"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The best thing about illegal immigration is that it's illegal

Milton Friedman:

Because it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promises a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.

Look, for example, at the obvious, immediate, practical example of illegal Mexican immigration. Now, that Mexican immigration, over the border, is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants. It’s a good thing for the United States. It’s a good thing for the citizens of the country. But, it’s only good so long as its illegal.

That’s an interesting paradox to think about. Make it legal and it’s no good. Why? Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for social security, they don’t qualify for the other myriad of benefits that we pour out from our left pocket to our right pocket. So long as they don’t qualify they migrate to jobs. They take jobs that most residents of this country are unwilling to take. They provide employers with the kind of workers that they cannot get. They’re hard workers, they’re good workers, and they are clearly better off.
So the rub is when legal immigrants have the same rights, privileges and endowments as citizens, like a $15 minimum wage or welfare or free Obamacare or food stamps or free tuition or home loans or OSHA inspectors or disability and unemployment checks...

Then we'll have to import illegal immigrants to do the work legal immigrants won't do. So it goes.

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