How Many Is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration Into the United States
University of Chicago Press
Cafaro, a philosopher at Colorado State, answers his own question by fantasizing about an America with roughly three-quarters of its current population. He argues that less immigration would raise wages by shielding workers from competition, increase social solidarity by keeping the rich and poor culturally similar, and save the environment by preventing millions of foreigners from adopting the high-consumption U.S. lifestyle. Cafaro feels deep compassion for America’s streams, waterfowl, and working classes. For the millions of foreigners whom immigration could rescue from poverty—without terrible effect on American workers—his heart is stony to a barbaric degree. He would perpetuate global misery and inequality just to make our country a little more equal. “We have,” he says, “different and stronger responsibilities to our fellow citizens than we have to the rest of humanity.” Whatever this is, it bears no resemblance to solidarity or progressivism as traditionally understood. —Will Wilkinson
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