Sunday, July 18, 2010

Immigration Politics: Handling the Details

Immigration is the single biggest issue facing the US right now.  Reducing immigration needs to become the top priority of everyone not mentally wedded to the left.  Increasing numbers of moderates, reactionaries, and conservatives agree on this point.  Beyond that, many things are still in question.  Do we seek a reduction in immigration in general, or just better enforcement to reduce illegal immigration?

Assuming (hopefully) that it is the former, are we shooting for a measured reduction in immigration, or a total moratorium?  

When talking about reducing legal immigration, are we talking merely about reducing or abolishing immigrant visa programs (i.e., reducing future legal immigration) or are we talking about canceling term-limited visas early (i.e., sending resident aliens home)?  (I'm leaving non-immigrant visas out of this as non-germane; it is legitimate, though off-topic, for conservatives to want to reduce the numbers of tourists, foreign students, etc.)

We don't all need to agree on these questions.  In fact, it may be better if we don't (assuming we won't spend too much energy excoriating each other or, worse yet, "reading each other out").  The reason is, if a small group, vocally but politely, advocates the cancel-visas-and-send-them-home position, everyone who wants to honor those visas until the end of their lives, while reducing or stopping new visas, looks moderate by comparison.  (Incidentally, that is my position:  Honor all extant visas unless they would be canceled under old policies, e.g. for criminal activity.  Abolish or suspend all programs issuing new visas.)

Once we have charted a broad course for reduction of immigration, we can argue about the details.  Don't ask your conservative friends if they want to reduce immigration.  Give them more credit than that!  Instead ask them if they prefer a reduction or a moratorium.  Ask them if there are any visa programs they would continue, or if perhaps there are any types of visas they would pull retroactively.

Cooperating with other conservatives goes way beyond basic respect for your neighbors.  I respect every Jewish, Christian, and polytheist religionist.  They may have deep religious reasons to tolerate or even advocate open borders.  I advise you to respect that, but don't mistake anyone who is happy with mass immigration for a conservative.  

Bottom Line:  Legitimize and normalize restrictionism, with everything you say and write.


TAS said...

Interesting points. Everyone's talking about ending illegal immigration, but few people ever broach the topic of ending or restricting legal immigration.

B Lode said...

Everyone's talking about ending illegal immigration, but few people ever broach the topic of ending or restricting legal immigration.

It's sadly overlooked. Lawrence Auster (whom I am tremendously ambivalent about) sad that he was skipping over the obvious rightist candidate - Chuck Baldwin - because Baldwin was always on about 9/11 Truth and side issues, and not about legal immigration. Baldwin & Castle did oppose illegal immigration, but that's not enough.

Auster ended up writing in Tom Tancredo. Good for him. I'm not ambivalent about Congressman Tancredo.