Monday, August 20, 2012

All immigrants are not the same

We see below the usual Leftist failure to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.  Legal immigrants are highly selected and are undoubtedly beneficial to America.  Illegal immigrants are however mostly bottom of the barrell and get by  only because of "free" services such as health and schooling. 

Murdoch would have gone along with the nonsense for the sake of political expediency.  It may be noted, however, that his Wall St. Journal is an open-borders outfit.  Businesses like cheap labor

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, the independent mayor of New York City, is no one's idea of a hardline Republican conservative. Media titan Rupert Murdoch, whose empire includes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, is no one's idea of a squishy Republican moderate. And Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a lifelong Democrat, is no one's idea of a Republican at all.

It isn't every day that three men with such disparate ideological profiles find common cause, let alone on a high-profile issue that has been roiling American politics for years. But there they were at Boston's Seaport Hotel one evening last week, jointly making a nonpartisan case that reforming the nation's dysfunctional immigration system is essential for economic revival. Without the growth fueled by immigrants -- especially foreign-born entrepreneurs -- the United States is unlikely to retain its preeminent position in the world. In Bloomberg's vivid phrase, America is "committing economic suicide" by making it too hard for ambitious foreigners to enter the US and unleash their drive and ingenuity.

Opening the Boston forum, Menino was effusive in his praise for Bloomberg , whose social liberalism, especially on gun control, complements his. "I am proud to call him my friend," Menino said.

But the mayor was at loss for something nice to say about Murdoch, the former owner of the conservative Boston Herald. The best he could manage was to thank him "for being here and sharing his views." He started to make a dig about "those headlines, Rupert" -- then apparently thought better of it, and merely observed wryly that the News Corp. chairman ensures "a diversity of opinion."

What was striking about the discussion that followed, however, was its unity of opinion, above all on the subject of immigrants and their economic impact.

Menino ran through some local numbers. There are 8,800 immigrant-owned small business in Boston, he said, producing nearly $3.7 billion in annual sales and employing more than 18,000 people. New Americans have swelled Boston's population to 625,000, its healthiest level since 1970 -- healthy because "more people mean more talent, more ideas, and more innovation." They also mean more revenue: Boston's immigrants spend $4 billion per year, generating $1.3 billion in state and federal taxes. For generations immigrants have rejuvenated Boston, said the mayor. "They make this old city new again and again."

He got no argument on that score from Murdoch, an Australian native who became a US citizen in 1985. "An immigrant is more likely to start a small business than a non-immigrant," said Murdoch, whose career exemplifies the phenomenon. "You go to Silicon Valley, and you realize it's misnamed: It's not the silicon" that makes it such a high-tech dynamo. "It's the immigrants." Ambitious foreigners "want to dream the American dream," and it's in America's national interest to help them do so.

There is an abundance of empirical evidence that immigration is a tremendous economic driver. A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and business leaders advocating for more rational immigration laws, is awash with eye-opening data on immigrant entrepreneurship. More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, and immigrants are now more than twice as likely as US natives to start a business. Though the foreign-born account for less than 13 percent of the US population, they created 28 percent of all new American businesses in 2011.

Murdoch and Bloomberg, two of the partnership's co-chairmen, argue that if only more Americans understood what remarkable job-creators immigrants tend to be, fewer politicians would feel the need to play to anti-immigrant xenophobia. Fewer voters would believe the popular canard that foreigners enter America to live off welfare -- or the equally popular, if contradictory, canard that immigrants steal jobs that would otherwise go to Americans.

"People don't come here to put their feet up and collect welfare," Bloomberg said. They come here to work. If there are no jobs, they don't come." You'd never know it from the clamor over illegal immigration -- "Put a damn fence on the border … and start shooting," one GOP congressional candidate recently advised -- but illegal border crossings have sharply declined.

What hasn't declined is the hunger of strivers and dreamers the world over -- talented entrepreneurs eager to bring their gifts here and make a success of themselves. Those would-be immigrants are an extraordinary growth hormone we can't afford to spurn. A broken immigration system threatens America's future economic vitality. Fixing that system must become a priority -- for left, right, and center alike.


Britain needs  to stop treating views on immigration as an IQ test – there are sensible ways to attract tourists from China

Theresa May has set herself up as a figure of scorn once again, by blocking plans to make it easier for the Chinese to get Visas to Britain over fears about organised crime. The Home Secretary is in conflict with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who wants to treble the number of Chinese tourists to Britain: only 147,000 came here last year, compared to 1.2 million visiting France.

Views on immigration are taken as a sort of de facto IQ test in some circles, or at least a test of emotional intelligence. That’s why Mrs May was scorned over the “cat” issue, even though her critics were happy to ignore the fact that violent criminals were allowed to roam the streets. And when the Government announced plans to restrict family-based immigration, largely from South Asia, they were warned that it would toxify the Tory brand, ruin their chances with minority voters, and damage Britain’s relations with other countries. As it turned out, the Government went ahead with the reforms, Labour supported them, knowing the state of public opinion, and everyone agreed it was quite a reasonable measure.

France can afford to be more relaxed about Chinese tourists, because France makes it easier to deport foreign criminals: the laws toughened up in 2010. In Britain, by contrast, deporting foreign criminals is still a palaver. Magistrates have to deal with serial offenders who are repeatedly allowed to remain in the country. (It’s also easier to work in Britain, both because there are more unskilled jobs suited towards the people-trafficking industry, and because there are fewer checks, there being no identity cards.)

It’s certainly in our interests to encourage Chinese tourists, and co-operation with China generally, although it’s likely that the Chinese will continue to flock to France in large numbers, partly because the Chinese have a great interest in France (they even built a replica Paris). But the Home Secretary’s first job is to protect the home front, and she must balance the interests of the tourism industry with her job of fighting crime (McMafia as the author Misha Glenny calls the new variety of organised crime).

In the immediate future, we could build our relationship with China by ensuring that Mandarin is taught in schools (I’m quite interested in the idea of setting up a bilingual free school in London, with an emphasis on Chinese culture). More broadly, with a more mobile global elite than in previous eras, it’s important for a country to attract the super-rich, which it can do not just through an attractive tax system but also through branding. National branding is more important than ever, which is why it’s a paradox that, while the Olympics were sold on a very modern idea of Britian, what draws people to our country is a certain old-fashioned Britishness described by Harry Mount (Steve Sailer calls this the Harry Potter Effect, and indeed JK Rowling has probably done more to promote “brand Britain” than anyone in history).

In the longer term, we’ll want to attract more Chinese visitors, and will be able to, as Chinese average incomes rise. That’s because the most beneficial type of immigration, from the receiving country’s point of view, is between states of relatively equal economic development. It follows from this that Britain should adopt very strict immigration policies towards the developing world (especially towards family migration, the least progressive form), but have fairly open borders with countries above a median average income of $12,000.

The real question is whether China would reciprocate. So far, none of the countries outside the European world have adopted Western-style immigration policies, nor have any Asian countries embraced the ideology behind “diversity”. So when China reaches the Lewis turning point, will it start importing millions of people from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Africa to do the jobs the Chinese wont do? I would bet my bottom yuan that the answer will be no.


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