“New York City attack: Who is Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov?” (CBS News) says that the man who killed 8 people in New York City was an immigrant from Uzbekistan and arrived in the U.S. in 2010.
Plainly, at least from native-born Americans’ point of view, Mr. Saipov’s immigration did not work out as hoped and will likely punch a multi-billion dollar hole in the U.S. economy. There will be direct losses from deaths and injuries in the attack itself, costs of treating, prosecuting, and imprisoning Mr. Saipov, costs of providing welfare to his wife and two children (Mr. Saipov won’t be earning a lot in prison), etc. There will be indirect losses due to extra security measures that cities will put in place to try to prevent a repeat jihad.
Perhaps it is too soon to look at the dollars and cents, but how was Mr. Saipov’s immigration supposed to benefit native-born Americans in the best case? The CIA says that Uzbekistan has a per-capita GDP of roughly $6,600 per person, #159 out of 230 countries (ranking). Mr. Saipov was 29 years old and worked as a truck/Uber driver, a job that is expected to disappear within his working lifetime. He had two children and a wife with no reported job. The U.S. has an average per-capita GDP of $57,400 per person per year. So Mr. Saipov would have had to earn $229,600 per year in order to make the U.S. wealthier on a per-capita basis. Maybe somehow existing Americans can become better off if the population grows, but the GDP per-person shrinks? A Mr. Saipov will truck their goods around at a low price. But how can that make them better off overall given our traffic gridlock and skyrocketing housing prices? Mr. Saipov, his wife, and their children have to live somewhere and also get around.
There is more to life than having spending power, avoiding traffic jams, and being able to afford a house, right? So perhaps Mr. Saipov, in an ideal world, could have made the U.S. better even if he had made it poorer per capita and more crowded. But how? By introducing neighbors to Uzbek cuisine? By persuading neighbors to give up their sinful secular and/or infidel ways and live an Uzbek/Islamic lifestyle? What?
See also “From Truck Driver to Uber Driver to Terror Attack Suspect” (nytimes); “New York Terror Suspect Entered U.S. Under Visa Program Trump Wants to End” (Newsweek); and “Trump Blames New York Terrorist Attack on Schumer and Immigration Policies” (nytimes).
- How much would an immigrant have to earn to defray the cost of added infrastructure?
- Tsarnaev case: more evidence that we think we are smarter than Russians
- Vetting immigrants for terrorism potential
- Death Penalty for Tsarnaev?
- Orlando shooting was in the 51st year of our immigration experiment
- Obama’s speech about San Bernardino