Framing apartheid

Dev Purkayastha, riffing on two of my recent posts, writes:

[Close-the-borders-protect-the-jawbs] is clearly winning out over intellectualized arguments by economists. I’ve mulling a strong counter-message that has more of an intuitive and emotional base. I’d love some feedback.

Why immigration? Because we need to make more Americans. America has influence around the world, but it’s identity has been suffering as of late. You could say that the “American Brand” has been grossly mismanaged, seen as how the political stock of Hamas and other pro-fundamentalist apparatchiks has grown in the post-Iraq world.

I would say that our openness to new immigrants and new ideas is a great tool to improve America’s reputation in the world. By helping hard-working immigrants find prosperity in America, we can be making the equivalent of “brand evangelists” for America. When they visit home and communicate with their loved ones, they’ll have some first-hand experience that America is more than the one-sided stories their politicians give them.

I agree that the “brand” of the U.S. and more significantly of capitalism has been horribly mismanaged. (On a distantly related note, branding the market is the trump card in a debate in the current issue of Reason magazine.)

I don’t find Dev’s “make more Amurricans/improve Amurrica’s reputation” pro-immigration framing particularly compelling and don’t imagine it would hold much water with the “protect the jawbs” crowd, though it may do something for the “national greatness” crowd.

Another very workable argument for minor reform is that the U.S. requires foreign students to maintain technological competitiveness.

If you want an emotional, intuitive, or as Dev says “social justice” framing, try apartheid.

2 Responses

  1. Likely you already know my argument: like any campaign against victimless crime, the effort to purify the Nation does more damage to our culture (or at least, aspects of it that I value) than any plausible number of wetbacks could ever do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    wetbacks go to US to work because What you call American are all the wetbacks.They came from Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, etc why do you keep saying that you are America you are US of America not America; America is all the people on the continent
    They go to your countrie because U.S. citizens (not Americans) are lazy and want to live from inssurance, government help, etc. And the people who go there they`re trying to find money because their countries economies are not so good as yours. and If what you call America do not have all those wetback you will be starving because you do not know how to work you think that they are stealing you but they are gaving force to you countrie so it can be better please think that what you call America is made from what you steal to Mexico ground and you do not have an identity all of your families came from other places waiting for what I found stupid the American dream, which consist in treating foreigner people like slaves. For god sake they go to work what you dont know how to do if they wheren.t there all of you where doing their jobs and do you think that your income will be fear

Leave a Reply