Monday, December 31, 2007

Immigration Mania

The anti-immigrationist mantra goes something like: Criminals! Welfare cases! Job Stealers!

Yet, it seems to be the case that in the aggregate, crime is down while immigration is up, and in particular, that immigrants have lower crime rates than the native born (even the immigrants from south of our border that people get most worked up about). See here and here (note the list of references in the second link). Even gang violence in LA is down!

Similarly, welfare caseloads have fallen dramatically over the last decade:

Then there is welfare. Since the high-water mark of 1994, the national welfare caseload has declined by over 60 percent. Virtually every state in the union has reduced its caseload by at least a third, and some have achieved reductions of over 90 percent. Not only have the numbers of people on welfare plunged, but, in the wake of the 1996 welfare-reform bill, overall poverty, child poverty, black child poverty, and child hunger have all decreased, while employment figures for single mothers have risen.

And, despite our current economic problems (amazingly no one has blamed the credit crunch on immigration yet), the unemployment rate is holding at 4.7%

Current illegals need a simple, achievable path to citizenship and future illegals need to be avoided by making legal immigration cheap and ez.

(By the way, even if you don't like the immigration slant here, just relax and enjoy all the good news. Besides crime and welfare cases, teenage drug use and abortions are also down. The whole essay in the last link is well worth reading).

Hat tip to the WSJ who got this one right.

UPDATE: Robert Reich (yes him!) gives another reason to be pro-immigrant: Someone's gotta pay for his social security benefits!


Juris Naturalist said...

So, Angus, how do we convince folks to overcome their anti-foreign bias (Caplan) and move to increase or eliminate immigration quotas?

Angus said...

it's a good question. i don't really have an answer, except to try and point out the untruths and try to get people to face up to the idea that it basically is a bias at work here.

Shawn said...

but...they speak a different language, not american! therefore, they must be evil.

TGGP said...

We don't have a Gulf State style guest-worker system. We don't just get labor, we get people who have kids. Crime, welfare dependency and illegitimacy all increase from first to second and from second to third generations. Say hello to Cudahy.

Anonymous said...

I am on your side on this, so don't get me wrong, but doesn't your first proposal (a simple path to citizenship for current illegals) also provide a cheap and ez solution to avoiding future illegals?

Immigration Mania said...

Immigration is the basis of America