Win Lose or Draw’s perspective on Immigration

Win Lose or Draw’s take on Immigration

One way to evaluate the relative value and/or harm from immigration is to look at it from a purely economic perspective and according to the “laws” of supply and demand. If there are few laborers of that type in the market, they will likely be welcomed and will be able to demand a high wage. However, if there is a glut of that type of laborer, the opposite will likely be true.

Under the right set of favorable circumstances both the receiving country and the immigrants can benefit. It is our job as American citizens to get as close to that ideal as we possibly can. 

Today, here in the United States, the debate seems to center on legal versus illegal immigrants and whether or not the illegal immigrants should have a path to citizenship. In light of the facts above, the distinction between legal and illegal immigration may be important, but it misses entirely the point. Is the immigrant, legal or illegal, an asset or a liability? Yes, the rule of law is important, but not if the particular law or laws in question are ill-conceived and outdated. 

So the immigrants in this discussion are both legal and illegal. The type of work they do is important. The country from which they come is not. Laborers from  Mexico to our South add value to the United States when their labor fulfills a need and does not produce a glut in that sector of the labor market. Also, the value of a shrinking labor market in Mexico could produce higher wages for those remaining behind. If both countries conducted an economic evaluation of gains and losses from immigration, then an equitable means of financially balancing out the ledgers could be ascertained.

Either Mexico has a vested interest in patrolling our mutual border in order to retain their valuable workers, or Mexico needs to compensate us for the value they receive for letting those laborers go. Either way, a negotiated settlement with our close friends and long-time allies would be better than building a wall and treating them like enemies.

We want allies at our Northern and Southern borders to help defend against terrorist infiltration. We need to work together with both Mexico and Canada. Let’s sanction and formalize the pipelines of immigration and monitor the results. Then we could assess an international tax or tariff to compensate for any resulting economic imbalances. Let’s put out the welcome mat and stop the xenophobic recriminations.  

The next time you pass a map of North America have another look. Mexico, Canada, and the United States are all part of the same land mass. Mexico and Canada are our natural allies. They always have been, and they always will be.

Technology gives us some advantages in securing us from terrorist incursions from sea and air, but we need all the help we can get to secure us from land based incursions. We need mutual protection agreements with Mexico and Canada, not border disputes.   

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