My friend Don Boudreaux, economist (and former Chairman of the Economics Department) at George Mason University is one of this country’s best writers and thinkers on the economics (and morality) of immigration.
Don approaches the issue with a decidedly libertarian point of view. And while many conservatives and immigration “hawks” (which I am not) might have an instinctively negative reaction to anyone arguing for increased immigration across all skill levels, I hope you all will carefully read Don’s latest essay on the topic, which can be found here.
I sent Don a comment suggesting that in addition to the question of resource use (welfare, hospitals, schools), those who believe in increasing legal immigration will need to confront the issue of the impact of immigration on wages, especially on the wages of those Americans who only have a high school education.
I am convinced that immigration at all skill levels provides substantial aggregate economic benefit for the nation — especially in the long run — and it would be more so if we can deal with the welfare, hospital, and schools issue mentioned above.
But that does not mean that there are no losers in the process. In addition to the economic questions around those who lose when immigration increases, it is one of the most important political questions standing in the way of immigration law reform.