Taken as a whole, our estimates provide evidence consistent with an historical narrative that is commonly told of how immigration facilitated economic growth. Extrapolating from these historical results to the current debate on migration requires some caution. The Age of Mass Migration occurred during a period of rapid industrialisation, where both demand for labour and land availability were high. There are, however, many similarities between the period of mass migration and today. The historical immigrants were similar to today’s immigrants in being very different from the natives. New arrivals from eastern, central, northern and southern Europe spoke different languages and followed different religions. Immigrants in both contexts are comprised of largely less educated workers with a smaller fraction of highly-skilled workers. And in both cases, many of the immigrants are ‘pushed’ out of their own countries due to economic or political shocks.
I was born in the Philippines, a former American territory, and moved to the . when I was 12. I found out that I was undocumented — that I didn’t have the proper documents — after trying to get a driver’s license at age 16. A year later, my high school sophomore-English teacher said I was asking too many questions and “should try this thing called journalism.” I was hooked, partly because seeing my byline, my name on a piece of paper, validated my existence in a way my fake green card and fake passport that my grandfather bought to smuggle me into America did not. When I got older, my grandfather’s lies became my lies. For more than a decade, I lied about my immigration status so I could get jobs, pay taxes and provide for myself and my family. But the lies stopped — they had to. Like countless other undocumented people, particularly young ones who’ve grown up in the . and call this country our home, I outed myself to be seen as a human being who is more than my immigration status.
Newcomers from certain sending countries are likely to place much lighter or heavier loads on certain components of the . infrastructure than are others. We need to understand these loads clearly. Any rational immigration policy would consider factors such as skills, age, medical condition, income, criminal record, education level, and most importantly the sheer number of immigrants. It is extraordinarily foolish for us to NOT optimize our immigration policy so as to improve life in America and the world in general. It is astonishing for us living in a country flirting with financial and social collapse, a country with rampant unemployment and homelessness, a country whose ecosystems are under severe stress, a country that is arguably the most overpopulated country on Earth 24 to continue to admit immigrants who place an immediate, large and destructive drain upon our future. To admit people who are likely to not be productive citizens may be Politically Correct, but it is also stupid. We need to adjust our admissions policies so that they will improve the quality and sustainability of life on Earth; that should be the primary criterion..