It’s not at all clear that having more immigrants coming to the country wouldn’t generate more revenue and make more revenue available to provide the entitlements that people seek. 

Immigrants tend to be among the most productive members of our society.  Historically, people have studied this.  It’s second generation, third generation Americans, the children of immigrants who are the powerhouse to the American economy. 

If you were really concerned about expenditures on entitlements, you would take people whose families have lived here for a very long time and weren’t being economically productive and you would deport them and then you have more money for entitlement programs. Or you would spend less on entitlements in relation to economic progress. 

I think it’s a terrible idea, but I think it’s worth noting that many of those same people are the people who have waived their flags complaining about the criminality of illegal immigrants. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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