Thursday, July 26, 2007

Regarding Immigration Compromise too little too late

Dear Alex,

You have offered an interesting thesis, and I would like to comment. I believe that your opinion – that the borders of this country should be totally open and immigration be legalized is shared by a certain segment of the American populace. However, the fact that this issue has remained in limbo is not related to any lack of intelligence or attention on Washington’s part. With American foreign policy going the way it is, perhaps less may be more with regard to the immigration issue. Clinton has been the latest and best example of this kind of diplomacy. He did not aggressively push NAFTA through congress, he asked the leaders of Latin America to come to Washington to address their new integration. He did not force Chile into NAFTA’s accords, he was respectful of the entire process as well as the interests of the American people. As we have seen here, America does not need another forceful policy endeavor, instead it would be more sensible to coordinate slower and more measured diplomacy to take the heat of Washington’s back and show the rest of the region that this is not an issue confined to Washington’s interests.

I do agree that opening the borders would be a positive move for the American market. America could soon see our economy stagnate given our dependence on foreign oil and the fact that our exports are not on par with Asia and the EU. If we could use immigration to help boost productivity we could move toward a more effective export model, which will probably be very important in the near future. Immigration therefore has the potential to keep us competitive in the case of devaluation while simultaneously helping to mend relations with Latin America.

Kai Smith

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