Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Once again, Nick Schulz recklessly alienates Tech Central's readership by publishing my views on immigration: "Build It and They'll Still Come" (my title was "Fortress America" but theirs is perfectly appropriate). I hate writing on this subject, I really do. At a time like this, I would rather just not think about it. But as they say, if good people remain silent... Well, I can't remember the quote. Anyway, I'm actually pro-wall, in a way:

Meanwhile, for immigration advocates like me, it could be worse. Last May, Peggy Noonan wrote, in a call for tighter borders, that "no one believes in the wisdom of government, but they do believe it has a certain brute power." Of all the unwise, brutal measures advocated by immigration restrictionists, a border fence is the only one that is not an existential threat to our heritage of freedom. Tamper-proof biometric ID cards are right out of a futuristic dystopian novel. And while most Americans prefer to go after illegal immigrants' employers, thanks to the laws of supply and demand, the effect of this policy would be to drive immigrant workers a bit further into the legal underground, thus lowering their wages, boosting the pay-offs for employers willing to accept the increased risk of hiring them, and inducing a creeping criminalization of entrepreneurship in America. And I am at a loss to identify the morally relevant differences between mass deportation (which is sometimes whispered about) and things that usually happen in places like Yugoslavia and Sudan. A border fence is the Berlin Wall, but it's not a police state, or the gulag, or ethnic cleansing.


  • I wrote a comment in support of you at TCS. Too bad immigration is one of the few things we can both agree on.

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 11:49 AM  

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