View all Articles
Commentary By Jason L. Riley

To Grow the Economy, America Needs Immigrants

Economics, Economics Immigration, Employment

Some farmers are finding that even if they pay more they still have a worker shortage.

Although President Trump hasn’t yet walled off Mexico—and here’s hoping his promise to do so goes unfulfilled, since there are better ways to discourage illicit border crossings—his administration’s tougher stance on illegal immigration is manifesting itself in other ways.

In the final years of the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants without criminal records were left alone for the most part. Not anymore. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported this month that people suspected of being in the country illegally are being arrested at significantly higher rates. In the first 100 days of Mr. Trump’s presidency, immigration officers arrested close to 42,000 people, compared with around 31,000 over the same period in 2016.

That’s a fraction of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens who live here, but coupled with continued tough rhetoric from the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions —who lately has turned his attention to Central American gangs operating on New York’s Long Island—the message seems to be getting through that if you’re here illegally, start watching your back.

For a president who ran on anti-immigrant populism and has little else to show his supporters almost halfway through his first year, this is welcome news. But in industries where vacant jobs are already difficult to fill, employers might see things differently. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both recently have featured lengthy front-page reports on the economic contributions of immigrants in Iowa and Pennsylvania, states that voted for Mr. Obama in 2012 but for Mr. Trump last year.

The Journal says that in Pennsylvania, which produces....

Read the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal