The American economy displays an amazing capacity to adapt. Pump in lots of cheap, immigrant labor and employers will utilize it. Restrict the flow of immigrant labor and employers will adapt by hiring natives or by reorganizing work and introducing new technologies...The evidence is clear that mass immigration has reduced the wages of native workers, particularly those with low levels of education. That can only occur if immigrants are competing with natives for jobs...George Borjas of Harvard University calculates that immigration lowers the annual earnings of workers by $280 billion, making it the largest-single factor driving down wages.
Another study of the Harlem labor market showed that 26 percent of job seekers who were hired were immigrants even though immigrants comprised only 11 percent of all job applicants. The authors of the study concluded that employers discriminated against African American job applicants in favor of immigrants, who they perceived to be cheaper and more compliant. Yet another study shows that the number of employed natives actually fell between 2000 and 2004. All of the 2.3 million increase in total employment during this period went to immigrants.
If we want a high-wage economy, we must enforce sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants and in other ways reduce the incentives for illegal immigrants to come here. Immigration reform should mean, first and foremost, immigration reduction. Reducing immigration would require a period of adjustment, but in the end we would adapt to it and, in all likelihood, benefit from it.
Of course, it speaks volumes that such an astute and reasonable essay is published in a newspaper in Fort Collins CO, while MSM flagships are laden down with stuff like David Brooks' recent NY Times piece, satirized by the Dow Blog last week as Messianic Immigrationism:
...if Brooks is to be believed, mass immigration from Mexico will produce the following:
1) Less violent crime 2) Increased chastity 3) Fewer teen suicides 4) Patriarchal families 5) Less divorce 6) Higher fertility rates 7) More gift giving 8) More family dinners 9) Healthier children 10) The end of rapacious individualism.
I'm sure I've missed something, but doesn't that sound great? I had no idea that there was a causation between immigration and all those social benefits.