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Here’s an essay by William Voegeli on immigration, published at Claremont Review of Books back in August. It is outstandingly clear and comprehensive.

I’ll offer a brief excerpt, in which Voegli makes what I think is the most important point of all about immigration policy (I have bolded the relevant passage):

Given the stakes, the conservative instinct toward caution applies with extra force to immigration. Cautious governance entails constant awareness that an immigration policy that turns out to be excessively restrictive can easily be reversed, but revising an insufficiently restrictive one will be difficult and undoing its consequences even more so. Caution also means treating the successful assimilation of previous large waves of immigrants to America as a fact of history, not a law of nature. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the brokerage firms’ ads say, particularly given that the biggest single source of immigration today is an adjacent nation, not ones separated from North America by thousands of miles and a difficult ocean passage. Nor did the Ellis Island immigrants come to a nation where the Americanization of newcomers was stymied by the fierce opposition of multiculturalists.

Conservatives are cautious not just about how to proceed but about how the world works. No matter how secure and admired a set of arrangements appears, it is always vulnerable to external antagonists and internal decay. America’s experiment in self-government needs to be conserved because it is reckless to assume it will simply sustain itself.

Exactly right. (See points 7-11, here.)

Perhaps my favorite passage of all was this:

Politics is hard, so it is not enough to settle any question by ascertaining how Vox.com thinks about it in order to endorse the opposite approach. In the majority of cases, however, this method will yield a very good beginning.

Mr. Voegeli’s article deserves your attention. Go and read it all, and pass it around.

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