This week, the White House released their framework for a new immigration system, which somehow managed to infuriate both sides of the aisle. A significant number of Republicans, myself included, were apoplectic over the proposed 1.8 million amnesty recipients, and, as usual, Democrats immediately played the race card, saying that any reduction of immigration levels, visas, and elimination of chain migration is, in the words of Nancy Pelosi, “Making America White Again”. In my article The Diversity Lie, I deconstructed the fabrication that America isn’t diverse and made the case that America is the most diverse nation on the planet. In addition, that the Democrats have a vested interest in sustaining mass immigration of poor people, in order to support them and their big government programs.
Today, I will take it a step further. I will argue that not only is the White House’s proposal unacceptable, I will argue that we should have a net ZERO immigration policy. By net zero, I mean that if someone leaves the US, we can then take in a replacement from elsewhere, based solely on merit. Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this argument, I will establish the assumptions I’m operating from:
1. 30-40% of jobs will be gone in less than 50 years due to Automation and Artificial Intelligence. This is a non-controversial view business leaders on both sides of the aisle agree with.
2. You cannot have unlimited immigration with a welfare state, universal healthcare, free college, etc. Any society with open borders is going to be progressive enough to try to have the above social programs as well, and likely others.
3. America’s Labor Participation Rate and unemployment are nowhere near zero, so we have plenty of available workers.
4. The Nation State and the concept of borders are ideas that have been proven correct over the course of millennia.
5. Open borders would immediately cause mass migrations to the most prosperous countries, or the ones with the most social programs.
It is my belief that all five of those assumptions are inarguable to virtually anyone. Well, almost anyone. There is a subset of globalists, such as the infamous George Soros, or British economist Phillipe Legrain that believe “Freedom of movement is one of the basic human rights.” Essentially, their argument boils down to having totally open borders, where people can freely move wherever they like. Setting aside the absurdity of billions of people collecting in one or two places and cratering the host economy, their previous location would become materially worse as well.
Immigration advocates have a number of arguments they use, such as:
1. Immigrants do jobs lazy Americans won’t.
2. Diversity is our strength. (Which it isn’t, unity is. E Pluribus Unum)
3. We are a nation of immigrants.
4. Immigrants bring talents we don’t have.
5. No human being can be illegal, you xenophobe.
6. Stop being racist, bigot.
7. Statue of Liberty poems are immigration policy.
Now I will lay out my tenets and why I believe zero immigration should be the way forward. First, most arguments FOR immigration are what I consider to be a failure of imagination. Saying that Americans won’t do this, that, or the other, or don’t have this talent or that is an attitude from a society that hasn’t put it’s own citizens first for a very long time. Continuing to pound the country and it’s citizens with relentless immigration levels while our education plummets and our infrastructure becomes more and dilapidated is beyond irresponsible. Instead of cultivating our own citizenry, our leaders essentially gave up and decided they needed to import replacements or they needed cheap labor to satisfy their corporate overlords. I believe both parties are responsible for this, over the course of several decades. This resulted in the both the 1968 and 1985 amnesties. Take a look at the following chart:
As you can see, the 1968 Immigration Act completely transformed the country, then the 1985 version further solidified those changes. The country was effectively remade because of two immigration acts. I said we should have cultivated our citizenry. What does it mean to “cultivate citizenry”? Cultivating citizenry means prioritizing education over wars in the Middle East. Infrastructure projects and jobs over foreign aid and one-sided trade and climate deals. You see, that's exactly what the Paris Accords and the Trans-Pacific Partnership were all about and why they had to be terminated. Those deals were the hellspawn of corrupt globalists looking out for their interests first, not the American people. When America is asked to subsidize the entire planet, as we were in the Paris Accords, that is not cultivating your citizenry. The point of running a country should be to protect your citizens and make sure they have every opportunity to follow their aspirations. If we have people who are optimistic about the future, they will be far more likely to invest, raise families, and foster a positive climate in the country. The family part is critical, because if people are optimistic about the future of the country, they will be more likely to have a family, thus offsetting the need for immigration.
So much of our immigration thinking resides in the past, as evidenced by the left constantly citing The New Colossus poem on the Statue of Liberty, or the "We are a Nation of immigrants!" line they use to justify essentially unlimited immigration. It apparently hasn't dawned on them that it is not 1880 anymore. We don't have a country to populate, nor a massive industrial revolution occurring. There is also the argument that I call "cultural transference" that is, that immigrants bring culture or technology that enhances the area they migrate to. For example, in Thomas Sowell's Race and Culture, he outlines a number of scenarios where the migrants or immigrants brought valuable skills or technology the natives of a particular country didn't have. Take the example of the Japanese, who learned of the train from the British, and regarded it as near mythical during the samurai age. A century later, the Japanese bullet train is far superior to anything we have in America.
Why is this?
Among a number of reasons, I'd argue it’s largely due to the Japanese aversion to immigration. They focus on their citizens first, before any immigration considerations are made. They live in a largely harmonious society, virtually devoid of terrorism and violent crime. In addition, the world is so compressed due to technology, that there is effectively no need of cultural transference any longer, except from more developed countries to less developed countries. We have the means to immediately copy or acquire any technology or method necessary, without the migration of the originating people.
A significant amount of the support for these ridiculous mass immigration proposals comes from the far left, for whom virtue signaling about how altruistic they are is paramount. In The God Of the Left, we learned how projecting altruism at any cost is the religion of the left. Most of the rich celebrities and limousine liberals that virtue signal about immigration are the ones not affected in the least by it given that they live in gated communities with security, and bodyguards. In addition, I can’t count the number of liberals that we see infantilizing these poor immigrants, as they always seem to suggest they will be maids and picking fruit. One of the hilarious ironies I find these days is that the left purports to want better education, universal healthcare, free college, and a peaceful utopia, yet they have it in their heads that these things can be done with essentially open borders and by bringing in poor migrants by the tens of millions.
The fact is, America can easily be greater than ever before, without any immigrants, but not if we continue on our current path. It would require a much deeper commitment to our education, public works, infrastructure, and our cities. There are numerous countries with virtually zero immigration, that have an amazingly vibrant, safe, and prosperous cultures. As our economy is reshaped by technological advancement, we are going to need massive changes in how we view immigration.
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Steve is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.