Mass Immigration Isn’t Great

More Misinformation from the Media:

Clearly, lots of Americans are mad about immigration. But we libertarians believe that people trapped in horrible countries deserve a chance at a better life. . . . Why would I think that when my Facebook “fans” tell me things like: “Most immigrants legal and illegal, get food stamps and welfare?” Because that’s not true. Almost all welfare programs in the U.S. are limited to legal immigrants living here at least five years. . . . On average, the lifetime fiscal impact of the average is negative $3,000, says the National Research Council. But the NRC goes on to say that descendants of the immigrant make a positive fiscal contribution of $83,000. That’s a big win for America. – Immigration Is Great, Reason, John Stossel, 8/12/15

Fact Check: Libertarians quite often are reality-challenged individuals, particularly those who propose “open borders”—which is just another word for no borders and no countries. Currently there are billions of people in “horrible countries” and if they moved in mass to other countries, they would make them horrible too. When some countries are better off, they are in a position to help others. When all are equally horrible, no one can help anyone.

Borders and nationhood allow different peoples to experiment with different social and political systems. This allows successful arrangements to thrive and prosper, while setting examples for the less successful to follow. Without this diversity of achievement, everyone sinks to the lowest common level. No borders mean no freedom for the peoples of countries to set their own standards and seek their own destinies. Ironically, libertarians proclaim their love of freedom, but the multicultural societies that result from mass immigration are inherently unstable, and instability invites takeover by authoritarians who promise to provide order.        

The claim that immigrants have to wait five years to get welfare is not entirely true. Refugees, a growing share of immigration, can get welfare as soon as they arrive. And illegal aliens who have a child in the U.S. will benefit from the welfare that this citizen child may receive. In any case, mass immigration has gone on for so long that the great bulk of immigrants are past the five-year restriction. Fifty-one percent of immigrant-headed households use at least one welfare program, compared with households headed by native-born Americans.

Stossel correctly states the finding of the National Research Council (NRC) that the fiscal impact of the average immigrant is a negative $3,000. In other word, an average immigrants consumes $3,000 more public services than he contributes in taxes. This is a reliable figure because it reflects figures we can currently measure. The NRC’s claim that descendants will contribute $83,000 is mostly based on pure speculation as to what the future will bring.   

Mass immigration is a loss for America, not a win. But libertarians—with their minds intoxicated with visions of open borders—won’t notice.           



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