Friday, June 21, 2013

Immigration is an Foreign Policy Issue

Immigration is an foreign policy issue.

We do great damage to our nation by treating immigration as a domestic policy, or by trying to derive immigration laws from first principles.

Comprehensive immigration reform is destined to fail because it attempts to treat a foreign policy problem as a domestic issue.

The immigration restrictions that we have at this point in time are a result of international conditions. A huge imbalance in migration almost always indicate some sort of international issue.

Most often the imbalance is a result of oppressive economic policies abroad.

Whenever we see a large imbalance in migration, we simply must address the cause of the imbalance.

Realizing that immigration is an international issue, our immigration debate should start by looking out international conditions. Where there are imbalances we must address the cause of the imbalance.

For example, if there is a large influx of immigrants from country X and we find that the imbalance is due to

America was built on a tradition of immigration. Throughout our nation's history we have had immigration laws that are liberal in contrast with other nations.

I am a fan of international travel. I would like to see the United States use its immigration laws to encourage a global liberalization of immigration and visa laws.

Unfortunately, our ability to use our immigration laws to influence the world is sharply limited by the culture war debate that presents immigration as a domestic issue.

I am for liberal immigration laws. I want the United States to be a leader in pushing liberal immigration laws around the world. Unfortunately, our unwillingness to enforce immigration laws destroys our ability to have liberal immigration laws.

The proper enforcement tool for immigration laws is deportation.

Deportation is not an excessive punishment. When one crosses the border one is entering a contract. The enforcement penalty for violating terms of the contract is deportation.

This fact is similar to repossession in the auto industry. A person might take out a loan at a car dealer and buy a car. The loan is a contract. If the buyer fails to comply by conditions in the contract, the dealership is in its rights to repossess the vehicle.

Taking a person's car is an harsh punishment ... in the context of a car loan it is a just punishment.

The effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform is fundamentally flawed. The debate starts with the false assumption that immigration is a domestic issue. The defining character of international immigration is that such migration crosses national borders. As such immigration is fundamentally a foreign policy issue.

I support liberal immigration laws. I wish that the United States would take an active role in supporting liberal immigration laws throughout the world.

Unfortunately, our unwillingness to enforce immigration laws means that we are unable to pass liberal immigration laws.

The world is being made worse by this poorly conceived comprehensive immigration reform.

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