Is there any issue that divides people more than immigration? It’s an emotional topic that pits competing factions between and within parties against each other. As a result, it’s a high-profile issue this election cycle. Where do the candidates stand?
In the new Learn Liberty video below, George Mason University Professor Donald Boudreaux addresses where the candidates stand on each of the three main immigration sub-issues: border security, terrorism, and immigrants stealing jobs.
Related: Trump’s Plan to Deport 11 Million Immigrants Is Absolutely Terrifying, and This Is Why
- Border Security: Republicans want to build a literal or figurative wall to secure the Southern border. Democrats point out the vast expense and futility of such a proposal. In reality, a wall may actually be used to keep immigrants in rather than out because more are leaving the country than entering in recent years.
- Terrorism: Republicans call for greater immigration restrictions on those from terrorist hotbeds. Democrats point out that such an approach is bigoted and unlikely to keep us safer. Keep in mind that the Orlando terrorist and one of the San Bernardino terrorists were natural-born American citizens.
- Stealing jobs: Many Republicans and Democrats argue that immigrants steal jobs and drive down wages. But in reality, immigration is a classic example of French economist Frederic Bastiat’s concept of The Seen Versus the Unseen. People see the jobs immigrants take that could have gone to Americans, but they don’t see the additional value that these immigrants provide both in their jobs and as consumers.
See Also: 3 Myths About Immigrants You Probably Grew Up Believing
During election season, candidates drastically simply the issues, and immigration is perhaps the issue they simplify the most. If candidates are unwilling to explain the unseen benefits of immigration, they can just point out how the most vibrant parts of the country with the most opportunity and highest wages are also the places with the largest number of immigrants.
Sadly for Americans (and immigrants), fearmongering, demagoguery, and otherization are the strategies candidates usually rely on during election season.