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Common arguments against immigration

Arguments against immigration come across my desk every day but their variety is limited — rarely do I encounter a unique one. Several times a year I give presentations about these arguments and rebut their points.

These are the main arguments against immigration and my quick responses to them:. The following transcript is computer generated and may contain some Read More. This is the most common argument and also the one with the greatest amount of evidence rebutting it.

First, the displacement effect is small if it even affects natives at all. Immigrants are typically attracted to growing regions and they increase the supply and demand sides of the economy once they are there, expanding employment opportunities. Second, the debate over immigrant impacts on American wages is confined to the lower single digits — immigrants may increase the relative wages for some Americans by a tiny amount and decrease them by a larger amount for the few Americans who directly compete against them.

Immigrants likely compete most directly against other immigrants so the effects on less-skilled native-born Americans might be very small or even positive. To put the scale of that shock to Miami in context, it would be as if The smallest estimates immigration surplus, as it is called, is equal to about 0.

Immigrants are less likely to use means-tested welfare benefits that similar native-born Americans. When they do use welfare, the dollar value of benefits consumed is smaller. If poor native-born Americans used Medicaid at the same rate and consumed the same value of benefits as poor immigrants, the program would be 42 percent smaller.

Far from draining the welfare state, immigrants have given the entitlement portions a few more years of operation before bankruptcy.

Related to the welfare argument is that immigrants consume more in government benefits than they generate in tax revenue. The empirics on this are fairly consistent — immigrants in the United States have a net-zero impact on government budgets the published version of that working paper is published here.

The first is that higher immigrant fertility and the long run productivity of those people born in the United States generates a lot of tax revenue.

The second is that immigrants grow the economy considerably this is different from the immigration surplus discussed above and increase tax revenue. The third is that many immigrants come when they are young but not young enough to consume public schools, thus they work and pay taxes before consuming hundreds of thousands of dollars in public schools costs and welfare benefits — meaning they give an immediate fiscal boost. There are many other reasons as well.

Although the tax incidence from immigrants is what matters for the fiscal consequences, between 50 percent and 75 percent of illegal immigrants comply with federal tax law. States that rely on consumption or property taxes tend to garner a surplus from taxes paid by unlawful immigrants while those that rely on income taxes do not. In a post- Piketty world, the argument that immigration is increasing economic inequality within nations is getting some attention. While most forms of economic inequality are increasing among people within nations, global inequality is likely falling due and at a historic low point due to rapid economic growth in much of the world over the last generation.

The evidence on how immigration affects economic inequality in the United States is mixed — some research finds relatively small effects and others find substantial ones. The variance in findings can be explained by research methods — there is a big difference in outcomes between a study that measures how immigration affects economic inequality only among natives and another study that includes immigrants and their earnings.

Both methods seem reasonable but the effects on inequality are small compared to other factors. The standard of living is much more important than the earnings distribution and everybody in this situation either wins or is unaffected. There is a large amount of research that indicates immigrants are assimilating as well as or better than previous immigrant groups — even Mexicans.

The second book is a July book entitled Indicators of Immigrant Integration that analyses immigrant and second generation integration on 27 measurable indicators across the OECD and EU countries.

This report finds more problems with immigrant assimilation in Europe, especially for those from outside of the European Union, but the findings for the United States are quite positive. The third work by University of Washington economist Jacob Vigdor compares modern immigrant civic and cultural assimilation to that of immigrants from the early 20th century an earlier draft of his book chapter is herethe published version is available in this collection.

Basic indicators of assimilation, from naturalization to English ability, are if anything stronger now than they were a century ago.

For the nostalgic among us who believe that immigrants assimilated so much more smoothly in the past, the plethora of ethnic and anti-Catholic riotsthe nativist Know-Nothing movementand immigrant groups that refused to assimilate are a useful tonic. Immigrant assimilation is always messy and it looks bad from the middle of that process where we are right now, but the trends are positive and pointing in the right direction.

This myth has been around for over a century. Immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated for violent and property crimes and cities with more immigrants and their descendants are more peaceful. Some immigrants do commit violent and property crimes but, on the whole, they are less likely to do so.There are two sides to every story and the story of illegal immigration in the US is stacking up to be a major issue in US politics and water cooler talk as rhetoric on both sides of the debate increases.

From a pragmatic standpoint, I understand that no amount of enforcement, deterrents, walls or otherwise is going to completely put an end to the driving force to leave a lousy area and migrate to a better one, in this case, to America. I also recognize that there would be financial consequences to having zero illegal immigrants in the country. A few things are apparent. People are driven by incentives.

common arguments against immigration

If you incentivize people to come here they will. Because it is so easy to find employment at a rate higher than they can find in their home countries, people always have, and always will seek to come here, even at their own peril. The question is, do we start legalizing them through some means of qualification and fees? Do we do a mass amnesty program? Do we start getting more aggressive with deportations? That leaves it to the states. Tagged as: Illegal Immigration.

On the one hand the USA i a country of laws; yes, agreed, absolutely. And the world also accepts laws between countries since that is hat we are talking about — migration between countries regarding rights and responsibilities related to borders.

In other words, what right does a country have to establish and patrol a border? Yes, I am a libertarian. On the other hand my third hand? On a philosophical level, I find the whole thing gets pretty circular and it comes down to practical matters. While laws must be respected, I deplore the hatred which many people have shown. Is this practical? No idea. But it sure is better than just throwing hatred at the problem.

Illegals driving wage prices down is a huge problem for Americans who actually pay for taxes and services. Can the guy not have an opinion on the subject without being called an idiot? Every argument you make afterward is clouded by the first ad hominem attack you made. No where in his rather clearly stated post did he call anyone opposing his views an idiot. But you did. Think about that, you rigid-thinking imbecile see how nice that feels?

I got two jobs!Common Argument 1: Increased immigration drives down wages for low-skilled, native-born Americans. A economic analysis found that between andimmigration to the U. The increase was between. On the whole, immigrants who came to the U. They cycle that money back into the economy by buying goods and services; when more people are doing that, businesses are more profitable and can afford to pay workers more. Immigration to the U. For one, as mentioned earlier, immigrants make businesses more profitable simply by spending money in the U.

Furthermore, immigrants to the U. According to Census data, immigrants start businesses, own business, and hire employees at higher rates than their native-born American counterparts.

One study showed that immigration has a positive effect on high-school graduation rates and, by extension, employment opportunities of native-born Americans. The fiscal impact of more liberal immigration policy is unequivocally positive. Giving legal status to the 11 million undocumented workers in the U. Your Response: In a sense, that's true. Similarly, ending prohibition, eliminating anti-sodomy laws, and giving black people the right to sit wherever they wanted to on the bus also rewarded people who broke the law.

Reaching back a bit further, France's recognition of the United States as a sovereign nation during the Revolutionary War most certainly rewarded lawbreakers. The point here is that when a law itself is unjust and harmful to the country as a whole, following that law isn't a good thing. According to the Census Bureau, whites will be a minority in America by if immigration and birth rates remain on their current trajectories.

But why should that outcome be avoided? Unless you can make a strong case as to what that consequence is, objecting to a non-white majority in and of itself is indistinguishable from racism.

Common Argument 5: Immigrants reap the benefits of the U. If you disagree with that finding, you have reason to support legal immigration, not oppose it. It's a no-brainer.

Common Argument 6: Immigrants will make Social Security even worse than it is now by collecting more in benefits than they pay into the system. Your Response: Well, first of all, undocumented immigrants already pay billions in Social Security taxesdespite being ineligible to receive Social Security benefits. But furthermore, offering legal status to immigrants will strengthen Social Securitynot hurt it.

Baby boomers are about to place enormous pressure on Social Security, but increasing legal immigration to the U. Moreover, the culture of the U. American culture as we know today was largely formed by the immigrants who came to the country in the early 20th century. Reaching back a bit further, American culture certainly changed a lot after the first European settlers set up shop at Jamestown in In other words, everybody in America is but one part of a constantly shifting culture.

Glad we talked. By Seth Millstein. Common Argument 2: Well Common Argument 3: Offering a path to citizenship would reward people who broke the law. Common Argument 4: If we keep letting immigrants in, whites will soon be a minority.Foreign AffairsMarch 31, Outlining his position on immigration in August of last year, Donald Trumpthen the Republican candidate for U. In the United States, there is strong evidence that the national interest has not been well served by the country's immigration policy over the last five decades.

Even as levels of immigration have approached historic highs, debate on the topic has been subdued, and policymakers and opinion leaders in both parties have tended to overstate the benefits and understate or ignore the costs of immigration. It would make a great deal of sense for the country to reform its immigration policies by more vigorously enforcing existing laws, and by moving away from the current system, which primarily admits immigrants based on family relationships, toward one based on the interests of Americans.

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Trump did not create the strong dissatisfaction with immigration felt by his working-class supporters, but he certainly harnessed it. Voters' sense that he would restrict immigration may be the single most important factor that helped him win the longtime Democratic stronghold of the industrial Midwest, and thus the presidency. There are two primary reasons why immigration has become so controversial, and why Trump's message resonated.

The first is lax enforcement and the subsequently large population of immigrants living in the country illegally. But although illegal immigration grabs most of the headlines, a second factor makes many Americans uncomfortable with the current policy.

It is the sheer number of immigrants, legal or otherwise. The United States currently grants one million immigrants lawful permanent residence or a "green card" each year, which means that they can stay as long as they wish and become citizens after five years, or three if they are married to a U. Roughlylong-term visitors, mostly guest workers and foreign students, come annually as well.

Such a large annual influx adds up: Indata from the U. Census Bureau indicated that The census data include roughly 10 million illegal immigrants, while roughly a million more go uncounted. In contrast to most countries, the United States grants citizenship to everyone born on its soil, including the children of tourists or illegal immigrants, so the above figures do not include any U.

Proponents of immigration to the United States often contend that the country is a "nation of immigrants," and certainly immigration has played an important role in American history. Nevertheless, immigrants currently represent The Census Bureau projects that bythe immigrant share of the population will reach 15 percent, surpassing the United States' all-time high of Without a change in policy, that share will continue to increase throughout the twenty-first century.

Counting immigrants plus their descendants, the Pew Research Center estimates that sincewhen the United States liberalized its laws, immigration has added 72 million people to the country — a number larger than the current population of France.

Given these numbers, it is striking that public officials in the United States have focused almost exclusively on the country's 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants, who account for only one quarter of the total immigrant population.You are now logged in.

Forgot your password? No issue is more hotly contested today than immigration, with restrictionists calling for the deportation of illegals and a 50 percent cut in legal immigration. President Donald Trump has said that illegals, who are mostly low-skilled, "compete directly against vulnerable American workers" and that reducing legal immigration would "boost wages and ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first. But as the president himself likes to point out, unemployment across virtually all categories of workers is at or near historic lows, so displacing native-born workers isn't much of an issue.

Virtually all economistsregardless of ideology, agree that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have little to no effect on overall wages.

The most-vulnerable workers in America are high-school dropouts and economists say that low-skill immigrants from Mexico reduce that group's wages by less than 5 percent—or that they increase drop out wages by almost 1 percent. But it's also true low-skilled immigrants make things cheaper for all Americans by doing jobs such as picking fruit or cleanup on construction sites. And consider this: In the developed world, " There is no correlation between unemployment and immigration rates.

More important, immigrants grow the population, which stimulates economic growththe only way over the long term to improve standards of living. Since the late s, most legal immigrants and all illegals are barred from receiving means-tested welfare. The only real taxpayer-funded services most immigrants use are emergency medical treatments that account for less than 2 percent of all health-care spending and K education services for their children, who often times are U.

For those immigrants who do qualify for programs such as Medicaid, food stamps SNAPor supplemental Social Security income SSIthey use all these programs at lower rates that native-born Americans or naturalized citizens. It's also worth noting that immigrants come here to work, not collect WIC. Legal immigrant men have a labor-force participation rate of about 80 percent, which is 10 points higher than that of natives. Illegal immigrant men have a participation rate of 94 percent, precisely because they can't access welfare.

Whether legal or illegal, all immigrants pay sales taxes and property taxes the latter are factored into the cost of rental units for people who don't own homes. And all legal immigrants pay all the payroll and income taxes that native-born Americans do.

Amazingly, most illegals also cough up income and payroll taxes too. That's because most of them use fake Social Security cards and other documents to get hired. Somewhere between 50 percent and two-thirds pay federal income and FICA taxes. Critics of illegal immigration often say that unauthorized entrants refuse to stand in line and wait for their turn.

That's true but misleading. For many immigrants, especially low-skilled immigrants from countries such as Mexico, there is really no line. Infor instance, just 65, visas were given to Mexicans, with the overwhelming majority going to close family members such as spouses and minor children.Arguments against immigration come across my desk every day but their variety is limited — rarely do I encounter a unique one.

Several times a year I give presentations about these arguments and rebut their points. These are the main arguments against immigration and my quick responses to them: 1. First, the displacement effect is small if it even affects natives at all. Immigrants are typically attracted to growing regions and they increase the supply and demand sides of the economy once they are there, expanding employment opportunities.

Pros and cons of Immigration

Second, the debate over immigrant impacts on American wages is confined to the lower single digits — immigrants may increase the relative wages for some Americans by a tiny amount and decrease them by a larger amount for the few Americans who directly compete against them.

Immigrants likely compete most directly against other immigrants so the effects on less-skilled native-born Americans might be very small or even positive. To put the scale of that shock to Miami in context, it would be as if The smallest estimates immigration surplus, as it is called, is equal to about 0. Immigrants are less likely to use means-tested welfare benefits that similar native-born Americans. When they do use welfare, the dollar value of benefits consumed is smaller.

If poor native-born Americans used Medicaid at the same rate and consumed the same value of benefits as poor immigrants, the program would be 42 percent smaller.

Far from draining the welfare state, immigrants have given the entitlement portions a few more years of operation before bankruptcy. The empirics on this are fairly consistent — immigrants in the United States have a net-zero impact on government budgets the published version of that working paper is published here. The first is that higher immigrant fertility and the long run productivity of those people born in the United States generates a lot of tax revenue. The second is that immigrants grow the economy considerably this is different from the immigration surplus discussed above and increase tax revenue.

The third is that many immigrants come when they are young but not young enough to consume public schools, thus they work and pay taxes before consuming hundreds of thousands of dollars in public schools costs and welfare benefits — meaning they give an immediate fiscal boost.

There are many other reasons as well. Although the tax incidence from immigrants is what matters for the fiscal consequences, between 50 percent and 75 percent of illegal immigrants comply with federal tax law. States that rely on consumption or property taxes tend to garner a surplus from taxes paid by unlawful immigrants while those that rely on income taxes do not. While most forms of economic inequality are increasing among people within nations, global inequality is likely falling due and at a historic low point due to rapid economic growth in much of the world over the last generation.

The evidence on how immigration affects economic inequality in the United States is mixed — some research finds relatively small effects and others find substantial ones. The variance in findings can be explained by research methods — there is a big difference in outcomes between a study that measures how immigration affects economic inequality only among natives and another study that includes immigrants and their earnings.

Both methods seem reasonable but the effects on inequality are small compared to other factors.

British town feels swamped by East Europe immigration

The standard of living is much more important than the earnings distribution and everybody in this situation either wins or is unaffected. The second book is a July book entitled Indicators of Immigrant Integration that analyses immigrant and second generation integration on 27 measurable indicators across the OECD and EU countries.

This report finds more problems with immigrant assimilation in Europe, especially for those from outside of the European Union, but the findings for the United States are quite positive. The third work by University of Washington economist Jacob Vigdor compares modern immigrant civic and cultural assimilation to that of immigrants from the early 20th century an earlier draft of his book chapter is herethe published version is available in this collection.

Basic indicators of assimilation, from naturalization to English ability, are if anything stronger now than they were a century ago. For the nostalgic among us who believe that immigrants assimilated so much more smoothly in the past, the plethora of ethnic and anti-Catholic riotsthe nativist Know-Nothing movementand immigrant groups that refused to assimilate are a useful tonic.

Immigrant assimilation is always messy and it looks bad from the middle of that process where we are right now, but the trends are positive and pointing in the right direction. Immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated for violent and property crimes and cities with more immigrants and their descendants are more peaceful. Some immigrants do commit violent and property crimes but, on the whole, they are less likely to do so.

There were a large number of bombings and terrorist attacks in the early 20 th century, most of them committed by immigrants, socialists, and their fellow travelers. Today, the deaths from terrorism committed by immigrants are greater than they were a century ago but the risk is still low compared to the benefits of immigration.Immigration can give substantial economic benefits — a more flexible labour market, greater skills base, increased demand and a greater diversity of innovation.

However, immigration is also controversial.

common arguments against immigration

It is argued immigration can cause issues of overcrowding, congestion, and extra pressure on public services. There is also a debate about whether immigration of unskilled workers leads to downward pressure on wages and even unemployment of native workers.

This is a look at mostly the economic costs and benefits of immigration. Increased economic output and living standards. Net immigration will lead to a growth in the size of the labour force and an increase in the productive capacity of the economy.

Immigration leads to higher economic growth with a corresponding rise in tax revenues and potential for government spending.

Potential entrepreneurs. It is argued that immigrants often arrive with little wealth so have a greater incentive to try and make something for themselves. Also, people who are willing to leave a country and try in a foreign company are the most ambitious and willing to take risks and a result tend to be the more dynamic part of the workforce.

Immigrants who are young and mobile are also quite likely to be entrepreneurs — set up businesses which create innovative products. The American economy is an example of how immigrants have moved to America and set up classic American companies — leading to higher living standards and a greater choice of goods and services.

common arguments against immigration

Jeff Bezos Amazon son of a Cuban immigrant. Sergey Brin Google is a Russian immigrant. Increased demand and growth. The belief that the number of jobs remains fixed.

However, this is not the case, if immigrants move to the US or UK and gain employment, then they will spend their wages in their new country, creating new demand in the service and goods sector. Between and15 million immigrants arrived in the US 1but this was a period of low unemployment and high economic growth.

Better skilled workforce. In the UK, immigrants working in the economy are more likely to have more educational and skilled qualifications. LSE study Immigration allows an economy to attract high skilled professionals to fill in job vacancies and contribute to higher tax revenues.

Net benefit to government revenues. Because immigrants are more likely to be young and working than native-born citizens, they provide a net benefit to government revenues. Young people are less likely to use health care services than old people. Deal with an ageing population.

Many economies in the west are facing a demographic crunch with a low birth rate and ageing population causing a rise in the dependency ratio ratio of old to young workers.

This puts pressure on social care, tax revenues and government spending. Immigration is the most effective policy to deal with an ageing population, as it allows shortages in health care and social care to be filled with young workers who make a net contribution to government finances and boost the workforce. More flexible labour market. Immigrants are highly mobile. They move to economies when wages are high and demand for labour strong.

This helps to prevent a booming economy overheating by providing labour to meet the growing demand. A good example is Ireland. In the boom years, pre, the economy attracted many construction workers from the EU. When the property market collapsed many construction workers went home — limiting the rise in Irish unemployment.


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