Combat Global Inequality by Increasing Immigration to the United States?

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DHS Estimates of Legal Temporary Residents | ImmigrationReform.comEconomics writer Matt O’Brien penned a column/blog in the Washington Post on June 2 focused on unequal earnings around the globe. (“When it comes to a person’s wealth, geography is often destiny, research finds”) His conclusion is that there is nothing that would reduce global inequality more than the United States inviting in more immigrants.

But, wait. What would that do for us already here? O’Brien notes that, “If we let everyone who wanted to come to the United States into the country, it would drive down wages for the people who already live here – maybe as much as 20 percent – in at least the short-to-medium run.” Right! If having a larger population were a route to prosperity, why do China and India have such extensive poverty? And, why are some small countries in Europe so prosperous? And, why are international development programs in less fortunate countries often marked by a family planning component aimed at slowing population growth?

Besides, assuming that O’Brien is not in favor of entirely open borders, it’s difficult to imagine how many more he would like to admit. Perhaps he does not realize that we already have an overly generous admission policy for legal immigration – more than a million a year – joining more than a million guest workers and topped off by illegal immigration that – contrary to suggestions that it has stopped – continues in a copious flow across our borders as well as by visa scofflaws.

The open-the-door-wider crowd may think that we are not doing enough to reduce global income inequality by taking in more immigrants, but that view is not shared by U.S. public opinion for good reason.

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Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

8 Comments

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  2. avatar

    He’s right on the Global Level. For the New World Order to exist peacefully the living standards of all countries will have to approach a certain equality. As the middle class wages here decline the poverty wages of the 3rd world will rise. That along with remittances spread all around the world slowly advance a sort of global equality. The process will take several generations to complete but eventually could be attained.

    I stand with the Tea Party hoping to defeat this insidious plot.

  3. avatar
    Nanc Cuddeback on

    So, this guy thinks that America can just keep absorbing all of this Third World poverty with no repercussions? The main reason these countries are poor is because they have too many children. And once they get to a Western nation they don’t stop even when birth control is available and free. And why should they? Medicaid picks up the hospital bill and they get to collect welfare.

  4. avatar

    Something I never hear them talk about are resources. Education, healthcare, housing, water, electricity, crime/court/jail issues, food, transportation…and where will all these jobs come from? We’re already in debt, broke for decades to come even if something is done now, and this would make things worse.

  5. avatar

    More nonsense that does not take into account personal responsibility. There is no reason Mexico should not be a rich successful country. Large oil reserves, abundant farmland, a large tourist trade, they have all the things they need. EXCEPT for the fact that they are a corrupt violent society run by drug cartels. Iraq has some of the biggest oil reserves in the entire world, but the country is in chaos because they kill each other at the drop of a hat. Start assigning some accountability for them and drop this idiocy about “geography”.

    • avatar
      Nanc Cuddeback on

      So, this guy thinks that America can just keep absorbing all of this Third World poverty with no repercussions? The main reason these countries are poor is because they have too many children. And once they get to a Western nation they don’t stop even when birth control is available and free. And why should they? Medicaid picks up the hospital bill and they get to collect welfare.