Dynamist Blog

Selection Bias

In a challenge to John Fund, Mickey Kaus suggests that anyone who doesn't want to punish current illegal immigrants by banning them from becoming legal is simply catering to Latino voters. Not so. Mickey hasn't spent nearly enough (if any) time thinking about business or labor markets, not to mention where immigrants past, present, and future will come from. What he proposes--a large-scale bracero program that excludes current illegals--is better than no legal attempt to let supply and demand adjust, particularly across the southern border. But his idea deliberately selects for less Americanized, and far less well-trained workers. That's certainly not good for, say, the construction business. And it's not good for the country. Ad hominems and anti-immigrant snarkiness may make for good blogging, and very good politics. But they don't make for sensible policy.

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