What if Donald Trump wanted *more* illegal immigration?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is the premise:

Imagine that a new U.S. president, different from the one we just elected, set out to maximize the number of illegal Mexican immigrants. Maybe he or she saw electoral advantage in this, or maybe just thought it was the right thing to do. But how to achieve that end? Imagine also that I was called into the Oval Office to give advice.

So what would I suggest?

I would start by recommending an enormous new program of fiscal stimulus and construction…

Don’t forget this:

By the way, infrastructure programs will help illegals in other ways, more than would citizen-focused Social Security or Medicare benefits, for example. Illegal immigrants use roads and mass transit and electricity and other forms of infrastructure all the time. And they won’t suffer much if subsidies for health insurance under Obamacare are reallocated to construction because it was so hard for them to get those subsidies in the first place.

There is much more at the link.  My conclusion is this:

The president-elect we have, whether he knows it or not, already has figured out how to maximize the number of illegal Mexican immigrants.

Who ever said Donald Trump can’t solve a problem?


This kind of smugness doesn't work when you just spent 3 weeks crying into your Botswanan-Nepalese fusion food.

Yeah Tyler. Have some cold Sonics like a real Murican.

Shut down the thread. Sam Haysom for the win.

Tyler has been demonstrating for the last six months that he has a tin ear for politics. Now he is showing that he's no better at sci-fi.

lol! good one Haysom.

Tyler, that's a lot of words that could be best summed up by: A booming American economy is attractive to illegal immigrants.

That doesn't imply wanting a booming American economy is the same as wanting to maximize illegal immigration.

It's the op-Ed equivalent of sobbing girl claiming that her ex who dumped her wasn't good enough for her anyways. If Tyler actually thought like this he wouldn't have spent the past three weeks crying inconsolably.

Why are so many of your comments centered around scenarios out of 80s high school movies?

I'd love for you to point out another example of this.

High school was pretty traumatic for you poor dear wasn't it.

Maybe all the memories from high school is affecting my memory, but you also insinuated Caplan and other 'open borders' economists are using immigration as a way to get back at jocks that beat up them. Even if that is a joke, it's a weird recurring pattern.

I also went to a high school that didn't have cliques, urban Canada is too diverse to have levels of social trust necessary for nerds, jocks and band-geeks.We did it by ethnicity.

In any case, I apologize for the initial observation that bordered on ad hominen. Especially as the state of this blog post's comments have .... deteriorated.

Obama is not only greatest gun salesman in recorded history. He hugely helped generate Republican votes.

She possessed an adequate supply of illegals. Crooked Hillary had created sufficient illegal votes for herself.

Corrupt, incompetent Clinton's (The smartest woman on the Plant, you know!) major miscalculation was that she fabricated insufficient illegal ballots in the one or two red states that would have given her a majority in the Electoral College.

Here is the metaphorical letter that was sent on November 8, 2016

Dear Academia, Hollywood, Media, Wall Street, Too-Big-to-Fail-Banks, Black Panthers, BLM, Soros, et al,

Drop dead.


Sixty Million Real American Voters

The GOP is more powerful than at any time since its 1854 inception. They control most governors' mansions, most state legislatures, and now the entire Federal government. Worse yet, the blue cities, counties and states and are on their death beds and fiscally bankrupt.

Thank you Barack Hussein Obama!

"Obama is not only greatest gun salesman in recorded history."
Because he is Black? I mean, how many guns he seized outside Mr. Limbaugh's world, where the Pope is Communist? America's system has clearly become increasingly dysfunctional since the early 00's. The two parties are clearly caught in a dead spiral, having nominated the most despised candidates in living memory. As Mr. Emmanuel Todd pointed out, America itself is in its death throes, it has become the new Soviet Union, unable to cope with a changing world, controlled by an unrealistic and obsolete ideology.. The American Empire is morally and financially bankrupted.

NK just knocked Sam da f*** out.

Adorsble looks like I have a little stalker.

Look at you, so mad you can't even spell your own name

Does anger cause you to misspell words? That's weird.

Not me, you. See your comment at 12:22PM.

It's ok to be mad when you get teased on the internet, Sam. It's the expected reaction.

msgkings: scum!

@ladderff: sick burn, bro

Correct. The level of cognitive dissonance Tyler is revealing in this column is astounding.

Trump's business history does not suggest he respects and seeks the best for the American worker, but rather his desire to exploit them for his maximum benefit.

After all, he supervised polish immigrant workers in the destruction of architectural art to make sure union workers were not paid a lot of money carefully preserving the art work, paid by other people.

Hey, mulp, you are interfering with the fake news narratives on DT.


You libs want to import more millions of illegals (from way down south) that will kill more high-paying union jobs, but Polish taking away union jobs is somehow wrong. Doesn't make sense . . . No, wait! RACIST!

Recent news, talking about British wind farms by his golf course while on a Presidential call, then saying Presidents can't have conflicts of interest, leads me to believe Trump is going to be a bad President, rather than an evil one. A laughing stock.

Of course bad could become evil with desperation.

(That the Trump Foundation and not the Clinton one had to admit self-dealing is a bit too late a warning, but it probably would have been ignored anyway. That Trump was a liar and a huckster just ended up as part of his appeal, part of the protest vote. No smart girls allowed in the tree house.)

We live in the post-truth era. A liar and huckster is the perfect representative of our era.

The doofus huckster might in the end be preferable to the conniving ideologue he defeated in the election. He may be compelled to act sensibly by the various checks and balances, including the fifth estate, which loathes him.


I wonder, is this just Tyler signalling or is there some kind of "read between the lines" meaning here? Maybe Tyler's attempting to warn Trump not to listen to his new Republican "advisors." I was disappointed with Trump's infrastructure plan, and Tyler has a point about the private companies being more willing to hire illegals, though hopefully Trump will crack down with enforcement and e-verify. Lion wrote about the infrastructure plan:

"This is yet another case in which Trump says something that sounds very un-Republican (in this case that he wants to rebuild infrastructure, but in the past he said stuff about taxes and healthcare which also seemed un-Republican), but then one of his conservative hacks gets at it and turns it into standard business-as-usual conservative-libertarian stuff."

America needs a real Real ID. Either the Brazilian RG/CPF system (photos, finger print, parents' names in the back) or the old Soviet internal passport.

If you ruin the country, Mexicans won't want it anymore.

>Tyler, that’s a lot of words that could be best summed up by:

"I am STILL pissed that I was wrong and Trump won, and I am going to prove it by virtue-signalling non-stop for four straight years."

And OJ and his buddies will be hear all four years, clicking on my site and claiming they don't like it.

And your response to Tyler is: "I'm still pissed off, even though my candidate Trump won, because I'm a very sore winner. And my life is built around bashing liberals and bashing Center Right people like Tyler for not loving Trump enough. It's not enough for my candidate to be elected. Everyone must bow down to him and pretend he is competent. And even then, I would still bash them, because my life is anger. I'm addicted to my own adrenaline."

That often does seem to be the vibe.

Not to mention Hitler favored infrastructure spending, too.

And Thiago would know. It was after all his country that high profile Nazis picked as the place to enjoy their retirement.

Like SS officer Wernher von Braun, you mean?
Operation Paperclip, you call it, right? The few Nazis who came to Brazil came, UNDER FALSE NAMES, to enjoy the warmer weather. And I would rather have somemone like Mengele, whose "working days" were in his past than all those American bankers who come visit Brazilian beaches. Those are the real criminals.

Thiago is getting destroyed here worse than da Fonseca in 1891. Time to listen to some cool bossa nova like a good savage.

Da Fonseca died after he was overthrown by the Navy who backed his vice president, Floriano Peixoto, who was a war hero, very popular with the soldiers and the poor. Legend has it when the men under his orders were found by the Commander-in-chief Caxias to have fought poorly, Caxias himself (even today we use his name to denote someone severe and draconian and unyielding, a Herbert) sentenced them to stand unarmed where the Paraguayans could shoot them and Floriano was ordered to seek shelter, he instead stood with his men, under Paraguayan fire, to be shot until their sentence was nullified by the superior officer.

And he was teetotal too! Just like...

Is this what the next four years are gonna be like on this site? Let me know now so I can delete from Feedly. A poor effort.

As long as Tyler is employed by Bloomberg he will be required to spit out articles of this nature. Michael clearly became slightly unhinged in this election and his staff responded by writing attack piece after attack piece.

Lol. The ad hominem, content-free comments from all the folks here who blindly voted for Trump because he was an R but can't (without resorting to implicit/explicit racism/xenophobia) justify that vote based on any internally consistent set of ideological beliefs that is in line with any Republican they've voted for in the past is truly breathtaking. Keep it coming guys - grade school insults will help you justify your vote to your kids when they're old enough to understand what happened.

How are you going to explain to your kids why you spent the past three weeks crying? Bad man scare daddy.

JWatts' comment above quite decisively shot this down. Frankly, it's what Tyler's editor should have said. Do you disagree?

Most of these neckbeards will never mate with a human female.

As opposed to msgkings who has already broken three VR devices with his vigorous technique.

Your mom's name is 'three VR devices'?

Look, you and I can do this all day. But we're boring everyone else.

Does that insult even work in the current year? The implication is supposed to be that "your mom" is a slut, but if being a slut is a fine thing, then you're just bragging about f***ing someone who's 45 years old.

Most folks don't think their mom being a slut is 'a fine thing'. Maybe you do, it's a free country. Also, you just revealed that you are a teenager.

"Most folks don’t think their mom being a slut is ‘a fine thing’. Maybe you do, it’s a free country. "

Funny, I pegged you for the type who did. But you are a "tolerant" "inclusive" "moderate" so like the National Review crew, I'm sure you'll embrace slut pride in a decade or two.

" Also, you just revealed that you are a teenager."

Yeah, I had this assumption that the people who say that kind of thing are teenagers. Where would I get that idea?

"then you’re just bragging about f***ing someone who’s 45 years old."

But in the current year and according to our cultural high priests and priestesses, 45 is just as sexually enticing as 25, if not more so. So I guess msgkings is really just trying to invite Sam to celebrate with him that he seduced his attractive and loose mother.

r/milf is one of the biggest nsfw subreddits, SO I HEAR

What you think was clever retort was merely a revelation about how you get off. We already knew.

LOL, Msgteenager.

What do you guys think, cuckservative or concern troll? I'm leaning toward the latter.

mw, if you believed all the stuff fake news said about HIllary, you would have voted for DT yourself. Fake news-- and electronic voting machine fraud-- rule the country now.

You forgot Russia, and the FBI, and racist sexist xenophobic homophobic bigots.

The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.

Yeah, even if you believe Trump was the lesser of two evils, he's still an evil.

Of course there remains the serious possibility that Trump's fiscal stimulus will not amount to much. Most of the tax cuts will go to the rich, who will not increase their spending much, and so far the reported infrastructure plan looks to be some sort of weird set of tax breaks for private companies to "build infrastructure," with some forecasting that all that will happen is that it will increase profits for companies that are already engaging in such investments. Certainly not going to lead to any road or bridge repairs that we could actually use.

Stock market runup anticipating this big fiscal stim may turn out to be a joke, although certainly some sectors are going to get some profit-boosting deregulation.

BTW, economy is booming along quite well now, although, of course, Trump will be claiming credit for that, even as he will claim credit for the great victory over ISIS, which will have been put into place by the careful planning by Obama, with the assaults on Mosul and Raqqa started while he was president, with the one on Mosul quite possibly ending before Trump gets in. But when Raqqa falls, Trump will claim it was all his doing.

Well, to be fair, that's how politics works. You take credit for the good stuff and try to blame the other guy for the bad stuff. Both sides do it.

Both sides do it. It's just that Republicans do it 20X as much.

And it works better for Republicans because they are highly skilled at creating fake news, and have no conscience whatsoever about doing it.

No Jill, this is pretty much how politics works throughout history. Credit and blame.

False Equivalence stuff there.

The response to every wrong Republicans ever committed is "Dems do it too, so it's okay"-- even if Dems don't do it, or even if Dems rarely do it, and Republicans do it every 10 minutes, every day.

What assault on Raqqa? More like pin-prick on Raqqa. Cities don't "fall," they are taken by enemies? Who's going to take Raqqa?

They can't benefit from any of this if they've all been deported.

Future immigrants can't be deported. Its future immigrants who will decide to come here based on added benefits from increased infrastructure spending

They can be deported.

As has been pointed out several times in the past on this blog, the Mexican peso responded negatively to Trump's performance in the polls before the election, and the trend continued after the election with his comments about NAFTA.

It is likely that the plummeting peso and Trump's NAFTA-related policies will continue to weaken the Mexican economy, worsening the job prospects for working-class Mexicans for whom migrating to the US—legally or otherwise—will become more and more attractive.

After several years of net-zero or even negative immigration from Mexico to the US, I think president-elect Trump has figured out a great way to reverse the trend and increase the number of illegal Mexican immigrants.

The plummeting peso might help Mexico's exports, as the plummeting pound is helping the UK post-Brexit (one reason Brexit hasn't caused a collapse like some predicted)

'as the plummeting pound is helping the UK post-Brexit'

Shame about the banks, though.

'Global banking businesses will face nightmarish decisions if the UK loses its access to euro-clearing trading as part of the Brexit negotiations, the Japanese ambassador to the UK has warned.

Koji Tsuruoaka said that Japanese companies would be among those affected as he emphasised the seriousness of what is at stake as the UK prepares for Brexit. Some EU countries are determined to stop the UK retaining its euro-clearing rights post-Brexit, so the business would be transferred to Frankfurt and Paris.


Japan is one of the biggest overseas investors in the UK but is alarmed that post-Brexit it may see the EU impose tariffs, rules-of-origin restrictions and other barriers.' https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/10/london-based-banks-face-nightmarish-choices-after-brexit

Sorry, mein freund, the UK won't be collapsing thanks to Brexit. Which you claim to favor but really you're all butthurt like the rest of the EU. Also, you can spare me the 'on the contrary I want Brexit to happen quickly' nonsense. No you don't, you wish they'd voted to remain.

Must be nice to be a clairvoyant MsgTeenagerWhoThinksHe'sKing

So you know what prior_test2 thinks better than he knows himself. Maybe we should just dispense with all other commenters on the board here, and you can just tell us all what everyone thinks.

Weak peso is good for Mexico, begger thy neighbor

If we're going to stop doing things because Mexicans might come here and want to do them for us, can one of the things we stop doing be pretending we have the slightest handle on how many people come here every year? That would be a small sort of victory.

I know some people in the construction industry. They have been very impressed with the work ethic of illegal Mexican immigrants. They don't set out to hire illegals. But when they can't get enough unskilled laborers who are American citizens, at prices they can afford to pay, they do hire illegals. I would think there are tons of other construction companies that do the same.

It wouldn't be surprising in the least if Trump's policies turned out to be the exact opposite of his campaign promises. He lied 70% of the time in his campaign, according to politifact, and he constantly contradicted himself, sometimes within the same sentence. He is a self-promotion machine with no interest in truth. The Powers That Be may see him as a useful fool. And if they make him richer in the process, he likely will do whatever he wants. He certainly has shown no evidence of caring about anyone else except himself.

I know some people in the sugar plantation industry. They have been very impressed with the work ethic of African slaves. They don’t set out to buy slaves. But when they can’t get enough unskilled laborers who are American citizens, at prices they can afford to pay, they do buy slaves. I would think there are tons of other companies that do the same.

I won't make the case that this is situation is a lot different from the one you describe. Mega-corporations rule us all. The ordinary individual has little power. It's not quite as bad as slavery perhaps, but is definitely going in that direction.

This is one reason why many people voted for Trump. He talked about their issues and said what they wanted to hear. The chances of him helping anyone except himself are close to zero though.

Somehow it seems different if you come in chains and cannot leave than when you come on your own two feet and own volition and can leave if you want.

The business/economic argument in favor of illegal immigration is the same argument for slavery.

No it isn't, as Troll me pointed out, because the economic actors called workers are very different morally and in agency from slaves.

Unrestricted immigration is the econ 101 free market case. People will go where they are most valuable to the economy.

Not the same as when people never get to choose where they go.

"... at prices they can afford to pay, they do hire illegals. "

So, what's your opinion on the national minimum wage then?

Personally I am for the national minimum wage. With The party of the .01% in charge of all branches of government though, I think there is zero chance we will get it.

You realize that people hiring illegal immigrants often pay them less than minimum wage. It's pretty common for contractors to take a bid on a building job, which can't be completed if the work was performed at the legal minimum.

I've personally seen a bid where the number of workers times the number of hours on-site amounted to a rate that was roughly half of the minimum wage. The crew boss spoke English and was probably the person who actually bid the job. None of the crew spoke any English at all.

If you're a proponent of the minimum wage, the the wall is the logical consequence. You wouldn't want illegals coming in and undercutting it would you?

Isn't Tyler's remarkable contention that a lot of the construction jobs would go to illegal immigrants contrary to one of the key teachings of the open borders crowd, which is that immigrants create their own jobs (or perhaps "fill gaps") without displacing native workers? I dont think I'm being unfair to our host by saying this appears to be another case of an economist reversing a position after the election. Is the implicit contention here that infrastructure construction is now one of those jobs, like migrant farm work, that "Americans won't do?" Or is it that native-born workers are already fully employed?

I know some people in the consumer industry. They have been very impressed with the quality of illegally obtained consumer products. They don't set out to steal consumer products. But when they can't buy the products they want, at prices they can afford to pay, they do steal consumer products.

"likely do whatever they want" I meant to type.

Why Botherism was a common line of argument during the election, this is an extension of that. Basically "Why Bother" trying to stop immigration, demographic change, globalism, etc. It is *inevitable* so just give up. It is akin to telling a raped woman or any victim to "just deal with it" or "there's nothing to do about it, c'est la vie." Psychologically I assume it is derived from a fear of agency and control that mass atomization has caused.

It's more akin to telling people to deal with the world as it is and as it will be, not as they think it was in some imagined utopia of the past.

OR we could just build a wall and enforce the law. You are worthless.

I would wager that around 25% of the people who build that wall will be undocumented workers, if it happens.

I'll take $10 of that bet.

OK we're on for $10. Not sure how to verify the winner.

Side question, related: did you bet any money on Trump to win? Or Clinton, to hedge your preference?

No, I always felt that the election was roughly a 60% chance that Clinton would win.

Granted, when I saw the BetFair odds on Trump to win drop to 10%, I would have placed a bet if it was legal. But I'm not going to risk $100, win $900 and then have the IRS then send me a "Dear Taxpayer" letter.

I never did buy into the 90%+ Clinton win media driven narrative. I thought it was the media shaping the narrative. Now, in retrospect, with all the clear "I can't believe this happened" from the media, I think it was less shaping the narrative and more living in a bubble. It astounds me how that many "smart" people could be that oblivious to what's happening around them. And judging by the reaction, those same "smart" people still don't have much of a grasp on how the other half of the country lives and feels.

Despite supporting him I did not expect nor bet that Trump would win the general election.

I did make some money on the night of the election on the FL and NC markets. I was able to be a few minutes ahead of the crowd in realizing there weren't enough votes left in the cities to win either state for Hillary. The servers slowed down to a crawl a little bit after that which made trading also very slow. I took my profits and left. I had similar success with the Democratic Michigan Primary when Bernie won. Same story, the crowd was just a bit slower to realize he was going to win then trading grinded to a halt.

Betting on Trump after Hillary fell down in NYC and betting on Trump halfway through election night netted one about the same, I don't see the sense in betting so far in advance unless it is to essentially "day trade" the shares.

PredictIt is legal BTW.

"So why is PredictIt now allowed?

Because the government has said it won't prosecute because PredictIt, an operation of the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and the political technology firm Aristotle, exists for academic purposes.

While political bettors in the US are using PredictIt to wager real money on their predictions, researchers in New Zealand are using those wagers to determine whether political predictions markets can predict outcomes of certain events more accurately than traditional means like public opinion polling. The university is using data from PredictIt in its courses on statistical analysis, market theory, and trader psychology.

There are some protections in place: Participants must be 18 or older and wagers are capped at $850, a limit designed to discourage market manipulation.

Because certain states have stricter laws on gaming and gambling, the site is prohibiting registrants from Washington and Nevada."

From Wiki:

Rules and limits[edit]
Victoria University of Wellington secured a no-action letter from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,[9] reducing the risk of prosecution for illegal online gambling.[10] In order to secure the no-action letter, each question is limited to 5,000 traders, and there is an $850 cap on individual investments per question.[2] These restrictions are modeled after the Iowa Electronic Markets, which previously secured a no-action letter from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;[10] however, there are differences in the restrictions between the two markets.[9] Federal approval aside, the site is not allowing participation from residents in 2 states with particularly strict laws on gaming and gambling: Nevada and Washington.[11]

Basic controls on labor, borders and immigration. Just an imagined utopia of the past practiced daily by almost every other country in the world.

We have basic controls on those things already. Nobody wants to get into every other country in the world as badly as they do this one.

I think that is because we currently have high tolerance of illegal aliens from our institutions. They may not want to get in as much after a couple years of Trump, despite a theoretical economic boom. The risk vs. reward is worth it now, will it be post-Trump?

"We have basic controls on those things already. Nobody wants to get into every other country in the world as badly as they do this one."

We don't have to drop illegal immigration to zero to be successful. If it's cut by 75% then the wage pressure on the low skilled in will relax, assimilation will occur more rapidly and most people will be satisfied with the results.

"We have basic controls on those things already. Nobody wants to get into every other country in the world as badly as they do this one."

That only implies that the controls should be scaled up from basic, to some higher standard of capability. Greater demand to entry means greater stress on the gatekeepers, implying we need to strengthen them. So, good point!

As opposed to telling women who get raped to just deal with it, there is actually a strong pro-trade case.

However, those who compete with low skilled immigration are unlikely to be organized in a manner that ensures their interests are also represented in the process of trade negotiations and related social, education or commerce policies.

From what I've read of rape trauma recovery advice, the general idea is to "forgive yourself" and "blame the assaulter" which seems like reasonable advice from a laid off factory worker's perspective as well.

imho, one clear indication that the political elite has lost touch with their various bases is their incessant caterwauling about illegal immigration. Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but anyone who looks at the evidence should conclude that all of the "fixes" that are currently being floated are going to be no more effective, probably a lot less, than abstinence is for birth control. National ID (preferably), required database check (mandatory, no exceptions), and universal enforcement of new criminal penalties for employing illegals. My solution is to give "fast track" status to any illegal who turns in their employer as well as 10% bounty on the forfeiture of all employer's assets. This is so similar to the "drug problem" or the human trafficking problem. If we were serious, we'd heavily penalize the users, including effective enforcement.

People talk around each other on this. It is obviously advantageous to a large fraction of the voters to keep illegal immigration happening. Obviously. Acknowledging that WE are the problem is the only way to start to "fix" it.

It's not advantageous to a large fraction of voters, it is advantageous to a large number of businesses because the entire wage scale is suppressed.

If people acknowledged an equation to be balanced they might look at, heaven forbid, work visas. As it is, illegal status is defacto semi-legal status, and defacto permission to work. Because, as you say, enough people are ok with it.

I see no legal or moral impediment to "National ID (preferably), required database check (mandatory, no exceptions), and universal enforcement of new criminal penalties for employing illegals" or even immigration vans cruising for day workers.

I am just skeptical that Americans are really motivated enough to do all that.

It's interesting that so far Trump has shown he's not really motivated to do any of that. Now that he's got the gig he's focused like a laser on making himself some money. It's always been the big question mark with him, that no one knows what he wants or is going to do, but it's starting to come into focus. We'll see, it's still early.

He's putting Sessions up for Attorney General, what do you think that's about?

I too find it strange that there isn't any push from seemingly anyone to go after employers of unauthorized immigrants, when it appears that it would be one of the most effective ways to curtail unauthorized immigration. Is it simple tribalism that directs voter anger at unauthorized immigrants vs. the citizens who employ them? Would there be a major backlash if the government started levying large fines on employers of illegal aliens? Who would defend these employers? The Left? I can see why the Left wouldn't want to go after employers, as that would put the Left in the position of defending the employers or denouncing them, and in either case they lose among some subset of working class voters without gaining much of anything. But as for the Right? What do they have to lose? Will they lose voters for enforcing the law? They might lose some donors, but so what? Didn't Trump just demonstrate that donors aren't that important?

Since doing that doesn't benefit Trump personally there won't be much incentive for him to do it.

"Who would defend these employers? The Left? I can see why the Left wouldn’t want to go after employers"

How many professional Left leaning couples have an illegal house keeper? Probably more than a few.

The only person we know with an illegal housekeeper was a huge Trump supporter and Facebook Trump maven. Go figure.

Excuse me, JWatts, the PC term is now an "undocumented housekeeper".

(The keeper being undocumented, of course, not the house -- heavens no!)

Although if you want to zip up the euphemism treadmill even faster, you can always go with "pre-documentation housekeeper".

In American culture, voter anger is directed at unauthorized immigrants, because they can easily be cast in the role of "The Evil Other" in order to win votes for the Republican party, that then does nothing about illegal immigration. They've been doing this a long time and DT is just continuing that Republican tradition. The citizens who employ illegal aliens don't have anger directed at them, because it is harder to cast them in the role of "The Evil Other" in order to win votes for the Republican party-- which is the whole point of arousing the anger.

The anger vote is huuuuge.

Not quite as big a deal as electronic voting machine fraud, but still huuuge.

My understanding of the matter is that people who break a lot of labour laws, especially related to extensive use of undocumented workers, tend to have local connections which help them to feel like they can get away with it.

There is an office of something or other with some resources and jurisdiction to investigate, but without cooperation of local officials, especially the police, it can be difficult.

It may be different when coming from those who want to get the people out of the country as opposed to those who want to ensure that some basic rights are not violated (especially not excessively).

Small businesses lose on tighter immigration enforcement and they form the bedrock of the Republican Party. They donate money to the local candidates don't forget. Those are the people who need money because they don't get free name recognition like Trump.

Canada manages to have very few illegals.

Really e-Verify that is enforced will do the trick.

Many of the problems in the US are related to enforcement, rather than
"new policies" being needed.

Our government has grown very lax about enforcing laws and governing in general. Creating new programs seems very popular but actually being technocrats and making new programs, laws, and policies work is boring to them.

We had few problems before e-verify too. But now we can pre-stock greater volumes of data on more people who visit the country and with partners progressively fill in ever more compendious data bases on an ever greater number of individuals. Hooray.

I suspect that the GOP elite doesn't like to acknowledge that government regulations in the form of labor laws should be respected. If they focused more on this I suspect it would actually be a winner electorally. They either haven't realized it or don't think it will would be enough of a winner to justify eating crow on the issue.

I think a significant part of it is - or used to be - Republican opposition to national ID cards. I think there was some weird connection to gun rights with that, but maybe it was just big government hysteria. Anyway, seems like Republicans have been pretty free about dispensing with their traditional positions lately, so maybe there'll be some progress. Going after employers always seemed like a no-brainer for anyone serious about reducing illegal immigration.

...profit-seeking private contractors are less concerned with the legal status of their workers, provided they have some kind of plausible deniability. They’ll sometimes hire illegal immigrants on the basis of falsified papers, or seek out contractors who don’t even ask for documentation.

Maybe, my dear Mr. Cowen, but a lot of state and federal jobs require contractor employees be paid at "prevailing wage" rates. If the whole purpose of hiring illegal immigrants is to keep labor costs down, but contractors can't compete on labor costs because the rate is mandated.....

In writing about Brexit and Trump, the moderators have made of themselves Kubler-Ross case studies.

Just think, when we get the next recession, Tyler can write for Bloomberg that the illegal immigrant problem was solved by Trump tanking the economy instead of enforcing the laws.

That essay is a form of sour grapes reasoning, and surprisingly transparent. Cowen is usually more clever than this.

No he isn't.

Read better.

This is a terribly smug article that seems to not understand that anti-immigrant sentiment is WHAT carried Trump 2016. It is obvious this what his supporters vote for Trump. And yes, I agree that both infrastucture spending and ripping up NAFTA would increase illegal immigration but I would make that argument not the smug reverse. (Also yes data from the last eight years would be helpful.)

Republicans have been using anti-immigrant sentiment to get votes, and then doing absolutely nothing about illegal immigration, for years. Why should Trump be any different?

If it works, why should Trump fix it?

What if God likes free markets?

The better to sort the sheep from the goats.

Well, *I* would start by telling my immigration folks NOT to enforce immigration law. It's cheap, it's easy and you can do it right away, with no input from Congress or the public. I'm sure that's why President Obama selected it.

Except Obama deported way more illegals than Bush II or Clinton. Try again.

Wasn't this due to some new, expansive definition of "deport"?


"Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.

On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's deportation statistics.

The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now.

The shift in who gets tallied helped the administration look tough in its early years but now may be backfiring politically. Immigration advocates plan protests across the country this week around what they say will be the 2 millionth deportation under Obama — a mark expected to be hit in the next few days. And Democratic strategists fret about a decline in Latino voter turnout for this fall's election."

I am curious about what Tyler's goal is with this column.

That Republicans love illegal immigration and want it to stay illegal. The fact illegal immigration has been struggling to grow the last decade probably tells him the Republicans need to increase their efforts. The Militarization of the border since 1999 is real.

Republicans do get votes by railing against illegal immigration-- and they keep their donations from corporations by doing absolutely nothing about the issue, once elected. Since this vote and donation getting strategy works, they don't fix it.

That would be a tremendously valid point, if federal contracts didn't have stringent requirements about use of legal workers and tracked the flow of the money to them, sure.

When wage growth is strong and prices are rising, immigration and free trade is a much easier sell. Under those circumstances, people will care much less about curtailing the labor supply. People will just not vote for higher immigration (aka higher labor supply) when there is anemic wage growth (and some of those immigrants are bringing drugs and crime).

The reality though is that whether through labor laws, environmental regulations, taxes, or land use policies in cities, we do not have an economy built on low-skilled labor. That means that even if we boost legal immigration, it will be scientists, doctors, and engineers, not the people crossing over the border in Arizona. But maybe the regulatory and administrative state will see a reduction under Trump.

Since winning the election, Trump has become a more palatable person to me because he keeps saying "Not so much." However, can anybody tell me which positions Trump's supporters need him to deliver on? Forget about making fun of people, tell me whch issues he's going to spank the Washington establishment with on day one. It sounds to me like this was a Beauty Contest Election, devoid of principles and issues. Tell me for example, exactly what he's going to do about healthcare in this country, if you can. So far, I've heard "Not so much."

He said we will get out of TPP first thing 20th January, right? Also stricter immigration control, that may or may not take the shape of an amazing wall, and, God willing, a lot of immigrans will have to go away, maybe. And he will make better healthcare deals with private supplies, it seems. A somewhat lighter tax burden. And he will listen Obama's advice apparently. And apparently he will not jail Clinton so much anymore. He has not been specific regarding methods, but the metrics by which he says he wants to be judged are clear: more jobs, fewer Mexicans, more GDP growth, less taxation, no going in war with Russia, cheaper/better healthcare.

Good luck with all of that. Trump is a professional con-man. I feel for the racist folk who elected him. You can feel empathy for racists, not out of pity but in general maybe their life does suck. But Trump as a solution - I'll be stunned if he actually helped.

Trump trounced Bush dynasty and Clinton dynasty.

Consider the Washington establishment (along with a host of other people) suitably spanked.

Buy crow futures.

"Trump 'trounced' Bush dynasty and Clinton dynasty."
He wouldn't ever have defeated Bill or any of the two Georges. He defeated Crooked Clinton and Low-energy Jeb! He wouldn't even have defeated Obama, who has a higher approval rate than both candidates according to the exit polls. If anything, Obama got a clear mandate from the ballot box.

We'd have more disease, crime, voter fraud, etc.....

Most countries with a high proportion of voter fraud (Russia, Iran, Syria, etc.) don't have any Mexican immigrants.

I'm crying into my Bengali red lentils right along with you, Tyler.

Maybe Trump read or was told about "The Accidental Superpower" by Peter Zeihan and decided that the U.S. and Mexico really are joined at the hip with regards to a common future. Zeihan does argue that the fracking revolution combined with manufacturing technological innovation (robotics, 3D-printing, etc.) makes an "isolationist" foreign and trade policy doable and actually preferable to anything else. Zeihan argues that the U.S. government has to do absolutely nothing at all with regards to foreign policy and intervention, allow free markets and technological innovation to run its course, and we (North America) will be sitting pretty in 2040. I think he is correct.

"do absolutely nothing at all with regards to foreign policy and intervention"

Does the mean actually do nothing, or do a similar amount of dumb stuff that will make more and more people hate us?

No chance Trump has ever read anything. And at any rate, he will likely have other people handle foreign policy-- and domestic policy-- except for maybe an issue or two that he decides is personally important to him.

How about US economy gets better, Mexican economy ... I don't care, and we enforce immigration laws regardless?

If demand to immigrate increases that may require more costly enforcement efforts to contain immigration levels, but only if you're out in the frontier. But we aren't even really trying at this point.

Have you ever tried to cross the border? It's enforced like hell.

I've never tried to smuggle myself across the border, no. But I've met many, many people who have done it, so how hard can it be? Don't assume that just because security seems tight at the check points on major roads that there aren't gaping holes elsewhere.

Enforcement on the interior seems very weak and is probably a bigger problem than the actual border. People can in many cases illegally work, rent apartments, open bank accounts, get driver's licenses, attend college, and even get arrested, all without facing risk of deportation. The issue here is that business interests and liberals DO NOT WANT the laws enforced.

The market has already seen massive pump, therefore, it’s only obvious that any further things on it will cause plenty of trouble too. This is why we need to be extremely wise and careful with how we go about doing everything. I am very careful with things especially with help of OctaFX broker where I get gigantic rebate program that helps me earn 50% back on all trades, so that’s highly beneficial for me in so many ways and in any situation.

Now do this one: "what if President Trump wanted to increase the trade deficit?"

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