What Would a Populist Immigration Policy Do?

The editors of The Washington Post tell half the story about the American public’s views on immigration:

THE FOREIGN-born share of the U.S. population has doubled in the past three decades and now stands at its highest point in nearly a century. Little wonder, then, that illegal immigration triggers visceral debate and white-hot rhetoric during a presidential election campaign. What may be more surprising is that Americans, by a large majority, continue to oppose mass deportation and to favor allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.

which is that six out of ten Americans are dissatisfied with our present levels of immigration and a solid majority think we have too many immigrants. That’s why the “build a fence” position has resonance.

So a truly populist immigration policy would:

  1. Cut or eliminate the present rate of immigration.
  2. Provide a path to legalization (we’ll ignore that some Americans’ preference is for the path to legalization to start in Mexico City).

or, in other words, they want our laws to be followed.

9 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    I don’t favor mass deportations of illegal immigrants. I favor throwing employers of illegal immigrants in jail and denying illegals any welfare benefits whatsoever until they leave. I’d be willing to bet that if you added people with this or similar views to the total that do favor mass deportations you’d get a solid majority, too.

  • ... Link

    [I]n other words, they want our laws to be followed.

    That’s hardly a surprise, even at this late date. The surprise is that pretty much none of our rulers want these particular laws obeyed.

  • jan Link

    I agree with Ice about not favoring mass deportation. We simply have to deal with who and what we have within the framework of the laws already passed, but not being followed. The rampant political environment, present in the current administration, though, has replaced sensible enforcement with political posturing.

  • Jimbino Link

    Immigration laws are only justified when they serve the interests of the Amerikan people, or at least the interests of the planet. Thus, immigration should be favored if Amerika were to run out of workers and should be favored over home-breeding as long as the climate and wildlife are threatened, as they now appears to be happening.

    Whether or not free immigration is desirable, free home-breeding is clearly to be condemned, at least until we run out of immigrants.

  • ... Link

    Off topic:

    U.S. Weaponry Is Turning Syria Into Proxy War With Russia

    This is turning into a mega-cluster of cluster fucks.

  • jan Link

    That was a detailed article, Ice. I wasn’t aware the U.S. was supplying so many armaments to the CIA backed rebels. One military guy interviewed said that in the last 10 days or so the U.S. has become aware of the high powered artillery being used by the Russians — something they apparently weren’t clued into until the Russians started showing them off while bombing the insurgents trying to oust Assad, rather than ISIS.

    This same commentator opined that the fighters Russia had it’s sights on to kill were actually pretty disciplined and well trained. He felt, though, they were being betrayed by Obama and would have a better survival rate if they joined the Kurds, rather than stay put and wait to be decimated by the Russians. The NYTs piece, however, painted a more optimistic, even-handed picture of the rebels vs the Russians.

  • mike shupp Link

    The notion that there are too many immigrants has been widespread in this country since the 1840s. Maybe since before then — the Know Nothings got off the ground in 1845.

  • ... Link

    Yes, shupp, and from about 1920 until 1965 the doors were largely closed. The Great Compression happened from 1930 until 1970. Labor supplies tightened and wages rose. What a shocking economic lesson that was!

  • PD Shaw Link

    @Mike, yes, the 1840s. The Irish Potato Famine caused the first major “push” migration to the U.S., the Irish fled death with little to no planning or possessions. Prior to that time, most people came over as “pull” migrants, responding to wage differentials advertised in newspapers, active, international recruiting operations, and real estate companies selling vast acres of unimproved land. These people usually came with money and a job or farmland lined-up beforehand. When the American economy was in a downturn, “pull” migrants delayed migration.

    The Irish came in such numbers around the time of the 1847 Recession, they depressed wages and caused cholera outbreaks by over-taxing city sanitary systems. The Irish didn’t tend to leave the first port of arrival, whereas “pull” migrants dispersed to places with economic growth. Most Americans living in major cities experienced real losses in their standard of living during this period. Those who didn’t were the top 5% who owned 70% of real and personal property in the major cities, they collected rents from cheap tenements and found cheap labor to convert artisan production to unskilled mass production.

Leave a Comment