I recently talked with philosophy professor Andrew Fiala about immigration and “Life-Boat Ethics”, whether the economy is a zero-sum game, the controversy over if and how much immigrants hurt low-income Americans, what’s wrong with the argument that we have too many immigrants, John Locke and whether we can morally justify interfering with an employer’s right to contract with an immigrant and denying the immigrant a better life, how immigration affects the environment, the American origins of the MS-13 street gang, why criminals avoid countries with strong police forces, and reasons immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than other segments of the population.
Andrew Fiala, "Trump: America is ‘full’ and cannot accept newcomers. The Golden Rule says otherwise", FRESNO BEE, April 11, 2019.
Garrett Hardin, "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor", PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, September 1974.
I recently spoke with human rights legal scholar Silas Allard about asylum. Silas is the Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He argues that we should stop thinking that it's merely an act of charity when the United States grants asylum to a person fleeing persecution. He argues that a person has not only a right, but a duty, to flee persecution. If we interfere with a person fulfilling this obligation without a valid reason, according to this argument, we commit a moral wrong. In this conversation, we look to history and theology to explore whether we have an obligation to asylum-seekers.
Published May 8, 2019
I recently spoke with Don Riding, former local INS & USCIS field office director for Fresno, CA, about why the “Dream Act” failed, the history of “deferred action”, why he supports the Dream Act but not DACA, why deporting millions of immigrants already living here would be a nightmare, how Republicans and Democrats undermine practical compromises, the time John Lennon almost got deported, how in the past US citizen women lost their US citizenship upon marrying a foreigner, and many other interesting immigration topics.
Published April 29, 2019
amnesty & Rule of the law
Amnesty opponents often argue that any immigrant who entered the country illegally must be deported because America was founded on the rule of law. In this episode, the host explains how this argument overlooks America's rebellious past and argues that anti-immigration hawks confuse "rule of law" with "law and order." This episode makes the case that there's plenty of room in America's rule of law tradition for flexibility and humanity in our immigration policies.
The first episode will look at at recent proposals to restrict future immigration to "merit-based" applicants and will argue that we should avoid defining merit too narrowly.