The Real Immigration Reform

by Dave Schuler on June 19, 2014

Rather than going through Rupert Murdoch’s paean to comprehensive immigration reform in a point-by-point refutation, I’ll just make a few quick points. Not every immigrant is Rupert Murcdoch. While it might be true that 28% of businesses are started by immigrants, that doesn’t mean that 28% of immigrants start new businesses. The actual number is very, very small.

Google, eBay, Pfizer, and Home Depot aren’t headquartered in Eastern Europe or China because of our robust system of civil law and ambitious patent regime. I note that Mr. Murdoch doesn’t mention the many companies that were crowded out of the market by the companies he lists. I wonder who founded them? How many businesses have been shuttered because of News Corp.?

I agree with Mr. Murdoch that the H-1B visa program needs reform. I firmly support the idea that American businesses should have the workers they need. I’m just more skeptical than he that the workers aren’t already here and that the push for more H-1B visas are more a device for keeping wages low than for getting workers with necessary skills. That’s why I support a central clearing house for advertising jobs to be offered under H-1B programs and bounties paid whistle-blowers on paying sub-market wages.

Finally, there is one form of immigration reform that is vitally necessary. We need to mend our relationship with Mexico. It’s been nearly twenty years since I’ve heard much about serious bilateral negotiations with our neighbor to the south.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

... June 19, 2014 at 7:51 am

Experience shows that most new immigrant businesses are gypsy cabs or convenience stores. Has a nation ever gypsy cabbed its way to prosperity?

Dave Schuler June 19, 2014 at 8:04 am

We could be the first!

Guarneri June 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

“While it might be true that 28% of businesses are started by immigrants, that doesn’t mean that 28% of immigrants start new businesses.”

Absolutely true. But the 28% started by immigrants is still an eye opening number. Of the last 10 businesses we have owned we have had the following founders: 1 Spain, 2 Indian, 1 Iranian, 1 Dutch (all 1st or 2nd gen), the balance American white dudes. Surprising to me – no women.

And these aren’t hot dog stands.

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