Limitless unrestricted immigration : How can you defend this 'liberal' viewpoint?

So in essence, the EU was a private club of mostly wealthy western nations. These are people who’s ancestors essentially invented the industrial revolution, following a period of widespread enlightenment. Liberals don’t want to believe that genetic differences could affect someone’s mental faculties*, so let’s just say it’s cultural.

If you let in a bunch of poor, uneducated people from Syria or Africa who’s nations are falling apart into wars and desperate poverty, you are allowing in the culture (or genetics) that created such a mess. So ok, well maybe those people can assimilate to the culture of their new home, whether it be France or Germany, etc? The problem is, the new immigrants tend to clump into enclaves, preventing assimilation and in effect, creating tiny hostile nations inside a host nation of ignorant assholes.

This is more or less the truth on the ground. The conservatives who are against limitless immigration may themselves be pretty ignorant assholes, relative to the average liberal with an education, but it’s hard to see how they don’t have a point.

So :

a. ARE liberals for limitless immigration? It sure seems like they are in practice. Please try to explain why you aren’t, if you are against throwing out the millions of people who snuck into America illegally, or against physical barricades of some sort at the border, or *against *more stringent verification of immigration status for employers. About 90% of the membership on this forum is liberal, it seems, and for the most part I am included with ya’ll, but this immigration issue seems like a problem.

b. If you are for limits, should the limits be selective? Should you only allow in the cream of the crop, picking the best available (in income, earning potential, etc) from immigrants who apply, ignoring race or culture? In practice this would probably mean a lot of immigrants from first world nations over everyone else, simply because they have more in-demand skills and degrees. (not necessarily all white people, plenty of immigrants from Japan and China would get bumped to the front of the line in such a system)

c. Should we throw out all the people who snuck in illegally? It is possible to do this, albeit it would be very expensive and somewhat violent. If you don’t throw them out, then why not just open the border to everyone, because that’s what you have done.

  • The reason is simple. IF some people are less intelligent or more violent than others, and IF race is a clear predictor of this, stereotyping or discriminating on the basis of perceived race is a mental shortcut that works. Not every time, but more often than not.

No one is in favour of unrestricted immigration. NO ONE.

Would you like to try again?

If, all of a sudden, 20 trillion penniless, uneducated people wanted to enter the United States every week, I would oppose letting them all in. This would be harmful to the US.

Somewhere between this ridiculous hypothetical and present level of immigration is a point at which I believe would be harmful to the US. I don’t know exactly what that number is, but I don’t believe it’s particularly close to present levels. I think it’s reasonable to both be open to immigration in general and to understand that there’s a hypothetical limit at which point it could start to be harmful to the country.


Individuals, yeah, maybe a few.

Nations? Yeah, none!

Would YOU like to try again?:smiley:

No, if you let in a bunch of Europeans, then you’re letting in the culture that created such a mess in Syria and Africa. Yes, the Syrians and Africans themselves are having a hard time fixing the mess, but it’s inherent in the nature of messes that they’re easier to make than they are to clean up.

The fact you’re forced to defend immigration restrictions with appeals to racism is nothing new. That’s where immigration restrictions came from in the first place. We wanted to keep the French from taking over. We wanted to keep out the ignorant (or maybe it’s culture!) Chinese.

The US worked fine when we had no significant limits on immigration except for making people register and weeding out the contagious.

Your idea that we must keep out other races or inferior cultures is just bigoted superstition, not social science.

I’ll try and spend a little more time actually answering the OP’s questions:

a. I am not for limitless immigration, but I think we’re aren’t anywhere close to what I would deem as an appropriate limit. I think the vast majority of immigrants make America better, not worse, and at the levels we’ve been experiencing for the last several years, the “good” immigrants (i.e. most of them) more than make up for any bad immigrants (criminals, layabouts, etc.).

b. The limits I would support are way higher than anything we’re experiencing right now. Perhaps if we were close, I would support prioritizing the most highly educated and skilled immigrants. Right now, I think this would be counterproductive. I would very strongly oppose any limits based on race or ethnicity.

c. No, we shouldn’t throw them out. And it’s not the same as fully open borders, since any level of border security can be breached, which means there will always be some level of illegal immigration. The only thing the same as fully open borders is fully open borders. If some people are stopped and turned back, then the borders aren’t fully open.

The thing is, somewhere like Europe is highly selective for legal immigration. Or the USA. Not throwing out the people who snuck in or horded across the border just throws that selectivity filter out the window.

So culture doesn’t exist? Social science that studies culture is now saying all cultures, from African tribes to enclaves of monks to brogrammers at Google are all equal? Yeah, no, that’s not using the scientific method at all. If you observe clear and obvious trends, and your theory doesn’t explain them, your science is bogus. Science is about making testable predictions, and if you ignore the obvious in favor of being culturally sensitive, you’re not a scientist, you’re a stuffed shirt in a labcoat.

It’s superstitious to think a culture that puts it’s women in Burkas or other backwards beliefs might not be the best contributors to a nation?

It’s pretty much always untrue to deal in absolutes when discussing positions people may or may not hold, because due to the wide range of individual perspectives one can always find a few people who support or oppose a particular idea, theory or viewpoint. I mean, there are more than a few genuine Flat Earthers out there. Let us instead say that support for **unlimited **immigration is not remotely a majority position amongst self-identified liberals, and that the main issue is where exactly to draw the line. Even then, you will find a large number of different opinions - and justifications for those opinions - depending on who you ask. The OP might have been better off asking for individual views rather than couching it in “conservative vs liberal” terms.

As for me, I remain convinced that the best way to deal with illegal immigration is to attack the supply side of the problem (i.e. the employers of illegal immigrants) rather than the workers, and that a more porous border (albeit not a completely unguarded one) encourages workers not only to come but also to leave again (there is considerable research to support the view that the harder the border is to cross the less likely illegal immigrants will leave voluntarily). I believe that the cost is greater than the benefit to do mass roundups of illegal immigrants and that the focus should be on deporting those who break other laws, which is more or less what the Obama administration was doing. I think deporting children who have lived their entire lives in the US is often barbaric in practice. And I think it’s inevitable that occasionally a qualified mass amnesty will be required.

As for legal immigration I believe like any country that priority should go to 1) skilled individuals (particularly for in-demand sectors) and 2) family members of US citizens, but that there should be pathways to emigrate from every country and that admission of refugees shouldn’t be subject to the level of hyperbolic racism it so often inspires.

I also believe the idea that immigrants “destroy American culture” is fucking stupid, since American culture (and indeed that of many countries) has been built on successive waves of immigrants who have assimilated and brought with them elements of their own cultures which in turn get assimilated into the mainstream culture, adding to it rather than replacing it.

Culture exists. Some cultures are better than others. Have I blown your mind?

It just doesn’t follow that trying to stop immigrants from those cultures from coming to America is good policy.

Yes. Superstitious, ignorant, and empirically disproven. People from even quite conservative Muslim nations have been great at assimilating in and contributing to the US. In fact, they’ve been among the most successful immigrants to the US ever.

When immigrants are welcome, they assimilate much faster and are much more likely to adopt the broader culture, and are less likely to self-segregate. And you get wonderful places like Dearborn, MI, with both a very high portion of Muslims and a vibrant and very American economy, society, and culture.

I think it’s pretty clear the OP was/is asking about individual opinions. Certainly no country today allows unrestricted immigration, but there are definitely advocates of it who would want it that way.

By the way: DrCube, not singling you out, I just had to grab the nearest suitable post, there are/were plenty of other posters I could have quoted too. :wink:

Neither of those things were claimed.

I don’t think it’s “superstitious” to believe what you state, but it may well be bigoted. There are plenty of religiously strict subcultures and “backwards beliefs” in America already - consider the Amish, the ultraorthodox Jewish communities, and the current focus on “religious freedom” in conservative circles. Why pick on Muslims specifically (especially as the burka-wearing ones are a minority amongst Muslims)?

We had a poll on this topic not long ago. 43% of respondents voted that “All illegal immigrants should be permitted to stay, none should be deported.”

There wasn’t an option for “deport only the violent criminals”. Had you included such an option, I think the results would have been significantly different.

Some scientific polling for you.

Woah there , not so fast…
I’m in favour of the abolition of all nation-states, so I suppose technically that counts as “unrestricted immigration”. Kinda. Sort of. Maybe.

In saying that it would be expensive and somewhat violent, you’re arguing against mass deportation, right? But then you seem to contradict that in the next sentence, so I’m wondering where you stand.