Prager University (PragerU), founded by radio talk-show host Dennis Prager and Allen Estrin, is a non-profit that makes short videos on political, economic, cultural, and philosophical topics from a conservative perspective. Last month, PragerU released a video called “A Nation of Immigration” narrated by Michelle Malkin, an individual most famously known for her defense of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The video is poorly framed, rife with errors and half-truths, leaves out a lot of relevant information, and comes to an anti-legal immigration conclusion that is unsupported by the evidence presented in the rest of the video. Below are quotes and claims from the video followed by my responses.
The United States still maintains the most generous [immigration] policies in the world. Generous to a fault …
There are two things wrong with the statement. The first is framing around the word “generous” and the second is the claim that the U.S. has the freest immigration policy in the world.
Using the word “generous” implies that allowing legal immigration is an act of charity by Americans and that we incur a net-cost from such openness. On the contrary, the economic evidence is clear that Americans benefit considerably from immigration via higher wages, lower government deficits, more innovation, their greater entrepreneurship, housing prices, and higher returns to capital.
Most immigrants come here for economic reasons. In what sense is it generous or charitable on the part of Americans to allow an immigrant to come here voluntarily and to work for an American employer? Not only do both the employer and the immigrant gain; the consumers, investors, and economy do as well.