Accepting the challenge of’s Michael Anissimov on immigration


So Michael Anissimov of has challenged libertarians to debate him because he’s “tired of harmful libertarian ideas.”  In his blog post, he specifically targets immigration and, unfortunately for him, no one of any popularity seems very willing to take him up on it.  Fortunately, that’s where the “lesser known” sites can come in and fill that void for him!

Based on his post, it is clear that Anissimov has an anti-immigration stance.  If he could support this view, that’s fine, but it’s all mostly based on faulty generalizations.  Let’s take it line by line:

The vast majority of immigrants do not strengthen and enrich American culture, they are only interested in keeping their own culture and having us accommodate them.

This is a complete generalization and this opinion all depends on the perspective.  As someone who is interested in different cultures, I see someone coming to this country and keeping their culture as a learning opportunity.  I’m happy to see people keep their cultures so I have a chance to experience them too.  Despite my positive view of new and diverse cultures, it doesn’t allow me to draw the conclusion that immigrants refuse to assimilate or that they meld into society well.  Other than personal experience, I don’t really have much to base that opinion.  Since Anissimov has a negative view of immigration, any experiences he has of different cultures are bound to be biased and his feelings will tend to be exaggerated.

They take jobs that should be performed by current American citizens. (There are 91.8 million people not in the labor force, I don’t think we need more immigrants to take away our jobs.)

Well, I don’t think that anyone should have a job over someone else based on their race or ethnicity.  If there are nearly 100 million Americans not in the labor force, but apparently immigrants have no problem finding jobs, then Anissimov should analyze why immigrants are seemingly not suffering from unemployment (are they not?).

I know that the response will be “Well, they take lower wages than Americans can take!”  That means that Americans would rather have no job than one that pays less than they’d prefer.  If this is the reason, then there is a problem with Americans.

And if Anissimov has an issue with some people driving down the cost of labor, he had better brush on his knowledge of how economies grow.  If he’s against cheap labor, then he had better be against technological advancements that automate labor.

They arrive here with low skill levels and average IQs of 90 or less.

So he’s questioning their intelligence, which means that it probably doesn’t say much about the people whose jobs the immigrants are replacing.

But hold on, he’s begging the question that these immigrants are taking the jobs that American citizens would otherwise have.  Why are immigrants attracted to the United States to find work?  Could it be that there is a supply of jobs available to them that Americans do not demand as much.

Their children lower the academic standards of our schools, cause behavioral problems in classrooms, do not study, and refuse to assimilate.

Doing away with compulsive public education would help with this issue (if it actually is true).  I’m not in school anymore, so I can’t say this for sure, but it again seems like Anissimov is making pretty big generalizations when he says they “cause behavioral problems in classrooms, do not study, and refuse to assimilate.”  Growing up, I knew plenty of kids who refused to study—and none of them were immigrants.  And they refuse to assimilate?  Come on, most kids desire acceptance from their peers, don’t they?

More than 37.6 million people in the US speak Spanish at home, not English. The vast majority of these immigrants have no interest in speaking English at home or assimilating with English-speaking American culture.

Who cares if they don’t speak English at home?  Does Anissimov live at an immigrant’s home where that presents a problem?

They look down on the native culture and only care about their own culture.

So what?  Don’t associate with them if you have a problem with that.

Immigrants that do have high IQs and high skills are generally extremely hostile towards attempts by native citizens to preserve the host culture.

Again, this is quite a generalization to be making.  As an engineer, I’ve had plenty of immigrant professors in college and some immigrant coworkers during my career (these immigrants likely make up those with the higher IQs).  None of these people displayed any hostility at all against the native culture.  They all assimilated as little or as much as they wanted to and no one that I knew had any problems with it.

They demand a multiculture or nothing, and only have respect for existing citizens insofar as we welcome immigrants unconditionally.

I just think that they want to be allowed to live their lives as they please.  That’s all I ask for as well.

What good are the skills of these immigrants if they display nothing but white-hot hostility towards efforts by the host culture to set reasonable boundaries for its self-preservation? Please, tell me.

Anissimov begs that question that these immigrants display this “white-hot hostility” towards the native culture’s self-preservation.

If Anissimov were consistent with his beliefs, he should also be against “immigrants” from one part of the country to another who try to keep their culture alive.  Is it wrong for a person from New Orleans who moves to Minnesota to celebrate their Creole heritage?  Anissimov’s answer should be yes.

At the end of the day, Anissimov lazily develops these “arguments” to justify his anti-immigration views.  He has no actual evidence other than faulty generalizations based on biased opinions.