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Essays on
Legal and Illegal
Legal and Illegal
Papers offered in a seminar series
conducted by the
Department of Economics
at Western Michigan University
Susan Pozo
W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Essays on appropriate and unlawful immigration.
«Papers presented in a seminar series carried out by
the Department of Economics at Western Michigan
University.» Papers delivered publicly, 1984-1985.
Contents: The countless guises of immigration reform/
Susan Pozo U.S. immigration policy, what next?/
Jagdish N. Bhagwati Immigration while the U.S.
taxpayer/Francine D. Blau [etc.]
1. Emigration and immigration law United States-
Congresses. 2. Aliens, Illegal United States-
Congresses. I. Pozo, Susan. II. Western Michigan
University. Dept. of Economics.
KF4819.A2E87 1986 342.73©082 86-24605
ISBN 0-88099-041-4 347.30282
ISBN 0-88099-040-6 (pbk.)
Copyright 1986
by the
300 Southern Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007
THE INSTITUTE, a nonprofit research company, was established
on July 1, 1945. It is a task of this W. E. Upjohn Unemployment
Trustee Corporation, that was formed in 1932 to administer a fund set
aside by the late Dr. W. E. Upjohn for the intended purpose of carrying on
«research in to the factors and aftereffects of unemployment and measures for
the alleviation of unemployment.»
The Board of Trustees
of the
W. E. Upjohn
Unemployment Trustee Corporation
Preston S. Parish, Chairman
Charles C. Gibbons, Vice Chairman
James H. Duncan, Secretary-Treasurer
E. Gifford Upjohn, M.D.
Mrs. Genevieve U. Gilmore
John T. Bernhard
Paul H. Todd
David W. Breneman
Ray T. Parfet, Jr.
The Staff regarding the Institute
Robert G. Spiegelman
Executive Director
Saul J. Blaustein
Phyllis R. Buskirk
Judith K. Gentry
H. Allan Hunt
Timothy L. Hunt
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Robert A. Straits
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Jack R. Woods
The papers inside amount had been presented through the twentieth annual
Economics Lecture Series at Western Michigan University. The series
was permitted through financial support of the W. E. Upjohn
Institute for Employment Research plus the College of Arts and Sciences
of Western Michigan University. A number of my colleagues inside Depart
ment of Economics, especially Raymond E. Zelder, assisted with the
progress of the series. Robert G. Spiegelman and Stephen A. Woodbury
of the Upjohn Institute offered editorial suggestions about early drafts of
the papers included right here, and Judith K. Gentry and Natalie Lagoni pro
duced the book expeditiously. I will be grateful to all with regards to their assistance, as well
as to the authors with regards to their cooperation.
Susan Pozo
Kalamazoo, Michigan
September 1986
The Many Guises of Immigration Reform
Susan Pozo
Immigrants and the U.S. Labor Market
George J. Borjas
Can International Migration be managed?
Michael J. Piore
The Imperative of Immigration Reform
Vernon M. Briggs, Jr.
The prohibited Alien Policy Dilemma
Barry R. Chiswick
Immigration and the U.S. Taxpayer
Francine D. Blau
U.S. Immigration Policy: exactly what Next?
Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Many Guises
of Immigration Reform
Susan Pozo
Western Michigan University
During the final ten years, policymakers, economists, and the
public at large are engaged in a heated debate over
U.S. immigration policy. On one part of the debate are those
who advocate stricter restrictions on immigration because,
even if immigration is effective to some, the gain is at the
expense of others. Many advocates of restrictive immigration
reform argue that it's the public©s obligation to safeguard the
interests of low-skilled workers who're harmed by the entry of
aliens with whom they compete straight for jobs. On the
other side of the debate are the ones who argue that immigra
tion can only just be beneficial. By preventing the free flow of
labor across national boundaries, we've little to achieve and
much to get rid of.
in every, the immigration debate is multifaceted, with nearly
as numerous methods to the situation, recommendations for reform,
and arguments buttressing the status quo as there are par
ticipants in the debate. Both advocates of reform and those
supporting the status quo make their cases in strikingly dif
ferent ways. This amount, which gathers six papers delivered
as public lectures at Western Michigan University during the
1984-1985 educational 12 months, reflects these many views about
the aftereffects of immigration regarding United States economy and
about reform regarding the current system.
The objective of all who advocate immigration reform
is to lower the effective immigration price the combined
2 numerous Guises of Reform
flow of legal and illegal immigration. Compared to that end, reformers
emphasize eliminating or at the least reducing
significantly the present flow of illegal immigration.
Although numerous policies have now been submit to reduce this
flow, all basically belong to 1 of 2 groups. On the
one hand, policies could be implemented that enhance the
personal cost of migrating illegally towards United States.
Alternatively, the advantages that accrue to undocumented
workers could possibly be paid off. In any case, fewer would
choose to incur the expense that accompany migration.
One way of increasing the non-public cost of migrating il
legally is to devote more resources to patrolling the
border. Increased surveillance would raise the probability
that an illegal migrant is apprehended during cross
ing. Better edge enforcement can perform small to deter the il
legal immigrant whom crosses seldom and remains for a long
period in U.S., but would increase considerably the costs
to the frequent edge crosser, plus in specific minimize the
number of commuters whom live in Mexico and travel daily to
jobs in the United States. (As Michael J. Piore argues in this
volume, but such an insurance plan may paradoxically increase
permanent settlement as commuters elect to stay in
definitely inside U.S. considering that the likelihood of gaining entry
during subsequent crossings is decreased.)
Alternatively, detention of unlawful aliens for an extended
period of the time would also result in the personal costs of
uninspected entry to increase. Currently, an apprehended alien is
simply came back to their country of beginning. Thus, the
pecuniary costs of apprehension are relatively small, con
sisting of one©s earnings foregone throughout the detention
period and travel. With an extended detention duration,
however, the pecuniary costs will be greater, rising with
the duration of the detention duration. Jagdish N. Bhagwati
makes a case for detention along with the development of
Many Guises of Reform 3
an economic area at the border which will provide an
alternative to entering the United States.
A problem arises utilizing the implementation of policies that
increase the expense to aliens of unlawful entry. The spending plans of
agencies that would be accountable for implementing these
policies will have to be enlarged notably. Nevertheless,
such a growth is politically tough to market, offered the
current need certainly to suppress government expenditures. Attention has
turned alternatively to reducing the advantages that accrue to illegal
entrants. For example, if fines and penalties were imposed
on companies who knowingly employ undocumented workers,
illegal aliens would face greater difficulties and a smaller
probability of finding employment. For this reason the comes back or
benefits that accrue to unlawful immigrants would fall.
Presumably the number of undocumented migrants would
fall combined with paid off incentives to migrate. This was
the approach associated with Simpson-Mazzoli bill passed away by the
House and Senate in 1984 but never finalized into law.1 Subse
quent attempts at immigration reform have actually proceeded to
focus on the imposition of charges on companies who hire
illegal aliens.
The governmental benefit of reforms that lessen the benefits il
legal immigrants can expect suggests that the public views
these policies as less costly than edge enforcement policies.
These perceptions may or might not be real.
How are taxpayers, companies, and customers impacted by
the two alternate ways to immigration reform?
Border enforcement would presumably require a sizable infu
sion of income tax dollars to the Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) to aid a larger and more effective force of
border agents, and to fund the detention of unlawful aliens in
some humane way. Taxpayers, but will never be
spared under a method of company sanctions. It is the con
sensus of all whom favor company sanctions which they be
4 numerous Guises of Reform
implemented hand-in-hand with something that could allow
employers to verify the citizenship or immigration status of
individuals. It is imperative that verification procedure
be virtually costless to companies to be able to prevent
discrimination against appropriate aliens, particularly Hispanics, who
might appear foreign. Hence, if manager sanctions were im
posed, a verification system will have to be financed
through the tax system. Either policy, border enforcement or
employer sanctions, would require large increases within the pool
of revenues always implement and enforce federal immigra
tion law.
A further hidden cost of manager sanctions is noted by
Barry R. Chiswick within volume. Chiswick warns that
employer sanctions would be the exact carbon copy of an employer tax, in
creasing hiring expenses. Though intended to reduce the employ
ment of illegal aliens, this policy would have the additional
unintended effect of also reducing employment of low-
skilled native workers.
Ultimately the economic effects of tighter border policy
and penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens may in
fact be identical. It might be necessary either way for firms
to alter their input mix and to alter usually
decrease their amount of production. If, as some argue, there are
few native workers ready to take the jobs that aliens
generally hold, then imposing either restrictive policy will
cause the expense of unskilled labor to increase due to the fact movement of illegal
aliens is curtailed. It follows that creating a level
of production gets to be more high priced. However if indigenous workers are
willing to work in jobs frequently held by aliens, expenses are much
less apt to be suffering from a low flow of immigrants.
The point is it doesn't matter which regarding the two ap
proaches greater edge enforcement or manager sanc
tions is taken. Manufacturing expenses either increase or don't de
pending regarding the option of domestic low-skilled workers.
Many Guises of Reform 5
How then do customers fare underneath the two options?
based on what the employers© costs react to fewer
aliens, consumers will either find rates of goods and services
rising or staying unchanged. If alterations are costly and
difficult to produce if actually firms think it is essential to alter
the production methods considerably due to changes in the
relative costs of inputs the paid off stock of immigrants
will be thought by the consumer as the prices of products and
services at least partly reflect higher costs. In the event that firm©s costs
do perhaps not alter as a consequence of a smaller stock of unlawful aliens,
then customers won't see increases in costs of goods
and services. Once again, it's unimportant if the policy im
plemented is edge control or internal enforcement. The ef
fects on individuals are exactly the same.
Whether in reality ındividuals are harmed by restrictive im
migration policy, and whether companies can get costs to
increase, will depend on whether illegal aliens and domestic
workers are good substitutes in manufacturing. This really is an issue
that has received much attention but which no consensus
has been reached. The answer to this real question is important
not just due to the ramifications of immigration policy on the
consumer, but since it is vital that you comprehend the im
plications of policy options on domestic workers.
Are native workers harmed or aided by restrictive im
migration reforms? If indigenous employees and immigrants are
good substitutes, then natives will soon be helped by restrictions
as either their wages rise or their employment opportunities
improve weighed against a far more open border policy. If native
and international workers are complements in manufacturing then the
native employees gain from accessibility to more foreign
workers and lose from restrictive immigration policy. If
some groups of native workers are substitutes for im
migrants, and others are complementary with immigrants,
then the impact of immigration restrictions would be
6 Many Guises of Reform
uneven, and the potential for conflict over reform great. In
this assortment of documents the problem of substitutability is
discussed at length by George J. Borjas. Vernon M. Briggs,
Jr., develops an interesting implication of the debate over
substitutability by arguing that the present immigration
policy (or nonpolicy) undermines policy made to aid
minorities together with poor.
Although you can find direct expenses of imposing immigration
restrictions, numerous argue that they're smaller compared to the costs
that are imposed by the existence of large communities of
legal and illegal aliens. Immigrants, they argue, participate
in earnings maintenance programs and strain general public services
such as education and medical care. Furthermore, if im
migrants and natives are substitutes in manufacturing, increased
immigration could cause native employees to earn lower wages
and suffer more jobless in a way that more become eligi
ble for public assistance. In sum, immigration may impose
greater expenses on U.S. taxpayers than is immediately ap
parent. Many of these problems are addressed by Francine D.
Blau, who may have analyzed data regarding use of transfers by im
migrants and natives.
The immigration debate isn't likely to be determined in the
near future. You can find too many opposing interest teams,
too small consensus over exactly what are the crucial problems, and a
dearth of proof that might be drawn upon to solve these
1. Differences when considering the home and Senate variations regarding the bill could
not be resolved.
and the
U.S. Labor Market
George J. Borjas
University of California
Santa Barbara
There was a very quick upsurge in the number of im
migrants admitted toward united states of america within the postwar
period. Through the 1950-1960 decade, including, an
average of 251,500 immigrants per year were admitted into
this country. This quantity had increased to over 390,000 per
year through the 1970-1980 ten years. The rapid increase in the
number of immigrants has raised (again) ab muscles old ques
tion of set up U.S. benefits from immigration.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that immigration was an impor
tant element of demographic change and of population growth
in the usa virtually throughout its whole history,
very little is recognized as to just how immigration affects different
sectors for the economy. Are workers, organizations, and consumers
helped or harmed by immigration?
within lecture I would like to try and offer an understand
ing of exactly what facts we must know before we are able to provide a
valid evaluation of the essential question. Despite what
self-appointed immigration professionals claim, current research
is therefore initial (and often therefore contradictory) in its conclu
sions that it is totally inappropriate to create sweeping
generalizations based on that literary works. However, ex
isting research does provide valid tips and clues regarding what
kinds of questions policymakers should be asking in attempting to
assess the effect of immigration regarding the United States. My
8 Immigrants & the work Market
objective in this study would be to provide an outline of what cur
rent research must state about this essential problem: What
kinds of questions are appropriate and just what do we understand about
the answers to these concerns?
I should stress at the start of the study that my focus
is solely regarding economic expenses and benefits associated
with immigration. It is not to state that there are perhaps not other
important dilemmas e.g., the impact of immigrants on the
political structure of government units associated with the U.S.
but most research has focused regarding the economic
aspects of immigration, and also this, too, could be the focus of my
There are two concerns that I believe are many relevant
in any assessment regarding the economic effect of immigration.
First, exactly how well do immigrants do into the U.S. work market?
In a competitive labor market, workers are paid the worthiness of
their marginal efficiency. Easily put, worf crs are
paid the value of this contribution that they make to the
firm©s output. By analyzing exactly how immigrants do inside labor
market, by studying the level of immigrants© earnings and
comparing them to your degree of native-born earnings, we're,
in impact, calculating the value of the share that im
migrants make to national output. This research concern is
the the one that has gotten the absolute most work from social scien
tists interested in immigration phenomena. A typical find
ing in this literary works is that immigrants have lower earnings
than the native-born if they first get to this country,
but that more than time the income of immigrants grow really fast
and fundamentally immigrant profits really overtake and
surpass the wages associated with native-born. It isn't uncommon
in these studies to locate that after ten to fifteen years inside U.S.
the typical immigrant is earning over the conventional native-
born person. Most of these findings not only help
perpetuate the Horatio Alger myth, and have the impor-
Immigrants & the Labor Market 9
tant policy implication that immigrants, through their higher
productivity, make an important contribution to
U.S. nationwide product.
The second question which relevant for an assessment of
the economic impact of immigrants «twists©* the first ques
tion around: from just how immigrants do within the work market,
to just what immigrants do in order to the work market? This will be probably
the question that gets the most news concern. There are
endless anecdotes of immigrants showing up within the U.S. and
»taking jobs away" from specific groups of native-born
workers. Regardless of the benefit of such anecdotal proof, the
fact continues to be that maybe not a single shred of evidence appropriate to
a social scientist despite having probably the most liberal criteria of
scientific analysis happens to be produced substantiating these
anecdotal claims. Undoubtedly, as immigrants enter the U.S.
labor market in good sized quantities it seems reasonable to expect
that these shifts in supply could have a direct effect on earn
ings and work of native-born teams. Since will likely be seen
below, however, regardless of magnitude associated with shift in
immigrant supply, financial theory cannot anticipate unam
biguously the way associated with change in immigrant earnings
and work. Particularly, immigrants may
«substitute» for native-born employees (since the anecdotal
evidence implicitly assumes) or they might «complement»
native-born workers into the production procedure. All scientific
studies with this crucial question declare that immigrants
have had a minor effect on the U.S. labor market, rather than a
single study within literature has supplied proof the
large negative effects assumed in media talks of this
It is my contention that no valid evaluation of the
economic impact of immigration in this country is made
unless we could provide measures of dollar expenses (or
benefits) connected with each of these two issues. In the re-
10 Immigrants & the Labor Market
mainder with this lecture i am going to summarize the existing state of
knowledge in all these concerns, and, with a few fortune,
raise some doubts concerning just how much we really do know about
any of the essential policy issues.
The Earnings of Immigrants
How do immigrants do inside labor market? This ques
tion, by far, has dominated all of the empirical research in
the immigration literature. To handle this problem the
researcher must merely compare the wages associated with native-
born with all the profits associated with the foreign-born. In principle,
therefore, it's a trivial workout. Despite the simpleness of this
task, however, the very first such research within the contemporary literature
did maybe not appear until 1978 when Barry Chiswick published an
influential paper regarding the «Americanization» of immigrant
earnings. Using the 1970 Census cross-section, Chiswick©s
analysis revealed two major findings:
1. The wages of recently appeared immigrants are
significantly less than the income of immigrants who have
been within country for longer periods; and
2. After 10-15 years, the income of immigrants overtake
the earnings regarding the native-born, so that earlier waves of im
migrants are valued more by the U.S. work market than the
native-born population.
The thrust among these findings is illustrated in Figure 1. The
typical native-born age-earnings profile is upward sloping
throughout much of the working life cycle. The typical im
migrant migrates at age t0, and at that time their earnings are
significantly below those of the native-born populace.
Over time, however, the income of immigrants increase at a
significantly higher level than those of native-born (as in
dicated by the steeper slope of age-earnings profile of im
migrants in Figure 1). The huge difference in these slopes leads to
Immigrants & the work Market 11
Figure 1
Immigrant and Native-Born
Earnings Profiles
Earnings Immigrants
12 Immigrants & the Labor Market
an overtaking chronilogical age of t, which Chiswick found was 10-15
years after age tg. Thus for a large portion of living cycle
Chiswick discovered that immigrants had higher produc
tivity and hence were valued more by the U.S. labor
market compared to the native-born populace. This remarkable
finding gave birth to the current traditional wisdom that
immigrants assimilate quite well in United States.
These results have actually a great deal of appeal to labor
economists been trained in the human capital tradition since
human capital theory can be easily invoked to spell out (part
of) these empirical regularities. Particularly, individuals im
migrating towards usa for «economic» reasons have
strong incentives to devote a large fraction of their work and
time toward procedure for collecting human being money or skills
valued by U.S. companies. These incentives are, naturally,
created by the fact the typical immigrant incurred
substantial costs in immigrating, and comes back to these in
vestment expenses can only just be obtained through high earnings in
the U.S. labor market. These high peoples money investment
volumes explain why immigrants© earnings rise at a faster
rate than native-born profits. They don't, but ex
plain the presence of an overtaking age while there is no ob
vious good reason why the full total stock of human capital should be
greater for immigrants than for the native-born. To explain
the overtaking point Chiswick presents the deus ex
machina of «selection biases.» That is, for reasons that are
not well comprehended, the immigration policies associated with United
States (plus the emigration policies of sending coun
tries) combined with economic incentives motivating in
dividuals to migrate lead to an immigrant population that is,
on average, «better» than the native-born populace. This
greater quality (regarding profits possible) of immigrants
is, consequently, responsible for the fact that over a big por
tion for the working life, immigrants apparently have actually higher
earnings compared to native-born.
& the work marketplace 13
An considerable literary works developed after the ap
pearance of Chiswick©s paper. This literature borrowed both
the conceptual framework and empirical methodology of
Chiswick©s analysis, and, generally, figured
Chiswick©s results had been quite robust. Cross-section studies of
immigrants by sex, by nationwide origin, by battle, etc., all led to
the exact same essential choosing: over time of adaptation (or
assimilation) immigrants do quite well in U.S. labor
A current paper of my own (Borjas 1985a), however, questions
the validity of this finding. The fallacy inside Chiswick-type
literature is its usage of cross-section information sets (a «snapshot»
like the U.S. Census) to explain the powerful group of events
which we call «assimilation.» In other words, its incorrect
to learn just how various immigrants do (with regards to earnings)
at a given stage, also to infer from that how the earn
ings of certain immigrant grow in the long run. You will find two
serious biases which destroy the credibility of the inference.
The to begin these biases comes from the fact that many im
migrants sooner or later go back to their nation of origin.
Estimates of this emigration rates regarding the foreign-born
population in the usa vary from 20-30 %. It
is not likely your incidence of emigration is distributed ran
domly in immigrant population. As an alternative, immigrants
who emigrate will probably keep the U.S. for particular reasons.
One such possibility is the fact that things simply failed to work out
for them within the U.S. work market. In a sense, then, the
«failures» leave the United States. In that case, the sooner waves of
immigrants is supposed to be composed just of «successes,» while the
more present waves contain both «successes» and the
«failures» who'll fundamentally keep. This sample
composition will clearly cause the end result that earlier waves
of immigrants earn significantly more, on average, compared to more recent
waves even when no assimilation truly exists.
14 Immigrants & the work Market
The 2nd issue because of the cross-section outcomes is the
implicit assumption that different waves of immigrants are
identical in average quality (whether or not there were no
emigration). This hidden (and heroic) presumption forces the
reader to believe your quality of immigrants who arrived
in the U.S. in 1940s is the same as compared to immigrants
who arrived in the U.S. into the 1960s plus in the 1980s. The
fact that U.S. immigration policy went through a major revi
sion in 1964 is enough to make an analyst conscious of the im-
plausibility of the sort of analysis. Also, however,
political and economic upheavals in delivering nations have
clearly had an effect on the size, on the racial, as well as on the
national origin composition for the immigrant flow to the
United States. If these occasions have actually generated a decline in the
quality of immigrants admitted to your U.S. in postwar
period, the Chiswick-type cross-section consequence of Figure 1
would once more be produced since previous waves is ex
pected to possess greater profits compared to more recent arrivals.
In my 1985a paper, we address this issue by conducting a
joint analysis of the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses. If the
cross-section studies are right, certain cohorts of immigrants
(e.g., Cubans who arrived in 1965-1969) should do substan
tially better into the 1980 Census than in the 1970 Census. In
fact, they don't. The tracking of a large number of im
migrant cohorts over the 1970-1980 period reveals that, in
most cases, the cross-section studies greatly overstate the ac
tual improvement that took place in immigrant earnings dur
ing that time period. Hence the main reason that early in the day waves of
immigrants earn much more than the recent waves has little to do
with the assimilation stories that dominate the literary works.
Rather it's regarding the truth that there has been a
precipitous decrease in the quality of this immigrant pool ad
mitted towards U.S. into the postwar duration.
There nevertheless remains the concern, however, of just what policy
implications, if any, are recommended by this revisionist view of
Immigrants & the Labor Market 15
Figure 1. Plainly, my outcomes mean that the efficiency of
immigrants has fallen in the long run. Yet, one could nevertheless ask: So
what? Is this secular decrease in quality good or a bad thing?
I do perhaps not understand the answer to this question. Since the in
dustrial framework regarding the U.S. economy changed rapidly
since 1940 (and will probably continue steadily to alter) it is unclear
that we need 500,000 experts immigrating to your U.S.
every year. My results must, consequently, be interpreted in the
context of the kinds of jobs that are being produced by the
U.S. economy and not simply on skills of the
new entrants.
The Impact of Immigrants
A complete assessment of the relationship between im
migrants and the U.S. labor market requires knowledge not
only of how they do in labor market, but also of what
they do in order to the marketplace. In other words, what is the impact of
immigrants on the earnings and employment of the native-
born population?
It is easy to show that, despite the deeply held (and almost
religious) beliefs of many analysts who have studied this
question, theoretically it is impossible to predict whether im
migrants diminish or expand native-born employment op
portunities. Consider Figure 2. initial graph defines the
labor market facing immigrants: Sj could be the supply bend of im
migrants and DJ could be the demand bend for immigrant labor. In
a competitive work market, the Lj immigrants employed
would make earn Wj bucks. Suppose given that a political
crisis abroad leads to a big increase in the quantity of
foreign-born people inside U.S. This crisis shifts the supply
curve for immigrant work from Sj to S^, and, not surprisingly,
even though more immigrants are used in the brand new labor
market equilibrium (employment is now provided by Lj), the
wage each immigrant gets is reduced to W[. In a sense, im
migrants compete for jobs with themselves, and hence an in-
16 Immigrants & the Labor Market
vvv Figure
Immigrant Labor Market
w Native
Labor Market
(Assuming immigrants and native-born are substitutes)
Immigrants & the Labor Market 17
Figure 2 (continued)
Native Labor Market
(Assuming immigrants and native-born are complements)
W n
crease in the supply of immigrants must (in this simple
model) lead to reduced earnings opportunities for the entire
immigrant population.
The second graph of Figure 2 illustrates the impact of the
increased availability of immigrants on native-born earnings and
employment when it is assumed that immigrants and native-born
workers are substitutes in manufacturing. The curves Sn and Dn
are the initial supply and need curves of native-born
workers. The change inside supply of immigrants will likely
have an impact regarding the demand for native-born employees. It is
often advertised usually with no evidence that im
migrants and native-born employees compete the same
kinds of jobs. Economists define this situation as you in
18 Immigrants & the Labor Market
which immigrants and native-born workers are substitutes in
production. That's, both foreign- and native-born workers
do the exact same kinds of jobs and therefore the demand for native-
born employees will fall to D^ when the availability of immigrants
increases. This shift popular will trigger less native-born
employment and also to reduced native-born wages. In a sense, the
fact that immigrants and native-born workers are alike i.e.,
are substitutes in production implies that the entry of new
immigrants reduces the productivity for the native-born
population and therefore decreases Wn. That is, of course, the
typical presumption in discussions of the issue both in the
media as well as in many educational articles.
There is, however, an alternate presumption that on a
priori grounds is equally legitimate: immigrants and native-born
workers are complements in production. This kind of
technological relationship arises, for instance, when an il
legal alien mows the yard at my household. The two of us gain: he gets
a work and an income, and I get to devote my time and energy to research. In
this situation, the productivity of this native-born population
increases whenever brand new immigrants are presented in. As illustrated in the
third graph of Figure 2, this leads to an upward shift in the
demand curve for native-born labor increasing both native-
born work and profits.
To repeat, its theoretically impossible to predict whether
immigrants diminish or expand the employment oppor
tunities for the native-born. The way of the effect of
immigrants regarding profits and employment of this native-
born is entirely an empirical question and certainly will be settled only
by mention of available data.
A few documents have attempted to conduct empirical studies
of this matter. (See Borjas 1983, 1985b, 1986; Grossman
1982.) The methodology in these studies is dependant on the in
sight that a couple of labor markets (or SMSAs) traditionally
receive the majority of the immigrant work. Hence the comparison
Immigrants & the work Market 19
of profits levels in these labor areas aided by the earnings
levels in labor areas with fairly couple of immigrants should
reveal the direction for the change within the demand curve for
native-born work. The outcomes from studies are sum
marized in Table 1. This dining table gift suggestions the estimated percent
age effect of native-born profits (by form of native-born
worker) in the event that (white) immigrant population had been to increase
by 10 percent. Dining table 1 reveals numerically trivial impacts.
The profits of white native-born workers are paid down by
only 0.2 percent, whilst the earnings of black colored native-born
workers enhance by 0.2 per cent. These numerically trivial ef
fects recommend two crucial findings: First, the matter of
whether the need curve shifts up or down is significantly ir
relevant. Immigrants have virtually no impact on the de
mand curve for native-born employees. 2nd, the many
discussions that implicitly assume a top level of
substitutability between immigrant and native-born work are
far from the mark. These conversations are not just misleading
and dogmatic, but are also erroneous.
Table 1
Estimates of Impact of Immigrants on Earnings of Native-Born
A ten percent escalation in the
number of white immigrants
Type of native-born reduces or advances the earnings
worker of native-born workers by:__
White -.2%
Ebony .2per cent
Hispanic -.1%
Asian. 1 %
SOURCE: Borjas, 1985b.
20 Immigrants & the work Market
It is stressed, but that this style of research is
still in its infancy. Many others empirical studies of this type
are required before these results could form the basis for in
formed policymaking. Nonetheless, the few studies that do
exist, using various data and methodologies, cannot find
any evidence of sizable negative impacts. And this choosing, in
light regarding the talks that dominate the literary works, is quite a
Borjas, George J. 1983 «The Substitutability of Black, Hispanic and
White work,» Economic Inquiry, Vol. 21, #1, pp. 93-106.
Borjas, George J. 1985 «Assimilation, alterations in Cohort Quality, and
the profits of Immigrants,» Journal of work Economics, Vol. 3, No.
4. pp. 463-489 (a).
Borjas, George J. 1985 «Immigrants, Minorities, and Labor Market
Competition,» forthcoming (b).
Borjas, George J. 1986 «The Sensitivity of work Demand Functions to
Choice of Dependent Variable,» summary of Economics and Statistics,
Vol. 68, number 1, pp. 58-66.
Chiswick, Barry R. 1978 «The effectation of Americanization on the Earn
ings of Foreign-Born Men,» Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 85, No.
5. pp. 897-922.
Grossman, Jean B. 1982 «The Substitutability of Natives and Im
migrants in manufacturing,» report on Economics and Statistics, Vol. 64,
No. 4, pp. 596-603.
Can International
Migration be managed?
Michael J. Piore
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I began taking care of migration in 1972 after investing a
year and a half in Puerto Rico. When I came back to Boston
at the conclusion of that duration it appeared to me that most of a sudden
there had been Puerto Ricans around Boston. I becamen©t sure
whether which was an illusion on my component that originated from a
sudden, heightened awareness about Puerto Ricans in
general, or whether indeed, there have been a new migration
of Puerto Ricans to Boston. And so I started initially to investigate the
origins of the Puerto Rican community in Boston.
In the process, we in fact found the origins regarding the Puerto
Rican community in Boston. We went into one factory where
the manager pulled off the factory floor a gentleman who
said he had visited Boston in 1954. I asked him how large
the Puerto Rican community was in 1954 and he stated, «Well
let me personally see. There clearly was Juan, Jose ...» in which he called eight
people. But, I also discovered that the Puerto Rican community
in Boston, while a lot larger in 1972 than eight individuals, was
also not all Puerto Rican. Certainly, a large number of the peo
ple who stated become Puerto Rican, or whom at least were
presented to me as Puerto Rican, actually originated in other
parts of Spanish speaking Caribbean and lots of of them
were in the us illegally.
At that point immigration wasn't an extremely much talked
about trend, but ever since then, especially since 1972, it
International Migration
has become a focal point of public policy. In the last ten
years it seems to possess gained a permanent devote the
public policy agenda. We have simply gone through a long
debate over what's the latest little bit of immigration legisla
tion, the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. While that legislation was
defeated, or at the least tabled, it really is almost sure that there will
be another bit of immigration legislation into the coming
Congress. So it is largely compared to that debate, raised by the im
migration reform legislation, plus in light of a string of
research jobs that began with that study of Puerto Rican
migration but extended after that to your issue of migration
in general, that I would like to address my remarks.
The Prohibited Immigration Problem
The central concern inside general public debate has largely been
clandestine immigration. Estimates for the quantity of people
in the nation without proper documents consist of 3 to 12
million. 1 Interestingly sufficient, those figures the 3 and the
12 million have actually remained constant over the ten-year
period. Many of these individuals are here to the office, hence the no
tion they just take jobs from People in the us. The rhetoric of the
immigration debate signifies that, furthermore, the presence of
so many individuals within direct contradiction to announced
public policy, represents a threat towards basic social order
and ergo to the security and safety for the remainder of us. Their
ambiguous legal status certainly puts individuals themselves
in a precarious social place. It creates it hard to
educate kids, to obtain the protection of labor
legislation in the workplace, or off the work to have protec
tion from abuses of landlords, moneylenders or the
wrath of crazy loved ones and next-door neighbors or rejected suitors, all
of whom can at at any time in time change them in to the im
migration authorities.
The principal view about any of it immigration generally seems to be
that the immigrants are driven by a desperate attempt to
International Migration 23
escape the poverty and depression of the own nations,
which constitutes an inexorable force driving them towards
the United States. This view just isn't always made explicit but it
underlies the frequent mention of the the financial conditions
in places like Mexico, on populace pressures in the
underdeveloped globe, and also to the high unemployment rates
or alleged underemployment in these areas. Provided the fact
that the usa is surrounded by poverty, it implies
that I will be inundated with immigrants. Whenever figures
about income amounts and population development along our
southern border are presented in combination with the
figures in regards to the amounts of clandestine immigrants already
here, it seems that we have been currently being inundated.
Alternative Policies to Control
Illegal Immigration
This notion associated with the immigration process invites an insurance policy of
massive retaliation. To halt the invasion in this manner, one
would need certainly to get a grip on the two major channels of clandestine
immigration. Among those streams is comprised of people who
enter without examination, that's, fundamentally, cross the border.
The second group includes friends called «visa violators©*
who enter with documents, largely tourist documents but
some pupil visas, then break the conditions of those
visas either by working as they are right here or by staying after
the visas have actually expired.
Border Control: in theory, true edge control is prob
ably possible. The U.S.-Mexican border is quite long, but
most of it includes desert that will be tough to get across and
easy to police with aerial gear. Most of the entry oc
curs in big cities. The present edge control force is
small. As the previous work Secretary, Ray Marshall, was
fond of pointing away, the border patrol, actually, is smaller
than the Capitol Hill police force. Current smuggling opera
tions are reasonably primitive and unorganized. More
24 Overseas Migration
resources alone would help to counter those opera
On the other hand, your whole nature regarding the immigration
process truly changes beneath the impact of a massive
control operation. There is an escalation both in the
technology plus the organizational efforts on other side
of the edge and most likely an alteration within the locus of entry.
Border patrol would thus truly be significantly more
expensive than it appears to be during the present time. The final
cost with regards to resources, not to mention human being legal rights,
could be quite big. In personal judgment, if the control
activity were done with a well-conceived and very carefully im
plemented organizational structure, in other words, if it were
not done in panic, it may oftimes be pulled off.
Visa Controls: Visa violations, alternatively, are a
good deal harder to manage. All visa violators
come to your united states of america for ostensibly legitimate reasons:
to check out relatives, for tourism, shopping as well as for training.
Attempts to curtail visa violations by tightening up the pro
cedures through which visas are provided inevitably interfere
with these procedures in very severe ways. The consulates
who issue visas are overworked and understaffed and could
easily absorb more resources. However it is not clear that more
resources alone would solve this issue. Site con
straints appear, in fact, to be one of many major factors control
ling the amount of visas really granted at the moment. More
resources may possibly result in the process fairer, but might
actually boost the flow. It is extremely difficult to judge the ac
tual motivation of a job candidate, and because so many of those
who fundamentally violate their visas have actually genuine reasons for
visiting america and may not consider visa
violation ahead of time, it is really not clear your procedure could be
fully managed this way. I believe you will need to note
that a lot of pupils who end up violating their visas really
do come here for training and change their minds only
International Migration 25
after they get here about whether or not they desire to remain.
That©s probably even more real of visitors whom come from
foreign countries to check out friends and family relations and then
somehow stay longer than they intended, getting work to
finance their stretched stay.
Employer Controls: The difficulties of direct control, the
hopelessness of controlling visa violation, additionally the cost of
border control have forced attention on a third pro
posal employer liability. By a quirk inside immigration
legislation employers have been in not a way responsible for checking
the legal status of the workers. Reformers have
argued which is one of the main provisions of virtually
every bill that has been proposed, like the Simpson-
Mazzoli bill that when companies were made accountable for
verifying the appropriate working status of workers, the jobs
which are the primary attraction for the immigrants would be
cut off, and immigration would dry up.
It is probably true that will be the instance, but task con
trol is no panacea. The actual nature of current employers©
liability was notably altered by the advocates of this
reform. Employers aren't, its real, liable for having un
documented workers on their payroll, but they are liable if
they earnestly and knowingly participate in recruitment. Such
recruitment has in certain cases been fairly widespread although
very circumspect. The immigration solution is not very
successful in developing instances against this sort of recruit
ment, mostly because such cases are tough to prove
without extensive research that the Immigration and
Naturalization provider (INS) doesn't have the resources to
conduct. More strict forms of obligation would reduce the
investigative burden, but only marginally.
For really effective enforcement, companies might have to
have some way of confirming the status associated with the work applicant.
This would necessitate a national identity card which poses
26 Overseas Migration
apparently insurmountable civil liberties issues. Such a
system would also be extremely expensive. Budget estimates operate to
several billions of bucks. By themselves, therefore,
employer sanctions are unlikely to have much of an effect
one way or another. To work they'd need a
massive infusion of resources for the immigration solution.
These resources will be nearly as effective under present
legislation if they had been devoted to investigations and Im
migration and Naturalization provider raids of existing
employers, but we now have consistently judged the expense of all
these tasks to be too great. Hence, there is an awareness in which
the flooding of immigrants, that the mainstream view
predicts, seems unavoidable. Us tradition appears doomed
to either drown in a sea of international languages and alien
customs, or to degenerate since the immigrants decrease our
standard of living and now we divert increasing resources to
securing our edges and work out progressive compromises on
our fundamental human values in order to keep aliens out.
Fortunately, however, there's hardly any proof to sup
port the idea which underlies the conventional wisdom. It
seems logical your income space between your United States
and the underdeveloped world should be the fundamental governor
of the immigration procedure. But that does not, actually, seem
to be the instance. The migrants are not from the poorest
countries on earth and they're not coming from the
poorest areas in their nations of origin. This continues to be true
even when some effort was created to correct the figures for the
cost of transportation or even information regarding job pro
spects. Mexican migrants to the United States, including,
come from places like Jalisco in the middle of the country
and from Mexico City, not from the reasonably bad Yucatan.
The poorest nation into the Western Hemisphere is Haiti. It
has been the poorest for several, a long time, but until quite
recently Haiti had not been a principal way to obtain migrant workers
and historically also to a lesser level nevertheless, the Haitian
International Migration 27
migration is mainly made up of the reasonably well-to-do
and well-educated center class.
Conventional Migration Theory Fails to Explain
Present and Past prices of Immigration
Any concept of migration must explain its timing. The cur
rent revolution of clandestine migration is current. It dates from
the late 1960s. A sizable income differential between the
United States while the countries of origin has, however,
always existed and when such a thing has probably been narrowing
over the past 10 years. Nor is it possible to account fully for the
recent migration flows through other changes in the price dif
ferential. Transport costs, for instance, have been
remarkably stable over extended periods of time. The price of air
transportation from the Caribbean inside early 1970s (and
that©s the time when immigration appears to have really
begun) is around the exact same percentage of unskilled
worker©s once a week wage whilst the price of steamship passage from
Italy in the 1880s.
Insofar when I can judge from conversing with immigrants, the im
migration procedure doesn't work once the traditional wisdom
presumes because the possible immigrants view the United
States a great deal as Us citizens view the immigrants. The im
migrants are deeply attached to their language and culture
and highly rooted in their own communities in which they
feel comfortable as well as home. They find United states society
cold and alien, strange, lonely and frightening. Their migra
tion is therefore perhaps not an indication for the special attraction regarding the United
States, but paradoxically of a consignment with their home
community. Generally speaking, they will have some particular project at
home which motivates the migration procedure: Landholdings
which they wish to expand or improve, agricultural
equipment or livestock they want to buy, an interurban
taxi or hack, a tiny store, in some areas an item of industrial
equipment for a house factory. Their idea is visited the
28 International Migration
United States temporarily, work hard for a somewhat short
period of time, after which get back house utilising the accumulated
earnings to fund their project. 2
This, incidently, is true not merely for the present migration,
but it's been true historically too. Belated nineteenth cen
tury migrants from southern and eastern European countries appear to
have originate from areas of small land holdings in which projects
to expand or improve agriculture were widespread among
the peasantry. The prices of return or rate of emigration
among these very early migrants were quite high, general 32 per
cent of most immigrants between 1908 and 1910 (a period for
which we've complete numbers) returned. 3 for a few groups
the price was much higher. Sixty-three per cent of northern
Italian migrants to the usa and 56 percent of the
southern Italians, like, went house in that duration.
The undeniable fact that immigrants are motivated in this manner limits the
range of jobs which is why employers find them attractive.
They©re not attractive for jobs to which adult national
workers generally aspire. Such jobs require a long-term com
mitment on the part of the labor force, high levels of educa
tion, training and experience, and a stable regular labor
force commitment.
The Additional work Market
As a conclusion for Immigration
Thus, the immigration procedure tends to be governed by,
and answer what we call the secondary sector regarding the labor
market jobs that are reasonably low paying, insecure, have
menial social status, and absence any a better job. Such
work just isn't attractive to committed national workers precise
ly since it does not have any future and adds small toward self-
definition and esteem of those who perform it. The im
migrants are undeterred by these exact same characteristics
because they view their stay as short-term. They want to leave
Migration 29
before they are laid off. They cannot think about themselves as
staying long enough to make use of profession oppor
tunities and they get their self-definition from the work
they perform in the home. Because it may be the jobs within the secondary
sector for which migrants are an attractice supply of labor, it
is these jobs which control the immigration procedure.
We do not know why the economy generates secondary
jobs. A good many regarding the jobs which clandestine immigrants
now hold had been previously held by other migrant teams:
first, by foreign immigrants from southern and eastern
Europe and later black colored employees migrating from the
rural south. The brand new immigration dates from the late 1960s
when jobless, under the impact associated with the Vietnam War
boom, reached exceedingly low levels. In this duration, the labor
reserves into the rural south were virtually exhausted and the
black work force became dominated by a second generation
which had adult in towns and cities. Case study proof sug
gests this brand new generation, whoever attitudes had been crystaliz-
ed by the civil liberties motion, had been increasingly perceived
by employers as intractable and difficult, if not actually
dangerous, to handle. 4 Faced with an over-all work shortage
and a great distrust of existing workforce, businessmen
thus begun to look around for brand new resources of work and they
found them increasingly among international employees. In a
number of instances the employer©s efforts seemed to have been
deliberate and purposeful, nevertheless they went largely unnoticed as
policy centered on acquiring higher quantities of jobs for blacks.
In some situations organizations actually did actually have recruited
from abroad, which ended up being the origin of the new migration
The character of an immigration flow cannot,
however, remain static. It changes significantly as time passes.
Most very early immigrants want to stay just temporarily, but
many end up remaining longer than they intended. Some of
30 International Migration
them in the course of time settle forever inside United States.
Even people who finally do return often have kiddies who
grow up in the usa, stop from their parents©
country without the cultural and linguistic ties that bind their
parents towards the place of origin. The long-stayers and their
children type a permanent settlement whose people,
especially in second generation, have needs and aspira
tions which parallel those regarding the U.S. nationals. Certainly, for
practical purposes, the majority are U.S. nationals whatever their
legal status. Return is not a viable option.
Once a permanent community kinds in the United States
the character associated with the new migrants additionally begins to change. It
becomes feasible to go toward United States and settle per
manently without exceptional cultural alienation and
strangeness which deters this type of migration inside begin
ning and much more individuals start to achieve this. Hence, an immigration
process which starts initially as basically complementary
to the requirements and aspiration of U.S. nationals creates over
time a second generation and a growing number of first
generation immigrants that are in competition with
American nationals for stable job jobs.
Where are we in this process at this time? If the recent
wave of immigration began within the late 1960s, it is now almost
20 years later on. The country has accumulated a substantial
reserve of undocumented immigrants and also the original fluid
immigration flow has begun to solidify. Most of the public
discussion generally seems to presume that this is the case. Individuals talk
as if time alone makes this issue increasingly more pressing.
But right here too, this might be by no means clear. The original upsurge of
immigration in belated 1960s had been a reply to two facets:
an unusually tight work market with degrees of unemployment
much less than any skilled since, and a comparatively sud
den shift inside character for the black colored labor force, who had
previously been staffing additional jobs. The cleaner that
this created in the bottom associated with work market, into which the
Migration 31
new immigrants were drawn, couldn't have been greatly ex
panded since that time and with increasing jobless may
actually have actually shrunk. In the last five years there has also
been a considerable infusion of refugees. The refugees have
moved into jobs really comparable to those held by un
documented migrants. But, the refugees have actually a permanent
commitment toward U.S. that the migrants cannot and un
doubtedly push most of the migrants out. Nevertheless settled
the initial migrant communities have grown to be, we know
from case studies and anecdotal proof that the numbers
who are temporarily here, stay significant. 3 Because these
people are here to save money they're not interested in
waiting out unemployment. They don't stay static in the United
States. If jobs are unavailable they're going house. Indeed, as one
migrant commented, „It just isn't worth my while to keep here if
I can©t hold about two jobs.“ At their core, the immigrant
communities may now be sufficiently solid to resist the
pressure of jobless and the competition of the
refugees, but there is still a broad periphery of workers who
must have taken care of immediately the changing economic conditions
and the latest competition by making the United States.
Economic troubles in Mexico can be augment
ing undocumented migration, but this presumption is also
dubious. No body seems to have argued during the Mexican
oil growth for the late 1970s that the undocumented migration
from that country diminished. In the event that growth would not diminish
the migration, it is ambiguous why the bust should enhance it.
However bad things are in Mexico, you can most likely do bet
ter there surrounded by a family and embedded in a com
munity system compared to the United States without a job and
ineligible for jobless insurance coverage or social welfare. In
any case, a lot of the argument relates to financial refugees
from Mexico, since it does to political refugees from Cuba,
Asia, and El Salvador. Towards level they have a
stronger motive in which to stay the United States, they©re likely to
32 Overseas Migration
replace temporary migrants off their countries in the
hemisphere. This displacement effect certainly operates
least efficiently in the western in which Mexicans predominate,
but highly in Midwest additionally the East Coast where Mex
icans are only among an immense number of various na
tional teams which make up the immigrant population.
Finally, what exactly is almost never recognized in assessing the
evolution associated with clandestine immigration populace is a
very big percentage of the individuals who do settle per
manently manage to legitimize their status. The official im
migration system in the us operates through a
system of equity, or preference, to provide enormous fat to
family reunification. The partner, moms and dads, plus the children
under the age of 21 of U.S. residents are admitted outside the
official immigration quotas. The preference system allocates
20 percent of the overall quota of 270,000 immigrants to un
married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, 26 percent to
unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident aliens,
10 percent to married sons and daughters of citizens and 24
percent to brothers and sisters of citizens. Very few people
develop a desire to be in forever in a location without
developing the social and family ties which may eventually
qualify them for a permanent immigration visa under one or
another among these various family members unification provisions. In ad
dition, the wives or husbands of U.S. citizens come in out
side the quota system completely. Many visa violators come to
the United States as household site visitors with precisely the types of
ties which will permit them to legitimize their status initial
ly. Extremely common training for undocumented aliens to apply
for official admission, visited america, real time and
work clandestinely while their application is pending, and
then return house in regards to right through to pick it up at the
office. In this way, documented and undocumented migra
tion are intertwined and the pool of undocumented workers
is continually diminished by official migration.
International Migration 33
The estimates associated with the stock of undocumented migrants
have, when I said at the start, remained constant. Which,
the range is definitely three to twelve million over the
whole length of this debate. Its generally speaking expected that this
is due to the width associated with range which the real figure has
moved up in the long run. Given increasing jobless, the com
petition of refugees, additionally the processes of legitimization
through official immigration, however, the real figure might
as well have actually declined. It is in the nature of this pro
cess that people can't ever understand what the actual figure is really because,
obviously, clandestine migrants are not volunteering infor
mation about their presence within the United States.
Immigrant and Native Workers: Two Case Studies
What does this alternative view of immigration imply for
public policy? The main concern of public policymakers is
the threat which immigration poses to income and employ
ment opportunities of United states nationals. In conven
tional understanding, the immigrants constitute a generaliz
ed danger. Along the way simply sketched down, the hazard is much
more limited and restricted. The immigrants, about in the
early stages associated with the process, don't jeopardize the employment
opportunities of permanent adult employees, particularly those
in jobs requiring a long-term job commitment. Certainly, in
sofar as some menial, unskilled and unsecured
workers are essential to sustain stable, long-term task oppor
tunities, the immigrants might actually complement these
types of national workers. The competition happens between
the immigrants alongside marginally committed labor force
groups, specially youth and secondary ladies workers
whose main dedication would be to home and family respon
sibilities. Also that sort of competition is hard to assess.
The nature regarding the labor force commitment among these teams is
in it self ambiguous. The jobs at risk are, moreover, in com-
International Migration
petition with foreign producers and any try to replace
the immigrant labor pool with nationals might simply drive
the work abroad.
The problems for analysis and policy are illustrated by
two studies of New York City industries, one by Thomas
Baily (1985) associated with the nyc restaurant industry, the
second by Roger Waldinger (1985) associated with the new york gar
ment industry.
The Restaurant Industry: within the restaurant industry, im
migrants are concentrated in a distinct sector of ethnic
restaurants owned and managed by immigrant en
trepreneurs. This sector coexists with two other sectors the
fast food sector typified by McDonald©s, that will be staffed
primarily with young part-time employees, and complete service
restaurants owned by American nationals who employ some
immigrants but in addition a certain number of nationals. Baily
argues, on the basis of a comparison along with other cities which
have much smaller immigrant groups, that the competition
between immigrants and nationals just isn't an immediate one, but oc
curs through the general sizes of the different sectors.
Without the immigrants, he contends, the fastfood sector
would be much bigger, McDonald©s would substitute for the
Greek coffee shop at the bottom for the price line, and limited
menu steakhouses would substitute towards the top. This will be partial
ly a substitution of youth for immigrant work. But a
good deal of this junk food procedure is commercial. The food
and equipment are ready in remote manufacturing
establishments. These establishments tend to offer relatively
unskilled jobs that are accessible to immigrants. These jobs
have schedules and places that aren't attractive to the
youth. The manufacturing activities can, furthermore, be easily
performed abroad. Plainly, the jobs lost by immigrants
would not be transformed into youth restaurant jobs on a one-
for-one foundation. It's not entirely clear that youth could be
attracted to fill every brand new restaurant task created by curtail-
Migration 35
ing immigration. The restaurants in the nonimmigrant cities
which Baily examined have a dispersed populace and a
largely family members clientele. These are typically located near the youth
which they use. New york restaurants have actually a pro
fessional and company clientele within the center city, remote
from the residence of young workers.
The Garment Industry: Employment patterns within the gar
ment industry are similarly complicated and ambiguous.
Waldinger contends your industry in nyc also caters
to a certain portion for the nationwide market. It concen
trates upon the production of quick runs of specialty items
for a spot market. It therefore needs the large flexible
sources of labor that your immigrants offer. The im
migrant communities also provide a particular skill continuity
which is otherwise tough to keep and that will be par
ticularly important provided the kind of production which the
city specializes. Outside the city, production is of a tremendously dif
ferent sort. It comprises of much longer runs regarding the products
which are far more standard and/or are ordered beforehand. For
example, very stylized dresses are manufactured in brand new York
City, while more standard products including blue jeans are
produced elsewhere in long-run operations. The initial order
of standardized clothes for the period is likely to be produced
outside nyc. But there will be last minute spot orders
which need to be filled on quick notice. They are generally
produced in nyc itself alongside specialized requests.
The long-run form of manufacturing ended up being initially done in New
York, but since it requires fewer skills, benefits from large
production facilities, and supports the time delays involved
in remote manufacturing, it moved out from the town during the
postwar decades, very first to rural areas within the U.S., and then
With the brand new immigration, some long-run manufacturing has
come back into nyc. It is difficult to imagine the
garment industry without a fashion center like New York
36 International Migration
and the spot market segment of industry which resides
there. New York©s primary United states competitors are Miami
and la, both of which use the same immigrant
labor force. Without the immigrants the entire industry
might move abroad. The present return of long-run produc
tion to new york was, at cost, partly, of
farm wives in rural Pennsylvania, upstate nyc, and the
south, as well as in this case the immigrants do compete with
American nationals. But it has additionally been within cost of
foreign production, additionally the domestic manufacturing which
moved to nyc might otherwise have relocated to those
foreign areas. The value for the jobs lost to the
farm wives can also be debatable. Ahead of the factories moved into
these areas, most of these ladies had never ever considered
working. The rural work force had been a creation of the
employers, in very similar method the immigration labor
force into the town is the item of boss recruiting.
To summarize, it is not clear that prohibiting the employ
ment of immigrants in these industries would necessarily in
crease employment of native workers. Immigrants readily
substitute for a marginally committed much less skilled labor
force. Employers look reluctant to employ the mostly younger
and less skilled indigenous employees. Chances are that reducing the
availability of international workers would just cause these
employers to relocate their businesses abroad.
Policy Prescriptions
Taken together, these considerations lead me to conclude
that the concern which has motivated present legislative pro
posals is misplaced and legislation itself is ill-conceived.
We ought, I would argue, nontheless, try to limit
and control the immigration process. The explanation for doing
so is over a tremendously any period of time of time immigration does
have the ability to corrode the occupations of
national workers, and because generally speaking, a tight labor
International Migration 37
market where work is in short supply is more conducive to
social progress than a loose one.
Limit Immigration by Improving performing Conditions:
The best way to limit immigration, however, is by direct con
trol over employment conditions, by raising wages and im
proving working conditions of this jobs that immigrants
are attracted in the hope this will ultimately attract na
tional workers inside their place. Policy instruments for doing
this are available in our work criteria legislation and the
National work Relations Act. I might, for that reason, rather
devote the resources we're authoring diverting
to the enforcement of immigration legislation to enforce
ment of the bits of work legislation, and legislate
reforms which will raise the minimal wage, facilitate
union organization, tighten safe practices requirements, and
the like. I favor this policy to tighter immigration policy
because, in general, i do believe it's more humane more consis
tent with all the preservation of and respect for human
rights to control jobs in place of to control people.
I additionally believe that the immigration debate will become
entangled in feelings of xenophobia and racism, which
obscure the underlying economic interest on the line. As a
result, we are systematically resulted in pass legislation, which
when we come across what its true economic expenses are, our company is unwill
ing to enforce. A debate which centers on the minimum
wage and labor criteria legislation makes these expenses much
more salient in general public policy debate. I go on it as axiomatic
that whenever we are unwilling to aid legislation which directly
raises the expense of labor I will be reluctant to enforce im
migration legislation which has the consequence of accomplishing this in
directly by detatching the foreign labor pool. It is a consistent
part of the policy not just to enforce work criteria direct
ly, but also to combine that types of enforcement with en
forcement of immigration legislation through periodic in-
38 International Migration
spection of establishments recognized to use clandestine im
migrants in order to regularly vacate the jobs, start them up to
nationals and test their desirability. The decent way to do
this would be to inspect worker documents and inform the
employer of all workers without proper documents and to
hold the company liable if he continues to hire these people
in the future.
Do Maybe not utilize Immigration Reform to resolve Basic Economic
and personal issues: however, it might be a great
mistake to see in control of immigration a remedy to any
of our basic economic and social issues. This seems ob
vious if you ask me with respect to the high levels of unemployment
we are experiencing, although, given the rhetoric
surrounding the insurance policy debate, this time is probably worth
emphasizing. Current unemployment may be the product of a
deep and extended economic recession along with long-
term structural modifications inside technology and interna
tional competitive position of our major companies. The in
creases in jobless have concentrated among precisely
those committed adult male employees that perhaps not in competi
tion with immigrants. As well as the low-wage, unstable, menial
jobs which the immigrants hold wont substitute for the
jobs they have lost. The immigrant jobs might, it is
true, ease the modification procedure of the displaced workers if
they were willing to just take them, but some of the displaced
workers will be prepared to accept the humiliation of
such a major decrease in social status for the small earnings in
volved. The true solution to their dilemmas will require both
an economic data recovery that's suffered and resilient and
training and relocation assistance to help permanently
displaced workers find a dignified destination in the economy.
I believe it is worth emphasizing your immigrants only
accept these jobs simply because they think of them as temporary
and simply because they hold them in someplace therefore remote from the
place where they actually consider on their own as per-
Migration 39
manently located plus in which their own self-identity is an
chored. The same point is made out of respect to black
youth. Many of the jobs now held by immigrants were
once held by the black colored nationals. In the event that immigrants were to
somehow disappear, black colored Us americans would again simply take over
some of these work. The immigrants, however, did not
displace blacks. Companies observed an alteration in black at
titudes toward the task which made them hard to
manage, and recruited migrants to change them. Ebony at
titudes changed because an adult generation, raised in the
rural south with a background and motivations like the
immigrants of today, had been replaced by a fresh generation who
grew up in northern cities. These more youthful workers
associated the jobs aided by the inferior social status to which
their competition was indeed condemned in the us and
feared they is restricted inside them permanently
through prejudice and discrimination. This process of
replacement happened nearly twenty years ago in a much tighter
labor market as well as a time when both governmental climate
and the levels of welfare and social advantages had been much more
conducive to these attitudes than they truly are today. It's likely
that black colored resistance to such work has moderated somewhat
and this is the case for pushing to reopen a few of these jobs.
But, neither we nor, more essential, the entrepreneurs involv
ed believe that the attitudes have actually changed substantially. The
real means to fix the employment problem of blacks requires
not the regaining of menial, low-wage jobs, but upward
mobility into high-wage, dignified work.
Do Not Interfere Directly with all the payment of Im
migrant Communities: Finally, exactly because of the ex
perience using the black revolt into the 1960s, it might be a
great error to try and control immigration by directly
forestalling settlement. The black colored motion was essentially
the revolt of second generation immigrants a revolt of the
children of a generation who had leave the south who
40 International Migration
were not any longer pleased with their parents© jobs, but whom did
not gain access to the high wages and career advancement
which may have pleased their aspirations. Prejudice and
discrimination had been certainly major factors blocking
their development, nevertheless the black youth of 1960s were
also defectively trained for the jobs to which they aspired.
The kids for the brand new immigrants will definitely view
their parents© jobs in much the same means and may react in
much exactly the same way if their own development is similarly
blocked. Any make an effort to avoid their moms and dads from settling
permanently will bar the kids usage of the educational
and cultural facilities that may allow them to satisfy their
aspirations and recreate for the next major percentage of our
population the social tensions that have surrounded black
communities in the last two decades.
in a way, furthermore, United states culture has a moral
obligation to these kids aswell. They have been right here because we
wanted the work of these moms and dads. In an exceedingly genuine sense, we
recruited their parents. By therefore doing we made the children like
us, most likely a lot more like united states with regards to values and aspirations,
culture and language, than their moms and dads. Having done this, we
have an obligation to deal with them once we would treat our own
children. If, in the process, we create competitors for our
children, this might be an argument for lots more careful control
of the application of immigrant work inside secondary sector, but is
is perhaps not a tremendously strong argument for limiting the results of
that immigration by pressing on the young ones who, like united states,
have nowhere else to go.
Conclusions getting rejected associated with the old-fashioned policy alternatives require not
imply we accept the settlement of immigrants as in
evitable and beyond our control. Toward contrary, the im
migration process are restricted to a variety of means.
Higher wages into the additional sector would attract nationals
Migration 41
to jobs generally held by immigrants and thus make un
necessary the active recruitment of workers from abroad.
Demand for immigrants for employers is an im
portant description the continued stock of un
documented workers. Additionally, increased wages would
enable short-term immigrants to meet up their target earnings
more quickly and return home before they develop perma
nent attachments in america. The longer the
residence associated with the immigrant the more likely she or he will
develop accessories thus a lot more likely temporary
residency can be permanent.
Changing the present visa policy may reduce permanent
immigration. Time limits on visitors within the form of
visas, paradoxically, inspire longer remains and cause many
visitors to stay forever, albeit illegally, into the United
States. This results because visa violators delay returning
home when their visas expire for fear they'll not be permit
ted entry into the united states of america again. Replacing temporary
visas with permanent visas could reduce permanent settle
ment by permitting visitors to get back house without fear of
being banned from going into the united states of america as time goes on.
Higher wages and altered visa policies are a great deal
more humane and less high priced than the policies contemplated
in the existing legislative debate. I believe these will ultimate
ly be more effective in preserving the economic and spiritual
values of US life.
1. For a discussion about the derivation of those quotes see Corwin
2. For substantial discussion towards motives of immigrants see Piore
3. Immigration Commission (1911), p. 182, dining table 16.
42 Overseas Migration
4. For a discussion about these perceptions see Piore (1969).
5. For a discussion and citations see Piore (1979).
Baily, Thomas, „The impact of Legal reputation on work marketplace Im
pact of Immigration,“ International Migration Review, Summer 1985,
pp. 220-238.
Corwin, Arthur F., „The Numbers Game: quotes of prohibited Aliens in
the United States, 1970-1981,“ in Richard R. Hofstetter (ed.), U.S. Im
migration Policy (Durham: Duke University Press, 1984), pp. 223-297.
Immigration Commission (The Dillingham Commission), Abstract of
Reports for the Immigration Commission, U.S. Senate, 61st Congress,
3rd Session, Document No. 747 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing workplace, 1911), Vol. 1, p. 182, Table 16.
Piore, Michael J., „On-the-Job Training in the Dual work marketplace:
Public and Private Responsibilities in On-the-Job Training of Disadvan-
taged Workers,“ in Arnold R. Weber et al., eds., Public-Private Man
power Policies (Madison, WI: IRRA, 1969), pp. 101-132.
Piore, Michael J., wild birds of Passage (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1979).
Waldinger, Roger, „Immigration and Industrial improvement in the New
York City Apparel business,“ in George J. Borjas and Marta Tienda
(eds.), Hispanics within the U.S. Economy (Orlando: Academic Press, 1985),
pp. 323-349.
The Imperative
of Immigration Reform
Vernon M. Briggs, Jr.
Cornell University
»Its death is a classic symptom for the issue with our
politics; the unique interest prevails throughout the general
interest." 1 with this specific epitaph, one person in the congres
sional meeting committee summed up the fate associated with im
migration reform package that passed away within his committee in
October 1984. The bill into consideration ended up being popularly
known once the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. It represented the latest
unsuccessful effort by Congress of a quest that started in the
early 1970s to come quickly to grips with the nation©s outmoded and
out-of-control immigration system.2
The Simpson-Mazzoli bill had not been a panacea for the na
tion©s immigration ills. It represented only the first step of
what eventually should be a number of legislative moves to
assure your immigration system plays a part in the
nation©s economic welfare and will not contravene such
goals. For even though Simpson-Mazzoli bill did contain
other features, it mainly addressed unlawful immigration. As
important as is this matter, its a simple blunder to
assume that punishment of this existing system is the only problem
with the nation©s immigration system. To your contrary, the
nation©s immigration system is looking for a complete
overhaul. Significant illegal immigration is the absolute most ob
vious symptom that something is wrong.
It was the original intention of the paper to discuss why
the Simpson-Mazzoli bill ended up being just the very first and not the final
44 Immigration Reform
step into the immigration reform procedure. The beat of this
bill which, incidentally, the noted authority on immigra
tion history, Oscar Handlin, has precisely called «a more
liberal measure than any we©ve had in 90 years» 3 means
that the reform motion is back to square one. Thus, it is
not yet possible to speak only about the agenda that lies
«beyond Simpson-Mazzoli.» The complete issue of immigra
tion reform nevertheless remains become once more addressed.
The Problem in Brief Perspective
There are just two ways for a nation to acquire its labor
force: individuals are born within its boundaries or they im
migrate from other nations. Throughout most of the 19th
and early 20th hundreds of years, immigration had been the absolute most impor
tant part of the nation©s peoples resource policy. The
imposition of the nation©s first numerical ceilings on im
migration inside 1920s had been followed by several decades of
depression, war, and their immediate aftermaths. As a con
sequence, immigration diminished significantly in terms of
its peoples resource importance through the early 1920s to the
early 1960s. As a result of this diminished part over this forty
year duration, many scholars and policymakers were slow
to notice that because the mid-1960s, immigration in every of
its diverse kinds has once more become a significant function of the
U.S. economy. The 1980 Census unveiled that since 1970, the
number of foreign-born People in america had increased sharply
after decreasing each previous ten years since 1920 and it
disclosed this 1 of each and every 10 people in the united kingdom reported
speaking a language apart from English in the home. As there
was a substantial statistical undercount for the illegal im
migration population, it really is certain that the dramatic findings
of the size of the foreign-born population in 1980 are
significantly understated. Noting the developments, Leon
Bouvier observed in 1981 that «immigration now appears to
Reform 45
be very nearly because important as fertility insofar as U.S. population
growth is worried.» 4 whilst the labor force is the principal
means through which populace changes are transmitted to the
nation©s economy, Bouvier warned that «there is a compell
ing argument for close co-ordination involving the formula
tion of work and immigration policy.»5 Recognition
of this critical linkage could be the basis for the drive for immigra
tion reform into the 1980s.
The Ability of Policy to Affect
Labor Force Trends
The preponderance of factors that influence labor force
trends within an economy are beyond the world of
policymakers to influence, even though they wish to do this. Labor
market research has over repeatedly shown, for instance, that
race and gender can influence employment and income ex
periences associated with work force. While the quantity and proportion
of minorities and ladies have actually increased in work force,
there is absolutely nothing that human being resource policymakers can do to
change these styles. They can just react with adjustment
policies built to influence the facets that can cause these
outcome differentials to occur. Similar can be said for
demographic changes in the age circulation of this labor
force, the shift in social values that have added to the
dramatic boost in feminine work force involvement, or the
effects regarding the speed and range of technical modification on the
preparation of workers for jobs. The control of immigration
flows, however, is considered to be a fitness within the use of
the discretionary capabilities associated with state. As a result, its one
dimension of a nation©s human resource policy that should
be capable of directive action in place of forced reaction.
Immigration has financial implications the par
ticipants and for the getting society. It can figure out labor
force trends in addition to react to them. For this reason, the
46 Immigration Reform
efficacy of policies that regulate immigration must be judged
in regards to how they have actually related to wider labor force
trends at any specific time. Since will soon be obvious, this
is decidedly false in the usa as of the
The Impact of Administrative Structure
Because the magnitude and composition of immigration
flows are supposedly susceptible to direct regulation by human
institutions, it is essential to comprehend how the policymak-
ing process functions. There is only tangential mention of
immigration into the Constitution. By the late nineteenth cen
tury, however, the Supreme Court had concluded that the
federal federal government ended up being the exclusive government human body to
assume this responsibility. 6 After a quick assignment of
power towards the Department regarding the Treasury and soon after to the
Department of Commerce and work, the management of
immigration policy was shifted to your newly established U.S.
Department of work (DOL) in 1914. This action
represented a clear recognition by policymakers of this time
that labor market considerations must be a primary con
cern inside administration of immigration policy. In 1933, by
executive order, the immigration and also the naturalization
functions (which was indeed individually administered in DOL)
were joined up with into one agency the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). The INS has continued every
since to be in charge of the utilization of immigra
tion policy.
With the recognition in 1940 associated with the likely participation of
the usa in World War II, a crucial choice was
made who has had lasting impact on the span of im
migration policy. In June 1940, the INS had been shifted from
DOL on U.S. Department of Justice. Basically, the shift
was necessary for national safety reasons. It was believed
Reform 47
that rapidly changing worldwide occasions dictated an even more ef
fective means of control over immigrants and nonim
migrants. Concern throughout the entry and existence of subversive
foreign elements within the population had been elevated to the
highest concern objective of agency. Work market con
siderations the historic concern had been shunted apart.
whenever war ended, the INS remained inside Department
of Justice. The long-run aftereffects of this administrative change
have been disastrous to efforts to build a coherent immigra
tion policy particularly when among the issues is the fact that im
migration policy ought to be congruent with domestic labor
force styles. The Department of Justice has multiple respon
sibilities and, in comparison to its many other impor
tant duties, immigration issues have tended to be neglected
or relegated to a reduced purchase of concern. More over, the
Department of Justice is one of the most politically sensitive
agencies in authorities. It has frequently opted for the
short-run expedient solutions for immigration dilemmas. It has
seldom manifested any interest in the economic aspects and
consequences of immigration.
Another enduring aftereffect of the change of immigration policy to
the Justice Department was that the two judiciary com
mittees of Congress gained the responsibility for supervision
over immigration in general as well as the INS in particular. Tradi
tionally, account on these committees is reserved
(often solely) for lawyers. The result, as noted by David
North and Alien LeBel, is the fact that «as immigration problems
arise, be they major or small, identified or real, the response
of lawyer-legislators is that the legislation should really be changed.» 7 As
a consequence, immigration legislation in the us has
become exceedingly complex and legalistic. Additionally to
these legislation, it's also the scenario that INS operations are govern
ed by above 5,000 pages of written guidelines. Over time,
the work market implications of immigration policy have
48 Immigration Reform
either been ignored or offered only superficial attention by the
The Nature associated with the Existing Immigration System
Before discussing the reform of this extant immigration
system, it's important to outline quickly what's the current
system. To work on this, it is important to check out the main policy
components the ones that pertain to appropriate immigration,
refugees, asylees, and unlawful immigration. The benefit of
brevity, i'm maybe not likely to discuss the complex topics of
nonimmigrant work policy or of border commuter labor
policy which are additionally element of this technique and they are also in dire
need of reform.
Legal Immigration Policy
The revival of appropriate immigration as an influential force can
be practically dated towards the passage through of the Immigration Act of
1965. It represented the culmination of years of efforts to
purge the nation©s immigration system regarding the overt racism
that was in fact the central focus associated with «national origins
system» adopted in 1924. After several years of active challenge, the
Civil Rights movement reached its capstone objective the
passage associated with Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the same way overt racism
could maybe not much longer be tolerated in how citizens were treated
by other citizens, neither could racism be practiced by the
laws that govern the way in which noncitizens had been con
sidered for immigrant admission.
The restrictive options that come with the «national origins system»
had done above shape the racial and cultural composition
of immigrant flows. It had sharply altered the total flow of
immigrants. Some countries with big quotas (age.g., Great Bri
tain, that was eligible to about 40 % of all of the of the
available visas) did not utilize the slots offered to it while
Immigration Reform 49
other countries with little quotas (e.g., Italy and Greece) had
massive backlogs of would-be immigrants. For this reason, during
the years 1952 to 1965, including, only 61 % of the
available quotas had been really used, despite the fact that tens
of a huge number of persons had been precluded from admission
because they originated from the «wrong» country. Succeeding
administrations within the post-World War II age had been forced,
therefore, to get random legislation and also to utilize parole powers
given towards Attorney General to acknowledge hundreds of
thousands of refugees for both humanitarian and national
interest factors. As a consequence, one of every three
persons admitted to the United States from 1952 to 1965
entered outside of the regards to the prevailing immigration
system. For this reason, as the system was outdated by the pro
gression of both globe and domestic activities, the Immigration
Act of 1965 was adopted.
It is important to note that while the modifications enacted in
1965 dramatically modified the smoothness associated with the existing
system, the reform motion cannot entirely escape the
heavy hand of past. Therefore, while overt racism was
eliminated in 1965, the brand new work elevated family members reunification
to the role of being the dominant admission element. On the
surface this may be seemingly a humane feature, but the
motivation the modification ended up being less noble. The change was
made inside judiciary committee of the House of Represen
tatives in which some congressional supporters had been more con
cerned with finding ways to retain the nationwide origins
system under a covert guise. Clearly, if specific teams had
been excluded or had a decreased quota before, they would
have had less chances to possess family members whom can use their
presence as a method to acknowledge new immigrants. Hence, reliance
on family members unification would mainly gain those groups who
had large quotas underneath the older system. The Johnson ad
ministration opposed this move. It sought to retain both the
priority as well as the emphasis of labor market considerations as
50 Immigration Reform
the highest choice criterion (which was the case
since the use of a preference system to ascertain immigrant
priorities had been formally established in 1952). Congress,
however, made household reunification the principal admission
factor. The Johnson management ended up being forced to just accept the
change due to the fact price of removing the national origins ad
mission system. Work market factors were
downgraded to both lower choices and to a sharply
reduced amount of visa allotments. The ostensible reasons
for the reversal or priorities ended up being that throughout the age when
labor market facets dominated, the system had not used all
of the available slots. But as currently noted, the main reason for
the failure to use all of the available slots between 1952-65
was the distortion imposed by the «national origins
system» maybe not the concept of work force priority itself.
into the years since 1965, there were many minor
changes in the immigration system but they have retained
this concentrate on family members reunification. The system by early
1984 sets a single worldwide admission roof of 270,000
visas to be issued every year. No more than 20,000 visas are to
be allotted on would-be immigrants of anyone nation.
The «immediate relatives» of each visa holder, but are
not counted in either roof. Immediate relatives are
spouses, kids, and parents of U.S. citizens over age 21.
To decide which particular individuals are become given such a
visa within the framework among these numerical ceilings, a six-
category choice system exists. The categories rank the
preferences in an effort with a certain percentage of the total
visas reserved for every single preference. Four of categories
(which account for 80 percent of the visas) are reserved for
persons who are family-related. Thus, household reunification
has, since 1965, end up being the mainstay of the appropriate immigra
tion system. The two remaining admission groups are
based on work market maxims. They account for the re
maining 20 % associated with available visas each year. For these
Reform 51
two labor market groups, you must secure a cer
tification through the Department of work that states that the
presence for the immigrant won't adversely affect the job
opportunities and prevailing labor pool standards of citizen
workers. As well as the choice groups, Congress
has established 33 separate classes of people that are
specifically excluded from being admitted (e.g., paupers,
prostitutes, Nazis, communists, fascists, homosexuals, etc.)
no matter should they would otherwise qualify to be an im
It should also be noted that between 1965 and 1980, a
separate choice team existed for refugees with 17,400
slots. Over that period, however, the actual number of
refugee admissions greatly exceeded this ceiling. (Excluding
Vietnamese refugees, it averaged about 50,000 people a
year.) The excesses had been admitted by using the
parole authority fond of the Attorney General to acknowledge per
sons for «emergent reasons.» Since the use of the parole
powers ended up being finally admitted become exactly what it absolutely was a way of
circumventing the existing immigration statutes, refugees
were taken out of the founded immigration system in
1980. Aided by the Refugee Act of 1980, they truly are admitted under
a separate procedure. Since 1982, the President arbitrarily
sets how many refugees become admitted ahead of time of
each financial year. Then must talk to Congress over
the appropriateness of this recommended figure. The number of
refugees approved for 1984, for example, ended up being 72,000 per
sons. Obviously, there are no work market considerations
applied to your entry eligibility of refugees.
The Refugee Act of 1980 additionally created an asylee policy for
the United States. As opposed to a refugee (that is a person
living outside their house nation and who fears
persecution if forced to come back but who's maybe not currently in the
United States), an asylee is somebody who additionally fears similar
52 Immigration Reform
persecution if he or she returns to their homeland but is
already physically within america. The Refugee
Act of 1980 authorized as much as 5,000 asylee admissions a year.
As of very early 1984, there were over 173,000 asylee requests
pending approval which is most likely that this number will con
tinue to grow. As with refugees, there are not any work market
considerations applied to asylees.
Having talked about the «front door» approaches to the na
tions labor market, it is crucial to add that there is a
massive «back door» approach besides. Even though the legal
system is very complex in its objectives, the entire
system can be simply circumvented by those who enter illegal
ly. Unlike other countries, there are no charges on
employers who hire unlawful immigrants in United States.
Virtually all illegal immigrants who're caught are given a
«voluntary departure» back into their homeland. Ergo, there
is virtually no deterrence from the violation of the
existing system. There is absolutely no system of work permits or of na
tional identification and people kinds of recognition that
are available are easily counterfeitable. More over, the INS
has been chronically understaffed and underfunded
relative to your duties its assigned.
All evidence indicates that most unlawful immigrants come to
the united states of america discover jobs not for purposes of securing
welfare or for criminal purposes. No one, needless to say, knows
the precise number of illegal immigrants whom compose the
stock of the unlawful immigrant population and/or annual flow.
In its last report in 1981, the Select Commission on Im
migration and Refugee Policy cited a selection of from 3.5 to 6
million illegal immigrants. Their estimate, however, had been bas
ed upon a review supplied by the Census Bureau of a variety
of past studies done within the early and mid-1970s. Hence,
whatever the validity of this estimate contained in the Select
Commission©s report, it should be grasped it was
Immigration Reform 53
based regarding the averaging of information for the mid-1970s maybe not the
mid-1980s. Given the certainty that unlawful immigration has
increased since the mid-1970s, the stock and flows are no
doubt greater now compared to those cited by the Commission©s
Report. In 1984, the INS apprehended 1,056,905 unlawful im
migrants. A majority of these everyone was apprehended more
than when. Having said that, but most unlawful im
migrants especially those from countries apart from Mex
ico will never be caught. For this reason, the magnitude associated with stock
and yearly flows of illegal immigrants can not be estimated
with any amount of accuracy.
Labor Marketplace effects associated with Era
of Renewed Immigration
There is a paucity of credible research on the precise
employment experiences of all of the sets of post-1965 im
migrants. There isn't any statistical information base to measure the
labor force status of immigrants much like the informa
tion compiled by the monthly active Population Survey for
all employees in america. All that are offered are ad
ministrative statistics the findings of a couple of random studies
of immigrants, and informative data on the foreign-born popula
tion supplied by the decennial census count. From these
disparate sources, however, it can be done to discern some
likely tendencies. An awareness of the tendencies and their
logical conclusions is necessity to a knowledge of the
macro-economic effects of immigrantion on nation.
The Immigrant Infusion to the Supply
of Labor Has Increased
The yearly flow of legal immigrants since 1965 has more
than doubled the yearly movement that existed for the period 1924
to 1965. For the previous duration, the annual movement ended up being 191,000
immigrants and instant family members; the period 1965 to
54 Immigration Reform
1981, the number has increased to a yearly average of
435,000; for the years 1978 to 1981, it absolutely was 547,000. These
figures do not consist of those refugees that have yet to adjust
their status to be resident aliens, or those asylees whose
status remains pending, or any unlawful immigrants. If all flows
are considered, it's likely that immigration in 1980s is ac
counting for as much as half of the annual growth in the
population and most likely a much greater portion of the
real development of the labor force.8
The Size associated with yearly Flow of Immigrants Has No Regard
for Domestic Labor Market Conditions
The aggregate number of immigrants and immediate
relatives admitted annually is wholly separate of the
prevailing labor market conditions. The amount of im
migrants yearly admitted has in no way been affected by
the tightness or looseness associated with the domestic labor market. If
allowance normally made for refugees admitted since 1965 and
for the tide of illegal immigrants that have entered over this
same duration, immigration has steadily included substantial
numbers of extra employees, regardless of cyclical
ability associated with the economy to provide sufficient jobs for citizen
or immigrant workers. This training reaches total variance with
the training of most regarding the handful of other nations that
have been admitting immigrants over this same period.
Immigrants Have actually a Higher
Labor Force Participation Rate
The couple of studies that have concentrated upon labor force par
ticipation of immigrants expose that the majority of im
migrants over age 16 do enter the labor force. Indeed, they
show that the real labor force involvement price for legal
immigrants and their immediate relative is going to be con
siderably perhaps not marginally higher than that of the general
population. 9
Immigration Reform 55
There isn't any such information, obviously, for illegal immigrants but
it is intuitively obvious that their work force participation
rates are more than those of appropriate immigrants. Prohibited im
migrants are primarily job seekers. They've been legislatively in
eligible for several associated with transfer programs that may pro
vide alternative earnings sources. The way it is with refugees,
however, just isn't quite so clear. Refugees prior to the 1970s
seem to possess had a comparatively easier adjustment procedure to
labor force entry than have big infusions of refugees from
Southeast Asia that have happened because the mid-1970s.
Refugees were qualified not merely for federal income
transfer programs also for regional and state programs that
are offered to citizens.
Immigration Supplies employees Independent of the
Macro Human Resource Needs of Economy
An overwhelming percentage of these individuals whom have
immigrated toward United States were admitted without
regard for their skill, training, or geographic settlement
preferences. As noted early in the day, 80 % associated with individuals who
receive visas to immigrate are admitted because the immigra
tion system gives preference to family members reunification prin
ciples. Immediate relatives of most immigrants are admitted
regardless of their labor force qualifications, because are typical refugees
and all would-be asylees. It is not supposed to indicate that
those who're admitted under these procedures lack talents
but rather, as David North and Alien LeBel have actually seen,
they «do so accidently.» 10 properly it really is projected that
only about 5 percent of all of the those persons admitted to the
United States annually are required to have work certifica
tions that indicate they truly are filling founded work force
needs. If unlawful immigrants are included, needless to say, this
small percentage of certified workers is paid down to an
infinitesimal quantity set alongside the total flow of im
migrant workers.
Immigration Reform
The Immigrant Flow is Predominately Composed
of users of Minority Groups
The main qualitative change in the personal
characteristics of immigrants with taken place because the end
of the national origins system happens to be the complete shift in
the parts of origin of immigrants. Very nearly 80 % of
the immigrants and refugees admitted through the 1970s were
from Latin America and Asia. Into the 1980s, the percentage is
even greater (near to 84 per cent). You start with the decade
of the 1960s, European countries was replaced the very first time into the na
tion©s history by Latin America whilst the leading way to obtain im
migrants. By the 1970s, Asia that has been perhaps not free of the
discriminatory options that come with the prior immigration system,
was challenging Latin America for that distinction.
The last time that a European nation ended up being among the list of top
five associated with the nations supplying immigrants toward United
States was at 1973 (whenever Italy placed 5th). Mexico has
become the united states that annually supplies the absolute most im
migrants; the Philippine isles have actually tended become the
runner-up. Others sources differ from 12 months to year but,
since 1974, they've all been situated in either Asia or the
Caribbean area.
The predominance of immigrants from Latin America and
the Caribbean area can be easily explained with regards to the
priority directed at family members reunification within the admissions
system. For Asians, the reason is more technical. It
would appear that the household reunification system should have
worked against numerous Asian groups, given the exclusionary
features which were in effect for much of the pre-1965 age. The
answer to the paradox is the fact that Asians have actually made
astute use of the occupational preferences plus the fact
that they have overwhelmingly dominated the massive
refugee moves for every single 12 months because the mid-1970s. Inside first
case, the Asian immigrants have tended to be skilled and
Immigration Reform 57
highly educated; within the latter example, they will have usually been
unskilled and badly educated.
Likewise, the unlawful immigrant flows have come
predominately from Mexico while the Caribbean area. The
best approximations are that about 60 per cent associated with the illegal
immigrants on usa originate from Mexico and
about 20 % originate from other nations associated with Carib
bean area. The rest of the 20 percent result from other na
tions worldwide.
Without doubt, for that reason, the combined immigrant flows
are overwhelmingly composed of individuals from minority
groups (Hispanics, blacks, and Asians). Since are discussed
later, there clearly was a strong clustering pattern among these immigrants
into regional labor markets regarding the main towns and cities of a couple of large
states that are already composed of people from similar
racial and ethnic backgrounds. Consequently, it's very likely
that numerous immigrants compete straight along with other citizen
minority workers for available jobs. Your competition is most
likely to be many negative within the lower skilled vocations.
For the bigger skilled appropriate immigrants, your competitors for
employment opportunities is more broadly based and,
accordingly, the effect is less severe.
It is probable, consequently, that since 1965, immigration in
general but illegal immigration and refugee flows in par
ticular has tended to adversely influence the work,
unemployment and labor pool involvement prices of minori
ty citizens. The geographical concentration of immigrants in
a couple of big towns has additionally tended to moderate
wage increases for several employees who contend with them in
these same labor markets generally however with minority group
citizens in particular.©© Towards level this has occurred, un
controlled immigration spent some time working at cross purposes with
other federal individual resource policies which were in
itiated during these same years which were designed prin-
58 Immigration Reform
cipally to enhance the economic window of opportunity for these same
minority citizen groups.
The Occupational Patterns of Immigrants Differ
Extensively From Those of the Labor Force as a Whole
With specific reference to the occupational patterns of im
migrants, the occupational distribution of those admitted as
legal immigrants is skewed toward professional, technical,
and skilled workers. The pattern is due mainly to your fact
that the complex admission system is biased toward those
who have family members connections along with the some time the
money it takes to get results their means through the labyrinth
of the legal immigration system. For the minority whom are
admitted underneath the two occupational preferences and who,
by virtual definition would not have household family relations whom are
citizens, the 2 occupational choices generally favor
those with high skills and extensive educational
backgrounds. People that prone to become «public
charges,» for example, are especially excluded from
becoming legal immigrants. Additionally, because of the ex
tensive backlog of visa applications (over 1.2 million visa ap
plications had been pending at the conclusion of 1982), there have been
no visas available since 1978 for the nonpreference «catch
all» category that theoretically exists. Hence, it isn't surpris
ing your occupational faculties are skewed dif
ferently through the distribution for the labor force in general.
It appears from tests by David North of a cohort of
1970 immigrants and a research by Barry Chiswick of the
foreign-born who entered the U.S. as much as 1970, that the earn
ings of immigrants are initially below those of citizen
workers in comparable vocations but that these dif
ferences slowly vanish in 11 to 15 years. 12 Chiswick, in
fact, discovered that male immigrants really end up doing bet
ter than citizen employees in comparable vocations after
Immigration Reform 59
about 20 years in the united states. He was unable to make con
clusive findings about feminine immigrants. It is of conse
quence to see that Chiswick unearthed that immigrants from
Mexico while the Philippines (both nations which have been
the largest sourced elements of legal immigrants since 1962) took a
longer time for you to maintain these results.
In reviewing, Chiswick©s committed research on this sub
ject, it is critical to keep in mind that his analysis is of all
foreign-born that has entered the usa prior to
1970. It is often after 1970, but your full impacts of
the Immigration Act of 1965 additionally the Refugee Act of 1980
have occurred. As North has noted, the 1970 Census data on
the foreign-born «is friends consists of individuals of above
average age, most of who came to the U.S. many years
earlier and under provisions of early in the day legislation.» 13 As a
consequence he warns concerning the use of this information as a
reference team since «one must not assume that the profile
of the foreign-born which emerged from the 1970 Census
will be similar to that appearing from 1980 or 1990 Cen
Likewise, the sizeable increases in quantity of illegal
immigrants considering that the 1960s specially those from Mexico
and the Caribbean Basin were dominated by low-
skilled and unskilled employees, which also challenges any
complacent deductions that would seem to be the logical
conclusions of a number of the current literary works. In Chiswick©s
work, for example, there is no way to split up the experience
of legal immigrants from illegal immigrants since he is study
ing the foreign-born as reported by the Census. It is certain
that the illegal immigrant population is severely under-
counted in the Census and, properly, it's likely that their
experiences are not acceptably captured by this information base.
One study which includes used the 1980 Census and its
data in the foreign-born, carried out by Gregory DeFreitas and
Immigration Reform
Adriana Marshall found that over one-third of most im
migrants had been utilized in production (versus 23
percent of native-born employees).15 In many metropolitan
areas, the concentration was more severe 75 percent of all
manufacturing workers in Miami were immigrants; over 40
percent of those in Los Angeles and New York City; 25 per
cent in San Francisco; and 20 percent in Chicago and
Boston. In 35 metropolitan areas with a population of one
million or higher, immigrants comprised 19 % of most pro
duction jobs in manufacturing. Needless to say, provided the
occupational, industrial and geographic concentration of the
immigrant employees, the analysis unearthed that the rate of wage
growth in production ended up being inversely regarding the size of
the immigrant population in those metropolitan areas. The
high concentration of foreign-born workers had a statistical
ly significant negative affect wage growth compared to
the experience with big towns with lower
percentages of foreign-born workers.
Given that the illegal immigrant moves to the work force
since 1965 will probably have matched and most likely exceeded
the appropriate flows, it is vital that the work market ex
periences of illegal immigrants be particularly a part of any
effort to assess the entire effect of immigrants on labor
market. You will find just two studies which were able to
make a serious attempt to capture some way of measuring these
patterns. One was a nationwide study manufactured from apprehended
illegal immigrants by David North and Marion Houstoun in
1976. 16 the 2nd was a research manufactured from unapprehended il
legal immigrants in Los Angeles in 1979 by a research team
from the University of California at l . a . (UCLA). 17
Both studies had been funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the North and Houstoun study, the respondents had been
in america for typically 2.5 years whilst in the
UCLA research the mean had been 4.0 years.
Immigration Reform 61
The work-related patterns regarding the respondents within the two
studies revealed conclusively that illegal immigrants are con
centrated inside unskilled occupations of farm workers, ser
vice workers, nonfarm laborers as well as the semi-skilled
blue-collar vocations of operatives. A substantial number
are additionally within the skilled blue-collar career of craft
workers. Hardly any had been within any white-collar occupa
A comparison of this data from these two studies shows
that the work-related patterns of unlawful immigrants closely
resembles those of Mexican Americans (Chicanos) and of
blacks. The employment pattern of Chicanos, in fact, better
resembles the pattern of illegal immigrants than it can the
general distribution pattern of this general labor force.
It seems certain that the illegal immigrant workers are con
centrated in secondary work market of the U.S. economy
where they often times contend with the millions of citizen
workers who are working and seek work with this sector.
Indeed, Malcolm Lovell, the below Secretary of Labor, in
his testimony to Congress in support of immigration reform,
stated that „in 1981, near to 30 % of all of the workers
employed inside nation, some 29 million individuals, were
holding down the same kind of low-skilled industrial, ser
vice, and farm jobs in which illegals typically find employ
ment.“ 18
Illegal immigrants are by no means truly the only cause of
unemployment and persistent low earnings patterns among
certain subgroups of this US work force nevertheless they cer
tainly are one element. The formulation of any severe full
employment strategy for america in the 1980s,
therefore, will have to include measures to curtail illegal im
62 Immigration Reform
Thus, apparently the occupational impact of
legal immigrants reaches top of the end associated with the nation©s occupa
tional structure even though the impact of illegal immigrants is at
the entry level. Studies that combine those two groups to ob
tain an average way of measuring the ability of immigrants on
the work force miss out the actual importance of the true im
The Locational effect of Immigrants
is Extremely Unequal
One of the very pronounced aftereffects of the unguided im
migration system is that appropriate immigrants are highly concen
trated into a comparatively couple of major work areas. Since 1966,
California and New York have actually regularly accounted for
almost 50 % of the intended residences of all appropriate im
migrants. Texas, Florida, nj and Illinois account
for about one-quarter of the intended settlement destina
tions. Therefore, six states have received nearly three-quarters of
all of the appropriate immigrants. Data from the 1980 Census also
confirm this high concentration rate of the total foreign-
born population in these same states (the percentage of
foreign-born in California was 14.8 percent, New York 13.4
percent, New Jersey 10.3, Florida 10.9, Illinois 7.3 and
Texas 6.0; the only other state with a large foreign-born
population ended up being Hawaii with 14.0 percent). 19
Within the states which they settle, legal immigrants
have demonstrated a frequent preference inside 1970s for
the big central urban centers.20 even though exact percentage
varies annually, a central city was the destination of about
55 percent of the immigrants have been admitted between
1960 and 1979. Towns individuals with a population of be
tween 2,500 to 99,000 individuals were the clear 2nd choices
while rural areas were a distant last. These initial residential
patterns differ distinctly from those of general popula-
Reform 63
tion where towns have grown to be the overwhelming
first option since 1960 (accounting for pretty much 1 / 2 of the
population) followed closely by an almost equal choice (of
about 25 percent each) for main urban centers and rural areas.
The 1980 Census information on the foreign-born popula
tion vividly demonstrates the effect that immigration is hav
ing on the population of a few large metropolitan areas. In
1980, for instance, the metropolitan area with all the highest
percentage of its populace being foreign-born ended up being Miami,
with a phenomenal percentage of 35.2 percent. The second
highest was la (21.6 %) and third was
New York City (20.8 percent). Hence, the need to accom
modate the growing immigrant flow hasn't fallen evenly.
Only a few states and a small number of towns and cities have actually borne the
brunt of revival of immigration which has happened since
1965. While the aforementioned DeFreitas and Marshall study
found, one effect of the disproportionate levels has
been to retard wage growth in these big metropolitan areas
relative with other urban centers with fewer immigrant
workers. It's also of consequence to notice that the settlement
pattern of unlawful immigrants has closely resembled the loca-
tional choices of appropriate immigrants. Inside their quest to
avoid detection, illegal immigrants often look for to mix into
communities that curently have large numbers of persons
from comparable ethnic backgrounds. This tendency, obviously,
only intensifies the pressures on these few states and towns to
accommodate immigrants.
Thus, the uneven circulation of immigrants means that
studies that focus on the nationwide or state level miss the ac
tual impact of immigration at local degree within the com
munities of just a number of states. However when one
recognizes that people central metropolitan areas in these couple of states account
for a significant percentage of the full total work inside na
tion, there's absolutely no explanation to take into account these impacts as inconse
quential towards economy as a whole.
Immigration Reform
In the brief Run, the likelihood is that Immigrants
Contribute to Higher jobless Rates
Chiswick has discovered for the foreign-born men that it
takes about 5 years in order for them to reach the same quantity of
weeks worked and to fall toward exact same number of
weeks of unemployment as native-born men.21 This would
suggest that within the quick run that immigrant males tend to ex
perience an increased incidence of unemployment than is the
general situation. In his findings, it's also of importance to note
that he also unearthed that the foreign-born males from Mexico,
Cuba, and China tended to just take longer to achieve parity with
native-born males than it did the foreign-born men from other
nations. All three of these nations have actually regularly ranked
among the largest sources of appropriate immigrants and refugees
since 1970. It's logical to conclude that, if any such thing, the
unemployment experiences associated with the previous decade should really be less
favorable compared to those that took place before the 1970s.
Concluding Observations
The prevailing immigration policy of the United States
was mostly conceived in the very early 1950s together with mid-1960s
when immigration wasn't a really significant in
fluence on economy associated with the nation. As a consequence, the
current immigration policy exhibits a total disinterest
in its work force implications. Possibly the country could con
tinue to permit immigration policy to be excluded from any
responsibility to contribute directly to the nation©s economic
welfare in the event that economy hadn't encountered significant
changes assuming the immigration flows of employees had remain
ed relatively tiny. But it's not been the situation. For this reason, the
»practice" of permitting immigration policy to keep to
follow its nepotistic, inflexible, mechanistic, and
massively abused course is a «luxury» that this nation can ill
afford to continue.
Reform 65
The contemporary economy regarding the United States is a far
cry from one into which early in the day waves of immigrants
entered. The resurgence of immigration since 1965 has exact
ly parallelled the period once the labor force for the United
States has suffered unprecedented changes in both size and
With respect to size, the civilian labor force increased by an
average of 1.8 million workers annually from 1964 to 1973;
and yearly by 2.2 million from 1973 to 1980. Since then
the rate of yearly increase as formally measured (which
means that it is doubtful if the full ramifications of growing
numbers of unlawful immigrants are included) has declined
slightly. However, in 1984 the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) announced it is revising its long haul projections
of labor pool growth from the period 1982 to 1990 to 1.6
million net new employees each year. (I would argue that even
this projection is conservative as all past projections by the
BLS happen.)
As for the composition for the labor force, the time since
1965 has been one where racial and cultural groups as well
as females have considerably increased their proportions of
the total labor force. The BLS projects why these patterns
will continue with females accounting for two-thirds of the
annual development inside work force and blacks about 25 percent
over another ten years. It's particular especially if immigration
continues the pattern of past that the Hispanic labor
force also increase its share disproportionately even
though the BLS did not highlight this group in its projec
With respect to your entire labor pool, the next decade
presents the nation with a distinctive situation. Because the
«baby boom» generation has now come old, it's pro
jected that by 1990 the greatest solitary age cohort of the
population is supposed to be between your many years of 25 to 44 the prime
66 Immigration Reform
working age years. It really is a period whenever work force participa
tion reaches its greatest for both males and females. During the
late 1980s and early 1990s its predicted that almost all (or
more than half) of this total populace regarding the U.S. will be
participating in the work force. By 1995, it's expected that
70 per cent regarding the labor force are between 25 and 54 years
of age. Hence, it's going to be a period of time which there'll be
mounting pressure on the economy to build additional
employment possibilities particularly for ladies and
minorities. 22
Under these situations, its clear your last two
decades of 20th century will probably be years in
which the work force associated with the nation is going to be confronted with
immense pressures to support both development in the
number of job seekers in addition to to changes in the composi
tion regarding the availability of work. The quest to generally meet these
challenges is supposed to be hard sufficient without having to be undermined
by an immigration policy which seemingly oblivious to its
labor market impacts but which, in actuality, has influential
labor market consequences.
The broad outlines associated with policy reform had a need to make
immigration policy conform to the financial welfare of the
nation are easy to list. With regards to the yearly amounts of
immigration, there must be enforceable ceilings. But they
should be ceilings and not founded and inflexible
numbers. The range immigrants admitted each
year should be responsive to jobless styles inside na
tion. Annual immigration amounts should fluctuate inversely
with jobless trends (as may be the training in Canada).
The system ought to be effective at answering changing
economic circumstances. The boundary roof is set
by legislation however the exact amounts in every given year should
be set administratively. Its implicit, if this had been become done,
that the administrative obligations for immigration
Immigration Reform 67
policy is shifted back once again to the U.S. Department of
Labor (or some other brand new agency that could be produced to
administer and coordinate the nation©s individual resource
development policies) and from the U.S. Department
of Justice plus the judiciary committees of Congress.
In regard on real determination of that is admitted as
a appropriate immigrant annually, the choice system should
revert back into the primary emphasis on occupational
preferences that characterized the device from 1952 to 1965.
Family reunification should stay an admission criterion
but maybe not the main element, since is the case since 1965.
No other nation on earth permits such a nepotistic and
discriminatory doctrine to take over its admission system.
The occupational preferences ought to be risen up to at least
the pre-1965 amount of 50 percent of the available visas. Full
discretion should really be fond of the administrative agency to
decide which occupations (skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled)
are in best need at any particular time and to acknowledge them.
Included inside this discretionary energy ought to be the right
to give choice to immigrants prepared to settle in regions
where labor is scarce. The change from the dominance of
family reunification would additionally enable possibilities for
«new seed immigrants» (especially for immigrants from
Africa, who possess many difficulty competing underneath the ex
isting system) to enter.
The refugee and asylee policies of country would be the most
difficult to integrate into an insurance policy design that concentrates on
economic priorities. Clearly, the United States should
continue to be involved in the global effort to soak up and
to help in the accommodation of refugees. But experience
clearly indicates that there needs to be some limits on the
number of refugees being become admitted and in which they
are to be settled. A legislative ceiling should really be set on the
number of refugees become admitted using the understanding
68 Immigration Reform
that, if unique circumstances do arise, more refugees may be
admitted but that offsetting reductions are going to be produced in the
number of legal immigrants in identical and/or following
year. If a situation should develop that has been certainly extraor
dinary, Congress could legislate a temporary escalation in the
numerical boundaries to allow for such a distinctive cir
cumstance. The asylee issue is currently too complex to
discuss in this paper except to note your current policy is
hopelessly bogged down in a system of judicial paralysis.
Currently, asylees are entitled to very nearly doubly many levels
of appeals of their status as are given to convicted
murderers. It is vital that a more expedited system of
reaching closure in these cases be designed. Nevertheless the ultimate
principle for admission should be the just like refugees:
namely, if asylees permissions are provided, legal immigration
should be paid down consequently. It is essential that the princi
ple of choice be securely created in the procedure of na
tion©s immigration system. Otherwise, one is confronted
with the chaos of the current system in which the policy is
essentially the one that ratifies just what has recently happened
anyway. Furthermore, there is absolutely no feeling developing the concept
that total immigrant flows should fluctuate with domestic
labor market conditions in the event that whole process could be cir
cumvented by flows from another source. You will find already
some signs that the refugee and asylee system is being used
for purposes (like financial betterment) besides those
for which it absolutely was created (in other words., to avoid persecution for one©s
political and personal views).23 The total cost of assisting
refugees and asylees become prepared for entry in to the labor
market should be borne by the us government and not
by local communities.
All associated with preceding recommendations, needless to say, are predicated
on the assumption that a full-scale work will likely to be mounted to
end the movement of unlawful immigrants into the country. It would
make no feeling at all to attempt to build a positive im-
Immigration Reform 69
migration policy that actually works in tandem with general
economic policy in the event that entire procedure can be simply cir
cumvented. The appropriate policies must be created to
address the «push» plus the «pull» facets that con
tribute toward unlawful immigration process. They need to in
clude improved deterrent policies (age.g., employer sanctions,
enhanced INS funding, and less reliance on utilization of the
voluntary departure system) also prevention measures
(e.g., considerable financial and technical development
assistance, trade and tariff concessions, together with absolute in
sistence on adherence to peoples legal rights axioms and the
protection of individual life from murder and torture as a prere
quisite for receipt of economic help and trade
The lack of any serious work to forge an immigration
policy in relation to labor market factors means that
immigration policy today functions as a «wild card» among
the nation©s array of key work market policies. Unlike all
other aspects of economic policy (e.g., financial policy,
monetary policy, work and training policy, education
policy, and antidiscrimination policy) where attempts are
made by policymakers to orchestrate the diverse policy
elements into a harmony of action to perform particular
objectives, immigration policy happens to be permitted to meander
aimlessly. This is a scenario that no sensible country can
allow to carry on.
1. Robert Pear, «Amid Charges, Immigration Bill Dies,» New York
Times, October 12, 1984, p. A-16 [note: The quote had been by Represen
tative Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)].
2. For a thorough review of the legislative reputation for immigration
reform inside 1970s and 1980s, see Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., Immigration
Policy together with American work force (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1984).
70 Immigration Reform
3. Walter Goodman, «Message of Immigration Bill is Disputed,» New
York Times (October 12, 1984), p. A-17.
4. Leon F. Bouvier, The influence of Immigration regarding Size of U.S.
Population (Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, 1981), p.
5. Leon F. Bouvier, Immigration and its own affect U.S. Society
(Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, 1981), p. 23.
6. Elkie v. usa 142 US 651 (1892).
7. David North and Alien LeBel, Manpower and Immigration Policies in
the usa (Washington, DC: National Commission for Man
power Policy, 1978), p. 40.
8. Bouvier, Immigration and its particular Impact, op. cit., p. i.
9. David S. North and William G. Weissert, Immigrants and the
American work Market, Manpower Research Monograph No. 31
(Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, 1974), pp. 18-22.
10. North and LeBel, op. cit., p. 226.
11. Gregory DeFreitas and Adriana Marshall, «Immigration and Wage
Growth in U.S. Manufacturing in 1970s,» procedures associated with the 36th
Annual conferences (1983) regarding the Industrial Relations Research Association
(Madison: Industrial Relations Research Association, 1984), pp.
12. David S. North, Seven Years later on: The Experiences for the 1970
Cohort of Immigrants in the United States, R and D Monograph #71
(Washington, DC: U.S. Department of work, 1979) and Barry R.
Chiswick, An Analysis of Economic Progress and influence of Im
migrants, a report on U.S. Department of Labor prepared under R
and D Contract No. 21-06-78-20 (June 1980).
13. North, Seven Years Later On, op. cit., p. 10.
14. Ibid.
15. DeFreitas and Marshall, op. cit.
16. David S. North and Marion F. Houstoun, The traits and
Role of prohibited Aliens in U.S. work Market: An Exploratory Study
(Washington, DC: Linton & Company, 1976).
17. Maurice D. Van Arsdol, Jr., Joan Moore, David Heer, Susan P.
Haynie, Non-Apprehended and Apprehended Undocumented Residents
Immigration Reform 71
in the la work Market. Final Draft presented towards the U.S.
Department of work under analysis Contract No. 20-06-77-16 (May
1979), p. 27.
18. U.S. Senate and U.S. home of Representatives, Subcommittee on
Immigration, Refugees, and International Law and Subcommittee on
Immigration and Refugee Policy associated with Respective Committees on the
Judiciary. Joint Hearings, «Statement by Malcolm Lovell, Under
Secretary of Labor» (April 20, 1982) (Washington DC: U.S. Govern
ment Printing Office, 1982), p. 367.
19. U.S. Department of Commerce, 1980 Census of Population and
Housing Provisional Estimates of Social, Economic and Housing
Characteristics (Washington, DC: U.S. national Printing workplace,
1982), Table P-2, pp. 14-19.
20. North and Weissert, op. cit., dining table 9, p. 67 and see 1979
Statistical Yearbook associated with Immigration and Naturalization Service
(Washington, DC: U.S. national Printing workplace, 1982), Table 12A,
p. 31.
21. Barry R. Chiswick, The Employment of Immigrants in the United
States (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1983).
22. The foundation for these conclusions are drawn from Howard N. Fuller-
ton, «The 1995 labor pool: an initial Look,» Monthly work Review,
December 1980, pp. 11-21, and Howard N. Fullerton and John Tschet-
ter, «The 1995 work force: an extra Look,» month-to-month Labor Review,
November 1983, pp. 3-10.
23. Even though the issue is incredibly complicated, U.S. refugee policy
allows entry simply to specific people who can show a «clear probabili
ty of persecution.» It does not enable entry to individuals who are fleeing
areas where there was domestic chaos. More over, it does not consider
people who are fleeing their homelands for economic reasons why you should be con
sidered refugees. Efforts to apply this principle continue to be a subject
of considerable litigation particularly as it happens to be placed on people flee
ing from Haiti and from numerous countries in Central America. In
addition to these concerns, additionally, there are many problems with per
sons who have been already admitted as refugees and who utilize their status
to look for entry for any other people who they falsely claim become family
relatives. Because documents requirements are much less rigorous for
refugees than they might be for appropriate immigrants, the opportunities for
abuse are considerable.
The Prohibited Men Policy Dilemma
Barry R. Chiswick
University of Illinois at Chicago
Introduction A lecture and seminar series in the Economics of Interna
tional Migration, and a public lecture on unlawful aliens, are
very timely. As an investigation subject, immigration has long been
the concern of historians and sociologists. It is only in recent
years about about ten years ago that economists came back to this
Economists had been focused on the matter on turn of
the century and up towards very early 1920s before the enactment of
the «national origins» quota system. From then until the
1960s, there is small general public policy concern or debate over
general immigration problems, and also this is reflected by the virtual
absence of great interest within the topic by economists. The 1965
Immigration Amendments abolished the «national origins»
quota system and substituted a «preference system» which
placed greatest focus on kinship with a U.S. resident or
resident alien. But it was finished with astonishing little public
debate along with a continued digital vacuum in economic
It had been only into the 1970s that there had been a renewed public
policy interest in immigration problems. Even though the policy in
terest dedicated to unlawful immigration, economic research
took a broader approach, exploring all measurements of im
migrant modification and impact, for both legal and illegal
74 The insurance policy Dilemma
After ten years of high power costs, sharply fluctuating
rates of financial growth, high and erratic rates of inflation,
and increased concerns for the quality for the environment,
there is currently a greater understanding that resources are limited
and that continued financial development isn't a gift from the
gods, but alternatively is dependent on a public policy that fosters
rather than hinders economic growth. All public policy
issues when thought outside of the world of economic thinking
or economic considerations are coming under closer
scrutiny, including immigration policy.
Economists have actually demonstrated that immigrant flows are,
in part, the consequence of financial forces. They've also
demonstrated that immigrants perform a significant and com
plex role throughout the market generally speaking plus in the work market
in specific. Furthermore, economists have actually demonstrated
that immigrants effect on the well-being for the economy
and the United states population.
This lecture are going to be on the contradictions and dilemmas in
herent in developing public policy toward unlawful aliens. In so
doing it's going to point out the direction of sounder policy solu
The Illegal Alien Debate
The most recent general public consider immigration has been
with respect to unlawful aliens. Through the last times of the Ford
administration to the present, each session of Congress has
given severe consideration on enactment of legislation to
grant amnesty to illegal aliens residing in the U.S., to impose
for initially federal sanctions on employers of illegal
aliens, also to strengthen enforcement during the edge. In 1984
both houses of Congress passed such legislation, by a large
majority inside Senate by a number of votes in the
House. As a result of minor differences, the legislation went to
a House/Senate meeting committee where it died, in no
Policy Dilemma 75
small component due to the newly expressed opposition of both
presidential candidates.
The determination with that your legislation is brought for
ward, the hot debate, the widely divergent help in the
House and Senate, therefore the regular alterations in position of
presidents and presidential candidates shows that illegal
aliens are an arduous policy problem.
Illegal aliens occur because employees are interested in the
United States by jobs provided by the economy and because
there is an incomplete enforcement of immigration law by
the federal government. They impact on the labor market by
decreasing the income and job opportunities of
some U.S. workers and increasing them for any other U.S.
workers. The dimensions of the illegal alien populace is believed to
be large and growing. It offers recently been estimated by three
Census Bureau statisticians that 3 to 6 million illegal aliens
were moving into the usa in 1980 (Siegel, Passel and
Robinson, 1981). Additionally it is expected that half these illegal
aliens are Mexican nationals. Every indicator suggests that
the continued deterioration of this Mexican economy and
political upheavals in Central and south usa are fur
ther spurs to unlawful immigration.
Yet, we understand interestingly small about unlawful aliens. Why is
there such a big illegal alien populace? Exactly why is here so
little research regarding topic? Certainly, the Select Commission
on Immigration and Refugee Policy, which issued its report
in 1981, had been founded primarily to analyze policy regard
ing unlawful aliens and the Commission devoted the majority of its
recommendations for this problem. Yet, it funded no research
relating towards characteristics or effect of illegal aliens. Its
research program played no obvious part in its policy deci
There is a legislative stalemate in Washington. Too few
resources are budgeted to enforcement for the Immigration
76 the insurance policy Dilemma
and Naturalization provider (INS) to have any significant im
pact. Yet, there was an unwillingness to publicly acknowledge
this «lack of will» and gives amnesty. This public am
bivalence happens to be quite apparent for at least ten years.
The legislative stalemate may well not represent deficiencies in will,
but rather could be interpreted as a «rational» short-run
response to an insurance policy dilemma. We want international workers, but
not their dependents. We enable unlawful migration but keep the
probability of arrest and deportation sufficient to
discourage the entry of nearest and dearest. Amnesty, of
course, allows erstwhile illegal aliens to bring their
dependents partner, small young ones, aged moms and dads to the
United States. This will provided them use of our system of
free general public training plus to your generous welfare and
social service benefits that have been built to assist Americans
disadvantaged through no fault of these own. (The welfare
benefits consist of help to Families with Dependent Children
(AFDC), Food Stamps, Supplemental safety money (SSI)
and Medicaid.) Because we want the workers however the
dependents, and we believe it is awkward to say so openly, we
perpetuate a cat-and-mouse game between your immigration
authorities and unlawful aliens.
If this interpretation is correct, we need not be concerned
with additional information on illegal aliens. We choose continued
obfuscation of dilemmas toward embarrassment that clarifica
tion might bring. Its evidently safer to let the monster
sleep. Regrettably, the monster will eventually awaken,
and more massive social and economic issues may be at
hand a large, restless and low-skilled illegal alien popula
Characteristics of prohibited Aliens1
To put these things in historic viewpoint, its impor
tant to indicate that the illegal alien issue isn't brand new. In this
The Policy Dilemma 77
decade we «celebrate» the 100th anniversary of illegal aliens
in america. The very first unlawful aliens had been Chinese
because initial obstacles to legal immigration were imposed
against unskilled Chinese workers in the 1880s. There clearly was a
racist anxiety about the «Yellow Peril,» of hoards of unskilled
Chinese employees flooding Ca and depressing wages
for similarly unskilled whites. It really is not likely that the feared
massive migration might have taken place even when there were
no obstacles. Maybe more intriguing, information from recent cen
suses indicate your descendants of this Chinese workers
have reached higher levels of education, occupational status
and earnings compared to descendants of whites who a cen
tury ago believed the Chinese could never ever be any such thing but
unskilled laborers.
In the twentieth century, but the main focus has
been on Mexican illegal aliens. A cyclical pattern has emerg
ed. During periods of political turmoil (age.g., 1910 Revolu
tion) or financial slack in Mexico, big migration streams
flow northward, plus the size among these channels seems to have
accelerated in present decades. However, during
periods of financial slack into the U.S., the northward flow is
slowed or stopped, and quite often reversed. In recession
following the planet War I growth, throughout the early 1930s,
and throughout the early 1950s, the net flow might have been
toward Mexico, which, how many Mexican nationals
who left the U.S. might have surpassed the number who
entered this nation. These reverse flows have sometimes
been produced by wholesale arrests and deportations of per
sons who «look Mexican.»
Mexican nationals form the majority of the unlawful alien
population into the 1980s the info on apprehensions in
dicates that 90 % are Mexican nationals. But this
statistic overstates the proportion of Mexicans within the illegal
alien population. Immigration and Naturalization Service
The Policy Dilemma
concentrates its resources across the Mexican edge, perhaps
(as some allege) because it is relatively cheap to catch
people sneaking over the border and deport them. In addi
tion, many Mexican illegal aliens work in the United States
only area of the 12 months and go back to Mexico during the slack
season. Since apprehensions are usually to occur at
or right after entry, this back and forth migration also raises
the proportion of Mexican nationals in the arrest data
relative towards the stock of unlawful aliens residing in the U.S.
It is believed that approximately half associated with the illegal alien population
living in the usa are Mexican nationals, and that
the spouse come from a wide range of countries and all
parts associated with the world. West Indians, Central and South
Americans, East Asians, Southern Asians, Africans, Near
Easterners, Europeans and Canadians are represented
among unlawful aliens. For the Mexican illegal aliens, about 70
percent originate in six states of Mexico©s Central Plateau.
This is an undesirable area which served as a battlefield during the
revolutions and rebellions earlier within century, and which
has been passed away over by whatever advantages emerged from the
Green Revolution of 1950s additionally the short-lived oil bonan
za in 1970s (Cross and Sandos, 1981).
There are explanations why Mexico supplies the largest number
of illegal aliens. We share a border about 2,000 miles long
which operates through backwoods areas. Where rivers form part
of the edge they are usually superficial and simple to get across.
Hence, «entry without inspection» is relatively easy for
Mexican nationals. Illegal aliens from other countries
either use fraudulent documents to enter the U.S. or have to
violate a legal visa, particularly in breach of a student
or visitor visa, or overstaying their visa. Increasingly, na
tionals of other nations are employing Mexico and Canada for
the intent behind surreptitiously going into the United States.
The Policy
Dilemma 79
Ease of entry might a necessary condition for illegal im
migration, but it is not an acceptable explanation. All things considered, the
border with Canada can be very easy to get across whilst the edge with
Mexico, yet there are reasonably few Canadian illegal aliens:
less than 1 % of apprehended illegal aliens are Cana
dian nationals. Nor are legal immigrants more numerous
from Canada than from Mexico. Lately here have
been fewer than 15,000 Canadian immigrants annually,
while legal immigrants from Mexico have actually exceeded 55,000
The U.S.-Mexican border is unique. No other border
separates two countries that differ therefore sharply in typical in
come. The temptation to get north to «strike it rich» working
as a busboy, a dishwasher, or good fresh fruit picker is simply too strong to
resist. Mexico©s economy have not done well inside 20th cen
tury regardless of its abundance of normal resources. High fer
tility rates along with dropping death rates, especially in
fant mortality prices, have actually generated large cohorts of youths.
Government development policy has centered on capital-
intensive as opposed to labor-intensive sectors of economy.
Mismanagement of the economy has retarded the rate of
economic growth. The poverty and lack of task oppor
tunities, particularly in the rural areas, have generated a
massive migration to Mexico City, the edge towns, and the
United States.
Many Mexican farm workers gained experience working in
the United States inside bracero program.This ended up being a contract
farm labor program started in 1942 to enhance wartime
labor supplies and was ended in 1964. As a result of the
experience gained inside bracero system, hundreds of
thousands of Mexican farm workers had their appetites
whetted the good life up north. They, their younger
brothers, their sons became illegal aliens when the bracero
program ended as well as other possibilities for legal migration
The Policy Dilemma
were reduced. Indeed, in the face of a growing supply of im
migrants from Mexico the imposition of the numerical ceil
ings on Western Hemisphere immigration in 1968, and the
country ceilings in 1977, reduced avenues for legal migra
tion, thereby generating pressures for increased illegal im
There is little solid data on the demographic or labor
market characteristics of illegal aliens (Chiswick 1984). The
data on apprehensions suggest they truly are predominately low-
skilled, young adult (age 18 to 30), men from Mexico.
whilst it is without question real your apprehensions information can
be anticipated to exaggerate these very faculties, it seems
reasonable that qualitatively these characterizations are ac
curate. Unlawful aliens tend to be unskilled, partly because
workers in higher skilled jobs could have more difficulty in
masking their unlawful status, and in part because an occupa
tional permit, certification or union account can be re
quired. Furthermore, because of the presence of skills that are
specific to your country by which they're acquired, apprehen
sions and deportations could be more pricey for skilled illegal
aliens compared to employees with few if any skills. Hence, among
unsuccessful visa applicants (or possible candidates) those
with few or no skills have actually the more motivation to attempt an
illegal entry.
The skewed demographic composition of unlawful aliens and
the higher level of backward and forward migration, particularly with
respect to Mexico, are effects of illegal alien workers
leaving their wives, small children and aged parents in the
home country. This cannot arise from their preferences,
but through the circumstances of the unlawful status. Dependent
family users are expensive to maneuver on usa, par
ticularly if illegal means should be used. Once within the U.S., the
dependents may not confer the eligibility for welfare and
social solution benefits that legal residents may get. In-
The Policy Dilemma 81
deed, the dependents may raise the probability of the en
tire family being apprehended and deported, thereby increas
ing the expense and dangers of deportation.
Alternative Policies: Amnesty Versus
Strict Enforcement
If illegal alien workers had been issued amnesty and could
bring their dependents to your U.S., the demographic
characteristics with this population would alter. The extent
of backward and forward migration would drop, the ratio of
dependents to employees would increase, and, because of the
low ability, the family members could be eligibile for a
variety of welfare (earnings transfer) and social solution pro
grams. In addition, the incentive even for more families to
move north would increase beneath the practical view that if
amnesty is given when it will be provided once again. Ergo, the
case against amnesty.
But think about a far more energetic enforcement of immigra
tion law? The styles have actually, if anything, been in the opposite
direction (Chiswick 1981/82). How many permanent
positions within the Immigration and Naturalization Service in
creased from 7,000 in 1960 to nearly 11,000 in 1979, a 60 per
cent enhance. Throughout the exact same period, however, the annual
number of legal immigrants doubled from one-quarter of a
million per year to one-half of a million. Nonimmigrant ad
missions of aliens as tourists, students, etc. increased 8-fold,
from 1.1 million to 9.3 million annually. And, the number of
apprehensions of illegal aliens increased 14-fold, from
70,000 to about one million. Demonstrably a tremendous strain has
been added to INS resources.
To attempt to close the floodgates, INS has concentrated its
resources on border enforcement at the expense of interior
enforcement. But there is a revolving home at the
border in which large numbers of illegal aliens are ap-
82 The Policy Dilemma
prehended one night, to be deported a day later, to try
again on a subsequent evening. Except for deportation, there
are no charges imposed on unlawful aliens, even those that are
flagrant repeat offenders. The cat-and-mouse game along
the edge increases apprehensions per million dollars of
budget spending, but might have small deterrent effect.
Benefits of Current Policy
What will be the advantages of present policy? The huge benefits come
in the type of the rise in earnings on indigenous population
of the U.S. from a larger pool of low-skilled immigrant
workers. An increase in the availability of low-skilled foreign
workers depresses the wages and working conditions of low-
skilled native employees, which receives much public atten
tion. What receives less public notice is the fact that increase in
the number of low-skilled employees increases the productivity
of «complementary facets of manufacturing,» that is, higher
skilled workers and capital. Any factor of production is
more effective the more of other factors with which it can
work. A bulldozer on a road construction project is more
productive if there are many workers to keep it running 24
hours each day, repair it when it breaks down, and redirect traf
fic far from the construction site. A scientist is more pro
ductive if you can find assistants to clean the test pipes, operate sim
ple experiments, do bibliographic research, type
manuscripts, etc.
increases in size in earnings to skilled employees and money from
the migration of low-skilled workers will probably meet or exceed the
losses to indigenous low-skilled employees.2 Which means as a
result of low-skilled illegal migration, the income of the
native U.S. population is increased!
The Policy Dilemma
I have actually outlined the insurance policy dilemma. Due to restric
tions on immigration, you can find many individuals in
Policy Dilemma 83
the U.S. illegally, perhaps 3 to 6 million individuals. They are
disproportionately unskilled young adult males from Mex
ico. Mainly due to their illegal status, they cannot bring
their reliant family members. These workers are produc
tive as well as increase the earnings associated with the native U.S. popula
On another hand, should they brought their reliant family
members with them they might qualify for an assortment of
welfare, social solution and educational programs. Since the
workers are low-skilled, their usage of these benefits could ex
ceed the increased earnings of indigenous population. That is,
the escalation in taxes needed seriously to purchase these programs for the
dependents of the «illegal aliens» will certainly meet or exceed the
gains in earnings toward native populace.
With their status legalized, unlawful aliens could bring their
dependents on U.S. and claim benefits from the variety of
public programs that subsidize poor people, the young and the
aged. Further, amnesty would encourage further illegal im
migration due to the practical expectation that if offered
once it will likely be provided over and over repeatedly. For this reason, amnesty is perceiv
ed as an unacceptable solution.
Strict enforcement of immigration law can be perceived as
unacceptable. The expenses of strict enforcement may be very
high regarding civil liberties and of resources devoted to en
forcement activities. A greatly enhanced and better equipped
staff of INS agents is needed to increase the effec
tiveness of interior enforcement as well as border enforce
ment, but this will become more expensive. Sanctions against
employers who knowingly hire unlawful aliens are frequently
proposed, although for boss sanctions to work a
national identification system (or enrollment) of one sort or
another could be needed. This indicates inappropriate to compel
employers to enforce a law your federal authorities show
little will to enforce.
84 The Policy Dilemma
Employer sanctions are the exact carbon copy of an employment
tax. This taxation raises the general cost of work, specially for
low-skilled, high-turnover jobs. The imposition of these a tax
may further worsen the task opportunities of low-skilled
workers legally into the U.S., particularly youngsters and
But perhaps the best price of strict enforcement would
be the increased loss of the earnings the indigenous populace gains from
the work of illegal aliens.
Conclusions —An Alternative Policy*
From the short-run perspective, the existing legislative
stalemate could be «optimal,» considering that we cannot desire a
legal system that sanctions a two-class society one eligible
for welfare and social service advantages and the other perhaps not. We
can view amnesty and a stringent enforcement of immigra
tion law as polar ways to resolving the situation, but for
different reasons they're regarded as too costly. The conse
quence of current policy, however, could be the existence of a large
and evidently growing portion of the populace that lives
at the margin of or beyond your legislation. As this population
grows, and as more and more kiddies of unlawful aliens
are born within the U.S., and therefore are U.S. citizens, the
political and social pressures also develop. An insurance plan that
looks optimal into the short run may thus not be so attractive
in the long run.
This conversation implies that, as a society, we need to more
clearly delineate our priorities and policy choices regarding
illegal aliens. A partial solution to the dilemma would be to restore a
modest visitor worker system. To discourage «temporary
workers» from evolving into «permanent workers» outside
the regular immigration system, entry will be permitted
only the guest workers and not for dependents, the con
tracts will be for a quick maximum number of months (say
The Policy Dilemma 85
six months), and only for jobs with obviously defined seasonal
patterns. Time for the home country is required
before a worker could receive a new agreement, and a limit
might be put on the total amount of contracts that a
worker could receive.
Under present policy there is some likelihood that an il
legal alien are apprehended. But the penalty if one is
apprehended is extremely low, particularly for Mexican nationals
apprehended on border. Deportation involves small op
portunity cost to a Mexican national apprehended at or near
the border since he is likely to get back nearly straight away.
Apprehending people who violate what the law states produces no
deterrent effect when there is no penalty when they're ap
prehended. Ergo, present policy regarding apprehended il
legal aliens has little or no deterrent effect, particularly
regarding Mexican nationals.
To induce conformity, two forms of penalties could be im
posed on people who enter the united states illegally, who violate
the condition of a legal entry, or who violate the terms of
their temporary worker agreement. One penalty is a
probation period where a legal entry is banned,
whether as a temporary worker or perhaps. The other
would be detention of this unlawful worker for a period of
several months prior to deportation.
Detention will be the only mechanism for reducing the ex
tent to which the edge is addressed as a revolving door.
Pecuniary penalties are inappropriate the low-income il
legal alien populace since the fines could not be col
lected. But detention for a number of months would be
costly on alien and now have a deterrent effect. Since much of
the illegal immigration is for seasonal work, a two or
three month detention for a primary apprehension may have a
major effect on the incentive to seek work in the U.S. As a
further deterrent, the length of the detention period could be
The Policy Dilemma
increased with all the number of times the patient has been
The major criticism of detention is usually expressed in
terms associated with the high cost of incarcerating «one million ap
prehended unlawful aliens.©* But this exaggerates the problem.
Because the revolving home within border results in multiple
apprehensions of the same person, the amount of different
individuals apprehended is a lot smaller compared to the quantity of
apprehensions. Because of the imposition of charges, the number
of attempted unlawful entries would fall. As a result, the same
border enforcement resources would mean fewer apprehen
sions but would raise the probability that an attempted il
legal entry would result in an apprehension further
discouraging illegal migration. Certainly, utilizing the imposition
of meaningful penalties, greater deterrence could possibly be achiev
ed even with fewer edge enforcement resources. Finally,
low cost minimum safety detention facilities could be con
structed in rural areas near the Mexican border.
These policy recommendations won't end all unlawful im
migration. However, by providing both opportunity and
incentives for running inside the appropriate framework, they of
fer a better hope than present policy, and/or most frequently
advocated alternatives (employer sanctions and amnesty),
for keeping most benefits while reducing many of
the expenses associated with present illegal immigration. The recommen
dations offer a better possibility for regaining control over the
U.S. borders.
1. The Statistical Yearbook for the Immigration and Naturalization Ser
vice is a great way to obtain data on legal an illegal immigrants. (U.S.
Department of Justice.)
The Policy Dilemma 87
2. This follows from the upsurge in the aggregate income of the popula
tion surpassing the earnings received by immigrants. For a clarification
see Chiswick (1982), pp. 298-313.
3. For a fuller discussion associated with the policy options see Cafferty,
Chiswick, Greeley and Sullivan (1983).
Cafferty, Pastora, Barry R. Chiswick, Andrew Greeley and Teresa
Sullivan (1983), The problem of American Immigration: Beyond the
Golden Door, brand new Brunswick: Transaction Books.
Chiswick, Barry R., „Guidelines the Reform of Immigration Policy“
(1981) in William Fellner, ed. Essays in Contemporary Economic
Problems, 1981/82), Washington: United states Enterprise Institute, pp.
Chiswick, Barry R. (1982), „The influence of Immigration regarding the Level
and Distribution of Economic Well-Being“ in Barry R. Chiswick, ed.,
The Gateway: U.S. Immigration problems and Policies, Washington:
American Enterprise Institute, pp. 289-313.
Chiswick, Barry R. (1984), „Illegal Aliens in america Labor
Market: Analysis of Occupational Attainment and Earnings,“ Inter
national Migration Review, Fall, pp. 714-32.
Cross, Harry E. and James A. Sandos (1981), over the Border: Rural
Development in Mexico and Recent Migration toward United States,
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Siegel, Jacob S., Jeffrey S. Passel and Gregory J. Robinson (1981),
»Preliminary Review of Existing Studies of the Number of Illegal
Residents in the United States," in Select Commission on Immigra
tion and Refugee Policy, U.S. Immigration Policy and the National
Interest, Papers on Illegal Migration to the United States, Appendix
E, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Statistical Yearbook for the Immigration
and Naturalization Service, Washington, different years.
Immigration and the
U.S. Taxpayer
Francine D. Blau
University of Illinois
lately considerable nationwide concern has focused
on the issue of immigration. Two facets have added to
this interest: first, a rise in the influx of immigrants in
to this country both appropriate and unlawful; and second, a change
in the original sourced elements of immigrants far from the Euro
pean countries and towards Asia, Latin American and the
Caribbean. Numerous perceive the present number of immigrants
as less skilled, possibly, and less highly educated than those
who came several years ago; it is also feared that cur
rent immigrants may well be more hard to absorb. This has
gelled into a problem on the impact of immigrants on the
U.S. economy and on the economic well-being of native
As we shall see, general public perceptions regarding changes in the
magnitude and sourced elements of immigration are indeed correct.
However, to express that such modifications have actually happened is not
necessarily to state which they constitute a problem.
Nonetheless, you will find severe immigration policy problems con
fronting the government. Exactly how many immigrants should we
admit? Another issue, greater today than previously, is
whether we could figure out the amount of immigrants to ad
mit. Which, can we get a handle on our very own boundaries? Exactly what should
we do concerning the present population of unlawful immigrants liv
ing in this nation? Although economists cannot respond to all
90 Immigration & the Taxpayer
these certain concerns, they are able to assist policymakers by do
ing research that sheds light regarding the economic impact of im
migration on the United States.
There are a couple of main aspects to take into account in addressing
this issue. First, which kind of individuals are the immigrants
and just how do they compare towards the native-born population.
The foreign-born nevertheless never comprise an especially large
proportion of U.S. populace. Since the flow of im
migrants is higher than it was a few years ago, however, the
composition associated with populace is changing. And now we have the
right to ask: Is this a change for the better or even for the even worse?
Or is it maybe not a significant change at all?
Another concern that needs to be considered is far more
difficult. Exactly what are the consequences for native-born
Americans with this influx of immigrants? In particular, do
immigrants compete for jobs with a few specific sectors of
the U.S. population? Of these groups, what is the impact on
their wages, jobless rates, etc.?
It is essential to answer these concerns to have a com
prehensive view of the economic impact of immigrants. In
this paper, but we focus on the very first concern.
exactly what types of individuals are the immigrants, and exactly how do
they compare to native-born Us americans? Within these con
cerns we concentrate on the effects the United states tax
payer of the inflow of immigrants. We particularly emphasize
issues related to the utilization of transfer repayments by im
migrants relative to usage by the native-born. Transfer
payments are cash paid by the us government to individuals
and their families under different circumstances, for instance,
welfare payments to individuals or families whose income is
very low, unemployment settlement for people who have
lost their jobs, or social security for people who have retired.
Do immigrants get more of such transfer repayments and
if therefore, why?
Immigration & the Taxpayer 91
Less emphasis is going to be provided to one other side of the
coin just how much do immigrants donate to the tax
receipts of federal government? But we shall additionally consider
evidence with a bearing with this issue. Which, how
economically effective have actually immigrants been? This is rele
vant since it is one of the fundamental facts of life that if
you are economically effective inside nation, the government is
going to share with you for the reason that success for some extent.
Before embracing a detailed discussion of these issues, we
first review styles in immigration in an effort both to establish
in more detail exactly what current trends happen, and also to place
them in historical perspective. Once we shall see, the current
situation, as well as the fears connected with it, are not
historically unprecedented. In previous circumstances, those fears
proved groundless, because they may in the present situation.
Trends in Immigration
The styles which have provided increase to present concerns are il
lustrated in Table 1. The 1970s ended up being certainly a period of in
creased immigration moves set alongside the two preceding
decades, both when it comes to the absolute quantity of immigrants
and their size in accordance with the people. Further, the speed of
change seems to be accelerating, with the quantity of
immigrants and their size relative to the populace higher in
the late 1970s and early 1980s than at the beginning of the
decade. As a consequence of these developments, the
foreign-born increased from 4.7 percent of the U.S. popula
tion in 1970 to 6.2 percent in 1980. 1 While the size of the
foreign-born group remains small relative to the population,
it represents a 32 percent increase in their proportion over a
10-year period. Besides, the concentration of particular
nationalities in a few areas as an example,
Cubans in Florida, Mexicans in Southwest, plus some of
the Asian groups in West implies that the percentage of
92 Immigration & the Taxpayer
foreign-born is significantly more than the national average
in a number of localities.
Table 1
Immigration: 1820 to 1981
1831 -
1841 -
1851 -
1861 -
1871 -
1881 -
1891 -
1901 -
1911 -
1921 -
1931 -
1941 -
1951 -
1961 -
1971 -1981
1830 b
1840 C
1850 d
I860 6
1900 1910
1980 f Number
2,812 5,247
3,688 8,7955,736
4,107 528
4,493 Rate
3.4 1.2
9.2 5.3
3.5 .4
2.1 Year
1979 1980
1981 Total
Number (1000s)
462 601
460 531
597 Rate
2.3 1.8
2.1 2.8
2.3 2.6
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of
the usa, 1985.
a. Annual rate per 1,000 U.S. population, 10-year rate computed by dividing sum of an
nual immigration totals by sum of annual U.S. population totals for same 10 years,
b. October 1, 1819 — September 30, 1830.
c. October 1, 1830 — December 31, 1840.
d. Calendai years,
e. January 1, 1861 — June 30, 1870.
f. Includes change quarter, July 1 to September 30, 1976.
Immigration & the Taxpayer 93
The public perception there happens to be a shift in the
place of beginning of immigrants is also borne down by the data.
Asians constituted only 6 per cent of immigrants during the
1950s, in comparison to 13 per cent into the 1960s and 36 per
cent into the 1980s. Immigrants from Latin America and the
Caribbean increased their proportion of this total from 23
percent within the 1950s to about 40 percent into the 1960s and
1970s. Overall, these two sources of immigrants grew from
29 per cent associated with the immigrant group in the 1950s to 77 percent
in the 1970s.
Table 1 demonstrates that the U.S. has experienced two previous
periods of substantial upsurge in immigration flows. Certainly,
in both associated with the earlier in the day situations the figures involved were con
siderably larger, both absolutely and relative to the popula
tion. 1st case was in the 1840s and 1850s. This was
associated with an influx of Irish who increased their propor
tion of immigrants from 12 % in 1830 to about 45 per
cent in 1840 and 1850. The next case ended up being the great wave of
immigrants whom came in late 1800s and early 1900s.
Their figures were completely unprecedented in American
history, with 23.5 million showing up between 1880 and 1920. In
1910, 18 % associated with population had been foreign-born. There
was additionally a big change in source of immigration at that
time away from England, Scotland, Scandanavia, Ger
many and Ireland and towards Southern, Eastern and Cen
tral Europe, including such nationalities as Serbo-Croatians,
Bohemians and Moravians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians,
Greeks, Spaniards, and Turks.
In both these instances, there was a broad impression that the
new crop of immigrants had been less skilled much less educated
than the previous team, and considerable fear your large
mass of immigrants could never be digested and assimilated
into the American main-stream. There is the fact the
immigrants were having a bad impact on the well-being
94 Immigration & the Taxpayer
of the US wage earner. Indeed these views were
responsible the passage through of restrictive federal legislation in
1921 curtailing the entry of immigrants. Nonetheless, there is
probably general agreement today your U.S. did readily
assimilate these teams. And further, why these immigrants
also enriched America utilizing the numerous good stuff they
brought to the nation. Therefore, on the basis of the historical ex
perience, we could perhaps confront our present problems with
some level of optimism about immigration.
Immigrants and Transfer System1
In this area, we seek to see if im
migrants make use of the transfer system to a better degree than
the native-born and just what factors could be accountable for any
immigrant-native differences. In looking for answers to these
questions, it is important, not just to identify any average
differences that may occur, but also to know the
underlying reasons for any distinctions which are observed. This
is necesssary because among our objectives is to apply the in
sights of what we understand immigrants today to im
migrants who may come in the foreseeable future. Since future arrivals
may change from the current group when it comes to their educa
tion, race or ethnicity, etc., general averages aren't infor
The data we use are from the 1976 Survey of Income and
Education which gives earnings and transfer information for
1975. This may be disappointing to some individuals. The con
cern is approximately a present problem; can information that are 10-years-
old be strongly related it? The issue that individuals confront in
economics is often the form of information needed to do the
kind of careful and systematic analysis presented right here are
not collected very frequently. Further, it requires a considerable
amount of time to perform these types of analyses.
Nonetheless, such information can shed some light regarding the problems of
& the Taxpayer 95
concern to us, particularly when used to unearth the
underlying factors behind any immigrant-native differences. It is
also encouraging that a recently available research by Tienda and Jensen
(1985), which used information through the 1980 Census, discovers similar
results for starters of this forms of transfer use we think about,
immigrant-native variations in welfare dependency.
In looking at transfers, let us first distinguish between two
types of transfer payments. The initial are payments received
from welfare programs. These include public assistance,
which is usually compensated by state and regional governments, and
Aid to Families with Dependent kiddies (AFDC), a federal
program that is targeted on feminine household heads. Although
families with unemployed dads are theoretically additionally eligible
in many states, almost all recipients of AFDC are
female family members minds. Additionally included is Supplemental Security
Income (SSI), a federal system which will be targeted in the ag
ed. Welfare programs share the most popular characteristic that
they are paid for from basic taxation revenues. Additionally,
eligibility for such programs, as well as the amount of money
received, is dependent upon need, perhaps not by any type of prior
contribution or by previous employment of a specific kind.
The 2nd type of transfer payments are repayments from
social insurance coverage programs. These generally include social security, the
railroad retirement program, jobless insurance coverage,
workers© payment, and various veterans© programs.
These programs are taken care of out of efforts by
employers and/or employees and never away from basic tax
revenue. Eligibility for these programs requires work in
a so-called covered sector for a specified time frame. Therefore,
for instance, not only whoever becomes unemployed is
necessarily eligible for jobless insurance, and not
just anybody who retires is necessarily qualified to receive social
security, even though the coverage among these programs has
become fairly widespread. Repayment levels, the receipts that
96 Immigration & the Taxpayer
people get from these programs, are guided mainly,
although maybe not solely, by the replacement ratio concept. The
replacement ratio concept is designed to replace a specified
proportion of income that is lost through unemploy
ment, impairment, your retirement, etc. Actually, in these programs,
while need is sometimes taken into account, the basic concept is
that if you were doing better just before joined the transfer
program, you ought to get a greater transfer payment.
The explanation these two kinds of programs are distinguished
is since the differences between them may be crucial to
policymakers. That is, policymakers may distinguish be
tween monies that will welfare recipients and those
that are being gathered by individuals through social in
surance programs. This is because it really is commonly thought that
the people getting social insurance coverage repayments have actually in effect
earned that transfer payment through the previous contributions
they or their employers have made. But should be
noted that most contributory programs inside U.S. are in
fact pay-as-you-go programs. As an example, it's not the case
under social security that the fees you pay now are conserved up
for you and that whenever you retire at 65 you obtain the very
money you paid in, and/or returns from investing that
money. In reality, the social security fees you spend today, get to
support older people that are currently retired. Nonetheless,
it is significant inside general public head your recipients of
payments from social insurance coverage programs are making a con
tribution towards funding the programs in the past (or their
employers have done therefore).
Now we have explained the differences between these
two kinds of programs, why don't we look at the receipt of transfer
payments by families headed by immigrants additionally the native-
born in 1975 as shown in Table 2. Male-headed families (in
cluding married couples) and female-headed families are
distinguished. 3 A superficial study of this table does
Immigration & the Taxpayer 97
lend some help towards indisputable fact that immigrants may be a
drain in the transfer system. Among both male- and female-
headed families, immigrants get greater transfer
payments versus native-born. On average, the transfers
received by families headed by a male immigrant were 52
percent ($546) greater than the receipts of families headed by
native-born males. As the table shows, this was due to im
migrant families© greater likelihood of participating in each
type of program (welfare and social insurance), as well as,
the higher average level of payments received by immigrant
families who were program participants. Interestingly
enough, among female minds, immigrants get lower
welfare payments normally, but higher social insurance
payments. Overall, their receipts from transfer programs are
13 % ($196) higher than their native-born counterparts,
primarily because of their greater possibility of participating in
social insurance coverage programs.
The questions we have to give consideration to are how come these dif
ferences exist and what are the policy implications of those?
the initial concern may consequently be divided into two components.
First, we may see whether immigrant families place
greater reliance on transfer programs than native families
with similar characteristics. So, whenever we found an immigrant
family and matched it with a native family members with regards to the
head©s education, how many relatives, etc.,
would the immigrant family members get greater transfer payments
than the otherwise similar indigenous family members? Put simply, are
immigrant families more transfer-prone? 2nd, we might in
vestigate the part that variations in characteristics between
the immigrant and native-born teams play in creating dif
ferences in transfer receipts. Which, to what degree are the
higher transfers gotten by immigrant families because of dif
ferences in their quantities of education, household structure, etc.
98 Immigration & the Taxpayer
Table 2
Receipt of Transfers
Type of program
Average payments
(program individuals only)
Welfare personal insurance Male
heads feminine heads
Natives Immigrants Natives Immigrants
Average repayments
(all families)
Social insurance
Percent participating
Welfare personal insurance $
36.5 $
45.6 $
44.9 $
$1585 2680 $1684
3301 $1974
2437 $2002
SOURCE: Francine D. Blau, «The usage of Transfer Payments by Immigrants,» Industrial
and Labor Relations Review 37 (January 1984), Table 1, p. 223. Reprinted by permission.
NOTE: Based on information from the 1976 Survey of money and Education (SIE). Observations
are weighted by sampling loads reported inside SIE. Family heads must be 18 years of age
or older become included.
In summary, we seek to ascertain from what extent the
higher transfer receipts of immigrant families are due to
(1) comparable immigrant and native families acting differently
and (2) the truth that immigrant and native families are not
similar but instead differ in many ways that are poten
tially relevant to transfer usage. We then consider the policy
implications of these findings.
As illustrated in Table 3, immigrants have an assortment of
characteristics that could potentially increase their usage of
transfer repayments. A greater percentage of immigrants than
of native-born family minds are minorities. Immigrants are
somewhat less inclined to be black colored, but a greater proportion of
them are comprised of other nonwhites or Hispanics. Since
Immigration & the Taxpayer 99
minorities have a tendency to encounter greater trouble within the labor
market, a higher percentage of minorities among immigrants
could play a role in a larger reliance on the transfer system.
Table 3
Means of Selected Characteristics
Male heads Female heads
Characteristic Natives Immigrants Natives Immigrants
Race-ethnicity (percent)
Black 9 4 19 6
Other nonwhite 1 10 1 6
Hispanic 2 23 2 18
Age of head
Mean age 44 51 49 58
% 65 or older 14 30 29 47
% 18 to 30 27 17 29 13
Family people
per cent 65 or older 9 21 3 3
Number of children
under 18 0.9 0.8 0.6 0.4
Education of head 12.1 10.7 11.6 9.7
English capability of mind
per cent with poor English 0.2 15 0.4 15
metropolitan area
West Central
Northeast 66
33 18
21 86
28 17
38 69
33 18
2722 88
SOURCE: Francine D. Blau, «The usage of Transfer Payments by Immigrants,» Industrial
and work Relations Review 37 (January 1984), dining table 2, p. 225. Reprinted by permission.
NOTE: According to information from the 1976 Survey of money and Education (SIE). Observations
are weighted by sampling weights reported into the SIE. Family heads must certanly be 18 several years of age
or older become included.
100 Immigration & the Taxpayer
In 1975, immigrant heads of families had reduced educa
tional attainment normally than natives. Among males, they
averaged over annually less of training; on the list of female
heads of families, it absolutely was very nearly two years less training. Im
migrants are much more likely not to ever manage to speak English
or know English well. Fifteen percent associated with male and
female immigrant heads couldn't speak or understand
English well versus lower than 1 per cent of native-born
Americans. the place of immigrants might contribute to
their greater use of transfer payments and. Immigrants
were much more likely than natives to be positioned in metropolitan
areas in which transfer payments tend to be more ample or
to be located in the Northeast where there clearly was both a reputa
tion and a practice of higher transfer payments, and they
were notably less more likely to reside in the South where transfer
payments are lower.
The actually main factor in explaining immigrant-native dif
ferences, however, actually is none of above, but
simply the fact immigrants on average are older than
native-born People in the us. Like, the common age of
male native family members minds had been 44 versus 51 many years of age
for the immigrants. Among the list of female family heads, the
average age of native-born was 49 versus 58 for the
immigrants. Its much more graphic in the event that you glance at the pro
portion of household heads that are 65 years old or higher 14
percent for the male natives versus 30 percent for the
immigrants. For female family heads, the figures are 29 per
cent for natives and 47 percent for immigrants. Additionally,
in male-headed families an increased percentage associated with the other
family users inside immigrant than in the native families
are also 65 or over. Older people are clearly much more likely to
be retired and thus collecting social security advantages, Sup
plemental Security Income, an such like. It is therefore not surprising that an
older population will be more transfer-prone. But these
age differences raise two additional questions: (1) exactly why are
& the Taxpayer 101
the immigrants an adult populace? (2) If the immigrant-
native distinction in transfer payments is primarily due to the
fact that immigrants are an adult population, could be the differen
tial of concern from an insurance plan point of view?
First of all, exactly why are immigrants an adult populace? That
simply has to do with the history of immigration discussed
above. The age distribution for the indigenous populace is deter
mined mainly by domestic delivery and death prices. But the
age distribution of immigrants is determined by the historical
pattern of flows of immigrants into this nation. Once we have
seen, these flows peaked in the late 19th and early 20th cen
turies. Therefore, a considerably higher portion of immigrants
than of natives are elderly mainly because a relatively high
proportion of immigrants arrived in the late 1800s and early
1900s. Another adding factor is the impact of this post-
World War II infant growth. A disproportionate share of the
native populace is relatively young because they were born
during the child boom years. But as dining table 1 suggests, by
1976, no comparable increase in immigration for that age
group had taken place. This inference is borne out in dining table 3
where we see that a considerably smaller proportion of im
migrant than of indigenous minds ended up being aged 18 to 30 in 1976 (in other words.,
born through the child boom). Thus the answer to the first
question of why the immigrants are an older population is
simply historical accident.
just what are the consequences from an insurance policy perspective of
transfer differentials which are because of such an age disparity?
towards extent that it's as a result of this factor, a reasonably strong case
can be manufactured your higher using transfer payments
by immigrants does not express a reason for concern. First,
as with any investment in human capital, immigration is
more lucrative the earlier inside life cycle so it happens.
This is because there are more years over which to enjoy the
returns towards the investment. Since this may be the situation, many im-
102 Immigration & the Taxpayer
migrants visited this nation at a somewhat young age4 and
the vast majority associated with older immigrants have actually invested many of
their working years, including their most effective years, in
the United States. Which means that these have made
substantial efforts to tax receipts and also to contributory
social insurance programs and it is perhaps not a matter of concern
that while they become older they get these transfer
Second, to the level that transfer repayments to older in
dividuals represent an intergenerational transfer from the
current young population to the present older populace,
immigrants have unique working-age kids whom are
making good contributions for this system and so in an
overall feeling are assisting to help them.
Finally, this distribution of immigrants can be
manipulated by public policy in an excellent way. For ex
ample, maybe it's accustomed smooth out population imbalances in
age structure considering fluctuations in domestic delivery prices.
For example, considering that the infant growth had been followed by the baby
bust of late 1960s through 1980s, it might make sense
to import immigrants to fortify the size of the young
working-age populace since these smaller cohorts enter the
labor market. Definitely, young people may prefer to have
fewer people entering the task market together and thus
less competition. This consideration would need to be weigh
ed too. Whatever the case, the age distribution of immigrants is sub
ject to public policy and from that viewpoint isn't a cause
for concern.
Is age in reality the primary reason behind the noticed dif
ferences in transfer utilization? To respond to that concern, we
first consider whether otherwise comparable immigrant and
native families do certainly act similarly regarding their
transfer usage. In the event that answer to that real question is yes, then the
reason for differences in transfer use involving the two groups
& the Taxpayer 103
must be differences in their faculties. The
characteristics which can be managed for in testing for
immigrant-native variations in behavior are (1) facets that
contribute to potential work market success, including
(potential) experience, education, competition and cultural group;
(2) the current presence of other income and assets that could have
an effect on whether or not people must move to transfer
payments and whether they qualify for them;
(3) demographic facets, such as the size and composition of
families; (4) location, due to the fact, as mentioned earlier in the day, some
localities tend to be more generous than others.
After controlling the ramifications of these factors, it was
found that behavioral differences between immigrants and
similar native-born People in america had been minimal. And, where
differences did exist, they tended to favor the immigrants.
Immigrants were less likely to be on welfare and collected
lower welfare payments than otherwise similar natives. All
else equal, receipts from welfare programs had been calculated to
be 59 % lower among male-headed immigrant families
and 57 percent lower among female-headed immigrant
families. Holding other facets constant, immigrant families
did accumulate slightly (2 %) higher social insurance
payments. On average, totaling both together, for male
family heads, the overall receipt of transfers were about the
same for immigrant and native families, and, for female
family heads, the transfer payments to immigrant families
were in fact 8 % below for their native counter
The time pattern of transfer receipts was additionally examined in
terms of this length of time the household mind had resided in the
U.S. It absolutely was discovered that, all else equal, immigrants had lower
welfare receipts at every length of residence. Which, both
recent immigrants and people who was simply here for a long
period of the time built-up lower welfare payments. How come this
Immigration & the Taxpayer
the situation? One possible explanation is the fact that, as Chiswick
(1978) highlights, immigration tends to be selective of more
highly motivated and able individuals. An easy rationale for
this is that it takes more get-up-and-go if you're unhappy
with your situation or simply think you might do better
elsewhere to maneuver to a completely various culture. The
lower usage of welfare by immigrants, all else equal, is addi
tional proof they constitute a very highly motivated
population. Therefore, even though the label is promoting that
some people arrive at america to be able to collect
welfare or that immigrants are fast to fall back on public
assistance, there is absolutely no support whatsoever in the
data for those notions.
In contrast toward situation of welfare, number of social in
surance transfers by immigrants when compared with similar
natives had been discovered to alter with period of time in the united kingdom.
When immigrants very first arrive, they have been less likely to want to collect
social insurance coverage repayments than are native-born individuals.
This is owing to the fact that it will take a bit to become
covered to obtain the kinds of jobs that may cause you to eligible
for these programs and also to keep the jobs for a sufficient
period of the time. As their length of residence increases, im
migrants are more likely to qualify for social insurance pro
grams, and thus, receipts from these programs increase to
the native level and eventually go a little bit beyond that.
Since differences in immigrant-native reactions to the
same faculties never may actually take into account the observ
ed differences in transfer receipts between the two groups
reported in Table 2, the transfer differential should be the
result of variations in the characteristics of immigrant and
native families. Not surprisingly, age-related facets were found
to play the major role. Age-related factors include not only
the chronilogical age of family members mind, him or herself, but other
things being associated with how old they are, for instance the ages of other
& the Taxpayer 105
adult family members, the presence and ages of children, etc.
Among men, age-related factors had been above sufficient
to take into account the immigrant-native differential in welfare
receipts; they explained 98 % of differential in
social insurance receipts and 99 per cent of the differential in
total transfer receipts. Among female-headed families, age-
related facets accounted for 55 percent regarding the reduced levels of
welare received by immigrants. (The opposing effectation of age-
related factors in the welfare receipts of male- and female-
heads probably reflects the more general importance of
Supplemental safety Income among the list of previous and Aid to
Families with Dependent Children among the list of latter.) Age-
related factors were sufficient to describe all of the higher use
of social insurance coverage and total transfers by female-headed im
migrant families.
Interestingly sufficient, the larger percentage of minorities
and people that have poor English among immigrants would not, on
net, increase their utilization of transfers. While families headed by
a member of a minority team tended for higher
welfare payments, everything else equal, their receipts from social in
surance programs were reduced. The latter could be because of dif
ficulty obtaining employment into the covered sector. On
balance, their total transfer receipts were lower. Families
whose head didn't speak or realize English well were
more apt to be on welfare than otherwise comparable families,
but had been less inclined to get payments from social insurance
programs (maybe because of difficulty getting employment in a
covered sector). Among system participants, their degree of
receipts from both forms of programs (welfare and social in
surance) ended up being reduced. This somewhat surprising outcome may be
due towards the family members heads© trouble in navigating the often
complex welfare/social insurance coverage systems given his/her poor
English ability. Once more, the net effect had been that total transfer
payments to such families were less than their native
counterparts. These findings are important simply because they im-
106 Immigration & the Taxpayer
ply that even though the percentage of immigrants comprised of
minorities and those with bad English abilities had been to increase
in the long run, the application of transfers by immigrants relative to
the native-born would not necessarily increase.
Economic Success of Immigrants
Let united states now look shortly during the other side of coin. We©ve
been taking a look at exactly what immigrants get through the govern
ment. We have now move to issue of whatever they pay to the
government in the form of fees. While info is not
directly available on income tax payments perse, financial success is
a good indicator regarding the amount of such payments. Using data
from the 1970 Census, Chiswick (1978) has examined this issue
extensively. He finds that, while earnings of immigrants are
initially below those of similar native-born workers, they
catch as much as and finally surpass their native-born counter
parts in profits. Chiswick discovers that the catch-up time is
about 13 years.
Using data from 1976 Survey of money and Educa
tion, Blau (1984) reports similar findings for wages. Her
estimated catch-up time is even smaller within 5 years.
Since she controls for English-speaking capability while
Chiswick will not, the Chiswick figure can be interpreted as
the total time needed by immigrants to catch up to natives,
including the full time essential to find the prerequisite language
skills. From an insurance policy perspective this notion may be more
Regardless of which estimate for the catch-up period is
used, but the info claim that the life time earnings
(and consequently the life time income tax repayments) of an im
migrant who spends nearly all of his/her working life into the U.S.
will likely be higher than those of a comparable native-
born person. Of course actual income tax repayments will depend
also regarding the faculties of immigrants vs. the native-born.
Immigration & the Taxpayer 107
However, Sehgal (1985) indicates, using data from 1983
Current Population Survey, that immigrant earnings catch
up to those associated with the native-born in about a decade even if per
sonal faculties aren't controlled for.
Lest it be thought why these findings mirror the
peculiarities for the contemporary situation, it really is interesting
to keep in mind that Blau (1980) uncovered a strikingly comparable pat
tern for the early 1900s. Therefore, the propensity of immigrants©
earnings to get up to and in the end surpass those of their
native counterparts appears to be an incredibly well-
established empirical pattern.
It has additionally been discovered by both Blau (1980) the early
1900s and Chiswick (1977) for 1969, that the children of im
migrants are far more economically successful than otherwise
similar people who are the kids of native-born
parents. As discussed above, older immigrants have their
own young ones inside U.S. that are contributing to social
security and other taxes and therefore helping to fund the
transfer payments of older immigrants. The information actually
suggest that, all else equal, they have been making higher contribu
tions compared to the kids of natives.
A careful review of the data on transfer payments sug
gests that immigrants cannot seem to overburden the
transfer system. There isn't any evidence that they have done so
in days gone by and no indication that there is any reason to be
concerned concerning the future. Certainly, immigrants had been actual
ly found to get lower welfare repayments than otherwise
similar natives, and social insurance coverage payments which were only
slightly greater. As they did get higher transfer
payments, typically, it was mainly due to their being
an older populace. A briefer report on the evidence regard-
108 Immigration & the Taxpayer
ing the economic success of immigrants advised that the
tax payments produced by them and also by their children are likely
to equal or surpass those for the native-born.
Three qualifications regarding these findings should be
borne at heart. First, the data sets surveyed to reach these
conclusions most likely underrepresent unlawful immigrants to
an not known level. Yet, the inclusion of illegals just isn't ex
pected to significantly change our findings. Plus its most likely that
those that are in the united states illegally, while paying the taxes
they owe, are less inclined to collect transfer repayments than the
legal team. The reason for this is simply they would not
wish to draw awareness of by themselves; not having to pay fees might
do therefore, as might attempting to collect transfers. For instance,
if you were in the nation illegally, can you be prone to go
to the jobless insurance coverage office and get for your
unemployment check? Can you be prone to get involved
with the welfare system and have a caseworker visiting your
house? This indicates probable that whatever problems illegal im
migrants might cause, a greater usage of transfer
payments is most probably not merely one of them. However, it should
be emphasized this is speculation. To definitively answer
this concern, better data on the numbers, behavior patterns
and traits of illegal immigrants is required.
Second, we remarked that when it comes to total transfer use,
families headed by minority people received lower
payments, everything else equal. However, it ended up being additionally real that the
welfare receipts of the group had been greater and the social in
surance repayments were lower than comparable families
headed by whites or Anglos. Towards the level that policymakers
may desire to distinguish between contributory social in
surance programs and noncontributory welfare programs,
the higher proportion of minority individuals among im
migrants could then be viewed a cause for concern.
however, even in the event this is the instance, this indicates more equitable
Immigration & the Taxpayer 109
to try to alter the labor market situation which prevents the
minorities from obtaining the better jobs in sectors covered by
social insurance coverage programs than to keep away minority popula
tions from abroad.
Third, and a lot of really, there is certainly an extremely important
question with maybe not been addressed here: what are the con
sequences for native-born individuals of competition from
immigrants? For example, if such competition results in
higher unemployment for certain native-born teams, that
could increase aggregate transfer repayments, in this case those
to native-born individuals. If competition from immigrants
were to effect a result of lower wages for a few native-born groups,
that could cause reduced aggregate income tax revenues. Therefore, to
fully address the issues considered right here, we must tackle the
extremely difficult task of estimating the effects for
American workers of this competition from abroad.
1. The data in text on the origins and magnitude of immigration
are from U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau regarding the Census,
Statistical Abstract for the united states of america, 1985 and Historical Statistics of
the United States: Colonial instances to 1970, role 1.
2. This section draws upon my article, «The utilization of Transfer Payments
by Immigrants,» Industrial and work Relations Review 37 (January
1984), pp. 222-239. I will be grateful towards the publisher for enabling me personally to
summarize those outcomes right here. For an attempt to stabilize the costs and
benefits of immigration at an aggregate degree, see Simon (1981).
3. Within the interests of quality, the traditional practice of designating the
husband in a married couple family members once the «head» is reluctantly follow
Immigration & the Taxpayer
4. Among immigrant heads who were 68 years old or older in 1976, 28
percent of the males and 34 per cent regarding the women arrived before 1920. An
additional 62 per cent of this men and 58 percent of females arrived
between 1920 and 1949; unfortuitously, forget about step-by-step breakdown for
the 1920-1949 duration can be acquired through the Survey of money and Educa
tion. Similarly, among immigrant heads who were 65 or older, 88 percent
of the males and 91 % associated with females arrived before 1950.
Blau, Francine D., «Immigration and Labor Earnings in Early Twen
tieth Century America,» in Julian L. Simon and Julie DaVanzo, eds.,
Research in Population Economics 2 (Greenwich, Cn: JAI Press,
1980), pp. 21-42.
Blau, Francine D., «The usage of Transfer Payments by Immigrants,»
Industrial and work Relations Review 37 (January 1984), pp.
Chiswick, Barry R., «The Effects of Americanization on profits of
Foreign-Born Men,» Journal of Political Economy 86 (October
1978), pp. 897-921.
Chiswick, Barry R., «Sons of Immigrants: Will they be at an Earnings Dis
advantage?» American Economic Review 67 (February 1977), pp.
Sehgal, Ellen, «Foreign Born in U.S. work Market: The Results of
a Special Survey,» month-to-month work Review 108 (July 1985), pp. 18-24.
Simon, Julian L. «just what Immigrants Take From, and provide To, the
Public Coffers,» in Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee
Policy, «united states of america Immigration Policy and nationwide
Interest,» Appendix D on Staff Report associated with the Commission, Papers
on Legal Immigration to the united states of america (Washington, DC: GPO
1981), pp. 223-262.
Tienda, Marta and Leif Jensen, «Immigration and Public Assistance
Participation: Dispelling the Myth of Dependency,» Institute for
Research on Poverty, Discussion Paper No. 777-85 (June 1985).
U.S. Immigration Policy
What Next?
Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Columbia University
United States immigration policy stands during the crossroads.
We have experienced an amazing and passionate debate. The
Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy
under Father Hesburgh©s chairmanship ended up being established in
October 1978 responding to growing concerns that had
already joined the public policy domain. It led, in turn, to
the introduction for the Simpson-Mazzoli bill in to the House.
After nearly 36 months of tortuous legislative efforts to
enact it into law, Simpson-Mazzoli died in seminar at the
end for the 98th Congress. By that time, the bill was already
weighed under by numerous compromises from the original
version, showing the exigencies for the legislative process
that prompted the witticism that we now have a few things you did
not desire to see made: guidelines and sausage.
If we keep in view the facts that prominent intellectuals
and editorial writers tossed their support behind Simpson-
Mazzoli, your bill came extremely close to passage, that pas
sions are aroused and lobbies triggered, it is not sur
prising your Congress has witnessed renewed efforts at
immigration legislation. Actually, fears that Simpson-Mazzoli
would increase once more from its ashes led to very early efforts by its op
ponents inside 99th Congress at going this threat.
Thus, Congressman Roybal had introduced a pre-emptive
Bill HR 30 and Congressman Garcia held fresh hearings on
112 U.S. Immigration Policy
immigration policy before their Subcommittee on Census and
Population, showing Hispanic concerns. At The Same Time,
Messrs. Simpson and Mazzoli have parted business and
each has sponsored brand new legislation aimed at immigration
control, with Senator Simpson teaming up now with Con
gressman Rodino now.
We need therefore to deal with, since demonstrably as we can, the
question: where do we turn at this juncture? You could be
tempted to dismiss this concern regarding cynical ground that
the intense arguments associated with the last few years and the
strangeness associated with coalitions that formed around Simpson-
Mazzoli suggest that matters went beyond enlightened
analysis. Or perhaps you may fear that right now nothing worthwhile
could have now been left unsaid. I really hope to persuade you,
however, that a new approach can indeed be proposed. And
I trust that you will share my optimism that rational
discourse has its part to relax and play in most public policy debate, no
matter exactly how contentious the matter in question.
To develop an appropriate policy, we should determine desirable
objectives and suitable policy instruments to quickly attain those
objectives. When I shall argue currently, both the Select Com
mission together with Simpson-Mazzoli proponents shared essen
tially two popular goals (in other words., reducing the movement of illegal
immigrants and rescuing these and the earlier stock of il
legals from an underclass status) and had two less popular
policy instruments (in other words., the boss sanctions and the
amnesty system) to quickly attain them. I will also argue that,
ironically, these two policy instruments might be expected to
produce the opposite results from those desired, reminding
me of Max Weber©s celebrated remark in regards to the «paradox
of unanticipated consequences.» And I shall suggest that we
now think of a wholly different method of achieving the
Simpson-Mazzoli objectives.1
U.S. Immigration Policy 113
But, before i really do that, i actually do need to think about at the outset
why immigration has arrived to be thought to be a major public
policy concern. A delineation, and then a dispassionate ex
amination, regarding the concerns that have elevated immigration
reform to your attention will serve to offer me personally with an
assessment associated with worthwhileness regarding the Simpson-Mazzoli
objectives and hence to position my changed policy approach to
them into proper context.
A Litany of Concerns
The most compelling aspect of the immigration situation
today is that we now have a significant number of unlawful immigra
tion. The issues of reasonable commentators, even when the
conjectures which they continue are often unreasonable,
proceed out of this central reality. And even, the illegality of
the immigration inflow, maybe not the full total appropriate numbers admitted
by united states annually, occupies the middle of the stage. Why?
very first, it increases the specter of vast inflows from a seething
mass of humanity. Imagine becoming section of better Mex
ico, or even worse still, part of better Caribbean and Central
America as well! The good sized quantities being bandied about on
the «undocumented» aliens, the euphemism for illegal im
migrants, have assisted this alarmist perception. Unless we
«regain control of our borders,» I will be swamped. The
faintly ridiculous zero populace development (ZPG) motion,
which seeks to freeze populace levels, has derived par
ticular solace, and much mileage, from this cataclysmic
scenario which I shall presently argue become exaggerated.
Second, the illegality raises fear that it will breed more il
legality subsequently. This perception, while patently false, has
been accentuated by the reports of the Mariel Cuban im
migrants© issues in Florida.
114 U.S. Immigration Policy
Third, closely associated with illegality may be the concern of ethnicity.
Many for the unlawful immigrants are, naturally, Hispanics who
can and do just walk across the Rio Grande. Unlike in the
immigration debates which attended the first enactment of
our national immigration legislation in 1921, racist
arguments just won't be tolerated today. However, the
heavy bias of this unlawful influx in favor of Hispanics has rais
ed more concern with encroachment by an extra language more
than by a different sort of tradition. Today, the iron fist of a domi
nant Anglo-Saxon tradition that tended to create a
homogeneous, assimilated mass of second-generation
children whom embraced the English language unquestioning-
ly is no longer in proof. The growing emphasis on ethnic
diversity, and even pride therein, militates against the
homogenization process. Inside new cultural context, the
Hispanic domination associated with the unlawful influx, with risk of
many more ahead, produces serious concerns. 2
Fourth, illegality associated with the influx has generated the apprehen
sion that a finely tuned policy of immigration, delicately
balancing costs and benefits to us through careful selection
of numbers and composition, has been undermined by an un
controlled inflow that have to consequently, prima facie, be harm
ful to us. This concern was specially acute throughout the pre-
recovery slump with regards to had been feared that a hardcore unemploy
ment situation had been worsened by the «peso refugees©*:
Hispanics moving north in search of jobs as the developing
countries of Latin America, especially Mexico, got mired in
the slump and drowned in their debt.3 Nevertheless the concern was
also severe among some that illegals would end up being a net
burden on financial system, though studies commissioned by
the Hesburgh Commission discovered little help for this
Fifth, and lastly, illegal immigration has established a
humanitarian problem. The illegal aliens represent an
U.S. Immigration Policy 115
underclass, usually subsisting much better than in which they came
from, but evidently in conditions and with civil legal rights that,
because of fear of seizure and deportation, are simply just not
asserted sufficient to be a practical reality. You may possibly have
heard the tale of Jewish few whom, on complimenting
the illegal-immigrant Chinese waiter in a Brooklyn Szechwan
restaurant for speaking tolerable Yiddish, found the
manager rushing around them and remonstrating: „Hush, he
thinks he is learning English!“ Its widely believed that con
cern with this altruistic facet of the immigration situation,
rather than the more narrowly self-serving arguments We have
detailed, led former Secretary of work, Ray Marshall, to
persuade President Carter to consider immigration reform as
an essential goal of their administration. Out of these con
cerns came the two principal goals for the Select Com
mission and Simpson-Mazzoli. One had been only to restrict
immigration, or in other words the illegal component. Others was
to ameliorate the deplorable conditions where the
underclass of unlawful immigrants found itself.
Facts and Realities
I should emphasize instantly your perception that
we are now being flooded by unusually many im
migrants isn't based on facts. For instance, legal immigra
tion during 1950-1970, according to U.S. Bureau of Census
data, has averaged less than half of the peak level during
1900-1909! If adjustment is made for the rise in population,
the reduction in legal immigration flows is even more strik
ing. Immigrant inflows as a percent of resident U.S. popula
tion has in fact fluctuated between less than 0.1 percent dur
ing the war years to roughly 0.2 percent during 1950-1980,
with a peak of 0.35 percent during 1980 when the absolute
immigration inflow was just under 800,000. If modification is
made further for emigration a phenomenon that partly
reflects a life-cycle return for the immigrants, and which has
U.S. Immigration Policy
been there because the 19th century the figures of web im
migration autumn significantly further below the absolute amounts of
roughly 400,000 typically through the 1970s.
Yet another striking reality, taken to our attention by
Kingsley Davis, is the fact that proportion of foreign-born to
total population into the U.S. happens to be dropping steadily since
1910 until it absolutely was significantly less than 5 per cent in 1970, whereas it has
risen in recent history in lots of countries including Australia,
Switzerland, France and Sweden and, in reality, exceeds hand
somely our 1970 percentage in these nations plus others
such as Canada and brand new Zealand. For a country built on im
migration, these facts suggest that our legal immigration
policy has not been lax or overly generous in any persuasive
The illegal inflow does impact on this argument, since our
susceptibility to it is considered generally to be greater than
in many of these countries, with the exception of France. But
not in the slightest up to early claims within the range of
8 to 12 million suggested by Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS). These quotes, unfounded because they were, pro
fited from a law i've developed: that any statistics will
win against no statistics. That numbers stumbled on be
widely circulated. Studies prompted by the Select Commis
sion have dispelled the myths they created. 4 It appears
that, within the late 1970s, the stock of unlawful residents is likely to
have been between 3.5 and 6 million not more. That means
that the flow will probably are substantially less, for the
border was a porous sieve for quite some time.
My own judgment, given these numbers, is that immigra
tion reform arguments based on immigration being „too
large“ are implausible. Any economist acquainted with the
theories associated with the consequences of immigration must admit to a
complex of positive and negative impacts. With the immigra
tion flows being such small proportions of the population
U.S. Immigration Policy 117
and the workforce, the net economic gains or losses (if any)
from these levels of immigration must shrink into relative in
I would be tempted to conclude therefore, that, at least as
far as the economic effects of the present immigration levels
are concerned, there should not be cause for alarm. That im
migration, for that reason, might treated as a phenomenon
rather than an issue. In fact, if one appears not only at the
short-term effects of the existing data recovery but in addition at
demographic styles that task a labor shortage by the early
decades associated with the next century, you'll be able to consider with
greater equanimity the fearful projections of growing
streams of new immigrants through the Caribbean and Latin
American countries, propelled to united states by distress, disruption
or just want.
No it's possible to, but securely refute the grim scenarios.
Doubtless, Puerto Ricans have not flooded the U.S., empty
ing their land. Italians have not relocated en masse to West
Germany through the poverty associated with south, despite freedom of
movement in European Community. Wages are typically
not equalized, even in the exact same nation, by migration.
Custom, commitment, risk-aversion, hope, family members, attach
ment to land, monetary incapacity to move: these and other
economic and social factors shape and constrain outmigra-
tion on more prosperous areas. But large movements do
occur. Responsible immigration policy can not be predicated
on probably the most promising scenarios. As the financier Felix
Rohatyn would place it, this would be like „betting the com
The Two Objectives
I therefore accept, as an acceptable policy goal, the
premise that people should bring unlawful immigration under con
118 U.S. Immigration Policy
As I have stressed currently, others Simpson-Mazzoli ob
jective, which I happen to give greater enthusiasm, is a
social and moral one. The illegal aliens who get in, willy-
nilly, through the door are indeed, despite Brusati©s poignant
Bread and Chocolate, significantly better off than where
they come from. But they are at the end of our social and
economic hierarchy, residing in conditions being significant
ly below just what our ethical requirements require. When they live
abroad in appalling conditions, exploited and destitute,
distance places them beyond our view and obligation. But
in our midst, although illegally, their condition offends
our ethical sensibility. The condition of the underclass cannot
be ignored by a civilized culture, most certainly not by ours. 5
The Simpson-Mazzoli Policy Instruments
The approach embodied in Simpson-Mazzoli, and indeed
originating in the tips of this choose Commis
sion, offered two policies to deal with these two objectives.
Both policies, company sanctions and an amnesty, were far
less popular compared to two goals. For instance, compell
ing objections to boss sanctions were raised in Hispanic
As Antonia Hernandez, speaking the Mexican
American Legal Defense and academic Fund before
Representative Garcia©s Subcommittee, remarked
(December 9, 1982):
Employer sanctions won©t work and will
discriminate.. .
The ID system: i'm reminded that during Father
Hersberg©s [sic] testimony and only H.R. 7357,
he stated there is nothing discriminatory with an ID
system. He used a good example i'd like to restate
here. He carries ID cards, the American Express
and as Chairman regarding the Board of Chase Manhattan
Immigration Policy 119
Bank. Those cards are symbols of prestige, of
The ID system, any ID system to [the Hispanic]
community will carry a badge of inferiority, a
badge that individuals, everyone people has to
carry. We shall not be in a position to show our American
Express. We will not be in a position to show our American
passport, or that we are on the board of a Fortune
500 company.
To the users of this Hispanic community, the
employer sanctions additionally the ID is going to be that badge of
inferiority. We are going to need to show whom our company is just
because of the color of our skin together with accent in
our speech.
I must confess that I have considerable sympathy for the
Hispanic issues. My very first response had been, of course, unsym
pathetic since I tended to discount the possibility of
discrimination that could follow the enactment of employer
sanctions much as Father Hesburgh did. My views now are
somewhat changed, for I cannot discount worries that are so
widespread and clearly rooted in individual experiences of
the Hispanic community. But, even in the event there were no other
objections for their enactment, employer sanctions, and in
deed amnesty, together define a couple of policy instruments
which are not likely to attain the intended objectives. Actually,
they can lead to the contrary outcomes from those
desired! I'd like to argue why.
The Simpson-Mazzoli approach, as mentioned, rested on two
policy instruments: manager sanctions and an amnesty.
Employer sanctions would allow it to be unlawful to employ un
documented aliens. In eliminating the 1952 Texas proviso,
the Bill in its seminar committee variation might have even
imposed criminal penalties for persistent infractions. By
U.S. Immigration Policy
»cutting off jobs" in U.S, the Bill (and indeed the Select
Commission before it) anticipated to get rid of the magnet that
draws in the illegals and so cripple their inflow. Coupled
with the sanctions was, of course, the amnesty provision.
While at the same time likely to play the governmental part of
lubricating Hispanic consent toward company sanctions, its
principal rationale ended up being surely the rescue of this enormous
backlog (or stock) of illegals from its underclass status. Be
tween them, the sanctions while the amnesty would then
eliminate the stock of illegals, cut deeply into their new in
flow and thus attain the required twin objectives.
Ironically, but these two policies will likely in
crease the unlawful inflow, and therefore, fleetingly thereafter,
the stock and, whereas i'm afraid your underclass
status may paradoxically worsen.
Simply put, the thing is that company sanctions can be
expected to be inadequate (quite in line with the possibili
ty that, once the Hispanic community fears, they will impact
adversely on civil legal rights of this community through
discrimination in employing), owing to reasons which are deeply
rooted in our social, political and juridical traditions. At the
same time, sanctions will draw resources away from border
enforcement where the figures that every day get past our
border patrol are obviously affected notably by the level of
enforcement. Thus, the web outcome could well be, paradoxical
ly enough, an increase in the price of unlawful immigration! At
the same time, by increasing the harassment at the job,
employer sanctions may raise the feeling of exposure
and vulnerability characteristic of underclass status.
The ineffectiveness of manager sanctions could be safely
predicted. Self-interest alone should be expected to lead the
employers to oppose the INS through lobbying and litiga
tion, draining its spending plan and weakening effective enforce
ment. Such a prospect also derives from the several, extremely
U.S. Immigration Policy 121
articulate and energetic lobbying sets of ethnic Americans
who, as before this subcommittee, have actually actually opposed
employer sanctions strenuously. However, if self-interest alone was
involved in weakening the effectiveness of boss sanc
tions, I would be less pessimistic than i'm. Since it occurs,
morality is the more critical element and, in this situation, only
weakens further the enforceability of sanctions. Our natural
instincts ensure it is difficult to collaborate in efforts to seize and
deport, whatever we consider illegal immigration in the
abstract. The critical element usually we have been dealing with
human beings. While the Swiss novelist Max Frisch has remark
ed associated with guestworkers© experience in Western European countries: «we
asked for employees but got males alternatively.»
The intense moral dilemma posed by this fact is illustrated
again and again within our experience with enforcing immigra
tion laws. Thus, our courts have over and over (though not
always) hit down discrimination against appropriate aliens,
defining a civil rights tradition that is truly laudable and
almost unique. But they have gone further and found in
favor of also illegal aliens who, it offers often been argued,
have no locus standi in the first place because of the illegal
presence! Notable here you will find the celebrated Texas judgment in
1980 by Federal Judge Woodrow Seals whom upheld the rights
of unlawful aliens© kids to general public training, and also the 1984
Supreme Court ruling that illegal aliens have entitlement to the
protection of federal labor laws and regulations. A Corpus Christi, Texas
jury initially acquitted Jack Elder on fees of illegally
transporting aliens to the U.S. although he had been later on con
victed in a federal court. Mr. Elder©s protection was simply a
moral one, in other words., he and their connect Roman Catholic lay
workers had been offering sanctuary to Salvadorans fleeing
political persecution! 6
Yet once again, it's remarkable that when it comes to the Haitian
boat individuals, as soon as the management reacted to their arrival
122 U.S. Immigration Policy
by unprecedented incarceration, it was soon before civil
rights teams took up their cause, resulting in some relief and
protracted appropriate procedures waiting for resolution. Consequently,
i'd argue your much discussed choosing of GAO
that boss sanctions have not been especially effective
elsewhere, 7 although some nations such as France and
Canada have actually selected afterwards to increase their reliance
on them, applies with unquestionable force inside our case.
By contrast, improved border enforcement has resulted in
increased interceptions. Between 1965 and 1970, the seized il
legals tripled to above 300,000 yearly. In recent years,
the numbers have approximated just as much as a million.
Doubtless, this reflects increased efforts at entry. But it
would be ludicrous to claim that stepped-up enforcement
by the Border Patrol, now totaling over 2,500, has played no
role. Whether or not every intercepted alien attempts to return in again
(and even many must, in the event that million annual interceptions
are become reconciled with the scaled-down unlawful stock
estimates suggested earlier by me personally), the increased price of ap
prehension from more enforcement must influence in some
degree the full total numbers that successfully complete. The
reduction in inflows, inside fashion, just isn't likely to be very
substantial any longer than India can hope to stem the tide of
Bangladesh immigrant influx into Assam by building a fence
and upgrading its enforcement along an enormous, quasi-open
border. However it is truly apt to be more than from
employer sanctions, dollar for dollar.
As the amnesty program, another pillar of the
Simpson-Mazzoli architecture, i'm afraid that too is flaw
ed. It's possible to plausibly maintain so it could speed up the in
flux, magnifying the full total size associated with illegal immigrant
population in the foreseeable future, while increasing their
underclass status. Even though figures who seek to come
across are not responsive to small alterations in relative wages,
the disparities between Mexico while the U.S. being so enor-
Immigration Policy 123
mous, its probable that a dramatic improvement in wages
expected right here could make a noticeable huge difference in the
numbers that wish to try to see through the edge. Unfor
tunately, using this standpoint, an amnesty produces the prob
lem that it translates an illegal status with a decreased associated
wage into appropriate status with a distinct enhancement in the
wage earned, now and through subsequent upward mobility
along the legal job ladder. Since, in economics and in public
policy, bygones are hardly ever bygones, an amnesty now may
well trigger the expectation of an amnesty once again, in which
case we'd be encouraging more to attempt illegal entry.
Then once again, if Representative Garcia is right that the most
liberal amnesty program we will get through the House
and enact into legislation won't legalize over 25 per
cent associated with suspected undocumented population at this time in
the united states of america, we face the ironic outcome your amnes
ty will fundamentally induce more illegal immigrants right here than
we rescued from that status. Caution about the small pro
portion that'll likely secure the advantage of the amnesty is in
deed well-grounded because of many constraints that
afflict eligibility and also the associated problems that pertain
Is it perhaps not also likely that the INS will feel compelled, once
an amnesty was offered and implemented, to «go
after» and harass more intensely people who remain illegal?
Those not reborn may appear the more damnable! Greater
internal enforcement, with or without company sanctions,
that will proceed with the completion regarding the amnesty pro
gram, will simply make the large numbers of current and arriv
ing illegals more insecure, accentuating their underclass
status and therapy.
A Various Approach
I propose therefore that we take an altogether different
approach. Basically, we should significantly diminish interior en-
124 U.S. Immigration Policy
for cement and correspondingly increase external enforce
ment, i.e., at the edge. As I have stressed, border
enforcement cannot reduce, leave apart eradicate, the
influx providing we (quite precisely) look for to control the
border you might say in keeping with our ethical sensibilities and
traditions which preclude Soviet bloc-style strategies. I
wish, naturally, we revealed the exact same sensibilities where
we extend economic help and patrolling abilities to a coun
try which in turn is, in effect, «bribed» into taking into its own
population, possible emigrants to the shores, the kind of
morally unpleasant action that we ourselves would not take
against them! Evidently, i've in mind our relationship with
Haiti within regard. But, despite our morally constrained
techniques of edge enforcement, such enforcement will
doubtless involve some impact.
Besides, edge enforcement would be adequately visible
to satisfy those that feel that we have to be «doing more» to
regain control of our border. In public policy, the advantage
of such visible, symbolic action is a lot too understated.
in which a challenge isn't capable of total solution, such action
acquires great importance. Therefore, while I believe your late
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi©s decision to create a fence
along the enormous India-Bangladesh border in the State of
Assam was an ineffective policy, and (before the Indian
government suspended the construction owing to
Bangladesh governmental protests) I'd a bet utilizing the then
Governor of Assam it would only be a matter of weeks
before the fence is selling inches by inches inside bazaars
of Dacca in Bangladesh, in my opinion it was nonetheless a
splendid policy. For, become seen to be doing very little,
even though you could not shut the edge, would
have been politically explosive since it might have been read
as indifference or indecisiveness. And building the fence was
the least disruptive way of doing nothing while showing up to
be doing one thing!
U.S. Immigration Policy 125
In our example, improved border enforcement will indeed
produce some tangible result, for reasons i've spelled out.
But it requires to be supplemented in what in my opinion is a more
effective policy, that will be certainly the «price» counterpart of
the enforcement policy. It is also an insurance plan which builds up
over the long haul when the more alarming situations of
stepped-up efforts at entry may be more appropriate. This is
the active encouragement for the creation of an «economic
fence» on border, by marketing investments and
economic activity across the long edge. This «economic
fence» can then behave as an incentive to step from the escalator
to america hinterland. We must explore actively,
keeping the government of Mexico informed and in con
sultation, the creation of these an economic fence, envisaging
something like counterpart of «free trade zones» around
the world. The financial fence would rather be a «free
mobility zone» with investment benefits that attract the
economic task that would represent the fence-principle
that I envisage. 8
As we shift our focus on the border to manage the in
flux of immigrants, I would personally at the same time downgrade in
ternal enforcement. 9 this might include dropping the idea of
employer sanctions. It could also suggest going easy on INS
enforcement, much once we did during the last census count. A
de facto policy posture of the type, which preserves the im
portant distinction between legality and illegality while not
seeking to divide the people energetically to the two
categories through INS task, would considerably reduce
the unease of unlawful aliens that produces their exploitation
rather easier.
This mixture of policies, which puts the focus of immigration
control and reform straight back on edge, offers the prospect
therefore of getting since near our two central and popular
objectives since can be done. Primarily it needs executive action
126 U.S. Immigration Policy
to reduce INS enforcement in the home (an art form, I might remark,
the management has practiced effectively with some
other agencies), legislative action to improve the edge en
forcement spending plan significantly, and a working encourage
ment associated with «free mobility zone» program i've recommended.
1. See additionally my estimation editorial article, «Control Immigration at the
Border,» Wall Street Journal, February 1,1985 and my testimony before
Congressman Garcia at Subcommittee on Census and Population,
House Committee on Post Office and Civil provider, on March 26, 1985.
2. James Fallows, Washington editor of Atlantic, was par
ticularly focused on this aspect of the immigration concern. See also
his testimony before Congressman Garcia on March 26, 1985, op. cit.
3. This problem has surfaced with greater urgency in public areas perception
recently, because the collapse in oil costs therefore the accentuation for the debt
crisis in Mexico since January 1986 were followed closely by a reported
surge into the wide range of apprehensions of illegals trying to get across the
border. Thus, the New York days (February 21, 1986, pp. Al and A15)
reports: «The Commissioner of this Immigration and Naturalization Ser
vice warned today that, there is a ©startling© rise of illegal aliens
entering america from Mexico lately. ©We are seeing
the greatest surge of men and women ever across our Southern edge,© Com
missioner Alan C. Nelson said at a news conference called to restore the
agency©s appeal for tougher immigration laws and regulations.» In turn, the newest York
Times (February 24, 1986) renewed its call to the President to support the
passage associated with immigration bills before Congress, particularly the employer
sanctions that we discuss and reject below.
4. See, particularly, the analysis by the staff of the Bureau associated with Census
for the Select Commission, carried out by Messrs. Siegel, Passel and
Robinson, and included in Appendix E regarding the Commission©s Final
5. Two findings are pertinent. In which we require dealing with im
migrants, appropriate and unlawful, on a par with natives, the «cost» of immigra
tion rises relative to prospective benefits. Insofar, for that reason, once we reject
immigrants on a lawn that their immigration is harmful to united states, there
Immigration Policy 127
is a moral-philosophical dilemma right here: by insisting on equality of treat
ment if we admit them, we reject their entry and therefore force them to live
abroad in yet greater destitution (but safely remote from our view)! Next,
our aversion to dealing with immigrants differentially from natives it self may
be consonant with the method, psycho-culturally, U.S. culture treats
adopted kiddies on a par with normal children. Possibly it is not surpris
ing that Japan, in which adoption is fairly infrequent and confined
generally within loved ones (as in the classic case associated with the novelist Soseki Nat-
sume), the attitudes towards immigrants, whoever entry is severely
restricted, just isn't exemplary whereas the United States exhibits the op
posite pattern both in measurements.
6. As of likely to press, issue of sanctuary continues to be inside courts,
arousing intense passions for the type that I think to be properly what
would undermine the efficacy of efforts at enforcing sanctions.
7. In August 1982, the GAO circulated their report: informative data on the
Enforcement of Laws Regarding Employment of Aliens in Selected
Countries. The analysis was carried out at request regarding the Senate Sub
committee on Immigration and Refugee Policy, Committee on the
Judiciary. According to questionnaire replies by 20 countries and visits to
four (Canada, Germany, France and Switzerland), these second all having
some as a type of company sanctions, the GAO research unearthed that the sanc
tions had been generally inadequate for reasons like the facts that judges
were generally too lenient, regarding unlawful employment as maybe not a
«serious offense.» This underlines exactly the point that I am making in
this lecture. See additionally the statement by William Anderson, director,
General national Division before the Subcommittee on Census and
Population, home Committee on postoffice and Civil provider, on The
Demographic Impact of Immigration regarding usa, in the
presence of Congressman Garcia, on March 26, 1985.
8. Such an economic fence on Mexican side might have the advan
tage that you could lawfully pay wages less than the U.S. minimum wage
but more than in Mexico, and thus hold illegals right back from attempting
entry since slightly lower wages would be exchanged off against legality and
Mexican residence in comparison to residence in U.S. as an underclass.
9. The irrational fascination with interior enforcement (perhaps additionally a
puritanical effect against those «aiding and abetting» in the violation
of our «sovereign borders» and protection thereof) in preference to border
enforcement is obvious also in areas, e.g., narcotics traffic.
William Safire recently published in the ny circumstances (February 26,
128 U.S. Immigration Policy
1986): «The most glaring difficulty in our war on drugs usually we have
all but abandoned the front line: the border is fairly undefended. The
classic bureaucratic battle involving the Justice Department, which
believes in recommendations by informants and unlawful prosecutions, and the
Customs Service for the Treasury Department, which attempts to interdict
drugs at our edges, happens to be won by Justice.»
W.E. Upjohn
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