Lifeboat Ethics As Regards Immigration.  Part III - May 21, 2022  (Review Part II here.)

Crafting A Comprehensive New Immigration Policy Is Doable.  It Begins With Step 1.

Americans are deeply divided as regards immigration.  This division must be bridged if we are to realize the immense benefits that immigrants can bring to America.  It will take leadership, hard work and compromise to craft a successful new immigration policy.

America needs to take in some 2 million immigrants a year – only a small portion of the 160 million migrants who would flood into the country were there no restrictions.  The harsh reality is that we must deny entry to most of these.  The good news is that, like most other nations, we can select immigrants who will best serve our national interests.  A new, comprehensive immigration policy must do just that!

Throughout history successful immigration policies have included three essential principles: clearly-articulated/understood long-term national interests to be served by immigration; unambiguous laws/regulations that implement and control immigration to enhance those national interests; acculturation/assimilation of immigrants without avoidable delays.  Immigration policies that do not include these principles are never successful.  (Our present nominal immigration policy fails all three.)

The first (and hardest) step in arriving at completely new-from-the-ground-up immigration policy is to reach agreement on the one or two (no more) long-term national interests to be supported by immigration.  That process could take a year or two!  It will involve many groups and special interests including the President, Congress, politicians, citizens, business and community leaders and others focused on just this single subject.  Consistent leadership of the President is essential to start and sustain the national conversation, and guide it to consensus.

Many potential long-term national interests to be primarily supported by immigration can be put forth, such as the following.  These must be considered, analyzed, selected/rejected to arrive at the one or two that will guide America’s new immigration policy.

  • Compensate for America’s declining birth rate (see blog of January 2, 2021),
  • Increase supply of specified skills and experience,
  • Provide seasonal labor for agriculture, construction, etc.,
  • Provide lower-cost labor,
  • Unite and preserve immigrant family units,
  • Enhance security,
  • Enhance America’s international image,
  • Transform America into a more multicultural nation.
  • What others might you suggest?

A new, comprehensive immigration policy is sorely needed.  It’s long past time for an American President to initiate this conversation and sustain it to clear consensus.  So contact President Biden and other politicians, write letters to the editor and everyone else you can think of.  Push for this to happen.

(For more, preview Immigration here.)

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