It`s one of those Emma Lazarus
myths that immigration to the U.S. has ever been
significantly composed of refugees. But it is true
that individual refugees have been coming to America
for all of its history, from the Pilgrim
Fathers, to Edmond
Genet and Louis
In many cases it seems to be a
choice of sending a refugee back to, say, Cuba where
he will be persecuted or keeping him in America where
he will persecute Americans. (For a report of the INS` problems with criminal refugees click
But there`s another option for
dealing with refugees. They can be assisted to move to
other, third, countries, where they won`t be
The State Department`s Bureau
of Refugees has a $670 million annual budget which
would buy a lot of plane tickets, definitely a net
saving of taxpayer dollars.
Hindu refugees from the Taliban
can be helped to go to India or to Fiji, where there
is a large Hindu community. (Too large already, say
the native Fijians,
but that`s just “nativism.”) Christian refugees
can go to Spain
depending on their brand of Christianity.
There`s a place for everybody.
You might think that other
countries might object to this influx of refugees, but
you`re forgetting the widespread belief that
immigration always benefits a country. There was a big
piece about it in USA
Today the other day.
In fact, the US has been
historically selfish in hanging onto the “poor,
thus depriving other countries of these immigrant
Many of the prospective
receiving countries have vacancies. The other day, I
heard a Filipino woman say that her family had built a
new house near Manila but now had nobody to live in
it. Her whole family is in either Canada or the US.
The Mexican border region is rapidly becoming depopulated.
Which is one more reason that we
can expect that El Presidente Fox, once the benefits
of immigration are explained to him (and the Cato
Institute has already translated their arguments into Spanish),
will have no problem with a large Somalian influx.
If he does, we can always start
a smear campaign against him, calling him a
“racist," a "xenophobe," a "nativist,"
and any other nasty epithet that seem[s] to fit.
strategy has been very effective in the United
Alternatively, we could just
drop the refugees off at the border and tell them to
head south. That strategy has been highly effective in Mexico.
I don`t really think that this
will be adopted as policy, partly because it makes too
much sense. I suspect that many refugee-friendly
immigration enthusiasts are less interested in saving
refugee lives than in the “transformation of
That is to say that they`re
not interested in making refugees` lives better but
in making Americans` lives worse.
It`s the socialist idea that
we should all share, whether we like sharing or not.
If America has riches, give them away. If the Third
World has misery, import it.
I`m simply suggesting that
refugees can be exported as well.
could call it “Foreign Aid.”
August 3, 2001