P.O.V.'s Borders visitors sent Dan Stein
these questions in response to his work and his
answers to P.O.V.'s initial 6 Questions. Read on!
Question: Very interesting and provocative theory about how borders
serve. Clearly they also have negative impacts, yes? But how do
we think about the benefits of borders dissolving since globalization
is clearly leading to that?
Dan: Borders never dissolve entirely. They change, they realign
themselves in response to changed external conditions. The total
elimination of national boundaries would undermine the very essence
of democracy. An editor at the Atlantic Monthly, Robert Kaplan,
has observed that our organic understanding of democracy is tied
to the land. Without identifiable national boundaries, democracy
cannot exist. A borderless world would need to be governed by a
single world government. In such case, no democracy could exist.
Bertrand Russell speculated that without effective national boundaries
and borders, a world government would not succeed. It would dissolve
because it would lack the center of gravity needed to hold the whole
thing together. It is at present chic to refer to globalization
as dissolving national borders. I doubt that will ever be the case.
Question: I would welcome anyone who is looking for a better
life. Unfortunately, the majority of immigrants in my neighborhood
come here with one thing in mind: money to send back home. The money
being made in this country is being sent out of it to support families
in other countries. If we don't spend some of that income here,
all Americans will soon be out of work. I also object to the majority
being paid under minimum wage and without paying taxes. Please write
back. I would love to hear other opinions.
Dan: I couldn't agree more. Many foreign governments have depended
upon so-called remittances as a form of foreign aid. This enables
corrupt governments to be sustained beyond their useful lives. As
a form of foreign aid, it tends to be very inefficient. Because
it stimulates demand for subsidized domestic products, the funds
are not invested as capital to improve the productive potential
of these economies. Moreover, in the long run, a reliance on remittances
simply encourages more illegal immigration. People learn about this
country, and a desire to live here is thereby stimulated. Americans
are also disadvantaged, not only by unfair labor competition, but
also by as you say the negative impacts on wages and
working conditions of Americans. The money that is sent out of this
country is not reinvested here. Excellent point.
Question: What do you think about English-only
laws? Do you think the English-only advocates overlap much with
advocates of stricter borders?
Dan: English should be the common language of the United States.
If there are advocates and groups in this country who seek to establish
any version of official "multilingualism" then immigration
needs to be dramatically reduced until we can absorb and assimilate
the millions of immigrants who have arrived since 1970. There are
many people who are concerned about maintaining a common language
but remain unconvinced of the need to control immigration. I am
not one of them.
Question: Dan and Frank if you were director of INS for
a day what would be the first thing you'd do?
Dan: One day is not a lot of time. I would probably fire a couple
of key people whose views I disagree with, and try to replace them
with people who have the proper mindset. I would also issue a statement
that the proper purpose of the INS is to only allow U.S. citizens
and authorized aliens to enter the country and to
keep all others out.
Question: What's your feeling on mass T.P.S. (temporary protected
status) for immigrants already living here for many years? If memory
serves, the first President Bush gave it to the Salvadorans here,
and the second President Bush was going to give it to thousands
of undocumented Mexicans (before 9/11), though that idea kinda fell
off the radar after 9/11.
Dan: FAIR opposes transforming any "temporary" humanitarian
relief program into a permanent amnesty. This status is to be reserved
for those conditions requiring extraordinary humanitarian relief.
When someone enters the country illegally, that person is jumping
in front of millions of people who are waiting in line respecting
our laws. If you allow that person to stay permanently, you're committing
a grievous offense against fundamental fairness and the American
way. What are you telling those people who wait patiently in line
for years? Why do you want to encourage people to come to this country
seeking "humanitarian protection" as a mere pretense around
the immigration quotas?
Question: What's your opinion of the "wet foot/dry
foot" policy here in Florida? In light of the recent events
regarding the over 200 Haitians to land in Miami, do you think they
should be treated as the Cubans? Or as expressed in local newspaper
editorials, the Cubans should be treated as the Haitians? Finally,
do you feel this is reflecting the homeland security of protecting
our borders since we have so many rafters and people coming ashore?
Do you think our Southern borders should be more heavily guarded
to prevent these illegal entries?
Dan: We should have one refugee and asylum policy for one world.
FAIR has opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act since our founding in
1979. People with bona fide asylum claims can make those claims
through the normal process. The Cuban policy is unconscionable and
reflects the typical special-interest pressure that so dominates
politics here in Washington. Naturally, advocates on behalf of mass
immigration would like to see anyone who claims eligibility for
asylum be released on demand. Their approach would create border
chaos to the extent the situation could be any worse than it
already is. The only way to deter illegal immigration is to lead
by example, and to make it clear that U.S. border laws will be enforced.
This is the way to protect national security.