Lest we allow the culture war red meat to block progress on immigration restriction, let's answer Trump's exasperated question about why there's so much immigration from shithole countries rather than, say, Norway -- because Norway is already a nice place to live, and you'd have to be crazy to throw away a high standard of living, plus hundreds or thousands of years of historical cultural rootedness in that land, in order to move to America.
So, anyone seriously arguing that our immigration policy should be to import boatloads of Norwegians instead of boatloads of Nigerians must tell us -- where are the boatloads of Norwegians going to come from? Not from Norway, which is a first-world country.
In fiscal year 2017, only 50 people got immigrant visas from Norway. If we shut down immigration for all other countries except Norway, that might rise to 500 -- at most 5,000? It's always going to be a drop in the bucket, and that includes adding all the other first-world countries as well. They already have nice countries that they are deeply rooted in.
Back when those countries had a far lower standard of living than America, there were boatloads of Norwegians, Italians, Germans, Russians, Irish, etc., who immigrated here. The Ellis Island period.
But now that the differential between America and those countries is not very steep, it's not worth the cost (economic and social/cultural) for them to move. Maybe the Balts and Slavs want to move here still, but not the Europeans who we would consider most similar to ourselves.
This reveals the crux of the immigration problem: because it is entirely based on seeking a higher material standard of living, it will only draw immigrants from much worse-off countries than the destination country. And given the size of the global population that is much worse-off than America, that means gigantic numbers -- billions -- who want to over-run our society.
On the demand side, it is the same: wealthy and powerful groups bring immigrants in by the boatload in order to improve the material standard of living for the wealthy and powerful, in other words to serve as cheap labor. That includes employees for a business run by an elite group, or the domestic servants for elites who no longer tend to their own households.
Since the goal is cheap labor, the powers that be would never draw immigrants from another nice country, but only from poor countries. And since their businesses require large numbers of workers, that means boatloads rather than a few here and there will be flooding in.
The paranoid and conspiratorial take on this is that the elites are trying to replace the existing culture or genepool per se. We can put this to a test by contrasting immigration from an alien culture that is rich, like Japan, vs. from a more similar culture that is poor, like Poland.
In 2017, there was essentially the same number coming from either country (1,600 from Poland and 1,500 from Japan). And Poland has only 1/3 the population of Japan, so this is a much larger chunk of their total population who is leaving their homeland to come here. That is not to mention the 3,700 who came from Russia and the 4,800 who came from Ukraine.
When forced to choose, our elites flood us with cheap labor that is culturally similar (Slavs) rather than expensive labor that is culturally alien and in more abundant supply to boot (Japan).
The goal, then, is not to worry about the qualitative make-up of immigrants -- but to restrict their sheer quantity. Quantity is the underlying cause, quality the superficial symptom. If you open the gates to 1 million immigrants a year, who is going to want to uproot themselves from their home country? If you restrict immigration to, say 100 or 1,000 a year, then you could do some real quality control. In 2017, Great Britain sent 2,300 immigrants here -- and some of them may even have been British.
Best-case scenario, we get most of our small number of immigrants from good countries. Worst-case scenario, we win the battle for small numbers, but lose on where they come from -- shithole countries, or a random lottery, or whatever.
Still, 100 or 1,000 Salvadoreans a year -- and nobody else, from anywhere else -- would be a major victory. They would be just a drop in the bucket of our 300 million, and their wage-lowering effect would not be felt, nor could they take over entire communities and disrupt or replace the existing genepool and culture.
Yes, 100 Scots would be better than 100 Salvadoreans -- but we can't lose the war over the sheer numbers just for a feel-good Pyrrhic victory over the source of mass immigration. Which, again, is not possible anyway -- mass migration will necessarily give us the bad countries, not the good ones.
On real-world outcomes, the quantity focus is superior to the quality focus. But it is also rhetorically superior, allowing broader coalitions to be formed and therefore bringing more political capital and will (or at least acquiescence) to bear on the effort.
Face the facts: most Americans are not going to sign onto a movement that allows the number of immigrants to remain mostly the same, but drawn from Northwest Europe and shutting out the Third World. To them it would feel racist, uncaring, elitist, whatever. But if the whole world is shut out together, they wouldn't feel like they were targeting one place or another.
And more importantly, it wouldn't feel elitist because we would not be championing immigrants who are better than us (who could "improve our society"), but trying to make room for and lift up the millions of our fellow citizens who are already here, struggling to make ends meet. The last thing in the world they need is a billion more immigrants to compete against in the already Dickensian labor and housing markets.
Most of those struggling here are white, BTW, as blacks are only 10-15% of the population and the majority of whites are not 1-percenter yuppies with no worries.
Conservatives seem to never tire of making losing arguments and alienating potential allies, especially about race, and especially if they get to feel clever. How clever is it to suggest that there are actually a large number of Northwest Europeans who would want to immigrate here? Just go ask them -- they like it where they are.
Normal people recognize that there are no such hordes of Brits and Swedes trying to immigrate here, and they find it downright delusional to suggest that such hordes would be pouring in -- if not for those CULTURAL MARXISTS who are using all their might to block the wave of Swedes, while waving in the Swazis.
Normal people also recognize that it is the difference in the material standard of living that primarily determines who is let in. Whether they approve, for reasons of lifting up the global poor at the expense of their fellow citizens; or disapprove, for reasons of wanting to keep out cheap labor that lowers the welfare of the American working class.
Secondarily, the elites may want to maximize diversity in order to keep the commoners atomized and not trusting of one another, unwilling and unable to band together against their common elite enemies. Divide and conquer. But as we saw with Poland vs. Japan, they are primarily concerned about maximizing cheap labor rather than cultural diversity.
Rather than a message of "We rock, you suck," restrictionsists should say, "Sorry, but this country is already fuckin' full."
If anything, our population should get smaller, not bigger. We need to simplify, not complexify. We're not a virgin wide-open land anymore with abundant resources everywhere. Our per capita well-being is already stretched thin, as we slam against carrying capacity. Intrinsic growth -- births over deaths -- might make us rise a little, but not nearly like immigration can, where we've added tens of millions overnight.
Facing the problem of clawing our collective way out of neo-Gilded Age scarcity, we care only about the quantity of people who the elites are trying to dump into this over-crowded country of ours. It doesn't matter whether our wages are undercut by Ukrainians or Ugandans, and whether our culture gets replaced by Chileans or Chinese.
Take care of the quantity problem, and the quality problem gets solved automatically -- all while making an appeal that is more truthful, insightful, and bandwagon-jump-on-able. And no pointless debates and endlessly complicated categories and formulas for who is allowed in -- a single, low number, and who cares after that.
Do you want to win over the masses or shout louder into the echo chamber?