1. vaiyt says

    The problem with the Argument From Exceptionally Talented Minority Members is that, well, most people, immigrants or not, don’t have exceptional talent. The argument just tends make privileged people retreat into opening exceptions just for those.

  2. says


    I don’t think the argument is that this young woman should be allowed to stay because she’s exceptionally talented, but that she’s never really known anything but this country. She’s not a Mexican. She’s an American. She’s being unfairly punished because she was taken into the country she’s lived in for (if I understand correctly) over 13 years of her life.

  3. Desert Son, OM says

    Kevin at #2:

    She’s not a Mexican. She’s an American.

    I would argue she’s both Mexican and a citizen of the U.S. We are a nation made up of all the other nations, including the hundreds of nations in this geography that we tried to erase. The history of the United States is inextricably linked and intertwined with the history of Mexico.

    PZ, thanks for this post. The U.S. and Mexico are independent, sovereign nations that are as close to being siblings living in the same “house” as it is possible to be. It’s not just morally suspect of the U.S. to think that walling off (literally or figuratively) is an effective means to proceed into the future, it’s also foolishly antithetical to long-term sustainability and improvement of human lives.

    Still learning,


  4. says

    In my fantasy ideal world, borders would exist only to screen travelers for diseases and prevent the spread of invasive species. So long as capital can cross borders more easily than people, workers will always be at the mercy of the moneyed elite.

  5. moarscienceplz says

    But state-sanctioned bigotry is a fundamental characteristic of the USA! Our Constitution explicitly says black slaves are only 3/5 of a person, and we are the Greatest Nation On Earth (everybody says so), so why are you being so un-American PZ?

  6. eveningchaos says

    I don’t understand why people say we should only let people into Canada with advanced degrees and perfect English. My grandparents came here from the Ukraine with none of those skills and managed to integrate and become part of the Canadian cultural identity. My partner’s parents came here from Vietnam with very little education and managed to raise 4 children on poor wages. We share a background of hard workers that have done very well for themselves and for Canada. What have I done to deserve to live here? All I did was be ejected from a Canadian woman’s vagina. That’s all I had to do.

    Now the new immigration strategy under the Harper regime is to bring in temporary foreign workers (mostly from the Philippines. I think because Harper likes them because they are mainly Christian and not some other undesirable religion) who can be legally paid less than Canadian citizens, work under worse conditions, and are vilified for “taking our jobs”. It’s much more difficult to get refugee status than ever. This is not the Canada that I was taught about in grade school, that’s for sure.

  7. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    Indeed, it’s ridiculous to limit immigration to the most qualified and then not give them jobs that fit their qualifications. Far better to admit first-come first-served and take ordinary good people.