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Immigration

Bobby Jindal Worries About Immigrant Assimilation. He Shouldn’t.

Last week, in announcing his presidential candidacy for 2016, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal emphasized what seems to be a major point of his campaign: immigrant assimilation. In a Super PAC ad released this week, Jindal states that if immigrants want to come to America, they should do so legally, adopt our values, and learn English.

Jindal’s fears over immigrant assimilation are unwarranted. Let’s examine these three aspects of immigration.

First, Jindal fortunately (like other GOP candidates) supports expanding legal immigration. He said, “I do think we need to increase the number of people coming through the front door.” Elsewhere he argued, “One of the dumbest things we do right now is in the number of people with advanced degrees that we kick out.”

Republican candidates are coalescing around this position, which bodes well for the greater immigration-reform debate in D.C. (and beyond).

Read the rest on Sanctuary from Misrule here.

Statue of Liberty

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Turns 50

Fifty years ago President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), forever changing the U.S. immigration system. It went into effect 47 years ago yesterday, June 30, 1968.

With the backdrop of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act earlier in the decade, the justification for excluding many immigrants from outside western Europe began to crumble. The 1965 legislation removed quotas based on national origin and set in place a system based primarily on family reunification and economic contribution. The “melting pot” was expanded to include more immigrants from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. This significantly changed the demographics of the United States.

As Johnson signed the legislation in October 1965 on Liberty Island in New York, he said it “corrects a cruel and enduring wrong in the conduct of the American nation.” Furthermore, he stated that “for over four decades the immigration policy of the United States has been twisted and has been distorted by the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system.”

In his signing statement Johnson said that only three countries were allowed to supply 70 percent of all immigrants. The 1965 act undid this “deep and painful flaw in the fabric of American justice.” He went so far as to call the quota system “un-American.”

Read the rest on Sanctuary from Misrule here.

Crime

Do Immigrants Increase Crime? No, They Don’t

The recent DC Mansion Murders case has fanned opposition to immigration on the grounds that immigrants commonly commit crimes.

However, as Niskanen Center immigration policy analyst Dave Bier writes today in The Hill, concerns over immigrant crime are overblown and that any valid concerns would be better addressed by altering enforcement priorities.

In anti-immigrant circles immigrants are portrayed as likely criminals. But government data show that immigrants have a lower incarceration rate than native-born Americans and are generally less likely to commit crimes. These facts explain why immigrant-heavy communities have lower crime rates.

Read the rest on Sanctuary from Misrule here.

Tim Hunt

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