Hi, I'm Nick. This is my blog. I'm a life-long unschooler living in New York. You can find more about me here.

I help run the Recurse Center (YC'S10).

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I hope he’s right…

November 03, 2007

Jim Harper over at the Cato blog thinks the anti-immigration opinions held by many in this country are in fact only "weakly held" and will fade if presented with the correct arguments.

Having watched this issue, and having heard from lots of angry people, I know that anti-immigrant views are a classic weakly held opinion. Angry as people are about the rule of law and “coming to this country the right way,” that anger melts when they learn more. Stuff like this:

"We haven’t permitted anywhere near enough legal immigration for decades. You can sit back and talk about legal channels, but the law has only allowed a smidgen of workers into the country compared to our huge demand. Getting people through legal channels at the INS has been hell.

"America, you’re going to have to get over what amounts to paperwork violations by otherwise law-abiding, honest, hard-working people. And that’s what we’re talking about - 98% honest, hard-working people who want to follow the same path our forefathers did, and who would be a credit to this country if we made it legal for them to come. Our current immigration policies are a greater threat to the rule of law than any of the people crossing the border to come here and work."

I sincerely hope he's right, though I fear he's not taking full account of the fundamentally irrational nature of xenophobia.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the House want to add a $3.1 billion tax burden for companies looking to hire high-skilled immigrants. Is there anything holding the Republican party together right now other than shared fear? It sure as hell ain't principles, ideas, or any respect for traditional American values.