Are asylum rights misguided?

Per capita income in Eritrea is about $600 a year (estimates vary however), and in El Salvador about $8000 a year, PPP-adjusted.  We hear a lot about the horrible violence in El Salvador, and indeed I have been to the country only twice, and yet saw a murdered dead body simply lying alongside the highway.  Here are various anecdotes about the problem, noting that not all of them involve death.  Nonetheless keep in mind that life expectancy in El Salvador is a bit over 73 years.  Life expectancy in Eritrea is about 64.

Yet a person from El Salvador can make his or her way to the U.S. border and plead for asylum rights, often with some justification I might add.  (More generally, the number of asylum seekers from Latin America is rising rapidly.)  It is much harder for an Eritrean to do the same, most of all because there is no direct land route and furthermore the paucity of resources in Eritrea makes almost any kind of action harder to pull off.  Eritreans do however request and sometimes receive asylum rights through the U.S. Embassy in Eritrea itself.

So asylum rights favor El Salvadorans relative to Eritreans, at least once people realize there is an incentive to try to migrate north.  Does that make sense?  In general, Latin American countries are wealthier and healthier than most of the world’s other poorer countries, though they are on average more violent.

To be clear, I do not wish to revoke or limit asylum rights today.  That would lead to less humane outcomes with no offsetting advantage.  But say we were designing an ideal immigration policy from scratch.  Would you not want to pare back asylum rights in return for allowing more legal immigration from very needy countries?

Keep in mind that a stronger chance of asylum rights for Latin Americans, or those in the Caribbean, means more dangerous journeys to get here, and thus a greater exhaustion of “migration rents” through the very process of trying.  It would be possible to offer greater legal migration rights to more Eritreans, if only through a lottery (though I suspect a better method yet can be found), without inducing comparably risky or costly behavior.

Asylum rights still could be kept for situations of special humanitarian, cultural, or political importance, such as the Holocaust, Soviet Jews, or the current situation in Syria.  But ask yourself a simple question: when the genocide was going on in Rwanda, how many Rwandans did the U.S. grant asylum rights to?  Does that not indicate something is broken about the current system?

Consider these figures:

Immigration court records show that more asylum cases were denied over the previous five years than have been granted. In fiscal year 2016, 62 percent of asylum cases were denied, compared with 44.5 percent five years earlier. Among Mexicans and Central Americans, the approval rate is substantially lower.

You might think that is a sign of the system working along the ex post dimension, but it also indicates there is too much ex ante “regulatory arbitrage” across different immigration categories.

It seems that hundreds of millions of people in today’s world are worthy of asylum, given the criteria as written.  Yet during the Obama years a typical intake was about 60,000 asylum seekers yearly, which suggests an extreme degree of moral arbitrariness.  Is there not a better way to write asylum law to target…whatever you think is most worth of being targeted?  Admittedly opinions on the proper standard will differ.

Or consider this:

Every month, thousands of deportees from the United States and hundreds of asylum-seekers from around the world arrive in Tijuana. Many never leave….this flood tide of outsiders is pushing Tijuana toward a humanitarian crisis.

The best case for a broad application of asylum rights is simply that it gives the authorities more discretion to accept a larger number of very worthy cases.  For instance, teenager Martina Navratilova received asylum in the United States, and for the better, even though she was not facing death or torture back home in Czechoslovakia.  Keep in mind, though, that (for the moment) we are designing an ideal immigration system from scratch.  Cases such as Navratilova’s suggest that ordinary immigration policy ought to be more geared to taking in especially talented individuals, with or without an asylum case.

You should note, by the way, that Australia has relatively tough asylum rights, but takes in a large number of legal immigrants.  The country also goes to great lengths to stop people from showing up at the border in boats and claiming asylum.  So it seems there is at least one case where this is a sustainable posture.

In closing, I would note that asylum rights seem to be creating major political problems for Europe.  Partially for non-rational reasons, many voters view asylum-linked immigration as “more out of control” than other kinds of migration.  And the EU arguably has poorly designed institutions for handling asylum, and doling out relative responsibilities to member nations.  Plus Europe is very close to the Middle East and Africa.  Reforming the treatment of asylum in Europe might well improve the functioning of democracy there and actually put immigration on a more stable path.


Either you care about other people or you don't.

You are on the right road my friend.

That is exactly the wrong way to look at it. Of course I care about other people. I cannot save everyone in the world. I am not even sure I can save one of them, but I can try. All such efforts require moral judgments and careful assessment of the costs and alternatives.

The US government created the violence in El Salvador by multiple stupid failed policies, but not the problems in Africa to anything close to what Europe and UK caused.

Europe got minerals, but we just get drugs we don't want thanks to the kill commies by any means view in the 80s.

(If we taxed oil to pay for wars in Peasian Gulf, gasoline would cost so much we'd be converted to electric cars. Trying to fund it with drug would mean everyone would be expected to use a kilo a day.)

The Mexican migration problem was caused by US migrants violently violating Mexico's borders, killing hundreds of Mexican border enforcement agents. Then erecting statues to the killers of Mexican border agents, and naming a city after their leader: Houston.

Central America has caused it's own problems. So has Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina. I blame Spain and Catholicism.

Why isn't Canada isn't a shithole? We've certainly interfered in their affairs. And Japan. And South Korea..

You're a dolt.

End asylum. End immigration. Find and deport all here illegally.

End growth. End dynamism. Become Japan. Be stupid. End America.

Japan's a handsome country. Their problem right now is that they are not having sufficiently large families. That's not a feature of Japanese life from time immemorial. It appeared around 1975.

Claro: Mexico invited Anglo colonizers to settle the northern parts of its territory into which it had made few inroads, precisely to protect its claim against both Americans and Indians. Those people became Mexican citizens, and in theory converted to Catholicism. The gambit failed.

The US government created the violence in El Salvador by multiple stupid failed policies,

It did nothing of the sort. Abiding patterns of social relations in El Salvador - in essence a vendetta culture in which police and courts are weak and even notional - are the work of Salvadorans themselves. The acute political violence the country experienced from 1979 to 1992 was also the work of the combatants, all of whom were Salvadorean.

Foreign invaders' rights end when they slam into our rights to life, liberty and property.

This "amnesty rights" thingy is the latest weapon being wielded to impose bigger deficits, more poverty and more tyranny on us. It's the latest weapon in the left's fight to destroy America and our way of life.

So, good point on the Americans migrating into basically-empty Texas.

We used to resolve issues under the Constitutional. That only works if the you reds like it.

"Elections have consequences." Obama, January 23, 2009.
We held an election in November 2016.

How can it be the latest weapon when we are accepting fewer amnesties now than we did a decade or two ago? It doesn't make any sense.

I care about some people a lot, I care about some people a little, some not at all. Which category should people from Central America fall in? That is the question.

And Mexico, which lies en route from El Salvador to the USA has a per capita GDP (PPP) of $19,500.

...which is quite adequate if you earn the average, and most people in Mexico are fine. Some people earn nothing, and I don't blame them in the slightest for trying their luck in the United States. Since it's become almost impossible to immigrate legally, they choose the obvious alternative.

What if a majority of your fellow citizens do not want them? Then what? Let them in anyway? ???

Historically, and this is precisely on point in terms of asylum, the American answer is no, we don't want them - 'Since the Kristallnacht (literally the “Night of Crystal,” more commonly known as the "Night of Broken Glass") pogrom of November 9–10, 1938, the German government had sought to accelerate the pace of forced Jewish emigration. The German Foreign Office and the Propaganda Ministry also hoped to exploit the unwillingness of other nations to admit large numbers of Jewish refugees to justify the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish goals and policies both domestically in Germany and in the world at large.


The State Department and the White House had decided not to take extraordinary measures to permit the refugees to enter the United States. A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must "await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States." US diplomats in Havana intervened once more with the Cuban government to admit the passengers on a "humanitarian" basis, but without success.

Quotas established in the US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1924 strictly limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted to the United States each year. In 1939, the annual combined German-Austrian immigration quota was 27,370 and was quickly filled. In fact, there was a waiting list of at least several years. US officials could only have granted visas to the St. Louis passengers by denying them to the thousands of German Jews placed further up on the waiting list. Public opinion in the United States, although ostensibly sympathetic to the plight of refugees and critical of Hitler's policies, continued to favor immigration restrictions.'

What is your point exactly?

Well, since it was the entire comment, I felt no need to quote it, but this is the MR comment section, so the historical example was the answer to this comment - 'What if a majority of your fellow citizens do not want them? Then what? Let them in anyway? ???'

The historical answer, when a majority of American citizens were demonstrably not in favor of allowing 'them' in, we did not let them in anyways.

Was there an asylum process at the time? It doesn't sound like it.

The comment I was replying to did not talk about asylum, merely admitting people a majority of Americans did not approve of. A major reason that asylum became a concept was exactly due to cases like the one cited above.

Man, fascinating to see the effects of typing and talking and hitting the wrong key - yes, parsley potatoes are part of tonight's dinner plan.

And how many refugees are currently facing a "final solution' like the Jews in Nazi Germany?


Most Americans, myself included, support immigration, but also want assimilation, which is enhanced when there are people from many different nations. We don't want to be colonized by Latin America.

'And how many refugees are currently facing a "final solution' like the Jews in Nazi Germany?'

You are aware when the Endlösung got started, right? And how inconceivable genocide at that scale was in 1939 (at least outside of Nazi Germany)?

However, people losing their homes and property and being forced to flee is going on in several countries right now. I have not noticed too much American interest in taking refugees from Burma or Syria, to name two concrete examples. I am confident that a well informed person such as yourself can easily name a couple of more contemporary examples.

How did the whole world become against in migration.
Was it welfare?
Was it the the fear of overpopulation pushed by the likes of Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome?
What did this?

Literally the whole of human history has been about groups of people drawing lines around themselves and keeping other groups out. Where do you think diversity comes from?

Your point is well-taken in this sense: before the modern welfare state with its civil rights and due process and complicated infrastructure, migrants had to sink or swim with their host's dominant majority. Consequently, migration was limited by market mechanisms. Now, migration is the worst of all worlds. The profits are privatized and the costs are socialized.

"Now, migration is the worst of all worlds. The profits are privatized and the costs are socialized."

+10. Exactly.

'Where do you think diversity comes from?'

Walking comes instantly to mind. Just groups walking in a random direction and losing contact with other groups - seems to apply to basically all of the diversity found in the New World, for example. This process seems to cover a lot more of human history than anything resembling borders or states.

You are ignorant of basic biology.

What, you mean isolated populations don't become different from other isolated populations over longer time periods?

Amazing to see Darwin so convincingly overturned in the MR comment section.

prior 1, A-G 0

prior scores by inducing rage in A-G

Haha. It is catchy.

Mexico doesn't grant asylum to many people from other nations in Central America. Asylum seekers know this and thus usually don't bother applying there (Mexico received only 8800 asylum applications in 2016) and instead apply in the U.S., i.e., they engage in "regulatory arbitrage." But of course it's Americans who object to the abuse of its asylum system who are the selfish xenophobes.

I'm curious - when did Mexico become proud of its immigrant history?

Or is there a Mexican equivalent to this? - 'The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883'

(Hope the formatting holds)

It's the Zeroth Amendment to the Constitution, overriding all those lesser amendments.

Mexico has a Zeroth Amendment to its Constitution declaring its pride in being an immigrant nation?

Oh wait, you meant a nation founded by immigrants wrote its Constitution without a bill of rights? Why, you would be right, actually - the Bill of Rights was adopted after the Constitution.

That is, the section of the Constitution relating to immigration, Article I, section 8, clause 4, predate the Bill of Rights.

Google "sailer zeroth".

You mean he has been ignorant for several years of how the Constitution came before the Bill of Rights? As noted by this text listing one of the enumerated powers of Congress - 'To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization' which of course predates all amendments.

No surprise - the man also thinks that Benjamin Franklin is an authority in terms of immigration, as Franklin warned about how America would be speaking German if we were not careful in restricting German immigration, and of the necessity of keeping those 'swarthy' Swedes from America's shores.


For all your embarrassing pontification you are profoundly ignorant of US history, repeating the old canard "a nation founded by immigrants'. It wasn't. The population explosion that occurred between 1608-1776 was almost entirely due to births. The founders also shared a common British heritage, a common language, and read the same books - the classics of ancient Greece and Rome, Rousseau, Locke, etc.

The Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were all written, or at least reviewed and edited, by committee and, in the case of the Constitution, ratified by the states. These are the documents and laws of our nation, not the words of some poet inscribed on a giant copper doll on an island.

As per our Constitution, we the people, via our elected representatives, have the sole power to determine who shall become a citizen of our nation. We don't have to take anyone we don't want.

Another consideration is the security and stability of the lifeboat that is our nation. We cannot take an infinite number of people and remain a constitutional republic. It was well understood by the founders that ours was a republic of virtue, that is, it was only going to work if the people were virtuous - honest, hard working, fair, self-reliant, industrious, cooperative, and even religious. They were terrified of mob rule via democracy and so deliberately founded a republic. They knew the mob could vote itself all manner of benefits without responsibilities.

We have been overrun in the last 4 decades by a very different people whose first act was to violate our immigration laws likely followed by numerous acts of fraud, including document fraud, false identities, receiving services without payment (emergency room treatment for example).

In response to this cascade of fraud and lawlessness we have been quite generous. We have given them social services, free k-22 public education costing ~10k per year per child, Social Security benefits, healthcare ( we have to pay the unpaid emergency room bills), and numerous benefits provided by untaxed NGOs.

Eventually, the lifeboat gets swamped, sinks, and everyone is in the water. Most people, even the uncouth, irredeemable deplorables, intuitively know this.

This can't go on forever. If it can't go on forever, it will stop.

If you want to see the future, look at California. It was a Republican state. It has turned into a left-wing happyland populated by Peter Pans. The middle class has fled. We now have two languages. We have two classes - the very wealthy and the poor. We used to have virtually free post secondary education - not anymore. We have lost social capital. We have a massive deficit. We have enormous unfunded public pension liabilities. We have an enormous number of 'non-profits' providing services to a population that is not self-sufficient in our modern economy (remember the virtues). Those NGOs occupy space that could be used for taxable commerce. They even compete with commerce. We are number one (or two) in: high taxes, expensive water, expensive electricity, expensive gasoline, expensive housing, and expensive insurance. Businesses and high earners are fleeing the state. All this happened because we conducted an experiment in open borders that began in 1986 after the passage of Simpson Mazzole.

People know this and don't want it.

I asked what the Mexican equivalent of a poem celebrating Mexico's history as an immigrant nation was, and this essay about American history is the result?

Honestly, does anybody actually read simple text? This is what you are responding to, by the way, at least in terms of the comment thread - 'I'm curious - when did Mexico become proud of its immigrant history?

Or is there a Mexican equivalent to this? - 'The New Colossus'

That Sailer loves his fairy tales in his reply is beyond question, but really, when talking about Mexico and its history, why is anyone talking about the U.S. instead?

And unsurprisingly, no one can actually point to the Mexican equivalent of that poem.

+1 Heidi, thank you for taking the time to write this.

I particularly enjoyed how they basically used the "Das Boot ist voll" slogan of the German Republikaner.

Heidi, I agree with you. You can also spot California at the near-top of the poverty and inequality charts. That's true future of the USA. More diverse, but poorer and more unequal.

Try that schmaltz out on Israel, another nation of immigrants by the popular definition.

@ clockwork prior

The nation of Israel has existed for thousands of years, and has never been noted for accepting immigrants. If only because, if one believes the founding myth of the nation of Israel, a higher power is involved when it comes to determining who is, and who is not, a member of the nation of Israel.

Nobody cares about your Protestant fundamentalism. The subordinate kingdom of Israel was abolished by the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The modern State of Israel was established by pure government fiat in 1948, and rapidly populated by millions of Jewish immigrants with no ties to the region for over a millennia.

If you're going to give the Jews blood-and-soil nationalism, then everybody else gets to claim it too. Even Germans.

I'm a baptized Catholic, and have never been a Protestant of any variety.

'If you're going to give the Jews blood-and-soil nationalism, then everybody else gets to claim it too.'

Um, I said that the nation of Israel determines its members through the reference to a 'higher power.' Another term in this regard is covenant - 'Jews believe that we have a covenant with God. A covenant is a relationship of reciprocal love, caring, and loyalty. Individuals can have covenants with one anothe — marriage is a covenantal relationship — but the covenant that the People Israel has with God involves the entire people. One of the chief benefits of that special relationship is that it helps to define us as a people who have connections (relationships) with one another because we are all party to the same covenant with God.'

With the notable exception of the Japanese, very few nations claim a direct divine source for their existence.

It can't have escaped your attention that many people on the left don't exactly like the state of Israel either.

For that matter, it is something of a contradiction how conservatives support the State of Israel, mainly made up on an "invasion" of Jewish immigrants into formerly Arab territory, but simultaneously believe that America must be defended against a similar sort of invasion by Mexican immigrants. I hear them suggesting that "La Raza" is orchestrating something called the "reconquista".
If that's you're position on Mexican immigration to the US, shouldn't you be on the side of the Palestinians, who are the previously native population of what is now Israel?

For that matter, it is something of a contradiction how conservatives support the State of Israel, mainly made up on an "invasion" of Jewish immigrants into formerly Arab territory,

Most Israeli Jews are of Sephardic and Mizrahi origin, Hazel. The mass migration of these Jews occurred after Arab armies had tried to militarily destroy Jewish settlements in the former Mandatory Palestine.

You may have noticed looking at the map that the area of Jewish settlement (the coastal plain between Gaza and Haifa, greater Jerusalem, and the Valley of Jezreel was areally quite small, not only in comparison to the Arab world as a whole but compared to the section of it where Levantine-spectrum dialects prevail. There were 35 Ottoman subprefectures populated by Arabic-speakers where the Sultan's authority was something other than nominal, of which a number had a significant Jewish population. A dozen or so were located in the Levant, of which three were set aside for Jewish settlement, and Jewish settlers were selective in settling just these three. Also, the settlers brought human capital which locals did not possess. The closest analogy to Jews in the Ottoman Levant (and Mandatory Palestine) would be Cubans in South Florida.

I'm pretty pro-Israel, but your analogy is interesting. How would you feel if the S. Florida Cubans declared themselves a sovereign nation down there?

The modern State of Israel was established by pure government fiat in 1948, and rapidly populated by millions of Jewish immigrants with no ties to the region for over a millennia.

There were hundreds of thousands of agricultural colonists in mandatory Palestine in 1947. Israel was built from the ground up over two generations before there ever was a sovereign state. And there really was no effective fiat. The British forces withdrew and the Haganah established their position contra military invasion from four different directions.

One might note also that Israel received only minimal aid from the United States government prior to 1973. The absorption of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews was something they did on their own.

I think there's also an infinity-Nth Amendment corollary to the Zeroth Amendment: A "nation of immigrants" must never be allowed to become a nation of natives.

'must never be allowed to become a nation of natives'

Here is an interesting fact - if an American citizen is born outside of the U.S. to two American citizens, and that American never lives in the U.S., that American citizen's children are not considered natives, and thus are not considered American citizens.

Because the U.S. is a nation that represents values, not bloodlines.

'nation of values'

Wrong again! You are on a losing streak. Give up now before it is too late.

We are a nation of laws.

Right now, we are being overrun by people breaking our laws to escape lawlessness.

People who are not confused, who have not twisted themselves into an illogical knot by following the or conflicted feelings, know this.

Wake up!

'We are a nation of laws.'

If you prefer, though our laws are neither god given nor determined by tyrannical fiat, but instead reflect our values, as they shift over time.

And it is American law that says the children of an American citizen have no claim on American citizenship themselves depending on circumstances, because we do not value bloodlines as a measure of determining citizenship. In contrast to a nation like Germany until 1999, for example.

'Right now, we are being overrun by people breaking our laws to escape lawlessness.'

Illegal immigration has remained essentially flat, with essentially no increase in the illegal immigrant population in the U.S., to the extent that data can be relied on and is available. At least according to this source - 'The Center’s preliminary estimate of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2016 is 11.3 million, which is statistically no different from the 2009 or 2015 estimates because it is based on a data source with a smaller sample size and larger margin of error. Unauthorized immigrants represented 3.4% of the total U.S. population in 2015. The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population.'

'People who are not confused, who have not twisted themselves into an illogical knot by following the or conflicted feelings, know this. '

Shame that those people who are not confused are also unconcerned about actual data, to the extent that it is available. And to help you in case of confusion, that is not the number of people entering the U.S. per year, that is the entire number of unauthorized immigrants currently in the U.S., a number that has remained essentially flat for years.

"Because the U.S. is a nation that represents values, not bloodlines."

That's another one of those fairy tales, like "All men are created equal..."

What are "American values?" Who gets to decide? When you stop holding them, do we revoke your America card?

Propositional nations--empires, actually--are time-limited experiments.

What are "American values?"

See below, including two Constiutional cites in terms of bloodlines.

'Who gets to decide?'

We the people, though you are welcome to consider the Constitution a fairy tale too.

'When you stop holding them, do we revoke your America card?'

You are welcome, according to the 1st Amendment, to hold absolutely any belief you wish without any fear of having your America card revoked.

(Actions, of course are a different subject, and there is a less than perfect division between words and actions in an area like treason - 'Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.' Article 3, Section 3)

There is zero consensus on the meaning of the Constitution, e.g., the 14th Amendment--is there anything it can't do?

It's hilarious to watch old Boomers pull that piece of paper around their shoulders like a prayer shawl.

'There is zero consensus on the meaning of the Constitution'

And to think millions and millions of people find that assertion absolutely hilarious. Particularly among those that swear an oath to uphold the Constitution.

'It's hilarious to watch old Boomers'

Amusingly, I am not an old boomer, and am as much a boomer as Prof. Cowen.

And personally, I find it hilarious to watch fools dismiss the basis of what has made the U.S. so successful, and so attractive to immigrants from all over the world.

"Because the U.S. is a nation that represents values, not bloodlines."

Huh? You mean because citizenship laws in the U.S. happen to work that way?

Well, there was that small point about revolting against a monarchy based on a bloodline and replacing that hereditary ruler with a republican government. Not to mention this Contitutional prohibition - 'No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.' Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

It is a bit more than American citizenship laws. As can be noted by the fact that the prohibition is repeated in Article I, section 10, clause 1 to ensure that no state could get around the federal government prohibition.

Pride in an immigrant history does not imply an inability to ever look to rationalise and reform immigration policy. Immigration has been on the rise for decades. No-one is even proposing to go back to traditional levels of immigration from say the 1930s.

Similarly, someone writing a poem 135 years ago isn't binding in any way on policy makers today.

Times change

'Pride in an immigrant history does not imply an inability to ever look to rationalise and reform immigration policy.'

Of course not - but it might explain why a nation that does not consider itself an immigrant nation is considerably less interested in allowing immigration.

'Immigration has been on the rise for decades.'

Not really, but then, that is an article of faith among many, much like that the U.S. crime rate has been steadily increasing for 5 decades. (That determining the number of immigrants is an extremely complex, with good faith disagreement possible, is beyond question.)

'Similarly, someone writing a poem 135 years ago isn't binding in any way on policy makers today.'

Of course it isn't - I was just asking what the Mexican equivalent was.

The Mexicans have a different history, which just might explain why they have polices different from the policies of the U.S.

"The Mexicans have a different history, which just might explain why they have polices different from the policies of the U.S."

European nations do not consider themselves founded on the principle of immigration and yet their policies resemble the US's. There is little support for immigration outside Western nations, which really shows how perverted and out-of-step our policies are compared to the rest of the world.

'European nations do not consider themselves founded on the principle of immigration and yet their policies resemble the US's.'

At least in the case of the Germany, not until recently. German citizenship (EU free movement is a separate subject) was based on blood until 1999 - 'Details of Germany's controversial citizenship law, which would make it easier for foreign residents to become German citizens and hold dual nationality, have been published by the government.

The right-wing opposition is considering an appeal to the Constitutional Court to keep the 85-year-old principle of nationality by blood.'

'There is little support for immigration outside Western nations'

Are Hungary and Poland Western nations?

Of course Hungary and Poland are western nations. And they are very pro-immigration, confirming Anon's contention. Hungary for example, a nation of less than 10 millions, has given the right to free entrance and indefinite stay to about 420 millions people (the inhabitants of the Schengen space). It is a little like if China had given a pre-approved green card to 60 billions human.

I'm guessing this text was inadvertently skipped - '(EU free movement is a separate subject).'

'has given the right to free entrance and indefinite stay to about 420 millions people (the inhabitants of the Schengen space)'

Actually, no, but I'm sure you already knew that. Free movement is a fascinating subject, but Hungary is completely welcome to deny both entrance and residency to anyone it wants, whether EU citizens or not.

' (1) Does EU Law guarantee an absolute right to move and reside anywhere in the EU?

No. Treaty rights of free movement are subject to limitations.

Article 45(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter: TFEU) states that the rights to (a) accept offers of employment, (b) move freely between States to take up employment, (c) reside in other Member States, and (d) the right to stay in another Member State after employment has finished, are subject to ‘limitations justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health’. This means, to simplify, that national authorities can adopt restrictive measures on a case-by-case basis against EU workers on any of these three grounds. Arguably the most mutable of these grounds is the public policy limitation, and Gareth Davies has argued that this limitation has been underexplored when it comes to free movement concerns, suggesting that greater use of permitted restrictions might have avoided free movement becoming as contentious an issue as it did in the UK.'

Thank you for reminding me that the right to immigrate in Hungary ad Poland has been given to anyone in the UE, not only those in Schengen space, so add 100 millions to the number I gave.
Of course there is a way of opting out of applying the policy. It has not been applied.

'that the right to immigrate in Hungary ad Poland has been given to anyone in the UE'

You skipped the text again - 'Does EU Law guarantee an absolute right to move and reside anywhere in the EU?

No. Treaty rights of free movement are subject to limitations.'

There is absolutely no right to immigrate to Hungary, except with Hungarian approval, according to the rules cited above. Hungary is free to reject any individual from immigrating, whether a citizen of the EU or not.

'It has not been applied.'

Of course it has - for example, in cases of those seeking to claim benefits in Hungary they are not entitled to. Unless Hungary has become more generous to such foreigners than Germany.

"Are Hungary and Poland Western nations?" - They are [puts on sunglasses] borderline. Yeah.

If Hungary and Poland are Western nations, than so is Mexico.
What exactly is supposed to be the criteria for being considered Western? Spanish is a romance language. Hispanics are Catholic, and Spanish institutions go back to Rome. Less than 200 years of ppolicial independence from Spain doesn't make Mexico anymore non-Western than it makes America.

Not to mention Mexico is actually in the Western hemisphere, and Europe isn't even that. (insert snark emoji)

If Hungary and Poland are Western nations, than so is Mexico.

Mexico has a homicide rate 10x that of Hungary or Poland and no one tried to organize Poles or Hungarians as a bloc vote on any scale larger than a Chicago ward club. No one tried to make use of state agencies to promote Polish or Hungarian language maintenance. There was no such thing as formally constructed preference programs for Hungarian or Polish immigrants. The best they could get was patronage through configurations like Chicago ward clubs.

We are the country that can do it. We could be even greater than we are. We could absorb 1 billion people and be greater that we are which is really great already.

Quality, not quantity. There are two countries with a billion people. You should move there and make them even greater.

There are two countries with a billion people. You should move there and make them even greater.

Because although they would become a little greater they would not be as great as the USA.

Trotting out that hoary shibboleth does nothing to gainsay Mexico's egregious hypocrisy or the willful violations of U.S. law by asylum seekers. Asylum seekers know that their claims will most likely be rejected (because most are in fact bogus), which is why such a large percentage of them (~40%) don't even bother to show up to their hearings (or otherwise remain in the U.S. illegally).

'to gainsay Mexico's egregious hypocrisy'

Hypocrisy based on Mexico's proud heritage as an immigrant nation?

'or the willful violations of U.S. law by asylum seekers'

Thankfully, we have an entire federal process to keep willful violations of U.S. law by asylum seekers from succeeding. That the process could be improved is obvious (though one assumes by following the Constitution, and not violating it by presidential fiat).

Criticizing the U.S. for failing to roll out the welcome mat to the extent that Mexico would like while slamming the door shut in the face of asylum seekers from other nations in Central America is indeed hypocrisy.

Yes, it would be nice if presidents like Obama didn't wantonly abuse presidential power in dealing with immigration.

Mexico is not hypocritical- the nation is just looking out for its own interests. Allow poor people to immigrate to the US, reject influx of poor Central Americans. Makes sense to me. When a nation looks out for its own interests, there is no such thing as hypocrisy, just self interest, which I think is a much more logical way to conduct national policy.

This amnesty-rights thing will fast fade away. Anyhow, it was merely the du jour clod of bovine excrement flung by shrieking simps (some call them progressives) to try oust Trump.

This Summer the screaming will be aimed at the Supreme Court. We will, God willing, swear in a new justice to assist in overturning Roe v. Wade.


Trump 2020!

Blue wave is coming for you.

Dems usually have a poor showing in midterm elections. But not when the advertisements are audio visuals of screaming children in cages. Not when women are about to lose reproductive rights and start to die again in illegal abortions.

House goes blue, impeachment begins.

Dems will stack the supreme court with another 6 members in 2020. Repubs can’t complain if they’re stealing seats.

Majority minority in 17 years.

Reproductive rights? Who is taking away a persons right to reproduce?

This isn’t about reproductive rights. It’s aboht murdering children for economic reasons.


And 60+ million Trump voters will just stand around and let that happen. They will respect the outcome of that election just like the Democrats accepted the result of 2016.

The race to the bottom is well underway.

This is the war everyone loses.

60 million votes of white angry senior citizens, furious that there’s a taco truck in town.

They are dying off and their replacements vote blue. You lost the demography game. And you lost it hard.


The other side never accepts it when they lose. 2016 was no different than 2012, was no different than 1800.

Also I think you are forgetting that the 62+ million Trump voters were still 2.8 million fewer than the 65+ Hillary voters (and that was toxic Hillary).

As well, we had a party in these United States with positions like you are advocating... the know nothings. It lasted about 10 years and collapsed. In its wake came 5 decades of immigration where the number of immigrants as a share of US resident was higher than any of th last four decades.

And is was a boon to our economy. The know nothings were wrong in 1850 and are wrong today.

That's why immigration is the issue, because it determines who gets to decide all the other issues.

How is it good for anybody for the US to turn out like Brazil? The Chinese historians will be mystified.

Omegehrd taco trucks!

People speaking Spanish!

Hurry let’s put children in cages!

OMG Protestants.

OMG children speaking Spanish.

Let's put Stephen F Austin in a cage.

That was mexico's response some 170 or so years ago.

Thing is they shoud have done it sooner if the they wanted to maintain their borders.

It is a horrific thing that we as a society allow infanticide for economic convience. It’s savage human sacrifice.

Can’t afford to take care of a child, just ignore them, discard them, set them aside, it’s the people’s right to allow other defenseless persons to die so someone can maintain a standard of living or go out clubbing on Saturday nights.

Unfortunately it won’t be overturned because it’s a sideshow issue. Most people simply don’t care, even if they say they do.

The fact that you could care less about living breathing human persons in the form of migrants reveals your real perspective.

You do give a damn about the dignity of human persons. It’s all a show.

As a result, Roe is going nowhere.

If people won’t accomodate and welcome extra-uterine individuals people don’t want staring them in the face, why assume they will welcome inter-uterine people they don’t want as yet unseen.

Sadly, we are savages.

*dont give a damn...

Abortion as human sacrifice, that is a bowl of insanity this early in the morning.

I guess next up is : which is worse, gun homicide 10,000+ or the tragedy of miscarriages millions! It’s a holocaust !!

Obviously miscarriages !

A clump of cells is not a human being. And even if it were utilitarianism dictates the pregnant man or woman has preference over an unthinking clump.

2018 blue wave, 2020 kemala!

What do you call murdering another defenseless human being for the benefit of the one who isn’t murdered?

It’s human sacrifice by definition.

50 million children since the early 1970s... but please continue to bemoan gun violence and migrant rights.

Your hypocrisy is astounding.

I don’t believe that you even believe this.

Every year of miscarriages is a bigger tragedy than the bubonic plague and Spanish influenza combined?

Lmao get real.

This has never been the standard in western tradition, going back to “quickening” being the standard for thousands of years.

Trolling or insane, I guess it’s 50 50 with you?

You want women to lose control of their bodies, this is about power and disenfranchisement, not a clump or cells or RU-#

Apparently you can’t tell the difference between a death due to sickness and death due to murder.

Women losing control of their bodies? The child isn’t their body. The ship has sailed on that one given that another human being is created.

This isn’t about women, the men that permit this savage murder are worse.

Clump of human cells? Scientifically speaking, when does life begin? What candidate is there if not conception?

If there is nothing beyond chemistry and the interaction of particles going on inside a human being - if there is no soul - then you and I and Salvadoran migrants are just clumps if cells too.

If parents have preference over their children’s right to pursue their own happiness... then the nativist know nothing’s like Dick up there has preference over migrants.

He was here first after all... he has preference.

Yeah you’re a god-botherer, we get it.

But that’s not how utilitarianism works. “Being there first” has nothing to do with utility, marginal or otherwise.

Clump of cells has no utility. A fully formed pregnant man or woman does.

Reasoning based on science morality makes be a god botherer?

A 6 month old nursing infant isn’t a fully formed human person... they can’t walk, talk, reason, construct an argument. The difference between a child 6 months out of the womb and 6 months prior to their exit is minimal.

The facts are you support permitting the harming other human beings for economic convenience with respect to abortion but flip your position with respect to migrants and school shootings.

Your position is irrational... but I am the troll. Interesting how that works.

Student, there is simply no way to reconcile the abortion question. One side believes that a fertilized egg is a human being. The other believes it's not, and has some general idea about when we should consider that clump of cells a human being.

There is no way to argue the other side into agreeing. It's black and white. Clump of cells vs murder.

A centrist/moderate has a tough position in this debate. Other than the very loony left, no one believes we should terminate a pregnancy in the 3rd trimester. And most don't even think we should in the 2nd, unless there's some before unknown major risk to the mother's life.

My (moderate) position is if you haven't decided to end your pregnancy by the end of 3 months, you're out of luck. That was time enough to figure it out. Before 3 months we're not talking about a thing that can in any way survive outside the womb. It's not a person or even an animal yet.

Yes I'm aware my position can in no way persuade you and your side, where a fertilized egg is a person.

So now the court will overturn Roe v Wade, and abortion will be illegal in red states and still quite legal in blue ones. Hypocrites in the red states will quietly send their knocked up girls and women to blue states to have it handled. Life will go on.

I think this is a fair comment and I agree we will probably end up with something like what you describe...

But there are a few things that could be written here:

1.) People believe a lot of things. All beliefs tho are not the same. People might not believe human life begins at conception but science does. Theology does, philosophy does...

The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.

2.) the pro abortion liberals are doing the same thing as the know nothing nativists with respect to treat people with dignity. In fact, you could make the case the abortionist are the bigger monsters here.

3.) I can be persuaded... but there is really no evidence on the side or pro-abortionist side. They really have no leg to stand on at the present moment.

1. 'Science' does no such thing. 'Science' is an abstract term not a person who can believe or not believe something. Theology and philosophy are also abstract terms not people with beliefs. So you are not making a point here.

The second paragraph doesn't prove much either, you're just defining terms. Yes a fertilized egg is technically a genetically distinct clump of cells. It's not a living organism any more than a clump of brain cells is. We are both correct, just using different words.

2. Again the intractable issue. If a clump of cells is not a person then treating it as such has nothing to do with treating people with dignity. No people are involved.

3. How can you be persuaded? If a fertilized egg is a person to you, then there's no way to advocate terminating it. That's murder. There's no middle ground.

Like I said, there's not a logically coherent 'moderate' position, except to arbitrarily declare that after a certain time it's murder.

Let’s focus on human biology. The literature overwhelmingly classified the genesis of the human person as occurring at conception...

You don’t believe that, fine. Where do “believe” it begins? What is your basis for that belief?

Sounds like you would say 3 months... why? Can you refer to any scientific consensus for that? What is your basis for that belief?

Mine is grounded is biology, philosophy, and theology. My opponents, in their feelings.

Those two rationals should not be given the same weight.

When someone “believes” climate change isn’t occurring... do you consider that position as valid as the scientific consensus on the issue (in the absence of your own research on the issue)?

Why then on this issue is it a matter of personal belief?

Of course the 'genesis' of a person is a fertilized egg. But the genesis of something is the beginning. It's not yet the thing. It is the start point to become the thing.

So now we're arguing about vocabulary again. As I said my position is not strictly logical or coherent. If a fertilized egg is a person, terminating it at any time is murder. I get that.

But my definition of 'person' differs from yours. You say a fertilized egg is a person because it will grow to become one. I say in the first couple of months it is not yet a person.

And once again, there is no middle ground.

When does a person become a person? At what moment do you draw the line and on what basis?

If you can’t answer that question then IMO you don’t really have a position... so there can be no middle ground because you are not willing to draw a line based on some kind of data or reasoning. It’s just a gut check.

Also, you didn’t answer my question about climate change. When someone doesn’t believe climate change is real without presenting evidence, does their belief carry as much weight as a person who is basing their belief on climate science?

I just told you where I draw the line, 3 months. And I told you the basis, that's well before a clump of cells can survive outside the womb. It's not ready to be a person. It's not even an animal.

We're not even disagreeing here. I already acknowledged your position and how there's no way for you to move off of it. There's no compromising. We simply disagree about when to treat a clump of cells as a person.

The climate change question you asked is orthogonal to our abortion debate. We are not debating whether something is or isn't happening (climate change). We are debating definitions. But to answer your question, of course arguments with evidence carry more weight.

Fair enough and I should let it go but I just can’t...

The problem with defining when a person is a person and not a clump of cells as when it can survive outside the womb is that that changes.

So today a person is a person at 22 weeks. 100 years ago it was probably 34 weeks.

100 years from now it will probably be possible to grow a baby without a womb at all. In that case, it never becomes a person. Therefore this can’t be right.

But I will stop now haha.

Believe me I get it, as I said my position is not the most logically consistent. It's an attempt to take a moderate position on an inherently black and white issue. A clump of cells can't survive after 4 months either, but in my opinion 3 months is enough time for you to decide.

Enough time to decide what?

To decide whether to terminate the existence of a person.

I wish I would have thought of that when my mom used to punish me for walking on her grass seed and killing it.

Mom, I did not kill the grass seed, I simply prevented it from developing into blades of grass.

As I've said many times, there's no way to bridge the gap here. It's not a person to me. It is to you. End of discussion.

*it will always be a person.

One more thing... by this definition, personhood is a function of the state of medical technology.

Agreed! If technology advances to where a fertilized egg can be removed from a uterus at one month and be made into a human, then I would advocate that procedure be mandatory instead of abortion.

Because then to terminate the pregnancy, you wouldn’t have to kill the baby.

Precisely! We are in total agreement on this. If the tech is available, do that instead of aborting. A better solution of course is not unintentionally fertilizing the egg to begin with. How are you on contraception technology? Maybe if the baby-saving tech gets that far we will have better, easier contraception tech and no one gets pregnant who doesn't want to.

I no longer use contraception.

That actually is a matter of personal belief.

Just avoid relations during my old ladies fertility window

So you actually oppose contraception as well as abortion? That's kind of hard to generalize to the human race. But to each their own (including the right to terminate clumps of cells :-) )

Mexican identity, which only really came into being in the decade after the Revolution, is in fact based in large part on immigration, being the fusion of Spanish conquistadores and later imperial administrators (not to mention millions of later Europeans, Lebanese, and other nationalities in the 19th century) and the various indigenous tribes and empires that had ruled, migrated, and warred with each other in and around Mesoamerica in the numerous centuries before the Spanish arrival. There is no such thing as an "indigenous Mexican", an "indigenous Mayan" with Mexican citizenship, yes, but Mexican national identity on the whole only came into being at the beginning of the 20th century (which is roughly the same time American identity was redefined away from "Anglo-Protestant" to accommodate all the immigrants from Europe). "Indigenismo" and "La Raza" are arbitrary constructs that emerged after the Revolution as a way of uniting a very ethnically and racially diverse country: while Mexico may have never used the slogan "a nation of immigrants" or the Emma Lazarus poem, the idea of mestizaje is scarcely different from the American melting pot of Israel Zangwill.

Posting again my Solution for Immigration:
1. Feel free to come to the US for 6 months free. If you’re not on a watch list, not a known criminal, terrorist etc. Come and enjoy.
2. At the end of 6 months go back for 3 months or pay $2500. You can then enjoy another 6 months free.
2.1 Turn in someone violating the 6-month in 3-month out system and you get $500 off your ‘re-up’ fee or an extra 3 months here.
3. ICE’s staff and technology will be no greater than the BATF has to enforce gun control laws. We should do to ICE what Republicans did to BATF, in other words. Also it should be moved from Homeland Security to Commerce. The job should be 40% enforcement and 60% promotion of tourism and trade.
4. Have the IRS target businesses the employ anyone ‘undocumented’. Since seasonal business like agriculture can easily pull from seasonal ‘6 month’ workers there’s really no excuse. ICE’s prime enforcement will be spot checking people who break the ‘6 month’ policy without paying $2500.
4.1 Like with Medicare/caid fraud, an individual can file a private lawsuit on behalf of the gov’t for hiring workers ‘off the books’. If proven the company must pay the gov’t the $5K per person fine and the person who sues gets a cut of it.
5. Break the 6 month rule and you either pay $5000 immediately or get deported. Get yourself deported for this and you either have to wait 3 years to come back or pay $3500 going forward to come back in the US for 6 month terms.
6. If you follow the 6 months on 3 months off pattern for ten years, you can apply for citizenship. If you pay the $2500 option for 5 years you can apply for citizenship. You can also express yourself to citizenship if you serve in the armed forces (some people aren’t aware that non-citizens can and do serve in the US armed forces).
7. Asylum claims would be easier to process. Asylum would just mean you wouldn’t be deported but you’d still have to pay the 6 month fee. If your home country is so horrible $2500 every 6 months is a small price to pay to avoid tyranny.

A feature of such a system would be that charities or individuals could sponsor refugees from areas that are particularly afflicted.

You could even modify the program a bit, say allowing those who qualify as refugees to either pay the $2500 every 6 months, accumulate a rolling debt of $2500 every 6 months OR collect $2000 for all the 6 month periods they stayed here should they opt to return to their home countries or another country.

If the problem resolves in the home country, refugees have an incentive to return home. If the home country is very poor the population of refugees in exile could even be a political force as they have the ability to return with some purchasing power behind them.

Could we hack this by accepting everyone, taking a special tax of $2k every six months from them, and telling them they will get 80% of that back if they choose to emigrate to another country that will have them? Perfect incentive compatibility. The only issue I see at least from the European POV is that many countries don't want refugees because they will usually not find jobs due to the language barrier or (mostly) not be allowed to work at all. Extracting $2k from someone who doesn't have that kind of money in the first place seems unrealistic.

There's two cases: You make a lot of money in the US or you don't.

If you make a lot of money, paying $2500 every 6 months is an annoying tax but worth it. If you don't make a lot of money, it's cheaper to take the 90 day option and use what money you have earned in Mexico or other nations where costs are much, much cheaper.

Before we militarized the border in the 1980's migration was actually a lot less even though the US was a lot richer than Mexico back then. Most would leave their families behind in Mexico, work in seasonal jobs in the US and then return home to be with family and stretch their earnings rather than trying to live year round in the US where costs are much higher.

I think in my proposal working a lot 'off the books' gets a lot trickier so you're probably going to end up paying that $2500 because the IRS will not issue you a refund if you owe on your account.

I respect that you're thinking out of the box, but I suspect that this would just convert the illegal-entry problem into a visa-overstay problem, which seems like it would carry much higher costs and more social disruption. All of the people currently turned away at the border (or deterred from coming) would turn into a heartrending deportation story in the media.

I think your idea about fees has a lot of merit, but I'm sure it would be attacked as "asylum only for the rich."

Also, would need to account for those baby anchors.

Babies born in the US would be citizens. What would you be accounting for? Having a US citizen baby does not automatically make you a US citizen.

Not only that, it grants the parents basically zero right to remain in the U.S. if they have violated U.S. immigration law.

Exactly what is the problem that is purported to be solved by an immigration crackdown?

The place turning into Brazil, or into the Balkans.

There seems little chance of either happening and the social/cultural divisions in the US do not seem driven by immigration.

There are already programs that let you jump to American citizenship if you 'invest' some quantity like $1M in the US directly. So we already have asylum for the rich, so to speak.

The fee system I propose would be akin to the fines libraries charge for not returning books. People do rack up fines but for the most part they play along. Why? Because it really isn't worth it to cheat the library, just pay or return your stuff on time.

Here if you are not making much in the US, it's often cheap to return to your home country for a few months. This would establish a seasonal workforce again. Heartrending deportations might still happen, but then there are people who end up going to jail for stealing from the library. If the system is relatively easy to comply with it's easier to punish someone who routinely flouts it without feeling too bad about it.

The population and reasons for illegal immigration have changed dramatically since the 80s.

It isn’t single men sending money back home. It’s families coming to start a new life. They can see the tide turning. Free stuff, Medicaid, and the opportunity to make 5x as much money. They’re here to stay.

This plan does not recognize the fundamental shift in population and policy preferences.

Half the country wants to abolish ICE. Half the country wants these families here because it will turn Arizona and Texas blue permanently.

Texas is already almost blue and will end up there with time.

There's not much 'free stuff' in the US. Sure if you need a heart transplant Medicaid will save your life. If you're diabetic and need regular checkups and insulin, you will probably want to make a monthly visit to Mexico and get it from cheap clinics there. Everything costs more in the US, housing, food, utilities, even cell phone service. If you are making decent money this is ok because your higher income makes up for the higher prices, if you are making low money (like you would picking crops) a 6-month on 3 month off system would make a lot of sense. Nothing has changed about human nature since the 1980's, we've changed the incentives by pretending the East Berlin Border model is 'normal' when it is abnormal both in US history and most of world history.

Your thinking about 'free borders' neglects costs. There's no border between West Virginia and Manhattan. Income in Manhattan is much higher than WV, welfare there is better too (consider, even though you can get Medicaid in both, I'd rather have Medicaid and be a subway ride away from 5+ world class hospitals and academic centers!). Yet amazingly the population of WV has not emptied into Manhattan.

Ethnic minorities resent and loathe whites, and half the whites despise the other half and wish they were dead. It will all end in tears.

In terms of resentment and loathing I suspect whites from West Virginia and whites from Manhattan have more mutual hostility against each other.

A-G you are projecting your own feelings onto hundreds of millions of people, most of whom do not share them.

Ethnic minorities resent and loathe whites,

I'm getting the idea that the minorities you cross paths with just don't like you personally.

Art shoots, he scores! Most of the really angry anti-immigrationists get their views from what they see in the movies and their own hatred. Most people get along just fine with other people no matter their color or origin.

I can see day 1 and 2 of this. Day 1, all Indians and Africans are here. Day 2, all Americans are fleeing to Canada. What you don't see is that there are a lot of people want to come here, and it would take a while to enforce any law once they are already IN here.

What seems to be missing from per capita income figures is per capita cost of living. Living in the US offers the potential for a lot of income relative to other nations but many costs are also much higher. It's not a sure fire win by any means.

'Cases such as Navratilova’s suggest that ordinary immigration policy ought to be more geared to taking in especially talented individuals, with or without an asylum case.'

Even you cannot be so ignorant of how America immigration/visa law is geared for precisely that. 'You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met....' This category has undoubtedly been used in regards to GMU, though possibly not in the econ dept, or among the GMU law and economics crowd.

Further, the current First Lady of the United States apparently immigrated (the details remain oddly murky, though most naturalized Americans are proud of their story of legal immigration and naturalization) exactly in this fashion. And honestly, look at the number of First Ladies through American history, and one can clearly state that Melania Trump does have something that very few Americans, native born or naturalized, have ever possessed - a husband who is the President of the United States of America.

The first lady was allowed to enter the US because she was hot. We like that

Perhaps the best thing about Trump's presidency is he did bring the hottest First Lady in history. And don't give me that Jackie K crap, she was maybe a 6.5/7. Melania (in her prime) was a 9 and even now is a solid 7.5

Is there not a difference in the US between immigration and asylum?

You can get a green card if you are from Sweden, I doubt you can claim asylum under the same terms.

Americans have an extremely hard time making any distinctions at all when it comes to what they call 'immigration.' Everything, from completely illegal smuggling of underage prostitutes to the permission for a star athlete to reside in the U.S. to the granting of asylum to a top level defector from a country like North Korea to an American marrying a non-American with both then residing in the U.S. are all considered examples of immigration.

As is some German worker going to a factory in the U.S. for one year to train American employees or set up a production line before returning to Germany, as Americans in general find it unimaginable that anyone who enters the U.S. would ever want to voluntarily leave it.


By and large, Americans support immigration of talented people. They are also ok with asylum, but not false claims of asylum in order to game the system. They don't like cheaters - people who intentionally violate immigration laws. Resentment of cheaters is not new to homo sapiens sapiens. It's what makes living in a group work. Anthro 101A.

Yes being an escort (prostitute) is a murky business

In response to clockwork prior above

If you have any proof that the current First Lady ever worked as a prostitute, please, do share that information. The Daily Mail will likely be so grateful that they will pay you for it, actually - 'The UK's Daily Mail newspaper has agreed to pay damages and costs to the first lady of the United States over an article about her modelling career.

The newspaper had reported allegations that Melania Trump once worked as an escort, but later retracted the claims.

The story was published during the US election campaign last year.

Mrs Trump accepted damages and an apology from the newspaper at London's High Court.

The article was published by the Daily Mail newspaper, and subsequently the paper's digital operation Mail Online.

In a statement, Mrs Trump's lawyer said that she is "very pleased" and "will remain vigilant to protect her good name and reputation from those who make false and defamatory statements about her".'

Admittedly, since you provided no name, your assertion may not be in regards to the current First Lady of the United States of America. If it was intended to be, it is wrong. The murkiness comes from whether the First Lady was legally allowed to earn money in the U.S. during one of her stays, and whether if that did occur, it would have prevented her naturalization.

Oddly, though, many people concerned with immigrants not following the rules remain surprisingly quiet on investigating what one would assume could be a prominent public example of American immigration laws being flagrantly violated - and yet such an immigrant still ends up with American citizenship, along with the right to practice family chain migration.

And to add the apparently mandatory disclaimer - I have zero problem with Melania Trump's immigration process, have no problem with a foreign born naturalized citizen being First Lady, nor do I care if her parents immigrate to the U.S.

However, many Trump supporters have explicitly said they do have problems rewarding immigrants for (potentially) illegal actions, and after becoming naturalized citizens allowing them to bring in more family members.

It's strange how a progressive, pro-immigrant policy like Canada's or Australia's (or Tyler's preferred policy) is somehow considered an extreme right wing position here in the U.S.

Australians hate its high immigration volumes

Sydney & Melbourne are being destroyed.

Just want to flag that Australia's policy on asylum seekers is very controversial here. The argument in favour is that it is an essential step for national security, to 'secure our borders' and to prevent people taking a dangerous boat journey to get to Australia and claim asylum. The alternative argument is that the current policy contravenes Australia's international obligations (under the UNHCR, which has said as much), is inhumane and moves the suffering of those seeking asylum from a visible problem to an invisible one absorbed in Indonesia, Malaysia etc.

Re: the comment above - it's important to not confuse migration with asylum claims. Also, the impact of immigration is also a political hot potato, so I wouldn't take that article as representative.

Its strange in a first-order kind of way, but consider that Canada's PM is willing to unashamedly pay lip-service to the global elite.

The Left has no reason to look too closely at a member of their herd, and has no incentive to punish actions that are mostly overlooked. Canada is able to verbally support immigration at no cost because their only border is the USA.

America is in an unfortunate position because their southern border makes it much harder to say one thing while doing another.

As an outsider my superficial view is that the US policy is a combination of signaling to US citizens that they are good people (and so help out others in distress) and racism where white Europeans are more welcome than Latin Americans than black Africans (not sure where Asians fit in). Add to this a layer of it making good economic sense to get the best talent e.g. Elon Musk. Stir this all together and no wonder there are contradictions. Perhaps the first step is to decide whether granting asylum is for advancing US interests or humanitarian interests.

The answer in terms of asylum is clearly advancing US interests, at least during the Cold War, when pretty much anyone able to flee from any communist country was pretty much automatically granted asylum. Of course, as the communists had no interest in allowing their citizens to escape, the number of asylum requests involving such requests was not that large in total.

Without saying so, Cowen has made a pretty persuasive argument that asylum requests should be made in the first country in which the asylum seeker is safe from whatever he or she is trying to escape. There is something similar in Europe (among certain signatory countries) called the "Dublin Regulation". Such a rule would put Eritrean asylum seekers, vis a vis the US, on a somewhat more equal footing with Honduran asylum seekers. There is no rational reason why requesting asylum just over the US border should be the only recourse.

I'm a bit puzzled by the opening remarks in Cowen's post about the relative per capita income of Eritreans versus Hondurans. His post is ostensibly about *asylum rights*, not economic migration (or is it, really?). The United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.

Creating a rule that asylum should be sought in the first safe country not only would put refugees worldwide seeking asylum on a more equal footing, but it would also obviate the need for more costly and dangerous travel to the US. There would also be less chance of family separation, which everyone now seems to agree is important. International quota systems for adjudicating and allocating asylum seekers among "safe" countries might make sense.

The problem with the Asylum claims In many western countries is that a large proportion occur after individuals are already subject to criminal immigration enforcement. Asylum claims are often the last role of the dice.

Asylum & immigration laws are not broken, what is broken is their enforcement.

The US has two major legal and cultural hindrances to successful immigration control: local police does not enforce the law (not in a systematic manner), and the idea of having a national identity card system induces nausea to almost everyone.

The system now tends to protect liberty at the expense of immigration control. So, there's no free lunch.

'and the idea of having a national identity card system induces nausea to almost everyone'

And yet, guess what? The U.S. has a national ID card system cobbled together under the auspices of the Real ID Act -

The best approach to asylum seekers is to pay a peaceful but poor third world country to take them. Like Rwanda, Cambodia or Bolivia. For a one time payment of $5000, the US almost certainly comes out ahead in NPV terms.

This discourages economic migration disguised as assylum seeking. But if the migrant genuinely fears for her life, she'll be more than happy to relocate somewhere that's away from violence.

Then the US's actual policy can focus solely on selecting the most skilled and economically valuable immigrants. Something similar to Singapore's technocratic immigration policy.


If asylum proponents were interested in people's safety and not in simply increasing immigration to the USA, you'd see more support for this.

No thanks.

Their children will be US citizens, either by birth or ‘DACA 2.0’ and they will remember.

And vote democrat.

Demography is democracy.

+1. That's what Australia did.

Amazingly, when the expected outcome for "asylum seekers" became safe-but-not-in-Australia, the stream of people melted to almost zero. Economic migrants almost all.

Note that fewer than 1% of people crossing the border illegally are legitimate asylees.

This is kind of like questioning the wisdom of medical marijuana laws when the underlying problem is that non-medical uses are outlawed. Yes, there may be negative aspects of people falsely claiming medical usage and efforts to stop same. Yes, there may be non-medical uses that one might deem more "worthy" than medical ones. However, there's not really a sense in which medical marijuana laws are causing the problems associated with trying to block non-medical usage. The criminalization of (all) marijuana happened first, and allowing medical marijuana was a half-solution to undo some of the ill effects of that criminalization.

So, to answer Tyler's question, yes, if we were designing an immigration system from scratch, we would allow labor and housing markets rather than government to determine immigration. That would likely result in more both non-asylum and asylum immigration. However, the problems associated with blocking non-asylum immigration are not really attributable to not blocking asylum immigration.

To be clear, if we were constrained to allow only a fixed amount of immigration or marijuana rights, the "best" solution would probably be to allow trading of those rights to allow a Coasean allocation to emerge. However, saying that Coasean allocations are better than government-assigned allocations is quite different from saying that asylum or medical marijuana rights are misguided.

Right. We should allow more employment based immigration, and the number of people trying to use asylum for economic migration would dry up. Blocking asylum is just going to push the problem elsewhere, like squeezing a balloon.

Right. We should allow more employment based immigration,

No, we shouldn't. That decays into (1) economic planning measures or (2) effective subsidies for select sectors (which will be defended by a trade assn. founded for the purpose), or (3) importing technical employees rather than training then domestically or (4) some combination of the above.

If the country that caused the immigration crisis in Europe were obligated to accept all the asylum seekers, we would have a lot more Syrians in our midst. Of course, we are not so obligated. Proposed solutions to the immigration crisis remind me of Trump's solution to the terrorism crisis, the travel ban: it imposes a travel ban on none of the countries from which terrorists have inflicted harm on America and Americans. Cowen's solution, a lottery, reminds me of the solution to unfairness of the military draft during the Vietnam War, a draft lottery. What it did was end the student deferment, so privileged young men could not avoid the draft by attending college, graduate school, professional school, etc., the end result being open resistance to the War, and sometimes violence on college campuses, opposition that spread to the parents of the privileged young men. Thus came the end of the unpopular war. I was fortunate to have a high lottery number, but my older brother was not, so his life went moved from the college campus to boot camp. Although he never went to Vietnam, his life was altered forever. Fair? Compared to a draft that only targets young men who are not in college, it is fair. And so it would be with an asylum lottery. But I would would include an exception, call it the Gates of Hell exception: any country that causes an immigration crisis (by opening the Gates of Hell) has the obligation to take in the asylum seekers.

Americans sent Jewish children back to Hitler's ovens while Brazil was saving refugees. Americans support Satanist regimes in China, Japan and India and Wahhabist terrorist regimes in Afghanistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Brazil has become the Mecca of Christianity.

Thiago 0, no points awarded as troll attempt has drawn zero responses

The truth is usually despised.

Failed state status, if it became a basis for asylum, would take away incentives for internal reforms.

Send them guns and give their police forces training and give them well monitored foreign aid to those fighting the gangs.

If that doesn't work, build them gated communities and a Trump Hotel.

"Hey, if we keep welcoming Jews, they will never topple Hitler." "If we keep welcoming Cubans, they will never conquer freedom." "Hey, if we keep telling the Soviets to allow Jews to immigrate, Jews will never be free in Russia."

Australia’s policy of offshore detention is appalling and shouldn’t be held up a sustainable one.

This is tantamount to saying Australia isn't sustainable, and it's probably not.

How many billion people on the Asian sub-continent? If a fraction of them decide they are moving to 24 million-person Australia no matter what, then that's the end of Australia absent some very bloody and ruthless measures.

Liberals are taking the piss if they reckon alleged domestic abuse in Honduras is sufficient to allow a claim for asylum in the US.

More needs to be said about the bases upon which a person is eligible for asylum. An employment law analogy is helpful:

Employers are prohibited from discriminating on various bases: race, gender, age, religion, are big ones. These arose from civil rights legislation. There is no civil rights legislation that prohibits a Yankee fan from not hiring a Mets fan - sports affiliation is not a protected class.

Similarly, Eritreans and Salvadorans are different in terms of the bases of asylum for which they qualify. I would say the Salvadorans right now are more like the Mets fan - what is happening to them is crappy, but it is often hard to slide it into a qualified category for asylum.

I have a question (not a rhetorical one, I have no good answer).
"Asylum rights still could be kept for situations of special humanitarian, cultural, or political importance, such as the Holocaust, Soviet Jews, or the current situation in Syria". What kind of asylum seekers of Syria should we accept (assuming we can determine who is who): the neutral non-fighters? the losers of the civil war? people from the side that the US more or less supported, that is Kurds and the "moderate" sunni islamist fighters? everyone?

It is actually a general question. When asylum is sought by people flying political ill-treatment, should the US give it regardless of the political opinions of the seeker, or should some sort of agreement of the asylum seeker's politics with the values largely shared by the US citizens be a condition? Should the US had given massive asylum to the fighter of Franco's side in Spain civil war, assuming the republican had won the war?
Should the US have given asylum to Trotsky? Should the US have given asylum to Nazis after WWII?

Norway has a higher income per capita than where I live. They have to consider me for asylum!

The current US population is about 320 million. I’ve seen no reasonable case that we need any more people, or that it’s in our interest to take them.

The right answer is zero illegal immigrants, and a very few, perhaps 10,000 a year, legal immigrants, selected based on their value to the US. The DOD, CIA, and State get a couple of hundred slots as currency.

That’s it.

If we feel compelled to get involved in problems outside the US, we do it outside the US.

You mean, like Yemen, Afeghanistan, Syria. To be fair, I am not sure NYCand Washington D.C. qualify as "outside the US". Maybe Americans should have learned that ideas really have consequences.

Notice how Tyler abstains from telling us how he really feels? A Straussian reading suggests that he approves of Trump's immigration policy and merely wishes for readers to infer this.

This must be exactly what the Middle Ages Scholastics felt like!

"We know Brother X harbours heretical thoughts; but he is so crafty at concealing them! He hides his every utterance behind a façade or agonised doubt; never presenting an argument as his own!"

Agree about Tyler though :-)

At some point all these places in the world that are, as usual, failing, will be told that they are responsible for growing up and becoming accountable and livable. Otherwise, colonialism is coming back.

I'd go ahead and just start deeding places like Haiti to billionaires, since they apparently can't think of anything else to do with their money than park it in the government bonds of enormously wealthy nations.

A chart showing the number of unauthorised arrivals into Australia is available here:

The periods of growth and sharp declines correspond closely to loosening & tightening of policy. "Being tough" requires treating new arrivals unpleasantly (sending them to offshore islands for extended processing, sometimes for years on end, & otherwise finding ways to make their chances of success very low). The tough regime has proven controversial: the rapid growth from 2008 was due to a policy loosening introduced by a new centre-left government, following nation-wide debate about a policy tightening introduced six years earlier.

Note that Australia operates with a cap on the total number of asylum places granted; visas given to people who have the resources to pay to arrive by boat are then not given to people who would otherwise be taken directly, roughly speaking, from overseas refugee camps. As per Tyler's point, the trade-off is that being in the tough regime equilibrium might be morally preferable (it allows you to target asylum to those most in need), but if you're starting from a loose regime position, the only way to get there is through a morally dubious & headline-generating stage of treating unauthorised arrivals badly.

Maybe if we legalized all drugs the violence in EL Salvador might reduce.

Is the war on drugs the main reason there so much violence in central America?
I lived in Honduras but it was about 35 years ago. It was not bad back then.

BTW El Salvadorians are pretty much white.


I would like the USA to return to the free immigration policies of the past (like when my grandparents immigrated). Then incoming immigrants where checked for communicable diseases and if clean they were granted entry.

BUT seeing that:

There is a large percent of voters who are anti-immigration and a larger percent who are against illegal immigration.
It seems absurd to have a law that you have no intention of enforcing.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off than those who would have wanted to come but did not come because they did not want to come illegally.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to earn more money than those in Mexico.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to learn some English which might help them get a better job in Mexico.

So suppose we deport illegal immigrants starting with those who have been here the longest and for each one deported we let in a person from the queue. Or maybe we let in two people from the queue for each illegal deported.

This seems to be a reasonable compromise between pro and anti immigration voters.

Also, perhaps we should start a guest worker program.

I thought this blog was called *marginal* revolution

We are still defining the border, some of us think it runs along the Sierra Nevadas, separating Calizuela from regular folks.
Let Calizuela decide, in or out of the union,. then the rest of you all can decide on whats left.

Irrelevant. We could draw it at the Mississippi, and they'd still be screaming to be let in to avoid being ruled by their countrymen.

Not to quibble to much, but the per capita figure can be misleading.

Otherwise, this is a sound approach. Until we can implement more sensible reform and allowing buffer time, we are bound to help those who show up on our border. We could incentivize those who apply in their home country with expedited processing and citizenship.

When I think about the right to immigrate, I think mainly about human aspirations from an individualistic perspective. I'm not worried about the average well-being of Eritreans or Salvadoreans, I imagine a young man or woman, starting out in life at the age of 18 and I imagine that person might be the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. I want that person to be allowed to achieve his highest potential. Which means that he should not face institutionalized legal barriers in the form of laws barring him from getting a job in the US.

So yes, I would limit asylum rights to those facing political persecution from the government, and trade that for many more employment based visas and an elimination of labor certification requirements. People should not have to prove that there is no American who can do the same job in other to come here to work. We should leave it to employers to decide who to hire, regardless of where people come from.

We should definitely base grave matters of national policy on your feelings about individuals who may or may not exist outside your aspirational imaginings.

It's not feelings about individuals.
it's framing how we should think about the ideal state in order to craft policy that comes closer to the ideal state. In my opinion, policy should be designed to achieve individualistic human flourishing.

As I've pointed out before, open-borders libertarians are total lunatics.

How come Eritreans and Salvadoreans don't "flourish" in Eritrea and El Salvador? It's mostly because of the nature of the people in Eritrea and El Salvador. If we let lots of them come here, then America will become more like Eritrea and El Salvador.

You've confounded Hazel with Robert Bartley. The 'liberty' which interests Hazel is to be free of constraints which have inconvenienced Hazel or which she imagines might inconvenience Hazel.

How does blocking immigration inconvenience Hazel? Your obsession with her takes you to strange places in your posts.

Ah msgkings white knighting- maybe he sees an opening with Hazel's husband being literally the only man less alpha than him.

What can I say? I anonymously ride in on my white e-horse and hope to make sweet chivalric love to anonymous pixels who may be female. Don't hate the player hate the game.

May I remind everyone that Hazel is/was officially hot, as canonically established in a related thread two months back?

Guys, cool it; don't blow it in front of the hot chick who just wandered in here. This place is such a sausage fest usually, even Prior is starting to look good.

Here's a quote from a recent piece by America's greatest living philosopher:

03 — The First Virtue. "But they're desperate!" wail the hysterics. "Their countries are so messed up! And it's OUR FAULT they're messed up!"

The first thing to be said about that is, that a very great many countries are messed up. Billions — that's "billions" with a "b" — of people live in messed-up countries. A handful of outliers excepted, all countries are messed up except the few established and majority-populated by Ice People — Europeans and East Asians.

Getting and keeping a not-messed-up country seems to be a difficult, an extraordinarily difficult achievement. Not even Ice People can always pull it off. For a non-messed-up country, iciness is necessary but not sufficient. Russia is quite badly messed up; so is China. Check out Albania. Check out North Korea. Being an Ice People country doesn't guarantee you're not messed up, nor vice versa, but that's the way to bet.

As for the notion of it being our fault that Central American countries are messed up, I don't buy it. For one thing, messed-up-ness is the normal state of affairs for countries not populated and run by Ice People, as just stated.

Take Latin America. It's hard not to notice that the general level of messed-upness down there is greatest where Ice People are least numerous. The southern "cone" countries — Chile, Argentina, Uruguay — with mostly Ice People populations, have their problems, no doubt; but none of them is Guatemala or El Salvador. They are the least messed-up Latin American countries.

How is that? Did we evil Gringos just forget to go and mess them up? Please.

I'm put in mind of the reply the Mexican made to the Texan when Tex asked why Mexicans are always so mad at the U.S.A. and blame us for everything. The Mexican's reply, according to P.J. O'Rourke, quote: "You stole half our country. And not only that, Señor, you stole the half with all the paved roads." End quote.

And then, if your country messed up my country, why would I spend my family's savings and risk life and limb to break into your country, the great messer-upper?

One of the blessings of living in Central America is that if you are dissatisfied with your country, there are lots of countries close by you can flee to for refuge. A citizen of Honduras is closer to Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Colombia, and the Bahamas than he is to the U.S.A., and not much further from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. Refuge-wise, he's spoiled for choice. Why would he want to come here, to the Great Satan, with all our cruelty and racism and xenophobia and white supremacy and toxic masculinity?

Mrs Hernandez, the mother in the Time magazine cover story, doesn't seem at all mad about Uncle Sam messing up her country.

Listings of the Four Cardinal Virtues generally put prudence at number one.

In the realm of the National Question — the question of what kind of nation we wish to be, and of what kind of nation we wish our children and grandchildren to inherit — prudence is surely appropriate.

If getting and maintaining a non-messed-up country is as difficult at it seems to be, and as dependent as it seems to be on a healthy supermajority of Ice People, prudence consists in a strict attention to demographic stability and the avoidance of wild demographic experiments.

With all my heart, and with as loud a voice as I can raise, for the sake of my children and their children, I urge prudence upon our nation's leaders.


The default condition of humanity is not peace, prosperity, and freedom. It's more like strife, poverty, and oppression. If we have a country that's a lot less messed up than most, we'd be wise not to undermine the foundations of our good fortune, for example by bringing in people who will tend to make us more messed up.

If we are to believe these reports, we have to conclude that much of the globe is uninhabitable. Not for any geographical reason, but simply because most places are incompetently run and have " bad institutions." And for some reason it is impossible for "good institutions" to be copied in these unfortunate places. And colonialism is the worst of evils. That leaves us with the solution of having all of them migrate to the places with the good institutions.

Ok. But if the only countries fit for humanity are confined to Europe, North America, Australia, Japan and a few other pockets, then it's not mathematically feasible to solve much of anything via the migration the billions of people to the "nice" countries which occupy a comparatively tiny land mass.

Without borders and immigration restriction, there will be a very high migration into the nice countries with an equilibrium emerging when people are roughly indifferent between migrating and staying. That means a global convergence to Sh*thole. This would likely happen after the migration of just a couple hundred million. There is an asymmetry here: relatively few migrants can ruin the nice countries, even while it does little for their compatriots they leave behind in the Sh*tholes.

Well done.

You’re making a giant assumption that people do not assimilate to American culture.

An assumption that does not appear to meet the bs test. And I don’t think this is even widely contested among anti-immigration types. You’re worried your policy preferences will go the way of Jim Crow.

Well duh.

Are you that afraid of increased welfare and an American NIH? Not exactly the end of the world.

Plus on the off chance you’re right, my descendants will just pick up and move to singapore.

So no harm no foul.

Again, mass refugee flows can be addressed by constructing and maintaining camps proximate to the trouble with a view to eventual repatriation. These events aside, very few people are so consequential in public life that they are in danger. These can be dealt with through retail admissions to foreign countries. The Martina Navratilova example is manipulative. The Iron Curtain countries were prison societies where emigration was limited to a trickle and aspirant emigrants harassed. There aren't a half-dozen countries on the globe to which that applies.

As for our current problems, resettling Central Americans in the United States does little or nothing to address Central America's problems, which include cultural elements which cannot be manipulated directly and institutional deficits which might conceivably remedied with cross-border training programs and financial assistance.

Señor Deco,

That is sure a lot of words in English for “pon los niños en jaulas y los separe de sus padres.”

The U.S. and Canada are not obligated to grant asylum to the people fleeing from crime ridden, corrupt, dysfunctional countries south of the border. Where is the OAS? They should establish safe, economic renaissance zones in the region. No one flees to Venezuela or Nicaragua except some Cubans and those Socialists countries are disasters where their citizens are being murdered, starved, or forced to flee.
The U.S. pulled China out of the economic dark ages. Unfortunately China is headed back to the Socialist dark ages. Maybe, with the OAS, the U.S. can help bring countries south of the border out of the dark ages.

As a person growing up in South Asia and now living in the USA, I always wondered why the people in the USA talk about being compassionate at the border but totally forget about South Asians or Africans who live in dire poverty. To be fair, any of this South Asian or African poor would find Mexico or Nicaragua to be a heaven. This geographical preference did never make sense to me. This is either a political propaganda to show compassion or I am totally missing some other pattern. Anyway, thanks for the write-up and I totally agree with the author on this.

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