Immigration Problems - NumbersUSA
The economic impact of immigration is a complex issue and one that simple models of supply and demand do not address very well. Indeed, even predictions derived from elaborate general equilibrium models are only as good as the assumed linkages across disparate sectors of the economy. Because of the complexity of the social science, it has become easy for partisans in the debate to ignore scholarly work altogether or to pick and choose studies compatible with their preconceptions from the wide array of findings reported in the literature.
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
Douglas, Paul H. 1919. "Is the New Immigration More Unskilled Than the Old?" Journal of the American Statistical Association June:393–403.
Cohn, Raymond L. 1995. "Occupational Evidence on the Causes of Immigration to the United States, 1836–1853." Explorations in Economic History 32(3):383–408.
US Immigration forums hosted by the Law offices of …
Foreign immigration into this country has … amounted not to are enforcement of our population, but to a replacement of native by foreign stock.… If the foreigners had not come, the native element would long have filled the places the foreigners usurped (Walker, 1899:422–425).
Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration
One concern in the previous era of immigration was that immigrants and their children would overwhelm the native stock in the country's population.
Our Current Immigration System Jeopardizes American …
In the period of massive immigration near the turn of the century, America had the most extensive and best-funded public education system in the world. Financed through the property tax with attendance rates influenced by compulsory schooling and child labor laws, this system educated an increasing fraction of all youths over an increasing fraction of their lives. Did the immigrants pay their share of these public education expenditures? To the best of our knowledge, this question has never been posed in the historical literature. Indeed, the concern of contemporary observers and of historians of the period has been the opposite one. The Immigration Commission, for example, sought to determine "to what extent children of the various races of immigrants are availing themselves of educational facilities and what progress they make in school work" (U.S. Immigration Commission, 1911:Volume 2, p. 5, emphasis added). The native born of this period encouraged school attendance for the children of immigrants. According to Handlin:
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Borjas argues against the notion that the Social Security system redistributes resources to the native born by focusing on an age difference between the native and foreign born in their point of entry into the system: "It is important to realize that the median age of immigration is 30, so that many immigrants pay into the Social Security system for a much shorter time span than natives, yet collect roughly the same benefits" (Borjas, 1994:1707–1708). This rate of return consideration is irrelevant. Our pay-as-you-go system transfers resources to the group with proportionately more contributors than recipients. At the present time, the foreign born are the disproportionate contributors. Only if immigration were cut off or reduced considerably would the Social Security system transfer resources from the native to the foreign born in coming decades.
History and Current Issues for the Classroom.
During the age of mass immigration about the turn of the century, the only significant public program of old-age support was a federal pension system providing benefits for Union Army veterans of the Civil War. By 1907 every male over the age of 62 who had served in the Union Army was eligible to receive a pension. Close to 20 percent of all males over age 60 actually received pensions. In monetary terms these pensions amounted to approximately 30 percent of the average annual nonfarm income of males (Ransom et al., 1996). Because the pension was limited to those who served in the armed forces of the United States during the Civil War, it did not provide support for the bulk of immigrants, most of whom arrived in the United States after that war's end. Up to 1935, then, the government-run pension system redistributed income from the foreign born to the native born.