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Friday, June 08, 2007

Economist on economics of immigration reform

Neat little piece in the June 2nd "economics focus" feature, entitled "Guests v gatecrashers". Bottom line:
illegal immigration might cost native-born residents some 0.07% of GDP.

But that net cost, if it exists at all, is clearly less than the price of keeping illegal workers out. Since 2001 Congress has more than doubled the amount of money spent on securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws. Mr Bush's 2008 budget proposes spending $13 billion, or 0.1% of GDP. The senators' plans would be even more expensive. A needlessly cumbersome guest-worker plan and a costly war on gatecrashers are bad ideas—even if you don't give a fig for the welfare of would-be migrants.

Yes, I think our concern about illegal immigration is largely misplaced and racist.

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