Suppose you could give American high school dropouts a 1000% raise by exterminating every man, woman, and child in Latin America. Would that be the right thing to do?
No? Why not? Your answer, hopefully, is that murder is wrong, even if it financially benefits low-skilled Americans. In fact, when you put it that way, it's hard not to exclaim, "What's so great about low-skilled Americans? Are they the master race, in whose service any crime is justified?"
OK, suppose you could give American high school dropouts an 8% raise by deporting every man, woman, and child from Latin America back to their home countries. Would that be the right thing to do?
Economists are used to rolling their eyes when people object to better policies on the grounds that some special interest will suffer from the change. It's time to cross the final frontier, and start rolling our eyes when the special interest is low-skilled Americans.
Call me a Non-Bleeding Heart Libertarian, but for once, the shoe doesn't fit. My heart does bleed for people born in poor countries who come here to better their condition with hard work. What about low-skilled Americans? They were born in the U.S. and speak fluent English. Let them count their blessings.