One reason why I’m an open borders guy–so much so that many of my liberal friends think I’m bat-shit crazy.
…we estimate that refugees pay $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits over their first 20 years in the U.S.
It’s one (of many) reasons why I’ve asserted that when it comes to the Syrian refugee problem (you remember that, don’t you? or did Comey blow that out of your mind?), my attitude is that we take all five million of them.
All of them.
Of course the primary reason why we can take all five million while places like Sweden are unable to, is because of the way we handle refugees.
First, to be an American means not being a descendant of the original tribe that settled the Americas. It means subscribing to (a rather short list) of core values. This makes assimilation–the process of going from foreigner to hyphenated American–far shorter than any other country in the world.
Second, we provide aid to refugee immigrants–but we also expect them to stand on their own two feet, and the U.S. government cooperates with immigrant groups around the country to help with assimilation. Keep in mind the first point: for us, “assimilation” doesn’t mean giving up their culture or language or beliefs. It means “where do I get a job” and “how do I file my taxes” and “what grocery stores carry the stuff I like.”
To the United States, we actually require very little to assimilate. We require more of a refugee to assimilate than we do of a tourist who is visiting America–but not by all that much.
This is unlike most other countries, where there are de-facto “ghettos” where unassimilated immigrants wind up festering–divorced from the dominate culture, and isolated from participating as a full-fledged member of those societies. Even supposedly “open” cultures segregate foreigners to their shore–and even consider the children of immigrants born in those countries as foreigners. (Only the United States and Canada consider children born within our shores to be full fledged citizens regardless of the immigration status of their parents.)
This is why we’ve been able to take in tens of millions of immigrants to our country and still retain the essential quality of our country. Because the “essential quality” of the United States is not rooted in some narrow set of cultural norms, but an adherence to certain philosophical principles–the primary one being the freedom of the individual.
So I believe the United States should simply take every single Syrian Refugee (of course following the process in place to screen out potential terrorist members).
All five million registered refugees.
History shows every time the United States has taken in refugees (from the original founding to the influx of German refugees who defined the culture of the midwest in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s, to the flux of refugees from Ireland and Scotland who settled the Appalachians in the mid 1800’s, the millions of Swedes and Norwegians in the early 1900’s (which represented 20% of the population of those countries), to the millions of Jews at the start of the 20th century), our country has enjoyed a massive increase in prosperity as those cultures integrate themselves, create new businesses, create new customers, and share their cultural heritage with the rest of our country.
So I say we take all five million registered refugees.
And enjoy the massive prosperity that this would inevitably trigger.
As a footnote, one reason why we are so bad at handling illegal immigration is because illegal immigrants look like the rest of us.
This is a feature, not a bug.