July 8, 2013
I’m not sure what to think about the immigration bill Congress is currently considering. The biggest problem with illegal immigration is making illegal something that is natural and beneficial. As it stands now, if Joe from Ohio wants to move to Texas to look for a better job, that’s fine, but if José from Oaxaca tries to do the same thing he’s breaking the law. Somehow that doesn’t seem right; everyone should be able to try to find a job wherever they like. On the other hand, Congress is so dysfunctional these days it’s hard to believe that the proposed legislation, another big bill that many Senators don’t seem to have taken the trouble to read, will be any kind of improvement.
Anyway, the real problems that immigration opponents are concerned about don’t really arise from immigration per se. The come instead from “multiculturalism” and the welfare state. “Multiculturalism” pretends to be about respecting other cultures, which of course we should do, but as practiced it’s really more about attacking Angl0-American culture. But people immigrating to a new country should be adopting the culture already there, not expecting those already there to accommodate their preferences. This includes attempting to learn the language commonly used in the host country. (This works both ways; an Anglo who moves to Mexico shouldn’t expect his new neighbors to change to North American values and habits and start speaking English.)
As far as the welfare state is concerned, that’s probably a topic for another post, but while we absolutely have an obligation to help those in need, government involvement always seems to corrupt and distort what might otherwise be charitable actions.
So my immigration policy would be: get the government out of the business of “helping” people, insist that people who move here educate themselves in the principles of American democracy (which unfortunately would put them ahead of a lot of native citizens) and try to learn English, and then let anyone willing to meet those conditions come here and help make our country a better place.