Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

That is the title of this new book by Philippe Legrain, and no I don’t know how you can buy it outside the UK.  Legrain is also the author of the excellent Open World, a defense of economic globalization. 

This work is the single best non-technical defense of a liberal immigration policy.  What I liked most was how
it put U.S. debates in a broader context; most American sources don’t
do this.  For instance how normal or extreme is the American experience
compared to other histories of absorbing immigrants?  The book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily
understood arguments.

I do understand the
concerns raised by Steve Sailer and others against immigrants, and I
readily grant that the idea of open borders is a non-starter.  But is
the United States today in a position where Latino immigrants are
tearing us apart?  I think not.

Yes I know your anecdotes, but here is what it would
take to budge me.  Do a study of real estate prices in San Diego, Santa
Ana (a largely Mexican part of Orange County), and the relevant
sections of Houston, among other locales.  Show me that real estate values in those areas
are falling or even plummeting, and yes I do mean in absolute terms and
no the recent collapse of the real estate bubble doesn’t count.  Then I’ll
give the issue another look.  Otherwise the worst I am going to believe is that "things are not getting better as rapidly as they might otherwise be," and that, whether or not you like such a possible state of affairs, does not represent the sky falling.

But for purposes of balance, here is the most anti-immigration post I have written.  Here is an interesting recent paper on migration.

Addendum: Here is a good article on immigrant entrepreneurs.

Comments

Hi Tyler

Thanks very much for your kind words about my new book. I'm a big fan of yours and I loved "Creative Destruction".

"Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them" should be available in the US this fall: I have just accepted an offer from a US publisher, and will hopefully sign a deal very soon. In the meantime, it is available from Amazon Canada at http://www.amazon.ca/Immigrants-Philippe-Legrain/dp/0316732486/sr=1-7/qid=1168050623/ref=sr_1_7/702-9244507-3901603?ie=UTF8&s=books

Thanks. All the best

Philippe

superdestroyer - sounds like racism to me.

What about this? http://extracredit.wordpress.com/files/2007/01/expectations.doc - text of a new yorker article about students in Colorado...whats the more likely outcome for America's new immigrants?

Holy causality, Batman!
I'm willing to grant that yes, real estate prices are in fact cheaper in some areas than others, and that recent immigrants, like all consumers with budget constraints, purchase housing where they can afford it. That said, is it not conceivable that recent immigrants, are priced out of all other markets? While this may no doubt result in concentrations of people with similar purchasing power, I don’t know that these concentrations are causally responsible for immigrant induced “white flight†. That sort of gentrification occurs everywhere, as wealthier families often leave concentrated poverty (be it white, immigrant, black, etc); attributing it solely to a "No immigrants in my backyard" attitude seems like a bridge to far to me.
People of all races, genders, religious and ethnic backgrounds have fled California for a host of reasons, chief among them the exorbitant cost of living. I’ll concede that some people have no doubt fled the state due to the perception that it is too immigrant; indeed, that sort of self selection and expression of preference is encouraged by the market, and it ultimately says just as much about the individuals as it does about the state.

Roy,

Statistics about crime, education and out of wedlock births can be attributed to the opportunities afforded to people. Chances are, whatever influx of immigration that brought your family here had higher rates of crime too.

There will always be people at the bottom of the economic/education ladder and these people are more likely to commit crimes. Stopping latino immigration won't solve it.

"There will always be people at the bottom of the economic/education ladder and these people are more likely to commit crimes. Stopping latino immigration won't solve it."

Nor does it help these problems to let in masses of people who bring more of these problems with them.

Roy makes the right point: Real Estate prices aren't an adequate indicator of societal health.

I'm fascinated by how economists forget everything they know about economics when it comes time to defend immigration.

1. Why would increased demand from immigration cause lower real estate prices?

2. The standard way economists think (about everything except immigration) is to adjust for cost of living. Minnesota has the highest standard of living, at least in terms of things money can buy (i.e., not weather). At the bottom are Washington D.C., Hawaii and California. See: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/05/standard-of-living-by-state.html

3. Tyler says: "Otherwise the worst I am going to believe is that "things are not getting better as rapidly as they might otherwise be," -- It's called opportunity cost. What would LA be like today without 30 years of illegal immigration? Seattle with sunshine? With its enormous advantages, LA ought to be one of the finest cities in the world by now. Trust me, it's not.

4. And let's not forget about risk. What is the risk that America is headed for a Netherlands-style immigration disaster? 20%? And what is the risk we're headed for a Kosovo-style catastrophe? 2%? Now, exactly what is the enormous upside to illegal immigration that compensates for risks that bad?

Is it really worthwhile trying to reason with someone who thinks he can frighten us with the dread specter of the..the Netherlands?

"What is the risk that America is headed for a Netherlands-style immigration disaster? 20%?"

Murder rate:

Netherlands: 1.1 per 100,000 X USA: 4.3 per 100,000

Maybe sailer is afraid of tulips (or hates kebabs).

The usefulness to nativist cranks of Fortuyn and van Gogh's murders is diminished just slightly by the fact that neither Volkert van der Graaf nor Mohammed Bouyeri was an immigrant.

Tyler, way to bring up Santa Ana. Bring up Garden Grove and Westminster as well. Or Anaheim. Without them, South County wouldn't be the slightest bit "affordable". And while we're talking South County, I live in Lake Forest (nee and aka El Toro). When it was incorporated in 1991, rumor has it that the HOAs didn't want a Spanish name like El Toro, fearing it would become a slum, presumably like neighbors Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel (both through the roof wealthy suburban towns). Maybe immigration v. housing values was an issue 15 years ago. But it's certainly not as significant now.

Doesn't Cinci, OH, have the same problem????

--

--Gogh's murders is diminished just slightly by the fact that neither Volkert van der Graaf nor Mohammed Bouyeri was an immigrant.--

Physically, no, but mentally?????

At 1 time, the city of Chicago was the 2nd largest city of Polish people, but I don't recall the "president/PM" of that satellite saying that he hoped the Poles would vote putting Polish interests 1st.

I don't have the statistics, but I'll bet that it's much cheaper to live in the heavily Mexican parts of Santa Ana and San Diego than in other areas. No one I know wants to live in those neighborhoods, and I assume that the same goes for the author(s) of this blog.

So, poor immigrants tend to move in to low-cost areas? How is this surprising or a problem?

Here is a short summary of the self-described: "..largest and longest-running study of children of immigrants yet conducted.."
The researchers are Rubén Rumbaut of the University of California at Irvine and Alejandro Portes of Princeton. University

http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1529

Hereis the full article: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=445

Should you take Tyler Cowen's advice about anything? No, because he only looks at the financial side of things, and he doesn't even do a deep analysis of the financial aspects.

For instance, massive illegal immigration is an indicator of massive political corruption: those illegal aliens wouldn't be here if our politicians hadn't allowed it. Isn't that corruption incredibly dangerous for the U.S.? Doesn't that have a cost?

What about the marches for illegal immigration of last year? Isn't it generally considered a bad thing when foreign citizens march in a country's streets, making a show of force and making demands? What happens if they don't get their way?

What about increased foreign influence in the U.S. because of massive immigration?

Mexico has indirect links to various well-known non-profits (ACLUMALDEFSPLC), and those groups try to influence immigration policy.

One of ArnieSchwarzenegger's campaign advisors also advises the MexicanGovernment.

A few years ago, Mexico's foreignminister said he was rallying U.S. groups to help get "reform", and even hinted at creating domestic disturbances.

A former MexicanConsul general was even involved in organizing a couple of the ImmigrationMarches.

All of those are things that Cowen doesn't include in his analysis.

Based on the totality of the comments here, it seems like the optimal policy would be to subsidize East Asian immigration. Maybe Grameen-bank-style immigration loans in preferred areas would do the trick?

How about the oft-overlooked fact that a sizable majority of those already in the U.S. aren't happy about current immigration rates or policies?

How about those who dig super-high immigration rates but root for Tibetans instead of Mexicans?

How about the majority of Americans who aren't keen on what's happening to our rate of population increase?

I know what to do: Let's override all these clearly-expressed preferences! That'll help the country's mood.

Here is a way to quantify roughly the impact of illegal immigrants on real estate prices in LA, offered by Sandra Tsing Loh, who writes regularly about schools for both the Atlantic Monthly and the LA Times.

In her "Scandalously Informal Guide to Los Angeles Schools," she writes:

"1 API point = $1000 worth of real estate

"So in Los Angeles, a three-bedroom home whose local school has a ("baseline acceptable") 800 API will have a price tag of about $800,000, which is why some wags call the API the "Affluent Parent Index." So if you live in anything less than an $800,000 home, your local school’s API is likely to be, well, Guavatorina-like (aka: like a sad bruised melon)."

API scores range by about 500 points in LA among schools, with a very strong correlation for neighborhood schools between ethnic makeup and API scores, with the lowest scores found in schools made up primarily of the children of illegal immigrants.

So, that suggests a negative marginal impact of some hundreds of thousands of dollars on home prices in LA neighborhoos where illegal immigrants choose to live. Of course, that's opportunity cost, a concept that economists seem to have a hard time remembering when it comes to thinking about immigration.

http://www.sandratsingloh.com/index.php?pr=Scandalously_Informal#1

The argument on the topic of Latino immigration into the United States brings a memory to mind of a comedian that I recently saw on television. He said that in response to the extreme numbers of Latinos entering into the United States, the American government purposes that a wall is built between the U.S. and Mexico border. Ok, but realistically who do you think will be constructing this great wall, and do you honestly think that there won’t be a small hole in it somewhere? This brings me to my point. Latin Americans are the backbone to society today in America. The majority of these people are hard working and don’t complain about the low wages or harsh treatment they receive. Some claim that Latin American immigrants are taking the jobs that American citizens could be working and that is resulting in high unemployment rates. That would be true if American citizens were actually willing to work these jobs. These individuals are risking their lives to come here because it is the land of opportunity and they wish to provide their families with all of the comforts that we enjoy everyday. Rather than create ineffective laws attempting to keep Latinos out of America, the United States government should make efforts to assist these people. Through granting temporary employment status and taxing their pay or granting citizenship to those that demonstrate themselves to be avid members to society, it can be realized what they could contribute to the U.S. economy.

Immigrants are good. Illegalness is bad. I guess many economists exist in a rarefied place where such nuances aren't important or somehow don't matter, but if you believe in rule of law and the sanctity of contracts, you have to support some way of getting rid of large-scale illegalness.

Here's a couple things about myself:

1. I would label myself a libertarian.
2. I am graduate of GMU, BS and MA in economics (never had Tyler Cowen, but have read this blog since it's been online and enjoyed his foodie website back in the day!)
3. I grew up in Jersey City, NJ in a neighborhood with signs in various languages and went to a public high (Dickinson) that was very ethinically diverse with many immigrants. With the exception of some black students, just about every student was either a first or second-generation American. It's definitely a "bad" urban high school, but certainly not the very, very bottom.
4. I am myself half-Latino, half white.
5. I currently work in IT in NYC, with most my coworkers on H-1B visas (now that's an immigration topic for another day)

I'm convinced that dyed-in-the-wool libertarians are wrong about immigration. They don't acknowledge generational shifts in mentality and life-expectations that vary drastically between ethnic groups. They don't recognize the deleterious consequences that occur when a community 1) becomes a homogeneous ghetto for poor-immigrants that can't speak English and 2) there's little societal or familial pressure to assimilate. And, of course, few discuss the most important issue of all: IQ.

My experience growing up in an extremely diverse city, going to a very diverse college, and working in a field with international coworkers has given me 30 years to observe different groups, different immigrants...As someone who is racially mixed (by some definitions) and has one parent that didn't come to the US until the age of 22, I'm often asked by people I meet my thoughts on immigration policy. And the truth is that my answers vary, depending on who is asking me - I myself find it difficult to be honest about this topic unless I'm afforded the anonymity of the web. Even though I suppose I'm granted more latitude that most because of my makeup, I have found it impossible to have a conversation with any person with PC sensibilities (which is probably 95% of Americans). Race, IQ, and work ethic is a toxic combination.

I think Steve Sailer (and others like Heather MacDonald) is right about immigration and it's unfortunate his views are relegated to a tiny corner of the internet...Of course, it's easy to see why Sailer is not more popular - for whatever reason he doesn't come across as likeable and he has a knack for using language that sometimes overshadows the message (i.e. describing Barack Obama as a "wigger")

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Coming US challenge: a less literate workforce:
A larger share of workers will have minimal reading skills in 2030 than today, according to a report released Monday.

By Amanda Paulson

US workers may be significantly less literate in 2030 than they are today.

The reason: Most baby boomers will be retiring and a large wave of less-educated immigrants will be moving into the workforce. This downward shift in reading and math skills suggests a huge challenge for educators and policymakers in the future, according to a new report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

If they can't reverse the trend, then it could spell trouble for a large swath of the labor force, widen an already large skill gap, and shrink the middle class.

"There is no time that I can tell you in the last hundred years" where literacy and numeracy have declined, says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston and one of the report's authors. "But if you don't change outcomes for a wide variety of groups, this is the future we face."

The decline in literacy is one of the more startling projections in a report that examines what it calls a "perfect storm" of converging factors and how those trends are likely to play out if left unchecked.

The three factors identified are: a shifting labor market increasingly rewarding education and skills, a changing demographic that include a rapid-growing Hispanic population, and a yawning achievement gap, particularly along racial and socioeconomic lines, when it comes to reading and math.

A few points:

- As pointed out above, one of the assassins in the Netherlands was a second-generation immigrant, the other a native pro-immigration activist. The argument made above (I.e. "they weren't immigrants!") is weak beyond belief.

- Comparing US and Dutch murder statistics straight off to disprove an "immigration disaster" is of course terribly facile. This is especially so as the US rate is largely the product of another grand-scale 30-years in the making assimilation failure: The US black community.

- Statements such as "immigrants are good" are also dangerously simplistic. Who are these immigrants? In the case of the US, most social statistics scream "permanent underclass" regarding Mexican immigrants, while many other groups have excellent prospects.

- Worst possible outcomes. The worst possible outcome from ethnic strife is not usually primarily economic. I too doubt that immigration effects will be able to swamp the aggregated impact of technological progress in the priced economy.

However, I also realize that the actual utility impact of living in a heavily fragmented and divided society with a large resentful underclass compared to, say, faster broadband and longer lives, etc. is not clear cut. This is especially so as many of the negative effects of immigration are pure externalities, I.e. they will never show up in GDP statistics.

Look at Israel. It has built a wall and works very hard to control the type of immigrants that come into the country.

Israel has recently appointed Avigdor Lieberman as a cabinet minister. Mr. Lieberman also gave a talk to the Brookings institute in Washington DC. This particular part of the Brookings institute was created by known super-zionist Haim Saban, who was also the top political donor in the US last year.

Mr. Lieberman is known advocating removal of the existing non-Jewish population of Israel. This despite the fact that the vast majority of Arab-Israeli's are peaceful hard working folks who do not commit terrorist acts.

When I see the shining light of democracy in the middle east act in this way, I take notice. Israel is the "canary in the coal mine" for the US on many issues and we should take special notice when otherwise open minded Jews take such a hard line stance.

If it can't work in Israel, where can it work?

Fact is, some immigrants are good and some are not so good. We should take the time to differentiate and then implement an immigration policy that makes sense. Once implemented it should then be enforced!

"Jason Vorheis drops the 'racist' bomb on a commentator with the temerity to point out that whites are leaving California."

Jeez, I thought he was kidding. If 'racist' is to deserve its pejorative connotation, it has to applied to the aggressors rather than those fleeing the aggressors. And, let's face it, the government's immigration policy constitutes a policy of aggression against native whites and blacks.

Opposition to immigration -- even in explicitly racial terms -- simply cannot be 'racist' in any pejorative sense because self-defense against aggression is never morally wrong.

Is Daveg aware of the difference between having neighbors who want to blow you up and neighbors who want to mow your lawn?

"I'm a libertarian, and all polls show that [immigrants] most definitely are not."

It's not just their political inclinations, which may be relatively "statist"; it's also the fact that upon their arrival the state immediately welcomes them into the ruling coalition by granting them a privileged status compared to natives.

Well! The pretense that all this has anything to do with immigration per se is falling away pretty rapidly now. But what to do with the violent, dopey brown people we've already got?

Paul Zrimsek, How in god's name do you think you've advanced the conversation one iota? Thanks for nothing.

If the jackboot doesn't fit, pjgoober, you needn't wear it. You're welcome.

"The pretense that all this has anything to do with immigration per se is falling away pretty rapidly now."

Yeah, it's outrageous that real, live humans and human communities want to continue to live into the future. It's even more outrageous that they won't at least pretend that life takes a backseat to dollars & cents.

Sure, Zrimsek, humans are fungible. Sleep with my wife, spend my money, occupy my teritory - what does it matter?

Somehow I doubt you're willing to follow the advice of self-sacrifice that you commend to us.

"are you afraid of being murdered by Mexicans"

Not really, I am not afraid for my personal safety. But since Hispanics commit murder at a rate 3 times higher than whites bringing in more Hispanics means more innocent American residents will be murdered. You may not care, or but I am afraid for their safety.

About the Nethrlands:

Yes, they have low crime, but the same exact problem as the US, that is immigration is INCREASING their crime rate.

Let me give some more “anecdotes†.

From

Heiner, R (2005) “The Growth of Incarceration in The Netherlands† Federal Sentencing Reporter, Volume: 17, Number

“In 1974, the Dutch incarceration rate was the lowest in Europe, with 22 people in prison per 100,000 population; by 2000, this rate had climbed to 90 per 100,000 population. Most of this surge in the Dutch incarceration rate took place between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s. Between 1985 and 1995, the Dutch had, by far, the fastest growing incarceration rate in Europe.†

Gee, I wonder why?

“In 1998, a remarkable 53 percent of detainees in the Dutch prison system were born outside of the Netherlands, and
this number has been steadily increasing."

While I admit I don't have stats on it and just don't feel like looking them up- I can't help but think crime is more a function of income than race/country of origin.

And my god- thanks for the warning. I never knew the netherlands was such a dangerous place to live.

"Yes but hundreds of billons of dollars worth of argument? No one talks about that."

What hundreds of billions are you talking about? According to Borjas the benefit to the US from all immigration was about 10 billion per year (most of which probably is not Mexicans, but Indians). The costs just from government benefits alone is multiples of this.

Each high-school dropout immigrant costs the government about 140.000 $ in 2006 dollars according to the National Research council. 70% of Mexicans immigrants are high-school dropouts. (this calculation grossly underestimates the costs, since it assumed convergence after 3 generations, clearly not true for Mexicans).

10 million high school dropouts = 1400 billion dollars in costs for the taxpayers. Note that each marginal tax dollar costs 1,25-1,5 dollars to collect.

15 million Hispanic immigrants = approx. 500 extra murders per year (1300 more total murders, 500 is the EXTRA above the current US rates)

The highest estimate of the cost of the fence is a one time 49 billion (and probably much less). Worth it? You bet.

$49 bill...well since the government is building it you can probably multipy that by 20 (minumum). Unless you want Latios to build it...then it might be closer to estimates.

http://www.cdc.gov/elcosh/docs/d0100/d000038/pdfs/page%2017.pdf

In 2000 Hispanics were 18% of American construction workers. (9% of op.engineers, 21% of labourers, helpers, it will surely surprise you to find out).

That the fence will be built by Hispanics is just another fell-good nonsensical myth.

"I don't know what to make of this remark. It seems to be subject matter for a shrink, not a blog commenter."

Of course, I'm not surprised that you are unable to understand the implications of your ideology. You like to think that you are on the side of right and good.

You're not. You're deceiving yourself.

This country belongs to the people who built it. You say we're psycho for wanting to preserve the resources we have amassed for our own benefit. You say, instead, that Americans should be utterly indifferent to who benefits from the labor of our people. That's an argument of human fungibility.

i sense some anger...

Obviously income isn't going to explain ALL of crime. Duh- there are other factors. You make it sound like race is the only thing explaining it.

The whole "permanent convergence to low income and edcation levels" argument is crap to me because you don't know whats going to happen tommorow.

and ps- with a name like 1 <3 pedro- how intellectually deep did you expect me to be?

“Obviously income isn't going to explain ALL of crime.“

Yes, and I pointed out to you that it empirically explains far from *most* or even *much* of violent crime. (it explain more of property crime).

“You make it sound like race is the only thing explaining it.†

No, how much race/ethnicity explains controlled for income or vice versa is irrelevant in our discussion. What matters is that the average crime rate for Hispanics is far higher than the average for Americans, be it through the ethnicity effect, the income effect, a multiple, or whatever. We know immigration=more crime. End of discussion.

“The whole "permanent convergence to low income and education levels" argument is crap to me because you don't know what’s going to happen tommorow.†

We know what has happened the last 50 years and the last 200 years. Asian and European immigrants have converged to American levels, as immigrants historically have, but Hispanics have not. The pro-immigration people can hope like children that the previous and current trends will magically reverse tomorrow. But there is no argument to believe it will.

Of course I am aware. But you are admitting that some immigrants are not good, no?

But really, what percentage of Israeli arabs want to blow themselves up? It is very very low. Again, the VAST majority are peaceful and live in Israel in peace.

With the new fence, incidents have been reduced to near zero, proving it was outsiders that were doing the bombing.

You really support removing them as citizens?

It would also be interesting to compare the number of deaths from terrorist acts with the number here due to crime, drunk driving etc. in the US.

I'll bet our "hard working" immigrants are much more disruptive overall than the Palestinians, on a per capita basis. I haven't heard of a terrorist death in Israel for 18 months. Have I missed something? Fences are GOOD.

Point is, not all immigration is good, mi amigo.

aaand you've officially turned yourself into a liberal elitist

If you want the math:

with 5,3 million jews in Israel that is equivalent to 1600 deaths per year in the US, on a per capita basis.

Very rough on the top of my head estimates give 1200 excess murders in the US by Hispanics per year.

Case in point:

Cowen cited a NYT article about immigrant entrepreneurship. The article basically does not contains anything other than “anecdotes†. The essentially only hard data they have is that 22% of the fastest growing firms in L.A are started by foreign born.

Impressive? Well, not really, considering that 40,3% of the population of L.A is foreign born.

For the tenth time: we are discussing low-skill immigration from latin American (mainly mexico). Refering to the success of high-skill Indians is not an argument.

The selfemployment rate of Mexican immigrants in the 2000 census was L O W E R than native Americans, 5,2% vs. 6,2%.

But isn’t it true that immigrant heavy California has a successful high-tech industry?

http://memp.pratt.duke.edu/downloads/americas_new_immigrant_entrepreneurs.pdf

Mexican immigrants constitute 44,3% of the California immigrant population, and started 1% (one) of California high-tech firms started by immigrants.

Let me repeat.

44% of immigrant population, 1% of immigrant high-tech start-ups..

How about other sectors in the US? Mexicans are about 30% of the US immigrant population.

Innovation/Manufacturing-Related Services and Semiconductors do best, with 3% and 5% Mexicans. Biosciences, Computers/Communications, Software Field all have less than 1% Mexicans as founders.

30% of population, 0-5% of entrepreneurial start-ups in important sectors.

Let me guess that hard data will do nothing to discourage Tyler Cowen to in the future repeat to the high Asian and European entrepreneurship figures in support for more unskilled Latin immigration.

Tyler Cowen's Open Border Dictionary

anecdote

an·ec·dote [ ánnÉ™k dï ’t ] (plural an·ec·dotes)

noun

Definition:

A fact supported by any amount of data that contradict Tyler Cowen wishful thinking.

[Early 18th century. Directly or via French < modern Latin anecdota < Greek anekdota "things unpublished" < an- "not" + ekdidonai "publish"]

My reason for being in favor of enforcing immigration laws, is that, if they are unenforced, you're likely to get a few terrorists in across the border along with the Mexican gardeners. We should be enforcing them, for national security purposes.

My reasons for thinking we should have a relatively low immigration from Mexico are as follows:

1. Mexicans come from a very different culture than ours, one in which a tiny number of people rule with lots of power, and the rest of the folks don't have rights to speak of. This bodes ill for the future of libertarian politics should large numbers of Mexicans immigrate and not assimilate. See the differences between cultures of horizontal association vs. those of vertical association.

2. Cultural assimilation is a long and complex process that might not happen if immigrants can come in large enough numbers over large enough time that they can form isolated sub-communities in the new country (note that immigration restriction in the 1920s reduced the immigration flow, giving time for the immigrants who came in previous decades to assimilate; note also that those immigrants mostly crossed an ocean before regular air travel existed, cutting them off from their old in an additional way Mexicans today aren't cut off).

3. The full lot of Mexicans--not just those who come here, also those who stay in Mexico--would be better served if their own country were reformed. Reform there is less likely to happen when almost all of the most ambitious, hard-working men can simply go to the US, improving their personal economic situations without the unpleasantries of pushing for serious political reform.

4. I'd rather see an immigration system more like Canada's, which is based on education level and on skills in demand. I think that on average such a system makes for immigrants that are, by virtue of being proven educatable, better able to assimilate (vitally important for maintaining a culture of horizontal assimilation and for the future of libertarian politics), and more likely to contribute substantially economically.

One more point: I think the racial issues only become issues because the immigration-laxity side is supporting policies that favor a geographic group, and that leads to favoring an ethnic group.

I think if we treated people like the individuals they are in the immigration process (as the Canadian system does), taking account their personal skills more than if they are from the ethnic group with easy access to the US border, there's a lot less chance of getting racism involved. That requires enforcement.

Apparently Tyler Cowan does not have the courage to enter this debate.

If you want the math: [1600 vs 1200 per capita]

I would like to see the source of these figures. I have heard of one suicide bombing in the last 12 months. Where are these 43 deaths coming from?

Also, it would be better to compare regions of high immigration rather than the whole country - use california alone, for example.

Nonethessless, even if all the info is correct the difference is not enough to justify opening the door in one case and ethnically cleansing in the other.

"Immigration for thee, but not for me".

"Both Sailer and dobeln apparently believe that the Dutch natives who (stipulated) shot Fortuyn and van Gogh for being unsuccessful anti-immigration advocates would have chosen instead to live lives of quiet contentment had Fortuyn and van Gogh been successful advocates instead."

If they had been successful earlier, assassin number one wouldn't have been in-country. It is true that murder number two is more a function of the extreme intolerance of pro-immigration ideology, but that issue is hardly unrelated to pro-immigration policies. (I.e. - decreasing the aggressive intolerance of immigration advocates tends to decrease immigration, as elite bullying is usually needed to keep the native population in check.)

"would like to see the source of these figures. I have heard of one suicide bombing in the last 12 months"

Ah, since you did not "hear" about it in the American Conservative it could not have happened. First the deaths:

†¢ January 29, 2007: Three people were killed in a suicide bombing in a bakery in Eilat, the first suicide bombing in the city. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

†¢ June 25, 2006: Eliahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists from the Popular Resistance Committees while hitchhiking from Betar Illit, southwest of Bethlehem, to Neveh Tzuf, where he was studying.

†¢ April 17, 2006: Nine people were killed and at least 40 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv.

†¢ March 30, 2006: Four people were killed in a suicide bombing outside Kedumim in the northern West Bank. The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the attack.

†¢ December 29, 2005: Three people were killed - two Palestinian civilians and an Israeli soldier - in a suicide bombing at a checkpoint near Tulkarm.

†¢ December 5, 2005: Five people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a suicide bombing at the entrance of a shopping mall in Netanya. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

†¢ October 26, 2005: Six people were killed and 55 wounded in a suicide bombing in an outdoor market in the town of Hadera. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

†¢ October 16, 2005: Palestinian gunmen killed three Israelis and wounded as least 5 others in two separate drive-by shootings in the West Bank. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for both attacks.

†¢ July 23, 2005: Two people were killed and three others wounded in a drive-by shooting near the Kissufim crossing in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

†¢ July 12, 2005: Five people were killed and 90 wounded in a suicide bombing outside of a shopping mall in Netanya. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

†¢ June 24, 2005: Two teenagers were killed and three others wounded in a drive-by shooting near Hebron. The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.

4. “etnic cleaning†

There is no such thing taking place in Israel. 60 years ago the Arabs attempted to destroy Israel, lost, and were egged on by their leaders to leave. End of story, that land belongs to the Jews as much as parts of Prussia to the poles.

Israel now has a cabinet minister that advocates removing arab-Israeli's from Israel. He has not been widely denounced by Israel's supporters in the US - have not heard anything from Dershowitz of Foxman about him

I'll ignore the rest of your poor analogies and inaccurate history.

Robert M. said—

I think Steve Sailer (and others like Heather MacDonald) is right about immigration and it's unfortunate his views are relegated to a tiny corner of the internet...Of course, it's easy to see why Sailer is not more popular - for whatever reason he doesn't come across as likeable

I very much appreciated most of your reality based points.

But I don’t agree with you at all that Steve Sailer doesn’t come across as likeable.

If one reads around his blog much you come to realize that he approaches very un PC topics without malice and with a view towards problem solving for the benefit of the citizens of this country as a whole. What he calls “citizenship†. As opposed to some narrow ethnic group alone which he e.g. identifies with.

Actually it’s quite evident after a bit that his even more primary motivation is truth telling – without any hatred or rancor behind it, though a fair amount of irony and sometimes irritation and PC dogmas.

Mitchell Young—

We know immigration=more crime. End of discussion.

No. CERTAIN immigration = more crime.

Groups differ radically.

More Chinese immigration = less crime. (Notably lower rates than among whites for example, not to mention Latinos and blacks.)
More S.Asian Indian immigration = less crime.

More Mexican and Central American illegal immigration does indeed mean more crime.

The biggest issue is what the second and third generation look like. In social statistics. Groups that are on the rapid success escalator do our country far more good than harm.

"If one reads around his blog much you come to realize that he approaches very un PC topics without malice and with a view towards problem solving for the benefit of the citizens of this country as a whole. What he calls “citizenship†. As opposed to some narrow ethnic group alone which he e.g. identifies with."

Wow, Steve Sailer came up with "citizenship"? The man's a genious!

"Well! The pretense that all this has anything to do with immigration per se is falling away pretty rapidly now."

Yes Paul. The pink elephant in the middle of the room is frantically waving his arms but people pay him no heed . Hell yes it's about race. But if you prevent people from talking about it, the immigration "debate" takes place in a kind of vaccuum, with people being forced to dig up arcane statistical arguments (actually, many of them are straightforward, but by the time all the challenges are answered, you know...it gets ugly). Let us be plain, if it were Germans and Swedes arriving, we wouldn't be hearing a peep.

"But what to do with the violent, dopey brown people we've already got?"

Paul, if you're reading this, listen to me. I'm ONE of those brown men. Things were FINE between myself and whites before immigration got crazy. You are doing NOTHING for race relations by continuing to swamp the country with racially alien (to whites) immigrants. You have no idea how this has impacted myself and others like me, forcing us to "become" Hispanics because whites have simply grown too suspicious of us. It's everything I can do not to punctuate this comment with a thousand exclamation marks. In one sense, I am thankful for people like you, that wish to diminish the power of race. On the other hand, your (implied) dogged insistence that race must not be a valid factor in opposing immigration wildly infuriates me because race IS the reason whites who oppose immigration (legal or not) oppose it (even though they don't admit it). You are ONLY making problems for the non-whites already here. Whites who never had a problem with "brown people" before all of a sudden have come to realize that no one is planning on EVER finally halting immigration and that that means their race will be snuffed out of history. That might not be such a problem if people ACTUALLY believed race is "meangingless", but they do not actually believe it, they only say they do. This is a recipe for perpetual interracial turmoil.

Daniel Sosa said--

Let us be plain, if it were Germans and Swedes arriving, we wouldn't be hearing a peep.

Let us also be plain, and even more honest. If it were Chinese and on average high IQ S. Asian Indians (the ones who come here anyway) who were arriving in mass numbers, you also wouldn’t hear a peep.

Wait, those groups ARE coming in mass numbers. And you barely hear a peep about them. And when you do it’s generally to be consistent and not look like one has a “thing† about Mexicans, and post 9/11 (but not much before) Muslims.

It’s not about race except perhaps as being an ultimately causative force, IN PART. Most people don’t have much theory about that. They think in terms of ethnicities – of the combined effect of culture and race, with rather more emphasis on the former. They care about the practical impact.

And the practical impact of some groups is a net negative. And others is clearly overall a net positive (Chinese, other NE Asians, S. Asian Indians of the variety we get here). Crime and effects on public education, and durably below average IQ and attendant job performance and contribution, into the second and third generation. Why ever that remains the case, it’s proven very hard, and for all we know impossible, to change. So why import lots more of it?

As I’ve said before, and smaller and higher IQ continued slice from Mexico and Central America is fine.

Yes it’s also a factor that the huge and rapid numbers of Mexicans and Central Americans is causing a rapid cultural swamping in some places. That rather than too much dark skin is what that problem is about. Why should people want the predominant culture in their locality change rapidly, and not by people achieving the most? As opposed to more reasonably paced sprinkling of lots of different cultural influences from many places, which can be and usually is enriching.

What i think about the immigration policies are some-what lame. If Americans werent too money hungry and would work for lower pay then we wouldnt be complaining about immigrants taking our jobs from us. Americans need to swallow their pride and work. work is what makes the world go round not money because you need to work before you get the money.

Immigrants are performing the jobs that we, as Americans, simply won’t do.

Not with paying citizens somewhat more money they won't do them. No wouldn't that be terrible, if our lower half in the black and Latino citizen communities were making more money at less skilled jobs?

Whatever your annecdotes, the statistics for illegal Mexicans and Central Americans are terrible. They remain terrible for their children and grandchildren and often worse, which is the real problem.

Why worse? Isn't it America's fault then? No, not really. Or only in the following way.

That is Chinese and s. Asian Indians don't do worse in the 2nd and 3rd generation. They do better on average.

The problem is that we tell certain "disadvantaged" "victim" groups that their problems are heavily our fault do to our "racism".

How do we know that we're applying much more racism to the light brown skinned (and sometimes quite light) Mexicans and Central Americans variety of Hispanics, but not to the usually considerably or much darker skinned S. Asian Indians? Well look it how those Hispanics are doing. IT MUST be our "racism", or "structural racism".

Utter BS. It's their cultural or subcultural issues (that is the set of goals and priorities and view towards education and being smart and so on). There may be many within Mexican society who have quite different outlooks but we don't tend to get those as illegals.

To the extent there is racial prejudice, the performance profile in school, gangs, and so on particular of second and third generations, comes first, and then people -- whites, AND Chinese, and so on -- draw conclusions and generalizations second.

No we shouldn't judge individuals by their group. I don't. There's WIDE variation in any group.

But yes we should cut off this innundation by Latino illegals. AND deport many of the ones that are here.

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Its ironic that many bloggers talk about this but then they actually use no follow I have seen many blogs leeching off the dofollow movement claiming to be dofollow sites but actually use nofollow, they are worse than the comment spammers in my eyes.

MM. I pitty the poor immigrants sometimes. Always getting the bad end of the stick

Its ironic that many FX bloggers talk about this but then they actually use no follow I have seen many blogs leeching off the dofollow movement claiming to be dofollow sites but actually use nofollow, they are worse than the comment spammers in my eyes.

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