The Blind Men and the Elephant

Populists see every new immigrant as a competitor for scarce jobs. Liberals see him as a potential vote. Conservatives see him as another mouth to feed. Libertarians see him as another mind and another pair of hands. 

In reality, immigrants are all of those things and more. But each of us sees the elephant of immigration, legal and otherwise, through our own filters – the products of our individual experiences. The country needs all the minds and hands it can get. How do we deal with imm…

  1. raycon and lindacon

    The country needs all the minds and hands who will share in building America.  Those whose minds and hands are busy trying to undo those efforts, and those who even resent the very idea of America, we do not need or want.

    The idea of America is incompatible with the reconquista, bringing the Southwest back under the control of Mexico.  America is also incompatible with the principles of Islam, and many other ways of living.  At one time, legal immigration served the purposes of bringing into our fold those who desired, not to be what they left, but to be Americans.

    That is the only immigration which will serve America.  Any of the pieces that some want will only tear us down.

    America IS the elephant in the living room.

  2. DrewInWisconsin

    That’s a pretty romantic view of Libertarians.

  3. John H.

    If immigrants abide by the laws of their new home, then I don’t expect to “see” them at all. I mean they should be either culturally invisible or culturally transparent.

  4. kesbar

    Someone has to pay for the entitlements.  Might as well hand out work visas to the ones already here so they can get to work doing that.

  5. BrentB67

    Enforce existing immigration law and consider increasing the number of  naturalized citizens, it is currently <5%.

    Eliminate all welfare, transfer payments, and tax credit foolishness. Without a social safety hammock we don’t have to worry about anyone lounging in it, immigrant or otherwise.

  6. Lavaux

    Why not just tell immigrants the truth: America is broke and flirting with economic suicide, everyone is in denial about it, and pretty soon there won’t be enough money to go around. Why would you want to put your family through this? Try Canada instead.

    Another idea is to establish free trade zones where federal, state and local labor, immigration, environmental and tax laws do not apply. The free zones will sell annual permits to citizens and non-citizens alike to establish residence for, say, $2,000 per year and apply the revenues to providing minimal public services not including health care, food or education. Residence is required to work or do business in a free zone and disqualifies residents from receiving federal, state or local public benefits or assistance.

    After 10 consecutive years of successful and law abiding residence in a free zone, the US will extend the opportunity to buy American citizenship for, say, $10,000 per person. Non-citizen adults who are convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony or who remain unemployed for over 10 weeks will be deported back to their country of origin.

  7. Richard Fulmer
    DrewInWisconsin: That’s a pretty romantic view of Libertarians.

    What is a more realistic view?

  8. John Walker

    There are immigrants, and then there are immigrants.  It is notoriously difficult to obtain a work permit in most cantons (states) of Switzerland.  (In keeping with federalism, immigration is entirely up to the cantons.)  My own canton, Neuchâtel, was an exception to this rule.  Devastated by the digital watch revolution in the 1970s, this watchmaking centre decided to re-invent itself as a high-tech capital, and aggressively sought foreign companies to establish their European headquarters and product development here.  They offered essentially unlimited work permits to managers and technical staff whose skills were not available in the local economy.

    As one of the chiefs of the Economic Promotion explained to me, “every time we bring in somebody with a skill that didn’t exist here before, we enrich the canton and make it easier to attract other companies to come here”.

    Bringing in unskilled labour or members of an urban underclass, not so much.

    Interestingly, although the Economic Promotion is broadly supported by all major parties, its progenitors were mostly Socialists.

  9. DrewInWisconsin
    Richard Fulmer

    DrewInWisconsin: That’s a pretty romantic view of Libertarians.

    What is a more realistic view? · 13 minutes ago

    Well, no it’s just that you characterize everyone else’s views as fairly negative. But Libertarians’ as positive. Why is that?

  10. Richard Fulmer
    DrewInWisconsin

    Richard Fulmer

    DrewInWisconsin: That’s a pretty romantic view of Libertarians.

    What is a more realistic view?

    Well, no it’s just that you characterize everyone else’s views as fairly negative. But Libertarians’ as positive. Why is that?

    Libertarians are the only political group I know of that support free immigration.

  11. raycon and lindacon

    Libertarians are the utopians of the right.  As adolescent in their political maturity as the progleft.

  12. Tom Lindholtz

    1-Eliminate the possibility of citizenship for immigrants. 2-Eliminate any sort of social safety net (read “hammock”) for immigrants and for minor children of immigrants, including free access to health care. 3-Allow unfettered access to anyone who has a marketable skill. 4-Give a 1-year renewable residence and work permit to any immigrant. 5-Give a permanent residence and work permit to anyone who can provide proof of payment of a minimum of $10,000 federal income taxes for five consecutive years.

  13. BrentB67
    Tom Lindholtz: 1-Eliminate the possibility of citizenship for immigrants. 2-Eliminate any sort of social safety net (read “hammock”) for immigrants and for minor children of immigrants, including free access to health care. 3-Allow unfettered access to anyone who has a marketable skill. 4-Give a 1-year renewable residence and work permit to any immigrant. 5-Give a permanent residence and work permit to anyone who can provide proof of payment of a minimum of $10,000 federal income taxes for five consecutive years. · 0 minutes ago

    1-That seems pretty harsh. We are a nation of immigrants. Should we pull up the drawbridge because we all are here already? If legal immigrants could not become naturalized citizens I wouldn’t be here. Lindholtz doesn’t strike me as a 100% Cherokee name, but neither does Elizabeth Warren so I will assume somewhere in the family tree you are the great grandson of immigrants that became citizens.

    2-Why stop at immigrants? Why do we need this for anyone?

  14. Joker

    It’s not that complicated. People all over the world are on waiting lists. The idea is that we allow immigration in areas that we feel we do not have an adequate supply (nurses, engineers, whatever.) That way we don’t take jobs from Americans and we fill our needs. Not philosophy majors, not unskilled laborers, not on anything approximating a permanent resident for anyone who cannot demonstrate a skill we have in short supply and certainly nobody who wants a handout.

    That our defacto policy has become something stupid doesn’t mean our stated policy wasn’t working.

    We could practically drain Asia and Africa if the whole policy was about who wanted to come here ’cause its better here. It just wouldn’t be America any more.

  15. DrewInWisconsin
    Richard Fulmer

    DrewInWisconsin

    Well, no it’s just that you characterize everyone else’s views as fairly negative. But Libertarians’ as positive. Why is that?

    Libertarians are the only political group I know of that support free immigration.

    What does “free” immigration mean?

  16. Joker
    Free immigration is sorta what we have today, That worked fine before public assistance. In the olden days you had to pay for everything or be be willing to work or at least be grateful for what handouts you could manage. Free imigration would seem not to square with belief in property rights, which I think is a core tennent of the libertarians.  Some explanatoin is is in order.
  17. Jimmy Carter
    Richard Fulmer:  Conservatives see him as another mouth to feed.

     · · 19 minutes ago

    As a Conservative I find that statement rather insulting. I see immigrants as Guests in My Home, and are expected to act accordingly, until They’ve earned Citizenship.

  18. Scott R

    We’ve had immigration waves in the past, but these waves have been followed by generation-long pauses to assimilate the influxes of new Americans.

    Our current wave has lasted quite some time and has led to disruption and division, with insufficient assimilation. So, as before, it’s now time for a pause.

    We can be a “nation of immigrants” without being reckless about it.    

  19. Richard Fulmer
    DrewInWisconsin

    Richard Fulmer

    DrewInWisconsin

    Well, no it’s just that you characterize everyone else’s views as fairly negative. But Libertarians’ as positive. Why is that?

    Libertarians are the only political group I know of that support free immigration.

    What does “free” immigration mean?

    Y’all come.

  20. EThompson

    I recently read that over 27% of federal inmates are illegal aliens. Why aren’t they deported?

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