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Executive Editor of National Review Reihan Salam’s new book Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders may be the most important political book you can read in this or any electoral cycle.
The title itself may be surprising to some, given that Reihan is, after all, the son of first-generation Bengali immigrants. But Reihan’s clear-eyed and first-hand view of the subject matter couldn’t be more timely or trenchant. This is especially true in an era when a cultural rift over the questions of immigration and trade threaten to split the Conservative coalition asunder. The policy prescriptions contained herein offer the opportunity to unite the center-right coalition and secure the nation’s future for a generation.
What then are Reihan’s objections and what are his proposals? In brief, Salam makes note of the statistical reality that not all immigrants are created equal. Much like everybody else in our nation and indeed, on our planet, there is a distribution of talent, aptitude, and drive among immigrants as well, and that we as a nation have both the right and responsibility to select those whom we would invite to come here. He notes that we would be better off selecting those immigrants whose impact upon our society is nearly guaranteed to have a net positive impact, rather than the ad hoc approach we’ve allowed to persist for years.