Continued immigration constantly reshapes the demography, economy, and society of the United States. As a country of immigrants, America must respond to three fundamental immigration questions: how many immigrants should be admitted; from where and in what status should they arrive; and how should the rules governing the system be enforced?
During the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. Congress responded to growing gaps between immigration policy and immigration reality by making major changes in immigration laws and their administration. In 1986, the United States enacted the world’s largest legalization program for unauthorized foreigners and introduced sanctions on employers who knowingly hired illegal foreign workers. Instead of slowing illegal immigration, however, this program allowed more foreigners to arrive legally and illegally, which prompted another round of reforms in 1996 aimed at ensuring that new arrivals would not receive welfare payments.
On September 11, 2001, foreigners in the United States hijacked four commercial planes. Two were flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, bringing them down and killing 3,000 people. President George W. Bush declared war on terrorists and the countries that harbor them, and Congress enacted legislation to fight terrorism. This includes new measures for tightening procedures for issuing visas to foreign visitors, tracking foreign students and visitors while they are in the United States, and giving immigration authorities new power to arrest and detain foreigners suspected of ties to terrorism. The Immigration and Naturalization Service was abolished, and its functions of preventing illegal immigration and providing services to foreign visitors and immigrants were separated in the new Department of Homeland Security.
However, anti-terrorism measures have not slowed immigration to the United States. America is poised to remain the world’s major destination for immigrants, and as patterns in U.S. history suggest, most of the newcomers will soon become Americans. However, past success in integrating immigrants does not guarantee that integrating newcomers will be easy or automatic. As immigrants continue to make and remake the country, the United States must develop an immigration policy for the twenty-first century.
Congress and the Presidency in the Age of Trump.
If there is one really serious intellectual and cultural problem with capitalism, it stems from the lack of a sustained and widely known, let alone accepted, moral defense of the institution of private property rights.
Few doubt, in today’s world, that a society with a legal infrastructure that lacks this institution is in serious economic trouble. The failure to respect and legally protect the institution of private property—and its corollaries, such as freedom of contract and of setting the terms by the parties to the trade—has produced economic weakness across the globe. But many also believe that this institution is not founded on anything more solid than the arbitrary will of the government to grant privileges of ownership (for the latest statement of this position, see Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership [Oxford University Press, 2002]).
Without a moral, prelegal defense, the institution of private property, which is the source of a great many benefits to us all, will forever remain vulnerable to the critics, starting with Karl Marx, who said that “the right of man to property is the right to enjoy his possessions and dispose of the same arbitrarily, without regard for other men, independently from society, the right of selfishness.” This essay argues that, contrary to widespread academic sentiments and impressions, the institution of private property rights fully accords with a sensible conception of human morality, indeed, rests on a solid moral foundation.
Liability law has two principal objectives: compensation of parties injured in accidents and deterrence of negligent behavior of potential injurers. Considerable evidence, however, suggests that the current liability system in the United States achieves neither. The system has high transaction costs and fails to compensate injured parties appropriately. There is evidence that liability pressure has distorted firms' incentives for innovation. In the health care sector, liability pressure has led to defensive medicine--precautionary treatments with minimal medical benefit administered out of fear of legal liability.
This essay summarizes recent empirical research on the economic effects of liability-reducing reforms to tort law. The strategy of this research is to compare time trends in economic outcomes from states that adopted law reforms with trends in outcomes from states that did not, controlling for other determinants of the outcomes in question. Differences in trends between the two types of states provide an estimate of the effect of the reforms.
In general, this research suggests that reductions in the level of liability improve productive efficiency. But even if these studied reforms improve efficiency, they may not improve the performance of the system in terms of the compensation goal. The essay concludes with a discussion of the potential effects of a wide range of largely untried reforms to the liability system, some advocating radical changes to the allocation of responsibility for accidental injuries, that seek to address both compensation and deterrence goals.
A 2003 book warning against illegal immigration has now found acceptance. The author explains. By Victor Davis Hanson.
The 9/11 attacks were the clearest possible call for effective national intelligence. Why are we still waiting? By Amy B. Zegart.
In June the Supreme Court issued a definitive—if narrow—ruling that permits the consideration of race in university admissions. This may have been bad law—but was it a bad decision? By Robert Zelnick.
Do needle-exchange programs ward off disease—or consign addicts to death on the installment plan?
James Kirchick on Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders by Jason Riley
Federal regulators lock arms with college athletic departments to gut men’s sports in the name of equality
The Scheinman collection brings to life the story of how two friends, a white American and a black Kenyan, helped African democracy bloom. By Tom Shachtman.
The Amethyst Initiative’s harmful remedy
Broadening the threat of retaliation
Can public policy support the institution of friendship?
There are better ways to provide legal aid to the poor