Downstairs at CVS earlier this afternoon, I caught sight of a magazine I’d never seen before: Cosmopolitan for Latinas.
It’s a great example of the kind of economic benefits of immigration that restrictionist studies tend to ignore. The American economy is mostly composed of people making things and doing things for other people. More people means more customers. And a person living in Arizona is a better customer for a U.S.-based producer than a person living in Guatemala for two reasons. One is that it’s easier to sell things to more proximate customers. The other is that by moving to Arizona, the person can raise her income and thus become someone capable of buying more stuff. What’s more, a larger universe of customers isn’t just one that’s quantitatively bigger. It’s also qualitatively different. It’s more specialized. And because it’s more specialized, it can be addressed in a more targeted, efficient way. The economy becomes not just larger, but more productive.
And if unauthorized migrants can obtain legal status and raise their incomes, that makes them even better customers.