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OpenMarket: Immigration

  • Department of Homeland Security: Some Undocumented Aliens Who Came As Children Can Stay

    June 15, 2012
    Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will begin to grant two-year deportation deferrals for undocumented immigrants up to 30 years old who came into the United States as children who have passed a background check and either graduated high school, earned an equivalency degree, or served in the military. The administration's decision is a modest victory for free-market immigration reformers. While ending such unnecessary deportations helps, more substantive reforms are needed to provide legal routes for immigrants and their American employers.  Additionally, the move does almost nothing as far as documenting any of America’s ten million or more law-abiding unauthorized workers — a completely untenable situation from an economic,...
  • Before Immigration Was Regulated: Pre-20th Century Migration

    May 18, 2012
    Early large-scale human migration is the story of dispersal, spreading out as resources were used up and populations expanded past sustainability. The Agricultural Revolution brought greater inter-community trade and migration, including significant migration from rural areas to cities. Empires created the most widespread intercultural migration yet, but it wasn’t until the Age of Exploration that migration and trade increased dramatically. Falling travel costs brought millions of (mostly free) migrants to the New World and other European colonies for employment. Economic liberalism reinforced this trend toward globalization, but world war, nationalism, and more effective bureaucratic states ended this free system. Humanity's great migration began in Africa around 80,000 years ago when the human population ...
  • CEI Podcast for May 10, 2012: Freeing Our Farms

    May 10, 2012
    Current immigration policy keeps many immigrants in dangerous black markets, raises food prices for consumers, makes it difficult for farmers to hire workers and create jobs, and reduces the government's tax revenues.
  • H-2A Visas: Open in Theory, Closed in Practice

    May 7, 2012
    [caption id="attachment_54582" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="An Immigrant Worker in Idaho"][/caption] “Our immigration problem’s not going away.” That was the title of my article for Real Clear Policy this weekend. While the Pew Hispanic Center’s conclusion that “the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped” has some...
  • SB 1070 Summary: Read Arizona's Controversial Immigration Law!

    April 24, 2012
    Arizona’s controversial immigration law -- SB 1070 -- heads to the Supreme Court this week. One can only hope that the Justices do a better job reading the law than much of the media. False claims about the law abound, so here’s an overview directly from the law's text. Recognizing that this is an artificial distinction, I’ve divided my summary in half by “anti-immigrant provisions” and “anti-business provisions.” Anti-Immigrant Provisions SB 1070’s intent is “to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government...
  • CEI Podcast for March 29, 2012: The History of American Immigration in Six Minutes

    March 29, 2012
    Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh talks about the reasons behind the major historical shifts, and suggests reforms that would make today's immigration system fairer and less cumbersome.
  • Bill Clinton's Economic Nationalism

    March 15, 2012
    Over at RealClearPolicy, I recently reviewed Bill Clinton’s latest book, Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy. You can read the review here. It’s a thought-provoking book, so there’s plenty I didn’t have room to say. Hence this post. Where the review focused mainly on Clinton’s philosophy and rhetoric, this post is mainly about Clinton’s economic policy proposals. I'll still take him over Bush or Obama, but some of his policy ideas make an economist's head shake. Two things are worth pointing out before we dig into the weeds of policy. One is that Clinton seems to believe that you are for something if you want to increase government spending on it, and...
  • CEI Podcast for February 9, 2012: The Immigration Tariff

    February 9, 2012
    Alex Nowrasteh proposes scrapping the complex and unfair immigration system and replacing it with a tariff. This is a much more humane approach to immigration, and in many cases will be less expensive for immigrants than the lawyers and fees they currently have to pay.
  • CEI Podcast for January 12, 2012: Mistaken Deportations

    January 12, 2012
    Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh tells Jakadrien Turner's story and what it means for the immigration reform debate.
  • America's Businesses Get It: Immigration Is Good

    December 28, 2011
    Anti-immigration advocates believe that harsh new laws will drive illegal immigrants out of the United States. They ignore the fact that the primary victim of these laws aren’t undocumented foreign workers, but business owners who are expected to verify the immigration status of each new employee. This informal deputizing of businessmen is exactly the sort of burdensome regulation and heavy–handed government intervention that conservatives rail against in every other area. Last Thursday, a popular San Diego restaurant owner—Michel Malecot—...


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