January 10, 2004

Will Open Borders Lead to Smaller Government?

An exchange over at The Corner has got me thinking. Up to now relevant posts are here, here, here, and here. The theme is this, Texas, with its low welfare levels, draws immigrants that are largely there to work and are assimilation minded, while high welfare, multicultural ideology oriented California gets a disproportionate share of welfare seekers and irredentists Aztlan types. People from California are thus freaking out at the prospect of more immigration while Texans are wondering what the fuss is all about.

It seems to me that the Bush proposal will encourage Texas style immigration which, if you're going to have temporary worker immigration, is the type to have. It also seems to put pressure on state and local social programs to adopt more of a conservative approach to benefits. If you're offering generous benefits to all comers, a wave of temporary workers is much more likely to swamp services than if you actually check for green cards or legal residency before you open up the public purse for more than emergency care.

The Bush plan will thus tend to have a bigger impact on social spending in liberal states than conservative ones. I wonder if that's just an accident? B-)

Posted by TMLutas at January 10, 2004 12:29 PM