Poor Foreigners Shouldn’t Be Political Reformers at Home, They Should Come Here Instead

George Mason University economics professor Bryan Caplan has
written an article for
titled “I’m Too Busy Fighting Tyranny to Feed My
Family,” which does a good job of highlighting the absurdity of
opponents of increased immigration saying that foreigners in awful
conditions should stay where they are and fix their home country
rather than try to flee to a wealthy country like the U.S.

Caplan begins his article by describing John, an unemployed
political activist who spends much of his time posting and sharing
political news on social media and attending political events. John
is so dedicated to political activism that his kids are “hungry and

Caplan then makes a moral point which I hope is obvious to most

I think you’ll agree that John is a terrible human being.
 Why?  Because his priorities are demented.
 Political activism is a luxury.  Before you engage in
this luxury, you must satisfy your basic responsibilities to
provide for yourself and your family.  

Caplan goes on to rightly point out that some opponents of
increased immigration are asking those who live in regrettable
situations to do exactly what John is doing:

Why bring this up?  When I point out that would-be
immigrants are trying to save themselves and their families from
hellish Third World conditions, my critics often respond, “They
ought to stay home and try to fix their broken political systems!”
 In other words, my critics are admonishing the global poor to
heed the example of John the feckless activist.

Thus, suppose Jacques the desperate Haitian father has an
opportunity to escape to Miami, where he can shine shoes and send
money home to feed his kids.  Instead, he chooses to let his
kids go hungry so he stays in Port-au-Prince and fights tyranny
with political leaflets and soapbox speeches.  Noble?  No
more than John.  The righteous man knows that meeting his
family responsibilities is more important than playing Don

The article finishes by pointing out that people in poor
countries who try to escape to the developed world while trying to
provide for their families are doing their home country far more of
a service than most political junkies:

What should humble people born into Third World misery do?
 Stay the course.  Do your best to provide for your
family.  Keep trying to escape to the First World and get the
best job you can.  Remember that activism is a luxury if you
know what you’re talking about – and a pestilence if you don’t.
 The people who follow this advice aren’t just fulfilling
their basic responsibilities.  They’re doing far more to
improve their homelands than the vast majority of political junkies
ever will.

I’m glad that Caplan has highlighted the nonsense that is the
“stay home and fix your own country” rhetoric sometimes heard among
those who oppose increased immigration. Men, women, and children
die every year trying to leave their homes. Some
, others
die of thirst
, and some are
tortured and killed
by traffickers. It’s immoral and ignorant
to suggest that people who risk such dangerous outcomes while
trying to improve their lives and the lives of their family members
would be better off back in their home countries being political

Watch Reason Foundation’s Shikha Dalmia outline five reasons why
low-skilled immigrants are good for the economy below:

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1kllfFD

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