Recently in Immigration Category

Advice to a would be Mexican Immigrant

“The way it works is like this,” says Ewa, a graphic designer. “You start off in a bar or restaurant. You get to know the customers and find out what they do. When you find one who has the kind of work that you like and can do, you make friends with them and try to get introduced to their boss. Then you persuade him to try you out for a week, even unpaid. And because you are Polish and have good skills and work hard, you will get a job. Maybe even your new friend's job,” she laughs.

Fareed Zakaria on the Immigration Debate

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“Americans are debating the issue of illegal immigration these days. It’s a real problem, but many are veering towards solutions that remind me more of Europe than America. We’re talking about guest-worker programs, deportation, and harsh penalties against immigrants.

Now that’s how many European countries handle their need for extra workers. They keep these people at arm’s length, never hold out the prospect of citizenship, exclude them from community life, and signal in all kinds of ways that these people are not welcome. The result--Europe has large groups of sullen, disaffected, alienated foreign workers who don’t assimilate, feel no attachment or loyalty to their host country, and are ripe for radicalism--even terrorism. You can see the problem on the streets of French cities these days as angry minority youth burn cars and destroy property. Do we really want America to become more like France?

- Fareed Zakaria, in the latest show of ‘Foreign Exchange

My fear is that are we entering a phase of decline that Benjamin Friedman talked about in his book, 'Moral Consequences of Growth'

Related Links:

- Martin Wolf on Unskilled Immigration

- A Summary of the Debate As Seen by NYT.

- Russel Roberts comments NYT piece

- Don Boudreaux asks the question “Are 'Illegal' Immigrants Illegal?”

- Greg Mankiw on Immigration

- Paul Krugman on Immigration and Bryan Caplan critiques Krugman

- Andrew Samwick’s view on Immigration

- Gary Becker on Illegal Immigration

- Kevin Hasset’s comments on Immigration

- Chris Coyne and Pete Boettke deals with issues raised by Huntington.

- Arnold Kling also raises the broader issues related to immigration

- How does US fertility rate relate to the topic



Mickey Kaus has an excellent discussion of how the immigration issue may play out this year. Though it is only speculation, it seems to lay out the best course politically for Republicans to play. A big problem, of course, is that it still leaves unresolved the issue of 12 million people here in this country illegally. My guess would be that some sort of amnesty is included in any final bill.

The immigration issue seems to have come to a boiling point this year for whatever reason. I guess credit should be given to Tom Tancredo for raising the issue. I have my disagreements with the anti-immigration movement, mainly that I'm for immigration and I think large numbers of immigrants can be assimilated. However, I don't disagree that we should control the borders more forcefully. There is, of course, the issue of rewarding those who did come here illegally to stay. Many on the right would throw them out just for that reason, but I would say that just because somebody does break the law doesn't mean that the most extreme punishment should be used. It has been 20 years since the last amnesty and I don't see where this country has gone to hell. Quite the contrary, the last 25 years have been fairly extraordinary.

The issue is quite complex with many books written about the issue. To try and step into the economics of it is just as difficult. I'm not even going to try and debate the famous line "there are some jobs Americans won't do." If you disagree, you're more than welcome to try and debate my family members at the next reunion. But as I've said, immigration is consistent with free markets and free people.


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