Economists from across the country – including some in the Triangle – sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying that immigration strengthens the economy.
More than 30 of the economists have connections to N.C. State, Duke and UNC.
Nearly 1,500 economists sent the letter to Donald Trump and Congressional leaders earlier this month, according to a news release. The letter was organized by the New American Economy (NAE) and the American Action Forum.
The NAE is a coalition of business leaders and mayors launched by Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to advocate immigration reform. The AAF is a nonprofit advocacy group established by Fred Malek and Norm Coleman which promotes center-right public policy.
Signers of the letter include members of every administration since President Ronald Reagan along with Novel Laureates Vernon Smith, Oliver Hart, Alvin E. Roth, Angus Deaton, Lars Peter Hansen and Roger Myerson.
Current or former faculty at N.C. State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina also signed the letter: Duncan Holthausen, Edmund Estes, John S. Lapp, Douglas K. Pearce, J.C. Poindexter, John Beghin, Michael McElroy, Raymond B. Palmquist and Walter Thurman of N.C. State; Gary Biglaiser, Lutz Hendricks and Mustafa N. Gultekin of UNC; and Barak Richman, Bruce Caldwell, Craig Burnside, Curtis R. Taylor, Duncan Thomas, Edward Tower, Frank A. Sloan, Henry Grabowski, Huseyin Yildirim, John Coleman, Juan Carlos Suarez Serrato, Kevin D. Hoover, Manoj Mohanan, Mark Paul, Peter Arcidiacono, Qi Chen, Rachel Kranton, Thomas Nechyba, Tim Bollerslev, V. Joseph Hotz, William F. Hyde, and William Pizer of Duke.
Dear Mr. President, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi:
The undersigned economists represent a broad swath of political and economic views. Among us are Republicans and Democrats alike. Some of us favor free markets while others have championed for a larger role for government in the economy. But on some issues there is near universal agreement. One such issue concerns the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.
As Congress and the Administration prepare to revisit our immigration laws, we write to express our broad consensus that immigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy. With the proper and necessary safeguards in place, immigration represents an opportunity rather than a threat to our economy and to American workers.
We view the benefits of immigration as myriad:
▪ Immigration brings entrepreneurs who start new businesses that hire American workers.
▪ Immigration brings young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of baby boomers.
▪ Immigration brings diverse skill sets that keep our workforce flexible, help companies grow, and increase the productivity of American workers.
▪ Immigrants are far more likely to work in innovative, job-creating fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math that create life-improving products and drive economic growth.
Immigration undoubtedly has economic costs as well, particularly for Americans in certain industries and Americans with lower levels of educational attainment. But the benefits that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs, and smart immigration policy could better maximize the benefits of immigration while reducing the costs.
We urge Congress to modernize our immigration system in a way that maximizes the opportunity immigration can bring, and reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States.
To read the letter and view all of the 1,470 signatures, go to: www.newamericaneconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/NAE-Economist-Letter-April-2017.pdf.
Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett