Debate – Who Is Harmed Most by 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.
Economically, native-born high school dropouts are the most likely to lose out from the competition from low-skilled workers that will increase if the United States has open borders. In this clip, Prof. Caplan argues that although these are the most vulnerable Americans, they are some of the wealthiest people in the world. Prof. Ting argues that part of being a country means having greater concern for your fellow citizens than for the world as a whole.
Prof. Caplan argues that while it is fine to care about fellow Americans more than about the world as a whole, immigration laws are about saying we’re going to take care of Americans no matter what the cost we impose on other people. Even when you care more about one person or group of people than others, it is still important to treat the others fairly. The clip also brings up interesting questions about how competition and trade affect individuals and society.