2016 Presidential Election: Immigration

Don Boudreaux,

Release Date
July 2, 2016



Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the whole crop of 2016 presidential candidates have some big ideas about immigrants.
But Prof. Don Boudreaux says they are all wrong.
What do you think? Are immigrants stealing your job? Would banning Muslim immigrants make the US safer from terrorists? Should we build a yuge wall on the Mexican border to keep illegals out?
Watch, share, and comment on our long and beautiful YouTube video. And subscribe to our channel for very classy election analysis and the best summer binge learning.

Supreme Court Questions the Constitutionality of Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration (article): This spring, President Obama made an already controversial issue even more controversial. Find out why immigration topped the news curve thanks to the president here. 
Debate: Who Is Harmed Most by Immigration? (video): Should the United States have open borders? And If it does, who takes the biggest hit for the influx of low-skilled workers? Prof. Bryan Caplan and Jan Ting battle the issues out in this video. 
How Much Immigration Is Too Much Immigration? (video): Alright. Even if we concede that immigration in general is good for the economy, surely we should set limits on how many people can get into America at once. Explore the question more in this video. https://www.learnliberty.org/videos/how-much-immigration-is-too-much-immigration/
The Immigration Debate (program): Immigrants and Welfare. Immigrants and Jobs. Immigrants and Culture. The politics of immigration. Prof. Bryan Caplan will walk you through these issues and more providing a nuanced perspective on a complicated debate. 

>> I’m Don Boudreaux, and today we’re talking about-
>> Immigration reform.
>> Build a wall.
>> Citizenship.
>> What are the walls going to be made out of?
>> Unless you live under a rock you’ve heard the candidates make some pretty big statements about immigration. There are three main concerns that voters seem to have about immigration.
Border security, terrorism, and that immigrants steal jobs. Let’s address each of these concerns in turn. Many Americans are concerned about the security of our southern border. Republicans argue that walling off the southern border is of paramount importance to prevent illegal immigration. Some want there to be a literal wall.
Others call for a figurative wall in the form of more checkpoints, border control agents, and surveillance along the border. Democrats highlight problems with building a wall. They argue that while securing the southern border is important, it is exceedingly difficult and costly to do so completely.
>> He’s talking about the most beautiful tall wall, better than the Great Wall of China.
>> Focusing on the Southern border they claim also overlooks the fact illegal immigrants enter legally and then overstay their visas.
>> 40% of people in this country ilegally are overstaying visas, legitimate issue.
>> The fact is, there are now more undocumented immigrants leaving the country than entering it.
Some American voters are also fearful that immigration increases the terrorist threat on the homeland One of the shooters in the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack was an immigrant. In response, one 2016 candidate is calling for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration.
>> Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
>> Most other candidates respond that banning Muslims from immigrating is unlike to make us any safer from attacks. And that such a move is bigoted and out of step with constitutional protections of freedom of religion. There is overwhelming economic evidence that shows that immigrants, both legal and illegal, do not on net steal Americans’ jobs or drive down their wages.
Immigration is a great example of French economist Frederic Bastiat’s concept of the seen versus the unseen. Though people see jobs filled by immigrants that could have gone to immigrants, they don’t see the additional value that these immigrants provide, both in their jobs, and as consumers. In economics, the idea that immigrants steal jobs is known as the Lump of Labor Fallacy, which contends that the number of jobs in the economy is fixed.
If this were true, the massive influx of women into the labor force in the latter half of the 20th century, for instance, would have somehow been bad for the economy. It would have caused a combination of massive unemployment and falling wages, yet in reality the entry of women into the workforce caused no such consequences, it was a massive economic boom.
What’s often neglected in this debate is the huge impact that immigrants with advanced degrees or skill sets can have on the US economy.
>> Immigrants really have made major contributions to the United States. Albert Einstein, Andrew Grove, who established the chip world at Intel.
>> Many international students earn advanced degrees in the US, but return home because they’re unable to extend their visas.
The diversity within Silicon Valley demonstrates how high skilled entrepreneurs, from abroad, are creating jobs for all Americans. So what do you think? Should we build a wall on the Mexican border and reduce immigration? Or should we recognize the value that immigrants have to the society, and to the economy, and our long-standing tradition of being a welcoming country?