We need a meritocratic, ethnically blind system — the opposite of the status quo.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked President Obama’s executive order that overrode existing immigration law. The result is more acrimony and chaos.
It is a good time to remember that there are more than just two types of immigration — legal and illegal. There also exist liberal and illiberal approaches to immigration.
Take liberal immigration. It is governed by laws passed by Congress and signed and executed by the president. Nearly all Americans accept that no individual can pick and choose which federal statute he chooses to obey, depending on his own perceived self-interest.
Liberal immigration would be entirely legal, meritocratic, and ethnically blind. Skills and education would matter more than proximity to the border or political clout.
The numbers of immigrants would be balanced by liberal considerations: the need for skilled newcomers to avoid dependency on American society, and concern that their arrival not harm the economic aspirations of poor working citizens.
Liberal immigration would aim at rapidly integrating and assimilating immigrants in accordance with further classical-liberal principles. America is not a multicultural society where appearance is essential to our characters, but a uniquely multiracial nation bound by common values where race becomes secondary.
In contrast, illiberal immigration would be the opposite of the above.
A president by fiat would nullify existing laws and order federal agencies to ignore them. Or he would issue executive orders contrary to both his prior promises and to the Constitution.
President Obama did not, as he alleges, override Congress because it failed to act on immigration. Instead he ignored it because Congress would not act in a particular fashion that he found ideologically akin to his own beliefs.
Illiberal immigration would also mean that new arrivals could ignore the cost, time, and inconvenience of applying for visas. Instead, they would simply enter the U.S. illegally and not be transparent about their illegal status.
Illiberal immigration would turn policy away from ethnically blind considerations to focus on ethnic criteria.
It would assume that the enforcement of federal immigration law and the making of immigration policy should react to particular ethnic and political lobbying groups.
Illiberal immigration would not concern itself with the impact of arrivals on the host country, especially the costs incurred by the public or the effect on the wages and services of the poor and working classes.
Also, illiberal immigration would seek — both explicitly by political intent and implicitly by sheer numbers — to undermine easy assimilation, in hopes of creating bloc constituencies with group concerns rather than individual concerns.
Illiberal immigration would encourage romance for, not disappointment with, the country left behind. And it would result in demands on, rather than gratitude to, the newly adopted country.
The reason why immigration is now a mess is not because there are no liberal solutions, but because there are so many illiberal stumbling blocks.
Many Americans are willing to allow some sort of exemption to the immigrants residing here illegally. Such an exemption would offer a pathway to permanent legal residency to the majority of immigrants here illegally if some liberal criteria were first applied.
First, close the border to illegal immigration to prevent recurrence of these problems. Texas authorities report that 20,000 foreign nationals have crossed the state’s southern border with Mexico in just the last two months.
Ensure that those who have committed crimes in the United States, or who have no history of work but instead only a record of dependency on entitlements, return to their nations of origin.
Those who have just illegally arrived in cynical anticipation of amnesty should likewise return home to go through the process legally.
Make immigration a meritocratic system that does not take into consideration the particular country of origin or ethnic background of the would-be immigrant.
What is holding up legislative compromise and what drove President Obama’s executive order is illiberal opposition to what most Americans see as a liberal compromise.
The advocates of open borders apparently do not wish an end to easy entry without regard to the law.
They do not wish to deport foreign nationals who have broken U.S. laws, or who have no history of productive employment, or who have just arrived in anticipation of amnesty.
They do not wish to reform legal immigration to a completely meritocratic system that might not necessarily favor the current preponderance of arrivals from Latin America and Mexico — and thus might not enhance the political clout of ethnic operatives.
And they most certainly do not wish to end admission to the U.S. on the basis of cheap labor. To do that would increase the wages and bargaining power of working Americans.
The solution to the immigration mess is not to threaten militancy if a particular political agenda is jeopardized. It is not to slam a federal judge who demands adherence to the law. And it is certainly not to scapegoat a generous host for not agreeing to political demands of guests.
The answer instead is simply to act legally — and liberally.
© 2015 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
7 thoughts on “Our Illiberal Immigration Policy Leads to Chaos”
This is a wonderfully simple and appropriate approach to the immigration problem. The country will need to add a lot of new folks to our economy if we are to grow, but we need those with the proper skills, including farm labor. Our universities are spending large amounts of money to teach graduate students, most of whom are non-US students, and who are not able to stay in this country after they receive their degrees due to our inappropriate immigration system. We need those skills, and we refuse to let them stay in our country. Your approach seems obvious, but no one else seems to be advancing it.
We elect presidents as if we were voting for a slick orator or an actor, then wonder why the country seems to be stumbling along in a very bad grade B movie plot. The symptom is Obama, but the disease is the fact that the electorate voted him into office twice. ‘If you get what you pay for’ is true, what in the hell were all those money people trying to buy?
I really can’t believe that I am still responding to articles like this after 20 years. But so be it…..why doesn’t Prof Hansen just say what he means , lets get the “illegals” out of the country, hint, south of the border , low skilled , ill educated , non contributors to American society, the ultimate in the 47%. I for one am completely in favor of deporting all felons here illegally , more , lets inject them with a chip to track their whereabouts. I really don’t care what La Raza thinks about that . But really who is hiring all of these people? Who is renting and selling them homes, taking their grocery money even their income and sales taxes? Oh , I’m sorry its us….also will someone please tell me what ” securing the border ” means….actually ? Since most border land in Texas is in private hands are we to the the Federal Government to build a 30 foot fence the length of the border? Install Berlin Wall type security? It’s ok if we say yes as long as we are prepared to pay for it and deals with the consequences of Federal overreach and confiscation of private property…
I really want to ” secure the border” tell me what it means….if a presidential candidate would have the balls to tell us what they really would do if they were king, then we would have something….
Why would an African-American president allow slave labor to continue to come into the agricultural plantations of the US by not securing our borders?
So he and his political party could set them free?
Don’t the legal immigrants who have begun to work themselves from poverty toward the middle class find the ascent slowed, stopped, or reversed by illegal immigrants?
Yes, why would an African-American president continue to allow slave labor?
Obama‘s Secret Plan – Immigration Reform “Task Force of New Americans”….
Barack Obama and his administration appear to be social engineering us into a new America.
Obama’s Immigration Reform does not just cover those who receive amnesty, it’s all the immigrants he is transporting from the all over the Middle East-Se, Africa, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Congo, Cuba and so on.
Listen to this shocking and frightening interview:
I can’t believe that in 2015 that our society allows the publication of such a racist scree, NSA I hope you are taking notes. And I quote, “Liberal immigration would be entirely legal, meritocratic, and ethnically blind.” Are you kidding me? Next thing you’ll be calling for is for the government to be ethnically blind toward American citizens.
In short, this column was, sir, and insult to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his immortal words, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character but by the color of their skin.”
In other news, I hear the chocolate ration has been raised from 30 to 20 grams a week…
Dr. Byron Roth in his 2010 book “The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature” states that the debate over immigration policy in the Western world is critically uninformed by the sciences of evolutionary biology and psychology. In his work he examines the intersection between culture, genetics, IQ and society. He states, “Prominent among the fundamental features of human nature is a natural bias toward one’s own kind, making harmony in multi-ethnic societies problematic at best. All historical evidence indicates that “diversity” is not a strength, and that blood is thicker than water. Ignoring such biological realities leads to failed social experiments that may cause great human suffering.”