TTU Professor Proposes Alternative to Immigration Ban

LUBBOCK,TX - On the twenty-eighth day of Trump's Presidency, he continues to receive support and push back for his ban on immigration. Regardless of political affiliation, a Texas Tech University Professor told KLBK and Everything Lubbock.com that the ban will impact the entire U.S. net economy in a negative way. 

"It's not like it's free to enforce the border and to enforce these immigration rules," TTU Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics Dr. Armando Lopez-Velasco said. "They aren't free, there's a cost to pay. In the presence of limited resources one has to look at what is the best way, and best economic but also humane way with some many people who are fleeing their home countries because there are no opportunities in those countries."

Although these undocumented immigrants are illegally living in the U.S., Lopez-Velasco said there are other benefits for their participation in the labor force. 

"If you remove one immigrant, nothing is going to happen," Lopez-Velasco said. "But when you remove a large chunk of the labor force you would have a very big impact on businesses because for many of them you don't have an easy substitution. "

Therefore, he said some of those businesses will disappear and thus changing the dynamic of the economy.

"They have high participation rates of labor, they tend to work hard, long hours, and they tend to take given those wages jobs that the typical native doesn't want at those wages," Lopez-Velasco said. "That allows the economy to produce goods that might not be produced otherwise."

He added that the West Texas area might not see as much of an impact as other areas of the state with this ban. However, it's hard to judge on the unrecorded number of undocumented immigrants in each population. 

"The most costly is actually the legal immigrants because they qualify for all of the benefits that these types of immigration don't qualify," Lopez-Velasco said.

He proposes an alternative to Trump's immigration ban that he said gives a more long-term solution. 

It is called the Guest Worker Program that will give a worker permit to an immigrant who is employed in the U.S. for an allotted amount of years. Then the individual will return to their home country, or given the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

"You have a million at a time for a few years and then they go back," Lopez-Velasco said. "You have a different million and then that way also more people have a chance to reap the benefits of working."


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