Ideal immigration policy

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:34 pm UTC

I believe that open borders are not the problem, but closing borders is a means to avoid dealing with the real problems. Fix the problems, and the need for closed borders goes away. Welfare exists to mitigate the pain of our economic system, but it should not be needed if our economy is structured efficiently and everyone has equal opportunities and equal ownership of our global natural resources. I think every single person on this planet should have the resources to sell their belongings, travel the world until they run out of money, and be able to make a good life for themselves no matter where they end up (assuming a populated area). Open borders helps us achieve global equality, but truly fixing inequality means ending global wealth inequality (and capitalism).
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:51 pm UTC

I agree with all of that, in the long term ideal.

Where I'm left uncertain is for the short-term practical compromise, given that we haven't yet fixed all of those other problems. Given that we have states and capitalism, and band-aids in place to mitigate their excesses, like democratic election and progressive wealth redistribution, it seems to me that open borders create problems for those band-aids. So I'm looking to figure out another band-aid for that problem: a way to have borders as open as possible, but without undermining the things keeping the big problems that we have yet to fix from getting too bad. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need elections or wealth redistribution because states and capitalism wouldn't be a thing; but given that they are a thing for now, and that those are all that makes them barely tolerable, how can we make sure to have as open borders as possible without undermining those things?
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:04 pm UTC

Opening them all today would be politically nonviable only because we would then be exposed to the problems we are currently trying to ignore. However, if we did open the borders, then it would generally be the richest people that are harmed and the poorest whose lives would improve; in my opinion, the good will outweigh the harm. Yes, it sucks that people will be harmed, but a lot more people are being harmed by the closed borders today. Regardless of whether we open borders or keep them closed, we need to focus on fixing the issues that lead us to think we should have closed borders in the first place - the borders are just a distraction. If your solutions for inequality don't work because of open borders, then they don't work. If your welfare policy causes economic damage, then find a different welfare policy.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:31 pm UTC

Thesh, you do realize that with completely open borders China and India could just ship enough people to be a majority population in the US and every European country and still have plenty left over, right?

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:35 pm UTC

I'm sure they could.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby ucim » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:44 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Thesh, you do realize that with completely open borders China and India could just ship enough people to be a majority population in the US and every European country and still have plenty left over, right?
It's not theoretical. This is what happened in the 1800s with the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the French.

Borders exist because people don't want to live the way other people live. This involves economics, culture, religion, sanitation, human rights, other human rights, and many other things, including who gets to breed, and with whom, and on whose dime. "Fixing" some of these problems means changing the other people.

If this basic concept is swept under the rug (which it seems to be), then we will not come up with a defensibly ideal immigration policy; we'll just come up with a policy that supports each of our personal wish list of bennies.

Now, if this basic concept is wrong, then tell me why. I'm listening. But saying you disagree or that it's bullshit doesn't count as intelligent argument.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:46 pm UTC

Borders exist because people in power wanted to protect their power; the people never agreed to them. Stop pretending that the culture people are born into is some sacred thing that must be protected at all costs.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:58 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Borders exist because people in power wanted to protect their power; the people never agreed to them. Stop pretending that the culture people are born into is some sacred thing that must be protected at all costs.

If by "protect their power" you mean that they want to prevent whoever can control the most people from marching across the face of the planet and taking over, then sure. I agree with that.

I don't think cultures need to be protected, exactly. Rather, it's the forms of government that give people control over their own lives that should be.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby ucim » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:59 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Stop pretending that the culture people are born into is some sacred thing that must be protected at all costs.
I'm not. I'm saying it exists and should be considered as a factor, often a big factor. Also I'm using a broad definition of "culture" (mainly to save typing), using it to include the legal system, the religious systems, and the power structure of a nation (or any other human group).

In some cases people never agreed to the person in power. In others, they did.

Is the family a person is born into "sacred"? Should laws be created to take people away from their families at an early age and randomly assigned to the others to raise, in order to mitigate economic inequality? Athens did something like that. It's a microcosm of the same question; admittedly some of the differences are important but the thinking on one illuminates the other nonetheless.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:15 am UTC

slinches wrote:If by "protect their power" you mean that they want to prevent whoever can control the most people from marching across the face of the planet and taking over, then sure. I agree with that.


Armies protect against war; borders are just lines on a map. Like, seriously, do you not understand the concept of "free movement"? If you are sending an army of hundreds of millions of people to take over a country, then it's not free movement. I'm sick of your xenophobia.

slinches wrote:I don't think cultures need to be protected, exactly. Rather, it's the forms of government that give people control over their own lives that should be.


While arguing that people shouldn't have control over where they live.

ucim wrote:In some cases people never agreed to the person in power. In others, they did.


Nobody agreed on where they were born or who they were born to - most immigration laws were in place well before they were born. Freedom is about having control over your life after that.

ucim wrote:Is the family a person is born into "sacred"? Should laws be created to take people away from their families at an early age and randomly assigned to the others to raise, in order to mitigate economic inequality? Athens did something like that. It's a microcosm of the same question; admittedly some of the differences are important but the thinking on one illuminates the other nonetheless.


Do you think we are debating whether people should be forced to immigrate to other countries based on a lottery or something? Or have you just fallen off your rocker?
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby ucim » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:49 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Nobody agreed on where they were born or who they were born to - most immigration laws were in place well before they were born. Freedom is about having control over your life after that.
Then there just is no freedom. Sux, but that's it. As a baby, you have next to no control over your life; you are raised by the people around you, in the culture, religion, and laws (and even meteorological climate) surrounding them. By the time you are old enough to know better, your opinions and options are already largely formed.

Freedom is not absolute. Everything you do impacts others. Those others have rights which impinge upon the freedom you may want. Where the balance ought to be is arguable, and the different nations have found different places for this balance to be. The freedom to immigrate implies the freedom to move to where the laws are the way you like them. That's fine. Maybe. (There are other issues too.) But it also implies the freedom to move to where the laws are different from what you want (but the weather is nice), and to try to change those laws.

Should the target population be thought wrong to resist this? Maybe they already have things the way they want them. In small enough numbers, immigrants can assimilate gradually. In larger numbers, they can be a powerful force for improvement, bringing in new ideas and new ways... cross pollinating, so to speak. But in even larger numbers, they can take over. This is not theoretical, it has happened many times in history.
Thesh wrote:Do you think we are debating whether people should be forced to immigrate to other countries based on a lottery or something?
No, but we are debating how the influx of one people affects the other people, and whether or not (or under what circumstances) the "other people's culture" should be a valid reason to resist. In my example I'm not focusing on the child being taken, but on the effect of the child on the receiving family.

Thesh wrote:Or have you just fallen off your rocker?
I'm getting tired of the ad hominum attacks. If you would read what I wrote and actually consider it rather than reacting like a flat-earther, maybe you wouldn't make so many of them.

So there!

Jose
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 am UTC

I have read your arguments, and have seen no evidence you have considered anything I've said. I am not of the opinion that you are arguing in good faith, and I am of the opinion that the only thing you ever do is look for excuses for why you believe what you believe, without ever actually putting real consideration into other beliefs. I don't think you have a single thing of value to actually contribute. There is a name for people who come in to say "but what about" without actually taking a position: concern troll. They don't contribute, and are just tedious and annoying.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:04 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
slinches wrote:If by "protect their power" you mean that they want to prevent whoever can control the most people from marching across the face of the planet and taking over, then sure. I agree with that.


Armies protect against war; borders are just lines on a map. Like, seriously, do you not understand the concept of "free movement"? If you are sending an army of hundreds of millions of people to take over a country, then it's not free movement. I'm sick of your xenophobia.

What do expect an army to do when the enemy is voting rather than shooting at them? How do you tell the difference between free movement and a coordinated migration to undermine a competing government?
Thesh wrote:
slinches wrote:I don't think cultures need to be protected, exactly. Rather, it's the forms of government that give people control over their own lives that should be.


While arguing that people shouldn't have control over where they live.

Does where you live matter if you don't have a choice in government?


You seem to think open borders will lead to a utopia where everyone is equal. How would that happen before some empiricist country took over?

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:12 am UTC

I'm saying your fears are completely baseless, and a distraction from the conversation. If it's really that big of a deal for you, then you can make it illegal for a group of people mass emigrate in order to conquer others. It just isn't a serious issue.

slinches wrote:How would that happen before some empiricist country took over?


I'd suggest that empiricism would be a welcome change for any country.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:21 am UTC

Imperialist, then. :roll: You know what I meant.

And what are immigration laws for other than to prevent mass migrations? It's not like anyone is suggesting that completely closed borders are a good idea.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:38 am UTC

Now you're conflating mass migration with conquering. Conquering is not a real issue, and mass migration that occurs today us caused by people being forced to leave their country due to war, disaster and poverty. The real situations that happen in the actual real world that cause mass migration for which we are limiting today should not be limited at all. Immigration limits today are pretty arbitrary anyway, and the laws have a lot more focus on what circumstances people are allowed to immigrate rather than just capacity.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:45 am UTC

Are you just denying that conquering by means of mass migration would be a problem if immigration weren't limited at all?

Why wouldn't that be a problem?

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:55 am UTC

I'm not denying that it's possible, but I am dismissing it as a serious concern. Even if it was likely, it would lead to an actual shooting war. Even if someone attempted it, it would be detected before it could be completed. If they tried it, they would find themselves without enough food or shelter. Even then, most countries require you be a citizen to vote. And even then, an international law that guarantees the right to self-determination would be just as effective.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:55 am UTC

I have an analogy I'd like to share.

For about a decade I rented a room in a house full of other people, because that was the only living arrangements I could afford. The other people in the house, of course, had an enormous influence over my quality of life at home. Ideally, they would not have -- they would, somehow or another, have had to keep their shit to themselves just as I kept my shit to myself, and we would all live and let live and leave each other alone and not bother each other. If that was the case then it wouldn't really matter who else lived in the other rooms of the house; if they're not bothering me, and I'm not trying to bother them, then I could care less who they are or where they're from or whatnot.

But that ideal case was not the case. Other people in the house could make a mess of it, could control the temperature of it, could blare loud music or TV and any hour of the day or night, and so on. Given that that's a thing that anyone who lived in the house could do, and there was nothing I could really do about it, I had an enormous interest in trying to have some say over who came into my home.

I failed to have much say despite those efforts because financial necessity often forced me to just accept whoever wanted to replace whoever was leaving onto the lease or else we'd collectively be unable to pay it and all be evicted, and I'd be forced to find some other, more expensive place to live, which I couldn't afford. So I had no "home border control" to speak of, and whatever shithead wanted to move in, I had to let them, and I spent a decade having my home life ruined by one shithead after another.

Also there was the constant possibility of the people moving in not paying their share of the utilities or the rent and so getting all of the rest of us evicted anyway.

Yes, the real culprit in that scenario is the economic factors that forced me into living in a situation where other people could have such influence over my quality of life. A real solution to that problem would be for me, for everyone, to have their own home free from the control of other people. But, given that I can't just magically make that happen, I'd really have been nice to have some say over who got that control over my life.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Leovan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:54 am UTC

If you want an example of what benefits/conflicts open borders could bring, you should check the real life experiment going on now in the EU. The economic and cultural differences aren't as large as say Myanmar and Canada, but they are quite substantial. You'll also get some good examples of different policies on how to handle the immigrants and their consequences, although I'd claim we're still seeing the effects play out and you can't accept the current state as the final conclusion.
One thing I've noticed is that most immigrants are either educated or rich enough to know they will succeed in the new home, or are the much more enterprising risk taking type of poor than most, arguably a positive influence on the economy over time. Worst case, their kids, raised in the local education system, often have the tools necessary to succeed. Obviously this is a broad trend and you get all kinds, but I'd say it's an overall plus. Actually, historically I'd say immigrants have been an economic boost to most countries, no matter how poor they were at first. Of course historically you had very few social systems that helped immigrants at all, so they couldn't be a drain on them and either worked to become a net plus, or died or left.
Historically, you've also got the cultural conflicts ucim is afraid of, especially if you have a large influx of one culture into another due to refugees (be it because of disease, war, natural disaster, whatever). The local population is usually very upset at the changes in policy the immigrants demand and the lack of respect for traditions and manners of behavior they exhibit. The local culture usually wins out with some alterations, but it can take 1-2 generations before the aftershocks of the culture war fade. In some cases even longer. It would be insane to disregard this factor.

One proposal for mitigating the negative effects of immigration that I've been thinking about could be requiring some sort of civil service from immigrants. In Switzerland every male has to serve for about nine months in the military. If you have moral reasons for refusing, you can do other service with a time factor of 1.5x, or you can pay extra taxes. Obviously I'm not proposing military service, I'm just mentioning it as an example of civil service as a duty of citizenship. This civil service would be paid, and have to be completed within a certain time frame. Say within 5 years you have to serve 6 months, at least 4 weeks a year. Immigrants could use the time to bridge unemployment, gain language experience, and integrate into the society. The local population would also see the immigrants bringing something positive to the country by serving necessary functions.
It would be even better if the local population had to do the same, so you get intermingling and shared experiences across the population, a large LARGE plus of the Swiss military system. I hated the military, but I can swap stories with about 75% of the male Swiss population, share a laugh, commiserate on shared suffering etc. It's an instant connection across generations, cultures and races. You also gain experience with people of vastly different economic and educational backgrounds, and respect for people you wouldn't usually have any dealings with in private life.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:21 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I'm not denying that it's possible, but I am dismissing it as a serious concern. Even if it was likely, it would lead to an actual shooting war. Even if someone attempted it, it would be detected before it could be completed. If they tried it, they would find themselves without enough food or shelter. Even then, most countries require you be a citizen to vote. And even then, an international law that guarantees the right to self-determination would be just as effective.

And who would your army shoot in that scenario? The unarmed civilians crossing the border legally (you opened the borders to unlimited immigration)? Why would the immigrants starve even if they came across in large numbers? Would they be prevented from forming their own communities in their new home? Are they some sort of underclass who have no say in how they are governed? Would the ones who can't support themselves just be left to die in the streets or would they get the same access to help and support as citizens?

I just don't get what you're advocating for. You seem to think you can have open borders but not let certain people in or prevent them from influencing the local populace. If you have a coherent policy plan that can make that happen, I'd like to hear it. But those things seem inherently contradictory to me.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:43 pm UTC

That's in response to your fear that a foreign country or large group of people will coordinate a plan to take over another country by moving to force those people under their rule. I'm saying that nothing will ever have to be done, because it isn't even practical to try it. If you have open borders, then people will move to where they can make a life for themselves.

Pretty much nothing in your comment is in response to anything I wrote, so I'm done. You're being absolutely ridiculous.
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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby slinches » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:17 pm UTC

Not responding to what you said?, uh ... :?
Thesh wrote:I'm not denying that it's possible, but I am dismissing it as a serious concern. Even if it was likely, it would lead to an actual shooting war.

And who would your army shoot in that scenario? The unarmed civilians crossing the border legally (you opened the borders to unlimited immigration)?
Thesh wrote:Even if someone attempted it, it would be detected before it could be completed. If they tried it, they would find themselves without enough food or shelter.

Why would the immigrants starve even if they came across in large numbers? Would they be prevented from forming their own communities in their new home? Would the ones who can't support themselves just be left to die in the streets or would they get the same access to help and support as citizens?
Thesh wrote:Even then, most countries require you be a citizen to vote.

Are the immigrants some sort of underclass who have no say in how they are governed?



I didn't address the "international law that guarantees the right to self-determination" part because that doesn't mean anything. What is it? Who would enforce that and how would it be enforced? Does it apply on the individual level or collectively? You just state it would be equally effective without even stating what it is and I'm the one who is being ridiculous?

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby drzeus » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:54 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
slinches wrote:Thesh, you do realize that with completely open borders China and India could just ship enough people to be a majority population in the US and every European country and still have plenty left over, right?
It's not theoretical. This is what happened in the 1800s with the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the French


It's also how the US was created in the first place.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:19 am UTC

A welfare state cannot reasonably coexist with open borders. Or at least, the two are at tension with each other. The freer the border, the easier exploitation becomes.

Now, the libertarian answer is a very cheerful "get rid of the welfare state, then", but...that's rough. The two major parties both want at least some of that. Maybe not all the same bits, but even those who bash welfare queens often are pretty okay with farm subsidies. So, in practice, we're probably going to have some significant immigration system for the foreseeable future.

If we accept that as a given, we probably need to throttle immigrants to some level. Probably not a fixed level, but one based on economic needs. Unemployment super low, and lots of available jobs that natives are not seeking to fill? Well, that's a good reason for letting in additional immigrants. In general, the process ought to be as streamlined as possible, with a minimum of paperwork and hassle on general anti-bureaucratic red tape principles, but we do need to select the ideal immigrants from the candidate pool. Probably some blend of skills, security, and health(seriously, even Canada discriminates on health when letting in immigrants. It's a big deal if you want to control costs on a national health system).

The current system is substandard in some ways. Too heavy on pointless red tape, IMO. Also, quantity seems too political, and ought to be keyed to some sort of algorithm, so it automatically adjusts year by year. This doesn't seem particularly hard, just opposed to current political goals.

It might be possible to have certain classes of immigrants that don't count against that limit, if they have offered some unusual service. Military service. Financial donations of a certain amount to the US treasury. Perhaps folks with a doctorate. Not every immigrant is equal, and treating them all as entry level farm workers is...not quite right. I'll grant that this system is not terribly egalitarian, but it's probably still more so than today's. The logic is that yeah, perhaps the economy can only handle so many unskilled workers, but the number of highly educated individuals, for instance, really isn't something we can have too many of. Any highly needed skillset could be in this category.

Thesh wrote:That's in response to your fear that a foreign country or large group of people will coordinate a plan to take over another country by moving to force those people under their rule. I'm saying that nothing will ever have to be done, because it isn't even practical to try it. If you have open borders, then people will move to where they can make a life for themselves.


Given that examples have been provided where it has happened in history, I have to admit that it seems at least possible under open borders. It need not even be coordinated to occur to some degree. Imagine that some percentage of Chinese are desirous of immigration, or are encouraged to immigrate by the government because they wish to reduce their population to some number. If we have open borders, and say, Europe does not( a reasonably safe bet), then they are quite likely to come here. China having a very large population, even a couple percent would make a large impact on us. Normal immigration trends are also not dispersed evenly throughout the population, either. You might end up with immigrants making up a majority in some states or districts, and electing their own representatives, allowing further shift.

This is actually pretty democratic, but democracy on a world level does have problems, in that values, etc can be extremely different. How rational this fear is...really depends. Some people have this fear with Islam/middle eastern countries, but those are, relative to the US, generally fairly small, so it's harder to see how the fear is rational in that case. But, still, the fear does exist, even where it seems fairly unlikely, and even when immigration is substantially far from "open borders". Figuring out how to solve this seems like an obstacle any open borders plan will have to address.

It is also entirely possible that a population coming to live may be peaceful now, but not be so conciliatory as it gains power. I concur that the Native Americans encountering European immigration did not go extremely well for the Native Americans.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:A welfare state cannot reasonably coexist with open borders. Or at least, the two are at tension with each other. The freer the border, the easier exploitation becomes



That's actually the issue the US faces internally. No state wants to actually put in a functioning social safety net, because then the other states will just implement Greyhound Therapy. The result is a sort of race to the bottom, of states sabotaging their welfare programs and even states like Maine turning down 'free' federal money in order to prevent poor people from moving in. On an international level, I'd imagine it'd be both not as bad and much, much worse. Not as bad, because not everyone wants to move to a different continent where they don't even speak the language, far worse because, well, there's a lot more people in the world than in the West.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby elasto » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:51 am UTC

The thing is, it's something of an urban myth that people move countries to go live on welfare. Mostly people move to find work, and mostly they eventually return back home because they miss their family and culture. So countries typically benefit from the economically productive years of an immigrant, missing out the relatively expensive childhood and old age years.

At the risk of opening a can of worms, the country that has the biggest dilemma with regards to immigration is Israel. It wants to be a fully-fledged, non-discriminatory democracy but Jews could easily become a minority in their own country without strict limits on immigration and citizenship.

If Christians became a minority in the US, say, you'd most likely carry on just as before. Hard to say that'd be the same if it came to Israel.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:49 pm UTC

Yeah... don't bring up the I-P discussions anywhere on these forums, unless you want the forums to burn.

As for immigrants moving back, that's not what happens in Europe. Virtually none of the Gastarbeitern ("Guest workers") who moved to Germany in the 50's have returned to Turkey, even though it was sold to the public that they would make the factory owners Germans in general filthy stinking rich before going back home and being swapped with a new set. Same with the Moroccans and others in France. Caused problems in that neither country was really ever prepared to properly integrate them.

As for welfare, no, few who move to a new place are doing so to sit on their ass, but it's not welfare that's the biggest issue. Civil services in general, from education to the police, they ain't cheap. Every child in the US costs about $10k per year in education costs, there's water, sewage, police, etc. If an immigrant is not producing more in wealth than they cost in services, well, there's an issue. A lot of that issue could be "this is a skilled worker whose lack of status prevents them from doing a high-payed job and instead has to work under the table as a busboy", which is the fault of the country and not the immigrant, but if the immigrant doesn't have the skills to do any but minimum wage work it's very easy for them to be a drain on the system even if they are trying to contribute.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:19 pm UTC

elasto wrote:The thing is, it's something of an urban myth that people move countries to go live on welfare. Mostly people move to find work, and mostly they eventually return back home because they miss their family and culture. So countries typically benefit from the economically productive years of an immigrant, missing out the relatively expensive childhood and old age years.


Nah, immigrants generally stay. It's likely not any particular plan to be exploitative, but simply the natural result of having lived in a place for many years. Inertia results in staying. Sure, you may have fond feelings for the old country, and keep traditions alive, but immigrant cultures generally stay wherever they've gone.

And you don't really need the "welfare queen" scenario in order for social programs to be costly. It's as Corrupt notes. They're likely working hard, but probably in a fairly low-income job. However, if you have a very comprehensive social welfare program, it's easy for the cost of supporting them to local standards to exceed whatever economic value they add. This is especially true with progressive taxation. Now, these problems do not apply to wealthy/high skilled immigrants, but those usually are not the ones people worry about. It's also less of a concern if your social programs are less costly. The lower those go, the less an immigrant has to make to be a net contributor.

Along the Mexican/US border, for instance, there are a number of immigrant communities by the name of colonias that have attracted some attention for not having all of the amenities a US town normally does(paved roads, utilities, etc). Essentially, what happens is that a farmer or landholder sells small plot off to people to build, but nobody really has the capital, etc to put in utilities and such. Generally, it's crap land in the middle of nowhere, because it's all they could afford. There's a vague idea that the US will somehow provide such things, but as they are sometimes far from places where they exist...it could be extremely expensive to do so, and nobody in the US is over-eager to shoulder that bill.

One article about the water issue for them: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/theres-a-third-world-america-that-no-one-notices/2017/11/21/640c4c1a-c499-11e7-aae0-cb18a8c29c65_story.html?utm_term=.dc49a81bbb18

At the risk of opening a can of worms, the country that has the biggest dilemma with regards to immigration is Israel. It wants to be a fully-fledged, non-discriminatory democracy but Jews could easily become a minority in their own country without strict limits on immigration and citizenship.

If Christians became a minority in the US, say, you'd most likely carry on just as before. Hard to say that'd be the same if it came to Israel.


Yeah, Israel seems quite unlikely indeed to adopt an open borders policy.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby elasto » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:34 pm UTC

Nah, immigrants generally stay. It's likely not any particular plan to be exploitative, but simply the natural result of having lived in a place for many years. Inertia results in staying. Sure, you may have fond feelings for the old country, and keep traditions alive, but immigrant cultures generally stay wherever they've gone.


I guess I'm speaking mainly in terms of UK immigration, because that's what I'm most familiar with. Within Europe, populations tend to move where there is the best market for their work, and when the market shifts, so does the immigration. They also tend to return home.

Yes, I guess when someone moves from a very poor country they are more likely to stay, but that's the kind of immigration we always had control over pre-Brexit anyway, and there are good, sound economic reasons we aren't planning on restricting it even now.

And you don't really need the "welfare queen" scenario in order for social programs to be costly. It's as Corrupt notes. They're likely working hard, but probably in a fairly low-income job. However, if you have a very comprehensive social welfare program, it's easy for the cost of supporting them to local standards to exceed whatever economic value they add. This is especially true with progressive taxation. Now, these problems do not apply to wealthy/high skilled immigrants, but those usually are not the ones people worry about. It's also less of a concern if your social programs are less costly. The lower those go, the less an immigrant has to make to be a net contributor.

That's true to an extent, however, if we switch to the US, there's a good number of counter-bullet-points there:

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 immigrants live in poverty, and fewer immigrants live in poverty than natives.
  • Working-class, immigrant-headed households with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line rely less on public benefits and social services than comparable U.S-born households.
  • Working-class immigrants use social programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income at similar or lower rates than native-born households.
  • Immigrant men have higher employment rates than U.S.-born men
  • On average, children of immigrants meet or exceed the educational attainment of third-plus generation natives. These children earn even higher wages, experience greater upward mobility in their professions, and are less likely to live in poverty than their parents.
  • Compared with all Americans, U.S.-born children of immigrants are more likely to go to college, less likely to live in poverty, and equally likely to be homeowners. Thirty-six percent of U.S.-born children of immigrants are college graduates—5 percent above the national average. Eleven percent of adult U.S.-born children of immigrants live in poverty—below the national average of 13 percent—and 64 percent are homeowners, 1 percent below the national average.
  • Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be incarcerated than the U.S.-born population.

In summary: Immigrants contribute more than natives, and their children contribute even more again. Yes, there might be a theoretical subset of immigrants worth sifting out, but, like the paradox with means-tested benefits, it can often cost more to try to apply means-testing than to simply give the benefit to everyone. Bureaucracy is expensive!

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:53 pm UTC

That's immigration in general. Few are saying we shouldn't let in the Indian cardiologist. It's the ones that aren't the highly skilled workers that we are talking about.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby pogrmman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:28 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Along the Mexican/US border, for instance, there are a number of immigrant communities by the name of colonias that have attracted some attention for not having all of the amenities a US town normally does(paved roads, utilities, etc). Essentially, what happens is that a farmer or landholder sells small plot off to people to build, but nobody really has the capital, etc to put in utilities and such. Generally, it's crap land in the middle of nowhere, because it's all they could afford. There's a vague idea that the US will somehow provide such things, but as they are sometimes far from places where they exist...it could be extremely expensive to do so, and nobody in the US is over-eager to shoulder that bill.

One article about the water issue for them: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 49a81bbb18


Colonias aren’t necessarily just along the border. In that article, it was talking about colonia just outside of Corpus Christi. Corpus is just as far from the border as is San Antonio. Apparently, even Harris County (Houston) has colonias. I’ve known that they exist for a while, but it’s still kind of sickening to me the level of poverty that exists in parts of my state.

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Re: Ideal immigration policy

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:00 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:Colonias aren’t necessarily just along the border. In that article, it was talking about colonia just outside of Corpus Christi. Corpus is just as far from the border as is San Antonio. Apparently, even Harris County (Houston) has colonias. I’ve known that they exist for a while, but it’s still kind of sickening to me the level of poverty that exists in parts of my state.


Good call, they tend to be closer to the border on a nationwide level, but not necessarily right by it. They tend not to get a ton of airtime out east.

elasto wrote:That's true to an extent, however, if we switch to the US, there's a good number of counter-bullet-points there:


Our current system also isn't terribly open or egalitarian. We already engage in some heavy selection for more desirable candidates, and what exists of the immigration debate largely centers around the candidates on the lower end, financially speaking. Are there a ton of folks who come to the US for medical school? Sure, and plenty of them stay. They're not who folks campaign about when the immigration issue is being tossed about. It's always either illegal immigrants, or low income workers, or something along those lines. In general, illegal immigrants make a good deal less than the average American, even if legal immigrants are generally doing well(source: https://www.theatlas.com/charts/rkJJRxv3)

If we're talking about applying selectivity, it's...actually not so very far off from what we already do. Open borders, on the other hand, would be a drastic change.

As for testing costing too much...well, you've neatly summarized the benefits of testing, and the results of too open borders are extremely expensive(or at least, they are if you have a neighboring country in a rough patch with many fleeing). No matter how liberal, European countries also get a bit twitchy if facing a refugee crisis.


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