Like many other econobloggers, I have been following US political debates over immigration with some interest. But what about the underlying economics? Has immigration been a net gain or loss for the US economy? Brad DeLong has posted a useful review of the economics of the immigration debate, comparing the research of David Card, who argues the "evidence immigrants have harmed the opportunities of less educated natives is scant", with George Borjas. Brad concludes:
I don't think the issue is resolved, but I think that Card is well ahead of Borjas on points.
Here is a free version of Card's NBER paper, Is the New Immigration Really So Bad? (PDF). A representative Borjas paper is his May 2004 backgrounder, Increasing the Supply of Labor Through Immigration: Measuring the Impact on Native-Born Workers (PDF). Other recent publications of his can be found here.
UPDATE: Some other recent posts on the economics of US migration:
* Business Week's Michael Mandel informs us that immigrants have lower unemployment than native-born Americans.
* Macroblog's David Altig cites what (some) economists have to say about the economic effects of immigration.