Illegal immigrants are good for the US economy

Gordon Hanson is causing quite a stir with his study for the Council on Foreign Relations entitled “The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration”. (Press release, WSJ op-ed, abstract, paper.) Economically speaking, he concludes, there’s really very little reason to believe that legal immigration is preferable to illegal immigration — and illegal immigration has a small but positive net economic effect.

To the extent that the US spends a lot of money keeping illegal immigrants out of the country, that’s likely to damage the economy as a whole. Much better to deal with security concerns in other ways, such as licensing global temp agencies who could fill US jobs with employees from anywhere.

Clearly, the present system of temporary work visas isn’t, well, working — this year’s quota of H-1Bs, for highly-skilled immigrants, “sold out” in a matter of hours. What’s more, the number of visas is necessarily larger than the number of legal immigrants, since many legal immigrants end up with three or more temporary visas while working here. Much smarter, says Hanson, to let legal immigrants switch jobs much more easily, and also to give them a path to citizenship.

Of course, the chances of anybody in Congress taking up Hanson’s cry are slim to nonexistent — but with any luck his paper can help move the debate in the right direction.


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56 Responses to Illegal immigrants are good for the US economy

  1. mike v says:

    illegals arent doing jobs americans wont do that is the biggestlie.they are causing chaos here.we americans ran everytime a neighborhood became bad we ran to another city.well now there is nowhere to run.

    i live in brooklyn ny and its a asian latino 3rd world mess.a once beautiful neighborhood has become a series of street vendors and filthy animals

    GOD help us

  2. nellie says:

    fuk all this white shit illegals bulid this counrty. illegals help by profiting hungry white us employers. with out the asstains of immagrants the haste of current USA may of fuken never been capable so insted of ull running ull ronche white mouth ull should be on the ground kiss are brown hairy big toes n saying thank you. we work cheap labor something that ull lazy pale ass would never do.If white people run ass much as they run they mouth they would be in fuken good shape ull fat ass. shut ull mouth cuz u do need us!!! yea the fuken truth hurts.AM 100% mexicam and fuken proud till the end. YEAH 2 LATINOS,MEXICANOS, HISPANOS. WE FUKEN RULE USA…..

  3. anonymous says:

    i think that illegal immigrants have the right to be here. it makes a big diffrence in U.S. they help our economy. without the mexicans we would not have what we have today. i think that mexicans should have the rights as everyone else. they come here to make a better life for their children and families.
    i hope the dream act come soon.

  4. The only thing that matters is that Gears of war three starts in a little more than week

  5. Hope says:

    Immigrants aren’t just mexicans they are also salvadorans,etc and from many other places!!!!

  6. dherrer1 says:

    I think we kind of miss the point. Being ilegal in this country makes it legal for some employers to exploit you!!! I know Mexico and Central America real well having travel through the regin for over 30 years. People are poor there due to their government policies. Let’s not forget that the riches man in the world “Carlos Slim” lives in Mexico. We do need to reform our immigration laws and recognize the new realities. For all of you that believe that americans won’t do the jobs ilegals do now you miss the point. Americans won’t do these jobs at current wages. If you increase the wages I think you would see the difference. Construction jobs use to be well paid middle class type jobs. Over the last 20 years home prices have not fallen due to reduced wages!!! Reductions have come due to changes in financing. Fast food jobs used to be entry level jobs for high school students etc. Allowing people to be exploited in this country is not something positive. Allowing our southern neighbors the ability to “Export” their poor due to stupid policies that favor their elite and very rich is also not good. We need a comprehensive plan that is not based on allowing explotacion and the creation of a Berlin type wall on our southern border.

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