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

Commentary

States Should Have Their Own Economic Visa Programs for Immigrants

By Alex Nowrasteh. MarketWatch. May 23, 2017.

Let States Fix Immigration

By David Bier. The Hill. May 12, 2017.

America Is Pushing Away Immigrant Talent

By Rajshree Agarwal. USA Today. May 1, 2017.

Cato Studies

The Deep Roots of Economic Development in the U.S. States

By Ryan Murphy and Alex Nowrasteh. Working Paper No. 44. May 19, 2017.

State-Sponsored Visas: New Bill Lets States Invite Foreign Workers, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

By David Bier. Immigration Research and Policy Brief No. 2. May 11, 2017.

Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin

By Michelangelo Landgrave and Alex Nowrasteh. Immigration Research and Policy Brief No. 1. March 15, 2017.

Articles

The Case for More Immigration

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

Does Immigration Impact Institutions?

J. R. Clark, Robert A. Lawson, Alex Nowrasteh, Benjamin Powell, & Ryan Murphy. Public Choice. Vol. 163. No. 1. April 2015.

Immigration

Alex Nowrasteh. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Trump Takes ‘A Pause ’

Marni Soupcoff. Regulation. Spring 2017.

Immigration

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Would the TPP Advance Free Trade? A Scorecard

Policy Report. November/December 2016.

Events

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.

Men without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis

Featuring Nicholas Eberstadt, David Bier, and Alex Nowrasteh. January 10, 2017. Book Forum.

Refugees, Immigrants, and National Security

Featuring Alex Nowrasteh and A. Trevor Thrall. October 3, 2016. Policy Forum.

Speeches

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.