Mangan argues that it’s unreactionary to support skilled immigration:
Meanwhile meanwhile, Walter Russell Mead says we’ve got to have more skilled immigrants. I’ve heard it said that Mead is actually a potential reactionary, but his immigration pronouncement shows that he’s just your typical neocon.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle on this issue.
In brief, I support immigrants who will employ less-productive members of society, uphold our cultural norms and contribute more broadly to upholding what’s left of civilization. As long as you take some reasonable steps to maintain social stability, you can’t have too many highly-productive and civilized people.
The mainstream debate on skilled immigrants is mis-characterized (surprise, surprise). The US turns out lots of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates, the problem is that we (I’m in the E category) can generally make more money in other fields. Increasing the supply of such people will make this problem worse.
If you look at the immigration laws of lots of other countries, they may a lot of sense. They favor skilled workers, but not just any skilled worker. If you’ve got an idea for a business that will employ lots of unskilled laborers and you’ve got the ability to get it going, more power to you. If you just graduated from a third-rate school with a CS degree, not so much.
Countries like Singapore and Switzerland seem to have strengthened themselves by skimming off the best people from neighboring countries. They set up pretty high hurdles for immigration too (for example, Germans emigrating to Switzerland have to learn Swiss German, which is apparently quite a pain). If you had IQ requirements, you charged for citizenship, you had long residency requirements, and you made people learn English and other aspects of the American way of life, I don’t get the objection to that sort of immigration.