“We’re going to build a wall, its gonna be a YUGE wall and it will have a big beautiful door on it.” – Donald Trump at every speech he’s ever made during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump in the race has brought a lot of bad to the road to the White House. But he has brought some good. As he regularly reminds us, we wouldn’t be talking about illegal immigration if it weren’t for him- and he’s right! Just the talk of immigration has the whole world reeling, Mexican and Syrian immigrants alike.
I want to talk about this topic because there is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding unbridled immigration. Most Republicans are complaining about losing jobs and keeping the nation secure, most Democrats are saying it is beneficial to the economy and that there is no security issue. Both sides are half correct. There are two well-documented facts about immigration that everyone needs to know about before they start discussing immigration policy:
- Immigration is highly beneficial to a nation’s economy. Economists across the board, from Chicago School to Keynesian School, agree that immigration is beneficial; they disagree as to how much, but generally agree that a lot is good. The idea that immigrants are a drag on the economy, they steal our jobs, or that they depress wages are all easily debunked myths. At the very least, unbridled immigration has zero effect. Sure, they may take some jobs because they are willing to work for lower wages, but their addition to the economy causes demand that creates a job elsewhere.
Milton Friedman is an economic hero of mine, he discusses immigration in many lectures. He makes the point that illegal immigration only helps if it is illegal. Legal immigration is certainly beneficial, but so is illegal immigration. Either legalize it or don’t, either way, it is good for the economy.
- Immigration, if not controlled, destroys cultures. All cultures are fragile, and with just enough influence and change they can be shattered. In America, we have a strong culture of respecting and caring for women and children. Not all immigrant cultures, especially 3rd world or Muslim cultures have the same ideas about how women and children should be treated. Additionally, we believe (for the most part) in common decency and being kind to one another. Many immigrants are transitioning from war-torn countries where fear and hatred have been their daily life. Our culture can easily go out the window without proper assimilation of immigrants.People who come into our country who don’t share our core values need time to assimilate. If immigration isn’t controlled, they start to change the culture, instead of the culture changing them.
Simply put, crime rates transfer from state to state. People who were able to do certain things in a different country can no longer get away with it, and Americans pay the price. Germany is by far the most generous with the Syrian Refugee Crisis, they allowed in over 800,000 refugees. I don’t need to spend any time talking about the skyrocketing crime rates in Germany including murders and rapes due to such immigration. Nor should I discuss the problems that America faces with incoming Mexican immigrants, mostly because people have taken the time to list those problems. Also, here’s this– because it makes me angry.
Some examples of cultures destroyed by immigration:
– The Celtics immigrating to the British Isles
– Germanic Tribes fleeing from the Huns pushed existing groups into extinction
– The Spanish migration to South America destroyed the Aztec, Maya, and Incas
– People from all over the world moving to America and displacing the Native Americans.
I want to be clear, I’m not saying that every immigrant is a raving animal seeking whom they may rape, pillage, or murder. Syrian culture is vastly different in their treatment of women and children than that which we are accustomed to. Mexican culture is vastly different in other areas- but our goal needs to be assimilation.
You can see that the issue is much more complicated than we might think, and it’s much more split down the middle. Immigration is good, but it can also be bad. I don’t believe these are the only two issues facing the immigration topic, but they are the most important.
My recommendation for the U.S. is that we be very careful about how many people we let into the country and we require that they disperse among the country (without necessarily breaking up the families) for the purpose of them assimilating into American culture instead of forming their own sub-communities. This is the only way we can reap the benefits of heavy immigration while not experiencing the pitfalls of it. With proper immigration policy, we can ensure the continued growth, security, and stability of the country we love.