I know David Frum comes in for a lot of criticism from the conservatives. Sometimes I think this is justified, as I have found some of his methods objectionable. That being said, I am struck by the fact that Frum seems be injecting an immigration-skeptic voice into the discussion rather frequently. For example, How Will Great Recession Shape Youth?
Immigration policies that accept huge numbers of less-skilled workers, bad schools that fail to teach the children of those immigrants what they need to know, and very high dropout rates among the children of immigrants — these are the trends that led the Educational Testing Service to issue a warning: the American work force of 2025 will be less literate and less skilled than the American work force of 1995.
And this time there will be many fewer of the steady, if dull, jobs that provided security to the post-Depression generation: the blue-collar job on the assembly line, the clerical data-processing job. Life for people with fewer skills is becoming a lot harder and scarier at a time when there are soon to be a lot more of them
Of course the Republican and conservative segment of the population is strongly anti-immigration, and helped to block George W. Bush’s proposals from several years back. But ultimately it seems to me that it is too primal and inchoate to do anything more than serve as a rearguard action; the economic conservative elite is strongly influenced by the sort of open-borders thinking dominant at The Wall Street Journal. What needs to emerge for genuine immigration reform which adds solidity to the idea of the United States as a nation-state with a common culture is an elaborated alternative vision to the ultra-capitalist utopia of unconstrained action of markets, capital and labor. Basically, an intellectual conservatism which balances neoclassical and institutional perspectives.