Nobody wants to. Most politicians would rather appeal to platitudes about America as a “nation of immigrants” than confront their responsibility to attend to the common good of their own people.
And, depending on the poll you examine, it would seem most Americans view themselves as sufficiently removed from the effects of immigration that they, at least, think of lax immigration policies as “fair” and “nice,” and would just soon not consider what it entails for their material or cultural well being. One recent poll, however, suggests that Americans are slowly coming to grips with reality, finding psychological strategies of maintaining a platitudinous openness while preferring to see an actual reduction in the inflow of foreign persons into our country.
Pandering to the heart of their party, many establishment Republicans draw the line that we ought to secure the border, breaking the floodtide of manual laborers who sneak cross the desert lands of the South West against the shoals of a fence, virtual or just plain literal. They then add that we ought to welcome those qualified with technical skills — because, of course, dumb Americans are just so dumb that they do not study such subjects in sufficient numbers. Well, as with nearly everything in establishment Republicanism, even when they are sincere they are still lying. A new study shows that the H1-B visa program for “highly qualified” foreigners is in fact being used to lubricate the wheels of off-shoring American jobs. There is in fact NO shortage of science, technology, and math workers, but rather a surplus. Certain companies and their wooden political spokes-models just pretend there is so that they may import foreign workers as consultants to help them prepare to send their call centers and information technology operations abroad.
Let me enumerate just a few premises and pieces of data that we ought to bear in mind as we ask those largely prudential questions about immigration — even as many of us refuse to recognize them as prudential, and with the usual obscurantism turn them into questions of human rights:
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