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Immigrants and the GOP base

September 23, 2015

Economists generally view immigration as contributing to economic growth, for exactly the same reasons they view trade generally as beneficial. From their viewpoint, limits on workers flowing between nations are similar to limits on goods doing so. But what about the notion, now reverberating during the GOP primary, that immigrants are a drain because of their utilization of social services? Not so much, because they also pay taxes, and won’t draw many of the benefits taxes fund.

The economic question gets tangled. The simple truth is that this isn’t an economic issue to the right wing. Trump’s claims about immigrant rapists are what stir the base, more than any economic question.

Update: And new immigrants are assimilating as fast as those in generations past, according to this Harvard study.

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