Why people oppose immigration

Most of what I have read about the immigration debate seems to focus on the economic implications of mass immigration to the United States. Maybe that is because it is the easy to quantify the arguments for or against immigration in economic terms or maybe it because most of the blogs I read are economic blogs. From my reading on this issue the pro-immigration people have the better argument. The tradeoff seems to be that some low income people are harmed by immigration while most of the rest of the country and the immigrants themselves are helped. Many people are genuinely interested in the fate of low skilled American workers, but for the most part the economic arguments against immigrations are superstructure.
One of the surprises (to some) that came about after the civil rights era is that even if you remove the laws that mandate segregation people will then voluntarily self-segregate. This is because people like being around people who are similar to themselves. One of the great attractions of living in small town America is that sense of similarity to ones neighbors. People feel that their norms of behavior are shared by those around them, and that feeling produces a peace of mind that whatever comes up they will be able to act appropriately. Constantly being around those who are different than us can produce feelings of normlessness. People feel as though they are playing a game where the rules are unclear. If people feel that the norms they grew up with are stifling they tend to move somewhere diverse, like a big city. This feeling of normlessness can be thrilling for short periods of time, but most tend not to like it over the long term. That is one of the reasons people have been moving away from cities and to the suburbs.
The sudden influx of immigrants to a community can replicate this feeling of normlessness. Studies have shown that people living in diverse communities feel less safe than those living in non-diverse communities even after adjusting for crime rates. Suddenly being confronted everyday by people, who look, talk and act differently makes people feel anxious even if the statistics do not show they have a reason to be. One of the differences in the most recent wave of immigration from previous waves is the extent that it has hit places that are not big cities. People are responding negatively to this wave of immigration not just because of largely mistaken economic concerns, but understandable psychological ones.

Share this

Can't people already

Can't people already discriminate and produce culturally or ethnically homogeneous communities by creating private property based gated communities? Maybe some people don't like an immigrant living next to them, but the fact is that they did not buy the neighboring property to prevent it, they want a free ride with the state to acquire some of the property rights over the country, the right to exclude immigrants. HHH argument against immigration is bogus in that the mere fact that a demand exist doesn't mean it is a solvent demand. Most of the anti-discriminatory regulation can be subtly evaded. People want immigrant out but they are not ready to pay the legitimate price (land ownership) to do so... In a free society, people are probably doomed to be discontent with immigration just like they are with the bad weather, they don't like it but they won't consider going to huge expenses to stop it.

Not with their money

But most who are discontent with immigration are willing to use other people's money to stop it, i.e. building a wall, more onerous business regulations.

Right, this is what debunks

Right, this is what debunks in my opinion the "immigration-restriction is a market demand" type of arguments some libertarians try to pull.

Immigration is free

Immigration is free association and moving from place A to place B. Equating it to trespassing is absurd, and using it as an issue to support protectionist policy (which is what this is all about at the end of the day) is riddled with economic fallacy. This is one of those issues in which many libertarians abandon their principles, going after a hobgoblin (in this case, immigrants, specifically Mexican ones) instead of the source of the problem: the state. Who presents more of a threat to you: the government bereaucrat or some poor Mexican coming here to get a job?

Hmm I'm going with "the poor

Hmm I'm going with "the poor Mexican" .. It was getting 1 sided XD