The end of history, kind of

People who want to limit immigration are a frequent target of my anger for a number of reasons. I think that in general their main motivation is racism, which is a disgusting idea and one that disqualifies a person's arguments from my respectful consideration. Next is nationalism, hardly better.

Another one is that it's plain un-American, in fact anti-American. It rests on a mistaken conception of the American identity. The American identity, historically, has been as the land of opportunity, the refuge from the Old Country. Granted, a distinct identity has grown, but the meta-identity is the melting pot, and the particular form of the identity that obtains is constantly in flux. It's not monolithic or unchanging. It started as English*, then English plus German plus Scots-Irish plus African, then that plus a host of other things like Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Eastern European, Indian, Mexican and Central American, etc., including new waves of old groups. Someone who opposes immigration today ought, in the interest of consistency, to lament the eras of mass immigration in the same way that I lament the New Deal or the Vietnam War. That is, anybody who is not purely English-descended, from the colonial period, ought to think he shouldn't be here.**

Let me rephrase this point: the particular form of the American identity is not definitively established. It seems to me that to disagree with this point you'd have to narrow down to a historical period--maybe not a specific day, but at least to an identifiable range--in which the American identity was concluded, such that there's really an unbridgeable Us and Them situation in the present day.

I don't believe there is. One half of my ancestry arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s, and I feel like I blend into the American fabric just fine.

Bonus: how does naturalization according to Federal legislation allow someone be absorbed culturally?

* Let's not forget the various American Indian groups whose influence is historically undervalued, and which is briefly discussed at the end of Charles C. Mann's 1491, a book I recommend.
** Again, let's ask the American Indians about this.

Share this

Well-poisoning

This seems to me a case of well-poisoning more than anything else. The arguments that this posts demolishes are indeed weak, but their abstractions aren't the motivation of most restrictionists. The real arguments in the field are whether immigration (especially immigration given the welfare state) will increase or decrease the welfare of current Americans. This may be a "selfish" point of view, but it's no more selfish than debate on any other political point.

If you simply dismiss those arguments as nativist ranting, without engaging in the hard-headed cost-benefit analysis, you will lose credibility for your side of the debate.

All racists

So, anyone who disagrees with you is racist? Nice way to start a discussion. Why would opponents bother replying?

There are two questions to

There are two questions to ask about unrestricted immigration:

1) Is it in my own personal interest?

2) Is it an effective form of charity?

IMHO, the answer to 1) is no. A liberal and proprosperous society depends on institutions and culture. Our current levels of immigration are too high to assimilate massive numbers of immigrants into our institutions and culture. As voters, new immigrants tend to vote tribally. They vote for redistributive policies along ethnic lines. This is directly against my own interests, and on a broader level it is poisonous to ethnic relations.

Immigration is also against my own interests in that it increases the ratio of people to land. The greatest endowment of the U.S. has always been its massive amounts of land. But as more people move in it drives up housing costs, increases crowding, and puts more strain on water and energy resources.

But I am not a totally selfish person. I believe in doing good. So we must also examine whether immigration is an effective form of charity.

I do not believe immigration to be an effective form of charity. The problem is that the world is producing an infinite number of poor people. In most Latin American countries, the source of our great masses of immigrants, the lower classes out reproduce the upper classes by 2 to 1 ratios. It is a known fact for all of human history, that if you have more children than you can support, your children will be dirt poor. If we allow unrestricted immigration, the U.S. will simply be swamped by poor people who cannot control their own loins. Who wins in this scenario? Its not like the magical air of California will suddenly make these people productive and wealthy. The poor will continue to reproduce at a high level, the middle and upper classes will die out, and all of North America will look like the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

It is clear to me that the areas of America with the highest amounts of immigration are turning into Rio without the beach. And Rio without the beach sucks. Any supporter of immigration needs to explain how they will change their policy so that high immigrant areas will actually be appealing places to live.

^^ that.

^^ that.

Grrr

Say you are an ice cream vendor in a street and we're debating whether the city should allow other ice cream vendors to sell in your streets.

You're saying

1) Is it in my personal interest : no.
2) Is it a form of charity : yes, because I'll help the other guy by giving him a chance to sell ice-cream, while I'll get a lower profit.

Not preventing the other guy from competing is not charity, it is just refraining from being a thug. Not being a rapist is not being charitable to women, not being a pick-pocket is not being charitable to commuters and not wanting immigration restriction IS NOT being charitable either.

To all the people who oppose immigration here. I own property and if I want to have non citizens on that property, it is none of your fucking business. I do not care about your intricate explanations about the welfare system. It is none of your business, period.

Sure, if everybody owned

Sure, if everybody owned property and there was no nation state, as long as you refrain from disturbing your neighbors, it would be nobody’s business what you do on your land. But, unless you have allodial title to your land, you don’t own property, the state does. Therefore the state is allowed to decide who can enter the country and who cannot.

Even if you do not recognize the state as a legitimate owner you still cannot allow unrestricted immigration as these immigrants use the coercive force of the state to steal your money. Without the easy access to your money the welfare state provides to immigrants the influx of foreigners would be far less. You cannot have a welfare state AND unrestricted immigration. It is the one or the other.

Looks like Bill Balsamico (North Versailles, PA) the politically incorrect owner of Casa D’Ice sums up what most people think nowadays.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80rlULF6G6Y

How on earth did the state

How on earth did the state get ownership of this land? If I am the owner of the land, I happen to have the best claim to its allodial title. Just because a band of thugs formed a government and claimed ownership of half a continent doesn't make it so.

By the way, I like the word allodial, it reminds you that the US government essentially considers its citizens serfs.

these immigrants use the

these immigrants use the coercive force of the state to steal your money

If they do, they may be removed, but you cannot prevent them from coming on the ground that they might.

Once again, if I want to have an immigrant on my property it's my business. If you can prove he has conspired with the US government to steal you more money, you're welcome to retaliate. If not, leave us alone.

Under existing rules it is

Under existing rules it is almost impossible for English speaking and northern Europeans to legally stay while we are being flooded with Hispanics. The intent seems to be to end our traditional culture.

Does "our [sic] traditional

Does "our [sic] traditional culture" include Irish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and German Jewish immigrants? As I tried to point out, there's not one monolithic traditional culture in the U.S. Your words, mutatis mutandis, might have been used 150 years ago, and I think we're still all right.

welfare state

Reason, above, sums up my concern with one phrase "immigration given the welfare state". I say do away with the one and open the doors. Until the welfare state is ended then I believe I'm allowed to complain and stand against ILLEGAL immigration. Oh, and I don't care if the illegal immigrants in question are Brits, Germans, Mexicans, etc., on infinitum.

Legality

What does legality have to do with this?

If they made LEGAL (apparently it needs to be all caps) all immigration from poor African countries, would you suddenly not feel allowed to complain about it?

Let's say an evil they made it ILLEGAL for poor US citizens to have children, some of them would have some anyway and they would probably go on welfare. In that case would you stand against ILLEGAL procreation?

Legality has nothing to do with morality.

I wouldn't say that all

I wouldn't say that all anti-immigration arguments are based in racism, but all of the ones here so far are firmly rooted in collectivism.

"the U.S. will simply be

"the U.S. will simply be swamped by poor people who cannot control their own loins."

Thanks for proving the author's point.

Your Position is Based on

"People who want to limit immigration are a frequent target of my anger for a number of reasons. I think that in general their main motivation is racism..."

I stopped reading there. No point in continuing.

What goes into your "Think"? What proof in facts do you have to back up your assertion other than your emotional presumption motivated by the constant drone of the Left demonizing white people and all things in their white heritage? For instance, without asking me, can you actually know why I might oppose or support any given public policy regarding immigration? No, you cannot.

Provide a real argument.

There are situations in real life that might reasonably deserve a response of anger. You have claimed a right to be angry at people for their motivations when you do not even know what their motivations are. What a waste.

Ahah "white heritage" ? What

Ahah "white heritage" ? What on earth is a "white heritage" ?

The author's point is based on his observations, you're welcome to challenge them as being non representative but I've had the same experience. Most of the time, immigration is discussed as a "us" vs "them" discourse, which is rooted in collectivism and xenophobia.

Arthur B., Since I find

Arthur B.,

Since I find myself arguing for limited immigration, because of the existence of the welfare state, I guess I am arguing for a system of legal and hence, illegal immigration. Yes, I know it's immoral but the welfare state has enough moral problems of its own starting with the fact that it forces some to labor for the benefit of others. So, it seems we are simply pitting one form of immorality against another.

I don't even like that Mr. Finbarr above brought up the question of charity in relation to this since the state's involvement necessarily includes coercion and so is the direct opposite of charity. Actually, I guess some government officials and bureaucrats are being charitable (and buying votes), just with other people's money, right?

My own motives are quite selfish and individualistic, and have nothing what-so-ever to do with collectivism or xenophobia. I simply think it's in my and my family's interests to try and limit the number of people we are being forced to carry on our backs under the welfare state. I don't care about their color or ethnicity or nationality. Most of the folks riding the system in my neck of the woods are white as it happens.

As an aside, I also have major problems with the fact that the U.S. government uses tax monies for aid programs. One just can't get away from the fact, no matter how convoluted the arguments are in support of aid, that the monies are first taken from one group of people, in this case U.S. taxpayers, an action backed with the implicit threat of force, and given out to others according to the judgement of third parties (government officials). I believe that meets the definition of slavery, however attenuated. Same model for the welfare state.

I've never said anywhere that I'm against open borders, hell I'm all for it, but only if the welfare state is eliminated first. As for morality, how moral is it for a person to have a child knowing damn well that in doing so they will place the economic burden of raising that child onto others - in effect enslaving other people so that their "right" to procreate is fulfilled? You see my difficulty when discussing morality given the system we live under?

Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm against the state having a role in any of these areas, but the system is already in place isn't it? I didn't create the system but I currently have to live with, and develop strategies for getting by, under it. At the moment that means I'm for limited immigration. I'm not close-minded though and am open to good arguments for why I shouldn't worry about open borders even with the welfare state.

Since I find myself arguing

Since I find myself arguing for limited immigration, because of the existence of the welfare state, I guess I am arguing for a system of legal and hence, illegal immigration.

Unless the current laws reflect exactly that system, there is no reason to condemn "illegal immigration per se". If the law is just, there is an underlying moral reason why it is bad to break it, that doesn't make illegality immoral in itself.

Yes, I know it's immoral

Good. Then there is little for us to argue about. I'll be at your place by 4pm to rape your face. Yes, yes, I know it's immoral.

but the welfare state has enough moral problems of its own starting with the fact that it forces some to labor for the benefit of others. So, it seems we are simply pitting one form of immorality against another.

No, there is no moral conflict. Morality isn't about a system it's about what you do. Letting the state steal taxes is not immoral. Advocating that people be kidnapped is.

My own motives are quite selfish and individualistic, and have nothing what-so-ever to do with collectivism or xenophobia. I simply think it's in my and my family's interests to try and limit the number of people we are being forced to carry on our backs under the welfare state. I don't care about their color or ethnicity or nationality. Most of the folks riding the system in my neck of the woods are white as it happens.

Bullshit. Your influence on the amount of taxes collected for welfare is zero. You are spending money writing on this blog. This is not about personal interest at all.

As an aside, I also have major problems with the fact that the U.S. government uses tax monies for aid programs. One just can't get away from the fact, no matter how convoluted the arguments are in support of aid, that the monies are first taken from one group of people, in this case U.S. taxpayers, an action backed with the implicit threat of force, and given out to others according to the judgement of third parties (government officials). I believe that meets the definition of slavery, however attenuated. Same model for the welfare state.

Yes the welfare system is immoral. What's your point?

Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm against the state having a role in any of these areas, but the system is already in place isn't it? I didn't create the system but I currently have to live with, and develop strategies for getting by, under it. At the moment that means I'm for limited immigration. I'm not close-minded though and am open to good arguments for why I shouldn't worry about open borders even with the welfare state.

The fact that the state may do you more harm if someone does something he has the right to do does not give you the right to hurt that person.

Let me put it another way. I have many friends who have been in the US illegally.
- If you ever were to cast a decisive vote saying DHS thugs should invade their home, kidnap them and throw them out
- If they found that out and set out to protect themselves by hurting you
Then that would be completely legitimate defense.

By the way, why I haven't seen you arguing for the forced sterilization of poor American mothers whose children are likely to end up on welfare? Why is that more or less wrong than shooting Mexicans who try to cross the border according to you?

Morality is whatever you say

Morality is whatever you say it is. Arguing from morality is as subjective a nonsense as you can contrive. Your morality is crap. As long as you know it is YOUR crap, no problem. When you start claiming that your morality is everybody's morality, we have a problem.

Morality is a characteristic

Morality is a characteristic that applies to actions, situations, people etc. People may not label as moral exactly the same things, but due to our shared human nature, we tend to use pretty much the same rules to determine what is moral and what isn't. The non aggression principle for example is vastly recognized as moral.

It's interesting that many

It's interesting that many people conflate "self-interest" and "financial self-interest". Immigration probably hurts me financially, but I don't make political decisions based on financial interests and I despise those who do (whether it's the banksters pulling the strings to solidify regulatory capture or working class dudes complaining about jobs and brown folk). As long as the United States' government can keep immigrants out and off of citizens' private property, it can keep me in (and I have no particular connection to this country, I'm actually saving up money and considering my options for getting out). I'll vote for freedom over $$$ any day; the good life is worth fighting for, while the bare life is not even worth living.

A question for those who vote based on their financial self-interest:
Would you support a war if it FOR SURE brought down oil prices, and therefore gas prices, transportation prices, commodity and foodstuffs prices, etc. etc.?
If not, why not? How does it matter to your financial bottom line if brown people somewhere are killed, or displaced, or robbed, etc.?

As for immigration destroying the welfare state, I say bring it on! (Same thing with peak oil, climate change, etc.)