Sunday, November 23, 2014

5 Million Green Cards for the Economy?

There is no provision in Obama's Executive Order to screen illegal immigrants for productivity.  The argument that these 5 million or so newly empowered "workers" would be a net economic benefit fails right there.  State laws entitle them to many  benefits, such as health care, regardless of their employment or productivity.  So, the costs are definite, the benefits are highly speculative.

The President' political party makes the argument that these new green cards would benefit the economy, but that is politics, not facts.  The people that would be working then are already working now.  Those that are not working now will be seeking jobs that are still scarce today and competing with other job seekers.  That will not raise average wages.  Declining wages will require more government support in the form of SNAP subsidies, educational assistance, and health costs under ACA. 

Finally, there is a moral hazard in creating this new green card class.  Economic immigrants will perceive that the US is still a good place to settle, legal or not.   Some countries will find it convenient to export their unemployment to the US as they have been doing, but in larger numbers.

If, as Republicans speculate, the purpose of this executive order is to cause a rift between a portion of the Hispanic voters and the Republicans, or to create many millions more Democratic voters, then all the economic benefits being discussed are merely window dressing.  The real issue is executive power.  Both sides have sympathy for the humanitarian plight of the long-time resident but still illegal immigrants.  If the office of President has the power to issue 5,000,000 green cards, that is a matter for the courts to decide, and several states and Congress people have already initiated lawsuits.  There is no benefit for Republicans to undertake any new legislation on this issue until the court case has been settled.  Rather, Congress should find ways to control U.S. borders and prevent any further waves of mass economic migration.  Build the fence, enhance the border patrol and give them the guidelines to do what they were hired for.  

Do not allow Mexico, Guatemala, or El Salvador to export their unemployed to the USA.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Snowflake, always good to read your posts and I tend to agree. Just wanted you to know there are people out here who appreciate the effort so thanks for taking the time. Good stuff.