The response to Donald Trump's ban on Muslim immigrants has been reassuring. Millions of people have acted in various ways to express their opposition to this blatant act of bigotry. But as part of this story, we are being told that immigrants everywhere and always benefit all workers.
Far be it from me to criticize this great wisdom, which we can find in this Wonkblog post by Christopher Ingraham. So let's pretend that the people making this assertion have a shred of integrity. How about getting rid of the restrictions that make it extremely difficult for foreign doctors and dentists to practice in the United States?
Currently, foreign doctors are banned from practicing unless they complete a U.S. residency program. Foreign dentists are prohibiting from practicing in the United States unless they graduate a U.S. dental school. (We have allowed graduates of Canadian schools since 2011.) As a result of these protectionist measures our doctors earn on average more than twice as much as doctors in other wealthy countries, netting more than $250,000 a year. Our dentists also get paid twice as much, averaging close to $200,000 a year. This protectionism costs us close to $100 billion a year in higher health care costs.
So we all agree that protectionism is bad and that we want more immigrants, so how about it? Will we tear down the walls barring qualified doctors and dentists, or are all of our open border types not really sincere?