The Martha’s Vineyard saga

I take slaps at both sides, in my latest Bloomberg column, and here is one of the salvos:

Vineyard residents were certainly very kind and hospitable to the new arrivals before they were moved to the mainland. But altruism can only go so far. A true commitment to egalitarianism would mean constructing more affordable housing, for example, making it possible for not just immigrants but lower-income people to live and work there.

Even before the modest number of Venezuelan arrivals, the island was known for its extreme income inequality. Wages there are below the Massachusetts average, and living expenses prohibitively expensive. Those realities stem from decisions about land use made by the island’s population.

And this:

The larger point, of course, is that the US has too many arrivals living in “immigration limbo.” They can cross the border with an asylum claim and then live in the country while they wait for a slow and somewhat arbitrary judicial system to hear their claim. The US would do better with a system of more ex ante immigration approvals, and fewer hanging cases ex post.

I have never been to Martha’s Vineyard — maybe someday!

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