When technical qualifications and cultural fit are suggested as elements of immigration policy, adversarial reactions far surpass the typical reflexive and groundless accusations of racism routinely hurled against conservatives. Indeed, the hysteria in such circumstances is reminiscent of the scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in which the Ark of the Covenant is opened, and the faces of Nazis melt right off.
We should be asking of applicants is whether they have a pluralist, tolerant view of others and support individual freedom and self-representative values. This would certainly hard to measure, as well as susceptible to mismanagement and fraud, but how this could be accomplished should be investigated and considered.
Such a policy would not mean that immigrants must come from societies embodying these ideals; one reason immigrants might be seeking entrance to the United States in the first place is disagreement with their home countries’ cultures, politics, and institutions. Many entrepreneurial, free-market-embracing immigrants from communist China and Vietnam are great examples of this phenomenon. Nonetheless, whether an applicant shares are our traditional values and mores is an appropriate area of inquiry.
Not just appropriate, but nearly indispensable.