NR Digital

Less Immigration, for Immigrants

by Reihan Salam
The ongoing influx harms those already here

One of the great ironies of the immigration debate is that those who favor reducing less-skilled immigration are routinely characterized as anti-immigrant. The truth is that the people most harmed by an ongoing influx of less-skilled immigration to the United States are the less-skilled immigrants who already live and work in this country.

This is a personal issue for me, since I am one of roughly 35 million second-generation Americans, and my parents are among the 13 percent of U.S. residents who were born in a foreign country. Most of my close friends and loved ones are immigrants or the children of immigrants, and my sympathies with the women and men who have settled in this country to better their lives and the lives of their children run deep. So when I’m told that my desire to curb less-skilled immigration is anti-immigrant, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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