Sunday, January 11, 2015

Immigration and American first principles

The Immigration Debate and American First Principles | Washington Free Beacon - Bill McMorris:

"When Americans were busy in the 18th century figuring out what the first principles of their new nation would be, intellectuals and politicians used to produce ‘broadsides’—brief fliers meant to influence readers before getting tossed into the garbage.

"Encounter Books resurrected the form in 2009 and its 41st edition proves to be a rarity, and something well worth retaining after the first read: The publisher manages to hold an immigration debate free of any accusations of racism or hatred for America’s working poor.

"That isn’t to say the debate between CATO Institute scholar Alex Nowrasteh and Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian is not spirited. Krikorian opens his chapter with 'For the past five decades, America’s immigration policy has been based on poetry. It needs, instead, to be based on prose,' before laying out the case that America is a buyers market when it comes to newcomers and should craft policy with the interests of its citizens—especially those at the lower rung of society—in mind.

"To which Nowrasteh replies, 'restrictive immigration policies are government tools of social, demographic, and economic engineering that are unacceptably intrusive and contrary to … principles of liberty.'

"Both authors have given deep consideration to his respective case and analysis of the social, economic, and political effects of open immigration. Readers are free to choose their starting point as Encounter published the white papers in reversible format. There is no indication that either scholar received advanced copies of one another’s paper, but both know this issue well enough to understand the opposition and head him off at the rhetorical pass."

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