Let Them In

Millions flee Ukraine.

Where will they go?

Some want to come to America. But doing that legally is hard. A complex system is supposed to determine which people deserve to get in line to get in.

“The line is broken,” explains Reason Magazine editor at large Matt Welch in my new video.

For example, America has a nursing shortage, but immigration authorities turn away foreign nurses. A Mexican teenager who wants to help build houses might be admitted, but he’d have to wait 100 years. No wonder people sneak across the border.

This month, President Joe Biden announced the United States would take in 100,000 refugees from Ukraine.

“He could snap his fingers and make it 250,000 if he chose,” says Welch, and he should, because “we’re a refugee country, and the people who come here tend to be the best.”

“But they could be the worst,” I point out.

Even the supposed “worst of the worst,” Welch replies, made America better.

That’s a reference to 1980, when Fidel Castro let 100,000 people out of jail and encouraged them to go to America. Some were his political opponents, but most were, as a Miami TV anchor put it, “bums off the streets of Havana — murderers, thieves, perverts, prostitutes.”

Castro assumed they’d cause problems in America.

But “that was wrong,” says Welch. Despite their past problems, “they enriched Miami. They added to the economy and didn’t detract from the people who lived there.” A study showed that the Cuban exodus raised wages of low-skilled Miamians.

Immigrants improved America even when we took in people who’d tried to kill us, and who we had tried to kill. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter eagerly took in refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia. Reagan, campaigning for the presidency, said immigrants make us better. “They share the same values, the same dream.”

“He was bragging on this as a conservative and American value,” says Welch. “It is no longer a conservative value.”

Today, conservatives are more likely to argue against letting in refugees, saying, as Ann Coulter put it, “Things can turn overnight when you’re bringing in these masses of people from very, very different cultures.” Then she joked, “And make it a hate crime to ask them to assimilate.”

It wasn’t entirely a joke. Some leftists call asking Latinos to assimilate “racist repression.”

More reasonably, many Americans fear that crime will rise if we let in more immigrants. But that’s unlikely.

“They commit far less crime than native-born Americans,” Welch points out. He’s right. Native-born Americans were 11.6 times more likely to be jailed than Afghan immigrants.

“It’s hard for us to process that fact,” says Welch. “It feels like it should be wrong, but it isn’t. People who go to the lengths to get to this country tend to be less criminal than the native-born population.”

“What if they just feed off welfare?” I ask.

“Then they would be the exception,” he responds. Immigrants, overall, collect less welfare than native-born Americans.

Still, people feel threatened when large numbers of foreigners arrive. Polish people protested when Syrian refugees came to Poland.

But now Poles welcome Ukrainians.

Some call that racism.

“Maybe it is racism,” Welch responds. “But maybe when someone you speak a common language with, and have a common history with … lives right next door, it’s just a different story. … Can we spare a moment and say, they’ve just assimilated an astonishing number of refugees. And they’re not in tents in camps, shivering. They’re staying with people in their apartments!”

That sure seems like a good thing.

Soon more refugees will come to America. Welch argues that we should let more in.

“America is an assimilation machine,” he says. “It’s something that we should do more of because we’re really good at it!”

I agree.

As long as people are peaceful, let them come.

4 thoughts on “Let Them In

  1. Listen to the professor or soon nature will be picking from the list that reduces our population. America cannot grow its pop indefinitely. Professor Bartlett, “You cannot sustain pop growth and you can’t sustain rates of growth in the consumption of resources, period. It is not debatable, unless you want to debate arithmetic.”——–

  2. As the son of immigrants, I wholeheartedly agree that many, if not most immigrants, enrich our country and strive to “make things better “ for their children. It is disheartening to see so called conservatives abandoning common sense and succumbing to the nonsense of the far right. Every group has some “bad apples” but let’s be more compassionate and welcoming to immigrants. Thank you.

  3. I agree that we should let immigrants in , but they need to be vetted . We see help wanted all over,
    Supply chain broken no help? Well plenty looking to come in . We need to truly get them. For those worried about crime this should catch them. Welfare ? Dont alllow anyone new coming in, any gov benefits for a period or 3 or 5 yrs or whatever agreed upon . Many families that came over in past someone had to take responsibility for them, housing, work
    food etc . There are NGO willing to help them or family friends here. Assimilate yes bring your culture , but be part of ours , don’t look to make us yours. To look to make us follow , Muslim ir Jewish rules and laws , practice your custom religion at home in your places if worship but not in our schools business etc

  4. I too am for allowing these war displaced people and families to immigrate. My concern is our insecure water and food supplies. our over-the-moon cost of housing. I would be willing to accept a individual into our household and help them. Do you think that Biden will snap his fingers and allow these war-torn people to enter our homeland?

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