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The President's Proposals for Legal Immigration Reform are Bad Economic Policy

Uploaded: Aug 2, 2017
President Trump has proposed to reform the legal immigration system by:
--restricting family based immigration
--keeping the 140,000 labor market based admissions but switching them to a point system
--capping refugee admissions at 50,000 per year
--eliminating the “diversity” lottery for immigration admission

These proposals (primarily the first one) would reduce annual immigration levels from roughly 1,000,000 to just over 500,000

The President alleges these proposals will help American workers and particularly those injured by legal low wage immigrants.

These proposals will hurt, not improve American economic prospects and are ineffective approaches to helping American workers more fully participate in the job market.

I believe, as do most economists and business owners, that the nation needs more, not fewer, legal immigrants.

I am sympathetic to designing a system that is more based on labor market needs and am open to reexamining the family based admissions. That is a position widely shared by economist who study labor markets as I do. But these are separable issues from reducing overall legal immigration levels.

If the President were serious about moving to a more labor demand based legal immigration system, he would have proposed a substantial increase in labor based admissions rather than keeping the current 140,000 annual target.

If the President were serious about making a more labor demand based legal immigration system, he would have recognized that employers are seeking workers at ALL skill levels, not just college graduates.

A high skill approach is NOT the same as a labor market demand approach because the shortages we have that will grow are in many occupations that are not high wage or require a college degree.

We are already into a period of tightening labor markets with low unemployment levels and the beginning of a surge in baby boomer retirements. In addition to providing for job growth, the nation will need to replace retiring public safety workers
, plumbers and truck drivers, pilots, nurses, teachers and millions of other occupations.

At the same time birth rates have plummeted and we have the challenge of preparing high school and college graduates for tomorrow’s workforce.

Lindsay Graham today in response to the President’s proposal noted that many low wage employers in his state were supportive of legal immigration policies to help fill their existing openings. Readers can judge for themselves as businesses owners and leaders weigh in on the President’s proposal.

While the country has divided opinions about unauthorized immigrants who are already here, we have a history of bipartisan support and appreciation for legal immigrants who contribute to our economy and society.

The argument that restricting legal immigration will help American workers is particularly off base. If industries have to downsize because they cannot find enough workers, that affects opportunities for everyone at those firms. Moreover, most workers who have been hit by transitions in the job market like the loss of manufacturing jobs and declines in coal mining are unlikely to be helped by restricting legal immigrants and particularly the low wage legal immigrants the President seems to be focused on.

And they are certainly not looking for protection so they can get low wage jobs. Of course if the President were worried about the fate of low wage workers, he could support a higher minimum wage or expanded earned income tax credit.

There are ways to help workers who may need help or young people at risk.
For people preparing for the next labor market, policies from free pre-school to high school programs partnering with companies to community colleges and workforce programs working hand in hand with employers could both help existing workers but, more important, contribute to breaking a cycle of poverty for some families.

Helping people get better skills is a positive approach. Let's do bipartisan reform of the legal immigration system.

Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Triple El,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 6:29 am

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposals.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 10:34 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Legal immigration has traditionally been a bipartisan issue with Republicans being a party of welcome, Silicon Valley and others calling for more high-skilled immigrants and many in both parties cherishing the diversity, energy and innovation that immigrants have brought.

today Sen. Jeff Flake (R) Arizona echoed some of what I posted. He wrote the President's plan "isn't the right direction for the economy". He and i both support moving legal immigration to be more workforce demand based but Flake was clear this did NOT mean reducing the number of legal immigrants.

Yesterday Sen. Johnson (R) Wisc and Graham (R) of South Carolina both reported that the economy in their states would be hurt by curbs on lower skilled immigrants.

It is the President's proposals that are out of sync with what would help the economy and what has been a long policy area with bipartisan agreement.

I hope the President's proposals compel more representatives from both parties to speak out and then move to a sensible reform of legal immigration that puts more emphasis on meeting labor force needs at all skill levels and increases, not decrease legal immigration when workforce trends and impending retirement vacancies merit an increase.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Triple El,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposals.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Don Honda, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 1:06 pm

An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists' thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

Web Link

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Don Honda, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Web Link
The Conscience Of A Liberal--Paul Krugman

"First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small."
" But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we're talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

"My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand...

"Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. "

Also, it is patently untrue that "immigrants" are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

I often disagree with Steve, but on this one I think he's right, and obviously some Republican Senators also agree with his thinking. We need more than legal, brilliant, college educated immigrants. Our workforce needs have changed and will continue to change and we need a flexible plan for that. And immigrants working in lower skilled jobs need to be included in that plan. The biggest burden, in many high cost of living urban areas, will be how to house them. It's a critical problem in the Bay Area and I haven't heard any really viable ways proposed to alleviate it, outside of politically motivated, do good ideas...join Bernie's team of socialist thinkers on that one. ADU's won't do it! And owners/developers are still looking for the most profit on their investment ventures, so that generally rules out affordable housing. And the beat goes on!


 +   7 people like this
Posted by R. Winslow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Ironic. At one time, Republicans were pro immigration because it promoted the use and access to cheap labor. Meanwhile, the Democrats were against it because they represented various trade unions and legions of white unskilled labor.

Before we allow even more immigrants to enter the US, better provisions should be made in regards to education and job training opportunities for those already here.






 +   6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

"At one time, Republicans were pro immigration because it promoted the use and access to cheap labor."

They still are--behind the scenes--as they always have been. Each election season they erupt in righteous fury against those lousy immigrants in order to whip up their Base, which reliably gobbles the bait HL&S. Then the Repubs quietly forget the issue until the next election. It's worked every time, for decades.

But now a clueless president is taking actual action to solve the "immigrant problem." It's pure red meat to The Base. But the establishment Repubs are horrified because The Donald is ruining one of their most reliable election ploys. It's that simple.

BTW, I agree 100% with Steve's analysis.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Geroge Drysdale, a resident of another community,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Let me step out of my realm of land economics. There are cultural differences in academic and therefore tax paying ability later on. Latinos don't do very well in school especially illegal aliens. 52% of California's students are now low income (largely Latino). Trump is right. We need tax payers to pay for the aging population not tax eaters. Europeans are a good group of immigrants because many are escaping high taxation because of their high skill level. Demography is a good subject to study not political correctness. Immigration does not necessarily mean goodness, it doesn't. Idealism is fine when you're young. Avoid peer group group think. The best grade I can give you Steve is a C.
Geroge Drysdale a social studies teacher


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Luis Montoya, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Quote: "There are cultural differences in academic and therefore tax paying ability later on. Latinos don't do very well in school especially illegal aliens. 52% of California's students are now low income (largely Latino)."
@Geroge Drysdale

If you were to add up all of the various payroll deductions contributed by minimum wage Latino and illegal aliens, you would surprised at the figures. Probably more consistent than those representing fluctuating high-tech vocations.

According to your assessment, 'Europeans are a good group of immigrants' while others may be considered questionable in your perspective.

And you are a social studies teacher? How unbiased of you.




 +   3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm

"Europeans are a good group of immigrants because many are escaping high taxation because of their high skill level."

I'm having extreme difficulty following the logic, if any, in that statement. It says many Europeans escape high taxation because they are highly skilled, and that makes them a good group of immigrants to have over here. But how/why? We need skilled techies, not skilled tax dodgers.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by john_alderman, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 3, 2017 at 11:52 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Stephen Levy - You are avoiding talking about the most fundamental economic issue. If you add more workers to the labor market, it drives wages down. You play with words and say it will hurt "American economic prospects" - that might be true, but reducing immigration will help low wage earners by reducing competition. You say there is a labor shortage, but wages are stagnant. Let's stop importing workers into the labor pool into wages go up.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

The President and readers have discussed three issues dealing with reform of legal immigration:

1) Is moving toward admissions based on labor market demand a good idea?

2) Should the nation admit fewer legal immigrants

3) How would these changes affect families whose income depends on low wage work.

My answer, and that of most economists, to the first question is yes.

But focusing on labor demand is not the same as focusing on high skills.

The combination of job growth, low birth rates and baby boomer retirements means that the economy will need millions of new workers at all skill levels.

So a labor market based system would listen to employers, look at job openings, and look at long-term demographic and economic trends. From all of these perspectives companies and public/nonprofit agencies are looking to fill job openings across all skill levels from computer related skills to high and middle wage construction occupations to growth in the food service, hospitality and patient/home care fields.

On the idea that a labor market based immigration system should reduce lower skilled legal immigrants has no basis from an economic perspective.

On the question of should we have fewer legal immigrants, the evidence suggests we should increase, not decrease, legal immigration to meet the demands created by falling birth rates and retirements.

The third issue, the impact on existing workers particularly those working in low wage jobs is the hot button issue and I will return to that after my meetings.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by economy fixer, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:02 pm

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposals.

The comment you responded to has been deleted.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by george drysdale, a resident of another community,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm

The trend is toward outsourcing low skilled jobs (globalization). Worse yet are robots and computers. Brain power is what the U.S. needs. Low skilled labor is subsidized by high skilled labor in the U.S. The old system is changing. Trump having education plus actual life experience knows this and is trying to help if he can the working class. Immigrants do take low skilled jobs from natives Americans. I'm familiar with academic theories but we live in a very real world at this time.

George Drysdale social studies teacher


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

We've had three comments about President Trump in general not related to the immigration proposals. I will leave them up but will delete future posts that do not discuss his immigration proposals.

@ George Drysdale

Thanks for participating. you have made some comments that are incorrect and/or make no sense.

First, the number of low wage jobs such as in the tourism sector and in health care are growing rapidly not shrinking and are unlikely candidates for outsourcing. Low wage jobs in agriculture are not being outsourced and some are being replaced by mechanization.

Still, as you say, looking at the real world, employers in these sectors are seeking workers and favor policies that welcome the immigrants in these skill categories. It is simply not true that we need only high skilled immigrants.

In the real world as you say, I sit on the state and local workforce boards and the business folks we deal with are in alignment with what I posted and what Senators Graham and Johnson have reported from listening to their local businesses.

Low income families pay less in taxes than high income families. This is true whatever their nationality or country of origin. In fact immigrant workers are eligible for fewer safety net benefits that native-born workers so fiscally they have lower not higher costs.

I assume that you are no longer teaching and are out of touch with the dramatic gains in educational attainment being experienced by second and third generation Latino kids. We have a ways to go but these trends are heartening and important to their families but also to the broader community.

For generations in America immigrants have come to the country, contributed to the economy and saw their children and grandchildren fulfill their dreams, regardless of the initial education of their parents.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

What are the positive ways to help low income working families. I would list

--strong job growth
--targeted safety net programs like Medicaid expansion, earned income tax credits and others
--training targeted to actual job openings

Minimum wage increases are helpful but not all low wage workers live in poor households and the safety net programs have a larger impact, particularly around health care.

Do more immigrants hurt low wage job opportunities for native-born low wage workers. There is contradictory evidence about wage impacts but positive or negative, these impacts are small.

The positive case is that there are real complementary effects. If high wage immigrants allow Google to expand, low wage jobs are created at the same time.

What is interesting in this back and forth is that plant closings in the Midwest and the loss of coal mining jobs as other energy sources became cheaper 1) has nothing to do with immigration and 2) these were not low wage jobs.

Are people arguing that we should restrict lower skill immigrants so former coal miners can move to California or South Carolina to work in agriculture or hospitality.

It is one thing to understand that workers and their families have had their economic security hurt by lost jobs in certain industries (true) and that this is caused by immigration or helped by restricting lower skilled immigrants (quite a stretch of logic).


 +   4 people like this
Posted by john_alderman, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@stephen levy - "I sit on the state and local workforce boards and the business folks we deal with are in alignment with what I posted"

So businesses went plentiful cheap labor? No kidding! You are still skirting the fundamental fact that bringing in more immigrant workers pushes downward on wages. We'll have a crisis when wages start to skyrocket, but that is not happening to low wage workers, at all. U6 unemployment is still 8.6% so we have a lot of people who can take jobs before we need to import replacement. If there are industries like healthcare that need certain skills then there is plenty of room under this plan to accommodate them


 +   3 people like this
Posted by george drysdale, a resident of another community,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Supply and demand. You sit on boards etc. Steve get off of them. Don't think politics (especially in the Bay Area). I've seen farms completely automated now. Southern Mexico and Central America's have exported their poverty to California. Think demographics or is that politically incorrect in the Bay Area. Low wage labor drives down wages of low skilled workers in America. The biggest story in economics in Palo Alto is the Buena Vista trailer park. Price controls, the favorite in economics. Wait till that deal closes we're going to have a ball looking at the numbers. I told you not to become too peer group influenced. The social studies teacher's job is never ending. George Drysdale


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 4:28 pm

" Southern Mexico and Central America's have exported their poverty to California."

So all they got left at home is wealth? Hmmm?


"Low wage labor drives down wages of low skilled workers in America."

The elites that employ that labor aren't complaining. But I understand your concern. Students in Palo Alto and throughout the Bay Area study very hard (even suffering through social studies) to get into the best colleges so they can get those plum jobs picking fruit and slaughtering hogs and installing roofs and washing dishes and tending gardens, only to find themselves cut out by all those low paid immigrants. In fact, finding myself thus underbid from participation in that prize labor pool, I had to settle for a professional career. Sad.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by john_alderman, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Curmudgeon - If you would deign to stoop to the level of a manual laborer for a moment, you'd see that they too would like to elevate themselves to your heights. However, it is more difficult for them when wages are continually undercut by offshoring jobs, and importing cheap labor. Of course elites, businesses, and the chamber of commerce aren't complaining, they are reaping the benefits. Would you want to pay your gardner/housecleaner a fair wage? or $4 for two buck chuck?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Almost forgot to recommend this very relevant piece about immigrants in America Web Link . It supplements Steve's points very nicely, and would make a dandy social studies class discussion starter.

Spoiler alert: hold your hackles/hopes until you read past the first couple paragraphs.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

"Would you want to pay your gardner/housecleaner a fair wage?"

I do, having grown up doing that work for wages.


"or $4 for two buck chuck?"

I don't drink, but from what I hear it would be cheap at half the price.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 6, 2017 at 2:29 am

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposal. The comment you responded to has been deleted


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 6, 2017 at 2:50 am

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposals.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 6, 2017 at 4:55 am

deleted

please confine comments to the President's immigration proposals. the comment you responded to has been deleted.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Zen Chi, a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos),
on Aug 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Another good article on Web Link and many interesting comments


 +   4 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 8, 2017 at 12:14 am

The history of immigration has a number of factors relative to period of time. The periods of time are relative to the various wars that have occurred and our responsibility to incorporate many of those people into our economy - South Vietnam as example. Going back in time we had the industrial revolution which required a large labor base. We brought miners over to work the mines and others to help build the railroads across America. Our population level was less than the population level now and we do not have the large industrial economy to support the high population rate. So now we are bringing people over and subsidizing them on government taxpayer funds. We have passed the tipping point of having an economy which can support all of the people.
We have Visa programs for all type of workers but the companies who want workers do not go through the process for the Visas which require OSHA standards and ACA - H2 type Visas.
Reality says that the other countries can benefit from providing the jobs to their own citizens and their own citizens should demand the benefits that they are seeking in this country. If all other countries can step up to the plate to build their own country economy then we all collectively would be better off. If each country can grow their economy then they will be more effective in working world problems. We need other countries to succeed so that the population can grow within their own family and country culture. Trump is correct.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm

"Trump is correct."

Cannot happen in this universe. To be correct one must have a coherent philosophy. Trump doesn't.

Here is a conservative's logical, objective, quantitative refutation of your arguments: Web Link .


 +  Like this comment
Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm

I am dealing with historical facts. You are dealing with opinion.
Fact: Mexico City is the biggest city in North America. If the people who live there want more incentive to stay they should be demanding that from the current party in power - or vote them out. It does no good to have someone work in a hotel in CA when they could be working in a hotel in Mexico City. The citizens of Mexico should be demanding that the government provide the basic rights of the citizens in that country.

SL: The rest of the post did not deal with legal immigration reform and was deleted.

SL: I do not see how this responds to the needs of industries in the U.S. for additional immigrants with a variety of skills to fill some of the 5.7 million current job openings or those that will increase as boomers retire.

I am all for Mexico, India and other countries seeing economic prosperity and better outcomes for their residents. Fewer people may want to come to the U.S. as a result but that does not respond to the President's immediate proposals.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm

"...but that does not respond to the President's immediate proposals."

No response needed. The "President's immediate proposals" are merely appeasements to the Republican Base--the least intelligent, least informed segment of our society. Whatever appeals to it harms itself and the country at large.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Lily, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 8:35 am

What is needed, instead, is a program that all but four other (Third World, at that!) countries on the planet have implemented: a no-cost college education at any college or university the student qualifies for. There are PLENTY of young people who qualify for a college or graduate schools education--but they or their parents do not qualify for any type of assistance (which is a quagmire in itself).

America is in need of college graduates--there is a DIRE shortage of American citizens with college degrees, and especially with graduate and post-graduate degrees. However, there is a HUGE demand for them, especially in tech, medicine, and all of the sciences. This is the REAL reason why employers hire legal foreign immigrants! THEIR countries, especially Korea, China, and Western Europe, will pay for college, grad and post-grad educations--even at American schools. Some even provide a living wage, to ensure that no student is "food-challenged".

Silicon Valley leaders have LONG tried to help implement similar policies for American students, but our leaders in Washington DC have ALWAYS rebuffed them--to the detriment of the nation!

The US needs to do what other civilized, educated countries have long done for their qualified students--and do it POST-HASTE!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm

The reason that companies use foreign workers hired through an agency is because they then have no responsibility to pay the normal taxes relative to social security, and they have no responsibility for health care. That is a huge savings to the company and reduction in their own reporting of and paying of the employee taxes. We have a huge number of students graduating with STEM training that cannot get jobs because their employment would have a direct tax impact on the company. As to free education who is paying for it? You the taxpayer. That is a Bernie wish for a socialized economy. We are not going there.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I'm sure that my comments will probably be deleted also because it's not possible to address the President's policies without challenging many of the statements that have been made here and presented as "facts".

I agree with the President's new policies to restrict immigration. I am also married to an immigrant. I support the policy, because despite the assertion "immigrant workers are eligible for fewer safety net benefits that native-born workers so fiscally they have lower not higher costs", I have seen no proof of that but have seen plenty of proof of the opposite. (portion deleted).

With regard to the question of jobs, legal and illegal immigrants are brought in not because they are "willing to do jobs that Americans won't do" ( I lived in the Midwest and saw real live Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics born in the US actually working in restaurants, hotels, and yes, even in the fields), but because immigrants will work for lower (and sometimes below legal) wages.

(portion deleted) Having a fair and unfettered marketplace is the best way to raise wages. When there is a shortage of workers, wages rise. When you can import or allow an unimpeded flow of a billion poor people, wages drop.

1 out of 5 immigrants worldwide already lives in the US ( Web Link ). The entire rest of the world takes the other 80% and has very strict limits on their immigration. Why should we be the only country in the world to not have any limits whatsoever on who can come here? Why should we import poverty? By the last question I mean that we have all seen politicians that vow to end poverty and hundreds of groups dedicated to ending poverty; but then they keep wanting to import the poor in greater and greater numbers. Why? I think that the President should have just said that the U.S. is adopting the exact same immigration policy that Mexico currently has, then sit back and watch as people start to panic as they realize how much stricter Mexico's policies are than the policy of the US.

Also the statement that we have a dire shortage of Americans with college degrees is also not true ( Web Link ). The prior link shows that there are more Americans with at least a four year degree (over 30%) than at any time since 1940 (the earliest date data is provided).

Lastly, I am a supporter of the President's policies and I am Black, have a Master's Degree, and am more informed than most people on politics and economics. I have studied both for over 40 years.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by george drysdale, a resident of another community,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:30 am

Bravo. Limit unskilled immigration and you'll have plenty of unskilled labor who are now laying on the couch. Fewer unskilled immigrants means higher wages for our unskilled (supply and demand). (portion deleted) Sure Trump is eccentric but so was Andrew Jackson and that other New Yorker Teddy Roosevelt. George Drysdale


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

Amazing - the clamoring for H1B immigrant's while the citizens are clamoring for free education. Connect the dots here - the use of H1B immigrants reduces the contributions to social security, State disability taxes, and state withholding taxes. H1B are typically hired through an agency that is foreign placed. So on the one hand clamoring for what results in a reduction of tax dollars at the same time clamoring for more tax dollars providing free services. You can't get there from here. The only benefiting people are the companies that have reduced their typical tax payments while hoarding money off-shore. Would any of the people touting this philosophy like to comment on the tax impact? Lobbyist only tell the story you want to hear. But always follow the money - the state is not getting any in this boondoggle.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Today's consensus in our national newspapers of record is Trump's immigration policy has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with pleasing the bigots at the core of the Republican Base. Donald craves their adulation.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Sep 10, 2017 at 7:18 pm

The settled science argument that all economists agree is false.

Sure, open borders benefit the globalists. Over the last 30 years, it has helped them orchestrate the biggest theft in history by shifting wealth and concentrating power into the hands of the international elites and their camp followers that publish all the propaganda papers.

Despite record levels of both legal and illegal immigration rates (the foreign born percentage of the US population is over 13%) it is not high enough for the Progressive Liberals and they claim reverting back to traditional norms would be an economic catastrophe.

If it works so well, why is it that in the same 30 year period US average annual GDP has fallen, deficits exploded (both federal and trade), wealth and income distribution dramatically shifted to the top 1%, middle class labor participation rates plummeted and productivity levels decreased? A pretty damming profile of an economic theory if there ever was one - at least if one is in the middle class.

Please explain how a low skilled illegal immigrant who pays few taxes but consumes social services and increases cultural overhead benefits the economy? Spare us the trope about them paying more than their share of taxes. Most are in the underground cash based economy (agriculture, construction, landscaping, hospitality). Even with the citizens who are track-able, 44% pay no federal income tax and 18% pay no payroll tax at all.

Wait, maybe it is the legal H1B immigrant whose below market high skill wages enable age discrimination and outsourcing so that the 55 year old experienced tech worker gets laid off and the aspiring college kid in Kansas doesn't even bother pursuing a computer science degree because he knows it is pointless.

Just a cursory review of countries around the globe shows that the ones that control their borders, limit immigration and grow the economy do better for raising the standard of living and quality of life for their citizens. It is also common sense.

To paraphrase Trump, if massive trade deficits and rampant immigration work so well, let's let other countries try it for a while.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Jose Pen, a resident of another community,
on Sep 25, 2017 at 9:16 am

I came from a family of immigrants who worked hard to make a life. Now that I'm a business owner, Web Link, I help out those low wage, immigrant workers by paying them a better wage. What I've seen throughout the work force are many college educated kids who believe when they graduate they'll land that corporate job making a larger than life salary. I fear that's just not the case for most, especially in this economy. Statistics show the average household income across the US as only $50K a year. Low wage earners are important to our economy to take the jobs that others will not. With many low wage jobs available and many educated individuals who don't want them, immigrants wanting a better life will fill them. Someone has to.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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The holidays are here!

From live music to a visit with Santa, here's a look at some local holiday activities to help you get into the spirit of the season.

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