Greg Mankiw finds his human side, worrying about the welfare of the poor immigrants. Krugman vents his passion about the unraveling of the Welfare State, and desires a reduction of the inflow of immigrants–as long as they are Low-Income. I should state for the Record that Yossarian would easily have understood the position of maintaining an unassailable border, acknowledging the value of staying below the radar. David Friedman sees it from the viewpoint of garnering Votes, the Issue seeming to be the destruction of the Welfare State; Readers be warned that David has a Bite less deadly than his Bark, but can get aroused.
You know that the World has been turned over to the Spin-Doctors, when there are Ties introduced between major Issues like Immigration and Welfare policies, especially when the value of the Dollars being spent are also introduced. Where to start on a Discussion on the sentiments issued by these excellent Economists–leaving out Yossarian. This Subject is like an old-style unguided missile, it could land just anywhere.
The threat to the Welfare State from Immigration is relatively minimal, Numbers-crouching will probable establish that Immigration will not increase Welfare Costs above the highest percentage levels ever witnessed in this Country; and this during a Time of sustainable economic growth. Friedman portrays the board Hint that Immigration is a Political Issue, not an Economic Issue; something which is highly relevant, turn to this Post by George Borjas if you want to enter into the economic venue of Immigration.
There are relatively easy methods to forestall Immigration Costs, while retaining the benefits of Immigration; these being methods used in other Countries in history, and as such, carry the onus of draconian contempt. The most effective bar is the refusal to allow Immigrants to bring their families with them–utilized by China, Russia, and Eastern Europe since the Napoleonic era. Immigrant labor has a tendency to go home when not allowed to maintain a family unit within the Work area. It has the added benefit of lowering Welfare Costs, transferring the Unemployed Immigrant into a legally-exportable item. A second method is to issue Work Visas to the industries and Businesses needing the required labor, who are charged with removal of the offending Immigrants when gainful employment ends, else the Business is financially charged for the Infraction–a practice which has enjoyed some popularity in South America. A more advanced method is to charge a special Surtax on Income of Immigrants (non-Citizens) to repay the implicit Welfare Costs of Immigration. All the above ideas are disagreeable, though the Economist would state that most of the derogatory sentiment is propelled by the effectiveness of the measures. lgl