Debating immigration policy at a populist moment

Source: The Atlantic
by David Frum and Conor Friedersdorf

Debate between David Frum and Conor Friedersdorf. Friedersdorf: "While I agree that lots of presidents have talked tough on immigration without cracking down on employers of illegal labor, and that some observers make the Obama administration's record sound tougher than it was, I am correct in observing that Obama presided over a militarized border, millions of deportations, a cap on refugees, and harsher vetting procedures for countries with a terrorism problem. Those actions did not constitute a serious attempt to 'solve' illegal immigration, but they still bolster the case that Obama believed in 'the reality of nationhood.' Neither Reagan nor Bush nor Clinton nor Bush II nor Obama agree with the premise that undocumented immigration on their watches posed a threat to nationhood." (03/09/17)

  • dL

    Friedersdorf: Okay, let's start there.

    I agree with you that there is a strong case for lessening total immigration flows for a while to ease social strains; that refugee flows should be capped both to avoid a backlash and to ease assimilation; that America should rejigger the rules that determine the mix of those who enter legally so that we benefit from more highly skilled workers and give less of a priority to non-immediate family members of past immigrants; and that immigration has costs and benefits that are spread unevenly, falling most heavily on the native born with the lowest levels of education.

    He's supposed to be the "libertarian" in this discussion?