html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Tangentially related to ex-pats.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tangentially related to ex-pats.

To hold you while I am thinking of why, exactly, I consider ex-pats worse than bike thieves (who would otherwise be the lowest of the low), I am posting my immigration policy. I'm sure you will agree that this is a balanced, nuanced immigration plan, put together after painstakingly researching the literature from economics, sociology, demography, history and environmental science.

Megan’s Immigration Policy:

Immigrants! Welcome! We need your smarts and skills and talents and work! Please, come in and make yourself at home! Get going right away on all those dreams that you couldn’t realize in your home country! Let me know if there is anything I can to do help.

However, if you would like to come here and get the benefits of our tremendous wealth and resources and infrastructure (which we ourselves did not earn merely by the accident of our native births), I have two (2) conditions for you. If you can’t meet these conditions, stay home or go elsewhere. I have no love for you. If you can, welcome again!

Conditions for immigrating here under Megan’s plan*:

1. You must be willing to consider yourself, at least, a hyphenated American. Don’t move here, use the incredible gifts of this country and hold yourself separate.
2. You must be willing to let your beautiful sons date the white girls.

That is all. The end.

*Refugees get a slightly longer time to meet these conditions, since they didn’t want to leave in the first place.


Blogger Megan said...

Please do not have a serious discussion of immigration policy here, with whatever statistics you like to support whatever you believe. That's what Marginal Revolution is for.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is strikingly similar to my own policy, except that my policy forbids the sons from dating the white girls and forbids the daughters from dating people of the same ethnicity. My policy does not have the second condition because, quite frankly, there are always some older people dragged along who will never learn English or consider themselves American.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Your policy is wrong.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Sven said...

I don't have an immigration policy, I have an emmigration policy! That's right I want everyone out, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, citizens and tourists you are going to have to go somewhere else for a while!
Look everyone, it was great while it lasted and I will always care for all of you but if we are honest I think we all know its been over for some time now... I thought about leaving but I finally unpacked all of my things from college and lets face it, I always appreciated the view more than you did so let's not make this harder than it has to be.
I'm glad I finally got this off my chest, call me when you get wherever you are going and maybe we can still be friends....

I hope you find someone who really deserves you,

4:35 PM  
Blogger capella said...

I hope this is not too serious:

Being a grad student, I am around lots of people from other countries. Most of them are very nice (or are not very nice, in ways that have nothing to do with where they are from). But a significant minority are highly vocal about their disdain for the US. Not one small aspect, such as our foreign policy (i.e. with regards to their home country) or our food or something. No, they don't like the whole country, which is worse in every way than their own. Or the people in it, who are worse in every way than their countrymen. And they talk about it constantly, and it is very annoying because nobody is making them be here.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do the same with California. I bad mouth it constantly. The people here can't drive. All these people protesting all the time drive me nuts. The people here seem incapable of coping with almost anything. The taxes are too high. And so on.

But, the computer engineering jobs are here. And the weather is really nice. And there are so many nice outdoors things to do. And there are mountains. So, I guess it's not all bad.


5:22 PM  
Blogger grant said...

Things I don't like about the USA.

1. The large number of really really ridiculously fat people we have here.

2. The large number of really really unabashadly ignorant people we have here, though from what I gather this seems to be the case in other countries too.

Pretty much everything else ranges from tolerable to wicked awesome.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that American men are, overall, more likely to date immigrant women than American women are to date immigrant men. Height and sexual/family mores are two reasons for this difference. In any case it means that immigration worsens the sex ratio for American women, but improves it for American men...I don't mean to make you more skeptical of immigration but maybe that is the net result of tihs argument.
Tyler Cowen

5:59 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Opens up the pool of immigrant men to me, and I'm more flexible about height than most women. Not flexible about traditional moms, though.

I was trying to get a rise out of you by directing the immigration commenters your way. No luck.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I recently discovered your blog, like it a lot, &c &c...

One comment on the first condition though: isn't one of the incredible gifts (as well as flaws) of this country precisely the fact that, as long as you pay your taxes and don't break the law too flagrantly, you can "hold yourself separate" as you please?

There's a lot to be said about the disintegration of American communities (and a lot of people have said a lot of those things), but it doesn't seem fair to apply to the newcomers a standard different from the one you apply to the cranky natives.

(Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life is really great novel that brushes the issue of immigration and demonstrates how, at certain class levels, even the most fervent attempts to integrate can get rebuffed.)

Alex K.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. sorry if i got too serious, but i've been riled up by the nation's latest issue, which is largely devoted to what they call "the new nativism."

alex k.

6:31 PM  
Blogger billo said...

How sexist is that! :)

3. Must allow your beautiful daughters date men not of their community.

I wonder if the American Indians or Native Peoples would have qualified under your "hyphenated criteria" ?

And what is all that living on reservations?

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Melanie's brother said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your take on ex-pats. But I think it's sometimes easy to speak in generalities, so I'd like to know what you think of non-immigrants like these: people who go to America only to study because they can't get a decent PhD at home, people who go temporarily because they can't find work at home (e.g. Mexican farm hands, Russian mathematicians,...), Americans who go elsewhere because they can't find work in their discipline at home (e.g. me).

Thanks! Love the blog! (usually)

5:22 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Hey! I'm the beautiful son of two red-blooded, voting, English-speaking, immigrant, hyphenated Americans, and I'm willing to date the white girls here. I have to admit though that:
1. I'm not quite sure I qualify as "beautiful", but I do well by the Jacqueline-Passey hotness criterion.
2. There are practically no white women in the midwest who are vegetarian, so they are sadly missing out. (Sorry, I perceive diet conflicts as something that can add considerable stress to a relationship.)

6:09 AM  
Anonymous jens said...

bob v:

I think the salient point here is not whether YOU would date her, but whether her parents would object.

It is hard to get the humor of this post unless you have read her earlier post about how an earlier relationship was spoiled by a hostile mother who wanted the boy to marry within his "group".

9:28 AM  
Blogger lil miss dubin said...

i like that you invite us here to not get too serious about stuff like immigration policy, because, anyway, what's really more important or more serious than dating cute men of color?

(btw, megan! i agree that a white background would be preferable for my blog, but that's the template my sister already uses, and i can only be so much of a poser.)

10:39 AM  
Blogger thor said...

not just cute men of color, but cute women as well! Immigrants! Welcome! My door is always open to your beautiful daughters.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who? Who begs you to blog here and you move everything around for but doesn't show up? I just noticed that. Finally, you're almost back on topic.


12:16 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Jens, that was actually point #3, but I deleted it. My parents are non-discriminatory. My mother, in particular, will hate whoever it is that I bring home regardless of skin color.

I remember Megan's run in with the immigrant mom. I've actually put a lot of thought into how to manage the relationship between my mother and Lady X. I've learned a lot from watching a lot of guys who have totally screwed it up (like her ex seemed to have). It isn't necessarily easy to make it work, but it isn't impossible either.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Good #3 Billo, I was about to add that myself.

The parents aren't always the problem; sometimes I find myself simply wishing that the preferences of the immigrant/2nd gen girls themselves were more open to dating natives.

Also Megan, I think that you have chosen wisely in not caring a lot about height; from my observation many shorter males are undervalued (sometimes severely) in the relationship+dating markets.

Finally I believe that many patterns of immigrant behavior (including their kids' dating preferences) can be explained by the fact that they measure themselves by the standards of their like group (i.e. immigrants from the same country/class). This is why I think many eastern Europeans and Russians, from what I have seen, have no problem with their kids dating natives - simply because in most communities in the U.S. they cannot build their own social circles and thus measuring sticks. However, with Mexicans, or Chinese, or Indians....

9:43 AM  
Anonymous M/tch M/lls said...

(which we ourselves did not earn merely by the accident of our native births)

Not to be too contentious (he says innocently), but, um, how else did we native born luckyfolk earn these "benefits of our tremendous wealth and resources and infrastructure"? I'm honestly trying hard to figure out how I earned these benefits more than those born outside our borders.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous M/tch M/lls said...

unless of course you were being ironic, in which case:

DAMMIT I hate being humorless!!!1!!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I wasn't being ironic. I think there is no 'earning' or 'deserving' involved. People born here got incredibly lucky; by chance we were born into wealth. Which is why I don't like nativist reasons for limiting immigration.

10:49 AM  

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