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Although economists of all stripes agree that the net economic impact of massive immigration of low skilled workers into the United States is positive, large, and widely dispersed, Americans seem to be as strong in their opposition to the practice today as they were a century earlier. However, just as at the turn of the twentieth century, widening and deepening our already extensive division of labor with eager and willing workers will only continue to enrich America economically and culturally.

Nearly 19 million immigrants flooded America ‘s eastern shores between 1900 and 1930, many of whom came with little money and even less education. It was widely believed that such “huddled masses” infiltrating a country of 100 million residents would attenuate the standard of living for the native population, dumb down the schooling of native children, and degrade long-established American communities, service organizations, culture, and traditions. Armageddon did not ensue as real gross domestic product per capita increased by 50 percent during this time and American schools and communities prospered and expanded.

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