Will Open Borders Help or Hurt America? Shikha Dalmia Debates Reihan Salam at AEI this Evening


More than 11 million immigrants are living without authorization in the United States. US high-tech companies say

Border Kids

they could expand and innovate more if America increased high-skilled immigration, and low-wage employers are desperate for more low-skilled labor from overseas.

These are the problems comprehensive immigration reform aims to solve. But the proposed solutions have their own problems. Would a reform bill hurt working-class Americans? Should new immigrants have access to government benefits? Does President Obama have authority to act unilaterally on any of these issues?

Come to AEI for a lively debate on immigration reform, featuring Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation and Reihan Salam of National Review at 6 p.m. this evening. Or watch it live streamed.

Go here for more information.


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  1. Cue the Dalmia haters in three….two….one….

    1. I HATE HER!

    2. I have nothing against Dalmia, just her stances on border controls.

  2. We might look at the fact that we have a very large percentage of employable people not working and then we’re going to import millions more that are not necessarily going to be employed and some of them also wind up on the government dole.

    This issue is the expanding welfare state, not necessarily immigration. But it looks like we’ve really opened the floodgates to allow in all the 3rd world poor, so I guess we’ll see how this grand experiment goes.

    1. I’m in Brussels right now, and I’m seeing what it’ll look like a few years down the road, so to speak. Honestly, since immigration in and of itself is not nor ever will be the problem, it’s dishonest really to even include it in any discussion of fiscal woes due to welfare state overreach.
      If anything, immigration abates the problem. It’s no one’s birthright to cradle-to-grave state sponsored welfare, so I don’t discriminate against foreigners because they are included in the pronoun ‘no one’.

      1. I’ve been told that Europe is superior to the USA in every aspect, especially the well being and standard of living of the people, due to the wonders of socialism. I’m sure that you are witnessing this right now and can’t wait to tell us of these wonders?

      2. You mean the wonder of Brussels where people have to remove their stereos from their car if they park longer than five minutes. Park your car at Midi Station over the weekend and then tell me about the wonders of Moroccan immigration.

        1. Nothing jester said implied a positive impression of Brussels. The same goes for Hyperion’s comment.

  3. Should new immigrants have access to government benefits?

    NO. Most of the people that are getting government benefits already shouldn’t have access to them. They are supposed to be a safety net, not a way of life.

  4. Look, it all boils down to someone telling me who I am and who I am not allowed to hire based on an accident of geography. I should be able to hire whomever I want without 3rd party intervention. I should be able to sell my home and property to whomever I please without having to ask for permission first.

    Borders and immigration law makes this impossible or illegal- criminalizing what should be a basic voluntary transaction.

    1. I only wish it were that simple. But it’s not. The real issue we face as citizens of this country is that the government has apparently decided that there are not enough poor people to redistribute our wealth to, so they want to import half of the 3rd world to finish the job.

      1. That’s BS. It IS that simple. If there are laws that prevent me from hiring who I want based on where they were born those laws are bad laws and need to go.

        1. It’s BS that I don’t want more redistribution of my money?

          1. No, it’s BS that it’s not that simple.

            1. Because it’s not. Once upon a time it was. People came to the United States with a dream, and worked hard to achieve it. All was good. Now we have a government with a war on the middle class and a progressive redistribution mindset. So, sorry, it’s not that simple any longer.

        2. Yeah, if it were as simple as just hiring the person you want, I’d have a lot less trouble with unrestricted immigration.

          But that person probably has a wife who just cost Medicaid U$40,000 when she delivered a kid.

          And that kids is going to cost U$12,000/yr (on average) for 13 years of schooling.

          You can say we should get rid of the welfare state, but until we actually do, importing a bunch of low-skilled, low IQ third worlders is just going to make things worse.

      2. Would you rather we ‘import’ nobody and turn into Japan?

        1. I’d rather we reduced the welfare state, not increase it. I’m pro-immigration, you are arguing with the wrong person.

          1. You’re using the vocabulary of someone who is against immigration, so I just assumed.

            1. Yeah right, I’m married to an immigrant and most of my friends are immigrants. My wife and I have helped illegal immigrants, gave them money and other stuff and invited them into our home.

              I’m a real immigrant hating bastard.

              I’m against more welfare state, not immigration. I don’t know how I can say it any more plainly than that.

              What do I need to do, go to a La Raza rally to prove that I don’t hate immigrants?

              1. Maybe stop using loaded terms like ‘import’.

                1. import

                  Is that a racist word now? What else can I write, I don’t have the right.

                  1. As I see it, import implies someone is intentionally controlling the movement.

                    An importer of exotic goods, for example, is specifically directing their movement from a foreign country into this one.

                    In principle, immigration happens organically. People move in and out of places based upon various factors and the decision is ultimately at their own individual discretion.

                    Unfortunately, with the President’s recent actions on this issue, I think the term “import” has become depressingly apt.

                    1. Unfortunately, with the President’s recent actions on this issue, I think the term “import” has become depressingly apt.

                      This is why I am using the word. It’s one thing when people just come and sneak across the border. It’s quite another thing when you have an administration in government that is actively encouraging it.

                    2. We’re spending billions to facilitate illegal immigration.

                      So, yes, I think “import” is a perfectly good term to use.

          2. you’re letting the perfect get in the way of the good. It’s like saying the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, so you don’t state sanctioned gay marriage.

            It’s a canard.

            1. That’s not what that expression means at all. In reality your demands for the “perfect” open borders is leading to an increasing segment of people to want to abandon the “good”, a shockingly liberal immigration policy for a nation of 350 million. What Hyperion is doing is insisting that libertarians due the heavy lifting of reforming welfare state before they get their goodies.

              1. no- in reality the perfect of doing away with the welfare state is restricting who I hire an sell my private property to.

            2. It’s like saying the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all

              I do say that.

              1. That’s fine- but it shouldn’t stop one from supporting acceptance of same sex marriage currently under the system that exist.

                1. So, if I oppose something in principal, I should support its expansion?

        2. How do we turn into Japan?

          1. I think there is a relation between Japan’s anti-immigration stance and their decades-long economic stagnation. For starters, a declining ratio of young to old people.

            1. Where is Japan going to put anymore people? The demographics of Japan are so different than ours in every way, that I don’t see any real comparison.

              1. Well, they’re losing people every year now – it shouldn’t be hard to find room for some newcomers.

          2. Flood the borders, massively restrict immigration, treat the descendants of Korean immigrants with Japanese nationality as not Japanese at all, call everyone from outside the country gaijin?

            1. Koreans are the most prejudice people I have ever seen. Even my Korean friends openly admit to this.

              1. I think racism is pretty equally high among all the C-J-K peoples, which is to be expected in relatively “closed” societies.

              2. Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of blatant prejudice in Korean society as well (with North Korea’s ethnic policy being the most extreme example). But the Japanese are pretty bad too, and it’s mostly in a casual “man, Koreans are so stupid and lazy” way.

      3. Immigrants in the US actually help prop up the safety net more than they drain it, because while they still pay in to the system, because they are younger than the general population on average and often off the books, they don’t take as much in benefits. In short, everything you believe about this problem is untrue.

        1. No it’s been demonstrated to you time and again why this is wrong. Illegals are not machines. They produce these things called children which then have to be educated, fed, and kept healthy by the welfare state.

  5. So, are they voting on this new porkfest before or after the GOP takes control of the congress next year?

    New Pork Fest, Same as the Old Pork Fest

  6. These are the problems comprehensive immigration reform aims to solve.

    Not really.

    “Comprehensive” immigration reform is the enemy of immigration reform. It is an excuse to smuggle in politically opportunistic legislation — e.g., more border patrol spending, padding voter rolls — rather than a solution for the core problem, namely, making immigration legal.

    1. Yep, there is no way congress passes any legislation these days that does not contain a ton of pork and will make immigration process even worse at the same time.

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