Art Carden and Ben Powell ask that fundamental question, and answer it brilliantly:
American immigration restrictions have a long history, but they have never been a good idea. Economist Thomas Leonard documents how even some Progressive Era economists supported immigration restrictions and minimum wages because they wanted to shut members of what they called “low-wage races” out of the American labor market…
Fears that immigrants will wreck our economy are probably the biggest reason substantial barriers to legal immigration remain on the books. But immigrants don’t take our jobs, lower our wages or depress the American economy.
Virtually all economists who study immigration find that it provides a small but positive impact on the economy. It should be obvious that immigrants don’t steal jobs from the native-born. Since 1950, the labor force has more than doubled but long-run unemployment is essentially unchanged. As we’ve added more workers, we’ve added more jobs.