Cracking Down on Undocumented Immigrants Can Hurt the Economy

The Economist: “The flipside of low wages for illegal immigrants, though, is greater economic benefits for those who are not competing with them for work. A rare study of the effect of illegal immigrants specifically found that in Georgia, a one-percentage-point increase in undocumented workers in firms boosted wages by about 0.1%. One explanation is that such firms benefit from a richer mix of skills within their workforce. Another explanation is that they are sharing the spoils of the savings that stem from hiring workers on the black market.”

“Were a President Trump to deport all illegal immigrants, the economy would suffer greatly. Just ask Arizona, where a crackdown on illegal immigrants in 2007 shrank the economy by 2%, according to a private analysis by Moody’s, a ratings agency, for the Wall Street Journal. The incomes of most workers would fall. Yet strangely enough, those best placed to benefit from a mass deportation would be those who had crossed the border legally.”

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