What’s Standing In The Way Of Immigration Reform Is Entitlement Reform

illegal-immigration1

Immigration is much in the news this week thanks to the work of yet another “gang” of Senators. There’s a lot of confusion about just what that “gang” is actually proposing so I don’t really want two weigh in, but I think two things are true:

1) Conservatives need to shift on the issue of illegal immigration.

2) The biggest obstacle to immigration reform is entitlement reform.

To the first point, there really is no good reason to continue restricting immigration. Conservatives don’t (or, at least, aren’t supposed to) believe in economics as a zero-sum game. We believe that wealth creation is unlimited, and as such we should welcome as many immigrants who want to come here. We should still support screening for issues like terrorism and disease, but beyond that our borders should be open.

The term “open borders” should stop being a verbotten term for conservatives. We shouldn’t want unnecessary restrictions on the movement of labor any more than we want unnecessary restrictions on the movement of goods and services.

But that brings me to the second point. The real hold up on immigration reform is entitlement reform. The last thing we want is to throw open our borders while our lavish-and-growing entitlement state serves as flypaper for every layabout in the international community who wants to come here for a free ride. We cannot open our borders while simultaneously supporting an expansive entitlement system.

There is an opportunity here for killing multiple birds with one stone. Major entitlement reform is not only needed because of our deficit-addled budget, but because it would clear the way for immigration reform of the sort that would help make our country stronger and more prosperous.

Unfortunately, this sort of comprehensive reform isn’t likely to make anyone happy. Our friends on the left aren’t about to give in on entitlement reform, and I fear that anti-immigration attitudes on the right will kill off immigration reform. But there is a path forward here, and perhaps leaders like Senator Marco Rubio can navigate it.

In related news, here’s Senator Rubio talking immigration reform with Rush Limbaugh:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • WOOF

    Open Borders?
    Chinese would be the dominant language of these 57 states in ten years.
    That would include the new states of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Macao,
    Cuba Haiti and Michocan.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Racist.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    All these low skilled workers coming into America from Mexico will hurt the job opportunities of democrats more than Republicans. Just sayin…

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      There won’t be any jobs in 10 years if our dear leader has his way.

  • awfulorv

    My dictionary tells me that the word Reform means- to improve-to remove faults-to put an end to EVIL-to introduce a better course of action-and-to induce, or abandon EVIL ways. Nowhere does it say -to roll over, and cover oneself with guilt- because the hate America crowd tells us to.

    Nor does it list- extreme jealousy,or-extreme incompetence-on the part of other nations, in direct proportion to their accomplishments, or lack thereof, which allows them to think Old Uncle Sam will take care of their domestic problems.
    Let their filthy rich drug barons shoulder at least some of the expenses needed to solve their woes.

    And what gives this generation the right to give away those things our ancestors fought for, strove mightily and, often, went into debt to, to attain?

    It is bad enough that we’ve saddled our children with immense debt, but to be forced to feed, shelter, house, medicate, transport, the uneducated and, in good part, unwilling to be educated, masses of another corrupt nation, is a bit much to ask of those who come behind isn’t it.

    It would be a fine gesture to do such a thing but, when did we become the Guiding Light Mission for those whose own countries should be solving their problems, and who’s going to pay for this goody two shoes foll

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