“Answers To Three Cliches Used By Mass Immigration Advocates” is a slightly edited version of material from Project U.S.A., an American group advocating a sensible and prudent U.S. immigration policy.
Project U.S.A. looks at cliched arguments used by U.S. advocates of mass immigration and logically refutes each of the cliches. Most Canadians will realize that the same cliched arguments are constantly used in Canada. However, some Canadians may not have heard responses to all of the cliches.
(1) Your Ancestors Were Immigrants.
OK, yes, my ancestors came from somewhere other than North America. So did yours. So did everyone else's, in fact, including those of Native Americans.
No matter where you live in the world, in fact, you have an ancestor from somewhere else.
In other words, every nation is a “nation of immigrants”; the slogan is meaningless and certainly no basis for public policy.
Just because a policy was appropriate in the past does not mean it is necessarily eternally good. That my ancestors were immigrants is irrelevant to the formation of a prudent public policy today.
If my ancestors were pioneers, am I constrained to advocate expansionism?
(2) Immigration is good for the economy.
Between the years 1925 and 1965, immigration to the United States was so low the number of immigrants in the United States actually decreased. Yet during that time we Americans built the richest country the world has ever seen.
We can be rich without an endless flood of mass immigration.
It's true that immigration grows the economy, but so what? If a half billion Chinese were to move from China to the United States tomorrow, the U.S. economy would grow (leaving aside the political upheaval) and China's would shrink, but is that a good thing necessarily?
(A.) U.S. Chamber of Commerce View:
(B) Honest View:
Look at the the total economic output of the countries listed in the top chart—from tiny Luxembourg, with an economic aggregate of just $27.3 billion, to the giant of the world, the United States, with $11.75 trillion.
Then look at the bottom chart. These are the same countries in the same order, except this time, we've calculated in the size of the population. When you look at it like that in terms of total economic output per person, it tells a far different story.
Little Luxembourg doesn't look so little anymore, Denmark and Nigeria are not the equals the top chart seemed to indicate, the U.S. is no longer the giant of the world, and while immigration fanatics like George W. Bush like to describe Mexican immigrants as fleeing starvation, that hardly appears to be the case.
The economic indicator that matters is the one depicted in the bottom chart; no one is emigrating from Luxembourg to Nigeria. Immigration is driving us down in terms of the bottom chart, yet because a few immigration lawyers and business special interests (and their lobbyists) find mass immigration profitable, the relentless flood of humanity continues unabated.
3. This Is a Nation of Immigrants
If you are discussing immigration with a friend, you are likely to hear him reflexively blurt out the gem: “This is a nation of immigrants.” When he does, simply point out to him that eighty-five percent of the residents of the United States were born here.
How could that preponderance of homegrown Americans justify us being called a “nation of immigrants”?
Certainly we are descendants of immigrants (as is everyone in the world), but that is not the same thing as being an immigrant.
Anyway, such a statement is no justification for continued mass immigration. The inference that “We are a nation of immigrants and, therefore, we must not limit immigration” is a classic example of circular argument.
What it says is this: Because we are a nation of immigrants, we have to allow for massive immigration which, in turn, makes us a nation of immigrants. Hence its circularity.
Circular arguments are invalid in the logical sense by virtue of how they are structured and not what do they mean. They lead to faulty (and, therefore, useless) reasoning in which the thesis (the very thing which is to be proved) is used as a premise in its proof.
And circular arguments certainly do not form a good basis on which to formulate sound public policy.
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