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“Tough on Immigrants” Is Not Good Policy

This recent article on Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidates’ battle to see who can be toughest on undocumented immigrants shows politics at its ugliest: there’s a clearly-defined set of enemies (immigrants!), a clearly-defined and unpopular set of scapegoats (employers!), and a clearly-defined and resonant morality tale (they took our jobs!). It’s a classic example of politicians tripping over themselves to manufacture a problem and then solve it. This is one issue where the evidence is overwhelming: immigrants, even unskilled immigrants, make us better off. Here’s Ben Powell with more.

Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Rhodes College.
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