Ending DACA is a Win for American Workers

The battle over illegal immigration just kicked into high gear, as President Trump has decided to scrap Barack Obama’s ill-conceived and unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The administration will, however, delay enforcement for six months, so as to give Congress time to act. This is stellar news—a big win American workers and the rule of law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday explained the administration’s rationale for ending the program. “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” Sessions said. “That is an open border policy and the American people have rightly rejected it.”

“This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way,” Sessions added. “It means we are properly enforcing our laws as Congress has passed them.”

DACA has long been seen by those vociferously opposed to illegal immigration as Obama’s greatest betrayal of the American people—it is de facto amnesty to say nothing of an unconstitutional overreach of presidential authority. President Trump campaigned in part on ending the program. 

‘Renewable Amnesty’
For those not familiar with DACA, here is the run-down: President Obama signed an executive order in June 2012 that
allowed all illegal aliens who arrived in America before they were age 16 to apply for legal work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and made them eligible for earned income-tax credits. Enrollment must be renewed every two years. Since 2012, nearly 800,000 illegal aliens have taken advantage of the program. Most of them were adults. Essentially, DACA grants participants the rights and privileges normally associated with legal entry into America: it is renewable amnesty. The dangers of DACA are manifold and (should be) self-evident, but they are worth revisiting in light of recent events—if only to strengthen our resolve.

The biggest problem with DACA is that it undermines the rule of law—and not simply the trouble caused by granting legal status to those who have none. The problem is even more fundamental. In signing DACA, President Obama overstepped the bounds of his authority and violated the sacrosanct division of powers laid out in the Constitution. DACA was, and is, a usurpation of legislative power—it is a knife in Congress’ back (though in relieving the pressure lawmakers seem to feel about actually legislating on matters concerning immigration, it appears to be a welcome one).

This republic was constructed according to several axioms, one being that different arms of government have different parts to play, and that each arm checks and balances the others. Congress is the seat of legislative authority. It makes, amends, and repeals laws. Congress also has power of the purse. The office of the president is the seat of executive authority; the president enforces the law and serves as our commander-in-chief (in addition to having a number of atavistic powers inherited from the British Crown for convenience’s sake).

President Obama pushed DACA because Congress was unwilling to legislate on the subject—as was the legislative branch’s prerogative. The president does not have the right to create stopgap legislation like DACA, and the fact the DACA has remained in place this long is a testament to Congress’ weakness. Ironically, even Obama was aware of this, at least theoretically. Obama himself said in 2011, “for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.” That is correct. Trump must scrap DACA to restore some semblance of balance to our government.

Bad Incentive, Bad Precedent
DACA also created an enormous incentive for people to enter the United States illegally—as might be expected with any other form of amnesty. DACA sends a clear message to the millions of poor who would migrate to America: beat our border guards in a game of “Red Rover” and we will (eventually) let you stay.

Amnesty is not a solution, it is part of the problem—it transforms America into a giant lure. The evidence for this is overwhelming: it is no secret that DACA caused an unprecedented spike in youth migration into America. Likewise, recall how the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted 2.7 million people legal status, set off the greatest tidal wave of illegal immigration in U.S. history. At the time, President Reagan said amnesty would be a one-time-only fix. Now compare that to the approach President Eisenhower took when he deported nearly 3 million illegal migrants: no more came for some 30 years.

Incentives matter. DACA is counter-productive: it simply creates more of the problem it is designed to address.

Finally, President Trump is right to scrap DACA on economic grounds. Why? Supply and demand.

Consider the apple market: if the supply of apples increases, what happens? The price of apples goes down. But if a stiff frost kills off most the apples, leading to a shortage, the price of apples rises since there are fewer apples to go around.

Labor markets work the same way: more workers mean lower wages, fewer workers mean higher wages. DACA adds some 720,000 legal workers into the U.S. market—these people compete with American workers, driving down wages and boosting unemployment. This is axiomatic: even the pro-DACA Cato Institute acknowledges this fact, saying that American companies will begin “recruiting, hiring, and training” Americans to fill the void.

Theory aside, the evidence for this fact is overwhelming. Before Hurricane Harvey, President Trump’s crackdown on illegal aliens had already caused wages for construction workers to rise by 30 percent (half of Texas’ construction workers were illegal aliens). In light of recent events, their wages will likely rise even higher—but we can still attribute a significant portion of said rise to labor market constrictions.

Likewise, towns in Maine were forced to hire American workers after the availability of visas for temporary foreign workers declined. What happened? Unemployment decreased, wages increased, and working conditions improved in order to attract American workers—all good things. Illegal labor has completely undermined U.S. labor markets, and hurt millions of American citizens; the only people benefiting are the very rich. Illegal immigration is bad for the economy: this is an empirical fact, not a point of contention.

For five long years, DACA has enshrined the rights of illegal aliens and in effect put them above those of American citizens. It is a slap in the face to Congress, the rule of law, and the common man. President Trump’s decision to scrap DACA, if he follows through, should go down as one of the highlights of his presidency.


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143 responses to “Ending DACA is a Win for American Workers”

  1. Nothing is going to change. Congress will merely write a law incorporating Obama’s order and everybody will be happy.

    • That’s Trump’s intention. He’s a cryptoLiberal Democrat and is conning the Trumpsuckers.

  2. Tom Cotton is floating a Bill that would attempt to mitigate negative consequences of DACA, including that it would allow the parents that illegally brought those children (now grown) to become citizens and it would encourage more to immigrate illegally as they did.
    I agree, but if mitigating the negative consequences, don’t stop there. Tom Cotton is just scratching the surface, and don’t make American taxpayers mitigate it, make the illegals do it.
    For one, all citizen wage earners are making less money as a consequence of the downward pressure on wages and jobs resulting from illegal immigration. For most in the under $20 an hour range, that would be at least $4 to $8 an hour more. The illegals could pay into a special fund to compensate legal employees for this.
    Also, quantify the welfare/medicaid/free school and similar costs to taxpayers by illegals and add that into the fund as well.
    Calculating societal costs of crime would be more challenging, for it includes victims, added policing, court, jail and other costs.
    Let’s do a top to bottom analysis of all the true costs to American citizens by illegal immigration and mitigate them!

    • American citizens will be competing with 720,000 or more, adult children of Illegals applying for college, and for jobs.
      And yes, that will drive down wages too.

  3. Punishing children for the actions of their parents is always a fun time.

    • Their parents should have thought of that before breaking the law then. You prefer rewarding them for doing so and would rather prioritize illegal immigrants over American children?

    • Stupid thing to say.
      They should return to their countries with their parents.

      • Stupid thing to say.
        The median age of DACA-eligibles is 6 years of age. Most of these kids know no other home than America.

      • Liar.

        You aren’t even eligible for DACA unless you are 15 years old, you moron.

        And “The current age of DACA recipients ranges from 16 to 35 years old.” The median age of 6 is the average of when they came– many pretend these kids were born here. Most were not.

      • Careful Beauceron, you’re getting spittle all over your computer screen.

        Yes, the intent of my comment was to make clear that many of these people know no other home than America.

      • No, the intent of your comment was to deceive.
        You got called on your deception.
        Don’t pout about it.
        Try not to lie so much.

      • There’s no need for me to try to deceive. My point was clear, I think, clear to most readers.

        Your assumption that those with whom you disagree are liars or crooks says volumes more about you than it does about me. But then you aren’t unique among those who vigilantly guard the embers of fear and hatred.

      • You have been disingenuous on every single post here, Windriven.

        “Your assumption that those with whom you disagree are liars”

        I don’t think you a liar because I disagree with your political position. I think you a liar because, well, you lied. You posted clearly incorrect facts and presented them as truth, and did so with a the usual snarky, condescending attitude we’ve all come to know and love from the Left. Confronted with the facts, you’ve doubled down and turned petulant.

        “But then you aren’t unique among those who vigilantly guard the embers of fear and hatred.”

        And then because you can’t argue your position with facts and reason, you do what the Left ALWAYS does: move on to shaming tactics.

        That has lost it’s edge, and just doesn’t work like it used to.

        I would suggest you look at the issues and facts and try to come to a reasoned position you can defend rather that retreating to exaggerated name calling and other emotion-based arguments. The country will be better off for it. But then, you don’t care about the country, so I guess there’s no motivation for you to change.

        You’re a lousy troll.

      • Oh my but you do have your knickers in a twist!

        I wonder if you understand the word “disingenuous?” I don’t think so. I have, in fact, been quite sincere, quite genuine.

        I’ve reread the sentence which so offends you: “The median age of DACA-eligibles is 6 years of age,” and I happily agree that it was a technical misstatement. But my very next sentence made my point unambiguously clear: “Most of these kids know no other home than America.” Now if you find that to be “lying” I wonder how you react to the majority of nonsense spilling from President Trump’s mouth and twitter account?

        “move on to shaming tactics.”

        ? How would you characterize your knee-jerk nativism? There is no coherent economic or social argument for it. Economic defenses imagine a zero sum game that simply does not exist. The social argument has been used with respect to Chinese, Japanese, Poles, Jews, and Italians at one time or another and against Black Americans for most of the time since the Emancipation Proclamation. America isn’t your country, it is our country. Many of us who you incorrectly imagine to be “leftists” are concerned about border security and about unfettered immigration. But the nation sends mixed messages, attracting undocumented immigrants out of one side of the mouth and shooing them off with the other.

        I’ve laid out a thoughtful and reasonable plan to sharply stem the flow of undocumenteds. I also have compassion for those who have made lives here, paid their taxes, and stayed out of trouble. You want to round them up and deport them. Have at it, Sparky. It’s only going to happen in your imagination.

        “You’re a lousy troll.”

        Considering the source, I’ll take that as a high compliment.

      • They should STILL be required to apply for citizenship if they want to stay here.

      • So you’re arguing that our government should steal them from their parents? That’s insane and a disservice to these children. in the long run They belong with their biological parents, which no amount of well-funded government programs can replace. Children have higher IQs and better long-term success when raised by loving two parents.

      • I have to question your reading comprehension. I never said or suggested anything of the sort.

      • You’re arguing that these kids do not belong back home with their parents because they were trafficked over at a young age. You want to grant them citizenship because of this precarious situation, blatantly ignoring that the law is already designed to deport children who’ve been brought by their illegal parents so as to not break up their family. You would like for the federal and state governments to take on the role of parent, in effect stealing them away from their actual family. The state is no substitute for good parenting, especially when there already plenty of American children that grow up in the foster care system or single-parent households which is not a place any child ought to be. This is exactly what you’re suggesting.

      • I’m arguing that children who grew up in the United States and have no connection with another country and another culture are, whether you like it or not, Americans. What really riles you is that I’m happy to have their parents stay as well while you’d rather send them all back to …

        So face it. You aren’t a “foreign policy expert,” you’re just an old fashioned racist trying desperately to twist reality so that you don’t have to confront the ugly, twisted mess that you are. Bet you see yourself as a no-sh!t Christian too, don’t you?

      • “I’m arguing that children who grew up in the United States and have no connection with another country and another culture are, whether you like it or not, Americans.” No, that isn’t codified in law anywhere.

        If I learn French through the use of Rosetta Stone and overstay my visa in France, does that make me French, and should I expect France to welcome me with open arms, jobs or benefits ready for me? That’s not the way the world works.

        I’m of no faith, but if you want to make a moral argument about immigration and how moving stories should supersede law, how about acknowledging that people in Mexico and Central America don’t have it bad comparatively to say those in sub-Saharan Africa. Civil wars, disease pandemics, massive amounts of poverty. These people would love to live in Mexico which ranks about 50th-60th in terms of HDI and GDP. If you want to justify illegal immigration, then it has to be an equal opportunity in order for even that to be “fair”.

      • “That’s not the way the world works.”

        Some would argue that it should be.

        “If you want to justify illegal immigration”

        I want a sane immigration policy. It isn’t rocket science. I’ve laid out the outlines in these comments and many others have outlined them elsewhere. As to young men and women whose parents brought them to this country, who grew up here, went to school here, some of whom have served in our armed forces, fought for our nation … yes, I’m proud to accept them as Americans.

      • It is’t sane to reward those who come illegally–especially the parents. And open borders isn’t a sane policy either.

      • A sane policy is one that creates a guest worker program coupled with serious sanctions on employers who hire undocumented workers. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. America relies on immigrant labor for tasks that American workers don’t want: harvesting crops, cleaning buildings, and so forth. But then you don’t want to acknowledge that with a program that also protects the interests of the immigrants. Now that is insane.

      • We already have multiple guest worker programs: H2B and H2A visas are such. We don’t need more; if those who hire SEASONAL ag want more such SEASONAL workers they already have the legal tools to do so. DACA is irrelevent to this issue because hardly any DACA want such low-paid SEASONAL work ,which practically requires living in another much cheaper country much of the year to survive. Today fewer than 5% of unauthorized immigrants work in agriculture, because most of them prefer better jobs (like full time ones) if they can get them.

        The idea that American workers won’t clean buildings etc. is malarkey. All the full time janitors where I grew up (Appalachia) are local Americans. I was just in Washington Co. NY (rural) a few weeks ago, All the waitresses, janitors, construction workers etc. whom I saw (and hired in some cases) were local Americans–but they work full-time not SEASONALLY like those harvesting perishable crops because 3 months of work per year is enough to live on.

        SEASONAL agriculture is the one ‘job that it is hard to get Americans to do because it just does not pay enough to make a living on American prices, and a worker can’t combine it with a full time job in the US. Because of the big differential in prices between the US and many countries, guest workers from such cheap countries are about the only ones who can make a living on such SEASONAL work. (3 months working in the US fields goes a LOT further if your family is raised on Mexican prices than US prices). We don’t need DACA or any kind of immigration (non) reform to provide big Ag such seasonal work, if that is your goal, as we already have those H2A and H2B visas.

        We agree on one thing. There need to be more consistent sanctions on illegal hiring.

      • “We agree on one thing. There need to be more consistent sanctions on illegal hiring.”

        Yes Brooklyn, we do agree on that.

        I’m still trying to understand the vehement opposition of those on your side of the divide wall to recognizing the claim of people who were brought to America as children, grew up in this culture, have gone to school here, perhaps served in the US military, and in every way consider themselves to be Americans. I wonder if those of your persuasion would have a different perspective if it was you who grew up in this country and as you embarked on your career were told you had to leave for, say, Nicaragua, a country you knew only as a place on the world map?

        I understand the old martinet’s chant that “it’s the laawwww! But then the law in this country is a squishy thing that we enforce selectively. We’ve covered this earlier in this thread.

        “The idea that American workers won’t clean buildings etc. is malarkey. All the full time janitors where I grew up (Appalachia) are local Americans.”

        Really? Well where are all these undocumenteds working then? Are they stock brokers and respiratory therapists? Those whom I know (yes, gasp, I actually know some undocumented aliens!) work in restaurant kitchens and motel maintenance. Anecdotally I know of others who work in building cleaning, landscaping, and construction.

        Anyway, you and I will not solve this problem. As we discussed earlier, the problem is easily solved going forward with a guest worker program and significant legal sanctions against those hiring undocumented workers. The guest worker program recognizes that there is indeed a demand for these workers and the sanctions assure that the rules of the game will be respected. Pretending that there isn’t a market for these workers will be just as successful as the “war against drugs” has been. Pretending that you can solve the problem by expelling DACAs is delusional.

        Ours is a great nation.

        Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
        With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
        Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
        The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
        Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
        I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
        – Emma Lazarus

      • First, I never advocated expelling all DACA. You are confusing me with someone else. But my position is that they should NOT be rewarded with work permits, EIC etc. or more parents will come illegally with their kids and the problems continue or grow worse. It’s a phony dichotomy to say you must expell all unauthorized or you must legalize them all. No mass expulsions, but no legalizations either; sanction illegal hiring and the problem of illegal immigration will be greatly reduced by attrition as the unauthorized find it easier to get work in their own countries than here.

        You remain woefully misinformed about immigration and economics and keep repeating yourself with your nonsensical claim that we need a “guest worker program.” I just pointed out to you that we ALREADY HAVE SEVERAL GUEST WORKER PROGRAMS, including the H2B and H2A visas. We do not need another guest worker program , and if “the problem is easily solved going forward with a guest worker program” as you claim then “the problem” would have been solved RIGHT NOW since we already have many guest worker programs and the scale of them has enormously increased over the last decade or so without solving “the problem.”

        Another lower-skilled guest worker program (like H2B) will only exacerbate the problem–which is that our economy does NOT remunerate low-skill work well, which is why those who do such work use welfare benefits to supplement their income—since increased immigration simply further exacerbates the problem of low real wages and welfare dependence of both immigrants and natives.

        And there is little point in enforcing sanctions against illegal hiring if you just continue to flood the labor market with low-skill labor through another “guest worker” program. The point of the sanctions is to tighten the labor market so employers have to pay enough that worker do not rely on welfare to survive (a form of taxpayers subsidizing business profits). You seem to assume that the reason unauthorized earn low wages is that they are unauthorized, but this is not the case at all. The reason they earn low wages is that they are overwhelmingly low-skilled (over one half have no HS degree vs. fewer than 10% of natives). Without a change in the skill levels of immigrants to the US the problems of so many immigrant workers earning low real wages and needing welfare to survive will continue. The skill level of immigrants certainly cannot be raised if illegal immigration is not curtailed. (It also would help to replain family ties legal immigration with skills-based immigration but that is a different topic).

        Finally your quotation of Lazarus is irresponsible. No one who is unwilling to accept the welfare state (non-existent) and infrastructure (extremely primitive) of her day should be advocating for the immigration policies of her day. Those policies weren’t particularly fair (taking land from Amerinidians to give to immigrants to farm) and they are certainly impossible to replicate today because, inter alia, we have a completely different economy, which no longer delivers decent wages to the low-skilled, and a very expensive welfare state with a very expensive infrastructure. Low-skilled immigration already takes more in government resources than it contributes (see Chapter 9 of the recent NAS study and the multiple studies of CIS). If unlimited, the problem would be that much worse.

      • H2A visas are temporary ag worker visas while H2Bs are temporary “peak load” visas. I am arguing for a much broader, easily obtained guest worker visa that ensures that guest workers pay taxes and have only limited access to social service programs. For this to be effective it would have to be coupled with serious penalties for US employers who hire workers who don’t have visas.

        “The point of the sanctions is to tighten the labor market so employers have to pay enough that worker do not rely on welfare to survive (a form of taxpayers subsidizing business profits).”

        The problem with your argument is that it examines only the cost of labor part of the ledger. Imagine that we doubled the federal minimum wage. That would force employers “to pay enough that worker(s) do not rely on welfare to survive.” But on the other side of the ledger, prices would rise and employment would fall as automation becomes more cost-effective than labor. More jobs in manufacturing would also be forced off shore because American companies compete in a global marketplace where labor already tends to be much cheaper than in mature industrialized nations.

        “The skill level of immigrants certainly cannot be raised if illegal immigration is not curtailed.”

        I excerpt this quote from your larger paragraph in the hopes that you will see this argument as a dead end. Labor has a price and that price is a function of skill. All else being equal, those with better skills command higher wages than those with low skills. But the rise of automation disproportionately disadvantages lower skilled workers driving them to either improve their skills or drop out of the labor market. This is not a function of immigration, legal or otherwise. It is a feature (or flaw, depending on your perspective) of our putative free market capitalist system.

        These forces will continue to impact labor and will do so at increasingly sophisticated skill levels. The function of a corporation is not to provide jobs, it is to maximize profits to its shareholders. I know a CPA firm which already uses Indian accountants (in India!) to work up tax returns which are then reviewed by US CPAs and filed. Further, automation doesn’t just affect the low-skilled and its impact on employment and compensation will continue to grow.

        Ours is a competitive culture making its way in a competitive world. These forces ensure that socialism will become an ever-larger feature of industrialized economies. I’ll bet Marx is laughing in his grave.

      • A “guest worker” is by definition temporary (or is supposed to be: note however in the case of Europe that nothing became so permanent as “guest workers”, whose descendants are causing more problems (terrorism, crime including quite heinous crimes like sex trafficking minors, etc.) than they themselves did. Nothing has been more short-sighted than elites adopting immigration policies under the assumption that all workers are simply interchangeable widgets who all integrate seamlessly into any society without negative economic or social impact.

        There simply is no need whatsoever for any more “guest worker” visas of any type than we already have given that real wages continue to stagnate, not just for the median income worker, but since 2000 ALSO for the college educated and those who have higher skills (notice what happened to law degree holders and PhD holders once there was a glut, even though it required very high skills to obtain those degrees; labor supply ALSO matters, and can make ANY high skill job low-paid if it increases fast enough). There is plenty of labor here already, both native and immigrant, a lot of it underpaid and underemployed and thus dependent on welfare to survive. Since immigrant households already use significantly MORE welfare than native households right NOW it is madness beyond belief to keep insisting that we even need more lower-skilled immigrant labor, whether that immigrant labor is putatively “temporary” or not. While you were very vocal about the need for sanctions on employers, now you suddenly admit that new “guest workers” should be limited in their access to “social service programs” or they won’t be particularly beneficial–as if has been at all easy or would be easy to limit immigrant s’ access to “social services” for various legal, practical and political reasons. Again, immigrant households have been more costly in government services than natives overall since at least the mid 1980s than natives, not coincidentally, since the explosive growth in immigration. As the recent NAS study and the NRC study before it (cited by NAS) and the series of CIS studies indicate, immigration into the US–because the US is (unlike in Lazarus’ day) an expensive welfare state–has been a FISCAL NEGATIVE for at least 3 decades. Your recommendation for one more “guest worker” program to somehow help– what problem exactly?– is like the idea of making up for losses on volume.

        You are wrong to suppose that I think that raising the minimum wage would increase most workers’ living standards. Of course it would not, because minimum wages are only nominal wages. Minimum wage raises can temporarily help a few but do not raise REAL wages over time. What has always raised REAL wages in a sustained way historically for workers are two: higher productivity AND a tighter labor market. The former has been proceding apace in the US for well over 35 but REAL wages for the median and below still have not budged even though productivity has been increasing so rapidly,which can only mean that there is a labor glut here by definition.

        “Labor has a price and that price is a function of skill. All else being equal, those with better skills command higher wages than those with low skills. But the rise of automation disproportionately disadvantages lower skilled workers driving them to either improve their skills or drop out of the labor market. This is not a function of immigration, legal or otherwise. It is a feature (or flaw, depending on your perspective) of our putative free market capitalist system.” Of course automation and offshoring ALSO affect the price of labor, but you want to dogmatically insist that growth in labor supply (which in the US, due to low fertility, is caused almost entirely by immigration) does not at all, which is completely untrue. Offshoring, automation and AND immigration, especially lower-skilled immigration– and the great bulk of immigration to the US is lower-skilled (legal family based/humanitarian and illegal)– ALL tend to lower the price of labor generally, but in practice affect different labor markets quite differently, because many in-person service jobs can never be off-shored and or automated, or can only be automated with great difficulty. (You can’t offshore janitors, or most public school teachers, etc.) Therefore it matters a great deal to US workers whether in-person service jobs that can never be off-shored are also paid enough to survive or not; in-person service jobs are certainly affected by immigration i.e. domestic labor supply, and that fact is every bit as much a “feature of capitalism” as off-shoring affecting other kinds of jobs.

        “Ours is a competitive culture…” Importing a large high school drop-out population (over well half of unauthorized immigrants and official “refugees” never finished HS; fewer than 10% of natives are in that category) is one of the stupidest things a nation do for its “competitiveness.”

      • “You can’t offshore janitors, or most public school teachers, etc.”

        You do see a difference in the skill sets of janitors and public school teachers, yes?

        “but you want to dogmatically insist that growth in labor supply (which in the US, due to low fertility, is caused almost entirely by immigration) does not at all”

        No, actually I don’t. Growth in labor supply does affect the price of labor. Simple supply and demand. But once again, we live in a broadly interconnected world where labor prices abroad impact labor prices at home. True, some jobs cannot be outsourced. So your argument is “protect America’s janitors?”

        “Importing a large high school drop-out population ”

        Yup. Lots of people in the past a well as today came to this country with few academic skills. A close friend’s Korean father came to this country with no English skills, little education, and less money. He retired a millionaire. His son, my friend, is a UW graduate.

        But look, I’m not that interested in arguing for unlimited immigration. I like the idea of guest workers. They are good for our economy and they work jobs that many Americans simply won’t work for the rate of pay that you and I set. I argue that you and I set the pay rate because we insist on inexpensive meals, inexpensive electronics, inexpensive everything. You can’t have janitors and prep cooks earning $25 an hour and still get soup and sandwich at the mall for $6.95.

        I know a bunch of the guys who work the kitchen at a friend’s restaurant. They work hard, pay taxes including social security contributions that they will never draw upon, and send much of their earnings back to Mexico. One has already gone back to Mexico and opened a tortilla factory with the money he earned in the US.

        Brooklyn, I think you’re intoxicated on Fox news and it gives you a distorted view of reality. Yes, there are immigrants who commit crimes. Yes, there are immigrants who are real pieces of sh!t. But that will be true of any large group of people. If you get to know immigrant communities a little you will find mostly hard-working people who want nothing more than to provide the best they can for their families. This is true of Mexicans and Koreans and Vietnamese and Nicaraguans. You seem to see the differences between them and you but not the similarities.

      • It’s telling that you assume that I read Fox news and that don’t know any immigrants both of which are laughably untrue. I don’t watch TV at all, and I learned why low-skilled immigration hurts US workers in the bottom half of the income ladder from the work of Professor Ronald Lee of UC Berkeley’s Economics and Demography Department–not Fox news! Lee was quite clear that an essentially open border between a country with high real wages and low real wages will lead to a decline in the real wages of the former.

        BOTH of the fathers of my children are born abroad. (However, one is an engineer, and the other has a BS in math and was the son of a PhD in math who came here as real refugee–per 1951 UN Protocol/1980 Refugee Act– fleeing communist persecution targeted precisely at him, not someone who left a war zone who was sent here from an already safe UN refugee camp so the US State Dept can virtue-signal about how much they’re doing for “refugees”). They’re both very educated, and did not use welfare. In this sense they are typical of the relatively small proportion of highly educated immigrants who are not a fiscal drain overall, not anecdotal like your Korean example is. Even if your particular Korean ended up putting more into the system than he took out when he was uneducated, it does NOT disprove the well documented fact (see Ch. 9 recent NAS study, NRC 1997 study, series of CIS studies) that for the last 30 years or so immigrant households overall are a NET fiscal drain, and the main reason is clear: the lower educational/skills levels of immigrant heads. This means American households are forced to subsidize immigrant households, which is unfair; when immigration has been a NET fiscal negative for so long because of the LOW SKILL LEVEL of immigrants compared to natives in general, it is foolish keep importing more such low-skilled workers, and madness beyond belief to import HS drop outs when we know most of them, whether foreign born or not, to are extremely costly fiscally.

        We do NOT need more guest workers in non-seasonal jobs as there is no shortage of Americans willing to do year-round work including in the restaurant industry. I visit rural America all the time (mainly Ohio River valley and upstate NY). The restaurant workers there are all local natives, and the prices are CHEAPER than in the big cities where there are more immigrant restaurant workers, so your argument about price does not hold water. Your anecdote about the Mexican worker (you do not specify what visa he had, if any) proves nothing. The aggregate statistics are clear: Mexican and Central American immigrant-headed households are by far the largest users of welfare (over 70% use welfare compared to about 30% of natives) and therefore by far the most fiscally costly households in the country compared to both hhs of natives and other immigrant groups.


      • “We do NOT need more guest workers in non-seasonal jobs as there is no shortage of Americans willing to do year-round work including in the restaurant industry”

        I don’t know where you live or where you’re getting that information but in the PNW that certainly does not seem to be true.

        “Lee was quite clear that an essentially open border between a country with high real wages and low real wages will lead to a decline in the real wages of the former.”

        We don’t disagree on that. But borders aren’t open and in all but the most parochial economies borders don’t much matter. This is 2017 not 1917. We live in a global economy. You can wage-protect some local low-skill jobs but in doing so you distort the economy essentially making, say, high end electronics a better value than, say, a dinner out.

      • Businesses that employ in-person service jobs respond to local labor markets. For example, where there are no HS drop outs immigrant adults trying to support a family on burger flipping jobs (and because of the low wages drawing on welfare to supplement this job’s wages) teen agers are quite eager to do those jobs for the extra pocket money and the job experience. Since they still live at home and rarely need to pay full rent or other household costs, those jobs are greatly coveted by teens. In my small town, almost EVERY teen wanted such a job and there was a lot of competition for them because there were very few other opportunities to make money at that age (being a rural area). Those sorts of low-wage fast-food jobs, BTW, were intended for teens; they were not intended for adult workers trying to support kids, but because of the glut of adults from C. America and Mexico–who can also supplement these low-paid jobs with welfare programs, they increasingly are taken up by those kinds of worker in urban areas. The jobs at higher- end restaurants in rural area local adults will fill–and as I have pointed out the food in those rural restaurants is CHEAPER than in urban areas, proving that native restaurantlabor is not prohibitively expensive.

        Borders matter a great deal, inter alia because those who cross borders legally or illegally get access to certain amounts of US welfare which they would NOT get access to if they remained in their countries. This disproportionately comes out of the living standards of native taxpayers here. As I have said many times and you keep ignoring because it does not fit your narrative, native households have been SUBSIDIZING immigrant households for some time now, which is one of the unfair costs of lower-skilled immigration to natives not discussed by you or others shilling for more low-skilled immigration. Also, today immigration drives most local population growth in non-rural areas, which drives the cost of non-rural housing up, which also lowers US workers’ real wages. Imported goods do not impose a similar burden on taxpayers, nor do imported goods drive up the cost of housing and are thus much less of a burden on workers (in fact of course there is a benefit to anyone who did not get outsourced if the product is cheaper but same quality). You keep trying to argue that low-skilled immigrant labor is cheap, but when the fiscal and other costs of lower-skilled immigration are taken into consideration, the overall cheapness disappears; the benefits accrue to the upper middle class and capital owners (among natives) who externalize the true cost of low wages onto everyone else, but the lower half pays.

      • “Businesses that employ in-person service jobs respond to local labor markets.”

        Yes Brooklyn, but you don’t seem to grasp that the global market is a collection of local markets. Yes, you can “protect” some particular market segment but that simply distorts the total market as we discussed in our last exchange.

        “For example, where there are no HS drop outs immigrant adults trying to support a family on burger flipping jobs (and because of the low wages drawing on welfare to supplement this job’s wages) teen agers are quite eager to do those jobs for the extra pocket money and the job experience.”

        You seem to be talking about legal immigrants here as you are talking about welfare. In most places welfare is difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain. I also take exception to your characterization of teenagers being eager to do low skilled jobs for pocket money. The experience of local (PNW) businessmen I know simply isn’t consistent with your assertion. Moreover, school (high school and college) limits the times of day when many young people can work. Worse (from an employer’s perspective) young people tend to stay in jobs for short periods meaning high turnover rates and the associated costs of recruiting and training.

        ” Those sorts of low-wage fast-food jobs, BTW, were intended for teens; they were not intended for adult workers trying to support kids”

        No. No, no, no. These sorts of low-wage jobs aren’t “intended” for anyone. They are jobs requiring few skills. The few skills required are held by virtually everyone. The supply is enormous, the demand is much smaller, so the price is very low. Intent doesn’t figure into the equation.

        “native households have been SUBSIDIZING immigrant households for some time now”

        I don’t ignore it, I accept it – though not your allied assertion that illegal immigrants get welfare. In most places they don’t.

        I understand your nativist instincts, I simply don’t agree with them. As I’ve said before, I’m not an “open borders” advocate. But I do support easily obtained guest worker visas as I’ve discussed throughout this thread. And I certainly support keeping DACAs and their families here regardless of the fact that they entered the country illegally.

      • Brooklyn, another thought occurred to me. You know we are each right about pieces of our arguments but they are but a few tiles in a large mosaic. The larger issue I think you’ll agree is the fate of lower skilled Americans who struggle to complete in a very small, increasingly flat economic world. As I understand it, you would like to insulate – as best we can – these workers from the world market for low-skilled labor. I would rather give them support and training to help them be more competitive and, more importantly, help them to educate their children so that they will be productive in a world that will continue to devalue low-skilled work.

      • If the parents are allowed to stay they are rewarded for illegally coming, cutting in line ahed of those who apply legally, and this will only encourage more illegal immigration.

      • Yup. Mommy never told you that sometimes life isn’t fair, huh?

        If you want a rock-ribbed by-the-rules approach to immigration, demand immigration reform that doesn’t entice illegal immigrants to come with one hand and then toss them out with the other. That is schizophrenic.

      • The laws don’t entice. It’s those IGNORING the law who are hiring unauthorized immigrants; and illegal hiring is definitely the primary enticement, followed by government-funded benefits of various kinds, some of which, like ERs and K-12 schooling it is illegal to withhold from unauthorized immigrants.

    • Children with parents who are drug addicts, alcoholics… are punished Every day.

    • Withholding benefits like EIC, Social Security, in-state tuition and work permits is not punishing anyone. Most of them by the way are not going to be deported unless they’ve committed crimes. But they should not be rewarded with benefits.

  4. Limbaugh says congress will enshrine DACA into real law just to stick it to Trump.

    • That’s Trump’s plan, dummy. Hw stupid are you Trumpsucker? Trump = Hillary – he’s a Liberal Democrat.

      • No idiot, he’s Trump. No party, no allegiance. That’s what we voted for. An alternative to enshrined one party rule.

    • They would be sticking it to Americans–and they will pay if that happens.

  5. You mean “ending DACA WOULD be a win for American workers.
    It has been made clear today that Trump is not ending DACA and that he won’t be able to even trade a DACA deal for enforcement (not that any Dem would ever keep their side of the bargain, just as they did not in 1986.
    We have been screwed once again.

  6. Former President Obama even announced that he was going to violate the separation of powers before he did it. Remember “I have a pen and a phone?”

  7. The irony is that DACA people can apply to become citizens by the ordinary route. My brother was brought here as a 13-year old refugee (from the actual, real Nazis). When he was 21 he applied for citizenship and became a citizen under the old quota system, and was later drafted. Why can’t the DACA people apply ti be resident aliens or for an appropriate visa and then apply for citizenship under the lottery system?

    • Not exactly. DACA can apply to enter legally, but they would have to wait in line like legal immigrants. They don’t want to wait; they want to be rewarded for cutting in line. Legal entry is a different issue from citizenship. If you came illegally you cannot get citizenship simply by applying (although some unauthorized end being legalized then naturalizing by marrying citizens). As legally admitted Immigrants, official refugees can apply for citizenship after 5 years.

  8. Awe, Americans can’t compete with the young Mexican workers… USA USA USA USA

    • Clearly you are a member of the parasite class who competes with no one.

      • I’m just a guy trying to survive and thrive just like everybody else, and you don’t see me crying about illegal immigrants. I respect their willingness to take a risk and better their lives

      • The households of unauthorized immigrants use more means tested welfare than native ones, and overall they are fiscally more costly:

        Do you respect immigrating to better your life by getting tmore axpayer-financed benefits than you would in your home counry? If so, do you equally respect Americans who apply for welfare to “better their lives” as opposed to accepting a lower standard of living but staying off welfare out of pride?

      • I’m happy to talk welfare reform. I don’t necessarily blame people for taking advantage of systemic flaws, that’s why I’d like to see a guest worker program implemented that clearly illustrates the responsibilities of people coming into this country to work.

      • If you don’t blame people for “taking advantage” why the snarky remark about natives not being able to compete with Mexican when their households are LESS likely to draw on welfare than Mexican headed households? Natives have every right to object to an immigration system that has kept their real wages from rising, and distributes more and more income transfers from native to immigrant households over time.

        We already have a guest worker system. They include H2A and H2B programs; they have not made up for the fact that both legal and to a lesser extent unauthorized immigrant households use more welfare than native ones do. We KNOW why immigrant households use more welfare; it’s mainly due to lower skill levels. This is why without real immigration reform–meaning not more legalizations of lower-skilled immigrants–but an immigration systemthat prioritizes skills over family times and asignificant reduction of illegal immigration there cannot be welfare reform either.

    • If young Mexicans compete so well in the marketplace, why do their households take in significantly more welfare than native households?
      73% of households headed by a Mexican or Central American immigrant uses at least one major welfare programe (Medicaid, Food aid etc.) vs 30% of households headed by natives. When you consider how many native households are headed by historically poor groups like black Americans that figure is sobering.

      Households headed by Mexicans and Central Americans have much higher levels of welfare use not only than hhs headed by natives but even most other immigrants. (Carribean immigrant hh heads have the next highest welfare use rates at 51%).

      That is not the standard definition of competition, i.e. competition for means-tested welfare:

  9. This didn’t end DACA and likely won’t end DACA. It merely threw it back to the Congress, which will probably save face and pass it this time.

  10. “Ending DACA is a Win for American Workers”

    Yes indeed! Real Americans shouldn’t have to compete with immigrants who have capitalized on the educational opportunities offered them. Better to keep those jobs for “us!” As an added benefit, now we’ll have access to those great jobs picking raspberries and harvesting asparagus and waxing the floors at the mall at night. Let’s celebrate with nachos and ice cold Coronas!

    Me? I like people who work hard. I like people who choose to be Americans and don’t just take being Americans for granted. I don’t much care if they were born in Indianapolis or Sao Paulo. Immigrants keep America vibrant and growing.

    But ack!, ack!, they’re here illegally! Yeah, they’re here illegally because you want them here to work the fields and clean the buildings and mow the lawns. You just don’t want to pay them fairly. The imagined illegal immigration crisis could have been solved easily and decades ago with a guest worker program and draconian penalties for those who hired undocumented workers. Minimum sentencing guidelines, right? Let’s say a year in jail and $10,000 fine per worker – for the first offense.

    What? Put another burden on the poor bedraggled bidnessman? Heaven forfend! Build a WAAAALLLLLLLL at a cost of billions.

    Absolute nitwittery.

    • Hell yea, dude. Tell it like it is. Why the hell can’t we have a guest worker program that makes sense combined with enforcement on employers for hiring illegals? A guest worker program lets people work, makes them ineligible for welfare, and doesn’t allow people who just got here to vote. It answers pretty much all our illegal immigration problems.

      The problem is, we never talk about it, because people in favor of positions similar to this have to fight a never ending line of straw men.

      Keep preaching the truth. I’ll do the same, and maybe we’ll be able to talk sense into enough moderates to actually shape an immigration policy that makes sense!

    • Red herring alert. Almost no DACA are in agricultural labor–theye have no more interest in poorly paid SEASONAL work than most Americans and legal immigrants– and only about 4% of ALL unauthorized immigrants are in agriculture.And we already have a guest worker program: H2A and H2B visas are guest worker visas. If big Ag wants more farm labor the last thing we should do is legalize DACA or other unathorized immigrants, whose households are fiscally costly due to low wages that don’t make up for their use of income supplements.

      We agree on one thing: illegal immigration could be curtailed with more consistent fines against illegal hires.

      As for waxing the malls at night, having lived in Appalachia 18+ years and returning all the time to visit family I assure you local Americans (mainly white) do such janitorial jobs ALL THE TIME. Saw plenty of American blacks work hotel jobs, including maid service, in NOLA when I visited. You don’t understand how labor markets work. If there are relatrively few immigrants in a region native locals will take local jobs, provided the wages are high enough to pay local (American) prices. (One of the big problems with guest worker programs is that they pay only enough for workers who raise their families in much cheaper countries which tends to drive out Americans, who cannot raise families on such low paid SEASONAL work).

      • Speaking of red herrings, you have a very narrow view of history. The influx of low wage immigrant labor started with agriculture. At the dawn of the 20th century fully half of all Americans worked on farms. Industrialization attracted many of these workers to better paying jobs in the cities while growing automation (i.e. tractors replacing mule teams) reduced agricultural demand for all but the lowest skilled jobs – pickers and harvesters, jobs that Americans didn’t want because they could earn more in factories.

        Now you complain that these workers depress wages in other fields. But you focus your attention on the workers, not on the businesses who hire them. Those workers are filling a demand. If you want to eliminate the workers, eliminate the demand by sanctioning those who hire them.

        Finally, if you take a step back you will realize that your entire complaint is a silly. We live in a world economy where competition sets the rules. The price of labor is competitive just as is the price of copper or the price of automobiles. You can purchase a huge flat screen TV for less than a thousand bucks because there are people in the world who will do low-skilled work for the equivalent of $3 an hour. American workers either need to accept less money for their time or increase their skills so as to command higher wages. This is fundamental economics and has been well understood since the time of Adam Smith.

      • I already SAID we should sanction those who hire illegally. Go back and read ALL my posts.

        At the dawn of the 20th century we had no welfare state. BIG difference! That cheap immigrant labor is no longer cheap except to the businesses who hire than because taxypayers have to make up for non-living wages with EBT, Medicaid. ERS Etc. Unauthorized immigrant households use MORE welfare than native households, and are over all more costly fiscally than native households. Legal immigrant households are more costly than both native and unauthorized ones. So the natives end up SUBSIDIZING immigrant households and the businesses who hire them.

        Also, factory workers at the turn of the century did not make make more than farm workers. It was only the REDUCTION in immigration from the 1920s that led to a temporary situation of businesses paying factory workers more. The working urban class became middle class for the first time because of the unusual reductioin in immigration. This was already shown by Richard Easterlin, Birth and Fortune, and agreed to by economists from Friedman to Samuelson, that low immigration mid 20th HELPED America’s working class economically.

      • “Go back and read ALL my posts.”

        Not likely. Your position isn’t that interesting. I’ve heard all these old tropes before.

        “At the dawn of the 20th century we had no welfare state. ”

        Yeah, and wasn’t life grand before Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all of the stimulus programs (WPA, etc.) that helped lift us out of the Depression? Of course the greatest economic stimulus of all was WWII. Full employment even for those (many women) who had never before worked outside the home. Even better, most of the productive capacity of our friends and enemies alike was destroyed.

        “That cheap immigrant labor is no longer cheap except to the businesses who hire than because taxypayers have to make up for non-living wages with EBT, Medicaid.”

        Really? A friend of mine owns a restaurant. Essentially the entire kitchen staff is undocumenteds. Has little to do with wages or benefits. Americans, even young high school grads, don’t want the pace, the heat, or the hours.

        “Unauthorized immigrant households use MORE welfare than native households, and are over all more costly fiscally than native households.”

        Now you’re just lying. See this item from CNN or an even better analysis here. Then you try to muddle this all by folding legal immigrants into your argument. I haven’t researched social program utilization by legal immigrants and it doesn’t have anything to do with this discussion. But based on your misinformation about social service consumption by undocumenteds I suspect you are equally wrong here.

        “Also, factory workers at the turn of the century did not make make significantly more than farm workers.”

        Where the hell did you get that piece of nonsense? Do you have citations for any of your claims or is this just hate group propaganda? In any event you’re wrong again. Agricultural workers in the US in 1928 earned on average $48.44 per month. Industrial workers that year (I’ve used “planer hands and operators” but the pay rates are similar for other factory jobs) earned on average $36.20 per week! That amounts to roughly $145 per month for factory workers versus $50 for farm workers.

        You also need to look at immigration numbers. There was a reduction in immigration in the 1920s but only because immigration was high in the first decade of the 20th century. Immigration really collapsed during the Depression and the war years.

      • Wrong on many fronts.

        “Unauthorized immigrant households use MORE welfare than native households, and are over all more costly fiscally than native households.” Now you’re just lying. See this item from CNN or an even better analysis here. Then you try to muddle this all by folding legal immigrants into your argument. I haven’t researched social program utilization by legal immigrants and it doesn’t have anything to do with this discussion. ”

        CNN is not remotely an objective source on this issue. You wouldn’t accept a citation by FoxNews; likewise no one should accept that advocacy piece by CNN . The other piece, while less obviously biased, still refuses to openly admit to the real issue, which is that HOUSEHOLDS not individuals have to be studied when looking at fiscal costs, and refuses to discuss what the numbers about HOUSEHOLDS actually reveal. This as been thoroughly studied. The recent National Academy of Sciences study found unequivacably that immigrant households (combining both legal and illegal) are SIGNIFICANTLY more costly fiscally than the native households especially at the state and local level (See Chapter 9 especially Tables 9-6 & 9-7) –which was the exact same thing found (with a smaller data set) in 1997 by the National Research Council,. That immigrant HOUSEHOLDS, both legal and not–are more fiscally costly was ALSO found by a series of CIS studies, which, because they break down data reveal more precisely WHICH immigrant households are more costly and why immigrant households .are overall more costly than native ones,; they thus reveal why legalizing unauthorized immigrants would be the most costly fiscal move of all: because they are very low-skilled they pay little in taxes, but ineligibility for SOME programs limits their current cost to some extent. If they are ever legalized, they will be eligible for many more programs, and due to low skills will draw more heavily on them than both legal immigrants and natives so their negative net fiscal impact will greatly increase . If unauthorized immigrant had no children whatsoever, they would indeed be less costly than natives, but they don’t. Because their children if born in the US get plenty of Medicaid and food aid, the fiscal cost of their households end up wiping out the small surplus they contribute to programs like SS and Medicare. This has already been studied. The Cato study is worthless for the real world since it only finds that the very poorest American households use slightly more welfare than the very poorest immigrant households. Irrelevant point since it is the total use of welfare by immigrant households vs native households that determine fiscal costs to taxpayers see http://cis.org/camarota/cato-institute-misses-point-immigrant-welfare-use-again

        The reason welfare use by legal immigrant households is relevant is that DACA is a form of temporary legalization that its advocates want to make permanent. Knowing that the legalization of other unauthorized immigrants leads to a great increase in fiscal costs is certainly relevant to the merit of doing such a foolish thing.

        “Agricultural workers in the US in 1928 earned on average $48.44 per month. Industrial workers that year …earned on average $36.20 per week! That amounts to roughly $145 per month for factory workers versus $50 for farm workers. You also need to look at immigration numbers. There was a reduction in immigration in the 1920s but only because immigration was high in the first decade of the 20th century.

        Immigration went down after 1924 because it was LEGALLY CURTAILED by the Immigration Act of 1924 –not “only because immigration was high in the first decade of the 20th century.” Immigration does not automatically go down because it was high before. Circular non-sequitur.

        1928 was NOT the turn of the century! 1928 was AFTER immigration already started to decline due mainly to the 1924 Immigration Act. In fiscal year 1928 about 307,000 immigrants were admitted to the US, vs 805,000 in 1921. Quite a difference, especially back then when overall pop was smaller.

        ( Nominal wage rates comparing urban workers and farm workers in 1900 aren’t much use since prices were not the same; aside from housing being more expensive in urban areas, room and board was generally provided to a farm hand back in 1900. Farming in the US in 1900 was quite different from urban work generally as many farmers then could provide much of their own subsistence . In addition in 1900 it was still much less healthy to reside in cities compared to rural areas and that too was part why moving to cities from rural America not always a betterr choice. (Moving from abroad to a US city in 1900 was undoubtedly a different calculus).

      • “which is that HOUSEHOLDS not individuals have to be studied when looking at fiscal costs”

        Really? Why would that be? And if that is the case, how about linking some good data supporting your contention. The paragraph in which you try to explain your perspective on this is incomprehensible to me.

        “Immigration went down”

        Look at the graphs. Yes, immigration “went down.” Yes, changes in immigration law was the proximate cause. But immigration “went down” from a period of high immigration when immigration was encouraged. In historical terms the result of the 1924 Act was to return immigration to historical levels.

        “1928 was NOT the turn of the century!”

        I never said it was. I said that fully half of Americans worked on farms at the turn of the century. I chose 1928 because that was a convenient year when industrialization was moving apace but before the disruptions of the Depression. I linked quality sources. If you prefer a different year the data is there.

        In short, you continue to mount pointless nativist arguments. The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. Immigration policy has ebbed and flowed but it has remained a fact of life. We live today in an economy that is truly global. I, for instance, own a company that makes disposable medical products. The entry level wage at my company is $10.50 per hour. Most of my competitors make their products in China where unloaded wages are less than $3.00 per hour and where regulations on workplace and environment are much looser. This has forced me out of some product segments because they are labor intensive but not of sufficiently high volume to justify capital-intensive automation. I could kvetch about the unfairness of it all and whine that we should protect American companies and American workers. Instead we’ve moved to products that are worth automating and those demanding skills that aren’t as available in China.

        It is globalization that keeps the American economy moving. It enables us to purchase for example inexpensive clothing and electronics and it enables formerly subsistence economies to purchase high value products that we make. But it is a never-ending cycle. Sixty years ago we were masters of mass manufacturing. Today it is our intellectual property that drives much of the economy. But that changes too. I lived in China for a couple of years. I’ve met and worked with Chinese scientists and engineers and I want to tell you they are pretty darned good – and there are lots of them.

        You can’t shut America up in a box to protect it from the world around us. The world keeps right on moving whether we participate or not. Some of the competition seems unfair and I guess from some perspectives, some of it is. But the solution is not to withdraw into our shell. The solution is to innovate and outwork and outsmart our competitors. We’ve always done that pretty well. I have every confidence that we will continue to excel.

      • Households must be looked at because that is how people get and share many fiscal benefits and it is households that are taxed. It is inaccurate and actually unethical to look only at the fiscal costs of household heads but not at their dependents and then make a specious claim about immigrants supposedly not using much welfare or other government services. (For example, unauthorized immigrant hh heads don’t use as much means-tested welfare–(other than ERs and various services required by the judicial system)– as legal immigrant or native heads because they personally are illegible for many programs, BUT their American born children use a LOT of means tested welfare (due above all to their parents’ low skill levels), and all their dependents use plenty of other government services. As a result of their costly dependents their households end up costing more overall than native households:

        Contrary to popular belief, legal immigrant households us more welfare than unauthorized immigrant households because they are eligible for more means-tested programs. Both are use more than native households overall.


        Significantly it was found that households from Mexico and Central America (followed by thee Carribean) use much more means-tested welfare not only than natives but some other immigrant groups, and the main reason is clear: the low-skill levels of immigrants from those regions, which is a result of the fact that much of the immigration from those regions is family based (chain migration) rather than skills-based, and a significant part of it is illegal. Unauthorized immigrants have very low skill/education levels: over half do not have a HS degree compared to fewer than 10% of natives. It does NOT help the US competitively to import a large HS drop-out population.

        National Academy of Sciences’ recent study also found immigrant households overall cost more than native households, despite doing its very best to try to put a positive spin on immigration generally (for example by fiddling with its definition of a household and speciously counting American-born working age offspring of immigrants as “2nd generation immigrants” when they are natives). Despite the spin they could not conceal the finding that immigrant households are more costly than native households overall even at the federal level but especially at the state and local level. (See Chapter 9, especially Tables 9-6 and 9-7). In fact native households at the state and local level are in some states fiscally positive while immigrant households are fiscally negative which means current native households are subsidizing immigrant households, which is unfair given how many natives are struggling. The finding that immigrant households are more costly than native ones was also what was found by the earlier National Research Council study (1997 “the New Americans”) with a regionally more limited data set. The series of CIS studies already cited confirmed the relative costliness of immigrant households, and they have the advantage of breaking down the data further to reveal more exactly which immigrant households are so costly and why. All 3 found the main reason for the costly nature of US immigration was the LOW SKILL LEVEL of so many immigrants of the last 30-40 years. AS you note, our economy does not remunerate such labor very well any more so its doubly stupid to import more they we already have, when so many of them end up using fiscal transfers to make up for low wages. We don’t need to import more HS drop outs, but that is literally what we are doing.
        The downside of mass lower-skilled immigration is much greater to US natives than the down side of importing cheaper goods from abroad (the off shoring issue) because cheap goods from abroad do not have the fiscal costs that importing a population less-skilled than the native one has. A larger and growing population also pushes up the price of housing, which is CRUCIAL to the decline in living standards for so many workers here. And yet while there are some offset programs to compensate those negatively impacted by offshoring, there are none for being so impacted by immigration.

        No, immigration has not just “ebbed and flowed.” After 1924 it has responded to laws limiting immigration in various ways (overall numbers, rules of eligibility etc) and the extent to which the government enforces such laws. The decline in numbers admitted after 1924 until 1965–and the change in origin of immigrants in that period (East and South Europeans more limited NW Europeans and New Worlders less limited) is directly related to the changes in law. The 1965 law likewise changed the numbers, the origin of immigrants, and the criterion for immigrating (family ties rather than skills are so important now because of the 1965 Act), and the 1986 Act caused a big spike. The result of the 1924 immigration act was not to return immigration to “historical levels”–(unless you mean before the prevalence of steamship travel i.e. the 1840s or earlier). Without the 1924-1965 law there is no doubt whatsoever that there would have been a lot more immigrants to the US in that period, particularly from Southern and Eastern Europe. all economists from Friedman to Samuelson agreed with that; they also agreed that the low level of immigration in that period was a crucial factor in the high real wages working Americans earned in that period.

  11. Who knows, maybe Trump can be reelected as a Democrat.

  12. DACA is injustice writ large. “Dreamers” get in-state tuition at state colleges and universities; tax-paying citizens from just across the state line pay much higher out-of-state tuition. “Dreamers” and their children attend public schools whose costs are all paid by American taxpayers — and in many places, laws have been passed requiring the schools to provide redundant teachers and materials to teach them in Spanish — can you imagine going to Russia illegally, then demanding that the schools teach your children in English? “Dreamers” get Earned Income Credit, which is a reverse income tax — the government gives them income tax “refunds” even if they paid zero income tax. In many cases this is a check for thousands of dollars handed to the illegal alien every year. “Dreamers” take jobs away from American citizens, predominantly from young workers trying to get into the workforce for the first time. Many “Dreamers” send as much of their income as possible back to families in Mexico, representing a constant drain on the US economy that would not exist if those dollars were earned by Americans and spent in America. DACA encourages illegal immigration. Parents say, “Even if I get caught and deported, my children can stay and be protected.” DACA in unconstitutional, in plain English, illegal. If you insist on throwing away your tax dollars and cheating American taxpayers, then write your Congressperson and demand that it be done LEGALLY through legislation.

    • Everyone pays taxes for schools because they are raised through either sales taxes, property taxes, or income taxes. Everyone pays. Including illegals. God you are an obtuse idiot.

      • Depends what state you live in.
        Illegals don’t usually pay Federal Income Tax, and that’s the big one.

      • If they work for an employer the employer is responsible for collecting and paying their tax. So yes they do pay Federal income taxes. Or the employer is stealing them.

      • The employer pays them under the table, in most cases. Otherwise the employer is committing a crime, could be jailed for hiring Illegals.

      • Then jail the employer. Oh wait the R’s made E Verify voluntary. We do not have an illegal immigration problem. We have an illegal hiring and employer problem.

      • You can’t refute the data so your churlish reply is meant to show you’re so smart.

      • But everyone does not benefit from multilingual education. And all the other extra miles here.

      • Many if not Most of the Illegals aren’t benefiting either.
        Our schools are flooded with Illegals and migrants who can’t speak or understand English.
        Some schools are putting these students in 3 gym classes because they can’t keep up in most classes.
        In California, they’ve dumbed-down the education system even more, so that Math & English proficiency isn’t even required to graduate anymore.
        However, those students will be admitted into college.

      • If you are talking ESL, yes everyone benefits because then you can get a job and contribute back to society and pay it forward. If you are talking about foreign languages, everyone benefits if you know one.

      • ESL cost big money. Far better to have a selective immigration system where adults immigrating already know English.

      • uhhhh you know that this is already required right?

      • Nope. wrong. You are required to learn English for naturalization, not legal immigration and if come illegally you don’t have to meet any legal requirements for entry–which is one of the objections to illegal immigration. Lived in CA, NY and OH and met literally hundreds of immigrants (of all ages) who cannot speak or understand English even at the most remedial level–iincluding those who work.

      • You link to a puff piece article about DACA. That is not an article about legal immigrants and the lack of requirement to know English first for legal entry, and the fact that many unauthorized don’t know English, which is what Rosa1984 and I referred to. ESL, which is a big expense to taxpayers, is something for immigrants who do not speak English, and it would be unnecessary if all legal immigrants were required to know English and if illegal immigration were curbed.

      • But not proportionately. Income taxes are largely federal, some states have no income taxes, and schools are funded by states and localities. Property taxes are the overwhelming source of school funding, and those without property (the less well-off; unauthorized immigrants are disproportionately propertyless) do not pay property taxes.

      • If you rent a house or apartment, you pay the property taxes through your rent. In some states, if you own a car you pay property taxes. Basically everyone pays.

      • “Everyone pays” is not adequate as the recent National Academy of Sciences study shows: Chapter 9: immigrant households are much more costly at the state and local level than native households, and somewhat more costly at the federal level. Everyone pays sales tax–including the unauthorized–but he amount paid by the unauthorzed in sales taxes or indirectly through their rents makes up for the services their households use. The NAS finding about the fiscal costliness of immigrant headed households is not new: same thing was found by the NRC council in 1997, and by a series of studies by CIS.

      • https://itep.org/immigration/

        You are counting 1. the education of their children who maybe American citizens thus entitled to the education benefit. Roughly pegged at $12,000 a year. 2. Emergency services that are roughly pegged at $3500 a household. Note that legal immigrants and citizens at the same socio economic status are also at an equivalent amount per this study. Back out roughly $15k, and you are now net positive.


      • It is not I but it is NAS which clearly demonstrated overall NET fiscal drains from immigrant households. Likewise CIS studies demonstrated NET fiscal drains of both legal and unathorized immigrant househols. ITEH is advocacy not a serious study: note it counts the contributions of the unauthorized but NOT their costs so it’s absolutely worthless! There is no doubt whatsoever that unauthorized immigrants DUE TO LOW SKILLS LEVELS not their legal status–like all low-skilled workers in the US–will never make up for what they will get in benefits with taxes because they earn too little, which again mainly due to the low skill level, not legal status. Legalization of the unauthorized is the MOST expensive thing you can do fiscally because although the unauthorized are fiscally costly due to their low-skills/ low wages, they are currently ineligible for some programs. If you make them eligible by legalizing them they can get many more benefits, which does not change their skill level at all, which is the MAIN reason (not legal status) for their use of income transfers . Read final paragraph and “Fiscal Implications of Amnesty” of this closely:
        Fewer than 10% of Americans never finished high school, and it is known what a fiscal drain they are. Over HALF of the unauthorized never finished high school. It is lunacy to argue that a group with this educational profile in the sort of economy we have (not agricultural nor simple manufacturing) will be anything other than a large fiscal drain if they gain access to the full levels of benefits that legal immigrants (already the costliest households) and natives have.

  13. Derp, I’m a hypocritical Republican who believes in competition and the free market except when I don’t. Derpity derpity doo doo

    • It’s interesting that you support slavery

      • What the hell are you talking about? I believe in the free market, not forced labor. You’re obviously a dimwit, so I shouldn’t even respond, but I just can’t help myself. Where did I suggest that anyone should be forced to work or treated as property or any of the other conditions that constitute slavery? If they’re willing to work for low wages and tough conditions, I trust them to make that decision for themselves, because I believe in the rights of individuals.

    • Except that immigrant households use more welfare and are fiscally more costly than native households, There is no pure competition with a welfare state.

      • Yea bro, those illegal immigrants busting their asses in the fields and meat packing plants catch all the breaks.

      • I did not say illegal immigrants, but overall the data are clear: immigrant households–both legal and otherwise–do use more welfare overall, and other government-funded benefits than native households. This was found by the recent National Academy of Sciences Study (Ch. 9 ); by the earlier (1997) NRC study (cited many times by the NAS study) and by a series of CIS articles, among which:

        As the CIS article points out working and getting welfare benefits are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact US welfare policies are designed encourage recipients to work; welfare is seen as a supplement not replacment of the incomes of those already WORKING. That’s how the EIC works–you only get it if you work, and it’s why TANF requires WORKING.

        And contrary to your assumption, only 4% of unauthorized immigrants work in agriculture. For all other jobs, including meat-packing, they are completing with and thereby holding down real wages for Americans and legal immigrants.

  14. My father worked in construction. In 2006 my parents lost thier home of 12 years because wages fell so far when illegals flooded the construction labor pool.

    My mother committed suicide and my father ended up drinking himself to death because of it.

    It’s truly disgusting that Democrats call me a racist for voting for the 1st guy trying to fix that. I want higher wages for Americans of all colors.

      • The Americans paying the cost of mass immigration and H1B Visas simply don’t exist to Democrats and have no choice but to vote Republican


      • No the BS is your story Comrade. Posting out of Chechnya still?

      • I feel really bad for you. You can’t cope with reality.

      • Glad you acknowledge your story was BS. Reality and I are fine thank you. We get along quite well together..

    • If you want to blame a politically party for our poor immigration policy then fix the blame where I think belongs the GOP.

      • BOTH party leaders have been winking at illegal immigration for decades–and Dems recently came out for essentially open borders at their convention. Plenty of blame to go around.

      • No doubt the Dems TODAY are sellouts to their former labor base and are shameful opportunists targeting hispanics as a potential target voter base. But none of that is policy, those are party strategies. Like Rebubs insisting on ‘securing the borders’ an impossible task, designed to obstruct rather then resolve.

        The policy is a product of our current law signed in 1986 that failed to require citizenship verification. It’s crazy given Facebook and other social media today, that the reason given then was to protect privacy. But the law was passed in an age when Repubs worked with industry to weaken wages, offshore jobs, and porous borders provided low wage semi skilled laborers that undercut organized unions.

        Both Dems and Repubs need to give and take on immigration, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  15. Spencer is an idiot and understands nothing about economics beyond a junior high school level.

    • I see you have nothing to contribute to the conversation, got it!

  16. Whatever Congress comes up with in the next 6 months, they must make it clear that anyone who’s brought into U.S. ILLEGALLY as a child—is Also ILLEGAL.
    If they want to stay here, they must apply for citizenship, speak English, be law-abiding, along with other standards.
    Its not fair to those who Do follow our immigration process and wait years to become naturalized citizens.
    No one should be allowed to jump to the front of the line.

  17. Obama should have been impeached for this. The fact he wasn’t is another demonstration the republicans are republicrat frauds.

    • Impeached for executing an executive order? Would be a long line of presidents impeached for that crime, including Trump. The issue was rightly brought to the courts, an example of the checks and balances, and SCOTUS was deadlocked. Obama did nothing wrong or illegal and the issue was addressed through the proper channels.

      • No impeached for creating a blatantly illegal regulation that he himself had said was illegal.

      • Well the courts said differently. It was never illegal and was never found to be unconstitutional.

      • The concurrent proposal DAPA was ruled unconstitutional and I believe that there are lawsuits pending against DACA if Pres. Trump doesn’t end the program.

      • The courts didn’t rule because DOJ could not defend illegal legislation by the Executive. Congress legislates and didn’t. Executive enforces the law that illegals are to leave. Obama suckered these poor illegals into giving up there identity.

  18. The “taking American jobs” argument just doesn’t work. Unemployment is quite low right now, like 4-point-something. Trump even bragged about this a few months back.

    • yeah, no matter how many research groups say otherwise you’ll point to some stat and say they are wrong. For one thing Labor Force Participation Rate sunk to a 40 year low under Barry, but hey times were good, right comrade?

      • How about I point to Trump claiming that the unemployment numbers were good only a few months ago? Would that credible source work for you comrade?

    • Yes, but look at workforce participation rate. That is also very low. Which means millions of Americans just choose not to work and instead live off the government.

      • Okay, so how is that the dreamers’ fault? 91% of them are working when millions of Americans choose not to.

      • I’m not saying it’s their fault. I’m pointing out that if laws were followed, and they were deported, there are plenty of Americans to do those jobs. But why work a $10 an hour job when the government will just pay you to sit at home in return for a vote for Democrats!??!

    • Underemployment and low real wages are still a problem. There has not been a tight labor market in so long it will take many years before real wages go anywhere (rather than just a blip on the screen).

  19. I bet there’s next to zero vetting of applications and no consequences for fraud.

  20. The author says: “…President Trump’s crackdown on illegal aliens had already caused wages for construction workers to rise by 30 percent (half of Texas’ construction workers were illegal aliens).”

    And my question is: where does the money for increased wages come from? Obviously the consumer. The American people. Because money is not created out of thin air just because you expel illegal immigrants. So, the supply and demand argument can be made also from the consumer point of view: higher cost of living means less consumption, which lower demands and companies are forces to trim labor force. So, more wages for fewer people. Is that what the author wants?

      • but what handouts? the DACA people are explicitly prevented from having any government handouts. You should probably learn what DACA is.

      • You should learn about the real world before you open your mouth and spew your ignorance. California was taken to court when they passed a law denying benefits to illegals, and they lost. In California, the only question asked, in Spanish, is “are you a citizen”. A “Si” is all that is required. So much for “explicit denial”.

        Just like black people supposedly can’t be expected to get ID to vote, Hispanics supposedly can’t be expected to actually have documentation, so they are not.

      • Let’s see. You started talking about illegal immigrants and ended up spewing nonsense against Hispanics. Confused much? Maybe you are not the righteous person you pretend to be (upholding immigration law) but maybe you are a bigot (subliminal hatred towards Hispanics). You need to sit down and think a little about your worldview because you seem to be confused.

      • The households of unauthorized immigrants–which are the ones DACA grew up in–certainly use plenty mean-tested welfare. Overall they use more than native households do (though less than legal immigrant households)

    • Um, it comes out of the record profits that employers are having.

      • But with the same criterion we can raise taxes, no?

      • Our government currently pisses away $4,000,000,000,000,000+ a year and you want to raise taxes?!!!

        Vile. You steal from your neighbors and only want more. Your parents failed you incredibly.

      • Free riders who wants to live in society without contributing their fair share should be deported. People complaining about paying taxes are worse than parasites and definitely not fit to shine an illegal immigrant’s shoes.

  21. Russian oligarchs are bringing their pregnant wives to Florida and getting them American citizenship. Let’s shut this down, no way is this right.

  22. Couldn’t have explained it any better. What a great read. Thanks for spreading truth and standing side by side our country and its citizens. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so proud of our president Trump. Never thought I’d see the day. Wow.

  23. This is part of the story. Taxpayers have to fund “welfare” benefits for the dislocated unemployed Americans.