*I think Frank’s Guest Post has enough validity to be published here and discussed here, but I have some quibbles with it. Not enough to be “disagreements” as such, but serious quibbles, so I am going to list them:
1- True a wall won’t keep TRULY DETERMINED immigrants away. However, most immigrants (unless bizarrely desperate) aren’t THAT determined. Most people — trust me on this — don’t want to go to a strange place and live there. We don’t need an absolute barrier, we need a DISCOURAGING barrier. Which is why Trump’s wall slowed immigration way the heck down. This is the principle of a fence around your house. Or a house alarm. As an alarm salesman explained “The sign alone will stop most would-be-burglars. It might be a fake, but it’s too much work.” This is what we want in place. For one, the people really determined and crafty enough to get in, have already passed a test of sorts.
2- It’s not Mexico. That open border is open to the THE WORLD. we can’t have the world here.
3- Soros wants one world government because he knows it will be a tyranny. It’s impossible to be responsive to everyone in that big a polity. we might already be too big, (but thank heavens we’re ornery.) A one-world-government will be an intolerable tyranny to 99% of it. Also, the most ineffective government ever. So.
4 – I don’t object to your method of making citizens. I would limit the velocity of it. There are problems with having mostly foreign-born people. Ask the Romans. And there is a problem with too many immigrants. TRUST me.
5 – A better solution, in my opinion and perhaps as practicable is to stop welfare to immigrants. ALL forms of welfare and benefits paid for by citizens, including but not limited to schooling and medical care (no worries. Some charitable organization will pay, but with more supervision than the government.) until two years after citizenship. (That last one might not be constitutional, so it can be “till citizenship” and make that a minimum of 7 years, by which point you’ll know if you’re going to want to go back.
That’s my quibbles and counter-proposal. – SAH*
How to Solve America’s Immigration Problem (and Save the World as a Side Effect) – by Frank
America has an immigration problem. Even those who want the world to have unfettered access to America recognize that our laws do not allow it, so we must either change our laws or change the circumstances. Unrestricted immigration advocates like George Soros would do away with the nation state in favor of a one-world government. How that government would be organized is an open question, so that is hardly a solution. Changing the circumstances is more difficult, but could go hand-in-hand with changing the law.
My wife, the chemist, explains that the root of the problem is entropy. If you pour a tea kettle of hot water into a bowl of cold water, pretty soon you have a bowl of lukewarm water. Putting a barrier (like a border wall) between the hot and cold water only slows down the exchange. Canada and America have very similar levels of economic opportunity. Hence there is no great rush of Canadians to America or Americans to Canada even without walls or even rivers dividing most of the 1900-mile border. The 1900-mile border between Mexico and the U.S., despite numerous lengths of wall and many law enforcement patrols along it, proves a much less hardy barrier. The economy and job creation level in America is just so much stronger than that of Mexico, that America proves an irresistible draw to much of Mexico’s impoverished population. Even at the lower rungs of the American economy, the opportunity is so great that Mexicans living in the U.S. sent 26 billion dollars back to their families in Mexico in 2017.
So how do we solve the root of the problem? Well one solution only proposed by those most impervious to criticism is to invade Mexico and fix it by reconstituting their government along American lines. No one who’s been there can realistically deny that if the Gadsen purchase had included Baja California, that region would be an American Riviera filled with huge hotels and resorts and positively booming with economic activity, rather than the lackluster backwater that it is. But changing the culture and mores of a country is not something that can easily be imposed by an occupying army. The former British colonies around the world show what a spotty record results despite a century or more of trying.
Demonstrably, more people want to come to America than currently live in America, and certainly more than the vast majority of Americans are willing to accept. So how do we change our immigration laws to, as President Trump suggests, let the right ones in? Sure we could just let in the doctors and engineers and such, but what about those poorer immigrants who have later so enriched our country? Do we want to close our doors to all of them? How could we convince ourselves that those we let in want to continue to support the great American experiment even if they aren’t credentialed yet like Anheuser and Busch or Carnegie? Well, we already have laws on how to become American citizens. What if we require that any non-American who wants to move to the U.S. learn English and pass the citizenship test before ever coming to our country? To facilitate this process, we will have to turn our embassies and consulates into training centers in English and the Constitution. Once a would-be immigrant has passed the citizenship test, he would be added to the list of eligible immigrants. At that point those on the list would be allowed in based on the order of their seniority of having passed the citizenship test and on how many immigrants America decides to allow each year. Maybe we could even make a big live TV show of the list announcement like the NFL draft. Of course we would have to be vigilant to make sure the citizenship test remains valid and fair and not allow lowering of the standard. Nobody said it wouldn’t take constant vigilance. Heinlein’s concept of requiring military service as a prerequisite to full citizenship might be a step too far, but how about requiring even native-born Americans to pass the citizenship test to be able to vote. They might be forced to learn something other than anti-Americanism in high school.
But, you object, there would still be hundreds of thousands, maybe millions who would go through the training, take the citizenship test, but still have to wait for years to get into this country. Exactly! And what would they do while they waited? Would they become impatient with the governance of their own country that led them to want to emigrate to America in the first place? Would they seek to make their own country run more like America in the respect of the rule of law over tribal and familial relationships or raw exercise of power by those holding government positions? Might we create a cadre of millions of wannabe Americans armed with the knowledge of how America came to be a country better off than theirs? Might it not occur to those people that they would prefer to make their government and economy in the likeness of ours while continuing to hold onto all their own cultural heritage? Wouldn’t it be great to have a world still made up of many diverse nations, but where everyone had the opportunity to be prosperous?