opportunity to write part of the script for. i wrote the script that was on a peruvian girl. the message of the movie is, this comes directly from social science. if you educate girls come they can change the fabric of a community. they can change the fabric of the whole village to of the whole town, because the science proves this out. ..
>> where girls don't have a whole lot of power. thank you for the question. >> thank you. >> i think, are we running out of time? we have time for one more question? please. >> thank you. i just want to thank you more your contribution. i think it's important for us to learn about latin america. i'm curious, you've talked about his tannic culture a lot -- hispanic culture a lot, mainly as a synonym to the spanish-speaking countries of latin america. could you comment on the port tweeze influence -- portuguese influence, did you see interaction with bolivar and the portuguese or brazilians? >> thank you. what happened, of course, is when napoleon came in and invaded the peninsula, the
portuguese royal family got into boats, a whole convoy of boats, and sailed to brazil which was their colony. so they transplanted the royalty to brazil, and they felt they kept the portuguese power and the portuguese monarchy going. it was a very different story from the rest of push-speaking america. there really is a distinction there and would be wonderful to actually have a book that compared the difference of the experiences between the brazilian -- quite different and somehow much tidier experience at least in terms of revolution and in terms of governance -- than the rest of latin america. thank you for that question, and thank you once again for having me here and for listening.
thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> this is live coverage of the national book festival on the mall in washington d.c. you've been listening to marie arana who has written a book called "bolivar: american liberator," she's the last of the history and biography tent authors today that we with will be covering. will bring you live coverage again from the national mall tomorrow from the two-day national book festival. the late afternoon rain in washington chased away a lot of the book people this afternoon, and hopefully tomorrow there won't be any rain. so, butoining us on our c-span bus which is parked down on the mall is jeff chu who has written this book, it's called "does jesus really love me: a gay
christian's pilgrimage in search of god in america." mr. chu, start by giving us a little bit of your upbringing and your religious history. >> guest: sure. i'm the grandson of a baptist preacher, i'm the nephew of two other baptist preachers, and my family has always been te southly evangelical. we didn't always go to baptist church, but i grew up steeped in evangelical culture first in california, then when i went to high school at a christian school in miami, florida. what was your family's reaction when you came out as gay? >> guest: i think it's safe to say they weren't excited about it. my mother cried and cried and cried. it was an extremely difficult period in our relationship. i don't think all of my relatives know yet. it's a funny thing in a chinese family, the way information is passed around. so you have these layers of culture. you have the chinese layer, you have the christian layer, and between the two i think there's
sufficient shame that my parents haven't exactly broadcast it to everyone. >> host: well, mr. chu, you've written a book about whether or not jesus really loves you. first of all, what's your christianity today? >> guest: so i attend a reform church, an american church in brooklyn, new york, called old the u.s., and i'm -- old first, and i'm an elder there. like many people, there are ups and downs to it, there are good days and bad days. i think i would be lying if i said faith, for me, was a consistent thing. it's a struggle. it's something you work on. you look for god wherever you can find evidence of god. you try to hang on to faith during those high times and you rejoice when you find high points and moments for me which tend to be in nature that feel triumphant and feel like they pull me closer to something. >> host: are you a christian today? >> guest: yeah, i would use the word christian.
i think sometimes i'm troubled by the basics of the language. like when we say evangelical, what do we mean? when we say conservative, what do we mean? it's hard, but, yeah, christian is the right term. i follow jesus as best i can. >> host: so so on your travels and in your search, what did you find across america when it comes to established religions -- established kris can religions and gay and whether or not that's acceptable? >> guest: if you look at american christianity today, you find reactions that cross the entire spectrum. you find open hostility, you find great silent discomfort, you find embrace. it really depends on where you look. the thing about all of this is, though, most of these people are trying their best to do what they think is right. and i think the motive does matter when we're looking at the situation. most people are trying to be loving, even if it doesn't always feel like love or look
like love to some of the rest of us. >> host: can you give an examplesome. >> guest: so the hardest example for people to accept would be west borrow baptist church which is the god had fags church in topeka, kansas. when i went there, i very much wanted to dislike the church. they're so angry, it seems like they're so hateful, and yet they tried to explain to me that what they're doing is out of love because they believe thef been instructed to love their neighbor, and how can you love your neighbor more than to tell them that they are going to hell, but they have a chance to turn around. so they believe what they're doing is a loving thing. now, that's really hard for the rest of us to accept. and i don't expect everybody to accept that without skepticism, but i think we have to at least take a moment to consider where they say they're coming from. >> host: jeff chu, did you interview members of the phelps family, and were you out to
them? >> guest: i spent four days in topeka having dinner with the phelps, talking to them, worshiping with them in church, going on protests with them because i really wanted to understand what life was like in that congregation. they were very open with me, and i was open with them as much as they wanted to know. it's pretty obvious on social media that i'm gay. i didn't tell them straight out. they never asked. i assumed that they knew, but it was never an issue. it never really came up. and i realized that it didn't party, because they believe that everybody who's not a part of their church anyway, so what does it matter i'm gay? i'm going to hell for some reason. >> host: jeff chu, what did you find in some of the mainstream christian relations? >> guest: i found a lot of diversity. much of mainline christianity in america has moved in a more inclusive direction. but as you can see from the
presbyterians bickering over what to do about their denomination and other denominations really struggling with this issue, there is no one set of opinions. i think the general trend, of course, as with broader society is that the church is moving in a more liberal direction, but that's not going to happen without fighting, fights within families, fights within congregations, within denominations. >> host: did you visit with the catholic church as well? >> guest: i did not spend a lot of time focusing on the catholic church, and here's what happened. as a reporter, i can only write about this stories of people who are willing to talk to me, and i spent a lot of time trying to find a gay priest who was willing to open up. i think the price of that because i never was able to find was, was that catholics are underrepresented in my book. the really funny thing is my husband is catholic, and i never thought to ask him about his
story until after the book went to press. so that was kind of a fail on my part. >> host: jeff chu, there's a denomination called mcc or metropolitan community church which is the so-called gay church. did you visit with them, and what did you find? >> guest: i visited two mcc congregations, one in san francisco and one in las vegas. the beautiful thing about the mcc is that it is a spiritual home for a lot of people who want still to hang on to church but don't feel comfortable in regular churches. it was founded by a guy who grew up pentacostal, became a preacher and needed some kind of environment like that himself. so it's been a gift for an immense number of christians. it wasn't really the community that i felt was for me. i personally don't want to go to a church that's just gay people. i want a church that reflects my community, and my church in brooklyn is old and young, gay
and straight, black, white, asian, his pan bic. we really are a cross-section of brooklyn and my neighborhood of brooklyn specifically, probably with an overrepresented population of journalists. but that's the kind of church home i was looking for. i found strong christians in the mcc, a really warm welcome. there's something beautiful in the way they serve communion where they embrace the person to whom they're serving communion. so i really enjoyed it. i was critical of some elements of it, but i tried to be honest as a reporter and as fair as i could be with what i found. >> host: what's your day job? >> guest: i am an editor at fast company magazine, and i'm also the religion writer for beacon which is a new start-up that seeks to try a new model in journalism. beaconreader.com. >> host: so the answer to the question that you ask on the cover of your book, does jesus really love me, what's the answer?
>> guest: the answer is it depends on who you ask. i think every person that you talk to has a slightly different image of jesus that's cobbled together from things you learned as a kid, things you read in the newspaper, gut instinct, and no person has the same view of jesus, of spirituality, of sexuality. so it's just so diverse and so fun to explore but also very difficult, because the issue so emotionally charged. >> host: what's your answer to that question for yourself? >> guest: the answer most days is that my jesus does love me and my god's grace is big must have to handle the mistakes that i may make. >> host: and on those other days? >> guest: and on those other days, i try to look forward to the t day after. >> host: jeff chu is the author of "does jesus really love me: a gay christian's pill grammage in search of god in america." thank you for being on the
c-span bus and spending a little time with us. >> guest: thank you so much. >> host: well, that's going to wrap up day one of our coverage of the 2013 national book festival in washington d.c. we'll be back tomorrow at noon eastern time, the entire day will be live again tomorrow, it's a two-day festival, so we'll be back at noon tomorrow. the full schedule for tomorrow is available at our web site, booktv.org. or you can get schedule updates through our facebook page or our twitter feed, facebook.com/booktv, simply like us on facebook to get those schedule updates or or booktv is our twitter handle. >> every weekend booktv offered 48 hours of programming focused on nonfiction authors and books. watch it here on c-span2. >> since 1998 c-span2's booktv has shown over 40,000 hours of programming with top nonfunction
authors including bob woodward. >> we were going to do the book after he died, but he preempted that, phelps did, and i was horrified, quite honestly. and then i was delighted. >> i always felt that people are really more alike than they are different, and so the artist in me rose to that occasion that if i can create something that is so moving and that permits the kind of distance that you sometimes need from what is painful, then people will understand. and understanding is basically what is fundamental. >> but the point is that no argument is given to that effect, none of the relevant facts are considered, and this is regarded as one of the half dozen cases where a just war theory entails that use of military force was legitimate. >> we're the only national television network devoted exclusively to nonfiction books
every weekend. throughout the fall we're marking 15 years of booktv on c-span2. >> now, from the libertarian cato institute in washington, d.c., alvaro vargas llosa discusses his book, "global crossings." the book looks at the reasons people risk their lives to move to foreign lands and compares migration trends over the past decades. this is about 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome, everybody, to the cato institute. i'm ian busk, i direct the center for prosperity here at cato. immigration has become a burning public policy issue in washington. for the first time in decades, the united states is considering
a major reform in the way that it deals with immigrants. the ensuing debate and the possibility of reform are welcome, but the fact is politicians are arriving very late to this issue. and that's because in this country there has long been a wide gap between restrictive laws and the reality of immigration. it is a gap that reflects the economic and social fact that there are millions of americans and millions of immigrants from mexico, central america and elsewhere, who wish to work together in this country and engage in peaceful, voluntary exchange but are not legally allowed to do so. and that inconsistency has produced a lot of the problems associated with illegal immigration. many serious problems and some imagined. the prospects of reform have also simulated the debate about
the economic and cultural issues surrounding immigration, its impact, and it's a debate that cuts across party lines, and it's one that has generated a lot of passion. how would a possible legalization of millions of unauthorized immigrants and the creation of a guest worker program affect wages and jobs, what does the evidence say about the extent to which immigrants are assimilating into american culture in recent decades? are immigrants a net drain, or are they net contributors for the welfare state, and do they mainly come here to work on to get -- or to get state benefits? for that matter, the political impact of immigration is something that has been debated, what should we expect from increased legal immigration in that regard versus the status quo? these are legitimate questions that go to the heart of one's
world views on such issues as inequality and fairness, proper role of the state in regulating business and labor, cultural or national identity issues and fiscal policy just to name a few issues. so it's no wonder that this sudden interest on the part of leading republicans and democrats to address this issue has caused heated exchanges, exaggerated claims and some amount of nastiness. that's why i'm pleased today to be able to host a forum for a book that takes a balanced look at a wide range of issues that are being discussed today. the book, "global crossings: immigration, civilization and america," by alvaro vargas llosa, comes at a perfect moment, and it puts immigration in historical context, showing how so much of the debate today is knot actually new -- not
actually new in american politics and that we can be guided by a lot of american experience, a long american experience. better to let the author talk to us about that. my good friend, alvaro vargas llosa, is a senior fellow at the center for global prosperity at the independent institute who publishes, who has published this book. he has been a nationally-syndicated columnist for "the washington post" writers' group. he has been the author of numerous books including "liberty for latin america" and "the guide to the perfect latin american idiot" which was a bestseller in its spanish edition in latin america. he is ubiquitous in his columns that appear throughout latin america every week and has contributed to the leading newspapers in the united states. he has been a board member of
the miami herald publishing company and an op-ed page editor and columnist for the miami herald. i could go on and on, but i would say one more thing. he has also been one of the great champions of liberty in latin america, very present in all of the most important debates on the right side of the issues, i believe, and with this book i could say in the americas. please help me welcome alvaro vargas llosa. [applause] >> thank you very much, ian, for that wonderful and generous presentation, and thank you to the cato institute for hosting this meeting and to alex for being so kind in helping put it together. so i've been asked why did i
write this book, why was i interested in this topic. and, well, there are several reasons. perhaps one of them has to do with my, i guess, identity problem. i've been called a spaniard in peru, i've been called a -- [inaudible] in spain which is a pejorative term for south american. i've been called a pakistani in london where i was based for a while, and now i'm being called hispanic, in other words, spaniard. so i don't really know where i belong and who i am, but i guess it's probably a good enough reason to explore this important issue today. so let me tell you a little bit about what i do in this book. what i do is i take on all the different myths that i have seen over the years that are really driving this discussion and this debate including the current
discussion in the senate and soon in the house as well. about immigration reform. i won't cover all of that, but i will share with you a few and give you my perspective on them, and i hope that this will help at least clarify some of the misinformation that's out there, that's really quite striking. one first myth -- and all of what i'm going to say i've heard many people be say, people of all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of places. i didn't want make any of this -- i didn't make any of this up. one line of argument basically says we're getting the wrong kinds of immigrants today. we used to get the right kind of immigrants. i am not anti-immigration, i'm just against this current type of immigrant that we're getting today. and the answer to that is the united states always got the wrong kind of immigrants. [laughter]
that's always been the case. i mean, the variety of immigrant sources and types of immigration that this country has received in the last two centuries, two and a half centuries is simply astounding. i mean, of course, between 1830 and 1880, yes, it was mostly northern europeans, but between 1880 and 1920 it was all about southern europeans and eastern europeans and central europeans who had nothing to do with northern europeans; they look different, they have different cultures. they were the mexicans of yesteryear. and, of course, after that you had -- even before that you had people from asia, you had the chinese during the gold rush, you had the japanese at the end of the 19th century and early 20th centuries and then, yes, you had hispanics a bit further on, and you had indians after 1965 because of a change in the law that triggered a sort of unintended consequence.
so there's always been the wrong kind of immigrant in the united states. it's simply not true. another important myth says that the u.s. is getting a disproportionate number of immigrants. we are -- this morning, just this morning on a radio show i heard the host say this, we're getting more than any other country in the world. they're all wanting to come here. they don't want to go to other countries. again, this is very silly. about 3% of the world populationing is made up of -- population is made up of first generation immigrants, and illegal immigrants constitute about one-sixth of the immigrants that travel from one place to another every year. so a total number of, the total number of immigrants every year is about 215, the total number of illegal immigrants about 30 million. the u.s. gets, in terms of just illegal immigrants, one-sixth of 1% of its population.
so, clearly, much smaller proportion than many other countries are getting. so again, it's not true that the u.s. is getting a disproportionate number of immigrants. this is a worldwide phenomenon, and other countries are, relatively speaking, getting even more immigrants than the united states, illegal immigrants than the united states, undocumented immigrants than the united states. another myth says that the only motive behind immigration is poverty. why should we in the united states solve world poverty? i mean, we've got enough poor of our own as it is, let us take care of our own, let's not solve world poverty. and that's not true. that's not the only motive behind migration. in fact, the poor best or the -- poorest of the poor almost always migrate within the borders of their own country. europe, let's take europe. until the 1980s, the early 1980, europe was a source of
migration, of outmigration, i mean. people leaving europe. and that was a wealthy and prosperous continent before they got into this mess which is a different story. germany, the richest among the rich in europe was exporting about half a million people every year until the 1980s. so clearly, the motivation behind that was not poverty. south korea is a source of a significant number of immigrants or immigrants who come to the united states. and that's a rich country. bangladeshi women who are very poor, the poorest among the poor, migrate very little even in asia which is the continent that has the greatest number of migrants every year. so i could go on and on and on. what are the motives? i mean, they vary. yes, of course, economic conditions are part of the story. but you have everything, including distressed conditions at home, politically and
institutionally, not necessarily economically. adventure, family ties, all sorts of different reasons for migrating. and historical ties have a lot to do with it as well. the u.s. has historically men entangled -- been entangled around the world in conflicts and all sorts of exchanges, sometimes friendly, sometimes not so friendly, and that has created conditions for permanent migration. this being a significant filipino migration to the united states as we all know, of course, and that has involvement in the war at the end of the 19th century and also with the encouragement that the united states gave to filipinos to come to the united states historically, including a special program set up after the second world war for filipino nurses. all those were signals that the u.s. sent to filipinos saying it's okay to come. we have historical ties. we recognize we're bound together, so come to the united states. mexican migration, the origin of
mexican migrationing to the united states is not poor mexicans wanting a better life in the united states, it was u.s. business interests, needing to replace eastern europeans. first, japanese workers and then eastern european workers in the early 20th century. so they went to mexico and asked for mexican workers, and mexican workers started coming to the united states to work particularly in a railroad construction. so all these historical ties have a lot to do with it as well. another important myth is the fact that there's never been any hostility to immigration in the united states. we've always been a country of immigrants, we've always welcomed immigrants. we have always valued people coming from overseas to contribute to the society. and again, that's not true. there's always been hostility towards immigration. of course, it hasn't always
taken place exactly in the same way. it's not always been as intense. but historically, it's always been the case that there was significant hostility to immigrants. if you look at what happened in the gold rush, the chinese were the object of vilification at the time. they were, you know, frowned upon by all those who were taking -- native-born americans who were taking pat in -- part n the gold rush. the japanese at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries were the object of tremendous legal restrictions. they weren't allowed to even own property, so they had all sorts of ways to get around the law for in this. in the middle of the 19th century, the whole native movement was really born. there was the famous know-nothing party were very much hostile towards
immigration, and they had an impact on government and generally on the outlook of society towards immigration. so it's always been the case. and that's why we have seen throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century an evolving situation from the point of view of how the law addressed immigration. and it's always been i guess an evolution towards more or a change towards more and more restriction that reflected the mindset, a mindset that was relatively hostile. not everybody, of course, partook in this, not everybody was reflected in these attitudes. there's always been, of course, a pro-immigration current of opinion in the united states. but what i'm trying to get at, this is not something necessarily new or very different.
one thing that i think we need to understand, and this is also part of the myth, is that whenever there is a big disconnect between the law and reality, you're going to get a black market. it happens with goods, it happens with services, it happens with things, but it also happens with people. you constantly hear this argument. and, of course, i can see where they're coming from, and i can sympathize with the sentiment behind it. but we cannot as a country that is governed by the rule of law accept people who violate the law. i mean, we're just not that type of country. this is not something that's morally or legally acceptable. and, yes, i mean, on paper, of course, that's an extremely powerful argument. who can argue with that? however, the problem is when the law is simply not realistic, when the law does not take reality into account, then you create a condition for a systematic violation of the law on a grand scale.
and when that happens, usually something is wrong with law. not necessarily with the nature of the people who are violating that law. it's simply the way it works. it works with all sorts of other conducts, social conducts that stem from, of course, the criminalization of things that should not be held as being criminal by the law. so the same thing happens with immigrants which is why when people say, well, there's a disproportionate number of criminals who are immigrants, of course, if you criminalize immigrants and you just make the condition of being an immigrant a criminal one, then clearly you're going to have a lot of criminals in the country. but if you adjust for age, there are no more criminals who are immigrant who are native born. it's about the same rate. there are all sorts of studies. but, yes, you've had a, you know, significant number of people in jail sometimes on the
way to deportation, marley in the last -- particularly in the last few years, who could have been, i guess, you know, considered criminal simply because it was criminal to be an immigrant. so it's important to get this myth out of the way if we're going to find a legal way to deal with what is a social problem. clearly, having almost 12 million people operating in the shadows outside of the law is a social problem. we just need to make sure that that is not addressed, you know, start -- from a starting point of believing these people are somehow, you know, biologically criminal. these people are simply the result of a disconnect between the law and reality. another important myth is, has to do with culture. i've heard this time and time again, i'm sure many of you have heard this. these people are culturally different.
unlike those previous waves of immigrants who were culturally in tube with our values -- in tune with our values, these people are different. and yet if you look at this in so many different ways, you find exactly the same pattern. immigrants today are culturally in tune with u.s.-born people, with u.s. society almost any way you look at it. if you look at religion, for instance, in the last 20 years -- let's talk about his pan bics for a moment. of course, the most numerous immigrant t in that -- immigrants in that period of time. 70% of them are catholic, about 23% are protestant. of the ones who call themselves catholic, one-fifth of them call themselves born again. which is, by the way, something that you never hear in latin america. latin american catholics never describe themselves as born again. so what i'm sensing is that people want to fit in so much
that they're describing themselves as protestants in the united states. so this is clearly an effort to tell the united states we are like you. we believe just like you. we praise and pray just like you. we are like you culturally. if you look at the family values which is something i don't think conservatives who are critical of immigration clearly understand, you will find that there's probably more inclination towards family values today among immigrants than among be any other part of society. for instance, half of all illegal households are made up of couples with children, and only 13% of illegal households are headed by a single parent against one-third in the case of
native-born with americans. so, again, if we stand for family value, if we really mean it when we say we want a society based on family values, then surely there's a source of great comfort and support for your ideas and views among immigrants. they're not inimical to family values, they are all about family values. so then be you convince them of this which is a tough thing to do and they say, oh, but they're having too many children, it's not fashionable income, i don't know how you make that argument compatible with the welfare state is going to be a problem, but then you prove to them that's no longer the case. the birth rate is going down and down and down among immigrants just as it is going down and down and down across latin america. it's still a little bit higher among hispanic women in the united states, but only in 60%. so almost just half a child more than native-born women. and the train is going down.
i mean, i can foresee easily a time when it'll be pretty much the same rate. and in latin america there's this new discussion. until two or three years ago, of course, there was a high birthrate. today it's going down in an incredible way, and so those societies are beginning to face some of the issues that developed countries have been facing in terms of the rate of, of course, contributors to the system of transfer to beneficiaries from that system. so they're facing the same issues. so no matter how you look at it, they are culturally compatible, you look at all those neighborhoods that they have helped regenerate. i mention a few in the book in south florida, in new york, you know, the process called gentrification. communities that were, i mean, a complete disaster. and they've become very nice communities thanks to the effort
that hispanics in general but also hispanics particularly, but in general immigrant withs have put into this. -- immigrants have put into this. again, that's a cultural sign of perfect compatibility with the host nation. i will grant you this, though, it is true that multiculturalism has distorted things a bit. and i think it would not be fair if we didn't recognize that. in the early part of the 20th century, there was something that used to be called americanization. frederick hayek, one of our heroes, of course, praised americanization very much. he attributed to americanization the virtue of having inculcated values and ideas relating to the free society. and, yes, i think there was something to be said for americanization. there were some aspects that were kind of cheaf nistic, and
there were, i guess, abuses that were sometimes committed, but by and large i think it was a healthy thing. it was not so much government policy, it was just a general cultural attitude across society that somehow created incentives for people who came into learning english quickly, to become familiar with the values of u.s. society, with freedom and all these things. and that was a positive thing. that began to change in the 1960s, of course, when this whole new paradigm of what we call multiculturalism today emerged. i'm not going to go into a lot of detail because there's a whole chapter about this in the book. it's a fascinating discussion, but i don't want to be sidetracked. just quickly i would say, essentially, what happened was in the era of decolonization after the second world war, we began to look at values in a different way through relativism. we began to see values as
exchange bl. we, you know, all values were equal, all ways of looking at society and institutions were pretty much equal. that gave rise, of course, to a whole new way of analyzing and studying societies from the past. and then from then we went on to think of minorities as these collectivist entities that were somehow in need of special protection, special rights to correct an imbalance that was historical in nature that was the legacy of past abuses. and this in turn translated, of course, into all sorts of, i guess, social engineering based on ethnicity. and we saw things like gerrymandering along ethnic lines, you know, equal employment opportunity and positive discrimination, all sorts of things that gradually,
i think, went beyond what was really compatible with a truly free society governed by the principle of equality before the law. that was bound to generate a backlash at some point and, of course, it did. but my argument is this: the people who are to blame for multiculturalism are not immigrants, they are u.s. academics mostly. and it was mostly something that emerged out of academia not just in the united states, to be fair, also in europe. so, yes, i mean, there's been a distortion there and, yes, there are things i myself as an immigrant here do not feel at all comfortable with. but if we're going to fight multiculturalism, the way to do it is not to fight immigration, it's to fight the ideology behind multiculturalism. so from then i go to, and this is one way to prove that it's not immigrants who are to blame for this, to the issue of assimilation which is again laden with myth many.
i'm constantly told they don't assimilate anymore. i drove past such committee in california, they were all speaking spanish and reading spanish newspapers, it didn't used to be that way. of course, it always was that way. german communities in the midwest, what did they do? they printed german papers, they spoke german among themselves. that's what italians did, asians, sometimes they do that still in california. it's human nature. people want to feel they belong to something, they want to protect themselves for a little while. but that doesn't stop or interrupt the process of assimilation. the process is still what it used to be. it's a three-generation process. the first generation makes some progress be, the second generation is bilingual, but they speak english percent than whatever other -- better than whatever language we're talking about. by the third generation, they don't even speak the sort of mother tongue at all k. and i've seen this among hispanic, and it's really a fascinating prospect. and that was always the case.
that's exactly the way it worked with italians and the poles and germans. it's always been that kind of dynamic. again, just as in the past, the second generation does better financially than the first generation, and by the third generation assimilation, again, is complete. if you look at marriage, beyond the community which is one way to look at this, we see the same pattern today as we saw in the past. i compared second generation italians in the early part of the 20th century with second generation hispanics and particularly mexicans today. the rate of out marriage was 17%, today it's a little higher among his pan bics and mexicans, almost 20%. by the third generation, outmarriage is very strong indeed. so again, very, very similar patterns of assimilating, of assimilation. of course, since you have a sort of constant or permanent inflow of first generation his pan bics, it's only natural that
you're going to see, you know, some pockets of, i guess, spanish-speaking communities almost on a constant basis. but that's not because they're not assimilating, it's simply because the inflow keeps occurring. so there's nothing to fear. they are assimilating. and i think that is something we need to embrace. so let's just go into -- i don't know if i have a bit more time -- but the economy. again, that's another important source of myth. i'm always hearing this. people, i mean, we would like to have high-skilled immigrants, but these low-skilled immigrants, i mean, why do we need these low-skilled immigrants? well, because the modern economy needs them. since the second world war we've had all these imbalances that needed to be corrected between developed and undeveloped countries through migration. that's why the germans signed treaties with the turks. the span cars with the no rock
cap, the french with the algerians and, yes, the united states took in mexicans. it's the way you work even in a high-tech economy. you need certain repetitious, mechanical jobs that are going to be part of it, and somebody is going to have to fill those, take up those jobs. and that's something that migration helps to do. do they hurt the economy? they do exactly the opposite. immigrant help in large -- they help make the pie bigger. i went to the, one of the most prominent academic critics of immigration, and even he realizes that illegal immigrants contribute about $22 billion to the economy every year. or so we updated that data. i think, i mean, it's a very conservative statistic. i think it's way more than that, but let's accept that for a moment. we just updated his calculation, and that would, that would translate into about $36 billion today. and if you make that legal, it
probably will be increased by, you know, two and a half times, three times. we're talking about almost $100 billion a year, over a decade about a trillion dollars. that's the contribution to the economy by immigrants. how does the process work? well, they are producers, they are consumers. when they come in at the low end of the scale, they help others move up the scale. yes, they have a very tiny, temporary effect on wages at the lower end. our calculation about 1.5%, others it varies a little bit, but it's a very, very, very small impact. but that's offset by people who are moving up the scale and earning higher wages and also offset, of course, by the fact that immigrants help these labor-intensive industries be more productive, and they help keep prices down. so as consumers, everybody in society is benefiting from that. so the effect is, of course, a very potent one, positively
potent. not to speak of high-skilled immigration, i don't have much time but, again, high-skilled immigration, how can that not be a huge contribution to the economy? one-third of doctorates in engineering, technology, sciences involve immigrants. one-fourth of nobel prize winners throughout the 20th century in the u.s. have been immigrants. immigrants made silicon valley, the silicon valley miracle between '95 and 2005 with immigrants founded many companies, they created half a million jobs. so it was always absurd that, you know, the rules, the prevailing rules -- i hope they're going to change now -- but were such that quota for h-1b visas, high-skilled visas, would be exhausted on day one. you know, as soon as they were open for applications, they would be taken up because i think the ceiling at the time was 65,000 just until a few years ago because there was a
greater demand. so that was economic suicide on the part of the united states. let me finish by touching very, very quickly on the issue of cost versus benefit. that's another huge myth, the idea that the cost, immigrants cost a lot more than they contribute. fiscally, i mean. that is simply not true. there are so many studies, there's one great study that was conducted a couple decades ago by the national research council. they calculated not only the fiscal impact of legalizing immigrants now, they calculated what would happen for the next 50 years because, of course, as you know, they're young so we can be expecting they will be working for the next 50 years in legal conditions, and then they calculated the net present value in terms of what they will put into the system and take out of the system. and they come up with and that included, of course, children who are in school today, public school but will come out and work for the next 50 years.
so you have to bring all of that into the equation. and their calculation was a net cost, just a one-off cost, a present day value of $5,000 which is nothing if you weigh that against the contribution i just talked about to the economy. other studies go even beyond that, and they say even the net contribution without taking into account the contribution to the economy, the fiscal impact, is going to be positive in terms of generating more revenue for the government than taking out. and alex has written about this, i think, very forcefully. so my message is basically this: we are in an age of globalization. we have won the inte with lek chul -- intellectual case for free trade. we can't say we have ideal free trade conditions across the world, but we've won the case for intellectual free trade. nobody speaks against free trade on an intellectual level. they say i am for free trade but, and then they talk about the level playing field and all
of that. but, i mean, intellectually, we've won the case for free trade. we're far from winning the case for free immigration, and i think it's simply not reasonable to expect that a world that's moving gradually towards free trade can continue to contemplate immigration in the way it is. but trade in goods constitutes about the equivalent of 45% of world gdp, about 20% of world savings are invested outside of the country where they originate, yet only 3% of the population is first generation immigrant. this imbalance will have to be corrected. i mean, the dynamics are pushing the world in that direction. so you can either accept and embrace and channel that energy and force through legal channels, or you can try and put barriers against it, and you will be overwhelmed either because the negative effect of actually being able and managing to control this will be huge, or because you will not be able to control them. and then by the time you accept, you realize you will have spent
a lot of money and with all the side effects that come with it in trying to stem the flow. immigration is not a danger to the united states, to its values, to its economy be, to its standing in the world. it is exactly the opposite. it is, i think, one of the best ways to keep the united states a free country, to keep it a prosperous country and to keep it as a model for the rest of the world. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, alvaro. our next speaker is alex nowrasteh from the centered for global liberty and prosperity here at the cato institute. before working here, he worked at the competitive enterprise institute on immigration issues. he has degrees in economics and economic history from george mason university and the london school of economics. he has been an exemplary policy
analyst at the cato institute and has been quite involved and very infliewn number the current debate on immigration. please help me welcome alex. [applause] >> thank you, ian, for that very nice introduction, and, you know, thank you, alvaro, for coming today and for talking about your fantastic book. and i want to say part of the reason why free trade is accepted intellectually by so many people around the world today as opposed to 50 or 60 years ago is because of the hard work of alvaro and a lot of other classical liberals around the world and the united states and central and south america and everywhere around the world. and that hard work, i think, has really paid off. we are able to do so much at the cato institute in part because people like myself are able to stand on the shoulders of intellects of alvaro and others who have forcefully argued for this point for generations. so thank you very much.
for that. now, i want to go into some other details about this fantastic book, "global crossings," some details that we weren't able to touch on in the limited a amount of time that we have. but one of the main, one of the issues that a lot of people raise when it comes to immigration is they think, well, national security. they think, you know, today is a different environment. we have global terrorism, we have al-qaeda, we have issues like these, and because of this we can't be as open to immigration as we were in the past because of all these issues. well, just like the other points made in this book, that's no different from what it was a hundred years ago. i mean, very few people remember that there was an intense terrorist campaign in the united states in the early 20th century carried out mainly by italian anarchists and communists who at different points blew up dozens and up to about a hundred bombs across the united states targeting people like the attorney general of the united states, a. mitchell palmer, and numerous other public officials
across the country at the time. and people had a reaction at that point, they said we can't have this type of thing. this is a new experience, this international age of terrorism. this was at a time when communists were marching across the world and having success in europe and eastern europe and the chaos in the soviet union. and these people were seen as an extension of that, and we need to close our borders to try to block this out. that's really no different than when we hear today about islamic terrorism and other issues like that when we take a look at the middle east. but what's even more astonishing is how a lot of our immigration policy makes it easier for national security threats to persist, make it easier for these problems to grow and in a lot of cases, increase the ability of these national security threats, to these opponents of liberty across the world to more exploit their advantages by taking advantage of american immigration law.
one modern example of this is in 2010 there were about a dozen somalis arrested in mexico. there was rumors that they were a member of the al-shabaab militia which was an islamist terrorist militia based in somalia, and they were arrested in in excoe, and the mexican authorities released them early without any kinds of records, and there was a big -- for lack of a better word -- freakout in the american media about this. they thought these guys are definitely coming here, they're definitely coming to the united states, they're going to wreak havoc, and as a result boarder patrol was beefed up, and these people were eventually apprehended or they just faded away and nothing happens. but the point is that that because american immigration enforcement because our immigration laws are so focused on keeping people out for economic reasons or for any other types of reasons, a small apt of what they're -- amount of what they're able to do is focus on legitimate threats like
these. instead of asking how will an additional worker affect the wages for american tomato pickers, will affect the labor market conditions for computer programmers in silicon valley, they're more concerned with where a high-skilled immigrant will take a conference call, whether it's at his home and whether that home is listed in the forms as a place of residence or as a place of work than they are about these legitimate threats that are out there. so if we're really concerned about this, if we think that we live in an age that is so dangerous internationally that immigration needs to be restricted and regulated, okay, if you believe that is true, then you should argue for a total refocusing of immigration away from keeping out willing workers and separating them from willing employers and focus entirely on the small but real national security threat that exists. now, throughout history, you know, these threats have also been used to our disadvantage, national security. think about the numerous hoops
and hurdles american immigration enors foment put in the early 1930s and '40s on scientists trying to flee europe and come to the united states to work that eventually were employed to work in the manhattan project and other government research projects to help win the war. there was enormous bureaucratic fear to keep these people out because of national security problems. a lot of these people had ties to communists or alleged ties to communists, and they were kept out because of the fear of national security, reasons for that. one of my favorite examples is there was a chinese rocket scientist who died in 2009. now, he was involved with rocket research in the united states in the '50s. because of a national security law that said that communists could not be employed or emigrate to the united states, he was investigated by the fbi, and they said there was enough circumstantial evidence that he had attended a communist rally 20 years before that he was kicked out of the united states and deported to communist china where he was the founder of
their international rocket and missile program. the entire rocket program in china was based off the engineering expertise that this immigrant to the united states who wanted to stay here and live and work, was forced back to china as a result of that. now, you know, i'm a libertarian, i don't believe that china poses an existential threat to the united states or anything like that. but if you're worried about this, about national security issues coming from other countries like this, the last thing you want to do is to send talented foreigners who have come here to learn these issues back to their home countries. that's pretty much the last thing you want to do. now, i think switching gears to culture and how really americans have taken a look at immigrants and treated them pretty much the same throughout history and how they've come, we've always been skeptical of them, them, and wee always compared them negatively to previous waves of immigrants. there's a quote from thomas soul written on june 4th titled
abstract immigrants where he writes: the immigrants of today are very different in ways from those who arrived here a hundred years ago. now, i think he massively exaggerates the wave of differences between the immigrants today and back then, and we heard about a lot of these differences. but what's also different are americans today. and it's true, multiculturalism has, you know, impacted american society to an extent. and i think that that's a bad ideology. but we're also in a lot of ways more welcoming. americans today may say nasty things about immigrants today, but let's not forget that the largest mass lynching of american history was in the 1890s in new orleans of italian immigrants by a mob of white americans who thought that they had committed a crime and they had gotten away with it. that was the largest maas lynching in american history. in the 1830s, you had mobs of protestant americans going out and burning down catholic churches occupied by the irish,
raping the nuns in convents, horrible things like this. now, the rhetoric today about immigration from americans who are opposed is nasty, and it is gross, but we don't have this level of, you know, cultural aversion, violence to the extent that a people are going out and doing this. americans are behaving much better in the face, i think, of immigration than they are, than they did back in the day. ..
truly in a lot of ways, 100 years ago, who are able to live and highly within above board in the legal market. but true remarkable and i think if immigration was allowed to the extent that all of the mexican immigrants who came to today had come legally we would see even a better pace of assimilation. realizing immigrants who come today are more americans when they come in the become americans faster despite having to live in the black market i think a testament not just to the entrepreneurial and energetic spirit of immigrants today and how they want to become americans but also a testament to how much american culture has influenced so many people to the world and how we're still a beacon for millions of people who want to come here and want to become americans. i think this book goes into some fantastic detail about that
process, about that culture process by which people become americans. to differentiate it from a lot of other books and the sociology profession that righ write about assimilation. it describes the process very well. it creates a model for how this happens. it was the first time i read that third generation, the third generation of americans, your grandparents were immigrants, your parents were born here, third generation. you look longingly back on that ethnic or religious identifier of what your parents came from all your grandparents came from. that is a feature of success. that is a market success of becoming an american because as americans we don't have an ethnic or racial identifier. the largest ethnic group in the united states by last name is german. that's going to change in the near future because of waves of immigrants. but that's the largest group. we don't have a blood border culture conception of being american. it's a values conception of
being american. it's a city notion of being american. that's something that is virtually unique throughout the world and unique throughout history, and what this book does is it ascribes that in some of the best detail i've ever read anywhere in the literature in both sociology and economics and academics, and even in popular books made for popular audience. for that notion i think it made me, you know, i studied immigration policy and i become skeptical the way my government does things. i become skeptical of the training and its immigration policy, but this really filled me with more enthusiasm and more hope for the future of this company and the ability to assimilate immigrants and to be a beacon in virtually any book i have read in my years of working on this topic. so i highly recommend it to all of you. i clearly recommend it more. it's a beautiful book. and thank you very much for coming today. [applause]
>> thank you, alex. we have time for questions. if you have a question, please raise your hand and wait for the microphone. identify yourself and your affiliation. so we will take the first question up here in front, please. right there. wait for the microphone, please. >> hi. my name is speeding can you speak up a little? >> my name is stephen. i have no affiliation. i was kind of interested in the notion of unskilled workers are says high skilled workers as whether we want, you know, immigrants are high skilled or low-skilled. it always seemed to me that human beings are a resource and, therefore, if lots of low-skilled employees is a resource, it doesn't mean that we don't need high skilled.
this idea that there's only a set number of jobs or low-skilled. look at all the people that came to new york city the low-skilled at the turn-of-the-century. jobs were created. in other words, i think there's a misconception that you look at an economy and you say, we only have this amount of need right now for low-skilled. but i think the answer is if you bring more resources, that is, more low skilled workers, businesses will take advanced about low-skilled. we will produce goods that will take advantage of the low skilled workers. even if those come even if that production doesn't currently exist it will come to exist because of the incentive. so what i'm saying to you is, my question is, isn't that another big misconception that you guys seem to overlook? you always hear so many people saying, we want, we only want
high skilled labor for immigration, thank you. >> thank you very much. i couldn't agree with you more. i look at it in different ways. one way to look at it is just look at it domestically. because much of this discussion would be better understood i think by people if they thought of these issues in the domestic context. since the second world war, the u.s. has added about 100 billion people -- 100 million people to the workforce, count baby boomers and general and women in particular. if the arguments made against immigrants were true on an economic level, then those 109 people would have destroyed the u.s. economy. would have made everyone for. what a generator so much unemployment that would have been the number one issue in the united states on a permanent basis, and that's not the case. there's never been, in the '60s there's never been
long-term unemployment of any kind. there's been unemployment of course in times of recession but that have different causes. look at arizona, for instance, which is such a sensitive place for this debate. just before the bursting of the bubble i look at unemployment rates in arizona. among the lowest in the country, 4%, sometimes even less than 4%. and yet 10% of the workforce was i assume continues to be immigrant. so clearly it is not generating unemployment. it is generating growth. arizona is a wealthy state. it is helping make comment as i said, the pie larger. that includes both low-skilled and high-skilled immigrants. the idea of separating low-skilled from high school is one of don't like their much about the unfortunately we are post -- forced to do so because the terms of the debate are such an because it's been framed in
that way. so we need to kind of take them apart and explain to people what low skilled workers to to the economy, want high skilled workers due to the economy. ultimately, it's all about production to the stock of capital in the u.s. has been going up by about a rate of two or 3% every year for the last few decades, and that's why of course the economy has been more productive and we have been able to generate a rise in salaries altogether. and yet at the same time we've had a constant inflow of immigrants. so that would not have been possible if immigrants are hurting that production process. >> if i could add just one small thing to the. i've been doing a series of debates for the last couple of weeks, and i've another one on sunday and this issue is always brought up. the analogy if we are 100 high skilled people in a room, let's say 100 college graduates and would bring in 50 more less than a high school graduate into heaven, the economy gets bigger, production increases.
the critics always say oh, but you lowered the average education level in the room by doing that. that shows i think the danger not a little bit of math and knowing not very much economics. and average is a terrible way to describe it. that's an example, the danny devito policy. just because danny devito walks in the room, the average height in the room will decrease but nobody is any shorter. [laughter] that something that is pervasive. so talking about public policy and the impact that immigration on the economy by using broad averages like this really is probably one of the worst ways to do it and betray the total lack of understanding of how economics works. >> question right there. >> my name is stephen. i thought it was a wonderful and wholly convincing presentation to the one aspect him wondered about is the effects on the
nation that immigrants leave from. are those nations any worse off? for example, it said that when 1848 revolution sailed in germany -- failed in germany, a lot of german liberals came here and there for germany became more autocratic. today, as much as we complain in this building about economic regulation, a lot of immigrants see the training as a more fertile place -- see the united states as a more fertile place for applying entrepreneur skills. so are countries that immigrants living from worse off say in terms of in tom -- entrepreneurial skills? >> that's a great question. forget about nationstate in order for moment. what are we talking about? we are talking about how people are able to create the most value. in other words, they choose their location according to way they can create the most value,
and then we all exchanged the fruits of our labor according to a we need and what we can offer. if you look at it that way, and you will realize that people moving in or out is not going to have a long-term effect of a negative kind in any way. europe was exporting people, again into the 1980s as i said, and those countries were becoming more and more prosperous. we've had the same in latin america piqued people migrated from countries such as peru. peru is today a much wealthier country than venezuela. look at it this way as well. chinese immigration and the united states has played a key role in the economic growing prosperity of gradual prosperity of china. they have not only, of course been able to export stuff to them and import stuff to them,
they've also invested in china. so i think that borders and barriers are really artificial in terms of impact on the economy. we all benefit from a constant circulation of people. the same is happening in europe. some of the eastern european or central european countries have been exporting people to the western part of europe in the last few years because it became legal to do so. and yet, they have been becoming more and more prosperous. polling is much more prosperous than 50 years ago. it has exported people do western europe. >> i just have some very small things to add to that because 100% right. about the german 1848 is, they left behind in germany, complained about the liberals leading to americans who experience -- combined about the autocratic terms would bring a socialist notion and destroying american individuality in the
process. it's funny, they form the core of what became the republican party and the anti-slavery wing of the republican party. but that's a little antidote about feeling about immigrants destroying the core of america no matter where they are from. so the issue you talk about, does immigration leave the sending country worse off? that usually takes the frame of the brain drain. that's what people call it. they say the breast and 10 -- the best and the brightest. that assumes that a person in a country is a property everybody else in that country. which is a terrible notion that no person has any concept of like individual freedom or liberal in the classical sense and interpretation, could actually be. what we actually see is when the opportunities to integrate, to leave occur, people increase their education. they go to school more. they acquire more skills in order to do better in the
country where they want to go do. a lot of them end up staying. we see this in like south africa in nursing schools. a lot of people go there to try to immigrate to the u.s. the uk but a lot stay behind. in south africa. we see in the philippines but it was mentioned the filipino nursing program. they have some of the highest percentage of nurses of the population of any country in the world because of the possibility to leave when they have the as a result, the rest of the filipino to remain behind gain from the. so you're right that this is sort of a weird argument used by most restrictionist who say immigration is bad for poor people in countries when it's not true. >> that turns them into socialism and the united states. >> yes, right in front. >> i'm one of those academics.
and i love the presentation. thank you. i'm a bit uncomfortable with the romantic vision of a simulation and acceptance because we all know that some groups are more so than others. so perhaps you can tell us a little bit about how you're defining a simulation, right? how many times does a third or fourth generation immigrant will ask where are you from? what language do you? >> maybe you can talk about how you're thinking about assimilation. assimilation is based not only on the desire of an individual says molly but also on the desire of the largest society to allow that person to assimilate. >> the first part is i think assimilating, no, our immigrants, spanish, immigrants are assimilating the way in the past. the research is extensive. i looked into this in a lot of detail.
there's many ways to measure it whether it's the use of english or whether it's mingling with the nativeborn population, marriage, whether it's entrepreneurship. that's another way to measure this. the idea is that there's a lot of entrepreneurship that's homegrown, but these hispanics are bringing in notions, you know, the entrepreneurship and that's not true. the rate of self-employment among hispanics almost equals the rate for nativeborn americans, almost 12%. and the number of companies they are then every year is just amazing. and a standing. what does happen is this. which is something i think alex touched on in his comments on the book, which is fascinating. well, the first generation of course is first generation. they're just trying to find a way around. they ar are trying to fit in. they have attachments back home. into deadly should look at the people, as in all the time, mexicans are so tied to their
home country. didn't used to be the case. read some of the letters a time and within back on in the early 20th century. expressing profound nostalgia for back home and wanting to go back. and sending money back home as well. so that's only natural. the second generation moves in n the opposite direction if they are so conscious of this, of being seen by your society is not really fitting in, as being somewhat different. they escape from their roots and they rejected the ridge to an extent. i wouldn't, that's not fair, you know, for everybody. but certainly there's a big percentage of that. and yet by the third generation they feel so secure that mr. kobak to those roots. but in a different way. in a purely sentimental way. they begin to embrace national holidays and those kinds of things simply because they know their so secure and so except by your society that there's no risk in that. actually have cinco de mayo
was born. that never was a big deal in mexico. it's a big deal here. because it's such a big deal here, mexicans back on started thinking this is uncomfortable because mexican immigrants are more patriotic than we are. so now we have to some this is a national holiday as well. now in mexico they're celebrating it. but that was the result not of first generation immigrants, sorting out at second generation immigrants. it was third generation immigrants that they thought it was about time to celebrate. who celebrates single tomato? not just mexican. wherever i go, americans celebrate cinco de mayo just like they suddenly i was holidays and 10 holidays. as alex said this country is not based on a nationstate here is not based on blood. it's based on pre-do. it's not a nationstate but it's a nation of nations. at this date based on credo. i think the reality speaks to the.
>> i think the cinco de mayo example is great. i can't think of a more american holiday than celebrate the defeat of the french army. that's exactly what it is. [laughter] to go into some more, he writes a whole chapter in your about this phenomenon. it's about the immigrants moving towards the mentioned society and it moves towards them. so what i learned was that in this book, everything i like to do on sunday comes from the germans. i'd like to go bowling. i like to go to the shooting rich. that is something the germans did on sunday the truly un-american in the 1870s. people were afraid of because the old puritanical american version of sunday's was used at home and you go to church, he said at home, you read the bible and you basically cloister yourself and don't do anything that's fun. and the germans were like no, when i going to do that. what do we do on sunday? we have picnics and go out and have a good time. that's an example of american society changing and
assimilating party to the immigrants and their culture. but it's pretty clear that the immigrants to most of the changing. >> we'll take a question in the back. >> i. i'm emily collins from the atlas network. my question for you is it seems like there are a couple of institutional things in the government that may need to change in relation to immigration, such as the minimum wage or welfare. because a lot of immigrants, and work under the minimum wage, and also illegal immigrants may take welfare. or if they became legal they might take more welfare. people argue that would also be a social drain on society. so i was wondering if you would speak on whether or not that's been discussed in the house, and
in the senate, or your opinions on that. >> sure your the congressional budget office just came out with a report calculating what the impacts in fiscal terms would be of legalizing 12 million people for the next decade and beyond the beta-2 different calculations. i don't want to get too technical, something called dynamic scoring. exactly what the effects on the economy are going to be and didn't calculate what the fiscal impact of that will be together we're doing it instantly calculate the fiscal impact assume there will be no huge change in the economy. which ever way you look at it, the impact is beneficial. what they do is simply calculate what impact this going to be on the deficit and it's going to be a very positive impact in terms of reducing the deficit. but as i said there are many studies that very respectable studies that indicate the
contribution is very positive. just thinking of one at this point. i mentioned the national research council. there was another one that was a significant at the time. jeffrey did a study of what happened with twin the 1970s and the 1990s. that was a two decade period. he came up with a figure i think very significant, the net contribution was $25 billion. again, when you look at it, always think that the effect of immigration on the economy goes beyond what they themselves produce and consume, and what they themselves pay and what they themselves take out of the system. because the impact of the whole a just society, they make all of society more productive, the entire become more productive. it's almost impossible to get to exactly what it will be but we know it will be positive because if the economy becomes more productive and your producing more goods and services, by definition you're going to bring more revenue to the government.
ultimately if that were not the case though, well, that's a great argument to get rid of the welfare state. i mean, immigrantimmigrant s were not to blame, are not to blame for the fact that government spending has gone up by a factor of 15 in the last century. entebbe second world war they weren't even entitled to relief programs. in the middle of the 1990s we had welfare reform that impacted immigrants as well. so now they are able to use that system only in a very limited way. >> there are very few things dangerous about the welfare state and it changes the perception of people being assets and good for society the liabilities, giving people entirely as cost and to look at this one government, agency look at that and think people who take from their are terrible. we did some research at the cato institute. we hired out a couple of professors, recently of george washington, to do a study about how much welfare for immigrants
use compared to poor nativeborn americans. that's the relevant comparison. apples to apples comparison. for people to poor people at the same level. and what we found was that if poor americans use medicaid at the same rate as for immigrants and to a fair amount of benefits, that program would be 42% smaller. it would be a gargantuan savings. but for some reason people in the look of an immigrant taking a dollar of offer, all of a sudden the damage is magnified beyond all comprehension compared to an american citizen taking the same amount. i favor any rid of the welfare state for everybody. but if we can't do that, let's build a wall around it and try to improve the perception and try to move the recession that immigrants are takers when, in fact, they make far, far more them contribute far more to society than the paltry amount that they taken welfare. >> okay.
we have a question in the front row. >> thank you. my name is ivan. i'm an economist. thank you very much for the presentation, especially the reputation. i couldn't agree more. my question is, in spite of the overwhelming economic and cultural evidence or benefits of immigration for a long period ever across the world, how is it the anti-immigration arguments find such fertile soil at least in certain groups in this country? in relation to the, look at the expense -- i'm sure you have done in the book, can you try any lessons from the way other countries gaza europe or canada, who have dealt with the midst in order to have an immigration policy which makes economic and cultural sense? separate question is, there's one myth where i couldn't really agree with you. you said there's a myth that the immigrants have a lot of children. i think that's a myth that cannot be refuted because they
do have a lot more children but is precisely one of the benefits, you can only -- they will have more children and bring in an influx of younger people to the nation and into the economy and, therefore, that's a plus. >> great points you make. the first answer, i think it has to do with fear. any community that is faced with an influx of newcomers will be afraid. and it will rationalize that there was arguments of the kind we tend to hear because -- usoco all these statistics and historical experts. and yet that the remains. and i think it has to do with fear. that's the stereotypes were born. at the time of the irish immigration come the idea was that all irishmen were drunkards. there may have been one or two but clearly that was
stereotyped. all the time for monsters. there may have been one or two who's on the wrong side of the law but not all were monsters. a few centuries ago, catholics were hated by people who are already here because they saw them as european represses. so today, we have begin the stereotype that has been so different, that hispanics are worse. now we begin to embrace indians because of their contribution to silicon valley for a couple decades ago indians were also the object of stereotypes. i think it has to do with fear. about children, it's definitely coming down. even in europe. there's no question, it's slightly higher than the native rate. in europe it's two children. at here as i said it's a decent -- 60% higher than the native rate but the tendency is coming down. that's also the case in latin
america. and incidentally one more point about the previous question that is connected to this. the average age for immigrants is 27. the average age for americans is 42. again, it's a welfare state is what we care about, that's clearly a plus. that's more years of contribution to the system. and in terms of taking money out of the system, of the transfer system, only 1.2% of immigrants over 65, over 12% off for the u.s. to give those arguments are real, then those fears should be dispelled by the evidence. i think there's fear at the heart of this and it's very, very difficult to describe. >> about the why the rest of civilization society doesn't take up these well-known arguments in fact an economic, i wish that immigration was the only instance of that. there's so many economic notions that have been known for quite a long time that are not taken up
a nation society intellectually, i think we won the debate about free trade. but when you ask the common person, you know, do you think that we should be able to import goods and services from china without any kind of government buries? they say no, it takes american jobs. so i think this notion goes beyond this to the conception that there is a fixed time. i think he will have this ingrained notion that there's a fixed by apple, a fixed by of jobs, a fixed by of x, y and z. having more people come into the country would decrease the amount that is able to us. it's a wrongheaded notion, something we've been fighting against in every sphere of public policy for a long period of time when it has to do with economics. we have a lot of work to deal with immigration especially but in numerous other issues. >> we have time for one more question, if there is one. we will take it right there, please pick. >> i. my name is mike. i'm a retired foreign service
officer with the agency of international development, and i was previously the officer in charge of central american death. as we look at a lot of issues in central america, and basically -- central american desk. the idea that most of the poor people do migration within a region, maybe in central america, but then i read in your prologue the kidnappings in a certain period of time were poor central americans and the mexicans as the effect of the drug wars going on. this is a key issue, because we've got a disease in central america right now for coffee plants called coffee rest. it's going to impact about 3 million workers in central america that work in that sector. they're talking that maybe 40-50% loss of the sector and loss of their employment. if