Some More Thoughts On Immigration

Many people will complain that, so long as the institution of welfare and voting exist in this nation, we cannot have open borders in regard to immigrants.  They claim the immigrants will just come here and become welfare queens and vote away our democratic institutions for their socialist ones.  Ignoring the factual issues with these complaints (Immigrants use welfare at lower rates than domestic citizens and naturalized-immigrant voting patterns and policy views don’t differ much from Americans), there are larger issues at play here.

Immigration:

The argument that immigrants vote “poorly” (as judged by those making the argument as “not voting for my party”), and thus shouldn’t be let into the country, makes a key mistake: immigrants cannot vote.  Only citizens of the United States can vote.  Immigrants could become naturalized, but that is a long process.  Prior to that, they cannot vote.  To deny someone entry into the nation, to deny them the ability to improve their lives and those of their family because they might “abuse” a right they don’t even have is especially cruel.

If the concern is they’ll vote away our liberal institutions, then the answer seems obvious to me: reform the institution of naturalization.  Attacking or weakening the institution of immigration is counterproductive (by way of metaphor, it’d be like arguing professional football needs to change its rules because college football players kick too many field goals).

Welfare:

Similar to the immigration above, immigrants already do not qualify for most kinds of welfare (there are exceptions, however, like Medicare).  But if the concern is welfare abuse, then reform the institution of welfare.  Shape it in such a way that immigrants will “pay their fair share.”  Again, it makes no sense to attack the institution of immigration if the problem is with the institution of welfare.

5 thoughts on “Some More Thoughts On Immigration

  1. You’re shooting down some of the objections. You’re not making the case for why immigration is something that current US citizens should want.

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  2. ” . . . then the answer seems obvious to me: reform the institution of naturalization.”

    Yes, the institution and process of naturalization should be reformed. It is a needlessly difficult process that fails to adequately address why the immigrant wants to become a US citizen.

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  3. Only citizens of the United States can vote. Immigrants could become naturalized, but that is a long process.

    That’s right, and they may not even begin the process until they have been in the US for 5 years.

    On the subject of Medicare, it should be understood that Part A benefits are available to anyone, regardless of citizenship, who is over over age 65 who has paid FICA taxes for at least 10 years on a valid SS#. Immigrants aren’t getting anything for free here.

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