by Sam Huntington
The International Organization for Migration tells us there is no universally accepted definition for migrant, but they debate ad nauseam whether the term identifies those who freely decide to move or whether it also applies to those forcibly removed from their homeland. This is why we question the wisdom of supporting global socialist organizations. One would think there are more important issues.
Migration is a problem because according to the IOM, 214 million people migrated from one place to another in the year 2010. If this number continues to grow at the same rate, then just fewer than half a billion people will become migrants by the year 2050. The causes of migration should concerns us, but so too should the effects. A brain drain has culled out the best and brightest from Italy and Portugal, individuals who now make substantial contributions to other western societies. We might wonder if the economic problems now facing Greece and Spain are in some way related to the fact that all the smart people moved away to other countries, leaving dummies behind to run things.
We cannot begin to address serious issues until we first acknowledge that they exist, and then we must dedicate ourselves to resolving sobering problems —especially when problem resolution demands tough decision making. There are hundreds of reasons for human migration. In some cases, heart-wrenching circumstances push people away from their homeland, in other cases, opportunities available in a new land act as a magnet. I like to think of these as push-pull factors.
Who can blame people for trying to remove themselves from areas of conflict, or from human cesspools? Who in their right mind would want to live in Mexico as part of the peon class? Who can blame anyone for trying to find a better place to work and raise their family?
I once heard a story about an elderly couple that decided to erect a bird feeder in their back yard. It wasn’t long before freeloading birds overwhelmed the property. Squabbling birds disturbed the harmony of the back yard; they deposited their filth on patio furniture and freshly washed clothing; and, on one occasion, aggressive grackles attacked the old woman as she hung up her laundry.
From the bird’s perspective, who wouldn’t want a free lunch? We have to acknowledge the do-gooder old couple started this problem, not the birds. We should wonder how the prospect of a free lunch worsens the issue of human migration. If the United States is struggling with twenty million illegal aliens, must we blame the immigrants, or should we look to government bureaucrats and politicians responsible for creating the magnet effect?
This is not an anti-immigrant rant. America is a land of immigrants. I daresay the best and brightest of the entire world came here to participate in the grand experiment. We can point to America’s greatest successes and offer unabashed credit to immigrants who made success possible in government, national security, law, science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. I believe America’s immigration story helps explain our exceptionalism. But there is a point of diminishing returns. When migrants are not able to contribute to the larger society, lacking either education or skills, then those people become a drain on national productivity. A second issue involves those who migrate with no intention of assimilating the new culture. These problems should concern us, and move us to address them.
Many argue that a review of US immigration policy is long overdue, but should we be prepared to discriminate against others because they lack education, skills, or harbor allegiances to ideologies harmful to the interests of the United States? Should we scrutinize visa applicants long known to lie and give false oaths?
Yes, we should.
People do not have a right migrate to America, or for that matter, any other western society. Political correctness has no bearing on who we allow to live among us. Nor should government allow people to circumvent our laws, such as in the case of so-called anchor babies. Part of our responsibility as citizens is to demand our elected representatives address these issues. Hopefully, they will do this before we hear the loud knocking of a half-billion people demanding their fair share of our milk and honey.
That’s my point of view; what’s yours?