Immigration Makes Us Stronger

It is ironic and upsetting that a nation built on immigration is increasingly unwelcoming to immigrants and that the words ” go back” are becoming a political rallying cry.

I am for immigration full stop.

I think opening our arms and borders to people who want to come here, work, build their lives and businesses and futures makes our country stronger.

It always has. Nothing that is great about the United States was accomplished without immigrants.

Immigrants built our docks, they built our railroads, they built our automotive industry, and they built our technology industry.

If we were to close our borders completely, I believe we would be a second rate country within a couple of generations.

Immigration is new blood, new ideas, a work ethic, a belief in a better future, a willingness to take enormous risk, burn the boats, and get it done.

We need that in our society. We will die without it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Tom Labus

    “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…”George Washington

    1. JamesHRH

      But not in unlimited number.

  2. awaldstein

    Yes!As a second generation Jewish Immigrant, this is the truth of my life and my beliefs.Possibly this quite self indulgent, older post on my grandfather can capture it for those in the community who don’t have this tie to being brought up with different languages spoken at the table, where the head of household never went to school, yet loved this country and made it what it is.

  3. bogorad

    That would be Bush (senior) – he crushed the hopes of an entire generation of soviet kids dreaming of going to America: 90%+ of those leaving the USSR on the premise of going to Israel ended up in Italy and then in NYC. Bush put an end to it.

    1. JLM

      .When Gorbachev opened the floodgates, the assumption was that most Soviet Jews would go to Israel. That was the presumption. The US got in the middle of this, in part, because there were no direct contacts between the Soviets and the Israelis including commercial air travel.The reason they ended up in Italy was because that was where the US processed its visas. Rome. There was a refugee camp north of Rome.The first push back against the US taking more Soviet Jews was not the Bush admin, it was the American Jewish organizations that said they were filled up. They were the first ones to suggest that a Jew could not come to the USA unless they had a close direct relative.The Soviet Jews were being admitted as “refugees” — those fleeing a despotic government under whom they had a high probability of being persecuted or executed.When Soviet Jews started picking the USA rather than Israel — the freedom of choice discussion — the Americans took the attitude that a Soviet Jew was not much of a refugee if they did not want to go to Israel and would rather stay in the Soviet Union.The USA, in the Reagan admin, converted the refugee status to a quota. Under this provision, more than 400,000 Soviet Jews elected to go to Israel at the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s because they could not fit under the quota.Going to Israel was the original intent of the program. Israel wanted this manpower to build its country.In doing this, the Israelis made the Soviet Jews leave from Easter Bloc Communist countries that did not allow them “freedom of choice.”Most of this was done under the Reagan admin when Geo HW Bush was VP.No Soviet Jews were denied emigration. The Soviets kept their end of the bargain and Israel and the US did also.This Soviet wave of emigration in Israel is celebrated as having given them a huge shot in the arm as most of the immigrants were well educated.Interestingly most Soviet refugees from the Ukraine, Kiev, and Leningrad selected the USA while the other geographical areas selected primarily Israel.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  4. Paul Brown

    Only a few crackpots are opposed to immigration per se. That’s not the real issue. The vexing issue is how we will manage immigration. Is it a free-for-all with uncontrolled porous borders or is it a question of legal rules that are fairly enforced and complied with? I’m as pro-immigration and pro-immigrant as they come, but what is happening now on our southern border is an out-of-control mess that must be fixed.

  5. Leon Grin

    No one is against immigrants; including the elected president Donald Trump.The discussion is much more about open borders or not.Accusing people who are against open borders to be against immigrants is not just wrong, but offensive.

    1. Rob Larson

      A lot of people say that, but then as soon as they get into power they work to enact immigration restrictions to reduce the levels of legal immigration. Which makes me question whether they aren’t against immigration of all forms.

      1. DJL

        Please provide some examples of this. I have not seen one piece of legislation from the Trump administration to actually “reduce” legal immigration.

        1. Rob Larson

          Legislation not required if you control the executive branch

          1. DJL

            Not even sure what that means? The executive branch is designed to be “controlled” by the other two branches. That is how the country was founded.

          2. Rob Larson

            You can do a lot with executive orders.But I dont want to turn this into a discussion about Trump – this is a common pattern I’ve noticed among lots of politicians who claim they are in favor of legal immigration but do nothing to expand it, and often try to reduce it. For any potential policy modification, they come out on the side of “less immigration is preferred, not more.”

        2. Vendita Auto

          Trumps rhetoric is IMO his only “final solution”

          1. Richard

            Moron Alert

          2. Vendita Auto

            “No being of a social nature can be entirely beyond the tendency to fall to the level of his associates”

        3. JamesHRH

          Trump has a plan that is based on the Canadian system.Which is merit based.

          1. DJL

            That is discrimination against dumb people!Seriously, that idea – which makes perfect sense – would create balance toward a sustainable level of immigration. The unlimited access crowd would consider that “reducing” immigration. Just bogus wordsmithing.

        4. sachmo

          I’m against open borders and think that a lot of Trump’s policies on illegal immigration make sense. But he’s definitely also making life harder for people coming here legally as well. Is there a specific piece of legislation? no. But I work with a lot of legal immigrants in tech, and anecdotally, a whole lot of very talented, genius level people are getting denied visas for stupid reasons. Trump says he’s for merit based immigration, but I don’t think the internal immigration policies reflect that in practice.

          1. DJL

            I am interested to learn details. Not sure how “he” specifically is making it more difficult. (new policy? new appointment?) If so, that makes no sense.This would be a classic care where the idiots in Congress could work together. Most everyone agrees that the people you are talking about should be streamlined in.

    2. DJL

      Agreed per my comment above. Lumping the two together is designed to insight hatred. Hard to believe that happened here – but it has in the past.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Part of the issue is Trump is clearly a racist, even if he tries to put a facade on that he isn’t – so that makes it easier for people to paint that picture, even if it is based partly on assumption.Likewise when Trump calls out American born politicians telling them to go back to “their own country” – most of what Trump says lacking any logical integrity anyway – adds to the confusion.

      1. Leon Grin

        Matt, don’t fall into this far-left trap of calling people a racist without a very good reason. This is a very serious accusation.Trump is not a racist, and he is working very hard to try to pass on congress a good legislation on immigration. The problem is that congress is more concern about next election (political gain) than really fixing the immigration problem.

        1. Salt Shaker

          There’s hard evidence of Trump’s racism dating back to the 70’s. Don’t limit your perception of Trump over the past 2 years, though there are several datapoints over that period too. There’s a pattern and history that’s hard to ignore.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Of course this accusation was of concern to me during the election so l did some investigation and came to the conclusion that he was not always PC but saw no clear evidence of racism. The possible exception was the housing discrimination issue in the 70s.For me, this is part of a larger issue of how carelessly accusations of racism are used, diluting or masking the true evil thereof.Later, I found this article by Scott Adams that matched my conclusions:

          2. Salt Shaker

            Thanks, Donna. Racism is frequently open to interpretation and not always overt. The article you shared breaks down individual examples of Trump’s involvement and explains away allegations of racism. The article I linked to below analyzes some of the same and different allegations and comes away w/ a different conclusion. Regardless of what one reads, thinks or believes, there’s a very troubling pattern of behavior that in its totality is awfully hard to explain away. There are degrees of prejudicial behavior exhibited by Trump that may not be considered outright racism, but nonetheless are highly inappropriate and have strong inferences of bigotry.

          3. JLM

            .So, bottom line, you and @DonnaBrewingtonWhite and two authors have different interpretations of similar “facts.”You conclude that DJT is a racist.DBW concludes that DJT is not a racist.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Salt Shaker

            I think labels are dangerous, facts are always open to interpretation. I don’t need to conclude Trump is a racist to impune his character. The bar for me isn’t a pigeon hole of racism. A continual pattern of immorality and inappropriate behavior is all I need to see. I think racism is a dangerous and subjective term that obfuscates a broader concern about Trump (at least for me). Trump doesn’t need to reach a clinical def of racism to find serious shade.

          5. JLM

            .Haha, you prove my subtle point. You want to find a label of racism for all the reasons you note. So, you find one.It is a simple matter of bias confirmation.You wanted to define him in a certain way and, voila, you did.I care not a whit about most politicians. I care about policy.I don’t really care about why they enact certain policies.I found the Green New Deal to be silly, so I dismiss its proponents as being un-serious people.I find the necessity to regulate our border to be serious work. I live in a border state, so I am minimally more connected and informed.I don’t give a shit whether the guy solving problems is a Jew, an Arab, black, pink, or part alligator.All I care about is results.From the beginning, that was my attraction to a Trump admin — policy.Way back in 2016, long before Candidate Trump was a “thing” I said as much.http://themusingsofthebigre…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Salt Shaker

            No, there are many despicable things I link to Trump outside any sphere of racism. Policy for me is only part of the equation, while being morally ungrounded does influence policy.

          7. JLM

            .Stop digging. Save your energy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. Matt A. Myers

            To be fair, you were writing more words in response – so you were digging harder?Also, you should learn a lot more about Andrew Yang’s policies – and the numbers presented more thoroughly and in depth. I think you’d be a great person to actually dive into *all* the numbers and details presented to breakdown why or why not each logic point is valid, a benefit to UBI working, or not; unfortunately I’m not sure if they’re all clearly articulated in one place, perhaps on his website – though that may be more geared towards the general public.

          9. Matt A. Myers

            Labels are dangerous because it allows people to react based on their indoctrinated and emotional attachments to that label – and that’s exactly why Trump et al, politicians in general – but not the more refined people, use to rally the masses through emotional means. I really hope for the sake of the US and the world that either Peter or Andrew win – Bernie is a good option, Warren unfortunately is playing the old political game too much for my liking – it’s good however to have players mostly on the same direction playing differently.

          10. Donna Brewington White

            Thank you, SS.Out of respect for and appreciation of you, I read the article. It is like dozens of articles and commentaries I have been exposed to over the years. Intentionally.I intentionally follow people on social media that draw similar conclusions as this article.I want to keep hearing from people like you! I believe we have some similar values and principles but come out on differing sides of an issue from time to time. Not always.I can in no way defend certain aspects of Trump’s character or behavior. But someone with the type of character I could fully embrace along with policies I could support would probably be no match for the vileness of Washington politics. Could not reign in Kim Jung Un (and possibly others such as Putin).Perhaps this battering ram of a president will clear the way. I don’t think he is the new normal, but things will never be the same.

          11. Matt A. Myers

            Trump woke people up – it’s part of the yin-yang cycle and balance of the universe. If Trump wins again I can only imagine it is from electronic votes being changed by Russia – which the FBI has warned is still possible to compromise; believe it or not – along with McConnell preventing any election tampering prevention being passed to protect the next election better.

          12. Matt A. Myers

            Perhaps you should read about Epstein and Trump’s involvement with him – or even watch the interview of the now woman, who when she was 14 was involved in sexual activities with Trump multiple times – and where she said Trump would call workers, people where she was – Epstein’s mansion mostly I believe, including Epstein – calling them derogatory names based on their backgrounds; just as another example out of many I am sure someone is compiling to present in an easy.Just skimmed that Scott Adams article – justifying someone’s racist hyperbole as not being racist is weak, him “clarifying” later to add an additional narrative to put sound bites out to quell people’s actually hearing him being racist is meant just to add confusion, it doesn’t stop him from being racist though.Once again, skirting to set a decisive boundary as to what racism is is a lack of integrity in order to be polite.I’m not arguing the situation isn’t confusing, all of this behaviour and Trump’s pathological lying along with legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants – or people seeking asylum, etc.Trump’s multiple conflicting narratives is exactly why otherwise intelligent people don’t take a strong stand against him.

          13. Donna Brewington White

            This has been too important to me to skim, to trust mainstream media, abbreviated versions. I have gone to transcripts, listened to full speeches, reviewed history, etc.Not comprehensively. Focused on the racist claim, in particular.BTW, the “clarification” re Charlottesville came seconds later and was eliminated from all media reports. Most mainstream media have now admitted their error but the damage was already done.I have lived with racism that you can only imagine. I don’t take it lightly. It is not just a concept to me. My survival as a human being has depended on recovering from its evil effects. This is not playing the “race card.” You have every right to disagree with and question my perceptions, friend.Have not yet delved into Trump’s dealings with Epstein. I will wait for the air to clear, dust to settle, legal issues to become clarified. Murky stuff. Too much room for manipulation, false info.I can’t help but wonder if we would be having a different conversation if Trump was a leftist.Take care, Matt. <3

        2. Matt A. Myers

          So, the “bubble” of information I have access to very clearly shows historical behaviour and recent behaviour that is of a racist person.I’m curious what “bubble” of media you’ve been exposed to as well, as well as figuring out some measurement of tolerance level or language understanding to determine what you consider to be racist, hateful, or harmful behaviour – to see how you personally define racism.I’ve always thought a tool that could allow someone to publish and compare with others who publish what information they’ve been exposed to would be revealing, an important tool someone should do to track as accurately as possible.Congress, and the American people – the world really, are concerned about Trump as the symptom of a weak societal structure that’s allowing automation to more rapidly funnel value and profits to less and less people, also allowing a weakening of community and democratic structures that the FBI has stated many times that the Russians hacked last election – and warning that the elections are vulnerable again, allowing for easy manipulation of the people in our society.I’m also always curious on tools or questionnaires to determine someone’s integrity level to determine if there’s even value in trying to engage with someone or if they simply are closed-minded, indoctrinated, and biased in many possible ways – whether that’s a pay check from a Russian propaganda farm or their own hate they’re directing into where they assume they’re correctly directing their attention. An easy reminder is referencing that the civil war in the US happened because a lot of people believed slavery was good – and they were willing to fight and die for it.

        3. Alex Murphy

          did you turn on the TV this weekend?

          1. Leon Grin

            Yes, Fox News and other channels.

      2. awaldstein

        Call it like you see it Matt.In this I agree.

      3. DJL

        You need to try harder. Never once before he became President was Trump every accused of any type of “racism.” Even though he ran a multi-national company for years and employed thousands of people.Calling Trump a racist is a cop-out to avoid the real issues. This racist label is thrown around so much it has become meaningless. According the Left – everyone who opposes open-borders is a racist. Yawn.

        1. Alex Murphy

          Trump has been a racist for a lot longer than the last 2.5 years.Go back to the Central Park 5. Full page ad, calling for a return of the death penalty, why? Because 5 black kids were falsely accused … in a year with 1000s of violent crimes this one was called out.Birtherism. He never had people in Hawaii, he was straight up lying and it got played over and over again on CNBC and Fox. Shameful.Mexicans are rapists. Big scene at the border just as he is starting his campaign. Who were those that he wanted to attract to his campaign first? Alt Right and David Duke.20+ years ago, 10 years ago, 4 years ago.Other than is terrible treatment of women, being a racist is really the only thing he has ever been consistent on …

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I really do not want to be a Trump apologist, but I have to speak up.I have a hard time with the looseness of the use of the terms racist and racism which then dilutes the true evil of racism and allows it to hide undetected in places where it causes the most harm.Anyway, here is an article that addresses these examples and more. I doubt that it will change your mind, but at least shows how the same circumstances can be interpreted in different ways:

        2. Salt Shaker

          Not true. Trump and his dad in the 70’s, for example, would circle apt rental applications with a big “C” indicating “colored” if a black person applied. (Of course, that wasn’t Trump being racist, we all know he was just building a demographic database.) They didn’t rent to blacks. Ask some of the GM’s at his casinos about racist remarks he made in their presence. There are lots of datapoints.

          1. DJL

            Point taken. Of all the Trump attacks from the media I never heard that one.All I know is that is current policies help everyone in America. Lowest unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics. I don’t see any reality of his policies targeting one ethnic group.

        3. Matt A. Myers

          Uh? I’m genuinely curious what all of your news sources are, what sites you regularly visit to see how you haven’t read or heard anything about Trump or his racist past. And no, you’re the one putting words in “everyone left” – which is another weak argument tactic not done in good faith.

      4. Donna Brewington White

        Matt, I don’t think it is at all clear that Trump is racist. I’ve watched closely for this.But, yeah, that tweet was confusing. I wonder if he thought Tlaib was born in another country (in addition to Omar)? Otherwise it makes little sense. Interestingly, he followed “go back” with “come back.”Trump’s focus is on persuasion and he is extremely effective. I wish he was more factual but once I understood his objective, his style made more sense to me. Doesn’t mean I always agree.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Justifying this kind of behaviour by “understanding his persuasion tactic” is a lack of holding integrity on others’ behaviours. Once again as I posted in reply to another comment, it would be interesting to see how people answer a survey/questionnaire to determine what types of behaviour they see as racist, along with critical thinking ability, along with how strongly they hold integrity. You’re playing into politics – being polite instead of determining boundaries for definitions of words and holding strong boundaries. He’s racist, he has a history of racism, of hate. The fact he’s a pathological, nor that he has symptoms of dementia and other mental issues doesn’t excuse any of this behaviour. The level of effectiveness he has is a reflection of the disconnect of people, the lack of community and genuinely caring for others – and Trump being elected could entirely be Russian hackers who changed the votes to let him win by a small margin, and Russian propaganda organizations have made us believe the narrative that Trump could have legitimately won due to the potential energy, built-up misdirected hate, anger, rage they’ve been successful in stirring up; the FBI has been warning the voting system can still be compromised for upcoming elections – while “McConnell Is Blocking Any Plan to Prevent a Russian Election Attack in 2020” –

    4. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “Open borders” is a straw man and disinformation. No one is for open borders. Positioning the situation right now as being about a fight against open borders is a false construct.

      1. Richard

        I hear this – and want to believe it – but there are many people who are for open borders. But more importantly, what is the border policy that the “no one is for open borders” believes in? Los Angeles is busting at the seams – I don’t know where the tipping point is – but – traffic and taxes and crime are chipping away. I’m all for immigration – but the current system from 1980+ needs fixing* if we could stop the immigration from NY from the snow birds of NY / VC multi-millionaires that might be a good place to start.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Who are these many people who are for open borders?

          1. Richard

            Me for one ! If its legal and we don’t loose what makes America great – what makes America great is not immigration as much as what people are immigrating too. If immigration itself were great, Europe would be booming. The real issue is can we avoid wealth redistribution – quality of life redistribution that flows from the middle income to the lower income. But immigration by the rich is harmful too. The super wealthy essentially buy the box seats in every stadium. In most areas along the coasts, we have essentially priced ourselves out of family formation.What Fred has spewed is utter nonsense/cereal box level thinking

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I hear that.What I was saying to the OP is: it’s a false dichotomy that we somehow have to choose between “open borders” and abusing the human rights of refugees who’ve arrived at our border in search of a better life. That’s the false choice that gets presented by people who don’t have a problem with what’s going on. It’s disinformation.

          3. Richard

            Let’s count the number of people with a new worth of more than 10 million (aka the 1%) spending their savings on this issue – so far its zero.

  6. iggyfanlo

    If countries are repressive, authoritarian and quite frankly despicable close their borders, it stands to reasons that the beta ones open their borders. It was a polemical in the Cold WarLike open source software, open borders just make more sense

  7. Rob Larson

    Not to mention that immigrants are the source of our growth. People are not having babies enough to support population growth, which is expected to get worse. Our working-age population will be shrinking if not for immigration. Ask Germany and Japan what it’s like to have your working-age population base shrinking – it’s not pretty.

  8. Angelo Santinelli

    As the child of an immigrant mother, I could not agree with you more. As a former VC, I can say without hesitation that the best investments were immigrant founders. So, I believe in immigration. That said, the issue is illegal immigration. No other country that I know of has open boarders. Why don’t we have 3 or 4 immigration centers at the southern boarder that welcomes people, houses them in respectable accommodations while they are processed. Some of my family came through Ellis Island. I’ve never heard any complaints from them about it. I’m sure that there are some very good ideas out there about how to allow a steady stream of people into the U.S. in a legal manner and provide places to live, training, and a path to citizenship. The ideas are not coming from the U.S. Congress. Congress seems happy to kick everything up to the Supreme Court, which was not the intention of the Founders. Our politicians are engaging in Bread and Circuses while the populous just eats it up. We all know how that can end. For those who don’t know what I am referring to, you’ve proven my point.

    1. JLM

      .Ellis Island was one of the ports of entry into the United States from 1892 until 1954. It was closed down in 1954.All of its people flow was from Europe.The US operated a myriad of ports of entry for immigrants that were — wait for it — ports.In Texas, the main port of entry was Galveston that had historically been a disembarkation point from long before Texas was part of the United States.Texas took immigrants in at Matagorda, Velasco, Aransas, Corpus Christi, and Indianola plus Galveston.Lots of Jews came through Galveston to avoid the rampant anti-Semitism of places like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Wilmington.For most of this time period, people were landing without assurance they would be allowed to stay. They processed them when they landed.It was all tied to where the ships landed. Now, ports of entry are tied to airports — where the planes land.New Orleans — historically larger than Philadelphia, Baltimore combined — because of its location was a gateway to Cuba and S America though it had enormous deal flow because of the empty ships returning from Europe that had delivered their cotton loads.Cotton was a clean cargo and didn’t require the ship to be cleaned to such a high extent.New Orleans was a great port of entry because an immigrant could sail up the Mississippi River and get into the heartland easier than an overland trip from the East Coast.Same phenomenon, empty ships sailing north after dumping their cargo in New Orleans.New Orleans then and now was a lawless city in which a Chinaman could still come even after the Chinese Exclusion Acts.It did have yellow fever and malaria during the months of May to November.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  9. Freebarbeque

    Dead right Fred. Immigrants can repopulate the towns that are starving for young people

  10. DJL

    Yes, we need legal immigration. That is part of what made our country great. Trying to hide the true issue by just calling it “immigration” (like the media does) is designed to incite charges of racism and bigotry. And it removes any chance of solving the real problem.The US is the most compassionate country in history. But the idea that we can just open our borders to anyone, and THEN give them free college, free healthcare, and free standard of living is just insanity. (The actual proposals of the current Democrat candidates.) Seriously, is there anyone who really believes that? It would totally overwhelm our social services – which is already happening.

    1. jason wright

      Precisely. ‘Legal Immigration Makes Us Stronger’.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I think the natives of America that were all but wiped out with modern technology may argue against the hyperbolic statement that US is most compassionate country in history; most successful capitalistic-focused society allowing greed to thrive, I could agree with that hyperbole.It’s not like we’re running out of land or trees to build houses – the universe is abundance. The issue is distribution, which ties into friction, which ties into controlled scarcity by for-profit companies trying to maintain their own survival.I really hope for the American people, and for the world, that Andrew Yang gets elected – or whoever gets elected uses his policies – primarily the $1,000 / month to every adult in the US. That will loosen the grip that controlled scarcity has and allow the economy to move where it most needs to – and for those who understand the false higher costs by the greedy simply increasing their prices to match new money in the system to outcompete and allow that rent-seeking behaviour to more or less die.

      1. DJL

        Just compute the total amount of foreign aid the US has given versus any other country. Then add our over payment of NATO fees for about 40 years. Every country has their issues and warts. Your singular example of “wiping out” native Americans ignores large chunks of history.I have an idea – let’s start an exchange program. Every American who believes that the US is a greedy, evil, capitalist nation that rapes the world can leave the country and donate their citizenship to a current illegal alien? That is a win-win for everyone.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I’m not stating any of this to create an us vs. them camp situation. Labels aren’t useful either, they are merely reference points. Bad actors will attempt to take advantage and thrive in every system – especially the system in the lead of efficiency, no matter what a country or nation organizing itself calls itself. Defending abuse and violence by comparing it “it’s not that bad – plus we give away a lot!” as justifications is a weak argument tactic. Hyperbole is also a weak argument tactic, though it certainly is powerful in terms of manipulating and rallying people in an emotional way towards an indoctrinated cause – that being without critical thinking and logic winning over emotional reaction. I won’t get into a discussion of the minutiae here, however an easy reference is any of Noam Chomsky’s work that points to the bad actors that be – including outlining the US as a terrorist nation state itself and citing evidence of such throughout history.Your idea is interesting too, and a bit funny if you think about it: many European nations with much less wealth than Americans, America, have much higher quality of life, and much better health – so that experiment would highlight the disparity even greater. And it’s true however, a lot of Europe has been indoctrinated on the “American Dream” – and not getting a realistic comparison, and only through studying both systems and their nuances, the long-term outcomes of different situations, would someone actually get an understanding to compare vs. the experiences that a generalized exchange program is going to allow someone to uncover.

          1. DJL

            “many European nations with much less wealth than Americans, America, have much higher quality of life” And who are those? How do you define “quality of life”? Socialism, where all of your needs are met?If it sucks so bad in America why is everyone in the world trying to come here? This always amuses me. And that is Trump’s point: Go fix your own shit and then complain about America.

          2. Girish Mehta

            No, everyone in the world is not trying to come to America. Not even close.

          3. sachmo

            The only country with net migration outflows from the US is Australia. Every other major country has net migration inflows. It would be fair to say that from a random sampling of europeans, it would be more likely that they would want to come here than a random sample of americans would want to go there.

          4. Matt A. Myers

            As I already said: people are indoctrinated in the American dream – and yes, there are advanced here, however there is the undertow of poverty and not taking care of people when the resources are here. And, the US has Hollywood – which has been promoting America for a long time, on top of all kinds of other factors that tie into it – which we’d both likely need to do 4-year university degrees on just to start to get an understanding of the nuances.Also, “sucks so bad in America” is more hyperbole coming from you – I never said it sucks so badly, I said in comparison there are places that take much better care of people, mainly via better distribution of resources – and early on in life, so people don’t get ignored or unhealthy and then dis-ease state progressing, leading to crime and violence because of survival and stress, etc.And yes, you make it clear Trump’s simple, shallow messages resonate with you. Problems arise immediately though if you decide to look into how violence, crime, dis-ease, etc. actually unfolds in a society – and part of the problem are shallow thinking, of angry people, spreading “easy to remember” messages to allow them to rally and get angry because they don’t understand things adequately; they themselves aren’t mentally or emotionally healthy, likely not physically healthy either, as they haven’t developed self-awareness practices to manage their emotions to reduce their baseline stress, and allow their logic and thinking, critical thinking, to evolve as it wants to in a holistic way, taking into consideration and navigating feelings of others – having empathy, which generally means healing your own unhealed wounds, trauma, to allow your ego mind guard to go down – to allow your heart to be open and influence your logical pathways of your brain’s neural network.

          5. Donna Brewington White

          6. Girish Mehta

            Good point about hyperbole as a weak argument tactic.

          7. Dan T

            Anyone that wants to take MORE of my hard earned money to pay people to do nothing is an enemy of mine. Me vs that person and whomever else sides with him/her. My father was an immigrant. I’m the first person to go to college in my family. I’ve worked my ass off and sacrificed. I don’t want to share more than I am already forced to share

          8. Matt A. Myers

            Curious if you understand the productivity gains that automation allows, and do you understand how those productivity gains have been kept and captured by the owners of those systems – and not distributed amongst society?

          9. Dan T

            like the industrial revolution, the cotton gin and that horseless carriage thingy? I’m still reading up on the computer stuff and the world wide web.

      2. JLM

        .Yeah, the American Indian is the forgotten man in this discussion.To this day, we still have never accounted for Indian ownership of N/S Dakota energy holdings.Hanta virus.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. JLM

        .The Andrew Yang $1,000/month for 330MM people would require $4T — $4,000,000,000,000 annually.The entire revenue stream of the US is $3.4T — that is $600B less than the amount Andrew Yang wants to expend for his UBI idea.The numbers just don’t work.Again, Andrew Yang $4T UBIUS total revenue $3.4TNot. Going. To. Work. Never could.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Need to understand the numbers more than these few to understand it can/will work, especially taking into account people are spending this money and putting it back into the economy.

          1. JLM

            .Make the case, Ace.The money has to come from somewhere. Start there.From whence cometh the money?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      4. Richard

        The $1000 a month is pure foolishness for no other reason that it would quickly fall into real estate trap – housing costs.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I have had this thought too, however my thinking has evolved to it being step 1 of at least 2 steps. If free market can exist – which may be the challenge allowing this to occur – then the most efficient organizations will create environments/ecosystems that counterbalances what I call the Landlord-Rental Complex. If anything people can be educated further to see and understand this, and then work towards voting in step 2 – whatever that may look like, which I’m not sure it will even be necessary from how I see current technology and their efficiencies being able to be organized.

    3. Salt Shaker

      When our ancestors arrived through Ellis Island they were not given unfettered access. They were screened for diseases, whether they could care for themselves and briefly interrogated for “societal concerns.” Approximately 2% were not admitted and turned away. Screening, even back then, was imperative. Today it’s perhaps needed even more so to insure we’re not inadvertently contributing to the overburdening of systems already bereft of solutions and resources. Managed growth is perhaps a good term. For starters, our healthcare system is already overwhelmed, and mass immigration would only contribute further to the chaos and expense, including the likely bankruptcy of many more public hospitals and citizens. You can add education—among others—to the list of areas of concern and stretched resources.Legal immigration means controlled access, though the amount and criteria for acceptance is where tricky and frequently ugly subjectivity comes into play.

      1. DJL

        Do not brings facts into an emotional argument. Very inconvenient.

        1. Salt Shaker

          LOL, it was, that’s why—upon further reflection—I deleted my snarky reply…We could prob share a beer on this one.

      2. DJL

        And I I was agreeing with you! So much for tongue in cheek! ;>)

    4. Richard

      Sell Fish? If Fred’s premise is correct and unfettered immigration is good for America, it’s quite a selfish motive. If it’s only about America, let’s bring in the best and brightest.5 billion people are eager to enter the doors of America, we would be much wiser to export America to 5 billion people than to import 5 billion people.

  11. John Frankel

    I thought we brought in about 1,100,000 legal immigrants a year.https://www.migrationpolicy…What number should we bring in?

    1. Mike

      It would be interesing to normalize this graph to the US population at the time.

      1. John Frankel

        It would, but the number is staggering, and in a good way. More than Europe combined.

  12. Matt A. Myers

    “Illegal” immigration or refugees exist primarily because of unrest and violence, tyrannical governments, and bad actors in other powerful governments causing war that displaces people. Immigration into stable democracies, stable emotionally and not just financially – where strong community exists between everyone – is important. We, any modern society that exists today, must also interweave a thread of acknowledgement of the invasions and mass murder that occurred due to colonialism – as to pay our respects and to remind of our history as to not repeat it. It might be tiring or tedious to acknowledge this often, however it’s important work.And if instead of using our advanced knowledge, democracy, organizational state to allow capitalism to reach its extremes suffocating our own populations and pumping money into war, we could instead spend those profits on rapidly bringing the rest of the world ahead – creating stability in those regions, and giving people enough hope and something to work towards for where they originate.

  13. jason wright

    go back vs no going back.”burn the boats” – Cortes.

    1. Vendita Auto

      “Shamefully” the UK government use the Windrush scandal to placate the extreme right wing voters

      1. jason wright

        It did?

        1. Vendita Auto

          Re “burning the boats” Windrush arrived in 1948 deportations 2018

  14. Mark Self

    Instead of demonizing people trying to come to the country why don’t we figure out a path to citizenship that supports the immigrants and the country. Instead of “Illegals” with the negative connotations associated with it, let’s be talking about “new citizens”. Think of how lives would be changed, and for those of us concerned about the budget, think of the tax revenues created…

  15. Vendita Auto

    Reminded of the texts from James Baldwin “I Am Not Your Negro””You never had to look at me. I had to look at you.I know more about you than you know about me.Not everything that is faced can be changed;but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

  16. Joe Marchese

    We need more immigrants, not fewer. They are assimilating as fast or faster than previous generations of immigrants. The power of diverse groups/teams is beyond question… assuming you are willing to believe the studies. Drucker pointed out over 25 years ago that the US cannot stay a major economic power because the size of our population can’t match the size of emerging powers, especially China and India. We need an equalizer to stay the best if no longer the largest economy. And we know exactly what that is: diversity and inclusion that foster innovation.

    1. JLM

      .In fact the evidence for assimilation is not as you describe.Illegal immigrants are not required to learn English. Naturalized citizens are.To become a citizen — which is the objective of historic European/Statue of Liberty immigration — one had to pass a civics test and a test of English unless one is the beneficiary of a waiver.One becomes a naturalized citizen by passing the naturalization test.There are entire parts of big cities in the US that are essentially foreign countries. Police forces conduct their law enforcement duties in the local language. I don’t have a problem with that, but I do want it to be acknowledged.I owned businesses in the Rio Grande Valley. One of the smartest things I ever did was to conduct business in Spanish.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JLM

          .Please doublecheck me, but the Mary Waters study you reference was published in 2015 and took 2 years to research and another year to write.It has been out there for a while.It deals with LEGAL immigrants, not illegal immigrants. It is from 2012 data and was not peer reviewed.Its definitions of cultural and economic assimilation — which are very suspect at the definition level — are disputed widely. Nobody else thinks of the issue of assimilation in the same way.Take as an example, the issue of language. Many more people are speaking English worldwide than ever before. Many legal immigrants are arriving already speaking English. That is not an example of “speed of assimilation” but rather an example of schooling in the country of origin.Clearly the level of immigration in the US today reveals that we have more illegal immigration than legal immigration. Therefore conclusions about the assimilation rate of legal immigrants are suspect.With the asylum invasion, the source countries are far broader than ever. This invalidates any comparison.As an example, we had huge influxes associated with the post Vietnam surge and the Mariel boatlift surge.Both of these groups got high marks for economic assimilation but the Cubans got low marks for cultural assimilation. Little Cuba in Miami is more Cuban than Havana. I like it very much.Both of these groups were highly successful as a general proposition though. OTOH, the similar Somali assimilation — much more recent — is still very much a work in progress.In spite of this, the study you note suggests that assimilation is a “multi-generational” pursuit.That isn’t “faster” than historic assimilation.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  17. Tom Labus

    Not much has changed!! The Gangs of New York…

  18. JLM

    .Total bullshit strawman utterance.”I am for LEGAL immigration full stop.” Say this and we can work on the real problems together.What separates the lefties from the rest of the debaters is that one single word — LEGAL.US legal immigration is a lottery system coupled with several other specific programs such as EB-5 (investors) and H1B (specialty occupation) — I mention these because VCs love these provisions — with minefields like anchor babies and chain migration.Structurally, the thoughtful amongst us want to deal with the countries from which we accept immigrants, a merit based system, and the abolition of anchor babies and chain migration.Balanced on the other side is a desire to secure our southern border with a wall, something the Dems heartily supported less than a decade ago.These are simple structural issues.What is going on on our border today (I live in Texas and have had business interests in the Rio Grande Valley for decades), is all about people seeking asylum.I have watched illegals scoot across the Rio Grande. I have seen ICE dump illegals on street corners in San Antonion, Corpus Christi, Austin.It is not about immigration. It is about faux ASYLUM.Asylum seekers are required to have something called a Credible Fear Interview to assess whether they meet the requirements of the LAW as it relates to asylum.The US takes every single immigrant who passes a CFI and who has a court hearing to grant them legal admission into the US. Every. Single. One. It is the law.What percentage of asylum seekers pass their CFI and then show up for court to be granted asylum?Less than two percent.But that is not the real problem. It is this –When an asylum seeker enters the US and says any of the magic words necessary to get a CFI, the asylum seeker is always granted an interview.Then, they are given a court date. If they are single the US can hold them until their court date.If they are accompanied by a child, they can only be held for 20 days (the 1997 Flores Settlement).It is convoluted logic as the 20 days applies to the child when separated from a parent. The parents can be held until their court date, but the child must be released within 20 days.The US has been releasing the children WITH their parents. This is the entire “separation” discussion.What this sets up is a system wherein anybody arriving with a child (even if the child is not theirs or is rented) is going to be held 20 days and released into the country subject to returning to an immigration court 12-18 months later.This is a free pass.The Texas border area from Brownsville to El Paso will “catch” more illegals crossing the border this year than the entire legal system. These are the ones who get caught — it is estimated that we catch something like 25% of all crossers.This whole thing could be fixed in about 12 hours if the Congress would sit down and deal with it. The Reps are lazy because they like the campaign issue. Believe it or not, it polls like crazy for the Reps.The Dems want to wreck the border.Meanwhile in places like Texas, we are paying for and building schools to educate the illegals, dealing with low skill/low expectation workers who are stealing opportunity from American muscle workers, dealing with criminal employers who are preying upon the same low skill/low wage expectation workers, dealing with wholesale drug trafficking, and human trafficking.Me? I’m in favor of legal immigration and adulting the issue of illegal immigration.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Morgan Warstler

      Fred / JLM (help me out here), there is an APP FOR THAT 🙂 . You can play with it!UNLIMITED Biometric Guest Worker Visas for LOW SKILLED.1) No ICE needed. Employers can make the illegal legal, just take photos of their eyeballs and face.2) Guest worker has 6 months and must present at port of exit and 3 months later they can re-enter for 6 months – NO KIDS ALLOWED.This perfectly aligns the Interest fo Low Skilled Employers who are already built for short term workers and Low Skilled Natives who don’t want to share their birthright – the welfare basket.It BOGGLES MY MIND that all of us are super OK with our kids getting best schools, inheritance, etc etc and we don’t GRANT Low Skilled Natives the same birthright they were bequeathed – the vote, the rule of law.Anyway Fred, my plan GUARANTEES the rich liberal ladies who already give their kid every advantage CAN STILL keep their nannies and their wine grape will get picked. And the jobs that “Americans don’t want to do” get done.It also GUARANTEES, the Low Skilled US natives don’t have to share their less than stellar classrooms and Medicaid waiting rooms and ER and and and and – the welfare basket is THEIR BIRTHRIGHT.—–Of course Fred, we can also have UNLIMITED High Skilled Visas, but MORALLY we must price those with a COLA. So tech can import as many engineers as we want for $75K in Detroit and Cleveland, $195K in SF, and $225K in NYC.I might be off by $10K give or take. It’s priced based on US engineers brought here about about 2-3x as productive in my experience.Based on pricing currently offshore at about these prices, MOST large tech players would move all their foreign campuses to Trump Belt states.Once talent scarcity goes out the window, IMPORT AS MANY AS YOU WANT! – the natural talent density of SV and other blue markets where landlords suck up wages with NIMBY regs will have no advantage.Just bring in 100k engineers to Detroit and SV or Austin etc can pound sand.—Anyway something for everyone here Fred, please embrace UNLIMITED VISA proposals, it’s been 10 years of your championing “comprehensive” immigration reform and look where that got us…

    2. cavepainting

      My gardener helped two of his cpusins come over to the US on a fake asylum application (they were posing as gays being persecuted in their country of origin in Africa ). There is no doubt that asylum laws are being abused and taken advantage of.I agree wholeheartedly that immigration needs to be primarily LEGAL. Any argument for illegal immigration (or being soft on it) is fundamentally wrong and short sighted. And Asylum laws and criteria need to be fixed.But that does not mean treating people inhumanely, not resolving DACA, or sending racist dog whistles. We can be proponents of legal immigration and tough on enforcement without losing our humanity.

      1. JLM

        .DACA was enacted by an Executive Order by President Obama after convincingly pleading he possessed no such authority on 25+ occasions.When President Trump attempted to simply reverse the Obama Executive Order, he was stymied by the judicial branch wherein an Obama appointee granted a nationwide injunction that is currently in contest.The whole notion of single Federal District Courts — constrained by the geography of their district — issuing nationwide injunctions is worthy of review by the SCOTUS.Then, he gave the Congress 6 months to make a deal. They failed miserably.There was a deal on the table — 2MM DACA for funding for the wall. There was also a move afoot to deal with the level of legal immigration, anchor babies, and chain migration.The US Congress — which had supported this trade in both the House and Senate — managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Time after time.It is hard to grade for “tone” when the rhetoric starts and stays so nasty with the Squad calling the President a MOTHERFUCKER at Move On rallies the first week they are in DC, Nancy Pelosi haranging the President over impeachment in the morning, and wanting to have tea in the afternoon to advance the issue of infrastructure.The Dems and the Reps and the President did nice work on the crime bill — the bi-partisan First Step Act — fixing a lot of injustices in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act -sponsored by Joe Biden, signed by Bill Clinton.Pres Trump made that happen and received no goodwill in return. That shows the cost of bi-partisanship.In the short term, the Dem candidates’ positions on borders are so extreme, there is a temptation to let the election come and go before acting. Nobody is going to be elected POTUS on an “open borders”, “no borders”, abolish ICE, free healthcare for illegals platform.The trade today is the same it was on the first day of the Trump admin — The Wall and DHS/ICE funding for DACA, merit based immigration, anchor babies, and chain immigration.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. cavepainting

          I am no fan of Trump, but agree that the Democrats’ general position on immigration is extreme and not reflective of the reality on the ground or possibly even the dominant public sentiment.Support for illegal immigation and support for diversity are two different things and the democrats constantly conflate the two.

  19. BillMcNeely

    Personally, I think we need to be more open to work visas, both short and long term. We tend to hung up on path to citizenship

  20. Pointsandfigures

    I am for immigration too but I think we disagree. We don’t need open borders. We can’t let everyone just walk in. One reason is the extensive social safety net we have. Clearly immigration is broken. No one has cone up with a good decentralized solution. Professor Gary Becker has the best solution, charge for it. There is demand for immigrants and a supply of them so there is a market. We effectively have this with EB5 visas and black markets

  21. bijan

    well said, fred.

  22. Scott Sanders

    Immigrants also provide the fuel for GDP growth. Without immigration, there’s no way we would ever sustain GDP growth momentum. NPR’s Planet Money podcast did an episode on this:

  23. Morgan Warstler

    Fred / JLM, there is an APP FOR THAT 🙂 . You can play with it!UNLIMITED Biometric Guest Worker Visas for LOW SKILLED.1) No ICE needed. Employers can make the illegal legal, just take photos of their eyeballs and face.2) Guest worker has 6 months and must present at port of exit and 3 months later they can re-enter for 6 months – NO KIDS ALLOWED.This perfectly aligns the Interest fo Low Skilled Employers who are already built for short term workers and Low Skilled Natives who don’t want to share their birthright – the welfare basket.It BOGGLES MY MIND that all of us are super OK with our kids getting best schools, inheritance, etc etc and we don’t GRANT Low Skilled Natives the same birthright they were bequeathed – the vote, the rule of law.Anyway Fred, my plan GUARANTEES the rich liberal ladies who already give their kid every advantage CAN STILL keep their nannies and their wine grape will get picked. And the jobs that “Americans don’t want to do” get done.It also GUARANTEES, the Low Skilled US natives don’t have to share their less than stellar classrooms and Medicaid waiting rooms and ER and and and and – the welfare basket is THEIR BIRTHRIGHT. —–Of course Fred, we can also have UNLIMITED High Skilled Visas, but MORALLY we must price those with a COLA. So tech can import as many engineers as we want for $75K in Detroit and Cleveland, $195K in SF, and $225K in NYC.I might be off by $10K give or take. It’s priced based on US engineers brought here about about 2-3x as productive in my experience.Based on pricing currently offshore at about these prices, MOST large tech players would move all their foreign campuses to Trump Belt states.Once talent scarcity goes out the window, IMPORT AS MANY AS YOU WANT! – the natural talent density of SV and other blue markets where landlords suck up wages with NIMBY regs will have no advantage.Just bring in 100k engineers to Detroit and SV or Austin etc can pound sand.—Anyway something for everyone here Fred, please embrace UNLIMITED VISA proposals, it’s been 10 years of your championing “comprehensive” immigration reform and look where that go us…

  24. lynnerae

    I agree with every word you’ve written Fred. I am an American citizen who has chosen to live and work in Mexico (in VC/tech)– so I’m a bit of an oddity, and I have a first-hand perspective of some of the changing views from outside of the US. I am regularly back and forth working to introduce the talented, hard-working founders of tech startups from Mexico and LatAm to investor and biz-dev opportunities in the US. It has been interesting — and saddening — to see how the reputation of the US has changed in a few short years from being the ‘land of opportunity and promise’ which everyone strived to be a part of, to one viewed with caution. At the same time, China and Korea — as well as the UK — have all really stepped up their presence in the region and are aggressively courting the tech talent and companies in the LatAm region. It may be sooner than a couple of generations for the tide to turn, I’m afraid.

  25. Donna Brewington White

    Interesting that with two vastly different presidential administrations, immigration has been a huge concern in the tech community during both.I know of no one and hear/read from no one with any opposition to immigration. It seems to be an agreed upon mainstream American value.So, then, what’s the real issue?

    1. sigmaalgebra

      With only a few exceptions for only a tiny number of people. as a native born US citizen and with a world class STEM field (M) Ph.D. and many years in computing, I am 100% opposed to immigration.Now you have heard from someone in tech opposed to immigration.The immigrants are not smarter (I’ll match SAT Math scores with anyone) or better educated. And my list of significant technical accomplishments are tough to match. There were some immigrants in my Ph.D. program — on the five qualifying exams, I did the best on four of the exams and had already done my dissertation research on the fifth. Darned few, tiny fraction of, immigrants can match that. In particular, I beat all the immigrants “like rented mules”.The push for immigration is for just one reason — cheap labor for the suits with capital.Over and over, for decades, there have been and are big efforts from various parts of the power elite to sabotage the careers of native born US citizens in STEM fields.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Duly noted.

      2. aladar

        all you wrote is correct, Donna. But remember immingrants are not always poor and stupid people.They are sometimes simply looking a new life somewhere. A better life than they have.

  26. pointsnfigures

    I am for immigration too but we likely do not agree on the process to get there

  27. David Pinsen

    Food makes us stronger. I’m for eating, full stop.

  28. awaldstein

    I believe this completely.