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Love your blog !! It also explains why the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States has slowed to a trickle, given the sharp and sustained rise in American unemployment, especially among younger and unskilled workers.

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Many peoples across the nation come to the develop countries by legal or illegal for the sake for good income and life. Need is to treat them not like enemy but try to solve there problem so they don't do illegal immigration.

Pepe Fanjul

It also explains why the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States has slowed to a trickle, given the sharp and sustained rise in American unemployment, especially among younger and unskilled workers.

an observer

Becker, writes during what, as LSD trip, "like the US that has many opportunities for ambitious and hard-working men and women."


Exactly where are these hidden jobs? Correct answer: There are none.


Rick Martinez

Now that Becker and others have written and rewritten--and perhaps solved--the "illegal" immigration issue, I think it's time we read some words fitly spoken on "legal immigration," and the "billions" of American taxpayer dollars spent on persons who come to our country and don't work and have never worked--yet collect Social Security monies, get free education to include admission to college and books, assistance with housing, free medical, child and home care, and, by the way, are the very people who despise America.

If these persons are are truly refugees, we must help them. At the same time, what standard of "right" have we "left" if on the one hand we are deporting the "working" illegal Mexican back yet paying the "non-working but legal" middle-easterner? The only standard of right left in democracy is the majority and thus we conform our democracy into an arithmocracy. But wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong.

America needs "not" a voice that is right when America is right, but a voice that is right when the America is wrong.

Rok Spruk

I couldn't agree more with professor's mindful observation on the future of Mexican immigration to the U.S.

To a large extent, the flow of illegal immigration to rich countries is broadly reflected in demographic fundamentals. Large-scale immigration to the United States in the 19th century from Ireland, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe increased rapidly mainly because these regions were characterized by very high fertility rates which led to over-crowded population and falling income per capita when the share of agricultural production represented between 75 percent and 80 percent of the total production. Moreover, when countries such as Haiti, Mali and Burundi will reach a certain level of threshold of income per capita, total fertility rates would diminish considerably and immigration to rich countries would increase rapidly.

The pattern of immigration is certainly a function of the institutional structure. For instance, widespread prevalence of civil liberties such as better women status may result in the immediate decline in total fertility rate. If the decline were aided by stable rate of income per capita growth, demographic transition could decrease large-scale immigration respectively. This is not a mere theoretical proposition but a valid empirical regularity. The implied elasticity of large-scale immigration flows with respect to dynamic changes of demographic fundamentals is supposedly very high although I have not yet come across the empirical evidence.

Countries in North Africa, particularly Tunisia, provide the evidence. Back in 1960s, Tunisia precipitated theocratic government and customs by introducing a variety of civil liberties, including the liberation of women which proved a rare exception in the Arab world - partly the influence of French colonial rule. Albeit a significance differential in income per capita relative to Western Europe, Tunisia experienced a dramatic decline in total fertility rate which aided the decrease in large-scale immigration to France and other Western European countries. However, the pattern was reversed during the Arab uprising mainly due to political factors rather than demographic fundamentals.

The experience suggests that three underlying factors led large-scale immigration to a halt. First, the transition from agriculture to industrialized society. Second, the decline in total fertility rate which had been complemented by favorable set of economic and social policies. And third, the introduction of civil liberties, especially the economic empowerment of women and freedom of the press.

Note that the intensity of large-scale immigration has been associated with the extent of the influence of religion and stagnating per capita incomes which is what explains extensive immigration to the U.S in 19th century from predominantly Catholic societies such as southern Italy, Poland and Ireland.

Reverting to the Mexican case, I would predict a continuous decline in the rate of immigration to the U.S alongside the improvement in economic prospects. Unless political stability is undermined by extremist political factions (which is unlikely to happen), Mexico can expect further decline in illegal immigration to the U.S since wage differential for low-skilled workers relative to the United States is likely to decrease further. Furthermore, I expect the gravity of large-scale immigration to the U.S. to shift from Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa albeit the magnitude of immigration could diminish, conditional on domestic structural change and growth prospects in African countries respectively.


I have to ask if the author downloaded the data files at the Mexican Migration Project, a joint project between Princeton University and the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and ran his own transformations and regressions on the data to reach his own conclusions?

The reasons I ask is that I am seeing the same regurgitated information that came from the New York Times; I have the report; I have the data files; all of the information in the data files are only collected in the country of Mexico; and the reports author, Kathy Donato, was very specific in asserting that nothing should be drawn from the report.



In all the talks and discussions about cutting back on the US treasury deficits, both parties are refusing to consider in these antagonistic debates, the fact that illegal aliens are compounding this major issue; the dollar amount to the $14.5 Trillion dollars, in this miserable meltdown we are facing. The Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2003, that 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens had settled in America and 700,000 new people enter illegally and stay each year. That’s across borders, by lying at entry ports as tourists to the official. These administration statistics are somewhat suspect and may represent major under counting, as they are fashioned by the very people accountable for the tsunami of illegal aliens entering our country. An alternative method is used here to estimate a range of numbers of illegal’s that is probable more levelheaded.

The precise number of illegal’s entering the United States and the exact rate at which they cross our borders are unknown. Official government numbers are often hard to come by, remain intentionally concealed and are habitually sanitized, in the federal sector and states. This directed (CAPS) California for Population Stabilization to seriously question officials at the Census Bureau and (DOF) California Department of Finance, population figures on these numbers. As an alternative of the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens these agencies and the liberal progressives claim to be here, there may actually be 20 million to 30 million or more? Nobody truly knows?

The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year; an average of $1,117 for every household in America and that’s just at the federal level. More truth and Statistics requested? Go to NumbersUSA or Judicial Watch.

Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) added his name to 14 different bills on Thursday that would reduce overall immigration levels and work to end illegal immigration.

* H.R.152 - a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Poe's to improve border security
* H.R.310 - a bill introduced by Rep. Sure Myrick that would prohibit federal funding to institutions of higher learning that provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens
* H.R.691 - a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would prevent mortgages from going to illegal aliens
* H.R.692 - a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would end Chain Migration
* H.R.693 - a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 60 days
* H.R.800 - a bill introduced by Rep. John Carter that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 2 years
* H.R.1091, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter that would require DHS to construct 350 additional miles of border fencing
* H.R.1134 - a bill introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter that would prohibit federal funds being sent to sanctuary cities
* H.R.1196 - a compilation bill introduced by Rep. Gary Miller, the LEAVE Act, that would end birthright citizenship, require nationwide use of E-Verify, improve interior enforcement, and discontinue rewards to illegal aliens
* H.R.1459 - a bill introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick, the Scott Gardner Act, that would increase penalties for illegal aliens caught with a DWI
* H.R.1698 - a bill introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick that would increase fines for employers that hire illegal aliens
* H.R.1764 - a bill introduced by Rep. Charles Boustany that would end sanctuary cities
* H.R. 2000 - a bill introduced by Rep. Heath Shuler, the SAVE Act, that would require all employers to use E-Verify and strengthen interior and border enforcement
* H.R.2164 - a bill introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, the Legal Workforce Act, which would require all employers to use E-Verify.

American cannot afford anymore to support the poverty of other countries. The final straw was learning from the (FAIR) Federation of American Immigration reform that a volume amnesty would cost to process everybody with all the FBI background checks, health checks and the occupied paperwork over $2.5 trillion dollars. This is incorrigible when 13 million Americans are seeking work and this country, is still in a recession and unlikely to climb out of this $14.4 Trillion dollars financial chaos for years. Every American needs to rethink his vote for 2012. Not for Democrats, not for Liberals and not for Republicans, but for this Nation's People under the banner of the TEA PARTY.

This is the time to empty the overcrowded classrooms, full with the children of illegal aliens. Give hospitals breathing space saving billions of dollars from uninsured illegal immigrants, who knowingly enter by foot, vehicle, aircraft or boat into the United States. Entering illegally in a violation of our national sovereignty and should be a felony, for illegal aliens and those who knowingly break the rules, including businesses. Start the Attrition by enforcement programs such as E-Verify, Secure Communities and support Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Utah and States nationwide who have no choice but to restrict illegal immigrants through police laws as their welfare programs are being sucked dry.

Fearful illegal nationals are bypassing Arizona and loading their possessions, heading for Sanctuary States as California, Nevada, Illinois, Washington state and many counties within particular States.


Question for Professor Becker: What effects do you imagine the decline in illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. will have on the Mexican drug cartels?

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Britannica: While any nation, ours included, should have control of their immigration policies and rates of immigration your "economics analysis" is indicative of taking down far too much whackright media spew.

"Some" have always liked to tally up real or imagined costs of immigration, but! rarely tally up the benefits.

"Conservatives" often point out the benefits of cheap imports from China and Walmart....... but! ignore the fact that illegals often work at min wage or less but provide the same level of craftsmanship and service as would cost contractors and bizmen a lot more were our supply and demand of labor in better balance.

Further....... we benefit from their showing up as adults, while we've spent some $100,000 just on public education to provide a young employee.

"Schools clogged with their kids??" Surely most of the kids are traditional citizens and it's no more costly to educate the kids of those building our homes or working in our favorite restaurant.

As for "welfare programs being sucked dry", look around........... ever since 2000 and the "jobless recovery" many more have fallen below the poverty line, and in the case of Walmart and others who've greatly benefited by substandard wages WE taxpayers have subsidized Wmt's payroll by over a billion/year in food stamps and other benefits meant for those living in poverty.

Sometimes........................... the eye sees what it wants to see and the ear hears what it wants to hear.


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Exactly where are these hidden jobs? Correct answer: There are none.


Imigration will never stop just due to the fact that people always look for something better in all of the things they do , eat and so on , I was talking the other day with someone from http://www.thetampainjurylawyers.com/ and basically we had the same discussion and it took on for hours and hours.

Cindy Margott

It also explains why the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States has slowed to a trickle, given the sharp and sustained rise in American unemployment, especially among younger and unskilled workers.


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Pradeep Despandee

1. The American people, with some delay compared to their European cohorts, demanded wages above the international price equilibrium through collective bargaining.

2. So American companies in order to remain internationally competitive started hiring immigrants.

3. So the American people clamped down on immigration through legislative means

4. So American companies in order to remain internationally competitive started expanding internationally as well as outsourcing services.

5. So the American people started penalizing the companies that did so with taxes and regulations.

6. So American companies will now be supplanted by foreign companies, which can serve consumers at a lower price. Game over!

7. But wait! Hope springs eternal…. So the economically distressed American voters, in their desperation, will clamp down on American companies even further, making them ever less competitive.

With an ever increasing percentage of business being conducted outside America’s borders, Americans can hardly afford to not be internationally competitive. How are Americans going to prevent that through legislation? The importance of being able to turn out product that is internationally competitive keeps increasing beyond America’s control. If America does not want to, or cannot, employ an ambitious Mexican worker who wants to climb the wage ladder, sooner or later someone else will, and start turning out more competitive product. Any American attempts to keep high value (or at least what is high value today as opposed to in the future) economic activity inside their borders at artificially high costs, is a doomed distraction.

How long will it take for American workers to realize that there is no perpetual motion machine of prosperity? They demand from the world to be able to consume 6 times more stuff (i.e. get paid 6 times more) but producing still the same stuff that 3 billion people in the developing world are now learning how to do. How is America going to stop that? Any attempts to support this situation by legislative means are delusional attempts that will only hamper the fruition of American entrepreneurial activity (America’s true strength) and accelerate America’s decline. The only thing that American workers can do is let their entrepreneurs create things that others can only copy with some delay and have those entrepreneurs and the very capable people below them lift the skills of their employees.

It is the American spirit of entrepreneurship that the rest of the world cannot copy. Central planning? Everybody can copy that. Countries aspiring to prosperity through central planning supported by delusional voters? A dime a dozen – and getting cheaper. What is America’s hope for maintaining its prosperity and allow Americans to consume 6 times what the average world citizen enjoys? “Our central planning will be better than everyone else’s?” That is a laughable delusion sold may times to the many citizens of countries that languish in mediocrity.


In conclusion, if Americans want to maintain prosperity, they must posses something unique, something that cannot be copied. National auto factories? They sure can be copied and with lower labor costs. Boondoggle alternative energy, increasing costs three fold? It can be copied. Heavy regulation? It sure can be copied (if one wants to be suicidal) Highways, bridges, educational systems, schools etc. they can all be copied and have been copied with increasing success.

So what cannot be copied?

The temptation to use the ballot box as a redistribution machine to easier prosperity through class warfare.

Why can it not be copied? Because it is simply almost universal human nature to do so when you can. It is human nature to be tempted into stifling the prosperity of your baseline growth for the short term benefits of redistribution.

For reasons that I will refrain from entering into in this already long post, Americans had been endowed with a unique culture of self reliance that was adverse to this very natural but economically pernicious class warfare. Self reliance and abstention from redistribution at the polls had been the unique foundation of American prosperity, differentiating American culture from the rest of the world. No more so apparently. Now that Americans have finally reverted to the world average (but, such is American naivete that it is being sold to them as the novel idea of Hope and Change) and embraced the cultural norm of class warfare, it is time for America’s unique prosperity to also converge to the worldwide average. Welcome to averagedom together with the rest of the western world. The weaker dominos at the margin of the Western World are already starting to fall. Trying to keep people who offer a more favorable cost to services ratio outside the borders will only accelerate this decline.

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Pradeep, Is that why you still use the "Untouchables"? A slave is still a slave no matter what they are called...

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