My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


For once I'm not even going to try to be clever and I'm just gonna come out and say something. Of all the vile political trends that have come around in my lifetime, the anti-immigrant hysteria is my least favorite. I like it even less than the warmongering neocon thing. While I agree that for security reasons we should control our borders and be aware of who comes in and out, that's not at all the same thing as saying we should try to reduce immigration. The reason there is so much illegal immigration to this country is that legal immigration is restricted by an anachronistic quota system that basically does not give most people who want to immigrate a legal way to do so. The solution to illegal immigration is not to reduce the number of immigrants, but to increase the number of visas to meet demand for them. Just about everybody here is descended from immigrants of one kind or another, and the day we cut off the flow is the day we cut off the nation's lifeblood and it shrivels and dies.

But to even propose limited reforms to make the system slightly less bad, it's necessary to propose draconian police state measures. Otherwise the nativists will go off the deep end fearing that somebody, somewhere has gotten a job that was rightfully theirs. I find this ironic, because really it's restrictions on immigration that interfere with the smooth operation of the labor market, making the entire country poorer. But for some people that's fine, as long as it also keeps the country more white.

Of course, saying that in a public forum is asking for trouble in a day and age where accusing someone of racism is seen as a greater evil somehow than racism itself. But it's increasingly obvious that the right wing "tea party" opposition is motivated primarily by race and identity politics, and I call 'em like I see 'em.