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Five Myths about Chain Migration

February 14, 2018 in Economics

By David Bier

David Bier

President Trump has said an end to “chain migration” is one of the
must-have elements of any immigration deal in Congress. Many
analysts believe this demand could impede an agreement. But if we
are to debate the right policy on chain migration, we should first
understand what the debate is about. And right now various myths
about the concept are muddling the already contentious

‘Chain migration’ is an offensive term for ‘family

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is among those who consider the mere
phrase offensive, tweeting that it is “a made up
term by the hardline anti-immigration crowd” whose “purpose is to
dehumanize immigrants.” In fact, it was academics John and Leatrice
MacDonald who popularized the term in the
early 1960s to describe immigrants who follow earlier immigrants,
just as links follow one another in a chain. In any case,
explaining relationships with metaphors is not dehumanizing. No one
sees “step”-child as an epithet.

Some liberal groups insist that “family reunification”
is the only proper term. But the chain metaphor is more
descriptive, referring to a specific type of family reunification:
when the family member is following another immigrant. A foreigner
who marries someone born in the United States and comes to live
with them here, sometimes after waiting months or even a year while
their application is pending, is “reuniting” with family, but they
are not part of a “chain.”

In reality, America’s
immigration laws strictly limit the types and numbers of
family-sponsored immigrants.

Trump confuses the issue further by using “chain” to refer to
all family-sponsored immigrants except spouses and minor children
of citizens or legal residents. Yet many U.S. citizens with
foreign-born spouses are themselves immigrants who received
citizenship through naturalization, and all foreign-born spouses
and minor children of permanent residents are chain migrants. On
the flip side, he labels all parents, siblings and adult children
of citizens as “chain migrants,” even though many of the citizens
were born here.

Chain migration is a liberal policy.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter claims the
1965 law that created America’s chain migration system was, as one
interviewer summarized, “expressly designed to change the
demographics of our country — to be poorer and more inclined
to vote Democrat.” But the flow from Europe had already dropped
from nearly two-thirds of all legal immigration to just one-third
between 1946 and 1965, and it was conservatives who pushed for the
family-sponsored system, believing it would reverse the trend.

House immigration subcommittee Chairman Michael Feighan, a
conservative Democrat from Ohio, refused to hold hearings on
the initial bill in …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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History’s Oldest-Known Valentine Was Written in Prison

February 14, 2018 in History

By Thad Morgan

The marriage of Charles of Orleans and Bonne of Armagnac at the Chateau de Dourdan, from The Book of Hours of the Duke of Berry . (Credit: Online Library of Liberty)

Valentine’s Day is the one holiday made for showing love and affection. But the history behind the oldest-known valentine involves a tale of royal in-fighting, warfare and imprisonment in a medieval tower.

The “valentine” itself was actually a few lines in a poem, written by Charles, the Duke of Orléans, in 1415, when he was 21 years old. Charles grew up in the fractious French royal family. As the nephew of King Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad (who was believed to be schizophrenic), he was caught in the crossfire between his father, Louis I, who presided over the House of Orléans, and his uncle’s family, which oversaw the House of Burgundy, in their fight for control of France.

Like most royals of the time, Charles’s marital life was a matter of state, not heart. At age 12, he was married off to his 17-year-old cousin and daughter of King Charles VI, Isabella of Valois, already a widow after being first married at age six.

A year later, tragedy struck when Charles’s father Louis I, was assassinated, and his mother died soon after. Charles and his brothers vowed revenge on their first cousin John the Fearless, the Duke of Burgundy, whom they accused of murdering their father in a power grab, intensifying the family civil war.

The marriage of Charles of Orleans and Bonne of Armagnac at the Chateau de Dourdan, from The Book of Hours of the Duke of Berry . (Credit: Online Library of Liberty)

Charles’s young marriage to Isabella ended shortly after it began, when she died giving birth in 1409. The following year, Charles was wed in yet another political alliance—this time to 11-year-old Bonne of Armagnac, daughter of Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac and soon-to-be Constable of France. Their marriage solidified the union of the two bloodlines.

It also put the young duke in his father-in-law’s Armagnac camp in the years-long French civil war between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians. As battle after battle dragged on between the rival factions, Charles was captured and imprisoned by the Burgundians in 1415. While held prisoner in the Tower of London, he penned a poem to his wife the same year that he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt.

View of the tower where Charles was captured, illustrated in “Poems of Charles, Duke d’Orleans” c. 1500. (Credit: Apic/Getty Images)

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