May 24, 2013

END QUOTAS, DON'T MEND THEM:

Real Immigration Reform Requires Free Markets (ROSS KAMINSKY, 5.24.13, American Spectator)

The legislation would be anti-capitalist enough if its quotas were sufficiently high to allow most of the likely demand for foreign labor by American employers. But this is a bill that limits visas for construction workers to 15,000 per year and those for "qualified immigrants seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of creating new businesses" to 10,000 per year. These are just two of the measure's various "not to exceed" limitations, which fly in the face of economic liberty and historical commonsense.

To wit, when the demand for unskilled or semi-skilled workers exceeds government quotas, the laborers find a way to come here illegally. And when government prevents investors and high-skilled workers--who are presumably less likely to violate the law because they have more to lose--from putting their capital and talent to work here, they will simply create jobs elsewhere, and Americans will find a way to "offshore" at least some of the work they need done.

Quotas proposed by the Gang of Eight bill represent small fractions of the actual demand for labor across the American economy. If a key goal of immigration reform is to decrease the number of attempts by would-be workers to cross our borders illegally and instead to give a legal path to work here (separate from any question of a path to citizenship), this bill simply cannot succeed.

Posted by at May 24, 2013 7:12 AM
  

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