Update: July 2, 2012
This morning I was pleased to receive another interview regarding immigration, this time with Butler on Business. The hosts, Alan Butler and Jason Riddle, were curious as to how to reconcile a welcome for immigrants and respect for the law. That is a challenge, but dealing with illegal immigrants need not distract us from opening up the legal process. In the long-run, reform of the misguided legal process—the problem—will allow more people to come legally and relieve the presence of so many illegal immigrants—the symptom.
Click below to listen (11 minutes, MP3)
June 29, 2012
Immigration is ever the hot button issue, and President Obama’s recent decision to grant amnesty to a portion of illegal immigrants has stoked that fire. Unfortunately, this debate brings out all the negative stereotypes, which disguise the fact that immigration is an enormous win-win.
At the same time, I see little effort to reform the United States’ onerous and counterproductive legal process of immigration. As just one piece of evidence for how ridiculous this legal process is, a permanent cruise ship is in the works for placement off the coast of California. Blueseed is set to host 1,000 entrepreneurs who want to participate in Silicon Valley but do not have the visas, so they’re going to be living on the sea and out of United States jurisdiction.
To give me an opportunity to weigh in, Jeff Crouere, a radio host I admire, invited me on his show this morning. Here is that interview on WGSO’s Ringside Politics, 990AM in Louisiana (15 minutes, MP3):
Additionally, here are just a few key points of clarification:
- The United States has a lower rate of net immigration than many other developed nations such as Canada (35 percent higher) and Australia (44 percent higher);
- Numerous studies have shown that immigrants have lower rates of crime than native-born individuals;
- Immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as native-born individuals;
- Deportations under President Obama have been at record levels, approximately 400,000 each year and comfortably more than all of the years of the Bush presidency;
- Each deportation costs at least $12,500;
- When granted legal residency, illegal immigrants go on to earn approximately 15 percent higher incomes (PDF, pp. 2-3).
As a final note, if people are going to call for more deportations in the name of saving jobs, they might as well start deporting ATMs, since ATMs take the jobs of bank tellers. The fact is that lower cost inputs, like ATMs, free up resources for expansion elsewhere in the economy, and immigrants do just that—along with starting their own new businesses. Additionally, since many have limited English ability, they generate more management positions for native-speakers.