One of my favorite Wall Street economists called me up after the close today (after the market plunged in disappointment over the Fed’s $400 billion “twist.”), and exclaimed, “We could fix most of our problems by doubling or tripling legal immigration quotas.” My response was “Amen.” It would provide an instant boost of demand for housing and other durables, and it would bring in more skilled workers. Yes, it would bring in more workers at a time of record unemployment, but the skills mismatch in our economy has got to be overcome somehow, and this would do it. We’re a nation of immigrants. It’s only a question of how far back you have to go to find them. When he asked whether Congress would pass immigration reform in the foreseeable future, I had to admit, the answer is “No.”
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