"The Atlantic", "The NYTimes", "What the Cros Knows", David Frum, Franklin Foer, Immigration, Ross Anderson
“If difficult issues go unaddressed by responsible leaders, they will be exploited by irresponsible ones.” David Frum
For me, some of the most thoughtful and thought provoking writing about issues in our country today can be found in The Atlantic, the monthly magazine that focuses on contemporary political affairs and issues.
Four of the articles I link to in this post come from The Atlantic, and the first one cited is one I would say is an ‘important read.’ I rarely use the label ‘must read,’ but if as a country we are going to address the issue of immigration from a rational, factual basis and not largely from an emotional one, as is generally happening today, David Frum’s piece strikes me as a good starting point. I suspect you will learn from it, as did I. For those who are looking for a way to understand an important and divisive issue and looking for common ground to discuss it, do spend the time it will take to read this. Even though it’s lengthy, I’ve read it twice as there is so much to absorb. I suspect I will reread too.
How Much Immigration Is Too Much?, by David Frum, The Atlantic, April 2019. This Canadian America is a senior editor at The Atlantic, was a speech writer for George W. Bush, has published numerous books on politics in America, and is generally thought of as a conservative Republican.
Americans Remain Deeply Divided About Diversity, by Emma Green, The Atlantic, Feb. 2019. This Atlantic staff writer looks at our country and recent research about how and where we live and why sameness not difference is prized by many Americans.
We’re Losing the War on Corruption by Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, March 13, 2019. Foer is another writer at The Atlantic and the author of the book How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.
What the Crow Knows: A Journey into the Animal Mind by Ross Anderson, The Atlantic, March 2019. Something different from the three above as this writer explores “What science can tell us about how other creatures experience the world.”
52 Books for 52 Places, from the editors of the NY Times, Feb. 14, 2019, wherein they present “some reading suggestions — fiction and nonfiction, essays, poems — that may help you to better explore cities, countries, regions and states” in connection with their series 52 Places to Go in 2019. I have read 10 of these and can vouch for the high quality of those 10 choices.
America’s Best Jewish Delis by the editors of Food & Wine, March 2019. Ten places around the country to satisfy those who know and value this sort of eating and want up-to-date information about where to find what you might remember from your childhood. Hat tip to Chuck Tilis for the link.-
I asked a long time friend and an even longer time immigration lawyer to review the David Frum article as he has the most knowledge of this issue of anyone I know. Here is his response:
“Without any doubt, the best thing I have read or heard regarding Immigration in a very long time. It hits most of the points fairly and objectively. The only thing he does not consider is how we reduce the intensifying pressure of those in many countries who are deciding, in increasing numbers, to go north or east or west.
“As he notes, half of the illegals who are now here entered without visas but half entered legally and ‘overstayed”. The overstays are a different group from those who entered with a “walking visa” and the effort to catch the “overstayers” is much different from catching the “sneakers” Increasing the efforts to deal with both groups will pose great threats to our civil liberties and freedom of movement.
“As with all “control measures” they will be much more effective if they can be done closely in time to when the violation occurs. If a legally admitted tourist or visa holder does not leave as required, she needs to be found and dealt with. If a climber makes it over/under/around the wall, there should be someone to pick him up and give him a ride to the nearest return gate. Until this is done, the population of “illegals” will never abate. Even if the 11,000,000 illegals who are already here are allowed to stay, if there is no enforcement of the law, the same situation would recur in 10 years.
“The primary cause of illegal immigration is not due to lax or outdated policies. Those that are already in place are adequate to give the government the legal and factual basis for dealing with anyone who is illegally present. The problem is entirely with money for enforcement. After the Reagan era Amnesty program legalized 5,000,000 aliens, the number of Border Patrol agents was increased, the Immigration enforcement offices were increased and a law was enacted that required every U.S. employer to verify a new employee’s legal status. It was supposed to be akin to asking for information to comply with Social Security requirements. Just as employers are very reluctant to hire workers with a SSN, they were supposed to be equally reluctant to hire a person who had no right to work. No right to work/no Social Security number equals no job. But Congress then refused to create serious penalties for non-compliance and declined to hire the required agents or establish the enforcement system that would be necessary to enforce these rules. So the requirement has been ignored by many employers, 99% of the time without any problems for either the employer or the alien.
“Similarly the Border Patrol and USICE catch many illegals each year but they can’t put them out of the country until that has been ordered by an Immigration Judge. There is currently a backlog of almost 1,000,000 cases awaiting an Immigration Court hearing but there are less than 500 judges to handle these hearings or 2000 cases per judge. An efficient judge can handle about 15-20 hearings per week. In many cities, cases are being scheduled for hearings FOUR years from the date they are started, and it is rapidly getting worse. But the President has not asked for more judges and Congress has not been willing to spend the money. So even though 97% of those who have hearings are ordered out of the country, no one in Washington is in any hurry to get this done. Once the deportation order is issued, appeals are possible but the Board of Immigration Appeals is similarly grossly understaffed and it takes more than 2 years to make a decision.. Finally, once the deportation order becomes final, USICE does not have the agents it needs to actually go pick up more than about 5% of those who can now be deported and actually put them out.
“This dis-functional situation is a perfect response to/reflection of the many issues and contradictions discussed in Mr. Frum’s article. Americans love/hate immigrants. and they always have since the first settlers landed at Plymoutn and Pensacola. The small number of the known quantity who are like us are welcomed, but the great number of unknowns are feared
“In sum, my response is that Immigration policies should be re-written to encourage the young and ambitious to come to establish something new and to encourage the educated, talented and skilled to come to supply the yeast to keep the economy and culture rising. This will mean eliminating the siblings category (65,000 per year) and perhaps adult children (25,000) of Permanent Residents. This will mean relegating the words on the Statute of Liberty to the past but will morally and politically require this country to provide greater aid and assistance to help the poor and needy to live in their own countries and not be quite so willing to go north or east or west.
I have passed this article on to many of my family.”