As Lenin said, the eternal question is always "Who whom?" And when it comes to understanding America's current immigration policy, the old mass-murderer sure had it right. It's time to point fingers.
More immigrants are admitted under the "family-reunification" policy than for any other reason. Unfortunately, the impact of the family-reunification quota, especially the harm it's done to African-Americans, is shrouded by the American phobia about thinking honestly about race. This purportedly idealistic smokescreen is actually concocted by the clever in order to wage class war on the clueless. Maybe not intentionally, but isn't it funny how people tend to come up with ideals that are in their interests?
Serious discussions of immigration reform have been off the table for years in America precisely because the current immigration policies provide America's verbal elite with a new, improved servant class at no cost to themselves in terms of greater competition. Mexicans may be flooding into the U.S., but they are not taking jobs away from American lawyers, media people, politicians, business executives and the like. The Mexicans with the verbal skills to do these jobs stay home in Mexico speaking Spanish. Instead, small, brown, diligent, and submissive immigrants have displaced large, black, unmotivated, and surly native Americans as our auto mechanics, waiters, gardeners, cleaning ladies, child-minders, and the like. We consumers of these services get better workers for less money.
The African-American elites go along with this scheme. They sell out the black working class on immigration because more immigrants means more pressure for identity politics and multiculturalism (i.e., quotas, jobs as diversity sensitivity consultants, ethnic pride educators, etc.), which means more easy money for the black verbal elite.
There are two prominent intellectual positions on immigration: The extremely unpopular one is that ethnicity matters, and that immigration policy should not be used to change the current ethnic makeup of America. The much more popular view, which dominates both the liberal and conservative media establishments (e.g., the Wall Street Journal editorial page), argues that high immigration is good for the country, and we should be color-blind in our immigration policy, because America is a "proposition" nation (e.g., "All men are created equal", etc.) rather than a nation of blood and soil.
The first view appears to be a political nonstarter, because of the nonstop indoctrination of whites against them personally feeling any ethnocentrism.
The second view, colorblindness, hits all the right notes in today's American zeitgeist but, as we've seen, its effects are hardly colorblind: the current system hurts Americans on the left side of the bell curve in order to help those on the right side. It damages African-Americans and, at least economically, Mexican-American citizens. For example, Cesar Chavez volunteered his United Farm Worker staff to patrol the border to keep out the Mexican immigrants who were driving down the wages of the Mexican-American stoop laborers in his union. By cutting down the supply of farmworkers competing for jobs, Chavez managed to drive up their wages during the Seventies. But the Mexican economic crisis of the early Eighties and the lack of any real effort to keep new immigrants out overwhelmed his efforts under a flood of cheap immigrant workers. Stoop laborers' wages stopped growing in 1981.
On the other end of the bell curve, however, are highly intelligent whites with outstanding verbal skills, who face little immigrant competition (other than from the occasional immigrant English magazine editor), but who desperately want the government's help with their servant problem.
I'll propose an alternative to these two ideas, based on American patriotism. Let's set up America's immigration system to maximally benefit the people of whatever ethnic group who are American citizens as of today. Further, the bias in the system should be toward helping those Americans less able to compete intellectually with future immigrants.
To my mind, the fundamental goal of immigration policy is to maximize the benefit to existing citizens, just as the fundamental goal of a public corporation's management is to maximize the wealth of its current stockholders, not of people who might buy stock later. Think of the U.S. as an employee-owned corporation like United Airlines. Immigration policy is thus like United's hiring policy. The goal of United Airline's hiring policy is to optimize the benefits to the existing stockholder-employees by hiring the new stockholder-employees who have the most to contribute at the lowest cost. Similarly, the goal of America's immigration policy logically ought to be to brain drain the rest of the world of the people who can contribute the most to the welfare of current American citizens.
Thus, we should be actively recruiting the most intelligent and most entrepreneurial — they'll produce the most new wealth and new jobs in America, and the Americans they'll be competing with can best afford the new competition. In contrast, we should be diligently keeping out run-of-the-mill would-be immigrants who would merely add to the competition faced by our less intelligent citizens, since lower IQ American citizens can least afford additional wage competition.
The most important part of our current immigration law, family reunification, is the equivalent of United Airlines letting its newest employees nepotistically determine its next hires. Obviously, UA would never even consider such an absurd policy, but that's what the USA does.
The second largest contributor of new immigrants under the current law, the need of American corporations for particular skills, has worked well in itself, but when combined with family reunification it just ends up lowering wages for African-Americans and others who can least afford it. Say, Intel imports the next Andy Grove, who soon begins creating new jobs for Americans through his brilliance. However, Mrs. Grove2 is allowed under the law to bring over her sister, who brings her husband, who brings his deadbeat brother, who brings his nothing-special daughter, who is married to Mr. Nobody, etcetera etcetera. Regression to the mean takes its terrible toll. Eventually, we've brought in a bunch of people of no particular talent other than they will no doubt work harder for less money than current blue-collar white and black Americans.
This will keep down wage inflation, which today seems to be automatically assumed to be a Good Thing. But shouldn't one of the goals of America be to see the wages of the bottom half of our bell curve rise over time?