“Good” Immigrants

From Tyler Cowen:

The article is about how the new wave of immigrants from Mexico, fleeing the drug war, are often very wealthy and highly educated.  Keep in mind that the overall yearly flow of Mexicans to the United States is now about a fifth of what it was in 2006.  Nonetheless, it is being called the “Mexodus.”

The linked article includes this:

Unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants, they are being warmly welcomed.

Sorry poor immigrants.  Come back when you’re rich.


The Benefits of Open Immigration

From Michael Clemens in the Journal of Economic Perspectives:

The gains from eliminating migration barriers dwarf—by an order of a magnitude or two—the gains from eliminating other types of barriers. For the elimination of trade policy barriers and capital flow barriers, the estimated gains amount to less than a few percent of world GDP. For labor mobility barriers, the estimated gains are often in the range of 50–150 percent of world GDP.

Of course this implies some fairly large-scale movement of people.  Which would be great.  But even capturing a piece of the “trillion dollar bill on the sidewalk” would be huge:

the emigration of less than 5 percent of the population of poor regions would bring global gains exceeding the gains from total elimination of all policy barriers to merchandise trade and all barriers to capital flows.