Bryan Caplan  

Why Don't Hispanics Beg in America? Reflections from Venezuela

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Last week, I posed the question "Why don't Hispanics beg in America?" - and inspired this poignant essay by Venezuelan writer Ibsen Martinez:

The emigrant is not only fleeing poverty. By deciding to leave his country he is fending off faulty and corrupt institutions and a lack of clear rules that keep him from attaining personal fulfilment and curtail his right to succeed in the trade of his choice, the one his talents and skills enable him most. More often than not it is a personal war fought by the stubborn raro de la familia ("the wacky one in the family"), el que se fue p'al norte ("the one who left and went North").
Martinez's essay reinforces my view that - by failing to offer asylum to those who want out of Chavez's Venezuela - the U.S. is missing an amazing opportunity. We have a rare chance to create a new exile community to rival the success of the Cubans and the Vietnamese. What are we waiting for?


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Horatio writes:

Many are finding their way here anyway. I knew many Venezuelans in Florida. They all hated Chavez and they all had or were in the process of obtaining graduate degrees.

shecky writes:
What are we waiting for?

The possibility of creating a new exile community like that of the Cubans and the Vietnamese.

TGGP writes:

Why not cite some poll data on the opinions of these dissidents?

John S Bolton writes:

For it to be shown that such prospective immigrants would not raise the level of aggresion on those to whom loyalty is owed: the net taxpayers of our citizenry. To be at odds with a socialist is no qualification or indication of loyalty to Americans above others; more likely every one of them would say: my people first! And a European national Socialist was at odds with Stalin, would any and every of such description have been good for America. I realize that economics places no value on loyalty to fellow citizens; but this is politics, the reality of aggression evil and war which no formulae can reconceptualize away.

Alex writes:

TGGP,

Brian is discussing Venezuelan immigrants fleeing a communist regime, not Mexican immigrants coming to CA. You data does not analyze Venezuelan immigrants. You might want to try posting relevant data next time. Thanks!

TGGP writes:

I don't know where to find information about Venezuelans specifically. While in America hispanics as a whole are predominately Mexicans, the second of my links concerned hispanic Republicans who tend to be Cubans. If anybody does have data on the opinions of Venezueland immigrants, I think both Bryan and I would be interested.

Also, I don't think Venezuela counts as full-fledged communism. Chavez bloviates a lot, but from what I've heard it's not all that different from the standard Third World Big Man stuff.

rob writes:

Hey, are the Cubans all that great? Anyone Remember Scarface?

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