Economists agree on relatively few topics when it comes to macroeconomics, but we do have some topics that generate something approaching consensus.  One topic of general agreement among economists is immigration.  Most economist are convinced that immigration is good.  Of course, this is in sharp contrast with popular opinion.  So, we need to keep trying to get the word out.

Benjamin Powell has a nice piece on immigration.   In it he addresses the standard arguments against immigration.  I particularly like the following paragraph on the fear that immigrants take jobs away from the native born:

If immigrants really did take jobs, on net, from existing native-born workers without new jobs also being created, the same should be true any time we add more workers to the economy. Is it? Since 1950, there has been massive entry of women, baby boomers, and immigrants into the work force. As Figure 1 shows, the civilian labor force grew from around 60 million workers in 1950 to more than 150 million workers today. Yet there has been no long-term increase in the unemployment rate. In 1950, the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, and in 2007, the year before the current recession started, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. As more people enter the labor force, more people get jobs.

Powell also covers topics such as the effect of immigration on wages, crime, and the impact of immigration on the welfare state.  It’s an easy read, and a worthwhile one.