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Poll: Immigration reform has become lopsided

February 8, 2013

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Here are two items on immigration reform.

First, a Gallup poll found that there’s significant public support for a number of pieces that could be part of comprehensive immigration reform:

At least two-thirds of Americans favor each of five specific measures designed to address immigration issues — ranging from 68% who would vote for increased government spending on security measures and enforcement at U.S. borders, to 85% who would vote for a requirement that employers verify the immigration status of all new hires. More than seven in 10 would vote for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants now living in this country.

Second, Forum for Innovation scholar, Nick Schulz has a unique take on the immigration debate with an analogy:

America is like the trendy nightclub with a line outside the door and down the block with people shivering in the cold hoping to get past the velvet rope. But unlike the hip nightspot, that might lose its allure after six months and when tastes change, America never seems to go out of style: people have been wanting to come to America for centuries and continue to do so.

Judging from the Gallup poll, if there’s a good bouncer at the door, a majority of Americans want our trendy nightclub to continue to be a welcoming place.

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Marvin McConoughey February 8, 2013

The analogy by Nick Schulz is good but, of course, simplistic. Immigration policies and practices should be conducted for the long term good of a nation which may be around for hundreds or thousands of years. And present trends are that we continue to hunt for, and deplete, a great many limited natural resources; not just oil, or coal, or gas. In the sweep of history, a rising population trend that once brought rising prosperity and use of surplus resources now has turned on us and become a threat to long term prosperity as measured on a per-capita basis.

We live in a competitive world. In this real world, immigration practice should bring in the highest talent immigrants and keep out the lowest talented. Any reform that does otherwise should be minutely scrutinized for better alternatives.

Border control, now tightly associated with illegal immigration is, instead a matter of national sovereignty and security. It must be achieved on those considerations quite apart from the nature of those who seek to enter in violation of national and state laws.

Some support illegal immigration on the basis of the cheap labor it supplies. Those immigrants cast a demographic shadow in which currently low paid workers will seek higher pay. The inevitable outcome will be that those who now seek cheap labor must logically support a continued flow of illegal workers. That way lies chaos for the nation.

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