I have not always had the views i do now on immigration. I too once understood only half of the argument. Perhaps it started with personal reflection in interacting people, which resembled nothing even close to what the modern nativists paint them to be. No, it really began with research, cold hard facts from mostly neutral sources.
When you consider the research of economists not just in the United States but even in parts of Europe along with the research of universities, think tanks, and professors in criminology, the reality becomes even more clear that nothing is as it seems. One begins to question whether or not the nativist is thinking clearly or simply reciting mantras handed down to them by trusted leaders and moral authority figures. Their words are accepted without question. The nationalist does not seem to care whether or not what their chosen leaders tell them are substantiated by anyone outside their carefully chosen circle. Then comes the backward morality of the last resort arguments made by those who lost making the case that immigration produces more challenges than benefits for America. The following is a paraphrase I read of one comment made making the case for nationalism and closed borders:
“None of those studies matter. Your research is irrelevent. Americans have died, and if any American lives are lost we must do whatever it takes to prevent that, nothing else matters!”
I suppose I can accept that argument partially but only if the individual making it also accepts the morality of abortion based on the same premise (I also do not). Children born in poverty in the United States, especially to single-parents households are at a higher risk of becoming violent criminals, and if even one person is saved by this horrible decision, the right thing was done. If even one American is saved for every 100 refugees we turn away to their deaths then it must be done.
This argument is not merely morally flawed, it is morally repugnant. It is morally backward to suggest that the lives of Americans are to be considered of greater value than the lives of foreigners. It is not only morally flawed but it is logically flawed as it falls into the fallacy of the False Dichotomy, suggesting that only one of two outcomes is possible.
As long as we continue to swing back and forth on the pendulum of the two extremes we will NEVER solve anything on immigration or any other challenge that faces the United States. The result will be neither morally right nor logically prudent, least of all for the United States that is will find itself alone, ironically, as it embraces increasingly collectivist forms of thinking and policy.