When he’s right, he’s right
Every nation decides its immigration policy
HERE is some unsolicited advice for our friends on the left: If everything is an emergency, if everything is a crisis, if everything is a catastrophe, then nothing is. You have enough ammunition when it comes to criticizing the current occupant of the Oval Office. Why take out the ashes and sackcloth after every news conference?
The president—along with a couple of U.S. senators—is proposing some common-sense changes to the nation’s immigration policies. As if this nation’s people could be choosy about who gets to come to these shores and when. As if this country had the same claims of security and economy of, say, every other country on the planet. There are some louder types on the port side of American politics who seem to think the United States is the only country in the world that doesn’t have the right to enforce immigration policies. Those people are easy enough to spot. They’re on cable TV night and day.
President Trump, with an assist from a senator named Tom Cotton, is supporting a plan to reduce legal immigration—yes, legal immigration— to give preferences to skilled workers who would help drive the nation’s economy. This is considered, among some, to be a controversial proposal.
Those who keep up with these things say the legislation, if passed, would cut legal immigration in half over 10 years. But they also say that legal immigration to this country already approaches 1.1 million people a year. And that number does not include the illegal immigrants who go back and forth over our southern border as the United States’ economy waxes and wanes.
Sen. Cotton’s proposal would implement a points-based system for immigrants looking for green cards. (Same as those awful xenophobics in Canada!) Applicants would receive points based on age, education, the ability to speak English, willingness to invest, and their résumés. For example, those with Nobel prizes would get a good head start on punching their tickets.
For too many years, immigration to this country was based on who could get here, and then send for their families. Including extended families. For the record, Sen. Cotton’s proposal would still allow new Americans to bring along their spouses and minor children. Just not all the aunts, great-aunts and second-cousins once-removed. Also, the “diversity lottery system” program, which gives preferences to those from “underrepresented” nations, would be eliminated. Diversity by itself has never necessarily been a bad thing, but, as in higher education in this country, it has turned into a monster, devouring everything in its path. Including common sense. Why give a preference to a man from Country A, when a man from Country B has a master’s degree, a business plan and two startups?
DOUBTLESS in the coming days and weeks, as this immigration plan fights for attention between health care and taxes, there’ll be any number of people who’ll make the following arguments against it:
Who will pick the crops? This doesn’t allow more unskilled workers to work in the agriculture and the hospitality business.
Build That Wall! is just a slogan at this point, and doesn’t appear to ever become more than that. Unskilled labor will continue to flow toward the jobs, just as water flows downhill.
How will the economy manage without the constant inflow of worker bees?
In his announcement Wednesday with President Trump, Sen. Cotton (R-Ark.) said this: “We bring over a million immigrants into this country a year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every single year, adding the population of Arkansas every three years. Only 1 in 15 out of a million new immigrants come here because of their job skills and their ability to succeed in this economy.”
The Brookings Institution put together a policy brief a few years back that said only about 6.5 percent of people who come to America do so based on labor and skill. As Casey Stengel used to say, you can look it up.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are against this plan.
They’ll be OK. Bank on it. What is a nation if it can’t control its own immigration policy? What is a nation if its own people can’t make decisions on who joins the club? And who’s to say such policies can’t be altered to benefit said nation?
Sen. Cotton’s proposal sounds like mostly common sense.
Unfortunately, common sense isn’t all that common these days.