Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Somin: "Are The Democrats An Anti-Immigration Party Too?" [*]

I think libertarians are kinda cracked about immigration.
I don't see the GOP as "anti-immigration." They and Trump are anti-illegal immigration, but not anti-immigration.
We let in a lot of both legal and illegal immigrants. Something like a million legal immigrants per year.
A million.
Trump et al. want to cut that in half and make it merit-based. But 500,000/year...still pretty hard to call that "anti-immigration." I don't see a problem with the proposals, but don't know enough to know whether they're superior to the current system. A million (and 500,000) a year seem(s) like an awful lot to me--but that's just an impression. I do worry about assimilation and social cohesion, and worry that we don't know enough to know how many people we can assimilate so quickly under current conditions. I'm concerned by the fact that progressives are (with some success) marching under an anti-assimilation banner. We've never had an actual public discussion of "multiculturalism"--that's just an idea that was forced on us by the shrieking of the paleo-PCs. It may very well be a good idea within reason...but PC doesn't operate within reason. The PC left is fairly openly anti-U.S. and anti-Western-culture. And those were some of the most important motivating ideas of multiculturalism. I'm in favor of people keeping parts of their home culture--but I doubt we know how much multiculturalism a society can stand and survive. Maybe a lot. Maybe not so much. I say we err on the side of caution until we know it's safe not to.
   I have no idea how many immigrants we should be letting in. I acknowledge that there are reasons to let in a large number to ease the retirement of the Boomers. But I also have an inclination to be concerned about the environment, especially carrying-capacity and overpopulation. And both the right and the left have (bad) reasons for dismissing concerns about those things.
   Also, we have obligations to our fellow non-American human beings. Which is why I've argued in the past that we should give preference to people--legally--seeking asylum. I've also argued that if we controlled illegal immigration better, we could better afford to take in more asylum-seekers.
   In general, I'm in favor of helping people out--by letting them in and giving (smart) foreign aid to their home countries. I just don't want us to be reckless and stupid about it. I also favor letting people in and training them with the understanding that they'll, at some point, go back home and help make things better so that there'll be less need to come here. Which is not to say that I don't want them here; it's to acknowledge that we'll never be able to--nor do we have an obligation to--let in everybody who wants in.
   But I'm not particularly wedded to a preference for less immigration--and lots less illegal immigration. Mostly I just want a public discussion of the merits to be possible without automatic shrieking about racism and xenophobia when arguments for less immigration are advocated. Hell, maybe we ought to have more immigration--of the details I'm not at all sure. What I am sure of is that inquiry is distorted by the left's refusal to be objective and rational about the question. It's awfully hard to have a rational discussion with one side constantly shrieking 'racism'!!!
   As for whether the Dems are anti-immigration "too"...well...that sounds like bullshit to me. I don't see why every neighborhood should have to include multi-family dwellings. And, though I'm extremely skeptical of a $15 minimum wage, I don't see how wanting one can be plausibly characterized as anti-immigration.
   But, as I keep saying: I realize, more and more, that I understand less and less. So, aside from being sure that we need to be able to discuss the issue like rational people, I'm not sure of anything here.

[*] Actually, Somin says 'anti-immigrant,' which is bullshittier and more prejudicial even than is 'anti-immigration.'


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home