The "Open Letter on Immigration": a quick response

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This site is circulating an "Open Letter on Immigration":

In cooperation with the Independent Institute I am looking for as many signatures as possible from economists and other social scientists. Brad DeLong, Greg Mankiw, Vernon Smith, Tyler Cowen and many others from both the left and the right have already signed on.

It's certainly an interesting letter, but it has little relevance to the current debate. No one is talking about completely shutting down immigration in general, but that's about all the letter covers.

And, the letter almost completely deals only with economic issues and not the many other factors involved.

For instance, it doesn't deal with:
1. The wisdom of having so many immigrants from one country.
2. Especially when that country used to own part of your country.
3. And, especially when many political leaders have expressed irredentist views and that viewpoint is held by a certain percentage of those immigrants.
4. The effects on our laws and political system of massive illegal immigration, such as its effect on political corruption.
5. The political power inside our country that Mexico and other countries have been able to obtain by sending us millions of people, and the impact of those countries continually trying to meddle in our internal politics.

And, at the end they even include this:

The American dream is a reality for many immigrants who not only increase their own living standards but who also send billions of dollars of their money back to their families in their home countries - a form of truly effective foreign aid.

I already discussed that in this article about remittances.

I think they need to write another letter that deals with everything involved in this issue.


Those with greater interest in this question will find the comment thread generated by the "Open Letter" to be interesting; both sides make their best case, and you can decide which is most convincing. Also perhaps this from one of the commenters.

look boys this is the former USA that is all you need to know, the system is now in the hands of the enemies of freedom, and you will not fight for your rights so get in-line.

the bottom line is we live inside the new lands of mexico and bin laden after that is what bush just told you, people have it coming.

First of all, there are plenty of economists (Denslow & Borjas - off the top of my head) who would vehemently disagree with them on their economic points.

The more important issue for me is that immigration policy based solely on economics as is being done by the president and the senate (no matter how much they might protest to the contrary) risks being short-term-gain oriented while abandoning sovereignty, ruining our cultural foundations and showing a spiteful disregard of future generations.

It all smacks of greed lust, and our children will be paying for it throughout their lives. I'm beyond the point of disgust with this president and the majority of the asshats he calls friends in the Senate.

Bottom line? They're messing with my kid and it pisses me off!

One of the issues they fail to address is the "cultural animosity" that illegal immigrants are CAUSING among Americans. They feel they are losing their towns to Mexicans.
In a little town in Oregon near where I live, hispanics put up a billboard. It was a Mexican flag welcoming all to the town IN SPANISH!! Needless to say, thanks to a few residents with paint guns, the sign didn't last more than 24 hours!! LOLLLL!!