President Trump’s presser on his immigration bill was great news, and for me a matter of a little pride. I had briefed Jared Kushner on the Canadian merit system for legal immigration, and when Trump plugged my 2016 book, The Way Back, he referred specifically to my chapter on the Canadian immigration system. Admitting immigrants on the basis that they’d make Americans better off — who could oppose that? Well, the Democrats for one, since the family-based system in the present law massively favors them in elections.
That wasn’t supposed to happen, we were told, when the 1965 Immigration Act was passed. But that’s how it turned out, and it resulted in an enormous preference for relatives of recent arrivals, mostly unskilled people from Third World countries. Nothing wrong with them, but if the goal were to help Americans they’re not the people we’d admit.
We even admit 50,000 people a year on the basis that they’ve won a lottery. How crazy is that?
Our present system even makes us more immobile. Our immigrants don’t earn as much as native-born Americans, and this effect continues for two more generations. Democrat elites tell us that they want to bring back the American Dream, where our kids do better than their parents. But what they really want are cheap maids and gardeners for themselves.
One thing I like about the proposed bill is that it doesn’t cap the number of people we’d admit. In Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act, we’d admit no more than 500,000 people a year. But if the 500,001st immigrant would make us better off, why would we reject him?
Expect to hear the Democrats tell us the proposed bill is racist. But it’s based on Canadian legislation. How racist is that? What it would likely do, as it’s done in Canada, is increase the number of highly educated people from India and the Far East. If someone thinks that’s racist, I don’t think they understand what that word means.
The newspapers will tell us that, with a Democratic House, the bill is dead on arrival. That’s not exactly news, since we’re now in complete gridlock. But that wasn’t the point of the bill. Rather, it was to get all the Republicans in Congress on board so that the party can go to the people in 2020 with the message that it’s looking after the American people. Let’s see if the White House can pull that off.