.edu/Rutgers/wp/2006-05.pdf

          1. You should probably read this one, too:

            http://www.cato.org/sites/cato…..ne2010.pdf

            …in which researchers determine that the cities that experienced the most immigration also experienced the biggest drops in both violent crime and property crime.

          2. “The studies I’ve seen show that crimes rates go down when immigrants move into a city.”

            Ken, could you be more specific?
            Are you talking “immigrants” or “illegal immigrants?”

            1. They respond to that in the article.

              It’s both.

    2. Dona,

      It looks like you are co-mingling issues. How does legal migration affect drug policy as they are two separate issues? The US has a ridiculous system of immigration that will only hurt you in the years ahead.

      1. “It looks like you are co-mingling issues. How does legal migration affect drug policy as they are two separate issues? The US has a ridiculous system of immigration that will only hurt you in the years ahead.”

        Shun, the article is about “Why Low-Skilled Foreigners are an Economic Boon.”
        My reply attacks that premise.

        “Low-skilled foreigners” is code for illegal aliens – 75% of whom are illegal Mexicans.

        The only way our current immigration system is ridiculous is that it fails to implement the immigration laws established at the time of our last amnesty – 1986.

        Let’s not dumb down our country further by legally allowing the uneducated/unskilled to become an even larger percentage of our populace.

        1. “”Let’s not dumb down our country further by legally allowing the uneducated/unskilled to become an even larger percentage of our populace.””

          LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE LET THE IRISH IN!!

        2. There are plenty of legal immigrants (or native-born children of immigrants) that work as low-skilled labor

  6. Shikha Dalmia on the Hill Talking About Why Low-Skilled Foreigners are an Economic Boon

    Before I sold my business, I would hire a latino guy whose Green Card was in order, put him on my low-end press, help him learn for a few days so he could run well enough to print simple black and reflex blue flyers and news letters. He would run that thing hard, all day every day. All of a sudden all my skilled guys weren’t hung over on Monday mornings and my per-press production would jump 15-20%.

    1. He was gonna take dere jerb!

      1. That’s the way the other press guys took it, which was complete crap. The skilled guys had years of experience and a good eye for it. The “Tonys” (we had a streak of three named Tony) were never anything like as good.

  7. She cautioned against reforms that would privilege high-skilled over low-skilled immigrants

    If we’re not going to have wide open borders the reforms should favor high-skilled immigrants. Our de facto immigration policy of the past couple of decades favored low-skilled immigrants. Is Shikha afraid to compete with immigrant policy analysts?

    1. If we’re not going to have wide open borders the reforms should favor high-skilled immigrants.

      Why?

      1. “Why?”

        Because, heller, we already have 12-20 million illegal uneducated, unskilled people here.

        Because, heller, we want our nation to evolve for the better.

        Because, heller, we already have an ample supply of American uneducated, unskilled people.

        Because, heller, we have a shortage of engineers, etc.

        If you could choose the “new addition” to your household, heller, would you choose the ordinary or would you choose the exceptional?

        Contrary to Eugenics, social cleansing should definitely be S.O.P. in immigration.

        1. Because, heller, we already have 12-20 million illegal uneducated, unskilled people here.

          Yes, that’s because they are in demand.

          Because, heller, we want our nation to evolve for the better.

          So do I. Restricting the flow of labor won’t help us evolve, it will slow our evolution.

          Because, heller, we already have an ample supply of American uneducated, unskilled people.

          And we also have a supply of non-American workers who work more for much less. The problem is not with them but with Americans who overestimate their labor’s value. Again, you are on the side of interference with the growth and evolution of the American marketplace.

          Because, heller, we have a shortage of engineers, etc.

          If you want more engineers, open up the borders so that engineers and their familes can come here.

          If you could choose the “new addition” to your household, heller, would you choose the ordinary or would you choose the exceptional?

          The issue isn’t between extraordinary and ordinary. Skilled labor and unskilled labor are just two different types of jobs. I might need a nice bedroom for my house, or maybe I need a toilet. Is the bedroom automatically superior to the toilet?

          And I take issue with the analogy as a whole. America is not my house or your house. It’s not your business who comes into this country and who goes out. So mind your own.

          1. Sorry, heller, it’s my country and my laws and my culture and my environment and my job market and my educational system, etc.

            It is my business to protect my way of life without undue influence from trespassing, job and entitlement stealing, education dumbing, prison crowding, drunk driving, insuranceless illegals.

          2. Fellow Americans, do you have a problem you just can’t seem to solve? Personal relationships, career problems?

            Well have I got news for you!
            Forget “Dear Abby.” Forget “Dr. Phil.”
            Please allow me to introduce you to “Helpful Heller!”

            Having a personality conflict at work?
            OPEN THE BORDERS!

            The spouse been a little distant lately?
            OPEN THE BORDERS!

            Little Johnny not doing so well in school?
            OPEN THE BORDERS!

            Mom and dad are too strict?
            OPEN THE BORDERS!

            Is it time to put Rover down?
            OPEN THE BORDERS!

            Fellow Americans, don’t take my word for it. Contact Helpful Heller and get it straight from horse’s ass.

        2. Contrary to Eugenics, social cleansing should definitely be S.O.P. in immigration.

          You mean “in agreement with Eugenics?”

          Can’t tell if trolling or just retarded.

          1. Gee, heller, I always thought it was nature’s scheme for each generation to further evolve.

            With immigration, countries have the opportunity to better insure a national success of that scheme.

            But you’d rather open the floodgates to uneducated, unskilled, over-breeding Mexicans?

            Nah. I don’t like your vision of MY country.

  8. “Low-Skilled Foreigners are an Economic Boon”

    Of course: that’s why the countries they wish to leave are so wonderful.

    http://www.charlierose.com/dow…..ript/10681
    “CHARLIE ROSE: And immigration has been America’s strength?
    LEE KUAN YEW: Absolutely. But mind you, immigration of the highly intelligent and highly-hard working, very hard working people. If you get immigration of the fruit pickers, you may not get very far.
    (LAUGHTER)
    CHARLIE ROSE: [changes subject] “

  9. “Low-Skilled Foreigners are an Economic Boon”

    “Of course: that’s why the countries they wish to leave are so wonderful.”

    Brilliant, Flemur.

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