Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of inviting in large numbers of immigrants from a fundamentally alien culture into Western societies. The Somali population of Minneapolis has created a veritable “Little Mogadishu” (consider paying homage to such a blighted place) in the heart of the Twin Cities, a neighborhood riddled with crime and terrorist recruitment.
Most immigration to the United States is not nearly so pernicious—unlike Europeans, Americans generally don’t have to worry about waves of unassimilable Muslims conquering entire swaths of our major cities—but while our immigrants are more assimilable than Europe’s, the sheer number of immigrants makes that assimilation more difficult.
As I wrote yesterday, the old friction of immigration is no longer there. Families can instantly contact one another across oceans and time zones, and travel back home—or, more likely, travel to the new home in the West—is more affordable than ever.
Couple that ease of travel with our ludicrous interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which allows foreign nationals to spit out “American” citizens if they can just cross the border when the contractions begin, and you have a recipe for invasion.
The family situation goes beyond the “anchor babies” phenomenon and the child migrant crisis. Our immigration system prioritizes family members over skilled, English-speaking immigrants. As Scott Rasmussen notes, nearly 750,000 immigrants annually enter the United States legally simply because they’re related to someone already here. Immigrants can send for their spouses, children, and parents under this system—who then can bring over their spouses, children, and parents, creating the “chain migration” President Trump has decried.
The president is not alone. According to Rasmussen, 75% of voters believe our immigration system should prioritize skilled immigrants, not family members. That cuts across partisan lines (suggesting that immigration reform is a winning issue for electoral candidates). And that 750,000 number reflects 66% of legal permanent residents admitted to the United States.
Remember, another key source of friction in immigration is that, in the old days, it could be years before an immigrant could bring his family over. Indeed, some immigrants might never see them again. It’s probably humane to allow Pedro to bring his wife and eighteen kids. But his doddering parents? His alcoholic uncle? His son’s wife and kids? Where do we draw the line?
A further issue is that, with the ease of wire transfers, more and more wealth produced in the United States is sent back home. Rasmussen reports that immigrants send a whopping $148 billion home. That’s wealth produced working in the United States.
$30.02 billion of that $148 billion goes to Mexico. When President Trump campaigned on Mexico paying for the wall, he didn’t mean the Mexican government would cut us a check. Instead, he argued that the United States could tax these remittance payments to fund the border wall.
It’s an idea brilliant in its simplicity, and it shifts the costs of illegal immigration to the immigrants. Want to pick our tomatoes at slave labor wages and send the money back home? Fine, but you’re going to pay for the means by which we’ll prevent your mountain village from crossing over, too.
Immigration policy should benefit America and its citizens first. I often hear the specious argument that “Americans won’t do certain jobs.” Hogwash. Big corporate farmers and Silicon Valley billionaires just want cheap fruit-pickers, coders, and nannies. There are millions of working poor Americans who, for a living wage, could fill those jobs. Alternatively, mechanization and automation could complete many of those roles.
The South went through the same issue with slavery: wealthy Southern planters wanted cheap labor to grow cotton, and Northern textile mills were happy to pay a reduced rate for slave-produced cotton. The losers were poor working folks and farmers.
Similarly, elites profit financially (and socially—they get to feel virtuous for employing Consuela to raise their kids) while wages for working men stagnate.
President Trump and Republicans in Congress should push again for the taxing of remittances, and a major push should begin to rid ourselves of “birthright citizenship,” a ludicrous misreading of the Fourteenth Amendment (which was intended to naturalize the former slaves and their progeny, not the children of foreign visitors who happened to give birth on American soil).
More importantly and immediately, we need to build the wall and deport any and all illegal immigrants.