Here at GMU Econ, Michael Clemens is “the one that got away.”  We tried to hire him a couple years ago, but couldn’t get him to yes.  His latest piece in the Washington Post is yet another reason to wish he were here:

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in
2005, one of the principal ways its victims helped themselves was by
leaving. Katrina prompted one of the biggest resettlements in American history.
Who would have blocked Interstate 10 with armed guards, forcing
hundreds of thousands of people to suffer in the disaster zone, no
matter how much assistance was coming in from outside? We wouldn’t have
done that, because it would have made us collectively responsible for
their continued suffering. Why then, in the thoughtful debate that has
emerged over how best to aid Haiti and help its citizens help
themselves, are Americans still quiet about this sinister face of our
immigration policy?

Wouldn’t massive Haitian immigration be a disaster for the U.S.?  No way.

Currently, we allow a trickle of about 21,000 Haitian immigrants, on
average, to enter the United States legally each year; most of them are
able to come only because they are lucky enough to have a relative
already here. What evidence do we have that we could not absorb triple
that number, or even more? For years, we have been accepting close to 1
million permanent immigrants annually from around the world, with no
lasting effects on the earnings of the average American worker. And
while most economic studies find that such immigration may have lowered
the wages of U.S. high school dropouts by a few percentage points, many
of those dropouts are immigrants themselves, already earning far more
than they would in their country of origin.

Needless to say, I’ve been in the Henderson Let Em In Club before there was a club.

HT: Distributed Republic