Immigrants Aren’t the Only Ones Hurt By Anti-Immigration Policies

Libertarian writer discusses “collateral damage” on white people for heavy-handed American immigration law.

Jake Neher/WDET

This has been a big year when it comes to immigration issues. President Trump has stopped travel from a number of countries, most of which are majority-Muslim. He has continued to push for a border wall separating the U.S. from Mexico. And many people face deportation or have already been deported under an administration that is more vigorous in enforcing isolationist policies.

When we talk about anti-immigration policies, we often talk about what they mean for immigrants themselves.

Critics of those policies often talk about families torn apart, about businesses taking advantage of or abusing vulnerable workers, about the horrors of just trying to come to America and get a small taste of the opportunity we have here.

But we often don’t talk much about how those policies affect those of us who were born here.

What effects do anti-immigration policies have on American citizens? Advocates of these policies say they protect us that they keep outsiders from stealing our opportunities.

Reason Foundation Senior Analyst writer Shikha Dalmia says these policies actually hurt American citizens. She’s been reporting on this for months as part of a series of reports that are running in Reason Magazine. Dalmia writes:

“Public opinion on the strategy is divided, but most Americans, especially white native-borns, don’t imagine that it will have any impact on them. They are wrong. There is no way for the government to conduct the policy equivalent of drone strikes and cleanly remove millions of immigrants from the midst of America without major collateral damage to everyone’s rights. Interior enforcement is more like carpet bombing; its effectiveness depends on decimating Americans’ liberties.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation with Shikha Dalmia on Detroit Today.


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.