Immigration Impasse

A cousin recently wrote me to ask what I think of the New York Times opinion piece, “Break the Immigration Impasse,” by Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Here is my reply:

Dear George,

As you might expect, I like this piece. It makes eminent good sense. It’s just nuts—on its face it’s nuts—to send away really smart, motivated people, and not let them come here to stay.

But from an economic standpoint, it’s equally nuts to send away not-smart, but motivated people.

I think we should open our borders to peaceful people who mean to support themselves. Maybe we should deport native-born Americans who want to live off our welfare state. Just kidding.

If you want to pursue the topic further, I recommend the work of Bryan Caplan on immigration. He talks good sense, and he is often funny.

As for “keeping America’s interest at heart,” I’d say that makes no sense, because America is 318 million people with a lot of different interests, not one interest. We should always be suspicious of people claiming to speak for America’s interest (especially if they want to invade and occupy poor countries in Asia, but that’s another issue).

Best regards,


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