Suppose there really was a genetically distinct race of white-skinned people inhabiting a large, hypothetical island in the Pacific Ocean; that IQ really could be reliably measured; and that we knew, for a fact, that while the measured IQs of Caucasians, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Native Americans, and all other identity groups in the United States had converged to an identical average, members of this one hypothetical race had IQ scores that measured 5 points lower on average. Additionally, suppose that the average IQ of nations as a whole had been indisputably linked to educational attainment and GDP. Would it be legitimate to bar that lower IQ group from immigrating?
To me, doing so would be wrongheaded.Even setting aside my strong preference for policies rooted in individualism and the dangerous, inherently problematic nature of singling out a specific racial group for disparate treatment, barring the hypothetical low IQ people would imply that intelligence determines worth, and that our project as a nation is intimately tied to constantly maximizing material wealth.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that recruiting human beings with impressive skills is illegitimate. In fact, I think it is prudent, and I'm glad that lots of talented scientists, athletes, artists, and programmers want to come here. More, please. I'm glad that lots of farm workers and janitors want to immigrate too. I recognize that the economic contributions of the two groups are different, but I don't conclude that the low skill immigrants are less worthy of citizenship or less valuable citizens. Are they kind? Honest? Wise? Fun?