Economists Agree: Immigration Is Good for US

Even if politicians can't say so
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2010 3:11 PM CDT
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection speedboat is silhouetted by the lights of Tijuana, Mexico, along of the coast of San Diego, Friday, July 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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(Newser) – The political debate on immigration in America has become a game of nativist one-upsmanship, with ever-stricter plans to secure the border topped only by the call to invalidate the 14th Amendment. Economists, meanwhile, seem united in their belief that foreign-born workers are exactly what the US economy needs—the debate in that camp is over how much immigration would be best, writes James Ledbetter for Slate. He boils down their arguments into three categories:

  • Housing crisis: Bring in more highly skilled workers and make their visas contingent on buying a house.
  • Replenishing the workforce: "The continued flow of immigrants has important implications for propping up the American economy and keeping Social Security solvent."
  • Stronger economy: A widely discussed paper by the San Francisco Fed makes the case that immigrants do not take American jobs—rather, the economy adjusts to make efficient use of the varying talents of natives and non-natives, raising real income for all.

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