Housing prices across the United States have increased dramatically in recent years, essentially pricing many Americans out of their dream of home ownership.
Although there are many economic factors that have contributed to the trend, one issue impacting the scarcity of available housing is the influx of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Even the left-leaning New York magazine acknowledged this fact, though writer Eric Levitz proposed a solution that is unlikely to satisfy the many Americans pursuing the goal of purchasing a single-family dwelling.
Levitz wrote that the nation’s border crisis is “bad for housing prices,” explaining that “immigrants drive higher demand” in the housing sector.
“People need homes,” he argued, stopping far short of calling for any meaningful immigration reform or enhanced border security measures.
Instead, Levitz concluded that the optimal solution would be to transform communities currently zoned for single-family residences into neighborhoods packed with cramped apartment complexes.
“In a world of restrictive zoning and housing scarcity, the nationalist right’s anti-immigrant narrative attains a modicum of plausibility: If the supply of housing units is largely fixed, then allowing immigrants to enter your city will reduce the housing security of the native-born,” he wrote.
Levitz nevertheless expressed a desire to continue the current strategy of “large-scale immigration” and redefine the nation’s housing market in the process.
“When housing construction fails to match population growth, massive immigration imposes burdens on ordinary people,” he added. “As recent events in New York make clear, that will create political difficulties in even the most cosmopolitan of areas.”
Of course, his underlying point — unchecked immigration raises housing prices for U.S. citizens — is one that has long been made by those on the right. But conservative politicians and pundits generally believe the best response to the situation is to clamp down on illegal border crossings.
Illegal immigration is theft, plain and simple. It steals wages from American workers, and drives up the cost of housing and food for our families. Many in the GOP establishment who howl about illegal immigration in public defend cheap labor in private. https://t.co/PJrZwyj2DR
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) May 10, 2023
Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) renewed his call for immigration reform and cited rising housing prices as a central factor.
“Think of the effects that this has on working Americans’ wages to have 10 million more people who shouldn’t be here competing for jobs,” he said. “Think about what this does for housing prices, when you have to house 10 million people that shouldn’t be here, that drives up the costs of housing when interest rates are already through the roof. This is economic warfare and theft of the American dream from American citizens, that is the big problem here and that’s why we have to keep fighting it,” he continued.