Quotes About Immigration

I don’t believe that people come to America to sit on their hands. The vast majority of America’s immigrants are hardworking, family-minded individuals with strong values. They are drawn here from many different places by a common belief that this is still the land of opportunity for those willing to work hard. 
Ruper Murdoch in his op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, which you can find here.

John Oliver Takes On Immigration

video

There are so many gems in this video, I can't even remember them all. Good stuff!

People posing by the Statue of Liberty as she's unpacked


Mojado by Ricardo Arjona

A friend on Facebook shared this music video with me, and I thought MoE was the perfect place for it.

Poll: Most Think Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay

This chart from Pew is interesting:

Pew Pie Chart

Click on the image to see the whole report.

For what it's worth, I don't think citizenship should automatically be granted to anyone who is allowed into the US, and I'm not so sure it should be automatically granted to everyone already living here, or everyone born here.  I think there needs to be a discussion about what citizenship means, what it should mean, and how it should be earned.  My concern with immigration and this blog is with individual rights; people's right to live where they please, trade with whom they please, and employ or work for whom they please.

Immigration Quote

"The secret to America's wealth is that we were settled by restless, driven, overconfident, risk-taking dreamers. America is an amazing natural experiment -- a continent populated largely by self-selected immigrants. All these people had the get-up-and-go to pull up stakes and come here, a temperament that made them different from their friends and relatives who stayed home. Immigrants are the original venture capitalists, risking their human capital -- their lives -- on a dangerous and arduous voyage into the unknown." "...immigrants are self-employed at much higher rates than native-born people, regardless of what nation they emigrate to or from. And the rate of entrepreneurial activity in a nation is correlated with the number of immigrants it absorbs." John Gartner, Washington Post

Can We Really Expect Meaningful Reform from Republicans?

The author of this article seems to get it, but the comments below it leave me feeling a bit sick to my stomach. As a Facebook friend said, "You want to see what the GOP base looks like? When free markets are brought up as the solution to immigration, look at the comments on this article. No this is not a Neo-Nazi website, its a conservative one. These are the so-called ambassadors to the Hispanic community."

Here's a clip from the article:

…I add this exhortation to my GOP brethren: If you see your problem with immigrants as merely one of marketing, then you will not succeed. The nativist wing of the party is not just politically inconvenient, it is morally and economically wrong. The point is not to capitulate to political necessity; the point is to have the right policy. The right policy is a growing economy, non-burdensome immigration laws, a welfare system which promotes work, not dependency, and a culture of assimilation, not isolation.

And some comments:

"Latinos are religious, morally conservative and tend disproportionately to join the military and start businesses. They are natural members of the conservative coalition."
No, no, no. Let's march them all to the border (remember the Bataan death march) and tell them cross over or bang, bang. I am so tired of walking into every store, walking down every street and feeling like I'm in another country. Illegal invader problem solved.

and…

Why is townhall allowing leftwing TRAITORS to parrot their anti-American pro-illegals propaganda on their website? I've seen them allowing Linda Chavez and other RINOs do so as well.
Anyone with an IQ above that of a turnip should be able to figure out that if we give the INVADERS amnesty, that will only encourage still more of them to come here.
The ONLY way we will stop them from coming and get rid of those already here:
MAKE THINGS SO TOUGH ON THEM here that they self-deport back to Mexico, etc. at their own expense because they get to hate it here so much.
We can't afford to deport 20 million foreign nationals. Plus most would only come right back.

I can understand why Republicans don't like the stereotypical college professor in this country. Most of them are statist pigs with a left-wing agenda, and few seem generally interested in educating young Americans, much less teaching them how to think, but this anti-intellectual wing of the conservative movement, that seems to be spreading like wildfire, is disgusting, at best. Ignorance is not a value to the Republicans should be promoting if they wish to win future elections.

"Piecemeal" Immigration Reform is Not Enough

This post by Nathan Fatal of the New England Objectivist Society is reposted here in its entirety, with permission. Thank you, Nathan!
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No one should have to do this…







Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act, which is intended to increase the number of visas granted to foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (hence STEM) in American schools. Under the act, 55,000 permanent residency visas would be granted to foreign students studying the STEM degrees.[1] While at face value the passing of this act seems positive because it will be helping some people to stay in the country without the threat of being deported, it is in fact conceived as a move to slow reform on immigration by enacting “piecemeal” reform instead of comprehensive reform that would benefit all potential immigrants.
The STEM Jobs Bill is a piece of Republican-led legislation, designed to appeal to Hispanic voters without making extreme changes to immigration law.[2] It is the latest in Republicans’ regimen of “piecemeal” reform. As California Representative Darrell Issa explained, “we need to break up the elephant into bite-size pieces…I want to break this [immigration reform] up into passable bill by passable bill”.[3] The target of the bill is the students whose developing skills are highest in demand in the job market, because according to Texas Representative Lamar Smith, “these students have the ability to start a company that creates jobs or come up with an invention that could jump-start a whole new industry”. The intent, then, is to spur economic growth by selecting for STEM skill sets.[4] There are two problems with this approach: while it is true that this “reform”, relative to potential reforms that would select for less-valued skill sets would boost economic growth, it is not the government’s role to decide what demographics, skill-sets, or industries to promote, especially not at the expense of others. Secondly, economics should not even be the central issue in the debate over immigration reform.
On principle, the “piecemeal” approach ignores the fundamental issue at hand: immigrants to this country, whether documented or not, are human beings that enjoy the same fundamental, inalienable rights that Americans do. The job of lawmakers is not to plan ideal economic outcomes, but to ensure that laws defend individual rights, namely, the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. In the case of immigration, lawmakers must legalize individual rights by welcoming to this country anyone who is willing to work to earn a living, and respect the rights of their fellow Americans. That would entail granting citizenship to all people who come to America to make better lives for themselves.
The STEM Jobs Bill, if enacted, would represent progress only in superficial terms; on net, more people’s rights would be respected to a greater extent. But on principle, there will be no progress. The STEM students would not be viewed as human beings pursuing their own dreams, but as tools for the use of Americans who judge their political success by the standard of annual GDP growth and the support of minority voting blocs in election seasons. They would be statistically, not morally significant. They would be spared deportation and humiliation for the sake of making America richer, not for the sake of being able to lead more fulfilling lives.
For Republicans pushing piecemeal reform, such economic growth is an end in itself, whether or not the means to that end respect individual rights. For the approximately 11.5 million undocumented immigrants not studying STEM subjects, or not studying at all, the potential economic benefits of the STEM Jobs Bill would hardly represent progress.
President Obama’s Executive Order in June offers relief to more people, but is still arbitrary and conciliatory in nature: “Applicants [for the program exempting them from potential deportation] must prove that they were brought to the United States before they turned 16; that they have lived here continuously for the past five years; and that they were in the country and were under age 31 on June 15.”[5] A person’s age is not any more relevant to their rights than their course of study is.
The right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness belongs to all humans, regardless of where they are born and how well their governments’ laws respect their rights. An individual’s rights do not admit of degrees. As such a piecemeal approach to immigration reform, whether it is based on age, career, or any other morally irrelevant standard, is a piecemeal approach to individual rights and a capitulation of individual rights on principle.  Both parties, in order to remain true to their commitment to defend American values, should enthusiastically support sweeping, radical, rights-respecting immigration reform that would allow unlimited numbers of people of any age and from any location to flock to the doors of whatever firm will hire them and whatever school believes them to be academically capable. “Piecemeal” reform like the STEM Jobs Bill, President Obama’s executive order, and any other rights-violating policies that leave any number of potential Americans in the dust, should be denounced and abandoned.

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/stem-act-passage-immigration_n_2219248.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HP%2FPolitics+(Politics+on+The+Huffington+Post)
[2] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/30/house-debates-gop-backed-bill-that-would-residency-to-advanced-degree-foreign/
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/stem-act-passage-immigration_n_2219248.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HP%2FPolitics+(Politics+on+The+Huffington+Post)
[4] http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/issues_STEM%20Jobs%20Act.html
[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/nyregion/for-illegal-immigrants-seeking-a-reprieve-lack-of-documents-is-again-a-hurdle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Peikoff Takes Cheap Shot at Immigrants During Election Commentary

In a recent podcast about the results of the recent presidential election, Leonard Peikoff, founder of the Ayn Rand Institute, took a cheap shot at immigrants.  Diana Hsieh properly summarizes, "He claims that immigrants are coming to America en masse for the sake of the welfare state, lacking any American sense of life."

I find Peikoff's comments particularly offensive since the vast majority of immigrants are here to work, not collect welfare.  I also find it disturbing since the namesake of the institute that he founded was herself a Russian immigrant.  Ayn Rand came here to live and work as freely as possible, and better her lot in life, just like so many others before and after her.

You can read the rest of Diana's excellent response to Peikoff's election commentary here.

Update: It was brought to my attention that Peikoff is a Canadian immigrant.  I suppose he came to the US for welfare?  I'm fairly certain he did not, but for him to assume the current lot of immigrants is so different from his own is ignorant, at best.

Immigration Quote

"Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The  Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides." - Calvin Coolidge in Good Housekeeping

I wonder how many Americans still believe this sort of nonsense?