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The Case Against Immigration

Why the United States Should Look Out for Itself

A Mexican man looks at the U.S.-Mexico border fence near San Diego, January 2006. Fred Greaves / Reuters

Outlining his position on immigration in August of last year, Donald Trump, then the Republican candidate for U.S. president, made his motivating philosophy clear: “There is only one core issue in the immigration debate, and that issue is the well-being of the American people.” Although this nationalistic appeal may strike some readers as conservative, it is very similar to the position taken by U.S. civil rights icon and Democrat Barbara Jordan, who before her death in 1996 headed President Bill Clinton’s commission on immigration reform. “It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society,” she argued, “to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.” Trump’s rhetoric has of course been overheated and insensitive at times, but his view on immigration—that it should be designed to benefit the receiving country—is widely held.

In the United States, there is strong evidence that

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