Peter Brimelow: Letter to The New York Times About Guest Workers and Julian Simon
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Republished in - October 01, 2003

The New York Times, June 7, 1995
Native-Born Displaced

To the Editor:

Re "Foreign Workers, American Dream" (Op-Ed, June 1): Julian L. Simon, in his plea for a renewed "bracero" guest-worker program, quotes the leading scholar in the field, George J. Borjas of the University of California at San Diego, as saying there is "no evidence" that immigration adversely affects native-born earnings.

But Mr. Borjas has subsequently concluded that such evidence does exist (see his "Economics of Immigration" in last December's Journal of Economic Literature). Mr. Simon should remember this, because I pointed it out to him when we debated my book "Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster" at a National Review Institute conference.

I also pointed out that in Mr. Simon's book " The Economic Consequences of Immigration," he repeatedly concedes that while immigrants may make more jobs than they take in aggregate, they do displace specific groups of native-born Americans. And there is no guarantee that the groups displaced get the benefits.

Nevertheless, I applaud Mr. Simon's courage in proposing a guest-worker program (which I endorse). For too many on both left and right, immigration policy is a sacred cow. By blindly dismissing any reform effort as "racist," these immigration enthusiasts make public explosion inevitable.

New York, June 1, 1995

The writer is a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

See also the Letter From ACLU's Ira Glasser Attacking Peter Brimelow.

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