Immigration

Gary Becker's Unlibertarian Immigration Policy Would Be an Improvement on the Status Quo

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Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde/wikimedia

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker died over the weekend. Becker wrote on a range of topics, but one of my first introductions to his work was his 2010 Institute of Economic Affairs Hayek Memorial Lecture on immigration. The lecture, which can be viewed here, was also written up as a monograph, which can be read here. In the lecture Becker argued that "governments should sell the right to immigrate" and that anyone other than the very sick, criminals, or potential terrorists who pays the migration fee should be let in. 

In his introduction to the monograph Philip Booth, the IEA's editorial and program director, writes that, "Gary S. Becker is not a libertarian when it comes to migration." Indeed, Becker preempts objections from libertarians who favor comparatively very liberal immigration policies such as those seen in the U.S. in the nineteenth century:

Some of my libertarian friends – with whom I have a lot of sympathy in most areas of policy – have said to me that we should just go back to US policy in the nineteenth century and allow unlimited immigration. Look at all the great value we have obtained from immigrants, they argue. I am second to no one in believing that immigrants have been a huge source of value for most countries, and certainly for the USA. My wife is an immigrant, my parents were immigrants and there's hardly an American, if you go back only a few generations, where you do not find immigrant ancestors. But the world is very different now from the way it was at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.

Becker goes on:

…the welfare state makes it very unattractive to go back to the immigration policies that the USA had in the late nineteenth century.

Becker's concern about the effect increased immigration would have on the welfare state is widespread. However, as the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh and economist Zachary Gochenour argued in a Cato Institute paper, this concern is misplaced:

…historically, immigrants and their descendants have not increased the size of individual welfare benefits or welfare budgets and are unlikely to do so going forward. The amount of welfare benefits is unaffected by the foreign origin or diversity of the population.

Since 1970, no pattern can be seen between the size of benefits a family of three gets under welfare programs like Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) and the level of immigration or ethnic and racial diversity.

And:

There is no relationship between the relative size of the immigrant population, diversity and the amount of economic freedom in the United States. The percent of the national population that is immigrant, Hispanic, Asian or any combination is also not associated with more or fewer burdensome government regulations and higher or lower tax rates.

Although Becker's reasons for not supporting an open immigration policy may be based on a misplaced concern regarding the welfare state, his proposals would be a vast improvement on America's current disastrous immigration policy.

Becker's proposals would raise revenue for the U.S. and could lead to opponents of immigration becoming more open to immigration:

Let us suppose that a price of $50,000 would attract one million immigrants. That price would yield $50 billion a year in revenue. since the USA has a big government deficit, $50 billion annually will not eliminate this deficit but it is a significant sum. At a 5 per cent interest rate it has a present value of roughly $1 trillion. With this revenue the opponents of immigration might decide that maybe immigration is not such a bad idea.

Becker quite rightly did not want his policy to exclude poor immigrants who would not be able to pay the $50,000 fee, and argued that something similar to a student loan system could be implemented in order to allow poor people to migrate to the U.S. 

Read more from Reason on immigration here

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  1. anyone other than the very sick, criminals, or potential terrorists who pays the migration fee should be let in.

    Emphasis added.

    So, *nobody* should be let in?

    1. You’re confused. It’s only white male libertarians who are labeled as potential terrorists. Everyone else is labeled as potential Democrat voters.

  2. ?the welfare state makes it very unattractive to go back to the immigration policies that the USA had in the late nineteenth century.

    Yep.

    1. The fact unlimited immigration would make the welfare state unsustainable seems like an argument FOR unlimited immigration to me.

      1. If you think it being unsustainable would end it, sure. More likely is that it being unsustainable would result in the government just printing money they don’t have and we would all end up poor.

        1. Didn’t happen in Canada or Sweden.

          1. Neither Canada nor Sweden has an open immigration policy, nor share a border with a relatively impoverished country, nor attract as many immigrants as the United States, nor have a large a social welfare system, nor have as large as debt and deficit problem. The fact that Sweden’s entire population is about that of New York City should have been your first clue that their immigration policy is slightly different.

      2. We don’t need any immigrants to accomplish that, we’re going to make it happen on our own. Plus, most immigrants have strong work ethics and will probably choose to work hard over getting welfare.

        1. They may come here with strong work ethics but they and most certainly their children won’t have that anymore after the progs get their fangs into them.

          1. but they and most certainly their children won’t have that anymore after the progs get their fangs into them

            I can’t dispute that, once the progs have their fangs in, you turn into a non-thinking cog in the machine. Your only mission is believe and vote Democrat.

          2. But by that logic the worst should be the long time natives whose children have long been there for the prog brainwashing, not immigrants.

            1. And it is. Immigrants generally have better work ethics than poor natives, but that advantage disappears in a generation or two.

            2. This is why one reason why some companies like to hire illegals. Because they will work their asses off at jobs, which most Americans refuse to do.

              Sure, your average American citizen will do your landscaping, if they can do a lousy fucking job and get $40 an hour, which they think they deserve because they have a degree in feminist studies.

            3. I’m a bit more optimistic. Sure, lots of people are lazy and entitled. Lots also work hard, even Americans. Even Democrats!

              I think that the observation that in a few generations the descendants of some immigrants will act like some Americans do is not much of an argument against immigration. I really don’t give a shit whether the undeserving welfare recipient is an immigrant or not. It does the same harm either way.

      3. It’s unsustainable right now. We’re blowing up our economy to support it. Don’t see anyone seriously trying to stop the welfare state, despite that.

      4. Yeah, the horse went lame so let’s shoot him and he’ll be better after his resurrection.

        1. No lets allow new horsies to immigrate here.

      5. That’s what I like about libertarians – on the one hand we should have open borders to eliminate the welfare state, on the other hand we need “marriage equality” because we know the welfare state ain’t going nowhere. It’s sure nice to have such a flexible set of assumptions.

        1. I don’t think that is really why most libertarians favor open (or more open) borders. It’s more a response to the people who want to restrict immigration because some of htem might get welfare some day. The libertarian argument for open borders is based on property rights, not some silly consequentialist argument.

          1. Zeus knows we – and the progressives -don’t want to think about consequences when we formulate our principles.

            1. Sorry, I’m not a politician, I’m not playing that game. Just because my rights are being violated by a bloated welfare state, that doesn’t mean that a whole bunch of other rights should be violated because of some vague notion that immigrants aren’t bringing more value than they consume.

  3. If only the two sides in policy debates were libertarians vs. moderates with a strong economics background. That would be nice. Turns out the thing we do have in common is how little influence we have on politics.

  4. I have always liked Becker’s idea. The problem is that our tax policies have become so criminal and punitive and the Obama economy so bad, I seriously doubt there are one million people total let alone one million people a year willing to pay $50,000 for the privilege of having the IRS hound t hem for the rest of their lives.

  5. there’s hardly an American, if you go back only a few generations, where you do not find immigrant ancestors.

    Im one of those few. Not many of the 19th century immigrants made it to south central KY for some reason. As far as I can tell, Im entirely descended from colonists and natives.

    Not that that has any affect on my views on immigration.

    1. ya me too mostly. Some potato famine Irish in there somewhere. But they are the well documented “newcomers” in my blood line.

  6. I’m not convinced that unlimited immigration would not affect welfare negatively, but there is an argument to made -as CATO does- that it would not. There are other arguments that say it would.

    What I’ve always believed is that we should try the wider gates/taller fences mentality, wherein there would be no cap on immigration provided immigrants come in through the front door. Obviously this would require revamping a variety of issues revolving around the fance and the gate itself, but it seems like a happy medium between the desire to prevent welfare expansion due to immigration vs. the desire to allow immigrants their chance to make it in the USA.

  7. I seriously doubt there are one million people total let alone one million people a year willing to pay $50,000 for the privilege of having the IRS hound t hem for the rest of their lives.

    You would be surprised at how many foreigners think that the USA is still some sort of shining bastion of economic freedom compared to the rest of the world.

    Everyone here is super rich, and there is absolutely no corruption of any kind. People actually believe that shit. A LOT of people actually believe that shit. They will only stop believing it once they have handed over their 50k and spend some time here.

    1. So Becker’s immigration policy would amount to “there is a sucker born every minute”.

      1. Still better than current policy.

        1. Sure. But I still am doubtful there are that many people wanting to do it.

      2. High taxes might be preferable to some over the violence and complete theft of wealth represented by some countries.

        Canada basically did this for refugees from Hong Kong before it reverted to China. Made a far bit of money over the old system of guys flying in pregnant wives to give birth to anchor babies in Vancouver.

        1. Yeah, for all it’s faults, the US is still a hell of a lot better than most 3rd world shitholes as far as corruption and abuse goes. And taxes for individuals are still a lot lower than in many other rich countries.

      3. I think that is what it basically boils down to. That and more government greed. Our government will take that 50k, and no matter if the population of the entire world ponied up their 50k and moved here, our government will make that money disappear in the blink of an eye.

        There is no amount of ‘revenue’ that will solve our problems. The only solution is ‘No, fuck you, cut spending’, and shrink the size of government down to a tiny fraction of what it is now.

        1. Rather than give it to the government, I would rather just require them to just spend it on something in the US.

          1. There was some legislation proposed by someone a while back, that would have allowed green cards for anyone who would invest a certain amount in the USA, either through purchasing real estate or business investment, or something like that.

            Pass that, and in a couple of months, the population of Miami will be twice that of Sao Paulo.

            1. Would work for me.

              1. As soon as our government finds out that people who can afford that are not the almost automatic Democrat vote that poor Mexican immigrants are supposed to be, they’ll repeal the bill, having already blown all the money.

            2. St Kitts and Nevis does that for citizenship.

              IIRC, its $400k in real estate inventment for citizenship for your entire family.

            3. The EB-5 visa program is what you’re thinking of, and it already exists. Surprisingly, the response to the program was less than initially projected due to the amount of red tape (everybody find your shocked faces).

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EB-5_visa

    2. “The streets are paved with Bitcoins!”

    3. “Everyone here is super rich, and there is absolutely no corruption of any kind. People actually believe that shit.”

      Compared to a lot of other countries, this is undeniably true. Mexican migrant workers come here for the picking season because of these very reasons.

      1. The corruption here is on track to pass up most other countries in a few years, and we will all be poor because the government will not stop spending until the economy is trashed.

        So while it might be true now, it won’t be for long, if not for some miraculous turn around.

        1. You think? There are a lot of places in the world where you have to pay bribes or have connections to get anything done at all. I don’t see that in the US. I probably don’t spend enough time in cities, though.

    4. You would be surprised at how many foreigners think that the USA is still some sort of shining bastion of economic freedom compared to the rest of the world.

      Well yeah that’s because it is.

      1. 10th or 12th best. Hooray for American exceptionalism.

  8. Either a cover charge or indentured servitude.

  9. How about selling the right to remain in the USA? Pay up or we ship you to Kosovo or Liberia, whichever is more culturally appropriate. We’re not monsters, after all.

    1. The way things are going, Kosovo might not look to bad in a year or two.

    2. 10K a year ought to do. Make that the minimum income tax everyone must pay. And the maximum.

      1. You just summoned the Tony.

  10. Yes, lets stick new immigrants with 50k in unbankruptable debt, thats a real good idea.

    1. Even if they required a cash payment, it would still be considerably better than what we have now. How much does it cost to legally immigrate? It can’t be much less than that.

      1. They already do require a cash payment. It’s called a visa fee.

        From a quick scan of the tables, you can see the amount is calculated by how much the government believes they can get away screwing you with. You’re the VP of a foreign corporation with a branch office in the US (or a foreign VP of an American corporation needing to visit the HQ)? You better pay your 2,750 bucks. Foreign student studying in America, who plans on a ramen noodle diet for the next 4 years? 160 bucks for the same damn thing.

        1. Yep. If anyone thinks they are getting a green card for free, they are in for a big surprise. It’s going to be around 2k or more before you are done, and that’s if you don’t use a lawyer. Use a lawyer and it will be at least 5-6k.

      2. I think 10 or 12 years ago you could become a permanent resident of Costa Rica if you loaned them $50k for 5-10 years at 2-3%. For full franchise and citizenship it was, like $300k on the same terms. Not to mention that the price would do wonders for fixing the H1-B problem. Is it worth $50k to bring some guy in from somewhere else rather than paying americans? Cool. Go for it. Sponsor all you want, but you can’t violate at-will employment, so figure out what the optimum salary is to minimize your loss on the sunk cost of citizenship.

        1. IIRC,

          St Kitts and Nevis (as I mentioned) and Dominica are the only countries left that sell citizenship.

  11. What other fundamental rights should we restrict in the name of the idea that letting the freedom be exercised will ultimately undermine freedom?

    Will we say we can not legalize drugs because we have a massive welfare state that will end up taking care of addicts and their children?

    Will we say that we can not allow people to drive without wearing seatbelts or bike without helmets, or smoke or eat fatty foods because we have government laws that make everyone foot the bill for taking care of those that more likely need treatment as a result?

    Will we say we must restrict campaign finance because we have this massive state-industrial complex wherein big donors become big cronies fat on government contracts?

    1. Will we say we must restrict campaign finance because we have this massive state-industrial complex wherein big donors become big cronies fat on government contracts?

      It’s not the fault of any campaign finance laws that the same corruptocrats keep getting elected. There is all the information available, online, about every candidate who runs for office.

      The problem is that the majority of voters are retarded.

    2. Yeah, one tricky thing about respecting rights is that you also have to respect the rights of people who disagree with you about respecting rights.

      1. It’s the paradox of principled libertarianism that will forever prevent it from holding political power. In the same way that anarchy only lasts as long as it takes for somebody to consolidate enough guns to kill everybody else, libertarianism or classical liberalism only lasts as long as it takes for its enemies to vote it out of existence.

  12. However, as the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh and economist Zachary Gochenour argued in a Cato Institute paper, this concern is misplaced:

    ?historically, immigrants and their descendants have not increased the size of individual welfare benefits or welfare budgets and are unlikely to do so going forward.

    This is fallacious, because (a) unlimited immigration occurred before the welfare state, and (b) after the welfare state, you can’t be a legal immigrant unless you are rich and have a job. IOW, there is no way to study what the impact on the welfare state would be with unlimited immigration.

    I find it absurd to assume that if we just opened the borders entirely, that there wouldn’t be a flood of people coming here for the welfare benefits. Best case scenario would probably be that we don’t allow immigrants to get welfare, and replicate the current immigration enforcement bureacracy as a welfare fraud bureacracy.

    1. Should be “unless you are rich or have a job.”

    2. Best case scenario would probably be that we don’t allow immigrants to get welfare

      We don’t. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 prohibits immigrants from receiving benefits like TANF, Medicaid, foodstamps, and SSI, though they’re still expected to pay taxes to fund those programs.

      1. And I’m sure that The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 is as successful in keeping immigrants off the welfare state as the rest of the immigration laws are at keeping illegals out of the country.

        1. When you have the spare time, you might want to give this report from the Urban Institute a read. Skip down to page 15, and draw your own conclusions.

          1. Expecting the nativist to read evidence…lol

            1. Says the guy I’ve corrected 3 times about the Cato study you pretended to read.

      2. True but children born in the US to non-citizens are eligible for these benefits. So – have a kid collect welfare. That’s how it’s done.

        1. Well, they are citizens. What are you going to do?

          1. “Ignore them!” – Cato

          2. Change the law so citizen children’s welfare eligibility is based entirely on their parents’ eligibility.

        2. True but children born in the US to non-citizens are eligible for these benefits. So – have a kid collect welfare. That’s how it’s done.

          Not only that, but programs like Medicaid and SNAP are federally funded but administered at the state level, and some states have specific laws prohibiting them from asking about immigration status. Completely coincidentally, those states sometimes have large immigrant populations.

          And that leaves out completely, of course, state-level benefits.

          The income demographic of Reason is such that most of them, having never seen a brown person that wasn’t mowing their grass, and having never seen a welfare queen outside the DMV, don’t have any idea that TANF isn’t this country’s only welfare program.

      3. Her Obamacare plan costs her $.27 (27 CENTS!) a month. She has been in the country 3 years and knows 2 words of English.

        http://articles.philly.com/201…..ients-plan

        I’ll also add that with 2 kids, there is no way that family is paying enough in taxes to even put in a dent in what their public schooling is costing, not to mention all the other “benefits” they are receiving.

    3. c)net tax contribution/consumption (not “welfare” use) is the proper measure.

      1. Yes, that too. If nothing else, the IRS should start giving tax ID numbers to illegal immigrants again. Then they don’t use other people’s SSNs and they pay taxes and don’t get the benefits or refunds. Making employers enforce immigration laws has been a terrible thing.

        1. Besides, on that metric, immigrants do very well. I refer you to page 6 of this report issued by the Brookings Institute.

          1. Sure, if we assume the current demographics of immigrants persists with open borders, and we ignore state budgets, and hope the bastards die* shortly after working age, then open borders will be a boon to the federal coffers**.

            *Thankfully, according to that graph, immigrants don’t live past 75.

            ** a thing I don’t actually care about.

            1. *Thankfully, according to that graph, immigrants don’t live past 75.

              The average American life expectancy is 77.6. Labeling the x-axis only to 75 is not a big sin.

              1. The life expectancy of 75-year-olds is 85 or so.

            2. Sure, if we assume the current demographics of immigrants persists with open borders

              I point this out every time that canard is trotted out.

              So gee, you mean under our current legal immigration system where 90% of the recipients of visas have to have employer sponsorship and are already wealthier than the median American and are also prohibited from collecting welfare directly, immigrants tend not to use much welfare and pay a lot in taxes? Well I’ll be damned.

    4. Really? All immigrants are rich? That sounds a bit rich to me.

      1. “Rich or have a job” was the corrected version. Which does cover most legal immigrants I think. There are a few other possibilities like coming on a student visa then getting married or otherwise getting permanent residency, but I don’t think there are as many of those.

  13. Becker wrote on a range of topics, but one of my first introductions to his work was his 2010 Institute of Economic Affairs Hayek Memorial Lecture on immigration.

    peak Reason

  14. Was this the guy on The Independents not so long ago who proposed a market-based solution for immigration (bidding for visas), that Kennedy yelled at/over*?

    *I guess that’s ‘most people’, but… still.

    1. I don’t see why such a concept is thought as so off-the-wall; many countries already to this

  15. How is this kind of contrived, restriction filled immigration policy any more ‘market based’ than the ACA is in relation to health care and insurance?

    1. Bo, the ACA is not ‘market based’ in that it uses all sorts of mandates, regulations, penalties, fines, requirements, stipulations, restrictions, guidelines, bans, etc. to create a ‘top down mandated product’ sold at a ‘non-demand-based price’.

      e.g. = most people are ‘paying’ for things like Maternity care, Substance Abuse, etc. even though they specifically don’t want these things. Their option to forego them, however, has been taken away. This is not a proper ‘market’

      by making Visas – currently made available in *limited #s annually* – available to the highest bidders, you determine the real value of those Visas. No requirement/restriction is set on what country of immigration, male or female, age, qualifications, their intention for needing the visa, etc. Simply letting demand freely determine the price.

      This is how a market works, Bo. I hope this answers your question.

      1. Note =

        there could of course be changes made to the number of visas allowed. That is something the country has been loath to do. The argument for allowing a market-based access to visas would show the real-demand for them and potentially force the Govt into creating greater liquidity in the market for them.

        it would also reverse the current system, which currently is net-loss to the government coffers, and make it a source of net revenue.

      2. Bo is not very smart. You could spend your time in better ways.

  16. Becker quite rightly did not want his policy to exclude poor immigrants who would not be able to pay the $50,000 fee, and argued that something similar to a student loan system could be implemented in order to allow poor people to migrate to the U.S.

    So just kick out all the American citizens who can’t pay $10,000 per year in income taxes, and it will all balance out.

    1. Why not just sponsorship? Why would the government have to administer the program? Churches could save up money to bring in a deserving couple, NGOs could fundraise, companies could pay the sponsorships, microlenders could bid on contracts, etc. There are literally hundreds of ways to fund someone’s current activities based on expected return of the money over time. My only rule is: if you sponsor someone who declares bankruptcy or otherwise chooses not to pay, you’re fucked. Consequences to risk are necessary to effective risk evaluation.

      1. My only rule is: if you sponsor someone who declares bankruptcy or otherwise chooses not to pay, you’re fucked

        The Affidavit of Support is already a thing.

        1. Yes. You have to be at some level above the poverty level to sponsor someone, and you are liable for them until they have a full ten years of income here.

          NEVER sponsor anyone for immigration who you do not already know very, very well.

          I sponsored my wife only after knowing her for 3 years, and having lived with her for at least half of that time. Also, knowing that she doesn’t need my money, and that if anything happened between us, she would simply return to her home country, was a big factor in me feeling comfortable doing it.

          A lot of guys get royally screwed over sponsoring fiancees they have never met, or met once or twice. And then they do it again. I knew one guy who had sponsored 3 wives and all of them left him within a year of getting their green card.

          1. I knew one guy who had sponsored 3 wives and all of them left him within a year of getting their green card.

            Yeesh…

        2. “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.”
          …Proverbs 11:15

  17. A few ways to immigrate here. Have a company here to sponsor you for a H visa. Have a spouse or fiancee sponsor you. Or be a student.

    Being an employee or a student is not a permanent situation and the rules that go along with that are byzantine.

    You can sponsor a relative, but it will take so long that either you or the person you are sponsoring may be dead before it happens, if it ever does.

    People come here illegally, because they can’t come any other way, and they come out of desperation to earn money to support themselves and their families.

    I don’t know what the solution to immigration is, but the one thing I am sure of, is that if government passes any ‘reform’, they will make it worse and more unfair, and they will cram any bill full of cronyism and who knows what other array of pure bullshit.

    1. Why should I have to get someone else’s “sponsorship” to exercise my rights? Would we agree to that for anything else? You can own a gun, but only if a local gun club “sponsors” you to own one? You can start a business, but only if the local chamber of commerce “sponsors” your business license? You can donate to a political cause, but only if the League of Women Voters “sponsors” your viewpoint?

      1. Why should I have to get someone else’s “sponsorship” to exercise my rights?

        I’m not sure where you got the automatic right to immigrate to a sovereign country?

        Can you explain that first?

        I’m pro immigration, but I still don’t get where your starting point is for this one.

        1. Who are you to interfere with someone peacably going about their business, just because you’d decided being born on the other side of an imaginary line gives you the right to boss them around?

        2. If you buy* the land, you have the right to live on it.

          *Ditto for renting

          What more of a starting point do you need?

          By what right can a sovereign nation keep someone from their own lands, short of due process for criminal acts?

          1. Which is actually my view: the burden of proof should be on the government to demonstrate why someone needs to be kept out of the country, not on the individual to demonstrate why they should be let in.

          2. That seems to be begging the question “Can a sovereign restrict foreigners from buying land or renting?”

  18. $50 billion annually will not eliminate this deficit but it is a significant sum

    Imagine all the make-work projects that can pay for. Suddenly, every politician in America is clamoring for more immigrants.

    1. And what will our government do with $50 billion? Create more unaccountable bureaucracies and call it a jobs program. You could give this government 50 trillion and they will spend every fucking penny of it. No amount of money will fix the problem.

  19. The amount of welfare benefits is unaffected by the foreign origin or diversity of the population.

    Absolutely (at least in the samples we have now; we don’t really have a dataset for unlimited, strings-free immigration and welfare, do we?)

    But isn’t the issue at hand from an economic (rather than social-conservative) position that the size of the population will increase dramatically?

    If X people makes for NX welfare spending, even granted that N doesn’t vary by the composition of X, a bigger X means the product NX is bigger.

    (Hell, it’d do it if N decreased slightly rather than remaining flat.)

    Utterly open-door immigration that adds e.g. 10% a year to the nation’s population will bust the benefits budget, then, under that same math – and the better the benefits the more immigration you should get, as you get immigrants not for – as we mostly have now with both legal and illegal ones – work opportunities, but simply to receive benefits.

    (This is naturally at that point more an argument about a thought experiment than about the actual concrete issue of US immigration policy. But thought experiments are good for philosophy.)

    1. But isnt it about ratios not actual numbers?

      If X people make for NX welfare benefits and MX tax receipts, then the (N-M) shortfall per person will be the same.

  20. ?the welfare state makes it very unattractive to go back to the immigration policies that the USA had in the late nineteenth century.

    The welfare state is just a symptom of the larger problem.

    While we had open immigration, there was a broad societal consensus in favor of liberty for immigrants to assimilate to. That culture gets smaller all the time, and importing immigrants from cultures that don’t value liberty will only hasten the collapse.

    It’s not just that they’ll go on welfare, it’s that they’ll likely vote for more government and less freedom. For most places in the world, that’s the world view. Changing zip codes doesn’t entail a brain transplant.

  21. The percent of the national population that is immigrant, Hispanic, Asian or any combination is also not associated with more or fewer burdensome government regulations and higher or lower tax rates.

    Perhaps a better way to make that statement would be to say that no direct causation could be found, since there is a very strong correlation with the increasing size of both the hispanic and asian populations in America and ever-higher amounts of burdensome regulation, if for no other reason than post hoc ergo propter hoc. Since the amount of burdensome regulation hasn’t actually declined in at least, what, 3 generations? You could draw a correlation between butterfly migration patterns and increasing regulation if you wanted to. Sloppy wording, meaningless conclusion.

  22. Auctioning off visas in this the era of “fairness” as the supreme value probably wouldn’t go over too well.

  23. How about a return to the immigration policy that said, “Show us what you can do for America?”, rather than, “What can America do for you?”

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