Immigration

Enviros Shun While Pro-Life Conservatives Embrace Population Control Restrictionists. Go Figure.

Immigration makes the strangest bed fellows

|

Crowded Planet
Jurgen Ziewe | Dreamstime.com

Politics makes strange bedfellows, they say, and on no issue do they get stranger than immigration. American restrictionism (understood as a movement that seeks perennially to restrict immigration as a matter of principle not temporarily for some prudential reason like national security) has historically stood on two pillars: Labor protectionism (with or without a dose of nativism) and population control. Both  have been the province of lefty outfits — the first of unions and the second of enviros. For example, in the 1970s, all the leading environmentalists — such as economist Garrett Hardin, Democratic Sen. Gaylord Nelson, biologist Paul Ehrlich (whose Population Bomb became an overnight sensation) — were also restrictionists. They feared that "mass migration," especially from third world countries with higher fertility rates, would lead to overpopulation and environmental catastrophe in America and the West.

But the strange thing is that lefties are increasingly repudiating both strains and becoming more pro-immigration. However, conservatives are embracing both strains and becoming more anti-immigration.

I note:

Indeed, the right is the sole link to mainstream respectability for three of America's most influential restrictionist groups — FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), CIS (Center for Immigration Studies), and NumbersUSA — all founded by John Tanton, an ophthalmologist who laments that Hitler gave eugenics a bad name…

While FAIR is perhaps the ickiest of the restrictionist trio, they're all quite bad. NumbersUSA president Roy Beck, who Tanton has blessed as his "heir apparent," blames population pressures due to "mass" immigration for practically every economic and environmental ill in America, real or imagined (but mostly imagined)…

And that brings us to the third major restriction group: the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which Tanton spun off when he found himself losing the "battle of ideas." CIS's express charge was to promote restrictionism on more acceptable intellectual grounds. This move paid off when the conservative National Review, a perennial immigration opponent, gave CIS executive director Mark Krikorian (whom I have debated) along with many of his colleagues and researchers — including Jason Richwine, whose dissertation recommending IQ tests for immigrants and musings at white nationalist websites forced him to resign from the Heritage Foundation — a regular blogging platform.

 If this is not strange enough, go here to read the whole thing for even more strangeness.

NEXT: Feds Gave $2.2 Billion Worth of Military Gear to Local Police Departments Since 2006

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. biologist Paul Ehrlich (whose Population Bomb became an overnight sensation)

    Overnight sensation? How did it fare over the longer term?

    1. How dare you piss on the mass graves of those hundreds of millions of dead Indians and Chinese and tell them it’s the glorious rain of agricultural prosperity.

    2. I gave a coworker Ron’s book. She got into an argument with her leftist father over it. I laughed.

    3. Same as global warming. It never materialized, but hey, it’s almost too late now! This time, it’s the last chance! Repent sinners!

  2. Conservatives are often railing against what they see as excesses of the welfare state when they decry immigration. Many would probably be fine with open borders if they knew it was largely drawing law-abiding, self-sufficient migrants.

    Yeah I know there’s the “omg wat about our jerbs” contingent, but I don’t know if that’s really the crux of the opposition.

    1. Don’t discount the brown people ick factor for conservatives, particularly suburban ones. I’ve encountered it more than a few times.

      1. Usually the “ick” factor is more of a fear factor. They’re just afraid that all brown people are like the brown people who live in the slums in their city.

        1. Yikes. Gook luck getting them to admit that.

          1. erm… wrong color?

      2. Yeah, maybe. But I deliberately avoid “reduction to racism” explanations because the very topic of ‘race’ functions as a thought-terminating cliche.

      3. Latinas are attractive. It all balances out.

        1. This generalization does not hold true across the entire population.

          1. I fully support your decision to finally come out of the closet.

            1. Nah, just drop by your local fast food establishment and look in the kitchen. He’s not wrong.

              1. That’s not a representative sample.

                1. But the existance of unattractive Latinas does support my statement.

                  1. It’s almost like not all Latinas are pop stars and telenovela actresses.

                    1. We’re not talking about in your dreams.

        2. Latinas are the most beautiful women. And all around the best. But there are some I see at the local market who really need to buy some shirts that will hide the muffin top. I could get behind someone who sponsors a bill named ‘Hide the Muffin Top – free right size shirts for new latina immigrants’.

          1. That’s the keyword- immigrants. That stuff goes away with a high calcium diet.

            1. Just as long as they can get that stuff on a taco.

    2. And there are no icky brown republicans. They all get Democrat tattooed on their ass at birth I guess, and can’t think for themselves. Not one of them, ever, have looked at a paycheck and said something like ‘holy fuck, these democrats are taxing me to death’, or anything like that. That would be impossible cause they’re not really smart like us white people.

      1. Now you understand why Libertarianism = racism. How dare you expect these subhumans to possess capacities for agency and rational thought. It’s like you have no empathy at all for these creatures and how much it hurts them.

        1. Come on now. We don’t care what color our orphan slaves are! As long as they can polish 16 hours a day, we don’t discriminate!

    3. I don’t agree with open borders and I know that most immigrants come here as law-abiding and self-sufficient. I hear the comparison that like the free market, immigration would be better with less regulation and that just like a business population would vote based on their feet. But the problem is that in order for that to work, Americans would have to be able to leave just as easily as immigrants arrive and that is not the case. As much as it is railed against, the US is still has the most assured freedoms of any nation in the world and there is no where they can go if job wages tank.

      1. So in a theoretical world, it’s a step too far to imagine an American leaving America? Not sure about that, given that there are already plenty of American’s who have done exactly that. With the way American taxes work, this is a net gain for those who renounce their citizenship. How does this compute?

        1. You say plenty but the US has always been a net immigration country. It doesn’t exactly keep records of emigration so it’s hard to judge. My point being that if wages decrease in a state I can move to another state, but if wages decrease in the whole nation it is very difficult for me to move to another country. I sacrifice liberty for economic security, doesn’t sound like a good trade. One of the big complaints about the EU is the open borders, so maybe find an example of making it work first before we start singing it’s praises.

          1. Actually, yes, the U.S. does in fact keep records of emigration. You just apparently haven’t been bothered to keep track. That being said, you’re not wrong about immigration vs. emigration, we do import more than export.

            I would like to know which citation you’re using to determine that the United States is the most free country in the world because last I checked we weren’t.

            1. We are the only one with the rights in our bill of rights guaranteed in our constitution, no other nation has that.

              Care to link to where the US shows it’s emigration numbers, because I’ve searched and couldn’t find it.

    4. Many would probably be fine with open borders if they knew it was largely drawing law-abiding, self-sufficient migrants.

      This is an instance where “lived experience” has an effect. The guy with the Mumbaian doctor for a neighbor probably has a different opinion than the guy with 20 cholos occupying the place down the street from him.

  3. So this John Tanton, a real right wing guy, huh? I did some googling on him and I can’t find any evidence of him being a conservative, republican, or anything else that would identify him as being far right.

    But there must be some proof. So where is it?

    1. Locked away in Dalmiatown.

      1. Along with all the public library copies of “Camp of the Saints.”

      2. You know what else is locked away in Dalmiatown?

    2. My Google Fu says he’s affiliated with the following groups:
      Sierra Club: Left
      National Audubon Society: Left
      Planned Parenthood: Left
      Population Connection: Left
      Center for Immigration Studies: Right
      US English: Right
      NumbersUSA: Right

      My assigning of an organization as being Left or Right is somewhat arbitrary, but it looks like he’s an equal-opportunity anti-immigration activist who works with both left and right where they overlap in opposition to immigration.

  4. Am I the only one here who’s learned to stop reading at a Shikha byline?

    1. Nope. I know what the gist of the article will be without bothering to waste my time.

      1. Nope. I know what the gist of the article will be without bothering to waste my time.

        “Nativist nativist nativist. Kkkonservative restrictionist leftist bedfellows, racism racism. Labor. PM Modi labor, stupid.”

    2. I fully read about 75% of the articles on Reason. Shikha’s I never read, ever. I always read the comments for her articles, though.

  5. It is America’s obligation to be Welfare State to the entire globe. Anything less is immoral.

    1. Don’t forget about paying for everyone else’s defense so that they can build little socialist utopias that we’re supposed to mimic.

  6. Ron, saying people can’t come here is not the same as saying they should die. I don’t want you in my living room. That is not the same thing as saying I wish you were never born or I want you dead.

    1. I mean Shika.

    2. In fact, staying out of John’s living room will probably save your life…

      1. That fat chick really ties the room together, does she not?

        1. It’s getting crowded, and I can’t see the TV.

          1. “Be quiet, I’m watchin’ my stories. And go get mamma’s pryin’ bar.”

    3. Problem is immigration restrictions are you unilaterally deciding you don’t want people in MY living room either.

      1. No its the government enforcing its borders. If you don’t like nation states, fine. But we have one and as long as we do, it has a right to enforce borders.

        But, if the immigrant never leaves your property, I would be okay with that. Though I doubt many immigrants would.

        1. If that’s valid logic, what infringement of liberty can’t be justified?

          “well, that’s just the government doing what it does, if you don’t like it, fine, but as long as we have a government, it’s going to do that. It’s your fault for not living in a shack in the wilds for Montana, completely isolated from all human society”.

          1. That is shrike level stupid. Enforcing borders is in a legitimate function of government. If it isn’t, then there is no such thing as nation state.

            Again, if you don’t like nation state’s fine. But saying nation state’s are legitimate and can enforce their borders is not the same thing as saying governments can violate any rights. Saying it is is fucking retarded. Retarded is a word that is over used, but this is one time where it is appropriate.

            1. I’m not entirely sure that Shreek has ever said anything that stupid.

            2. Enforcing borders is in a legitimate function of government.

              Of course.

              But saying nation state’s are legitimate and can enforce their borders is not the same thing as saying governments can violate any rights.

              Absolutely true. But the positive fact that nation states can enforce their borders offers zero help in the normative question of what immigration law should be.

              It is also absolutely true that legislatures can legitimately pass laws that nation states can enforce: that does not in any way help us determine whether a law that, for example, allows chattel slavery violates any rights or not.

          2. Umm, having a border and enforcing existing immigration laws are not an infringement of liberty. No matter how pro open borders you are, that is just some pure derp right there.

            1. having a border and enforcing existing immigration laws are not an infringement of liberty.

              Of course they are an infringement of liberty — just as having a border and enforcing existing drug laws are or having a border and enforcing 1950s segregation laws are.

              It is perfectly legitimate for the government to have a border and enforce immigration laws. But existing immigration laws represent a massive abrogation of fundamental inalienable rights.

              What is the first principles or founding principles argument that allows the state to infringe without cause the liberty of people born in a different place but does not allow the state to infringe without cause the liberty of people born a different race?

              1. Gotcha, property rights are null and void. Noted.

                1. Exactly. The state has no legitimate authority to nullify your right to allow whomever you want on your property without very very good cause.

                  “The quota of people like this person is filled” is not good cause.

                  1. Such as, say, the requirement that trespassers must be allowed across my property to get to yours?

                    I do like how you provided yourself a get-out-of-jail-free caveat there at the end though, thus establishing the fact that you think they do have a legitimate authority, just not in this particular example for undefined reasons.

                    1. Rights of way are centuries-old common law. They are an essential component of the bundle of rights over a property, without which the property would be much less valuable to its owner.

                      And, yes, I do think the state has legitimate authority to prohibit entry of specific individuals for specific cause in service of the compelling public interest. It’s pretty much the same power the state has within its borders as well to stop terrorists, foreign agents, or carriers of contagion — just enforced conveniently at the border.

                    2. I’ve seen this as an argument around these parts time and time again. Frankly, I don’t think the Bill of Rights applies to, say for instance, Somalia. Not to say that it shouldn’t, but that legally it absolutely does not. So to say that Mexico deserves the same protections under the Constitution is a lot different than actually trying to make that work in practice. (I.E. War unending.)

                      For instance, since that section of the Bill of Rights apparently should be extended to foreign nationals it would also seem to be indicated that Mexico, as well as the rest of the world, owes us a rather substantial amount of back taxes.

                      And before you go on a tirade about how the Bill of Rights doesn’t give us our rights, I triple dog dare you to try and exercise any of those rights in a foreign country like, for instance, Saudi Arabia. Let me know how it works out. Natural rights are just rights that should be not rights that are and that’s true here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. just like everywhere else.

                    3. The US is obligated to secure individual rights within its jurisdiction. It is under no obligation to secure individual rights outside its jurisdiction.

                      But by the most obvious of boundary conditions, a border the US is enforcing is within its jurisdiction and must therefore be enforced concordant with securing inalienable individual rights.

      2. I’m pro immigration, but not pro open borders. Or let me put it this way, I’m not pro open borders + welfare state. So I would say it like this. You can have whoever you want in your living room, but don’t ask me to pay for it.

  7. Shikha virus strikes again. Yawn.

  8. Are you single tonight? A lot of beautiful girls waiting for you to http://goo.gl/pI9ucn
    The best adult dating site!

  9. I will just leave this here

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article…..s-election

  10. You should live in Mexico with your parents is just like wanting you and your whole family dead.

    Much like transgendered are the new battle against apartheid.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.