Originally Posted by MJ1970
As I suggested, I set the limit high, so I think we'd significantly reduce this problem. So set the quota high enough that this won't be a major issue.
If you are speaking of the problem of the 'illegal status' going away because most are given amnesty and everyone else is legally allowed to immigrate to the US then you are correct - people will no longer be considered illegals because legal entry is extended to just about anyone in the world.
But I think you need to work on your bromide, at least to make it internally coherent (as well as meaningful). Earlier you stated that you'd want quotas high, but not so high that it would create a "flood". So either 'a flood' would immigrate to the US if the quotas were high enough OR they would be held back by quotas to prevent them flooding (which you suggested you would support) and then many would then seek illegal means.
Moreover, illegal entry is not the whole or even core issue. The issue has been the effect of immigration, legal and illegal, on the US. Just how many would annually come would likely be in the range of many millions a year... I imagine much of the population of Bangladesh, Africa, much of India and other extremely impoverished areas would seek entry if only to avoid hunger or want (and now to obtain national health care/medicaid).
It is hard to see how the issue would not increase public concerns rangeing from crime, education, state provided medical care, pollution, urban growth, etc. ...all of which will be affected by new and greater numbers. Invariably all forms of immigration are an issue, and the legalization of current illegals, or allowing millions more, won't change that.
But did they implement any other changes that would have enabled more people to legally immigrate?
Yes. Amnesty of four million illegals gave them the right of 'chain migration' of other millions as all of their immediate relatives were qualified immediately, which in turn gave them the right (after gaining citizenship) to bring more. In fact, the key changes that started the legal immigration wave started in 1965 when quotas were liberalized and no longer tied to the US's prior ethnic makeup percentages.
That's really not relevant. But, fundamentally, my motivation is to enable the greatest amount of freedom for the greatest number of people.
I question your premise that it would, but also I chose not to walk the situational ethics gang plank.
To the contrary, your motivation (your purpose) tells us what you are trying to accomplish through you policy. If your policy will not achieve what you intend, then I may have a basis to convince you of your error (given your goals).
And my questions were not situational ethics (context), but questions of criteria. So if you "want the greatest freedom for the greatest number, even a cost to the well being of your fellow citizens" then our dispute is not over the harm of immigration to our citizens, but over the moral implications of your proposal.
Freedom comes first for me. Ultimately granting greater freedom will lead to greater well-being for everyone. Americans included but not just Americans.
This is why I asked the questions. I do believe that unrestricted immigration will result in a net gain for immigrants, and some portion of the American population. It is even possible that 'the greatest number' will benefit if you combine immigrants and those specific Americans benefiting. However, I don't believe that the majority of America, or many sub groups, benefit - in fact I believe they (we) are or would be harmed (although I believe that is somewhat dependent on who we let in).
Now, I could tell you all the reasons I believe this and will. But I would like to know if it matters? After all, I already agree that most immigrants and some Americans benefit - but that is not a sufficient criteria (to me) for supporting large immigration. I don't care if most immigrants benefit IF it costs Americans more than they are worth. That may not matter to you.
So at the risk of excess, should I assume that if they cost us more in our well being, than we get back, it is a secondary concern of yours? The greatest number for the greatest freedom, regardless of their nationality or the cost to the host?