Immigration Issues

Labor and Economics

Who are you rooting for?: George Borjas on the Economics of Immigration

To address the impact of immigration on the U.S. economy, an important question needs to be answered: What happens to the U.S. native workforce when immigrants come into the country?

The answer is that wages for a particular native cohort follow a negative trend when immigrants enter that cohort.

What is beyond doubt is that native cohorts that witnessed the largest influx of immigrants in any given decade saw their wages grow the slowest. It is a simple matter of supply and demand.

The (Il)Logic of Open-Border Libertarians

There is much debate about what are the fundamental principles of libertarianism and how those principles apply to immigration policy. Libertarian proponents of the free movement of people across borders, most notably those employed by the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation, portray their embrace of open borders as an immutable ideological component of the libertarian cause, the only position a true libertarian can take. However, even a cursory reading on the issue reveals that many scholars who hold positions of influence within the libertarian movement have not embraced mass immigration as a practical objective, and, in fact, view it as a means to a more powerful and intrusive central government.

Metropolitan Population, Immigration and Unemployment (2013)
The United States has become a metropolitan nation in the sense that most of the nation’s population today is living in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). An examination of the demographic and unemployment data among MSAs reveals that there is a significant difference in the incidence of unemployment and concentration of immigrants among MSAs with higher unemployment in the MSAs with larger foreign-born populations. This does not mean that the higher foreign-born population in these areas caused the higher rate of unemployment, although it likely has contributed to it -- but it does suggest that current proposals to increase the admission of immigrants and to create more job competition by legalizing the illegal alien population may aggravate unemployment rather than ameliorate it.

Immigration, Poverty and Low-Wage Earners: The Harmful Effect of Unskilled Immigrants on American Workers (2011)
The U.S. has a responsibility to protect the economic interests of all of its citizens, yet the immigration system, which adds hundreds of thousands to the labor force each year, is bringing in workers faster than jobs are being created. Moreover, only a small portion of admissions are based on skills or educational criteria, creating an enormous glut of low-skilled workers who struggle to rise above poverty.

Low Immigration and High Economic Growth (2011)
America's experience with a low level of immigration shows that we do not need mass immigration to have economic growth.

The Truth About Employment-Based Immigration (2011)
Although big business likes to claim that our present high level of immigration is necessary for its survival and the robustness of our economy, the fact is that only a small fraction of today's million plus new green cards issued annually go to highly-skilled workers.

Lower Wages for American Workers (2010)
Mass immigration drives down wages and working conditions.

Immigration and Welfare (2010)
Immigrant use of welfare programs is 43 percent higher than non-immigrants' use.

Immigration and Job Displacement (2010)
Mass immigration displaces U.S. workers with foreign workers willing to work for lower wages.

The Costs to Local Taxpayers for Illegal Aliens (2008)
Summary fiscal cost estimates by state amount to $36.6 billion dollars annually for providing public K-12 education, incarceration and emergency medical care for illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children.

The Wages of Agricultural Workers (2007)
Experts disprove the claim that higher wages due to increased immigration enforcement would lead to a major increase in the cost of food.

Why Immigration Can't Solve the Social Security Deficit (2007)
More foreign workers means more future retirees creating an endless, and increasingly costly, treadmill.

The Cost of Immigration (2003)
A 1996 estimate (pre-welfare reform) of the fiscal burden on American taxpayers by Dr. Donald Huddle outlines $32.7 billion in costs from illegal aliens and $112 billion from legal immigrants.

Immigration and the Economy (2002)
Even studies estimating an overall gain for the economy from immigrant workers have found that it is outweighed by the fiscal cost to taxpayers.

Employment-Based Immigration (2002)
A tiny fraction of visas go to highly skilled professionals, and Americans are available for those jobs.

National Academy of Sciences Immigration Study (1997)
Analysis of the NAS 1996-97 study of the fiscal costs of immigration.

 

Other Nonimmigrant Visa Issues

Visa Waiver Program (2012)
The VWP allows visitors from 27 countries to bypass consular screening abroad. The 9/11 Commission recommended ending the program.

Foreign Students (2012)
Student visas are unlimited and are often used as a stepping stone to permanent residence, which does have limits. Unrealistic expectations are thereby created

Nonimmigrant Visa Types (2008)
An overview of nonimmigrant visa categories, including student, tourist, and business visas.

The Costs to Local Taxpayers for Illegal Aliens (2008)
Summary fiscal cost estimates by state amount to $36.6 billion dollars annually for providing public K-12 education, incarceration and emergency medical care for illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children.