Debate – What to Do about Immigration
The United States has laws in place to limit the number of immigrants granted entry. How many immigrants should be allowed to call America home? Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, argues that the United States should have open borders. Jan Ting, professor of law at Temple University, argues that there need to be limits on the number of immigrants.
Prof. Caplan argues that immigration laws deny basic human rights. All people deserve to have the opportunity for a better life and should not be penalized simply for being born on the wrong side of a border. The supposed negative effects of free immigration are greatly overstated at best and often opposite the truth. Open border policies are estimated to lead to a doubling of global productivity, too. Immigrants pay about as much in tax as they use in benefits. And, he argues, there are cheaper and more humane remedies for dealing with any costs of immigration than preventing people from entering the country.
Prof. Ting argues that while he has deep respect for immigrants, there are valid reasons for not having completely open borders. He states that the United States has the most generous immigration policy in the world, and that limiting the number of immigrants allowed each year helps immigrants better assimilate. He expresses concern that open borders would create an influx of people too great for our infrastructure and that they may put undue pressure on the environment.
Is immigration an issue of morality? Can it be reduced to a cost-benefit analysis? Does a cost-benefit analysis even suggest limitations? Watch the video and tell us what you think.
Immigration Myths with Ben Powell (video): Benjamin Powell addresses the jobs, wages, and optimality arguments for restricting immigration
Tough on Immigration Is Tough on Economic Growth [article]: Three economists at The Freeman argue that immigration leads to economic growth and that immigration restrictions severely impinge on civil liberties
Coming to America: The Benefits to Open Immigration [article]: The Freeman discusses the positive impact of open immigration on labor, welfare, culture, and freedom
Immigration Reform about Opportunity, Not Debt [article] Jim DeMint at the Heritage Foundation argues that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would be an enormous drain on the taxpayer, funders of the welfare state