[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.