Immigration


I was recently listening to President Trump’s proposal to change U.S. immigration laws and how they would somehow help the economy.

Well, Sheldon Richman puts into words better than I could what this amounts to:

Immigration brings out the social engineers and central planners across the political establishment. We see this clearly in the debate over Donald Trump’s support for legislation that would cut legal immigration in half while tilting it toward well-educated English-speakers and against low-skilled non-English-speakers. . . .

But what is this thing they call “the economy,” which has needs? Social engineers of all parties and persuasions talk as though an economy is some kind of mechanism to be centrally fine-tuned and overhauled occasionally according to a plan. Even those who style themselves free enterprisers display the central-planning mentality when it comes to immigration.

Contrary to this establishment view, the economy is not a mechanism. It is, rather, hundreds of millions of American producers and consumers, who also happen to be embedded in a global marketplace. Why can’t they be trusted, without the direction of politicians, to decide for themselves what they need and to engage in social cooperation — that is, among other things, to trade goods and services — to obtain it?

 

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The presidential administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) refused to accept Jewish refugees from Europe.

One dark period came on the eve of World War II, when the Roosevelt administration refused to accept Jewish refugees fleeing fascism, war, and ultimately extermination.

The story of how the government rejected Jews fleeing Hitler is a horrible and tragic episode in American history. There are many chapters.

Last week’s convention was a wake for the GOP as we know it.

This week will be an explanation of why Hillary Clinton is

unacceptable not simply to libertarians but to that plurality of Americans who define themselves as independent, centrist, moderate, or anything other than a dyed-in-the-wool partisan.

On Federal Spending, Foreign Policy and State Surveillance, Free Speech, Social Issues, Immigration, Gun Rights, and Regulations, Trade, and the Sharing Economy, Hillary is just as much an authoritarian as The Donald.

Nick Gillespie.

David Henderson:

Most of us opponents of a wall have focused on the idea that the wall is meant to “wall out” immigrants. But we just observed the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, a wall that was meant to, and did, “wall in” residents. I think I remember co-blogger Bryan worrying that a wall on the border with Mexico might wall us in. I think this is a serious worry. If, 20 years ago, you had asked me if a U.S. president would try to persuade the head of a totalitarian country to reinstitute restrictions on residents leaving that country, I would have said “No way.” Yet three years later that’s exactly what President Clinton persuaded Fidel Castro to do.

Don Boudreaux:

It is the rare politician who doesn’t disgust me. Michele Bachmann is not among those rare few.

The only wall I want to build is one that protects from the swarming hordes of politicians and government functionaries people who simply wish to be left alone to mind their own business.

The journey from prosperity to the economic margins followed by Alba and Eugenio is an increasingly common path for thousands of undocumented workers pushed out of their jobs by the federal government’s audits of U.S. businesses, according to immigration experts, business owners and unions.
. . .
But it has become increasingly clear that the policy is pushing undocumented workers deeper underground, delivering them to the hands of unscrupulous employers, depressing wages and depriving federal, state and local coffers of taxes, according to unions, companies and immigrant advocates.
. . .
Many employers say the administration is depriving them of foreign workers who do jobs Americans refuse, even during an economic downturn, without proposing immigration reform that would supply a stable, legal labor force.

Here. So what’s the path for low-skill foreign workers to become legal?

Shikha Dalmia:

The way this system works right now is that the American government has imposed a blanket ban on immigration. But then it selectively relaxes this ban for certain categories of favored people among whom “unskilled” Third World workers are not included. Indeed, as this Reason Foundation chart shows, there are virtually no legal avenues for “unskilled” aliens to work and permanently live in this country.

For starters, it is literally impossible for poor aliens to get temporary work visas such as the H-2A or H-2B to lawfully enter. That’s because Uncle Sam hands out only a few thousand such visas annually when the demand—before the American economy went down the tube, that is— was in the millions.

And that’s the best part of the system. The worst is that in order to get a visa, poor people have to effectively prove they are not poor. Indeed, they have to show that they have enough assets and connections that they would return home once their job in the U.S. is done. But if they had all that, they wouldn’t really need to come to the U.S. and work for scraps in the first place, would they?

But even if they somehow manage to get the visa, they can’t apply for a green card or permanent residency while working in the Unites States legally. “So what,” one might say. What’s so wrong about having them go back to their country and applying for a green card? Nothing at all, except that Uncle Sam won’t accept green card applications from people abroad (other than in the rare instance when they have family members already in the United States willing to sponsor them)!

And how to reduce the incidence of it:

We can continue to ramp up border and interior enforcement, as we have relentlessly for more than a decade, driving low-skilled migrants further underground while driving smuggling fees higher and higher. Or we can expand opportunities for legal entry into the United States, and by doing so shrink the underground network of smuggling and document fraud.

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