The Biden administration continues to downplay the humanitarian crisis on the southern border.
However, there is a sense that the situation is increasingly chaotic.
Chaos, in turn, results in a public backlash and tightening of immigration policies, which only makes the problem worse.
Alex Nowrasteh – my go-to immigration expert – returns to the show to unpack the root causes of this chaos, and offer practical solutions that don’t put the blame on those seeking a better life in America.
I was eager to discuss Alex’s new book, co-authored with Benjamin Powell, Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2020). We grappled with the political problem of immigration reform, along with the misconceptions underlying nativist hostility to more open immigration.
While Biden’s idea of a solution includes cash payments to would-be immigrants to get them to stay in their home countries, Alex has a better plan that also doesn’t cost nearly as much: “Encourage free trade, end the drug war, and liberalize immigration,” he says.
Of course, the President is not entirely to blame for 150 years of bad immigration law – ultimately it’s up to Congress to replace the patchwork of executive orders with a rational framework and plan for naturalizing future American immigrants, while disincentivizing dangerous illegal crossings.
- AMAZON: Wretched Refuse? (Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society), December 17, 2020
- Alex Nowrasteh | Cato Institute
- Twitter - @AlexNowrasteh
- 12 New Immigration Ideas for the 21st Century | Cato Institute May 13, 2020
- President Biden Should Strive to Make Immigration Boring Again | Cato at Liberty Blog, December 21, 2020