Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Illegal Immigration and Minimum Wage

Until we stop the breathtaking flow of illegal immigrants into America there is no point in talking about the Minimum Wage. Wages are always undercut by immigration. Immigrants, illegal or otherwise are always willing to work for less money than native born Americans. Whenever you increase the labor supply for any given skill set, people of that skill set see their wages decrease.

Oddly, the majority of Mexican immigrants proudly proclaim that they want the border between Mexico and America to be open, without restriction. Yet I wonder why a Mexican laborer would really want a steady stream of cheaper illegal laborers coming into America. Every new illegal laborer suppresses the wage potential of the laborer who arrived here the year before. We can only hope that the Mexicans who are already here in America soon wise up and demand the border be sealed. The sooner the border is closed, the sooner they can see their own incomes rise.

After America’s borders are brought under control, then we can discuss raising the minimum wage. Although in truth if the labor supply is tightened through immigration control, wages will begin to rise on their own. If we want to build a stronger, healthier, better paid America we need to significantly slow immigrant population growth.

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