Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The U.S. Should Welcome More Investor Immigrants

Immigration reform shouldn't be limited to reducing programs considered undesirable. It should also include expanding programs that are a proven success.

Yury Shirokov/Dreamstime.comYury Shirokov/Dreamstime.comThere's a deep political divide over how to handle immigration, and clashes over the issue have contributed to two government shutdowns—albeit one lasting mere hours—thus far this year. Battles relating to illegal immigration, including the question of border security and the status of so-called "dreamers"—those brought into the United States illegally as children—are receiving the most attention. But the fight over the legal immigration system could also prove to have a significant impact on the U.S. economy.

President Donald Trump has called for an end to the diversity lottery program, which offers visas to those from nations that have relatively few immigrants in the United States. He also wants to end the heavy use of family-based visa programs.

The diversity lottery program isn't especially popular, and the bipartisan Gang of Eight agreement passed by the Senate in 2013 would have ended the program. However, legal immigration reform shouldn't be limited to reducing programs considered undesirable. It should also include expanding programs that are more narrowly focused on benefiting the U.S. economy.

Among them are employment-based, or EB, visas, which Congress currently caps at 140,000 annually. This number hasn't been adjusted since 1990, even though the economy has doubled in size since then. Moreover, the least available of these visas, EB-5 (capped at 10,000), should be the least controversial, even in light of today's anti-immigrant zeitgeist.

The EB-5 visa program allows people from abroad who invest in certain U.S. businesses to obtain lawful permanent status, a precursor to citizenship. For qualification, the program requires an investment of $1 million in a new commercial enterprise or $500,000 if directed to "targeted employment areas," typically rural areas or those with high unemployment.

Since 2008, EB-5 immigrants have invested over $20 billion in the U.S. economy, and projects associated with their investments have created over 174,000 jobs, according to Department of Commerce research. Increasing the attractiveness of foreign investment in the United States was one of the top goals of tax reform, so expanding the EB-5 program would build on the economic success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

EB-5 visa demand has increased dramatically in recent years. The program brought in over $5 billion in 2017 alone. Making more EB-5 visas available would mean more merit-based immigration of the type President Trump seems to prefer, assuming that financial success is one means through which to measure such merit, while also bringing more crucial investment into the United States.

This shouldn't be a problem. As the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh explained to me, Congress intended for all of the employment-based green cards to go to workers and investors and for green cards for their family members not to count against the numerical cap. However, every administration since the early 1990s has counted these family members against the cap—essentially halving the number of employment-based green cards annually. As a result, he says, "65 percent of those who earned EB-5 green cards in 2016 were the family members of the investors. At a minimum, the family members of the investors should be exempt from the cap, just like all family members should be exempt from the numerical cap in the employment-based green card categories."

According to the president, immigrants using family-based visas, which account for most visa applicants, aren't sufficiently educated or trained to be of any use to the U.S. economy. Setting aside whether that's the ideal lens through which to judge the value of immigration, he underestimates the economic value of even low-skilled immigration. These immigrants are often the people who allow higher-skilled Americans to go to work and move up the economic ladder. They care for American children, mow American lawns, help expand middle-class Americans' businesses and do so without consuming much when it comes to the government programs that drive our longer-term debt. That's merit, if you ask me.

If immigration reform is going to reduce family-based visa programs because they're not sufficiently merit-based, then it should similarly expand those that clearly are. The great news is, as Nowrasteh noted, "we could triple the annual number of EB-5 investor green cards tomorrow just by interpreting the statute correctly." Along with correctly implementing the law, doubling the availability of EB-5 visas to 20,000 per year would also increase the foreign direct investment such visas bring.

Photo Credit: Yury Shirokov/Dreamstime.com

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.

  • Joirep||

    Youre so pathetic Reason, you let the altright trolls beat you up on undocumented immigrants then you say "Ok ok can we let wealthy immigrants in then?". Pathetic but its what happens when you allow the altright trolls to shout out your pro immigrant opinions. Maybe if you address these trolls instead pf denying they exist you might get them to leave. Oh wait theyre the majority of your traffic so you cant afford that.

  • colorblindkid||

    You think Reason commentators and alt-right readers of this website are a significant source of their funding? That is insane.

  • Tony||

    I'm flattered when Ron Bailey responds to me personally on a science article, but he outright ignores the overwhelming majority of people here who actively disagree with him on basic scientific facts. Maybe they don't feel there's any point in engaging with rightwing idiots. But he's right, they are the majority here, and you can almost not blame them for being gun-shy on taking positions that might upset followers of the FOX News orthodoxy, though they do so frequently enough.

    May Reason continue to elevate and educate--and maybe one day self-described libertarians will understand the contradiction in believing in maximum individual freedom and having the federal government forcibly displace millions of people. Someday.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    When a "libertarian" says they want to maximize individual freedom, most of them mean specifically their freedom and only their freedom. They're happy to violently impress anyone who's not them or an immediate family member.

    This is why slight tax increases are considered a crime against humanity, but armed thugs dragging minorities out of their homes in the middle of the night is actively rooted for.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Stormy Dragon,

    This is why slight tax increases are considered a crime against humanity, but armed thugs dragging minorities out of their homes in the middle of the night is actively rooted for.


    I don't call them libertarians, S. I am a libertarian. Aggression is WRONG, in my book.

    Those you're alluding to are Trumpistas.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "My willingness to destroy America *proves* I'm a True Libertarian"

  • Juice||

    armed thugs dragging minorities out of their homes in the middle of the night is actively rooted for.

    Yeah, that's libertarians for you. Always rooting for the cops and against minorities.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Juice,

    Yeah, that's libertarians for you. Always rooting for the cops and against minorities.


    He's describing Trumpistas - the scum of the earth.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There are many neighborhoods, where vigilantes try to forcibly remove people. Riots are a prime example of this, but they're not as effective as they used to be. The LA riots targeted asian-americans, and the Crown Heights riots targeted Jews. Then we had quiet for about three decades.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Come to think of it, the no platform movement has a reputation for trying to forcibly keep people out of a jurisdiction. Remember Berkeley?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Reason is happy to let the commenters represent libertarianism to their readers, so they must have some reason to believe their target audience approves of the comments.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I suspect Reason considers its published work to represent libertarianism to its readers.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Immigration reform shouldn't be limited to reducing programs considered undesirable."

    Damn right!

    It should reduce *all* immigration.

  • Jerryskids||

    Well, not *all* immigration - obviously some immigrants are necessary to work at golf course resorts in the Miami Beach area.

  • Libertymike||

    What about the ones closer to Palm Beach area golf courses?

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    So no mention of how riddled with fraud the EB-5 program is?

  • Rhywun||

    Oh great, another immigration post.

  • Chupacabra||

    Immigration is the new abortion.

  • Rhywun||

    Distraction from real issues that matter? Check.
    Everyone talks past each other? Check.
    Loaded words and phrases, emotional appeals? Check.

    You're right!

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I think immigration is a real issue that matters a lot to immigrants. Oh right, they're not real people. AND DON'T ANYONE DARE CALL "LIBERTARIANS" RACIST!

  • ||

    AND DON'T ANYONE DARE CALL "LIBERTARIANS" RACIST!

    Is 'immigrant' a race?

  • Rhywun||

    Thank you for making my point.

  • Kivlor||

    Good God Stormy, even I wouldn't say immigrants aren't people. And I'm by far the most right-wing anti-immigrant commenter on Reason.

    This is why you're losing the argument. You can't even address your detractors, you can only do your own pathetic version of that MacLean gal's "Libertarians are Autistic and Autistic people are all sociopaths so all Libertarians are sociopaths therefore Libertarians are wrong and I'm right".

  • buybuydandavis||

    Foreigners are not American citizens, and hence their welfare is not in the purview of the federal government.

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to ... secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"

    The Constitution: by Americans, for Americans and their posterity

  • Libertymike||

    Any chance this thread will be north of 300 posts like yesterday's thread?

  • ||

    Immigration is the new abortion.

    If you disregard borders or whimsically conflate them with vaginas, it's kinda the same old issue.

  • ||

    We're going to build a beautiful new vag... er... wall on the southern border!

    If women would just admit that the line at their vagina is an imaginary social construct and just let more people in, this rape 'epidemic' would solve itself.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    If women close the border and stop letting people out of their vaginas, we won't all drown from the rising sea levels caused by population growth via global warming. In short, we must wall off our nation's vaginas so we don't all drown.

  • buybuydandavis||

    No means No!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    First they got rid of the fetuses on the grounds that we don't have enough room, then they started looking at the immigrants. This is the problem with social engineering. Socialism always results in groups being targeted.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    When the president is an anti-immigrant white nationalist, his xenophobic agenda must be denounced as loudly and as often as possible.

  • Bubba Jones||

    All his favorite wives are immigrants who don't count as "historically white."

  • Bubba Jones||

    Hmm. I also seem to recall from his book that many of his real estate developments catered to immigrants. Especially his casinos.

  • Kivlor||

    This is where you're best OBL. Keep it short. Don't try to get off in the weeds. I only wish you weren't a troll, because you would be dropping red pills on immigration for my side faster than Ray Rice dropped his fiance in that elevator.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Stop bringing up issues that make it obvious how much of a fraud "libertarianism" is!

  • Bubba Jones||

    "There's a deep political divide over how to handle immigration"

    She left out the "illegal" part.

    And then she gives an example where we agree on legal immigration reform.

    And then she praises Employer-based visas that are known to be abused by companies. Immigrants become indentured servants under threat of deportation.

    Finally she wanders off into a class of visa that my rich Mexican neighbors use to get visas. They buy a rental house or two and voila, my clever lawyer friend gets them a visa.

    I am beginning to think that immigration is not VdR's area of expertise. But thank God it wan't a SD article.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    She left out the "illegal" part because, as your own rant about legal immigration reveals, the "illegal" part is just a fig leaf. You hate all immigration.

  • ||

    Plenty of us rather overtly hang that hate on the welfare state rather than immigration. Plenty of others don't disagree with immigration from a wide variety of stripes but get painted as haters by the full-retard open-borders zealots who haunt these parts like their political ideology could or would ever make it into policy even under the most favorable of political environments.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    [...] but get painted as haters by the full-retard open-borders zealots who haunt these parts[...]


    The only rational explanation left as to why you would not accept a border open to the free flow of goods, of services, of capital and, yes, of labor, is that you have a deep-seated hatred for foreigners. None of the reasons to limit immigration, be it "Oh, welfare!" or "Them Immigruntz Takum Er Jebz!" are logical, or substantiated. If welfare benefits were such a problem, you would see it in Welfare enrollment numbers; however, immigrants who are NOT permanent residents are BARRED from applying for welfare benefits and legal residents can only apply after 5 years of residency. Unless you want to tell me that you're an ignorant fool who doesn't know how the laws in your own country work, then I have to conclude that bigotry drives your dislike for immigrants.

    The same goes with the claim that immigrants drive down wages - that's just an unsubstantiated belief, based on economic illiteracy. Labor is productive; it's not a mere consumer good. Employees are not competing each other to sell their wares (their labor) only; employers themselves are also pushing for more labor and also fighting dis-utility of labor. That means labor increases do not have the same supply/demand changes you see with goods. And again, unless you want to admit that you're an economic ignoramus, then there's no other possible explanation except bigotry.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Public Schools. EMTLA. Free-lunch program.

    Asylees and Refugees do not have to wait 5-years. They are eligible for benefits from day 1.

    The US-born kids of legal/illegal immigrants are eligible for all benefits.

    Households headed my immigrants use public benefits at a rate higher than households headed by native-born citizens.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: MiloMindbinder,

    Public Schools.


    People have had their kids kidnapped by the State for not sending them to school, M. Some "benefit"! Besides that, anyone who is housed pays or contributes to schools, whether they like it or not, including undocumented immigrants.

    EMTLA


    That's not a "benefit", just a mandate. You are still required to pay the hospital.

    If you want to conflate things that are not comparable to each other, go ahead, but then don't complain when people point out your prevarications.

    The US-born kids of legal/illegal immigrants are eligible for all benefits.


    And? Being "eligible" does not mean "they're surely taking them". Immigrants themselves are NOT eligible at all. And again, immigrants pay taxes and FUTA/FICA, SS and Medicare, even if they're using false paperwork.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Milominderbinder,

    Households headed my immigrants use public benefits at a rate higher than households headed by native-born citizens.


    That's a LIE.

    The CIS plays fast and loose with statistics by over-representing immigrants by lumping them with American Citizens while at the same time under-representing the native-born, using that "household" tactic. Their methodology was severely debunked by CATO and others, precisely for their dishonest massaging of numbers.

  • ||

    precisely for their dishonest massaging of numbers

    Without a way to definitively distinguish one group from the other by say, drawing lines or pouring over documents, it's all dishonest massaging of numbers. This is the position you're unequivocally and at all corners advocating for.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    Without a way to definitively distinguish one group from the other by say, drawing lines or pouring over documents, it's all dishonest massaging of numbers.


    What the fuck are you talking about? If an immigrant applies for benefits, he or she gets registered and COUNTED. What the C.I.S. is doing is OVER-representing those numbers by lumping together American Citizens with immigrants under one "household", which ipso facto UNDER-represents the number of native-born who apply and use benefits. It is statistical sleight of hand perpetrated by a bigoted association that argues against all immigration, not just undocumented.

    Think of it this way: If an immigrant shacks with an American Citizen welfare queen, even if the immigrant works and pays taxes, the "household" he would presumably be heading gets counted by the C.I.S. while excluding ipso facto the welfare queen from the number of native-born welfare consumers. Their numbers will NEVER match the individual use of welfare benefits that government agencies keep, instead OVER-representing benefit usage by individual immigrants. Do you understand now what is the game the C.I.S. is playing? Their credibility is way down there along with the SPLC when it comes to anything they say.

  • ||

    The only rational explanation left

    So, without enumerating any real options or compromise, of which the plethora is infinite, you espouse on the singular rational explanation that you immediately declare as illogical without anything resembling data or a reasoned argument. On top of that, I literally didn't make the arguments you do refute and the vagueness of my stance includes the justifications you use for your position. *If* illegal immigrants can opt out of the wage/welfare state, why should it be unique to them?

    You're the ghost of a religious zealot haunting a party clinging to relevance. I'm not bothered by the breadth and depth of your straw man moaning and wailing.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    So, without enumerating any real options or compromise[...]


    Would you compromise on your natural rights, mad?

    Which one do you want to start with?

    Idiot.

  • ||

    Would you compromise on your natural rights, mad?

    'Immigration' isn't just an individual moving in space. I live, work, coach the kids of, receive drinks from, spend time around, etc., etc., etc. plenty of people who weren't born in this country. We both know it's well beyond that level. As such, It's not a natural right. Not anywhere. There is no geo-political ethnic cohesion right.

    And if you wouldn't compromise it under any circumstance, no amount of logic would refute it.

    I'm fine with the idiot label. It may or may not be who I am. You continue to establish yourself as something between disingenuous fraud and outright liar whether I say it to you or not.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    'Immigration' isn't just an individual moving in space.


    Yes it is - as long as it is done peacefully and voluntarily.

    As such, It's not a natural right.


    Yes, it is. If you possess freedom, then you possess freedom to migrate from point A to point B, again as long as you're doing it peacefully and voluntarily.

    Just what is it about Natural Rights don't you understand?

    There is no geo-political ethnic cohesion right.


    You're talking NONSENSE. Rights are individual, possessed by each individual.

    And if you wouldn't compromise it under any circumstance, no amount of logic would refute it.


    That would be because you wouldn't be applying LOGIC. You would be engaging in perfunctory contradictions if you even attempted to argue that rights are limited. I've argued with idiots who have tried. The fact that you would even ask for "compromise" indicated to me that you're an blabbering idiot, because I cannot believe you're trying to pull my leg, that you would really think that individual rights are subject to compromise.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There's a big difference between an open border for goods and an open border for labor. Guns don't kill people, but bodyguard sometimes do.

  • Bubba Jones||

    On the contrary. I would not tie visa-holders to an employer.

    And I don't object to my rich Mexican neighbors. They spend lots of money locally.

    So, I think you got that exactly backwards.

  • ||

    I am beginning to think that immigration is not VdR's area of expertise. But thank God it wan't a SD article.

    +1 So this. For all the levels of meaning on which it is true.

    SD has so thoroughly poisoned the well that I feel like I have to read into VdR's stance to be sure she's just genuinely being naive about some things (that I don't necessarily disagree with), is herself a zealot, or if they just tried to sneak an SD article in under a different name.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Bubba Jones,

    She left out the "illegal" part.


    She did because it's irrelevant. There's no such thing as "illegal people". Undocumented immigrants happen not to have the government-issued transit papers that Trumpistas and bigots think are all-important - for some reason.

    And then she praises Employer-based visas that are known to be abused by companies.


    How are employer visas abused by employers, if employers want to employ that person? Or are you going to argue that employers have a responsibility to give their money to people YOU like? Where is that written, you Commie filth?

  • Kivlor||

    There aren't "illegal people" but there can be people in a location illegally. And you are well aware that the term "illegal" is descriptive of their presence being in violation of law. Just like any common trespasser.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Kivlor,

    There aren't "illegal people" but there can be people in a location illegally.


    Yes, if that location happens to have an owner who does not want them there. But that's not the case with immigrants, as there are plenty of people willing to house them, rent to them, employ them, sell to them, buy from them and even marry them. You conveniently forget this for some unfathomable reason. Or maybe fathomable - you prefer to think in irrelevancies because of a seep-seated hatred of immigrants.

  • Kivlor||

    I don't forget it OM. I just recognize that nation-states exist and have a right to exist. So, with that in mind they are here illegally, and use state infrastructure illegally. Immigrants don't magically materialize on some property in the Dakotas, and then never leave the commune.

    The issue isn't hatred. The issue is love. I love my people, my nation, my ancestry, our history and the values that built us into what we are. We are straying from those values, and by importing millions of people who don't share them, allowing them to flaunt their contempt for our laws and customs, and granting their children voting rights, we are not helping to turn the tide back towards liberty.

  • Tony||

    Your values are not my values, and I resent you wanting to socially engineer my country to conform to yours.

  • Kivlor||

    It's what your people are trying to do via immigration Tony. And I resent it.

  • Tony||

    If people are coming to America presumably it's because they like America. Or aren't you talking about values?

  • Kivlor||

    If people are coming to America presumably it's because they like America. Or aren't you talking about values?

    Or because they want the gibs. Which is the story of the fall of Great Powers since time immemorial Tony. If you're interested in learning a little about the history of it, and the life-cycle of nations, I'd suggest the very short and eminently readable "The Fate of Empires". It's free online through a quick search.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Kivlor,

    I don't forget it OM. I just recognize that nation-states exist and have a right to exist.


    I don't recognize fantastic notions. Nation-states, invariably, are notions built around a cowardly allegiance to a king or bureaucracy. I don't owe my allegiance to either. I do pity you, though.

    with that in mind they are here illegally,[...]


    Which means that your assertion is based on circular thinking.

    The issue is love. I love my people, my nation, my ancestry [...]


    Oh, blah, blah, blah!!! "Oh, I love my culture, I don't want it soiled by recipes for delicious tamales!"

    GROW UP! For one gawd-damned time, show that you're a grown up!

  • Kivlor||

    Oh, blah, blah, blah!!! "Oh, I love my culture, I don't want it soiled by recipes for delicious tamales!"

    GROW UP! For one gawd-damned time, show that you're a grown up!

    This is it? Tamales? Mexican food? Is that all your people are good for? You don't even bother to object that your people have completely different values and culture to mine? It's food. This is pathetic.

    I don't recognize fantastic notions. Nation-states, invariably, are notions built around a cowardly allegiance to a king or bureaucracy. I don't owe my allegiance to either. I do pity you, though.

    Would you say that a corporation is a fantastic notion?

    Which means that your assertion is based on circular thinking.

    There is nothing circular in the logic, OM. Just because you declare it circular does not make it so.

  • Kivlor||

    Let's explain this simply OM:

    Do states exist? Yes.
    Are states common? Yes.
    Are states unrealistic or impractical? No.
    Are states erratic or whimsical? No, they are actually quite predictable.

    There is nothing "fantastic" about the notion of the nation-state. It is an old notion dating back millenia.

    RE: Cowardly allegience to a king/bureacracy:
    "A nation-state in the most specific sense is a country where a distinct cultural or ethnic group inhabits a territory and have formed a state that they predominantly govern."

    The loyalty is to the group of people, to the culture, to the ethnicity. The King or bureacracy or other form of leadership is merely a focal point around which to rally.

    It takes courage to bring together people in a common cause to form a nation-state. It takes courage to defend that which your ancestors built. It takes cowardice to destroy it. You sir attempt to flip the meanings of words, to make black white and white black, where having the courage to defend what my forefathers built so that it will be passed on to my children is cowardice, and courage is sitting idly by while it is destroyed.

    What does that say about your values?

  • ||

    There's no such thing as "illegal people".

    I can prove this by walking into any prison and asking "Who's innocent?" Guilty or illegal people are just a figment of your imagination. A fabrication of the justice system(s).

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Mad.casual,

    I can prove this by walking into any prison and asking "Who's innocent?"


    Are you arguing that a prisoner is an illegal person? A person who exists illegally? Are you understanding the conceptual problem here?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens
    Illegal aliens

  • Bubba Jones||

    Immigrants should be free to change employers without risk of deportation.

    Because they cannot change employers, they cannot demand the same wages or working conditions as do citizens or immigrants on other forms of visa.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The international passport and visa system rhat every country uses is bigoted?

    You do your argument no favors by going to thst extreme. It makes you sound like you need a tin foil hat fitting.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Mickey Rat,

    The international passport and visa system rhat every country uses is bigoted?


    YOU think is not???? I can tell you: IT IS BIGOTED. Passports and visas were created originally to stop the comings and goings of anarchists and other "dangerous" individuals, but it was also the perfect vehicle for eugenicists to control the influx of people from "shit-hole" countries like Latvia, Bulgaria or Slovenia.

  • JoeBlow123||

    * shrug *

    It is fine if you do not believe national borders exist and think the system is immoral. I personally disagree. I think they do exist and it is immoral to not enforce laws that I find perfectly reasonable, such as enforcing legal immigration through the proper channels. Most people across the world would agree there is nothing immoral with enforcing immigration laws and policing your national borders.

    Again, it is fine you disagree with this. You are perfectly allowed to think what you want.

    Where you err is that you conflate others disagreement with you as evidence of racism. There are some racists, but all you do is offend people that are perfectly willing to compromise on pretty much anything (which I think is most Americans) by labeling your opponents as racists. This will hardly endear anyone to try and reach a compromise.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: JoeBlow,

    It is fine if you do not believe national borders exist


    They're lines on a map, placed there by conquerors. They're totally and completely imaginary.

    Where you err is that you conflate others disagreement with you as evidence of racism.


    That's a lie. What I do is point out to the origin of irrational policies which cannot be based on reasoned arguments, not even at least simple bad economics. Most objections towards immigration are based entirely on FEELINGS, like demonstrated by those who would differentiate between "illegal" and legal immigrants which is not unlike distinguishing between illegal and legal weed, despite the fact it is the very same weed! Those feelings cannot be explained by anything else but crass bigotry.

    Read this: "The issue is love. I love my people, my nation, my ancestry"

    It was posted up there by Kivlor. What is it supposed to mean? That love for your "ancestry" should reign supreme people's individual rights? How do you explain that thinking vis a vis immigration policy?

    Get your fucking head out of your ass for once. This is getting UGLY and it ain't because of me, immigrants, libertarians or anything like that.

  • Kivlor||

    They're lines on a map, placed there by conquerors. They're totally and completely imaginary.

    The lines of my property boundaries are "lines on a map, placed there by conquerors." and like it or not, they are very imaginary.

    What is it supposed to mean?

    It means exactly what it says. I'm motivated by love. Just like I'm motivated by love for my family to kick off any trespassers from my land. It's not out of hate that I would turn someone off of my property, but out of love for my family, for their well-being, for what my ancestors gave me, and what I hope to give my children. I'm not an island. I'm part of something greater than myself.

    How do you explain that thinking vis a vis immigration policy?

    Immigration policy should take into consideration the people who built the nation and their descendants. We stand on the shoulders of giants worthy of respect. It should be restricted to protect the heritage of those giants who pioneered and built it.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    I guess there are still a few people who aren't convinced that libertarians are total idiots. It's nice to see Reason step up to the plate and remove any doubt.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Dick Puller,

    I guess there are still a few people who aren't convinced that libertarians are total idiots.


    They aren't because the arguments are not compelling at all. Saying "you libertarians are idiots because you want to bring the whole world here!" is not a compelling argument, no matter how much you want to jerk off on that notion.

    It's nice to see Reason step up to the plate and remove any doubt.


    Blah, blah, blah, Trumpista pap, blah, blah, blah.

    As Daffy Duck said: "Obviously I'm dealing with inferior mentalities". Yes, with Trumpistas. You and me both, Daffy.

  • ||

    As Daffy Duck said: "Obviously I'm dealing with inferior mentalities". Yes, with Trumpistas. You and me both, Daffy.

    *Takes carrot out of mouth*

    You realize Daffy Duck is a self-serving, self-aggrandizing moron, right?

    *Takes another bite of carrot*

  • Kivlor||

    When OM typed that up it didn't occur to him that the duck in question literally has the word "Daffy" as his first name. He's a weak-minded clown that thinks everyone else is of inferior mentality, a perfect example of the Dunning-Krueger effect.

    I'd say the analogy fits perfectly for OM.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    You realize Daffy Duck is a self-serving, self-aggrandizing moron, right?


    After WWII, he was.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Should we give priority to wealthy immigrants who are likely to invest?

  • Libertymike||

    There is nothing wrong with being bigoted particularly if such bigotry is rooted in a refusal to surrender one's natural right to associate as one pleases.

    There is nothing wrong with being bigoted where one predicates his bigotry upon ethnic and race realism thereby rejecting the sophomoric, moronic non-sense that because one is an ethnic and race realist one is a collectivist.

    The collectivist is the one attempting to shove multi-cultural gibberish, at gun-point, down the throats of those who want no part of a Reason / race baiting / race hustling / diversity disorder dystopia.

    Yes, each and every individual should be judged as individuals. No individual should be aggressed upon because of his ethnicity or race or sexual orientation; provided, however, if an association of cis-gendered atheists build a community in which they decide that no fags and no lesbians are welcome, the collectivist is the one who would use force and the state to prevent the right of such cis-gendered atheists to so associate.

    No doubt, there would be some such collectivists who would clothe themselves in the haberdashery of liberty - but they would be frauds.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Libertymike,

    There is nothing wrong with being bigoted where one predicates his bigotry upon ethnic and race realism thereby rejecting the sophomoric, moronic non-sense that because one is an ethnic and race realist one is a collectivist.


    Yeah, But when you PRESCRIBE policies that affect others, centered on those ethno-centric desires and this so-called "race realism", then YOU ARE A COLLECTIVIST.

    You can muse racist things all day long. It's the EFFECT of policy-makers that us real libertarians object to.

  • Libertymike||

    OM -

    I am not prescribing policies that affect others.

    To wit, as I have argued previously, the constitution does not authorize Congress to make legislation. Article I, sec. 8, clause 4, provides, in part, "[t]o establish an uniform rule of Naturalization". As you know, naturalization does not mean immigration. Too many of the borders brigade conflate the two.

    I do not support the creation, maintenance, and support of any bureaucracies, including ICE. The borders brigade fail to appreciate, in my view, the reality that they support a totalitarian / papers please regime in their defense of borders.

    However, there is nothing inconsistent with the above and a recognition and understanding of race realism.

    I do not pretend to have the answers but I will not back away from expressing my distress at our demographic upheavel.

  • Libertymike||

    Article I, sec. 8, clause 4 does not authorize Congress to make legislation regarding immigration.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Libertymike,

    I am not prescribing policies that affect others.


    Did I personalize my response? Read it again. I said "you" in a general way, not you-you.

    I do not pretend to have the answers but I will not back away from expressing my distress at our demographic [upheaval].


    Go and seek help for that distress, because it's based on an idiotic hobgoblin invented by racists. And that is the truth.

    Article I, sec. 8, clause 4 does not authorize Congress to make legislation regarding immigration.


    And yet it has, since 1819.

  • Mark22||

    But when you PRESCRIBE policies that affect others, centered on those ethno-centric desires and this so-called "race realism", then YOU ARE A COLLECTIVIST.

    We live in a nation in which the government controls 40% of the economy, in which I'm forced to pay 50% of my income in taxes, in which the federal register is 200000 pages large, and in which groups impose their will on others through courts, ballots, and jack booted thugs with guns. That's the framework in which we make decisions. It is not a libertarian system by any stretch of the imagination. You take full advantage of this system when it suits you, and then try to beat other people over the head with libertarian principles when it suits your self-interest. That doesn't make you a libertarian, it makes you a fraud and a hypocrite.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    The anti-immigration crowd not only want to dismiss the basic humanity of immigrants but also dismiss the rights of those individuals who want to trade with them, hire them, rent to them, sell to them, buy from them and even marry them. You can be witness to their tribal collectivism by their support for such things as e-Verify. The thinking behind the support for that kind of State aggression is the notion that they (Trumpistas) are OWED something just for the fact that they exist and that they were born in this country. That's where the attacks on HB1 and other visas stem from. Trumpistas tend to pretend that their arguments are validated by economics, but they're lying.

  • JoeBlow123||

    The more I have thought about things the more I have leaned towards accepting open borders, but I think you are too vitriolic when you argue things, it is a little off putting. I do not think I or anyone else likes to have it implied their feelings are racist or they are dumb for thinking something. I will agree that it does seem intellectually immoral to decide where people can move in a perfect world. A perfect world this is not and endless oopen immigration has invariably caused havoc domestically as we are seeing now. No one, not even the "enlightened" Canadians or Europeans want unchecked, improverished indivuduals from a vastly different culture washing into their nations. It is pretty hard to objectively deny this.

    I mean, we are evolutionarily evolved to be distrusting of outsiders, to be violent and tribal. It seems irrational to deny this and to push changes in society faster than society is willing to accept them. And American sociey is clearly not ready to accept open borders now. Not even close. So how about we find some compromise that will maintain the balance and not push people to decide everyone not American is bad because battle lines will be drawn between pro-unlimited immigration purists and anti-foreigner zealots?

  • Mark22||

    I mean, we are evolutionarily evolved to be distrusting of outsiders, to be violent and tribal.

    Mexico is poor and violent because of the average level of skills of Mexicans, their average political choices, and their culture. If we select the best of those people for admission in the US, we do well. If we open the borders for the average Mexican, then the US will become more of the kind of shithole that Mexico is.

    anti-foreigner zealots?

    I'm not "anti-foreigner", I think admitting foreigners is a great thing, provided we select foreigners who are highly productive and favor liberty. I strongly oppose admitting populations of foreigners that put us at risk of becoming poorer or more statist.

  • Mark22||

    The thinking behind the support for that kind of State aggression is the notion that they (Trumpistas) are OWED something just for the fact that they exist and that they were born in this country

    I wasn't born in the US and I didn't vote for Trump. But being in the top few percent of tax payers, money that pays the infrastructure and services that people in the US enjoy, I certainly believe that I am owed some say in who can and cannot enter this country.

    The anti-immigration crowd not only want to dismiss the basic humanity of immigrants

    They can be human in their countries of citizenship. We're talking about criteria for entering the US.

    but also dismiss the rights of those individuals who want to trade with them, hire them, rent to them, sell to them, buy from them and even marry them.

    The US provides massive benefits to anybody admitted to the US in terms of infrastructure, services, and legal rights. I am forced by "State aggression" to pay for those benefits. I certainly will exercise my right to political participation to limit those benefits that I am forced to pay for to people that I deem worthy of receiving them. Stop taking my money, and you can admit anybody you like to the US.

  • JoeBlow123||

    You have an opinion and want your wishes observed through the democratic process because you are a citizen. This is how things should work. Right now our non-citizens opinions should not really matter very much to how American citizens want to police their own society.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    At this point, I'm okay with any route towards increasing the allotment of visas, but the best solution is to open the diversity Visa Lottery up to people from all countries and issue half a million to a million of these visas each year.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Plenty of New Jersey suburbs have a municipal version of this program. If you spend at least half a million to buy the lowest-cost home in the town, you're allowed to live there. Anyone caught sleeping in a park gets deported from the municipality. Residents of the suburbs see how wonderful the system works, and accuse restrictionist of being racist.

  • Mark22||

    I imagine two centuries ago, some Southerner probably wrote something very similar about slavery:

    Setting aside whether that's the ideal lens through which to judge the value of slaves, he underestimates the economic value of even low-skilled slaves. These slaves are often the people who allow higher-skilled Americans to go to work and move up the economic ladder. They care for American children, mow American lawns, help expand middle-class Americans' businesses and do so without consuming much when it comes to the government programs that drive our longer-term debt.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online