For centuries, people have been fleeing governments that limit their freedoms and moving to countries, or to less regulated areas within their own nations, that afford greater freedom. For many years, the U.S. had an open door to those immigrants. That door is no longer quite so open.
One reason is that some immigration opponents believe immigrants will import the bad institutions and policies from their countries of origin. The idea that people fleeing countries with bad public policies will later support those very same policies in their new country seems dubious at best. We believe it’s more likely they will self-select into countries affording more freedoms.
We recently examined this question using data over three decades for all 50 states, and found virtually no evidence of a significant relationship between the levels of immigration we have experienced in recent decades and a decline in “economic freedom” (a measure of the level of government intervention in the economy). This confirms previous findings and provides some evidence that restricting immigration out of fear it could harm American institutions is misguided.
Read more at the Dallas News.
Written by: Meg Tuszynski, Texas Policy Fellow and Dean Stansel, Advisory Board