This is a guest post by The Urban Blabbermouth. Comments are welcome!
Some years ago, when Congress took up immigration reform (it went nowhere), my colleague said that all the illegal aliens should be found and deported. He said that they are here contrary to the law. I must say that I agree with him. It is the law and the law should be upheld. But, I was wondering, what if we changed the law? Let's open the door and allow anyone who wanted to come in to do so or to leave for that matter, no questions asked.
Well, the first thing is that there will be a mass rush of people coming here. That is to be expected at the start. At some point, the flow of immigrants would stabilize to a smaller flow. I am not persuaded that the entire world will come here. I am sure lots will come in the beginning but at some point the flow of immigrants will trickle down significantly. Let's face it, people like where they are. It is their home. They were born there, have family there, and have deep roots there. So I expect that there will not be a huge a run to get here as some Americans think.
Who loses out because the new immigrants are here? That question is the real issue with immigration. Americans with education and desirable work skills would be fine. They will actually gain from immigration, someone to do the work that supports an educated life style. Americans with no education or any work skill will lose out. The new immigrants will try for the same jobs and may be willing to work more for less pay.
The Americans already here are not stupid. They know that it is better to get educated and get some skills. I have faith that given a chance, many Americans will do just that. If nothing else, competition from the new immigrants will force Americans to improve their work skills. There is nothing like adversity, the choice to eat or to starve, to push one forward. The difficulty is that it takes time, years in some cases, for anyone to complete their education or to complete their training to improve their work skills. What are Americans to do in that transitional period until then? I do not know. In fact, the experts here have not yet worked that out either.
We have not found a way to test what would happen if the door was opened to all immigrants. The closest that we have is the experiences of all the States in the US. Think of each State as a country. We allow Americans from one State to move to another State. In some sense, the incoming Americans can be thought of as immigrants to the new State. In a State like New York, several millions of people, "immigrants" from the surrounding States, travel everyday to New York City to work. Seems to work out where everyone benefits. We need some experts to take a better look at this. We can evaluate the experiences of New York City to draw some conclusions on the wisdom of opening the door to all immigrants without limitation.
Those immigrants who do come here are probably the ones we would want here anyway. Think about what kind of person it takes to travel five thousand miles to a county where they do not speak the language, and where they do not know anyone. Think of the strength of character, desire, discipline and chutzpah it takes. This is the kind of person that we want here. They will take chances. They will start up their own business. They will become entrepreneurs and create jobs including jobs for the less educated and less skilled Americans. It s a shame as the home countries of these immigrants do need the same migrating talent to improve the lives of their citizenry. We know this effect as "Brain Drain".
Look, we either we come up with a reasonable policy to let in new immigrants or the American corporations will send the jobs out to meet them. It is a tough spot.