Immigration Policy Decision-Making by Insulated Decision-Makers

By David North on October 2, 2013

The elite establishmentarians who make immigration policy — senators, foundation heads, ranking federal officials, corporate CEOs, and their ilk — are totally out of touch with the mass of Americans who are impacted by those policy decisions. And the former's mas-migration decisions reflect this.

The policymakers' kids and grandkids, of course, do not compete with international migrants for jobs at the bottom of the labor market. Likewise, the policymakers typically do not experience first-hand the impacts of over-population by, say, riding the New York subways.

I must admit that Mayor Bloomberg, a big fan of more migration, formerly used the subways from time to time, but was usually driven to the nearest station in a limo.

That an elite — physically, economically, and socially distant from the general public — makes such decisions is well-known if rarely discussed in the media, but what I find intriguing are three tiny and quite different examples of this overall pattern.

First, I am reminded of this phenomenon every month by the arrival of the new USCIS statistics on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the president's amnesty by fiat. These numbers include a state-by-state distribution of the applicants and the approvals, listing all the states that have 10 or more aliens in either category. There were more than 560,000 DACA applicants nationwide at the last count.

Every month 49 of the 50 states are listed, and only one is not, because it has nine or fewer applicants. That state is Vermont, home of Patrick Leahy (D), the chair of the Judiciary Committee who worked so hard and so successfully this spring to move the huge immigration bill through his committee. We can be sure that any amnesty will not have much impact on him and his neighbors.

Second, and bearing in mind that Vermont is on the Quebec border, there is a segment of immigration policy in Canada that resembles our EB-5 program — but with a special twist for Quebec. Aliens, mostly from China, find that they can quickly make a modest investment in Quebec and then settle their family anywhere in Canada they choose. So, to the chagrin of people in Vancouver, the immigrants wind up there, but the investment goes to Quebec, at the other end of the nation, as I reported earlier.

Third, in another example of one place getting the money and another the aliens, there is birth tourism in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory just north of Guam, as I described in an earlier blog. In this case the Chinese families have the baby in CNMI, a boon to the local economy, then leave and some 20 years later the baby — now-grown and raised entirely abroad — moves to the American Mainland.

While we cannot deny a Vermont senator a vote on immigration matters just because illegal aliens shun his state, it would be appropriate if immigration policy decision-makers were in better touch with the U.S. people who will be impacted by their decisions.