May 18, 2010

LEGALIZE THEM:

The realities behind the immigration debate (Jeffrey Miron, 05/18/10, Daily Caller)

The reality is that only four policies can significantly reduce illegal immigration.

The first is allowing more legal immigration. This point is obvious but worth emphasizing. The United States has an illegal immigration problem because it restricts legal immigration. So long as large wage differences persist between the U.S. and other countries, especially Latin America, the desire to immigrate will persist and occur illegally if it is not permitted legally.

Legal migration, moreover, is good for America and rest of the world. Immigration allows people in poor countries to seek a better life here, bringing ideas and energy with them, and it shows the world that many people still regard America as the land of opportunity. Many immigrants are far poorer than the poorest Americans, so helping them makes far more sense than operating a generous welfare state.

Restrictions on immigration are also costly, since they create black markets, generate violence, and spawn corruption. Fences and borders patrols are expensive, and they do not seem to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. So any attempt to reduce illegal immigration should eschew enhanced enforcement and instead increase legal immigration.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 18, 2010 6:15 AM
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