In recent days, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have played to “the Hispanic vote,” each offering plans on how to deal with illegal immigration. Largely unsaid is how their ideas would affect jobs and create economic growth.

Immigration is closely linked to the economy, especially when the jobless rate is 8.2 percent. Many employers, for example, cut costs by hiring illegal migrants at below minimum wage. Some high-tech industries are short of skilled workers that they could find overseas.