As the 2016 presidential campaign kicks into high gear, voters are hearing calls from many candidates to step up immigration enforcement and secure the border. Such calls are not new, and the suggested methods for doing so–border walls, employment verification, and even increased deportations–have been part of the debate over immigration for decades.
No one wants more illegal immigration. So isn’t zero illegal immigration a good idea? We could think through problems like this in at least three ways: a moral argument, a national interest argument, and an economic argument.
Albert Einstein immigrated to the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany. This year, millions of Syrians are seeking refuge in neighboring countries in the Middle East and Europe... but do experts support maintaining and perhaps expanding the traditional American openness to nearly one hundred thousand refugees per year?
The Hoover Institution’s Conte Initiative on Immigration Reform conducts a quarterly survey of leading thinkers. Survey Respondents were asked what they would tweet if asked what the responsibility and proper policy response of the United States should be to the Syrian refugee crisis?
What is the goal of immigration policy? The state of public debate and media coverage would lead you to believe that the United States has a broken immigration system and that the remedy should focus on securing the southern border to achieve zero illegal immigration.
The Pew Research Center estimates that there were about 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States in 2014, down from a high of 12.2 million in 2007. After falling by about one million after the Great Recession, the number of unauthorized immigrants has stabilized, as net inflows have been close to zero for several years.