Who's with us?

My views on immigration are a mess, all over the place.  In my heart of hearts I'd like an open-border policy, but for years now I'd concluded sadly that it doesn't work unless it's combined with a sink-or-swim official policy, softened as necessary by voluntary aid.  The ascendancy of identity politics in the last decade or so has just about finished off my convictions.  At the same time, I'm afraid I'll never quite give my heart to fierce immigration control, either; I've always thought that if people make it here somehow or other and insinuate themselves into their communities with jobs and families such that no one around them is willing to cooperate with immigration authorities to get them deported, then immigration enforcement moves right to the bottom of my priority list, somewhere below enforcement of laws against littering.  (But bear in mind that I'd like to see people drawn and quartered for littering.)

This article from AEI mentions an Australian system I'm not familiar with, which applies a point system taking into account things like high skills.  That sounds practical.  It's contrasted with a much-reviled system of giving preference to low-skilled extended family members, but I find myself hesitating here.  Surely it's a good idea to bring in immigrants who can plug into a healthy institution like an extended family.  One good thing about awarding points for high skills is that the skilled workers would arrive with the freedom to change jobs rather than be shackled to their employers by H1B visa restrictions.  My niece's Irish engineer husband is in that boat--or at least he was, I guess, until he married her.  Now he has an anchor baby, yay!  And an adorable one he is, too.

The main point of the AEI article is that there are immigration arguments that were effective in the Brexit campaign, which we should consider using here:
“Vote Leave to take back control of immigration policy. If we stay there will be more new countries like Turkey joining and you won’t get a vote. Cameron says he wants to ‘pave the road’ from Turkey to here. That’s dangerous. If we leave we can have democratic control and a system like Australia’s. It’s safer to take back control.”


Grim said...

My sense about immigration is that John Wayne and John Ford (both descendants of Irish immigrants) worked out the parameters in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. If you want to move to America, the community should be welcoming and accept you as a full member provided that you show yourself to be doing the very best you can to work hard, give to rather than take from the public good, and assimilate to our culture (as the Swedes did by assiduously studying English and seeking citizenship and then voting responsibly).

If you do that, you are in a sense more American than guys like Liberty Valance, who have the accidents but not the essence. They might have been born here, and even bear a name like "Liberty," but they aren't part of the project -- and eventually, the movie implies, someone has to put them down. That's a separate problem, and one we don't have as ready an answer to as immigration.

Grim said...

That assumes, of course, that they are people who come legally -- obeying our laws is part of assimilating to our culture.

Open borders are dangerous to the survival of culture, and that makes them inherently anti-conservative, but they aren't the free gift the left thinks they are either. Little provokes conservative sentiment in people who wouldn't otherwise be prone to it than watching everything they love swept away by strangers with radically different values.

Anonymous said...

If it were open borders to those with Western cultural values, who come here, work hard, become citizens and contribute to society, I'd be all for it.

Open borders to the Third (or Second) World and to those who wish to be supported (at best) or to actively work against the rest of us for whatever reason? No. no matter if they come from Britain, Sweden, or the People's Republic of I Hate America.

Where do you set the boundaries? I'd start by 1) closing the geographically open border to the south, and making arrangements with Canada to limit in-comers from that direction. 2) End federal benefits for immigrants until they have been here for X number of years. 3) Put in place a minimum resource clause for new immigrants, with certain exceptions for true refugees. 4) Require newcomers to attend classes on English, government, citizenship, a bit like being on probation until they pass the citizenship test and have established a job and a residence. 5)Have the embassies broadcast this to everyone, so people know in advance. 6)Seriously curtain the H1-B visa program and other easily-abused paths to residency.


E Hines said...

I'm all in favor of tightly secured borders: no nation has an obligation to let someone in--or any group of any size--just because they want in. Entry must be with the receiving nation's prior permission.

Within that, though, legal entry should be easy to do. I don't buy months and months of delay to get a visa--the reasons I've seen put forward strike me as more bureaucratic delay because the bureaucrat likes to exercise his authority.

With the illegal aliens already present, my view is that those whose only crime has been to enter illegally, but since arrival have been contributing members of their community--to include assimilating into American culture--have committed a traffic violation level of offense and should pay a traffic violation level of penalty, following which they should go to the back of the line for getting documents legalizing their presence and ability to get work (keeping in mind that, with unnecessary bureaucratic delays got out of the system, the line should be short).

Eric Hines

Ymar Sakar said...

Wipe the Leftist alliance from the face of existence, and immigration wouldn't be an issue. But humans can't quite figure that one out just yet. They're stuck on IQ supremacy and their god emperor euphoric worship at the moment.

douglas said...

"...such that no one around them is willing to cooperate with immigration authorities to get them deported."

Gang bangers often have a very 'supportive' community around them that won't cooperate with immigration or law enforcement authorities. I don't think that's a reliable indicator. It's just as easily an indication of an insular and socially separatist (in practice) community.

"Open borders are dangerous to the survival of culture"
This. x1000. Our culture already has enough attack from within. There has to be control of the borders and there has to be a limit on how many people can come in per time unit. This should be as a percentage of the population of the country. Yes, this means many people may not be able to gain entry who would like to, but that's simply unfortunate but necessary.

I think of the admonition given in first aid training about a rescuer must first be sure they are safe in approaching a scene- it helps no one to become the second victim instead of the first rescuer. Likewise, the greatness of America cannot help anyone if we allow it to be eroded into something else.

Texan99 said...

Douglas, I agree--I was excluding violent criminals from my picture. We'd make huge progress if we just started with deporting those. If we succeed at that and have some time and money left over, we can deport people who have jobs and homes.

douglas said...

But a big part of my point was that someone who came here, worked, saved, got a job- that's all great, but doesn't actually assure you that they are proponents of the American idea. Many (and I mean a very many) are really economic migrants who believe in more socialist ideas than we or rather culturally divergent ideas than we, and while being at least somewhat productive, are still eroding the American idea- at least if we keep letting in so many of them. I'm confident that if we limit the numbers, the American idea can win over their children and/or children's children as it has in the past, and we as a society will be secure. Quantity matters here.

My example about the gangbangers wasn't so much that they were criminals- it's that even they have community support that may prioritize tribe over law- I could have used Muslims just as easily, or for that matter Hungarians.