The Spectacle Blog

Re: Krikorian on Immigrants and Welfare

By on 7.28.08 | 4:21PM

All he's saying is that unskilled workers are going to tend to be poor and that poor people tend to use social services and means-tested government programs. Krikorian is both disputing the idea that immigrants come to the United States to collect welfare rather than work, and the notion that immigrants who come here to work hard don't collect welfare. By my reading, that view isn't incompatible with believing that free markets will do more to improve the conditions of the poor than expanding the welfare state. The main difference Krikorian would have with our Tom Bethell, well known for arguing "Immigration si, welfare no," is as to whether the most practical way to deal with the problem of unskilled immigration and welfare is to cut off the welfare or cut off unskilled immigration.

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