ALAN WINTERS

January 8, 2007

THE MOST EXPLOSIVE PART OF THIS, I GUESS, IS THE QUESTION ABOUT THAT WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THESE ILLEGAL MIGRANTS - THIS IS THE MOST SOPHISTICATED COUNTRY IN THE WORL. WHY CAN'T WE OR WHY DON'T WE STOP THEM? AND THE ANALYSIS WHICH GORDON IS OFFERRING IS I THINK EXACTLY CORRECT, BECAUSE WE ARE, IN A SENSE, NOT QUITE TRYING.

THIS IS NOT THE ONLY AREA IN WHICH WE OBSERVE GOVERNMENTS PRETENDING TO ACT AND, IN A SENSE, QUITE DELIBERATELY UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY ARE MISSING THE BALL. JAGDISH BHAGWATI, IT MUST BE TWENTY YEARS AGO NOW, COINED THE PHRASE POROUS PROTECTION AND ARGUED THAT A LOT OF THE NON-TARIFF BARRIERS THAT WERE VOLUNTARY EXPORT RESTRAINTS, WHICH THE U.S. AND EUROPE WERE IMPOSING ON DEVELOPING COUNTRY EXPORTS IN THE 80s WERE IN FACT DESIGNED TO HAVE A VERY LOUD BARK BUT NOT TOO MUCH BITE. YOU MIGHT EXCLUDE THE STUFF FROM TAIWAN, BUT IF YOU THINNING (?) DOWN THE STUFF FROM KOREA YOU END UP WITH THE SAME NUMBER OF UNITS. AND

THAT'S ESSENTIALLY, I THINK, THE ARGUMENT THAT GORDON HAS OBSERVED UHH PROMOTING WITH REGARD TO THE BORDER WITH MEXICO. FOR POLITICAL REASONS, THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF INCENTIVES FOR POLITICIANS TO BARK AND TO APPEAR TO BE VERY ACTIVE, BUT THERE IS A VERY STRONG LOBBY THAT SAYS FRANKLY IT'S BETTER IF YOU DON'T TRY TOO HARD.

THERE IS A QUESTION THEN AS TO WHY THE GOVERNMENT WOULD GO ALONG WITH THAT, HOWEVER. IT'S NOT - IT MAY JUST BE CRAVEN IN A SENSE. CRAVEN AS SUBMISSION TO THE LOBBY GROUPS, BUT IT'S ALSO WORTH ASKING, WHY MIGHT IT BE THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT THINKS IT'S BETTER TO HAVE PEOPLE COMING IN ILLEGALLY THAN LEGALLY. AND I THINK THE BASIC REASONS IS, THAT PARTICULARY IN THE U.S. SOCIETY OF IMMIGRANTS, AND VERY STRONG TRADITION OF FULL ASSIMILATION OF PEOPLE INTO THE SOCIETY. IN A SENSE YOU ARE OFFERRING TO LET PEOPLE IN WITH MORE OR LESS A FULL SET OF RIGHTS.

IF THEY COME LEGALLY THEY BECOME FULLY INTEGRATED INTO THE SOCIETY. THEY CAN MAKE A FULL SET OF DEMANDS ON THE SOCIETY AS WELL AS MAKING A FULL CONTRIBUTION. THERE CERTAINLY ARE CASES WHERE IF, IN A SENSE. PEOPLE ARE BEING OFFERED A FULL SET OF RIGHTS, TO THE LOCALS IT LOOKS AS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LET THEM IN, WHEREAS IF YOU COULD BRING YOURSELF TO OFFER THEM ONLY A PARTIAL SET OF RIGHTS, THEN YOU WOULD BE PERFECTLY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE CHEAPER.

AND A PARALLEL, I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS AS AN IMMIGRATION REGIME, BUT IF ONE LOOKS AT THE IMMIGRATION FROM COUNTRIES FROM PARTICULARLY SOUTH ASIA, OR THE HORN (?) OF SOUTH ASIA INTO THE GULF, NOT THE GULF OF MEXICO, THE PERSIAN GULF, THERE IT'S PERFECTLY PLAIN, LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE GO, THEY EARN LOTS OF MONEY, BUT THEY HAVE VERY FEW RIGHTS AND THEY ARE KICKED OUT AFTER THREE OR FOUR YEARS. THIS IS A VERY NON-AMERICAN WAY, BUT IT IS A WAY OF - VERY EXPLICIT AND FORMAL WAY OF SAYING, WE WILL HAVE THE CHEAP LABOR, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BUT WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO GIVE YOU THE THINGS THAT GO WITH CITIZENSHIP.


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