The humanitarian crisis involving thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border has become entangled with the debate over immigration reform. This will make it even more difficult to pass immigration reform legislation that would bring millions out of the shadows and ensure that future newcomers come in legally through the system.
Theres a reason the nations of the world distinguish between immigrants and refugees (about 3% and 0.2% of the world population respectively.) The former constitutes an ongoing social phenomenon that can be permanently addressed by a flexible system linking immigration policy to market dynamics, while the latter is by definition the product of exceptional circumstances that may require specific action.
|Alvaro Vargas Llosa is Senior Fellow at The Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute. He is a native of Peru and received his B.Sc. in international history from the London School of Economics. His Independent Institute books include Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America, Lessons From the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, and Liberty for Latin America.|
The erosion of national boundariesand even the idea of the nation stateis already underway as people become ever more inter-connected across borders. A jungle of myth, falsehood and misrepresentation dominates the debate over immigration. The reality is that the economic contributions of immigration far outweigh the costs.