The RAISE Act: A Step In the Right Direction, But Nowhere Near Enough

A reader who is a long-time immigration skeptic and a close student of the issue takes off from a Ross Douthat column on the proposed RAISE Act:

Douthat writes:

…you can address many of the costs of mass immigration by embracing the new bill’s points system without also making its steep cuts.

Puh-leeez!……“steep cuts”? That’s absurd to the point of being intentionally obtuse, if not outright mendacious! The proposal is for a 50% reduction in green cards, i.e., legal permanent residence —- but over a ten year period! We gradually move from 1 million a year to 500,000 a year over ten years. The total new legal immigrant influx would be 7.5 million, instead of as under the status quo 10 million! Some cut…..oh, and it does NOT include the various categories of H1 visas for the “guest workers”-who-never-leave.

And here is one huge cost that no tweaking of admissions criteria can ever “address”: grotesque giantism, the palpable and extreme costs of environmental degradation, land use and sheer unmitigated crowdedness as the total population approaches Asian levels —- 500 million within the next 50 years or so.

So that’s probably the immigration compromise we’re waiting for: a version of the Cotton-Perdue points system, the shift to high-skilled recruitment, that keeps the overall immigration rate close to where it is today.

That’s not the immigration “compromise” that I’ve been waiting for! What’s the compromise? We “keep[] the overall immigration rate close to where it is today”?….as opposed to what the left/Dem/MSM wants which is, for all practical purposes, unlimited immigration? Because Emma Lazarus?

[A] system that focused more on skills and education and job prospects…would presumably bring in a more diverse pool of migrants, making balkanization and self-segregation less likely.

Unless this presumption, so confidently and casually asserted by assorted Times-men and others on the left, turns out to be…WRONG…then what? How do we get our country back after the left engineers yet more identity politics cum affirmative action led by the academic-industrial complex’s never ending attack on traditional America (“America was never great”) as incorrigibly racist and in need of Transformation?

In a similar vein:

[A] system that focused more on skills and education and job prospects would automatically put less pressure on wages at the bottom. It would increase immigration’s economic benefits…

Unless it doesn’t! This must be a reference to the STEM “shortage” fraud. Instead of “pressure on wages at the bottom” let’s put pressure on wages at the upper-middle! We can bring in millions of mostly Asian genius-entrepreneurs in tech fields! I’m sure the Valley will welcome new waves of techno-coolies, as they openly refer to them. What do we do if this heroic “presumption” turns out to be wrong as well?

Immigration’s “economic benefits” have never been shown to be, on the most optimistic and tendentious accounts, anything but trivial on a per capita basis for existing native-born Americans. All that happens is grotesque giantism: larger aggregate GDP at the expense of enormous undesirable population growth and unwanted and unnecessary demographic change engineered for the benefit of he left.

This whole apology for the status quo on immigration — and that is pretty much what the Trump-Cotton-Perdue proposal is — is premised on the poll results where supposedly the middle position is that the rate of immigration should be unchanged. I’d like to see the poll results on this question:

At present rates of legal immigration the U.S., already the third most populous country in the world after China and India, would have a population increase of more than 100 million to as much as 450 million within less than 50 years. The foreign born and first generation population would be 30% of total, which is historically unprecedented. In light of these facts, do you favor more, less or the same levels of immigration?

Maybe the Times can get back to us on these questions.


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