Volume 16

Debating Immigration Restriction: The Case for Low and Slow

by Amy L. Wax

This article critiques our current politics of immigration, which is dominated by moralized and sentimental rhetoric. It argues for a more honest and balanced discussion of the merits of the status quo. A more mature debate would take into account many factors that now receive insufficient attention from politicians, academics, and the mainstream media, including the interests of voters and citizens as well as newcomers, legitimate nationalistic concerns both economic and cultural, the need for unity, stability, and cohesion through assimilation to a common culture, the primacy of American sovereignty through the maintenance of secure borders, and the integrity of the rule of law, which mandates the consistent enforcement of democratically enacted immigration laws. It should be incumbent on all sides to generate concrete reform proposals that give weight to all these concerns.

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