I was happy to see the Wall Street Journal come forward with an editorial favoring open immigration (this one is in their non-subscription area). I am even happier to see that they lead with the issue of fundamental human rights, not with the weak argument of who is to pick the lettuce.
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.
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.
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.
The WSJ argues that polls show that most conservatives are similar-minded. I'm am not a conservative and don't speak for them, but from the flavor of my email on my pro-immigration posts and from reading various conservative blogs, I have trouble believing it.
I have a number of posts on immigration, but you should start with this one.