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CGD in the News

Former CNN Commentator Kayleigh McEnany Presents President Trump's 'News of the Week' (New York Daily News)

August 6, 2017

From the article:

Immigration has "depressed the wages of American workers," McEnany said, claiming that the act will "increase wages, decrease poverty and save the taxpayers billions."

Not so, experts say.

Trump's immigration reform efforts have been compared to the 1964 ending of the Bracero program, which allowed Mexican citizens to come to the United States for work, generally on farms and railroads.

But kicking out the Mexican workers did not have a significant long-term impact on employment opportunities or wages for American workers, research shows.

In fact, the loss of the Mexican workers led to increased use of machines in farm labor.

"Farm wages did rise in the states that had relied most heavily on bracero labor, and rose more quickly after exclusion than they had before it," researchers Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis and Hannah Postel wrote in an April report.

"But remarkably, those wage trends are indistinguishable from the wage trends in states that had relied little on braceros, and also from those in states completely unaffected by the exclusion. If anything, wages grew faster in the unexposed states, closing the gap slightly with the most exposed states. If the bracero exclusion had raised the wages of domestic farm workers, we would observe precisely the opposite."

Read full article here.

Related Experts

Photo of Michael Clemens
Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow