Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The Myth of the U.S. Immigration Crisis

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Noah Smith reports at Bloomberg:

With the rise of Donald Trump, anti-immigrant sentiment has reached levels not seen in decades in the U.S. Anger against illegal immigration and fear of refugees, previously confined to the fringes of the Republican base, are now at the center of public dialogue. Among some pundits and intellectuals, the response has been to try to accommodate this anger — to see immigration as a problem that needs solving. For example, my friend Josh Barro at Business Insider recently wrote an article lambasting Democrats for failing to have a coherent program for immigration reform.

I think this is wrong. Yes, I’m in favor of improving the U.S. immigration system — my proposal is to implement a skills-based system like Canada’s. Yes, the current system is suboptimal in a number of ways. But by treating immigration as an urgent problem in need of dramatic policy action, centrists are conceding way too much. The current situation is not an emergency at all.

Illegal immigration to the U.S. ended a decade ago and, according to the Pew Research Center, has been zero or negative since its peak in 2007 [graphic at the link is interactive = LG]:

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-4-41-52-pm

About a million undocumented immigrants left the country in the Great Recession. But even after the end of the recession, illegal immigration didn’t resume.

Why? One reason might be economic — even after growth resumed, there was no return to the mania of the bubble years. Another reason is that Mexicans — both undocumented and otherwise — are flocking back to Mexico. Despite the country’s drug-related violence, it’s starting to look more attractive as a place to live. The economy has improved, and the fertility rate has fallen a lot, meaning that young Mexicans are needed back in Mexico to take over family businesses and take care of aging parents: . . .

Continue reading.

So Trump plans to spend over $20 billion for a wall that we do not in the least need and which will do terrible ecological damage. And for what? To pay off the contractors who will build it? That’s great, but what does the public get? Shafted.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 February 2017 at 4:44 pm

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