The Corner

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Re: Borking Immigration Hawks


Mario, I really think we are going to have to sit down around a decent bottle of Argentinean Malbec and thrash these matters out amicably. So, in the meantime, I don’t want to throw a match onto the tinder you’ve been gathering around the stake for your auto-da-fe. You should at least modify your condemnation of immigration hawks, since you are the one going up in flames.

Very briefly, here’s why: You are alleging that immigration hawks are not conservatives and don’t deserve conservative allies because some of them are (coercive) population controllers. In order to make this stick logically, you would have to demonstrate that there are no conservative grounds for a policy of lower immigration and no conservative immigration hawks who are not also population controllers. You don’t demonstrate that, and you can’t do so, because there are many such conservative arguments: for instance, that open-door immigration reduces the incomes of American workers through the law of supply and demand; that it redistributes income perversely from the poor to the rich; that it has fiscal costs that overwhelm any fiscal benefits; that the diversity born of immigration reduces trust and social cooperation; etc., etc., etc.

You may disagree with these arguments. Well and good. We can debate them. But they are undeniably conservative. Not surprisingly, most of the people who espouse them are conservative. Why, Mario, were you trying to persuade them to abandon their common cause on immigration with the population controllers if you didn’t think they were conservatives?

Second, yes, there are some immigration hawks who believe in population control. But they are vastly outnumbered by the members of the broad coalition for “comprehensive immigration reform” who also believe in such things as official support for abortion, state-subsidized contraception, U.S. support for U.N. programs of “reproductive health,” and population control — starting with the president of the United States, who favors partial-birth abortion. Guilt by association can’t work in only one direction. You don’t think that the justice of your cause is nullified by the support it receives from pro-choice absolutists with whom your disagree? Why should we?

I could make other points too — but maybe better over that Malbec. Do you think you can wait until after Lent?