least $6 billion per year. In presentnvalue terms, the immigrants of the laten1970’s alone are costing us “$110nbillion with a $27.5 billion correspondingnloss in tax revenue.”nBorjas overturns Simon’s entirenequation by reversing Simon’s assertionnthat immigrants are more productiventhan natives. Borjas concludes thatnaverage immigrant earnings neverncatch up with native earnings. Hencenimmigrants will also pay less in taxesnthan natives. Moreover, immigrants onnaverage use more, not less, welfarenthan natives. According to Borjas, thenlonger female-headed immigrantnhouseholds live in the United States,nthe more their welfare usage increases,nuntil after thirty years it exceeds that ofnnatives by 10 percentage points.nWhy did Simon find continuouslynimproving immigrant productivity andnupward mobility whereas Borjas foundnthe opposite? The answer is simple.nSimon’s data are 20 years old and hendid not bother to update them, despitenthe fact that he has read a 1985 studynin which Borjas originally documentednthe decline in immigrant quality. Simonnhas dismissed the study — sayingnthat it would take years to arrive at ansatisfactory understanding of the phenomenon.nBorjas also reverses Simon’s genera­n30/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSnTHE BOTTOM LINEnlization that immigrants make rathernthan take jobs. According to Borjas, andoubling of the number of immigrantsnin the local labor market reduces thennative wage by about 2 percent; a 10npercent increase in the number ofnimmigrants reduces the labor forcenparticipation rate of white natives by . 1npercent and reduces the number ofnweeks worked by .3 percent, not affectingnthe native unemployment rate.nThe major problem with Borjas’nanalysis of labor market effects is that itnfocuses on legal and not illegal immigrants.nSimon has always blurred suchndifferences. In my opinion they shouldnbe treated independently, if only becausenthey have differential labor marketneffects. Legal immigrants are muchnless likely to displace natives than arenillegal alien workers, because it is thenillegals who often provide unfair competitionnfor natives and immigrants bynworking for cash off of the books, eithernpaying no taxes or underpaying taxesnby getting excess deductions for dependentsnliving abroad, and by undercuttingnlegal wage and safety standards.nMy own 1982 and 1985 studies ofndisplacement in the Houston metropolitannarea indicate that for every 100n”illegal” alien workers, 70 legal workersnare displaced or are not able to obtainnemployment.nCharles A. “Chep” Hurth III has given new meaning to “thenbottom line.” While a law student at St. Louis University innSeptember 1987, Hurth made a rather peculiar barroomnadvance on one Maia Brodie, then a law student atnWashington University: he bit her on the backside. His bitenbroke through the skin, left a nasty bmise, and reportedlyncaused Ms. Brodie to miss three days of classes and to seeknmedical treatment.nHurth’s claim that his bite constituted an expression ofnendearment which any woman should have appreciated didnnot wash with Ms. Brodie: she sued him for damages. Shenwon her suit last April and was allowed to take a $27,500n”bite” out of Hurth’s bank account; $25,000 of this amountnwas awarded in the form of punitive damages. As the St.nLouis Sun summarized the case, “He bit hers, so she suednhis.”nnnDespite his somewhat cavalier treatmentnof the illegal alien problem,nBorjas has brought a number of othernimportant insights to current immigrationnpolicy, by far the most important ofnwhich is significant decline in the qualitynof immigrants since the 1950’s andn1960’s, including, of course, the threenmillion immigrants legalized recently bynthe 1986 Immigration and Reform Act.nIt is hard to argue with Borjas’ conclusionnthat these recent immigrant wavesnare placing a much greater burden onnthe American welfare state.nBorjas believes it is imperative, therefore,nfor the United States to raise thenquality of future immigrants. Simon,nsurprisingly enough, agrees with Borjasnon this point. As good neoclassicalneconomists, both Boq’as and Simonnwant to sell scarce U.S. greencards tonthe highest bidder. Borjas realizes, however,nthat-the goal is to bring in highnquality immigrants, and this may beninconsistent with selling to the highestnbidders who, once they are here, maynturn out to be unproduchve. Borjasnrightly admits that any visa allocationnsystem is inherently discriminatory. Forninstance, the 1965 Immigration Actnemphasized family reunification (and itnwas largely responsible for falling immigrantnquality). It discriminated againstnthe educated and skilled who had nonfamily connections here.nWhat I find puzzling, particularlynabout Borjas’ final conclusions, is thatnhe does not seem to recognize thenmajor alternative option — reduce thennumber of low quality immigrants whonare so costly to the United States byncutting immigration quotas below thencurrent 750,000 a year level. Do this bynlimiting family reunification to spousesnand children rather than, as now, inclusionnof parents and brothers and sisters.nThen determine solely by labor-marketncriteria just how many skilled immigrants,nif any, will productively benefitnthe U.S. economy without harming thenmillions of potentially upwardly mobilenAmerican workers currently working atnlow level jobs who would benefit fromntight labor markets. From past experience,nwe know that only when there arenshortages of labor do American employers,ncontractors, and recruiters breaknthrough the barrier of structural unemploymentnto hire and help train minoritynworkers.nn