STEVEN CAMAROTA: The Case Against Immigration: Why the United States Should Look Out for Itself. [archive] It’s interesting to see this appear in Foreign Affairs.

Immigration is without “assimilation”:

Bilingual education, legislative districts drawn along ethnic lines, and foreign language ballots are all efforts to change U.S. society to accommodate immigrants in a way that is very different from the past. Newcomers additionally benefit from affirmative action and diversity initiatives originally designed to help African Americans. Such race- and ethnicity-conscious measures encourage immigrants to see themselves as separate from society and in need of special treatment due to the hostility of ordinary Americans. John Fonte, [archive] a scholar at the Hudson Institute, has argued that such policies, which encourage immigrants to retain their language and culture, make patriotic assimilation less likely. . . . Even institutions seemingly designed to help immigrants integrate end up giving them mixed messages. As political psychologist Stanley Renshon [archive] points out, many immigrant-based organizations today do help immigrants learn English, but they also work hard to reinforce ties to the old country.

Immigration is a net loss for the welfare system — meaning, for taxpayers:

A further area of contention in the immigration debate is its economic and fiscal impact. Many immigrant families prosper in the United States, but a large fraction do not, adding significantly to social problems. Nearly one-third of all U.S. children living in poverty [archive] today have an immigrant father, and immigrants and their children account for almost one in three [archive] U.S. residents without health insurance. Despite some restrictions on new immigrants’ ability to use means-tested assistance programs, some 51 percent [archive] of immigrant-headed households use the welfare system, compared to 30 percent of native households. Of immigrant households with children, two-thirds access food assistance programs. [archive] . . . It is fair to question a system that welcomes immigrants who are so poor that they cannot feed their own children. . . .

Because the U.S. legal immigration system prioritizes family relationships over job skills—and because the government has generally tolerated illegal immigration—a large share of immigrants are unskilled. In fact, half of the adult immigrants in the United States have no education [archive] beyond high school. Such workers generally earn low wages, which means that they rely on the welfare state even though they are working.

This past fall, an exhaustive study [archive] by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that immigrants and their dependents use significantly more in public services than they pay in taxes, and the net drain could be as high as $296 billion per year.

Immigration harms American workers:

Immigration has also affected the U.S. labor market. One of the nation’s leading immigration economists, Harvard’s George Borjas, recently wrote in The New York Times [archive] that by increasing the supply of workers, immigration reduces wages for some Americans. For example, only 7 percent of lawyers [archive] in the United States are immigrants, but 49 percent of maids are immigrants, as are one-third of construction laborers and grounds workers.

Immigration won’t “solve” the demographic “problem”:

Another common argument for immigration is that it will solve Western countries’ main demographic problem—that of an aging population. Immigrants, so the argument goes, will provide the next generation of workers to pay into welfare-state programs. But to help government finances, immigrants would have to be a net fiscal benefit, which is not the case. Furthermore, the economist Carl Schmertmann [archive] showed more than two decades ago that “constant inflows of immigrants, even at relatively young ages, do not necessarily rejuvenate low-fertility populations… [and] may even contribute to population aging.” Analysis by myself and several colleagues [archive] supports this conclusion. In short, immigrants grow old like everyone else, and in the United States they tend not to have very large families. In 2015 the median age of an immigrant was 40 years, compared to 36 for the native-born. And the United States’ overall fertility rate, including immigrants, is 1.82 children per woman, which only falls to 1.75 once immigrants are excluded. In other words, immigrants increase the fertility rate by just four percent.

Immigration won’t lift the world’s poor out of poverty:

A final argument in favor of immigration centers on the benefits to immigrants themselves, especially the poorest ones, who see their wages rise dramatically upon moving to the First World. But given the scope of Third World poverty, mass immigration is not the best form of humanitarian relief. More than three billion people in the world live in poverty—earning less than $2.50 a day. Even if legal immigration was tripled to three million people a year, the United States would still only admit about one percent of the world’s poor each decade. In contrast, development assistance could help many more people in low-income countries.