A couple of days ago, I posted “The Dumbest Idea Yet for Revitalizing Detroit” – reporting on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to help the city by petitioning the federal government for 50,000 immigrant visas specifically for Detroit, the rationale being that immigrants start businesses. (They do, of course, but the suggestion that they are more likely to than native-born Americans is preposterous and insulting.)
Last night, this story appeared on the local news, and it occurred to me that here’s an example of an immigrant-run business in Detroit. Check it out. (Be sure to play the 2nd video, not the one that begins with a picture of a space heater.) http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/apartment-building-with-no-heat-in-detroit. Operating an apartment building is a business. And the immigrant lady who owns the building is what’s known as a slum-lord.
I’m not suggesting that this is typical of immigrant-run businesses, but rather that we should be skeptical of any claim that immigrants possess some magical power to breathe life into our economy that native-born Americans lack. Immigrants are just more people, the same as the rest of us, and increasing immigration will bring in the bad with the good. In the final analysis, the only effect of immigration is to grow the population, swelling the labor force faster than any increase in jobs that they generate. If that isn’t true, then why is unemployment rising and why are incomes declining despite decades of liberal immigration policy?