The overriding impact of immigrants is to strengthen and enrich American culture, increase the total output of the economy, and raise the standard of living of American citizens. Immigrants are advantageous to the United States for several reasons: (1) Since they are willing to take a chance in a new land, they are self-selected on the basis on motivation, risk taking, work ethic, and other attributes beneficial to a nation. (2) They tend to come to the United States during their prime working years (the average age is 28), and they contribute to the workforce and make huge net contributions to old-age entitlement programs, primarily Social Security. (3) Immigrants tend to fill niches in the labor market where demand is highest relative to supply, complementing rather than directly competing with American workers. (4) Many immigrants arrive with extremely high skill levels, and virtually all, regardless of skill level, bring a strong desire to work. (5) Their children tend to reach high levels of achievement in American schools and in society at large.

Cato Experts

More on Immigration


America Is Rejecting More Legal Immigrants Than Ever Before

By David Bier. The New York Times. November 15, 2018.

Caravan to Nowhere: Five Fallacies That Stall Immigration Discourse

By Rajshree Agarwal. November 12, 2018.

Time to Limit Birthright Citizenship?

By Doug Bandow. American Spectator (Online). November 7, 2018.

Cato Studies

High-Skill Immigration, Innovation, and Creative Destruction

By Gaurav Khanna and Munseob Lee. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 138. November 7, 2018.

Walling Off Liberty: How Strict Immigration Enforcement Threatens Privacy and Local Policing

By Matthew Feeney. Policy Analysis No. 852. November 1, 2018.

Singapore’s Immigration System: Past, Present, and Future

By Alex Nowrasteh. Working Paper No. 53. October 23, 2018.


US Immigration Levels, Urban Housing Values, and their Implications for Capital Share

Ryan Murphy and Alex Nowrasteh. Economic Affairs. Vol. 37. No. 3. October 2017.

Does Mass Immigration Destroy Institutions? 1990s Israel As a Natural Experiment

Benjamin Powell and Alex Nowrasteh. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. June 27, 2017.

The Case for More Immigration

Alex Nowrasteh. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. No. 42. Fall 2016.

Public Filings

Expert Affidavit on EB-5 Investors in Wang v. Pompeo

By David Bier. Public Comments. July 25, 2018.

Examining Warrantless Smartphone Searches at the Border

By Matthew Feeney. Testimony. July 11, 2018.

Trump v. Hawaii

By David Bier. Legal Briefs. March 23, 2018.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Cato News Notes

Policy Report. September/October 2018.

The Travel Bans

Josh Blackman. Supreme Court Review. 2017-2018.

Immigration: Setting the Record Straight

Policy Report. January/February 2018.


Private Philanthropy and Immigrant Dreamers

Featuring Donald E. Graham and David Bier. June 13, 2018. Policy Forum.

Legal Immigration Reforms for the 21st Century

Featuring David Bier, Alex Nowrasteh, Daniel Griswold, Stuart Anderson, & Heather Curry Kartch. March 19, 2018. Capitol Hill Briefing.

State-Based Visas: A Federalism Approach to the Immigration Impasse

Featuring Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ken Buck (R-CO-4), David Bier, Alex Nowrasteh, & Peter Russo. May 3, 2017. Capitol Hill Briefing.


Mexican Migration, Legalization, and Assimilation

By Daniel Griswold. October 5, 2005.

National Immigration Forum: Capitol Hill Panel Discussion on Mexican Immigration

By Daniel Griswold. February 19, 2003.

National Immigration Forum Annual Conference

By Daniel Griswold. February 1, 2002.