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As I have mentioned elsewhere my espousal of conservatism at Moving Secularism Forward went well. Interestingly several people came up to me afterward and admitted a sympathy for the “conservative” position on immigration (i.e., restrictionism). The rationales were both environmentalist (population control types) and law & order. Just out of curiosity I wanted to see any possible changes in attitudes toward immigration for non-Hispanic whites by ideology and education since 2004, when the issue has become more polarized.

Attitude toward immigration levels
Demographic Increase a lot Increase a little Remain the same Reduce a little Reduce a lot
2004 Liberal 2 10 43 19 26
2004 Moderate 1 6 35 23 35
2004 Conservative 2 4 27 32 35
2006 Liberal 3 14 38 24 22
2006 Moderate 1 2 33 31 32
2006 Conservative 1 6 26 27 40
2008 Liberal 7 13 37 24 19
2008 Moderate 0 3 34 22 42
2008 Conservative 0 8 25 32 34
2010 Liberal 3 16 32 25 24
2010 Moderate 1 4 32 30 33
2010 Conservative 2 7 31 28 31
2004 No College 1 4 29 30 36
2004 College 3 9 44 25 18
2006 No College 1 4 28 28 39
2006 College 3 13 40 26 18
2008 No College 2 4 27 27 41
2008 College 3 15 39 26 17
2010 No College 2 6 29 26 37
2010 College 3 13 37 32 16

I suspect what we are seeing here is an inverse of the situation with free trade. On immigration and trade there is less of a Left/Right difference than an Outsider/Insider or Populist/Elite distinction. The Right elites tend to focus on trade to the point where they muffle or suppress much mobilization against this by their own grassroots (e.g., Pat Buchanan). Similarly, Left elites have come to a consensus that populist mobilization by their side against mass immigration is no longer acceptable. And of course no matter the rhetoric, the elites on both sides have traditionally favored the globalist position, though it seems since 2006 the Republican elites have lost control of the immigration issue in their party (though I’m 100% sure that Mitt Romney is simply making populist noises, and will continue with the status quo once on office). Since white liberals fear being perceived as racist (this sentiment was palpable from some of those who supported restrictionism at the conference) this is unlikely a major issue that will come up for them in the near future, and for various reasons the labor wing of the Left coalition no longer emphasizes opposition to immigration. Liberals and Democrats like to contend that the Right has better unity and coherency once a consensus is achieved, with the elite keeping the grassroots in line, but this is one position where for various structural reasons it is the Left which has remained more unified, despite wide ranges of opinions.

• Category: Ideology, Science • Tags: Immigration, Politics 
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There is a border across which fertility drops by a factor of two in North America (defined as from Canada to Panama). Specifically, one nation has a TFR of ~4, and the other ~2. Can you guess the two nations? You can find the answer in the charts below.

First, linear:

Now, log-transformed:

That’s right, TFR, Guatemala (4.15) → Mexico (2.21) → United States (2.05) → Canada (1.53)

(source, 2005-2010 estimates)

Here’s GDP PPP per capita:

United States ($46,400) → Canada ($38,000) → Mexico ($13,600) → Guatemala ($4,800)

This is why the Mexican-Guatemalan border experiences a great deal of traffic.

Razib Khan
About Razib Khan

"I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. If you want to know more, see the links at"