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Should countries accept immigrants? Show more Show less
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Donald Trump wants to build a wall. The United Kingdom tries to leave the European Union in an attempt to regain sovereignty over its borders. Every year, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross over into the EU. At the same time, many European countries sell citizenship to wealthy individuals. Do states have a right to pick and choose who may enter into their respective territories?

Yes, countries should accept immigrants Show more Show less

Immigrants fill niches in the labor market, work hard to build a better life for themselves, and ultimately boost the host country's economy. Immigrants benefit the high-tech and biotech industries too. They also contribute to education and philanthropy. There are purely philosophical cases for immigration as well, such as the egalitarian case and the libertarian case.
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Immigrants positively affect the economy

The continual influx of immigrants positively affects three crucial elements of the economy: the labor market, economic growth, and public finance.

The Argument

Immigrants come to the US because they want more freedom and opportunities; so they can work hard and make a good life for themselves and their families. Immigrants usually bring special skills and invaluable talents to their country of destination. They boost the economy by increasing the overall efficiency and production.[1] They often spark the expansion of critical sectors of the economy, which draws investment and opens up new job opportunities for everyone.[1] In a recent study, the International Monetary Fund states, “Immigration significantly increases GDP per capita in advanced economies.”[1] The White House Council of Economic Advisors conducted a study in 2007 which found that immigrants increased American GDP by $37 billion a year.[2] Immigrants tend to be highly innovative. Their entrepreneurial mindsets push them to take risks and start new businesses from high-tech startups or corner shops. In 2016, half of the startups that reached over $1 billion in value were established by immigrants.[1] Immigrants have contributed greatly to the high-tech and biotech industries. Among the technology and engineering companies established in the period between 1995 to 2005, 25.3 percent had a foreign founder.[2] This percentage was 38.8 in California and 52.4 in Silicon Valley, which is the heart of the high-tech industry.[2]

Counter arguments

Immigration may benefit the economy in different ways, but it comes with costs as well. Younger immigrants with children that need education and older immigrants need more health care and pensions, both of which are costly.[2] However, it is the latter group that end up needing the most help. Older immigrants who are past their prime working-age need health and pension benefits from the government at a higher rate.[2] There is some evidence which shows that immigrants negatively impact the wages of native-born Americans who do not have a high school diploma.[2] For these people, immigration resulted in a 1.1 percent decrease in annual wages.[2]

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.mercatus.org/publications/trade-and-immigration/benefits-immigration-addressing-key-myths
  2. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/braingain_chapter.pdf
This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Nov 2020 at 12:16 UTC

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