Below is an excerpt of a post that appeared at Forbes.com on August 28th, 2015.
According to an April 2015 symposium on the effects of illegal immigrants in the Southern Economic Journal, illegal immigrants actually raise wages for documented/native workers. Meanwhile, rules preventing illegal immigrants from getting driver’s licenses raise our car insurance premiums and E-Verify requirements raise the cost of doing business and reduce employment.
Using data from Georgia, Julie Hotchkiss, Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, and Fernando Rios-Avila find that documented workers’ wages rise with increases in the share of undocumented workers in a worker’s county and employed by their employers. The biggest boosts are for workers in low- and medium-skill firms that hire a lot of undocumented immigrants with an even larger boost for workers in low-skill firms with a lot of undocumented workers in the county and industry.
Why? The law of comparative advantage says we get more productive when we have more trading partners, and the arrival of undocumented workers with limited English skills frees up low-skill American workers who can then specialize in tasks that require better English. In July, I had the honor of sharing the stage with Ann Coulter, and fellow Forbes contributor Rick Ungar on Fox Business’s Stossel show, and I got to explain how unskilled immigrants make us more productive at the end of the show.
Head over to Forbes to read the rest of the article.