According to the New York Post, “President Obama’s temporary-amnesty program has paid off for 454,000 young immigrants who were brought here illegally.”
That’s all well and good, and I don’t begrudge a single one of those young immigrants his or her good fortune. But let’s be clear here: The biggest losers from our country’s heartless immigration policies are not the young people who have managed to find their way here only to risk deportation. The biggest losers are those who never got here in the first place.
If it were my job to remedy the evils of American immigration policy, I’d start by making it easier to get here, not easier to stay here. Or to put this another way: If the President is willing to allow 454,000 young immigrants (and no more) to be here, I’d prefer he deport everyone who’s already here and bring in another 454,000 to replace them. That way, a million people get at least some opportunity to reap the (relative) benefits of American education and American freedom, as opposed to a lucky half-million reaping all the benefits while another half-million get nothing.
It would be better, of course, to welcome everyone.
(Note: For the background on why I call existing policy “heartless”, and for an attempt to quantify exactly how heartless, see Chapter 19 of The Big Questions.)