I agree with much of what Jacques Delacroix has to say about immigration in this post at Notes on Liberty. I’m not as convinced as he that America needs immigrants. I could be persuaded if wages started growing rapidly in the fields in which large numbers of legal immigrants are being imported. I think the reality is that we are bringing in just enough legal immigrants to keep wages from rising.
And here’s a passage with which I strongly disagree:
Three: At the risk of exposing here my ignorance, I must say that I am not aware of any serious research on the following proposition: It might be cheaper, more lasting and less destructive of our social fabric to repair the three nearby countries that are flooding us with poor people than to try to handle humanely their fleeing population at the border and inside the US. I refer, of course to the so-called “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala which has a total population of about 32 million. GDP/capita in those countries are about $ 4,200, $2,700, and $4,000. An investment of $1,000 for each citizen of those God-forsaken countries would cost about 32 billion US dollars. Such investment is almost certainly beyond these countries inhabitants’ present capacity to save.
While I agree that we should be providing more aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, I think that “repairing” them is beyond our power. There is no amount of money that the ruling elites in those countries would not gladly absorb without changing anyth8ing. I think that what we need to do is a lot more complicated and delicate than that. We’ve got to pay those ruling elites enough to allow us to spend some money on very small scale local projects to improve conditions in those countries. I have no real hope of our being able to do that.