Why I think Bush is right on the immigration issue


Well-Known Member
May 23, 2007
There has been a great deal of posting in regard to immigration, and how immigration should be dealt with, or more to the point, the sticking point of illegal immigration into the United States. What are its real impacts? How should we react to them? What is the real issue involved? How have we dealt with them? All of these issues seem to cross party lines. People who hate Bush, of course are afraid to give him credit for an idea that he has put forward. Those who are for Bush, pummel him for his immigration idea. So what do we do?

Well lets look at the issues: I have read some works by someone in the Manhattan Institute and appreciated the work “Reinventing the melting pot: The New Immigrants and What it Means to Be American”.

What I find interesting is the congruence between two opposite ends of the poles. Bush and Edward Kennedy are convinced that far from a threat, the present issue, or threat of crisis, is really a positive opportunity. Immigrants, even illegal immigrants bring a vitality to the US that cannot be denied (as I will explain later). The force of immigrants (legal and illegal) are a power that can be harnessed for a stronger US.

The Bureau of Labor statistics states the US economy is expected to create 56 million new jobs, half of which will require no more than a high school education. More than 75 million baby boomers will be retiring in that same period. Native born fertility rates are dropping simultaneously, while native born workers with their declining numbers are becoming more educated. Lets put this in perspective as far as education goes. In 1960 half of all native born men dropped out of high school to seek unskilled labour. Today it is 10%.

So what do we have?

A rapidly declining birthrate population.
A growing economy of which 50% is unskilled labour
A rapidly growing retirement rate of baby boomers
Most of the native born population (which will nowhere near fill the gap) will be educated (and thus not work as unskilled labour).

The shortage in unskilled labour is estimated to run in the hundreds of thousands of workers “per year”. For instance, construction workers produced 185,000 jobs annually. Workers earn between 30K and 50K a year. Employers in masonry and dry walling cannot find enough young Americans to do the work (remember we are at 4.5% unemployment).

Restaurants are in worse shape. Their field employs 12.5 million workers, the nations largest private sector employment. Their demand is expected to grow at a rate of 15% between 2005 and 2006. Native born work force (teenagers/adults between 16 to 24 years old) will not expand at all, and overall native born workforce will only expand 10%. So the question is, are older Americans willing to bus tables and flip hamburgers? Some might be, but odds are that the majority will not.

Mexico to the South of us does have unskilled labour to spare. For instance the move from subsistence agriculture to economies that require investment capital means more labour will be free’d up, couple that with the failure of Mexico to provide jobs for its population is also an issue. Even if Mexico would suddenly cease its corruption and economic errors and become a first world country tomorrow, the US would still have a large job shortage.

Illegal immigrants and immigrants talk to their families at home. They tell the the job market is bad in Detroit, but Las Vegas is strong, or the rebuilding in New Orleans is where the jobs are. So you have a relatively efficient movement of economic units directly to where they are most needed. If you are going to be unemployed, it is better to be unemployed in Mexico than Chicago or New York. Even legal immigrants who account for 2/3’s of the total immigrant flux, are not eligible for welfare benefits.

Labour force participation of foreign born men is higher than native born. Illegal immigrant men have the highest job percentage, roughly 94%. Immigrants are less likely than natives to be unemployed.

Cui bono?

Cui bono? Who benefits? Lets look at two of the arguments against the present plan.

Illegal immigrants lower American wages.
Only employers benefit from illegal immigrants.

If the answer were yes (and I once thought it was) then I would be against any kind of change. But lets look at those questions at hand more forcefully. So what is the fiscal effect?

Whether immigrants consume more in government benefits than they contribute in taxes, can be calculated after a measure. Consder that they pay as much as the comparable poor and unskilled. They pay sales and property taxes, just as native or legally born residents to. Thus contributing equally for schooling.

I will post more later today, I am a bit bushed (he he).