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Saturday, July 03, 2010

More on Immigration

I'm sick of all the pro-immigration articles showing how good immigrants can be for us. It's not that the arguments are wrong. They're just not terribly relevant to the essential issue -- the freedom of people to move without permission, unmolested by governments or private individuals. Emphasizing how good immigration is for us implies that later if we change our minds about this we might restrict or end immigration.

The facts indeed show that immigrants tend not to commit real crimes to their numbers and that they're not net tax consumers but, again, that is a secondary point at best. The possibility that a Pennsylvanian might commit a crime (or terrorism) in New Jersey wouldn't justify preventing Pennsylvanians from moving to New Jersey. If someone commits a crime, that's the time to act against that person. If immigrants use tax-funded services, that's no worse and no better than citizens using them. Let's get rid of tax-funded services -- taxation, actually -- not migration. I don't understand some people's priorities.

It's also bad strategy to get defensive about assimilation. True, every charge thrown at Mexican immigrants about their alleged unwillingness to assimilate was said about the Irish, Poles, Germans, Jews, Asians, and so on. There are built-in incentives to learn English. But our focus should be on individual rights. If people want to come here, keep themselves, maintain their cultures, and speak their original language -- it's their right to do so. They no under obligation to accommodate us.


Anthony said...

Totally. So you've addressed the major issues rationally. Then some other pragmatic argument is presented by the other side and you expertly address it or at least poke big holes in the premise.

Then the other side just points out you are some kind of anarchist and thus ignores your whole argument. Thanks for playing. Sheez.

dL said...

Restricted Immigration is not a Libertarian Position


Anonymous said...

I realize I have stumbled across this post rather belatedly but feel the need to respond anyways. The main weakness in your approach is you're arguing from abstraction, evaluating issues according to abstract principles. I would take you more seriously if you were to analyze this as it's actually occuring, from a pragmatic/consequentialist perspective.

You base your take on "individual rights" but it most be noted that these do not exist objectively as do laws of nature; rather, they are human constructs relative to individual cultures. Specifically, the "right to immigrate" is unique to Western liberalism, and would be considered laughable in many non-Western cultures. You insist that your countrymen approach this issue from the perspective of the well being of immigrants, and denounce them for not doing so; but this is naive and unrealistic. Human beings naturally evaluate issues from the perspective of their and their local peer group's well being, with that of the Other as a secondary consideration. This is both understandable and rational, and for people to think otherwise would in fact be dangerous.
If indeed third world immigration is revealed as a threat to the self interest of American citizens, for them to restrict it could not be criticized from a moral perspective.

You insist that the welfare state be abolished rather than border controls, citing an inversion of priorities as to why this has not occured. But the fact remains that the American state, and the welfare state, will remain intact for the foreseeable future, meaning illegals will continue to benefit from it. You protest this is no different than citizens doing so, but you are incorrect. As illegals incomes are untaxed, they pay but a fraction of the taxes that citizens do, meaning Americans pay for significantly more of the welfare state than illegals. This amounts to a parasitic relationship.

As stated earlier, this issue needs to be analyzed according to its consequences. The Left, for all its usual "anti-corporate" bluster, remains oblivious to Big Capital's support for open borders, even though the connection is obvious: the influx of low cost labour has the result of depressing worker's wages and increasing profits, striking a blow against worker's advancement and furthering the Brazilianization of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party pushes for open borders to help secure a reliable constiuency for themselves, and continued electoral success. Political leaders in the Third World are eager to dispose of their underclasses, and academic multiculturalists, also benefit.
Inform me how exactly the lot of the average American is increased by any of this.