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Should Unemployment Rates Impact Immigration Policy?

As the unemployment rate rises, so does the call for stricter immigration rules. Many Americans resent that they have lost their income while visaed foreigners bring home dollars, or even worse, while corporations illegally hire undocumented workers.

The issue showed up last week on CNN's Cafferty File. Jack asked whether a 7.6 percent unemployment rate meant it was time to change the immigration policy in America to keep jobs from going to millions of legal, and illegal, immigrants. One viewer said:

Halt all immigration until the unemployment rate is below 3 percent. Plus impose a 50 percent tax on all money sent back to home countries by noncitizens.

Columnist Thomas Friedman has a different take on it. He was wants an "open-door bailout." To see what that means,


Friedman summed up the message immigrant business people want to send America:

Dear America, please remember how you got to be the wealthiest country in history. It wasn’t through protectionism, or state-owned banks or fearing free trade. No, the formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart, and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat.

Last year Bill Gates argued to Congress that allowing more foreigners to work in the US would not steal jobs away from Americans, but rather create more jobs for them. He said for each H-1B visa hire, four support employees are hired.

Do you think open immigration will help solve the economic crisis, or is it just part of the problem?


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