Når man i Danmark er vant til at benhård modstand mod indvandring opfattes som et adelsmærke for højreorienterede, og al kritik af denne position automatisk affærdiges som "kulturradikalisme", "utopi", eller, når det går hedt for sig, "forræderi", er det en befrielse at læse hårdtslående konservative (i den amerikanske forstand) mediers tilgang til emnet. I den forbindelse er Wall Street Journal's leder af i dag forbilledlig:
No issue more deeply divides American conservatives today than immigration. It's the subject on which we get the most critical mail by far, no doubt reflecting this split on the right. So with Congress holding hearings on the issue around the country, perhaps it's a good moment to step back and explain the roots of our own, longstanding position favoring open immigration. A position, by the way, on which we hardly stand alone. There is also President Bush, and before him the Gipper. (See our editorial, "Reagan on Immigration.") In the context of the current debate, we also print an open letter supporting comprehensive immigration reform from 33 prominent conservatives, including former Secretary of State George Shultz and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Jack Kemp. (The letter is available here.) The most frequent criticism we hear is that a newspaper called "The Wall Street Journal" simply wants "cheap labor" for business. This is an odd charge coming from conservatives who profess to believe in the free market, since it echoes the AFL-CIO and liberals who'd just as soon have government dictate wages.
Our own view is that a philosophy of "free markets and free people" includes flexible labor markets. At a fundamental level, this is a matter of freedom and human dignity. These migrants are freely contracting for their labor, which is a basic human right. Far from selling their labor "cheap," they are traveling to the U.S. to sell it more dearly and improve their lives. Like millions of Americans before them, they and certainly their children climb the economic ladder as their skills and education increase.
We realize that critics are not inventing the manifold problems that can arise from illegal immigration:
Trespassing, violent crime, overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, document counterfeiting, human smuggling, corpses in the Arizona desert, and a sense that the government has lost control of the border. But all of these result, ultimately, from too many immigrants chasing too few U.S. visas.
Those migrating here to make a better life for themselves and their families would much prefer to come legally. Give them more legal ways to enter the country, and we are likely to reduce illegal immigration far more effectively than any physical barrier along the Rio Grande ever could. This is not about rewarding bad behavior. It's about bringing immigration policy in line with economic and human reality. And the reality is that the U.S. has a growing demand for workers, while Mexico has both a large supply of such workers and too few jobs at home.
Some conservatives concede this point in theory but then insist that liberal immigration is no longer possible in a modern welfare state, which breeds dependency in a way that the America of a century ago did not. But the immigrants who arrive here come to work, not sit on the dole. And thanks to welfare reform, the welfare rolls have declined despite a surge in illegal immigration in the past decade.
[…]Overall, immigrants contribute far more to our economy than they extract in public benefits.
By far the largest concern we hear on the right concerns culture, especially the worry that the current Hispanic influx is so large it can resist the American genius for assimilation. Hispanics now comprise nearly a third of the population in California and Texas, the country's two biggest states, and cultural assimilation does matter.
This is where the political left does the cause of immigration no good in pursuing a separatist agenda. When such groups as La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund push for multiculturalism, bilingual education, foreign language ballots, racial quotas and the like, they undermine support for immigration among even the most open-minded Americans. Most Americans don't want to replicate the Bosnia model; nor are they pining for a U.S. version of the Quebec sovereignty movement. President Bush has been right to assert that immigrants must adopt U.S. norms, and we only wish more figures on the political left would say the same. But the good news is that these newcomers by and large aren't listening to the left-wingers pushing identity politics. Mexican immigrants, like their European predecessors, are assimilating. Their children learn English and by the end of high school prefer it to their parents' native tongue. They also marry people they meet here.
Second-generation Latinos earn less than white Americans but more than blacks and 50% more than first-generation Latinos. According to Tamar Jacoby's "Reinventing the Melting Pot," the most common last names among new homeowners in California include Garcia, Lee, Martinez, Nguyen, Rodriguez and Wong.
Lederen udstiller i hvor høj grad dele af den danske højrefløjs "modstand mod indvandring i hvilken som helst form" langt hen ad vejen i virkeligheden tjener en venstreorienteret agenda, in casu fastholdelsen af en stor velfærdsstat, der som konservative, i modsætning til venstreorienterede, godt ved ikke er forenelig med indvandring (af uuddannet arbejdskraft). Men indvandring er jo blot et ud af mange emner, hvor man må sande, at store dele af den danske højrefløj i virkeligheden har det bedst med den nuværende samfundsmodel og dens rollefordeling mellem det private og offentlige, det er vel nærmere reglen end undtagelsen.