Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Some really good writing on immigration
Via an excellent blog post from Tim Lee guest-blogging at Megan McArdle's usual spot, I came across an equally fine piece by Philippe Legrain on immigration in Forbes. I'd long suspected that our country let in fewer people of particular origins than would make economic sense, and therefore I've never found it surprising that so many of them resort to illegal tactics to come here and escape the poverty ailing them at home. I had no idea, though, that it would take approximately 131 years for a 30-year-old Mexican worker with an HS diploma and one sister in the United States to get a U.S. green card. That really is utterly crazy, and statistics like this really ought to be trotted out more frequently in public debate whenever people ask "But why don't more Mexicans come here legally?" The answer -- "Because our current law makes it too difficult. And people who want something badly enough will do whatever they can to do it, even if illegal -- c.f. Prohibition" -- is made all too plain by the Forbes stats.