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Do you mean illegal immigrants take jobs Americans have a subjective preference not to have or they exist on the low end of the wage scale such that they are preferable for those jobs which require little skill or skills that can be learned easily on the job?

An Immigrant

"Most immigrants from other nations either have special skills that are in short supply in our nation or are refugees seeking asylum from regimes that have persecuted"

You are soooo naive about this. Most "asylum seekers" simply fool US authorities. There are even guidebooks available in many countries about how to do this. There must be some legitimate ones somewhere but from what I see they are a small minority.


local school systems incur additional costs as a result of illegal immigration that they do not recover in taxes

This doesn't seem very true. Texas school systems are paid for primarily by property taxes, and the rest by sales taxes. Even those who rent indirectly pay property taxes.

Sales taxes are circumvented in part, by sending income back to family in another country. But that has always been one of the problems of a consumption tax. There are other taxes that won't be recaptured, income taxes over those withheld from paychecks, but it seems to me that would apply to only a small percentage of illegal immigrants. The taxes lost there are probably very similar to the average american shortchanging the IRS.



Z. M. Kedem

You write: "and the accepted exception for children of foreign diplomats and heads of state (such children, though born in the United States, do not receive U.S. citizenship), shows that the citizenship clause need not be read literally."

As I understand it, those children do not receive U.S. citizenship, precisely because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. as they enjoy diplomatic immunity, so the clause can be read literally.

H. Tuttle

Judge, I'm a big fan of yours, generally, but you need to get out more. When I worked down in the SDNY a few years ago the docket was stuffed to the rafters with illegals being sent away for drug crimes, insurance scams, you name it.

On Friday sentencings we'd hand out sentences clicking off decades like we were giving away chicklets, and inevitably the sad sack being sent away needed a court-appointed translator because they couldn't speak English. Some were here on green cards, legally, a vast majority were illegal. Either way they were criminals, who at substantial taxpayer expense were being sent away.

I'd suggest taking a look at the GAO report release last week that reveals immigration benefits fraud is rampant -

The latest trick is for Chinese illegals to try and claim refugee status claiming if they are sent back to China they'll be sterilized. Amazing some courts appear to be buying into this. If they do we can expect the numbers of illegal Chinese here to mushroom overnight.

Lastly, it's constantly amazing that the "these people are hard working honest folk" crowds tend not to live in any of the areas where these illegals live. Come out to Queens, NY where I live sometime.

Steve Sailer

The New York Times op-ed claiming that Hispanic immigration reduced the crime rate was extremely weak and should not be relied upon uncritically.

A basic fact that it left out was that the Hispanic imprisonment rate per capita in the U.S. is 2.9 times the Anglo white rate. Similarly, it didn't mention that Hispanics are 19 times more likely to belong to a criminal gang than whites.

The op-ed claimed that later generations are more likely to become criminals than immigrants. If true, that just means that our high rate of illegal immigration at present is storing up an unholy mess for us down the road.

For a full critique, see

Steve Sailer

Judge Posner writes: "My guess, though, is that much or all of the added costs of local government that illegal immigrants impose are offset by the benefits that the immigrants confer on the local community in filling jobs in hotels, restaurants, and agriculture that American citizens do not want."

Isn't it time to stop using the cliche "jobs that American citizens do not want"? Back in Econ 101, when the professor was explaining supply and demand, he said there was no such thing as labor shortages, just labor shortages at the wages employers wanted to pay.


"The more competition in labor markets, the better."

I guess if you're a federal judge -- or a tenured Economics professor, for that matter -- i.e. someone not subject to a lot of competition, this opinion is easier to hold.

But in the real world, it has some pretty ugly consequences for us humans (probably not for 'spam bots').

And for me personally, as a white engineer, when I walk into a job interview, and 2/3 of the people in the room are Indian or Asian, many of whom arrived as immigrants (one way or another), and I know they are seeing a parade of applicants just like themselves, being thankful for competition in the labor market would not exactly describe my thinking at that moment.


Your analysis of the situation is spot on. Those who claim that the "illegals" are a bunch of criminals who cause a net loss to our economy do not have the facts on their side and are simply part of a xenophobic (and in many instances bigoted) segment of the population. Looking back at the history of immigrants in this US it really doesnÔøΩt appear to be a new sentiment even though itÔøΩs an unfortunate one.


"spot on"

A sizable majority of immigrants to America today are Hispanic; this is even more true of the illegals. And regarding them, it is also "spot on" that when compared to the existing (majority white) population, Hispanics are, on average, 1) significantly more likely to be criminal, and 2) significantly less likely to succeed academically, e.g. to attend and graduate from college. And this disparity persists for generations (which perhaps explains in part why the countries they are coming from are what they are). Given these facts, one might be forgiven for asking: How can it possibly make sense for a nation to import people with such a population profile?

Shirley B.Abloy

Idea is fresh but is trusted hardly


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