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The Fiscal Times: Immigration: The Real Cost of a Closed-Door Policy

Author: Bruce R. Bartlett
November 25, 2011

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Bruce Bartlett argues that anti-immigration policies will stunt U.S. development.

If a foreign country sent us some of its most valuable assets for nothing—gold, oil, computers, automobiles, whatever—we would, of course, be grateful. It's obvious that we would have become wealthier without it costing us anything.

But suppose this country sent us instead their smartest, most industrious people, who were willing to work here for no more than what the free market provides? Most Americans would probably view this gift as a mixed blessing at best and a curse at worst. Many would see these people as burdens on society, stealing jobs from the native born, taking up space in the schools, and consuming society's resources, while contributing nothing and perhaps being no better than parasites. They may even be viewed as poisoning American culture with incompatible religions, customs and ideas.

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