Because, it validates our contention that when you want to know the truth, when you want to know what is really going on, screw the talking heads and the legislative puppets, FOLLOW THE MONEY!
People may chose not to read the rest of this post. Possibly out of fear that their prejudices are not justified!
Forbes Magazine dated June 28, 2010
Opening America's borders is morally right, economically beneficial--and would even make America safer.
Eight years ago Oscar risked his life to reach America--illegally. Now he works 17 hours a day, 6 days a week in a bar in Miami's South Beach. He earns $3.85 an hour plus up to $100 a night in tips, sending home $400 a month to his family in Honduras. That funds his three kids' education, supports his mother and has enabled his wife to open a small store.
Oscar's life is tough. Now 30, he hasn't seen his family since he left Honduras. "Not having documents is suffocating. Businesses exploit you. You're always hiding," he says. "We need immigration reform. I sent an e-mail to our President." Your President? "Yes, he's my President. I love this country. If I could, I'd help this country get back on its feet." Oscar seems like the kind of guy America would want to hang on to. "I'm afraid of being deported, so my money is hidden," he says. "Otherwise I could put it in the bank to invest."
The U.S. is already home to some 12 million illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. What to do with them--and with America's broken immigration system--is suddenly back at the top of the political agenda. Tempers are flaring after Arizona passed a draconian new law clamping down on illegal immigrants. President Obama persists with failed policies: erecting a fence along the Mexican border, sending National Guard troops to police it and wishing the issue would go away. Isn't it finally time for a radical rethink?
America should open its borders. Anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. should be allowed to, with the bare minimum of bureaucracy. Those already here illegally should be legalized. Open borders would make this country richer, more entrepreneurial--and more secure.
Critics object that lawbreaking illegals should not be rewarded. Yet for the most part these people's only crime is wanting to work hard to earn a better life for themselves and their children--the epitome of the American Dream. They do the jobs that most people spurn: pick fruit, wash dishes, pack meat. Without them America would grind to a halt.
Government efforts to stop migration have mainly driven it underground--at huge financial and human cost. Billions of dollars are wasted annually in a futile effort to seal an inherently unsealable border. More people have died trying to cross over from Mexico in the past decade than were killed on Sept. 11. Ever tougher measures won't work: Documents can be forged or stolen, people smuggled, officials bribed. Even with a shoot-to-kill policy, people got across the Berlin Wall.
Ending this senseless and unwinnable war would make America more secure, not less--instead of chasing harmless migrants, federal agents could concentrate on identifying and neutralizing homegrown and foreign terrorists. Above all, opening the border would bring huge economic benefits.
The case for free migration follows logically from that for free trade. Just as it's beneficial for goods and services to flow freely across borders, so, too, the people who produce them. Freer trade has made Americans much richer over the past 50 years; unfreezing labor flows could deliver vast gains over the next 50. According to some estimates, removing immigration controls could more than double the size of the world economy.
Heather Mac Donald worries (Say No To Reform) that newcomers are poorer and less educated than Americans. But that's precisely why they're willing to do low-paid, low-skilled jobs that Americans shun. Many low-skilled jobs can't be mechanized or globalized. The elderly can't be cared for by a robot. Lawn care can't be outsourced to India.
Fears that immigrants threaten American workers are mostly misplaced. Just as working women haven't deprived men of jobs, immigrants create jobs as well as filling them--both when they spend their wages and in complementary lines of work. Mexican construction workers, for instance, create jobs for Americans selling building materials, as well as spending their wages at Wal-Mart ( WMT - news - people ).
Nor do immigrants depress wages, since they rarely compete directly with native-born Americans for jobs. On the contrary, their efforts often complement one another. A foreign nanny may enable an American doctor to return to work more quickly after childbirth, where hardworking foreign nurses and cleaners enhance her productivity. Research by Gianmarco Ottaviano of Bologna University and UC, Davis' Giovanni Peri found that the influx of foreign workers between 1990 and 2004 raised native-born Americans' wages by 2%. Only one in ten--high school dropouts--lost slightly, by 1%. All Americans benefited from higher capital returns, cheaper goods and services and faster productivity growth.
Immigrant diversity and dynamism stimulates new ideas and businesses. Migrants are a self-selected minority who tend to be young, hardworking and enterprising. Like starting a new business, migrating is risky, and hard work is needed to make it pay off. Immigrants are 30% more likely than native-born Americans to start their own business.
That number would surely be higher if we legitimized their status. People who lack formal property and business rights can't get a bank loan to start a business or ink legally enforceable contracts. Legalizing them would unleash their entrepreneurial energies and swell tax revenues.
Exceptional individuals who generate brilliant new ideas are often migrants. Instead of following conventional wisdom, they tend to see things differently, and as outsiders they are more determined to succeed. Nearly a quarter of America's Nobel laureates were born abroad. Nearly half of Silicon Valley's venture capital-funded startups were cofounded by immigrants. No one could have guessed when he arrived at age 6 as a refugee from the Soviet Union that Sergey Brin would go on to cofound Google ( GOOG - news - people ). How many potential Brins does America turn away--and at what cost?
Many worry that if America opened its borders now, millions would come, the welfare burden would be unsustainable and society would collapse. Yet such fears are misplaced. Most people don't want to leave home at all, let alone forever. Since 2004 three rich European countries--Britain, Ireland, and Sweden--have allowed people in eight poor eastern European countries (notably Poland) to come work there freely. All 75 million of those eastern Europeans could have moved, yet only 1 million did--and half have already gone home.And not just Forbes. Smart Money also thinks it might be a good idea and best for our economy. Read the following:
Imagine you live on a remote island with just 30 other people. You have a small economy — a few farmers, a doctor, a couple of people making clothes, a shopkeeper, even some lazy slackers. One day 10 new people get shipwrecked onto the island. They’re peaceful and hard working with a variety of abilities: One guy is skilled at fixing houses, another is an excellent cook or mechanic. Some are good managers, one invents new technology and others are just good at following assignments.
In America, this would be called an immigration crisis, and politicians on our little island would immediately send troops to the beach to prevent these “illegals” from coming ashore, lowering wages, “stealing” jobs and generally ruining the country.
Yet if you care about your life, it is unquestionably in your best interest to let them stay.
In a free economy, more people means more new products, services, inventions, scientific discoveries, industries and wealth. Because it allows even greater specialization of labor, instead of one doctor, you’d have three — each focusing on becoming experts at specific kinds of medicine. An additional engineer might specializein more efficient building techniques, freeing up others who previously laid brick to create new jobs and new types of wealth. The pie isn’t redistributed…but grown.
If we shrunk America’s population back to colonial times, would any of us be able to buy an Apple (AAPL: 259.62, +1.53, +0.59%) iPhone, or Blue Coconut Slush from Sonic (SONC: 7.84, +0.21, +2.75%)? Considering more than half the population toiled away on farms, not likely. Today less than 2% of the population works in farming, yet the productivity wrought from specialization of labor means our wealth (and food supply) has grown exponentially. Would our lives really be better had Alexander Graham Bell, an “illegal immigrant” back in 1873, been unable to scale the barbed wire fence at the Canadian border?
I know of no other issue, not health care, taxes or finance, which elicits such emotion, vitriol and ire.But along with eliminating the entitlement state, open immigration in the United States would be an unquestionable boon to the economy. Because there is no limit on the amount of wealth and prosperity that can be created, we should be just as glad to have more immigrants coming to this country as we should be to have more shipwrecked workers on our deserted island. This applies to Mexicans as well as to other workers – many of them highly skilled – who are senselessly prohibited from coming here to produce.
There is nothing objectively criminal about being a foreigner, working at a construction site, or renting an apartment. Beyond screening procedures for known threats, Islamic terrorists, those with infectious diseases or other obvious risks, the doors to this country – and the ability to work and live here –should be open.
But WAIT what about our wives ans daughters who will be raped and plundered by hordes of invisible hispanics swarming across the border? Well we checked in with the Truth O Meter:
The debate about immigration often involves discussions about whether illegal immigrants cause more crime.
The topic came up on ABC's This Week on July 4, 2010, when Al Hunt, the executive editor in Washington for Bloomberg News, criticized John McCain for the Republican senator's comments about crime in Arizona.
McCain had explained his shift on immigration by saying, "The violence is incredibly high. The human smuggling and drug cartels are at a level of violence where 25,000 -- 23,000 Mexican citizens have been murdered in the last few years, 5,000 already this year. There's a level of violence which has increased to a significant degree, which makes the situation far different than it was in 2007" when the Senate last considered immigration reform.
He added, "But I invite the president to come to the border, and he can see for himself the absolute necessity of getting our border secure before more violence spills over onto our side of the border... It is not the same as it was in 2007. And the people deserve not to have our ranchers murdered, not to have a deputy shot by a drug smuggler with an AK-47 in Pinal County. The situation has dramatically changed, and the statistics absolutely back that up."
During the roundtable discussion on This Week, Hunt told host Jake Tapper: "I must say, John McCain, in his interview with you, Jake, that was extraordinary to say that crime is up there. He's talking about Mexico. Crime is down in Arizona. Every single academic study that's been done shows that immigrants commit fewer crimes."
It is unclear whether McCain was suggesting that crime in Arizona was up because of illegal immigrants, but we were curious about Hunt's claim that crime in Arizona -- a state that ranks 6th for the estimated population of illegal immigrants -- was down.
Because Hunt did not specify the types of crime, we'll examine all types.
We checked the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports as well as data from Arizona's Department of Public Safety and found Hunt is correct that crime is down.
From 2004 to 2008, data from Arizona's DPS shows a 23 percent drop in the overall crime rate, while the FBI's statistics on Arizona show a 19 percent drop. Although the FBI has not released all of the data on 2009, Arizona's statistics show the crime rate in 2009 dropped an additional 12 percent.
"Crime has been going down, overall, in Arizona," said Tony LaRose, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Tampa, but he noted it has been a national trend for the past almost three decades."
The trend holds even if you only measure violent crime, which James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University, said is the type of crime people think of when discussing crime and illegal immigrants. The violent crime rate fell 11 percent from 2004 to 2008 in Arizona.
Whether or not Hunt was correctly interpreting McCain's comments is outside of the scope of the claim, but he is right about Arizona crime going down. So we rate Hunt's claim True.
Now we are inclined not be so generous. After all if they entered the country illegally while others have waited on endless lists. So we do we believe there should be somes sort of consequence.
And just has soon as we take care of the legislators, bankers, corporate heads,and bureaucratic
scam artists we should have a discussion with them.
I suspect they would be more amenable to having an honest conversation than those who use them as scapegoats.Add to Technorati Favorites