Immigration on Trial
By Bryan Caplan
In a letter submitted to the Wall Street Journal, Cafe Hayek blogger Don Boudreaux observes:
[O]pponents of openness often allege that immigrants come here to free-ride on taxpayer-supplied welfare. That this allegation is a canard is revealed by the innumerable restrictions that Congress puts on immigrants’ options to work. If limits on immigration were truly grounded in fears that immigrants are largely shiftless spongers, why would Congress spend so much ink and effort preventing immigrants from finding gainful employment in America?
This reminds me of one of the highlights in Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy:
[C]apitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets. They are going to pass it, whatever the defense they may hear; the only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment.
Now that the heat is off capitalism, immigration is one of the scapegoats that has taken its place. Maybe immigrants won’t work. Maybe they’ll take all our jobs. Maybe they create budget deficits. Maybe they lack our wonderful American values. And if you answer all of these objections, rest assured there’s something else wrong with them. It’s one of the best examples of what I call anti-foreign bias.