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Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Bad timing for good book"

Knight discusses a new book on immigration by Mark Krikorian, "The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal."

I'll boil it down for you: The United States can not continue to allow immigration and guarantee free stuff to new immigrants at the same time.

Krikorian is absolutely right. We have to stop one or the other. Krikorian says stop the immigrants, but that would be an artificial barrier to entry into the labor market.

My conclusion is to stop guaranteeing free stuff to immigrants and then have open borders (subject to criminal and other security checks.)

If any law abiding person from some other country wishes to come to the United States, work and pay his own way, everybody wins. They contribute to society. They don't suck from the government teat.

When the choice is between a government program or the free market, I choose the free market.

I would get rid of two government programs: 1) free stuff to immigrants and 2) artificial trade barriers in the labor market.


  1. OK, how do you have open borders and still keep out the criminals?


  2. I said we need "open borders (subject to criminal and other security checks)." So, I'm not advocating completely open borders.

    The U.S. can keep the basic infrastructure of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, formerly the INS), and throw out any reason for keeping someone out of the country except crime and security reasons.

    ICE would still exist, but its mandate for exclusion of immigrants would be sliced down to crime and security. (For instance, if ICE discovers a potential immigrant has ever been affiliated with any terrorist group, the person would not be allowed into the country, irrespective of any criminal history).

    I'm not talking about making immigrants citizens. The naturalization process would remain the same. And I have no problem amending the Constitution so that being born in the country no longer automatically makes you a citizen.

    I would just allow non-security risks into the country and give them permission to work.

    ICE would handle the screening, just as they do now.