Deconstructing the Argument for Illegal Immigration

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When people defend illegal immigration they do so by saying it is beneficial to the economy. They point out that the illegal immigrants contribute more to the society than they take out. First because they pay sales taxes on the things they buy and second because the products they buy with their salary create demand for products and services which then creates more jobs. They also argue if the jobs were given to the citizens it would raise the prices of goods as they get paid more. If you don’t think about it too hard it does sound plausible. As always when the left makes an argument it only looks good on the surface.

Jobs

The first flaw in the argument comes with the jobs the illegals take. These jobs exist independent of the illegals. In fact the reason why the illegals come here is that these jobs exist in the first place. Whether the illegals are here or not these jobs still need to be done. Fruit still need to be picked, tables need to be waited on, and buildings still need to be constructed. All that would happen is you have American citizens employed in these jobs instead most likely earning higher wages. At the end of the day the defining characteristic of the illegal is that he is willing to work less than the citizen. In most cases there is no special skill set that he alone possesses.

Illegals Spend

Now that we have established that the jobs would be there whether illegals are here or not we move on to the next point. The money will get spend on the economy whether a citizen or an illegal earns it. In fact the results are worse when an illegal spends the money. The illegal alien would have family in Guatemala, Malaysia, or whatever his home country is which he would have to send money to. This usually results in around 50% of his salary getting sent abroad. The citizen would most likely spend most of his money in the country. True they would not spend their entire salary in the economy as they may buy products from other countries from time to time but that is true for both illegal and citizen. The citizen would also earn more than the illegal which means he has more money to spend than the illegal. Giving the money to the citizen means that there is more of it to spend and that a greater percentage makes it into the economy.

More money spent in the economy means more jobs created as demand rises. The citizen getting the job boosts the economy by a greater amount.

High Prices

When confronted by this argument the first thing you should do is take a deep breath and smell the hypocrisy. The very people who argue for minimum wage increases and say that it will somehow all work out are saying that raising the wages of some workers will cause economic Armageddon. Let us think about this first. The common argument is that businesses can pass on whatever costs they want to the consumers. Is that assumption true? If Pepsi were to suddenly charge you 100$ per bottle would you still drink Pepsi? Or would drink Coke instead? What if both Pepsi and Coke raised their price would you still buy? Or would you buy Juice instead?

The reality is there are numerous reasons why a company cannot just raise prices. Competition, similar products, marketing strategies for market share, and more. Sometimes companies do have to eat the cost. For example some credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees. That is not because the bank does not have to pay those fees it is because they choose to eat those fees to be able to offer something that other credit cards don’t. This all means that it is not true that prices are going to skyrocket if you pay people more. The increased demand caused by the higher wages may even allow some companies to lower prices and make up the profit in volume sold.

Once you begin to look at things objectively you find there is no rational economic justification for illegal immigrants.

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