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Beware of Indirect Immigration Policy Making

August 1, 2010
By David North

In this Backgrounder & Report, David North writes that most of the dialogue on national immigration policy, understandably, is focused on direct federal government policy making; that is, when Congress passes a law or votes appropriations, when the

north-indirect-t1

In this Backgrounder & Report, David North writes that most of the dialogue on national immigration policy, understandably, is focused on direct federal government policy making; that is, when Congress passes a law or votes appropriations, when the executive makes policies within the law, and when the judiciary interprets the law.

But there is another aspect of national policy making in which the U.S. government hands off migration decision making to some other entity, such as to a huge international organization like the World Trade Organization (WTO), or to a tiny government, such as that of American Samoa. These arrangements should concern all low-migration advocates, particularly since the mass migration people are proposing commissions to help make immigration policy.

These indirect pieces of policy making nearly always favor the open-borders types; typically the other side is better placed and better able to manipulate these situations than those of us who dislike loose immigration policies. Every time one of these policy hand-offs happens, it has opened our doors a little (or a lot) more. Further, it is usually harder for the American government to correct these indirect decisions than it is to modify its own direct decisions. There are four types of situations in which indirect policy making takes place. In descending order of importance:

1) treaty arrangements, often free-trade agreements;

2) referrals to quasi-independent, nationwide American institutions;

3) referrals to other levels of American government, notably our island territories; and

4) subsequent decisions by other nations that alter the impact of existing congressional legislation.

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Immigration