Friday, September 21, 2012

Immigration and Market Forces

We have read articles and seen film in class on how immigrants impact the labor market.  In the meatpacking industry, for example, immigrants are recruited by the industry to work under tough conditions for low pay all in an effort to maximize profits and keep the price of your food low.

On the other hand there are a substantial number of Americans who want the US border guarded more tightly and the stream of undocumented workers shut off.

Can we have it both ways?

Libertarians would argue that the government should play no role in the supply of immigrant workers into this country.  There is a demand for cheap labor and the workers, especially from Latin America, are willing to supply their labor. 

Would we be better off not worrying about the immigration of undocumented people into the United States?  Would we save money by cutting back on INS and other immigration  services?  Why don't we just allow the market forces to determine how many workers could enter the United States?  If there is demand for these workers, why not let them in?  When the demand tapers off, the flow of immigrants will also diminish.

Are you in favor of no immigration quotas and to let the forces of demand and supply determine how many immigrants will come in to this country?

(answer by September 30)


  1. I believe that we should keep our borders tightly guarded because the issue of undocumented workers is always expanding. Yes, they are being recruited by factory workers, and that is not right. Those factories should have some sort of consequence for breaking the law. Another debate is that the undocumented workers will do the jobs that most people refuse to do. Well, there are plenty of US citizens who are homeless people or people who do not have any type of income that are desperate for money. The US established laws that are meant to be obeyed and to be followed. A huge law is that you must be a citizen to be able to live here. What would that prove of our country if we ignored that law? Allowing illegal immigrants to work undocumented should be stopped. If someone wants to live in America so badly or work here, they need to become a citizen and do it the right way.
    Danielle Hazlett

  2. I think that we should keep our borders guarded in an effort to keep illegal immigrants out of this country. There are plenty of people who are unemployed in the united states who would be willing to take these jobs, even if they have to be paid more and given more benefits. By staying out of the immigration issue we are allowing ourselves to be okay with the rate of unemployment declining. If we allow the borders to be open and people to come and take work for less wages and poor conditions then what happens to the people living here? There jobs will be replaced by illegal immigrants. People who work in the United States need to have legal documents.
    -Ashley Petersen

  3. I'm against having illegal immigrants come into the country. They shouldn't be here because well for one they have the term illegal already in their name. There beginning to take away jobs from legal citizens here in the U.S. because they're coming over our borders and accepting jobs at low paying rages. Some Americans have lost their jobs and become homeless because illegal immigrants have agreed to work former legal citizens jobs at lower salaries. The increase in population due to illegal immigrants also increases our supply and demand. Because more people are needing more of the same products thats increasing our demand rate exceeding our supply rate since we don't have an infinite supply of products. Our country makes it clear you must be a legal U.S. citizen to live here if people want to come here to live then they should go through the appropriate steps to become a citizen.

    -Cody Palazzola

  4. I think that the government should be more strict on the major industries that demand the illegal workers. Such as they should run regular INS checks in major factories, and if the immigrant workers want to work in the united states they should either legally become a citizen or acquire a work visa.

  5. I think that the United States should guard its borders better, and it should also have stricter regulations against the use of illegal immigrant in large companies. These large companies should be fined so they know that there is consequences for breaking the laws. The illegal immigrants that are coming into this country are taking away jobs from those who indeed are United States citizens.
    -Jose Hinojosa

  6. In my own opinion, the US is doing a swell job of guarding their borders. Those immigrants who are gaining access are being brought in by larger corporations or those men called "coyotes." The coyotes are tricky and will figure out a way to sneak past borders, but they still get caught. That still leaves the large industries. They are bringing in illegal immigrants to our country to gain human capital. That is where the focus of the government should be.
    However, large industries will not be held up to the same standard until they give up their grip on the gov't. Our leaders should not be corrupted like the ones we have/had in the Food, Inc. video. Until industries give up their hold on the government or the government stands up for itself, immigration by big business will remain a problem. And if immigration remains a problem, so will outsourcing and a high unemployment rate.

  7. I believe that the companies do need to realize that its not okay to break laws and allow undocumented workers. But on the other hand they are only doing the jobs that no one else wants to provide for there family. Technically everyone here in the United States was originally an immigrant from somewhere. Yes the government should be more cautious and not let soo many immigrants in. Also since there is such a high unemployment rate Americans should get the option of getting the jobs before immigrants and get priority.
    -Elisa Flores

  8. I believe that we should protect our borders but not from the people who come to work.We need the immigrants to work the fields and the physical tiring jobs. If we really think about it who of us is willing to work at the meat packing factory?who will work at the fields? Non of us are willing to work there for our entire lives. If the problem is that they are undocumented why don't we let them in with a working visa.

    Ezri Loy

  9. I think that we should better secure our borders, and the government needs to work better on catching the illegal immigrants. The government should intervene increasingly when the companies hire undocumented people to work just to meet our demands.

    Hiring our citizens would decrease the rising amount of people needing jobs in our nation; thus the illegal immigrants are taking away more from us.

    I disagree with letting the forces of demand and supply determine how many immigrants enter our borders. Letting the illegal immigrants come through our borders is unfair to the immigrants who go through the whole process of becoming legal.

    -Mariah Franco

  10. If the government allowed immagrants to come into the country. More and more would just pile in. Immigrants would keep having babys and eventually make prevous americans the minority.

    Tax dollars should go to strengthening our borders because its worth it. If people have the drive to come to the United States then they can do it the legal way.

  11. I think we should tighten up on the boarder because cheap labor doesn't mean cheap to support immigrants. these immigrants live here they get on our welfare and receive medical ect. also if we cut off immigrant supplies then threes job opportunities for american citizens to work. with the state were in with such a high unemployment rate i believe some would be desperate enough to step up and take these jobs. i think we should fine companies or employers caught with immigrants to enforce that they cant keep sneaking them by us.

  12. I believe that the border should be more tight on security just for the fact that these immigrants can cross the border legitimately and if the immigrant is willing to work in another country then just get a visa. I also believe that the INS should be doing a search for illegal immigrants that are most likely to be working at these big industries. Though these immigrants may lower the product price to our convenience but having them there illegally is where the nation has to draw the line.


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