By Jonathan Power
February 28th 2017
The great immigration debate has to become the great re-thinking and re-structuring debate. Charlie Brown is right when he says, “No problem is too big and complicated that it can’t be run away from”.
In both the US and the EU the focus is increasingly on the problem of immigration. President Donald Trump talks of them being criminals, drug traffickers and scroungers. And then he wants to build a very expensive wall on the border separating countries that for a long time have not countenanced war or terrorism against each other. (By the way, there is a funny Mexican joke: “Yes, it’s a good idea to build the wall- it will keep Trump out”!)
There are good reasons for allowing low-skilled immigrants in. (In this column I use the word “immigrants” to include refugees.) Shika Dalmir has given some good reasons why this should be so:
1) Americans are the customers of low-skilled immigrants, buying services from them, everything from hospital cleaning to childcare to repairs to the house.
2) These immigrants are mobile since they rent rather than own. So they can move to where the work is. Right now they are being encouraged to move to Detroit where much of population has fled the city’s decay and the mayor is trying to revitalise it.
3) They are good for American and European women. Often nannies, they enable many women to work. Many of these are high-skilled and therefore contribute a good deal to society.
4) Immigrants cost the state less than ordinary workers. They often don’t qualify for benefits. Of course they cost the state when it comes to schooling or medical care. But then they pay taxes (unless they are illegals).Read More »