Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Last Week's Mexican Immigration Lecture

On Thursday last week, students filled the J.C. Cinema at noon to listen to Professor Douglas Massey speak on Mexican immigration. Professor Massey gave an hour long lecture on the history of Mexican migration into the United States. I post my notes here. For my view on the lecture click read more.
The lecture was extremely fascinating. Immigration is a hot topic of today. You could tell by the large turnout. Yet even when the lecture ended, I was left with the conclusion Dr Massey did not give the right answer on solving the problem of migration.
The entire lecture gave one hit after another against U.S. government regulations on the border. He pointed out that Mexican illegal migration only declined when more were allowed to enter legally. The entire lecture depicted the government's failure in trying to stop migration.
Some may blame it on the Mexican migrants, yet as Dr. Massey pointed out there was a demand for laborers. He continued to bring in the subject of what any government regulation on the border caused... a change only on how you hire someone.
By creating a wall, militarizing the border, deputizing the police force to deport illegal immigrants the government never decreased the amount of immigrants entering; they only created a high cost for nothing. A waste of resources that could have been used by the taxed citizens who had to pay for an inefficient policy.

Immigrants are here for one reason, there is a demand. All workers are just a factor of production that we call labor. By placing a quota on the labor allowed from Mexico , the government has changed nothing but what we call those who migrate from Mexico to the U.S.

Dr. Massey had pointed towards all this , but ended his lecture on what he believes would help cure the problem of migration. He stated government should just increase its quota from Mexico. Yes, applaud Dr. Massey for knowing we should allow more from the neighbor below who holds the comparative advantage of hard labor, yet for his view in use of government we should just shake our heads. Only the market through the price system allocates resources. Wage is only the price of a laborer. Thus allow the market to work. Open the border and allow the Mexican migrants to not only enter but exit the country freely. The price system has worked since trade began in allocating resources, why should we change that for a government system that must be decided and set by man who does not hold the infinite amount of knowledge that applies to the allocation of the factors of production such as labor.

Thank you for your research Dr. Massey, but there is no need for a guest worker program. Many immigrants will enter and many will leave each by their own will on their own time frame. There is no need for the government to decide for them. The market will give them the incentives to make the choice on their own.

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