Why doesn't Milton Friedman get quoted more often?
Reader comment on: Bloomberg on Immigration
Submitted by Joe Marsh (United States), Sep 6, 2015 15:20
I've seen a ton of anti-illegal immigration articles in the past two years, and I don't recall one that even bothers to bring Friedman's words into the argument. Paraphrasing "Free Minds and Free Markets," it centers around the fact that you can have lots of immigration, or a big welfare state, but you cannot survive with both.
"There is no doubt that free and open immigration is the right policy in a libertarian state, but in a welfare state it is a different story: the supply of immigrants will become infinite."
This removes racism from the argument quite easily. As I've pointed out in many arguments, because the states are responsible for so many services (rightly so), the simplified "costs" often used by advocates of open borders or illegal immigrants are not reflective of reality. I don't think it's very difficult to find at least pointed estimates, but I do think it will be nearly impossible to exactly say what illegal immigrants cost states. I believe that most intake forms for hospitals, school enrollment, etc., are not permitted to, or do not ask immigration status, so you're left with trying to presume people that don't fill out an SSN on a school enrollment form are probably illegal, etc.
I'll use Georgia as an example, because I lived there during the "Si Se Puede" marches, and the rollout of sCHIP. FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), (I'm only quoting because it was in the top five of some Bing search results, I have not studied where their funding comes from, etc.)
"...says it costs the state of Georgia and local officials $2.399 billion a year to assist illegal immigrants. That's a substantial amount of money -- the entire state budget is about $18 billion."
The two biggest expentidures were predictably education (state funded, $1.45B on illegals), and health care (some state funded, but even the federal funding seems to be treated more like a block grant, $317.6M on illegal care).
Anecdotally, I lived just off of "international road" (Buford Highway.) Every, single, solitary sign I saw on MARTA (train) over a seven month period advertising sCHIP was in Spanish (the ridership of MARTA is predominately minority, but the black ridership is easily 2x/3x the Hispanic ridership).
The only two arguments I ever heard about sCHIP in GA were related to the costs of illegals using the benefits, and the income level for which people were eligible (If I recall, the income limit in 2008 was $70k-$80 for a family of four.)
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