Friends or Strangers: The Impactnof Immigrants on the U.S.nEconomynby George J. BorjasnNew York: Basic Books;n274 pp., $22.95nThe Economic Consequences ofnImmigrationnby Julian L. SimonnCambridge: Basil Blackwell;n402 pp., $59.95nThe publication of a Julian Simonnbook is a cause for rejoicingnamong advocates of laissez-faire andnopen-border immigration. According tonDr. Simon, who teaches business administrationnat the University of Marylandnand is an adjunct scholar at thenHeritage Foundation and the Cato Institute,nall immigrants and refugees, nonmatter how many or in what form, arengood news for the American economy.nHis latest opus will not disappoint hisnfollowers, but it adds little of any substancento the real-world immigrationnpolicy debate.nThe much smaller volume by Universitynof California economist GeorgenBorjas is a valuable contribution to thendebate on immigration — it is a penetrating,nscholarly work incorporatingnstate-of-the-art economic research andnis very accessible to the noneconomist.nIn contrast to Simon’s replay of thensame old message, that the UnitednStates “needs” many more immigrants,nBorjas finds that recent immigrants arenmuch more likely to live below thenpoverty line, to be unskilled and unemployed,nand to go on welfare. Borjasnconcludes that the United States mustndramatically upgrade the quality of im-nDonald Huddle is a professor ofneconomics at Rice University.n28/CHRONICLESnOPINIONSnGive Us Your Huddled Massesnby Donald Huddlen”Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me.nmigrants if we are to avoid the very largencosts of the past fifteen to twenty years.nI begin with Simon’s notions becausenthey are both oversimplified and extreme.nThose aspects of Simonism thatnare not contradicted by Simon himselfnare contradicted, for the most part, bynBorjas later on.nSimon claims substantial scientificndocumentation to support his controversialnthesis: increased immigration ofnat least one million a year is a “foolproof”nway for the U.S. to advancenevery major national goal and ensurenour economic success. Some of Simon’snkey contentions are that immigrants:n— work harder, save more, and arennn— Emma Lazarusnmore innovative than are natives;n— do not displace native workers,nnot even unskilled minority workers;n— actually create new jobs on netnbalance by increasing the purchasingnpower of goods and services and bynstarting new businesses;n— use few welfare services and morenthan pay for those they do use in taxes;n— are typically as well-educated occupationallynas natives: upon arrivalnimmigrants earn less than natives, butnwithin five years they catch up with andnthen earn more than native workers.nTo Simon the popular belief—documentednin opinion polls — that immigrantsnare harmful to the U.S. economynis the result of misinformation from thenmedia. According to Simon, “culturalnhomogeneity” is just the contemporaryncode word for racist opposition to immigration.nThose who differ with him areneither badly informed or have a hiddennspecial-interest political agenda.nSimon claims to be the first economistnto “quantify” the costs and benefitsnof immigration because he has broughtntogether a scientific approach and ansolid economic-statistical basis for determiningnthe social loss from keeping outnnonwhite foreigners. The reader will benappalled to find that his analysis consistsnlargely of pseudoscientific method,noverstatement, hyperbole, and contradiction.nWhat then are Simon’s so-callednscientific and economic stahstical basesnthat “prove” that immigrants, legal andnillegal, bring untold economic benefitsnto American shores? The best way tonillustrate Simon’s methods and proofs isnto offer several typical quotes from hisnwork:nImmigrants have a highnpropensity to start their ownnbusinesses; this seems obvious tonthe casual observer. Forn