NEW YORK – Seal the border. Round up all the illegal immigrants and send them back to their home countries. Start a whole new agency to handle only invited guest workers. Would that open up more jobs for American citizens? This is one of the key questions being posed as the US considers the economics of illegal immigration – with no easy solutions to the challenges in sight. As Congress debates a new immigration bill, some economists believe any restrictions are likely to be disruptive to a variety of industries, from construction to hospitality to agriculture. At the very least, restrictions could add to employers’ costs as they scramble to attract new workers with higher wages. But new regulations might also be good for those without much education or marketable skills: Business might be forced to train them. And those in lower wage brackets might see their wages rise as they face less competition for jobs. ‘Do undocumented workers take away jobs from Americans?’ asks Anthony Chan, chief economist at JPMorgan Private Client Services in Columbus, Ohio. ‘My best guess is that they take some jobs away. Some Americans are willing to work at those jobs […]

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