Anybody who pays attention to my posts knows that I favor practically no restrictions on immigration. The following excerpts are from an article in today's NY Times which I link to below. I would like to have Democrats make the case for increased immigration, instead of playing into the GOP's anti-immigration rhetoric. ---CA
Why Can’t We Stop Unauthorized Immigration? Because It Works. Our broken immigration system is still the best option for many migrants — and U.S. employers.
American consumers benefit from these systems every time they find exceptionally inexpensive ways to get their lawns cut, their bathrooms cleaned, their houses built, their apples picked, their nails painted and their young and old cared for. The prices we pay for these services have been subsidized for generations by transnational migrants. In 2015, economists at Texas A&M concluded that if immigrant labor were eliminated from the dairy industry, the retail price of milk would nearly double. More recently, in Florida, construction projects stalled and their costs rose after the state passed new laws targeting undocumented residents. Economists say that recent migrants have also blunted the worst effects of post-pandemic inflation.
Legal immigration today is close to impossible for most people. David J. Bier of the Cato Institute recently estimated that around 3 percent of the people who tried to move permanently to the United States were able to do so legally. “Legal immigration is less like waiting in line and more like winning the lottery: It happens, but it is so rare that it is irrational to expect it in any individual case,” he wrote in a comprehensive review of the current regulations. He concludes that “trying the legal immigration system as an alternative to immigrating illegally is like playing Powerball as an alternative to saving for retirement.”
In other words, illegal immigration is the natural consequence of the conflict between America’s thirst for foreign labor and its strict immigration laws.
Until the 1920s, America received migrants with an almost open border. Our policies emphasized regulation, not restriction. A few general categories were barred from entry — polygamists and convicted criminals, for example — but almost everyone else was permitted to enter the United States and reside indefinitely. The move toward restriction began in 1882 with laws that targeted the Chinese then evolved to exclude almost every other national group as well.