Cutting Immigration Works

Immigration Reform Proponents Must Consider Results From 100 Years Ago | Commentary : Roll Call Opinion

By stressing the opposite option — reductions in legal immigration — during his campaign against Cantor, victorious economics professor Dave Brat has suddenly given hope to the many members of Congress whose immigration policy vision for wage-earning Americans has been blocked by their parties’ leaders. Echoing themes articulated tirelessly by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Brat argues for dramatic cuts in future visas for immigrant and other foreign labor, The purpose is to allow the labor supply to tighten, raise wages and make it more likely that employers will recruit from the neglected American populations in today’s economy.

This is a prescription that has worked well in the past. Perhaps the most stunning example was 100 years ago, when the outbreak of World War I abruptly stopped a three-decades-old massive importation of immigrant labor into the United States.

Northern manufacturers responded by aggressively recruiting, training and employing the still-living freed slaves and their descendants. Since the 1880s, manufacturers had virtually ignored this source of workers, preferring to send ships to Europe to bring in immigrants to expand their factories. But 1914 began a domestic people movement from plantations to cities that has been celebrated in literature and art as “The Great Migration.” It was the start of a decades-long mass movement of black Americans into the non-agrarian economy of the nation and the building of a large black middle class. But it happened only after easy access to foreign labor was removed.

Duh.  Businesses are going to seek the cheapest labor they can find.  (I know, Libertarians – now STFU for a while in your endless quest to commit ideological suicide).  If they can import serfs from abroad and transfer most of their care and maintenance to the welfare state, then they will do so.

That doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be obligated to pick up the tab, though.  Repeat after me:  Open immigration and welfare states are a suicidal combination, and individual liberty is one of the first things to go – yet another thing clueless Libertarians seem incapable of understanding.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Cutting Immigration Works — 2 Comments

    • Steven, modernity suppresses birthrates. It’s pretty much a rule of thumb: The wealthier and more technologically advanced a society is, the lower its birth rate will be.

      That said, the destruction wreaked by open immigration is that by definition a welfare state pays poor people to come here.

      Anything you pay for, you get more of. And all Ponzi schemes eventually collapse.

Leave a Reply