by Alex Darr and Robert Maynard
The Federalist Society chapter at Vermont Law School hosted their second symposium on October 23. This one was on immigration policy and featured Stuart Anderson from the Cato Institute and Professor Art Edershiem from the Vermont Law School. One matter that Mr. Anderson noted, was that the number of illegal immigrants has increased following policies of border tightening. Mr. Anderson believes that this counter intuitive result comes from decisions by those crossing the border to stay here, rather than go home. These decisions are driven by the increased difficulty of crossing the border. The difficulty has increased enough to cause them to decide not to go back home, but not enough to prevent them from deciding to come in the first place. Prior to the beefing up of border security, many illegal immigrants would simply go back home after earning enough to support their families. Policies that make it easier to immigrate here legally have reduced the number of illegal immigrants, according to Mr. Anderson.
In addition to the concerns for the well being of these immigrants expressed by Professor Edershiem, he also addressed the matter of illegal immigrants driving down wages and the security matter of not knowing who is in the country. Both of these concerns could be alleviated, in his opinion, by granting legal status to those already in the country.