How Much Immigration Is Too Much 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.

In this clip from the debate, Prof. Ting argues that the risks of trying an open border policy are too great. He points out that the U.S. population is estimated to grow at a fast rate in the next 50 years and through the end of the century if we do nothing. He is concerned that allowing free immigration will overwhelm U.S. infrastructure and cause too much environmental damage.

Prof. Caplan responds by arguing that the market will ration immigration just as it rations anything else. Indeed, the idea of immigration without quotas is overwhelming if we do not consider how market forces will play a role. He argues that we can have open borders without fear because of the power of the market.


  1. tuhme

    The issue I have with Prof. Caplan’s reply is that I don’t want my rent to be really high. And if that’s solution provided for the influx, and surely it would be rapid, of people then I like Prof. Ting’s argument in this very short, introductory video to a much larger debate. 🙂

  2. GeF

    Natives (indians) get a raw deal

  3. Adam

    Prof. Ting makes a good sounding argument against increased immigration, but he doesn’t provide any facts or data to back his view. It sounds great, but it’s just an emotionally backed argument, not a fact based one. Prof. Caplan, however, makes an incredibly thorough, fact-based argument for increased immigration. I highly recommend others to watch the full 22 minute debate (it’s on youtube as well).

  4. Lukas Koube

    not really….think about central planning..when the government controls healthcare the price goes up and the quality goes down. when the government centrally plans immigration, you will end up with bad immigrants and turn away the people who could make this a great nation. 

  5. Lukas Koube

    BOOM! bryan caplan gets it right every time!

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