Immigrants Haven’t Hurt Pay for Americans

Seriously, who else would do this?

Photographer: David McNew/Getty Images

As President Donald Trump’s push for immigration restriction continues, his supporters among the pundit class continue to make economic arguments for closing the country’s gates. That’s only understandable — it’s easy to blame immigrant competition for economic woes. But very often, it’s wrong.

On a recent appearance on Fox News, classicist and historian Victor Davis Hanson started off with some good and important points about the need for a shared culture to bind together the U.S.’s multiracial society. But he then continued to make some very dodgy economic arguments. Hanson asserted that “the Trump miracle [is] giving empowerment to the working … classes,” and that this empowerment was also being driven by “a radical curtailment [of] illegal immigration.” Hanson credits reduced illegal immigration with lower unemployment and increasing competition for workers.

Hanson is right about two big things. First, illegal immigration has indeed been radically curtailed: