Toallbishops of the Roman Catholic Church, country-club conservatives, Democratic Party activists, and libertarian political fundamentalists:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’m sorry to interrupt the celebration you’re having for open borders and free immigration. I know that for the first time in history, you’re really enjoying one another’s company. I hate to distract you from the food and drink and the big hugs all around, but I’d like to ask you a few short questions. I hope you will try to answer them without reminding me that we are all immigrants, calling me a racist or a xenophobe, or reciting Emma Lazarus’ poem about the Statue of Liberty.
Do you believe there are any limits to the number of immigrants that America should accept? If so, what are they? Or should anyone who can travel to America be allowed to live here permanently?
Do you believe there are any limits to “immigrants’ rights” – including, as many of you insist, the right to government-provided education, government-provided welfare, government-provided health care, government-provided hiring and advancement quotas, and government-provided pensions, as well as the right to elect the government? Do immigrants gain these “rights” simply by existing here? If so, how long should they be required to do that? Ten years? One year? One month?
Are you making the same demands for open borders on Canada, Mexico, England, and Italy that you are on the United States?
I know you believe that the American economy derives untold benefits from the existence of a multitude of unskilled laborers in this country. If the economy benefits so much from, say, 10 million unskilled laborers, would it benefit still more from 50 million? 100 million? 500 million? Because I’m sure you could find that many people who would be willing to come here.
If you believed that a preponderance of immigrants from Canada, Mexico, Russia, Afghanistan, or any other country adhered to political or religious ideas that were inimical to the rights that American citizens now enjoy, would you seek to limit immigration from that country?
Here’s a final question, just for the libertarians among you:
If you doubted that there was any realistic prospect that you could dismantle government schools, government welfare, government health care, government hiring and advancement quotas, government pensions, and the rest of this country’s social-democratic political system before you proceeded to dismantle controls on immigration, would you still be in favor of dismantling those controls?
I’m not sure that I know the answers to all these questions. But tell me please: do you? And if you don’t, are you willing to say that you don’t?
I’ll be interested to see whether anyone replies.