Many of my longtime conservative friends have been sending out e-mails recently bemoaning the massive unemployment numbers in the U.S., while calling for action to be taken at a federal level to address this. These are organizations that I have supported in the past, and had much in common with in my views of government and policy.
However, the answer they currently propose to deal with unemployment is something I cannot agree with, and one that causes me to become highly concerned.
You would think they would be calling for lower taxes, as economics and history prove time and again that lower taxes drive economic growth, causing unemployment to fall. But no. That’s not their solution.
Maybe they are calling for expansion of global trade, and actively working to open up new markets around the world for American goods, thus increasing demand and causing employers to have to hire additional people to meet that demand. But no. Not that either.
Their solution—and because I am an immigrant to the US this really hits me hard—is to stop immigration. Yes. Stop immigration. And before you jump in agreement, and start to talk about needing to stop lawbreakers from walking across the border, that’s not the immigrants being targeted.
My friends, organizations I supported, now want to end LEGAL immigration. They want to stop people like me from coming to this great country. They want to seal their borders and keep America’s jobs for those who were born here.
And, my friends, that would be a bad idea for America. America is great because it attracts the best from around the world, while also giving those born here the freedom to be all they can be. America is great because all people have the freedom to exceed artificial limitations placed on them by other cultures, and in that open society ideas build on ideas resulting in an exponential growth in impact. America attracts motivated, educated people from around the world who come here, partner with those already here, and make something greater than either could of produced on their own.
Plus legal immigrants pay taxes, obey the law, contribute to the community, start businesses, serve in the military, buy houses, buy goods and services and contribute on a daily basis to the economic growth of this nation.
Unemployment is bad. Yes. But legal, hardworking immigrants are not the cause. They are part of the solution.
I hope my old friends can see this, and get back to focusing on real solutions to our current employment problems, such as taxes and spending.