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The Case for Skills-Based Immigration

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The Case for Skills-Based Immigration

 by REIHAN SALAM August 28, 2017, Issue

It makes sense economically and morally

Shortly after Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and Georgia senator David Perdue released the RAISE Act, a bill that would, among other things, sharply reduce legal-immigration levels, it occurred to me that its very reasonableness was, to use the language of the moment, triggering. In an interview with MSNBC, Luis Gutiérrez, a Democratic congressman from Chicago, denounced the bill as racist. So too did Republican strategist Ana Navarro, herself a Nicaraguan immigrant and a fixture on CNN. And they were hardly alone, as evidenced by thousands of tweets, retweets, and Facebook missives from distinguished members of America’s scrupulously objective press corps.

The premise behind the RAISE Act is that we ought to move away from selecting immigrants mostly on the basis of family ties to selecting them on the basis of their earning potential. I’ve long believed an immigration reform along these lines is urgently necessary. Indeed, one could argue that the RAISE Act represents a long-overdue correction of a mistake made decades ago—a mistake made, funnily enough, by immigration restrictionists of an earlier era. :snip: 

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The pitfalls of cutting low-skilled immigration

BY MELVYN KRAUSS

AUGUST 11, 2017 6:00 AM

President Donald Trump has thrown his support to the Cotton-Perdue bill to restrict legal immigration of low-skilled workers into the U.S. by as much as 50 percent on the grounds it would raise the wages of American working families.

That’s not what the economic evidence is showing, however.

The only academically solid study of the impact of reducing legal immigration on the wages of unskilled farm workers was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in February of this year. It found no effect on wages despite half a million Mexican seasonal farm workers leaving the U.S. after the Bracero program was terminated in 1964.

One possible explanation is that demand for Mexican labor refused to decline despite the designs of U.S. policymakers. Closing the door to legal migrant workers simply created a new incentive for foreign workers to cross the border, and that incentive was stronger than being on the wrong side of U.S. law   :snip:  http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/article166433057.html

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