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United States immigration policy and unsanctioned migrants.

  • Economics
  • Law


After providing an introduction to the symposium as a whole, this paper argues that basic changes are needed in this country's immigration policy to cope with the large flow of migrants who have entered the United States illegally in recent years. Fogel attacks the position, described best in Michael J. Piore's recent study, Birds of Passage, that most illegal immigrants fill only those jobs that native workers will not take and intend their stay in the United States to be temporary, not permanent. Fogel disputes both of those claims and argues that alternate forms of adjustment to labor shortages are available and preferable. He favors an immigration policy that would make our society less heavily dependent on rapid economic growth and, by reducing the number of migrants permitted to enter this country, would increase the relative wage of low-skilled indigenous workers. He recommends particularly the adoption of a law prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens and levying civil or criminal penalties on employers who violate that law. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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