By David R. Henderson for the Hoover Institution
Economists are almost unanimous in their view that when barriers to trade fall, the vast majority of residents of the country whose government reduces those barriers gains. They gain as consumers from the increased availability and variety of goods they can buy and from lower prices of imports, and their gains usually exceed by a big margin the losses to domestic producers who face new competition. That’s the main reason that the vast majority of economists favor free trade.
Does this reasoning carry over to movement of people rather than just movement of goods? Yes. In the remainder of this article I explain why that’s so, and discuss possible objections to immigration, whether those objections hold water, and ways of handling those objections. I’ll give the bottom line here: Virtually every objection to immigration to the United States has been exaggerated. For every objection, there are persuasive, evidence-based defenses.
Photo: U.S. Department of Homeland Security