What’s Wrong with Immigration Restrictions? The Same Thing That’s Wrong with Gun Control

My latest post at Learn Liberty explores the close parallels between certain arguments for immigration restrictions and gun restrictions: A common argument for restricting immigration to the United States and other developed countries — maybe even the most plausible one — runs like this. Opening the borders will bring in people who will consume more … Continue reading What’s Wrong with Immigration Restrictions? The Same Thing That’s Wrong with Gun Control

Talking with High School Students About Open Borders

New at e3ne.org, I discuss my conversations with high school students about the moral legitimacy of border restrictions: We started our discussion with a little bit of improv theatre. I played a foreigner trying to get into the United States without documentation. Students volunteered to play a border guard trying to keep me out. Between … Continue reading Talking with High School Students About Open Borders

Trade or Migrate?

Factor price equalization due to trade and investment flows across economies would substantially reduce economic reasons for immigration to rich countries. (Trade and investment flows will not eliminate economic reasons for migration because if polities differ in total factor productivity due to political institutions, there can still be an advantage to migrating to a more … Continue reading Trade or Migrate?

Would President Paul Ever Stand Up to His Party?

Following the defeat of his amendment that would give Congress the right to vote to verify border security as a condition of permitting the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants to go forward, Senator Rand Paul has decided to oppose the immigration reform bill. While the immigration bill has many flaws, it is certainly a … Continue reading Would President Paul Ever Stand Up to His Party?

Occupational Licensing as an Implicit Barrier to High Skill Migration

That's the subtitle of a new working paper from Peterson, Pandya, and Leblang. Here's the abstract: Skills are often occupation-specific, a fact missing from existing research on the political economy of immigration. Although analyses of survey data suggest broad support for skilled migration occupational licensing regulations persist as formidable barriers to skilled migrants’ labor market … Continue reading Occupational Licensing as an Implicit Barrier to High Skill Migration

President Obama’s Immigration Enforcement Decision: Good Policy but Illegal?

Several commentators have weighed in on President Obama's decision to stop deporting certain immigrants under 30 who were brought illegally to the country when they were under 16. This morning, Andrew Napolitano and Ilya Somin have come down firmly on opposite sides of this issue. Napolitano: Along comes the president, and he has decided that … Continue reading President Obama’s Immigration Enforcement Decision: Good Policy but Illegal?

ACLU’s Civil Liberties Candidate Report Card

The ACLU has just released a candidate report card on certain civil liberties issues. It includes all Republican candidates, Barack Obama, and Gary Johnson. It doesn't provide an aggregate score, but it scores all candidates on the issue areas of "humane immigration policy," "closing Guantanamo Bay and indefinite detention," "gays and lesbians serving openly in … Continue reading ACLU’s Civil Liberties Candidate Report Card