In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 9, 2012/19 Tammuz, 5772

Broaden the immigration debate --- and abolish the quotas

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Supreme Court's recent decision in the Arizona immigration case settled the debate over whether states may criminalize violations of federal immigration law (they may not) or require local police to check the immigration status of detainees they suspect of being in the country illegally (they may).

But the ruling in Arizona v. United States did nothing at all to fix America's dysfunctional immigration system or clarify what to do about illegal immigrants. Neither did President Obama's announcement a few days earlier that most young illegals who were brought to the United States as children will be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation. Nor, for that matter, did the aggressive deportation activity that preceded it, which saw the Obama administration expel nearly 1.2 million illegal immigrants in three years, more than any president since the 1950s.

For all the storm and stress of our national immigration debate, there has been remarkably little inclination to go beyond treating symptoms. Prescriptions range from the Dream Act that would make citizenship an option for hundreds of thousands of young illegals to the hard-line approach of those who want to make it so difficult for undocumented immigrants to get work that they will "self-deport." But the basic architecture of US immigration policy itself -- with its strangulating confusion of quotas and regulations, and its core assumption that immigration must be strictly limited and regulated -- nearly always goes unchallenged.

It shouldn't. For the problem with America's immigration system isn't that too many people are breaking the rules. It's that the rules themselves are irrational, illiberal, and counterproductive.

Our national immigration policy seeks to control the number of migrants entering the United States, dictate which parts of the world they should come from, specify how closely they must be related to current American residents, and stipulate the kinds of jobs they are eligible to work. Exactly 226,000 green cards, for example, are available each year for what federal regulations classify as "family preference" immigrants. Within that category, there are precise sub-quotas, such as the 23,400 green cards reserved for married sons and daughters of US citizens, or the 65,000 green cards for the siblings of citizens. Employment-based green cards are even harder to come by. Only 140,000 are authorized per year; they too are divided into sub-quotas. In addition, no more than 7 percent of the total can be issued to immigrants from any single country.

Byzantine in its intricacy, unrelated to real-world pressures of supply and demand, America's immigration policy inevitably results in huge backlogs. Some would-be immigrants must wait in line for decades to get a green card. For many others, there is no line to wait in. The result, not surprisingly, is a powerful incentive to enter illegally.

Quotas and preferences have been basic features of our immigration policy for most of the past century. By now a majority of Americans may find it hard to imagine that a radically different approach might make more sense.

Yet for most of US history, the government's approach was radically different. Immigration was largely unrestricted. Most peaceful foreigners were free to move to the United States. Certain categories of individuals might be excluded by law, but only because they were deemed genuinely undesirable -- for instance, those suffering from a "loathsome or a dangerous contagious disease." Apart from the disgraceful and racist Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, it wasn't until the 1920s that Congress began imposing broad arbitrary limits on the number of people who could come to America, or the countries they could come from. Driven by a nativist backlash to what had been the greatest wave of immigration in American history, Congress for the first time created the quotas that are now so entrenched in US immigration policy.

Economically, such quotas are indefensible -- lowering immigration barriers is one of the most pro-growth measures any country can adopt. But our current quota-based system is politically harmful as well. Thanks to its capricious restrictions, immigrants are deemed "illegal" not because they are objectively unsuited to be Americans, but because they don't fit within a random numerical cap. What's worse, those very restrictions create the distortions that induce so many industrious immigrants to cross the border unlawfully. That in turn generates the anger and suspicion that have made our immigration debates so rancorous.

We have other options. We could scale back existing family and country preferences and scale up a lottery for immigrant visas. We could, as Nobel economist Gary Becker and others have suggested, sell green cards at set rates with no ceiling on the number of slots available. Though it seems politically impossible now, we could even return to open borders with common-sense exclusions.

The point is that US immigration policy needs a rethink more fundamental than the usual four corners of the debate. Nowhere is it carved in granite that immigration must be governed through quotas. America's immigration policy wasn't this dysfunctional in the past. The quota system is an old mistake, but it doesn't have to be our future.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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