Ray Keating was one of nearly 1,500 economists who signed a letter to President Trump and congressional leaders saying immigration is good for the U.S. economy.
The letter argues that immigrants have a positive effect on job creation by creating entrepreneurs who hire American workers, they offset the retirement of the Baby Boomer population, they bring in diverse skill sets that help companies grow, and they drive economic growth in job-creating industries like science and technology.
Tucker Carlson debated Keating on Fox News Channel tonight, accusing him of making a "silly" assumption: that all immigrants are the same.
"The value of a software engineer is different than that of a laborer. Henry Ford is different from members of MS-13. It depends upon the kind of immigrants you get," Tucker said. "And I don't think you factor that in to your calculation."
Keating acknowledged that there is cost for immigration and not every immigrant will be an entrepreneur, but he insisted that immigration is a "net economic plus for the country."
"That's one of the few issues that economists actually agree on," Keating said.
Tucker suggested that the U.S. make an effort to import people with existing skills or wealth.
"Why would a post-industrial economy such as ours continue to import people on the basis of family relations and physical proximity?" he asked. "We don't need factory workers or ditch diggers. We need software engineers. Why not just import them?"
Watch more above.