The border crisis is a disaster for the rule of law. Approximately five million inadmissible migrants have already entered during Joe Biden’s presidency, and the numbers continue to climb. Far from attempting to block the flow, the Biden Administration is actually facilitating it, inviting migrants without visas to come to the U.S. to receive “parole” or other temporary status. The legal situation has deteriorated to the point where the administration effectively claims the right to wave through any migrants it wants, from whatever countries it wants, at any time it wants.
The rule of law is not the only casualty of the border crisis, however. Less appreciated are the long-term effects of mass immigration that the crisis will exacerbate. Whether legal or not, large-scale immigration can cause profound changes in the receiving society. While not all of these changes are necessarily negative, immigration does have concerning impacts on the economic, fiscal, political, and cultural health of the United States.
Let’s start with the economic effects, specifically on the labor market. In the immigration advocate’s preferred version of this debate, the restrictionist shouts, “They’re stealing our jobs!” The advocate lets out a faux-exasperated sigh, shakes his head, and proceeds to explain the “lump of labor” fallacy to his economically illiterate opponent. In reality, restrictionists understand that the number of jobs in our economy is not fixed. They also understand, however, that the laws of supply and demand apply as much to labor as they do to any other good or service. Therefore, increasing the supply of low-skill immigrant workers will put downward pressure on the wages of the natives who compete with them. Empirical evidence generally confirms this prediction, but we need not rely on academics for proof. In response to high inflation, business leaders have openly stated that importing more immigrants would help hold down low-skill wages. We should take them at their word.
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