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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What Is The Purpose of Immigration?

It's not a hard question to pose:  What is the purpose of immigration into the USA?  The answer, however, is not so simple.  In many respects, the answer depends on which group is providing the response.

For most Democrat politicians, the purpose of immigration is simple:  immigrants are expected to vote Democrat, so the more immigrants, the better.  These politicians may talk about all sorts of other things with regard to immigration, but a constant supply of voters is the true goal.  Let's put these selfish fools aside for the moment, and consider what benefit does immigration confer on the USA; in other words, let's consider why legal immigration makes sense for this country.  For nearly 200 years, immigration into the USA had the principal purpose of providing new settlers to fill up the open countryside.  Wave after wave of immigrants came to the USA and provided the manpower needed by this growing country.  About 90 years ago, the rules changed.  America went from totally open immigration to a country with strict controls on exactly who could immigrate. In the 1920s, so many people in the USA could not even speak English that our national identity was in danger of being destroyed.  Congress put quotas, by country, on immigrants and that system endured until the 1960s.  At that point, the focus of immigration changed.  After the law was modified, the focus was on admitting people who had relatives in the USA.  We were reuniting families.

The current system with its family orientation, however, provides minimal benefits to the country and actually harms a big segment of the American population.  Something like 6% of current legal immigrants bring needed skills; the rest are unskilled workers.  Many of the immigrants end up on welfare or otherwise being supported by the government.  In other words, it costs us to let them in rather than benefitting the country.  On top of that, the glut of unskilled workers keeps the wages of American workers low due to the increase in supply of such labor.

The new plan backed by President Trump would put a priority on admitting skilled workers.  It would cut back on the numbers of unskilled workers who stream into the country each year.  This alone would soon mean higher wages for American workers.  The poor and the lower middle class would quickly see an increase in incomes as the competition from unskilled immigrants was reduced.

So we need to ask again; what is the purpose of immigration?  If it is to help the USA and its citizens, then the Trump plan makes perfect sense.  On the other hand, if the purpose is just to import more voters for the Democrats, then the present law (and all the nonsense that gets said about it) should be the choice.

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