Last June I wrote an article for Hoover’s Defining Ideas titled “Immigrant Remittances Are Private Foreign Aid,” Defining Ideas, June 25, 2109. That led to Fresno-area immigration lawyer Nathan Brown contacting me for an interview. It just came out this week and is titled “David R. Henderson on Remittances.” I love the line underneath: “Immigrants Sending ‘Our’ Money Overseas?” because of course it isn’t ours except to the extent that we are the senders. It was nice to see President Trump criticizing socialism last night. It would even be nicer for some of his fans to eschew the word “ours” when talking about other people’s money.

Off-line, Nathan and I had a nice talk about how he got into immigration law. At his firm, the person who handled it retired and he took over, with no particular expertise and not a strong view on the issue. Now, after years of practicing immigration law and getting good at it, and seeing how even people who try to follow the rules get caught in legal traps, he has become a strong advocate of more immigration.

Some highlights:

2:00: Trump’s mercantilist view of the world.

3:30: What happens to the money that is sent to people in other countries?

7:30: Remittances as private, and effective, foreign aid.

10:30: Why, if some critics get their way, our own government will get even more intrusive in our financial transactions.

13:15: Devin Nunes hoisted on his own petard.

18:00: Why immigration is so much better than Reihan Salam’s alternative of tax-financed foreign aid.

20:20: Brown argues that restrictions on immigration are a form of welfare.

22:00: Do remittances hold back their beneficiaries?

24:00: Bretton Woods and capital controls.24:50: How my Iranian neighbor got his wealth out of Iran in the mid-1950s.

27:20: A tariff on immigration.

29:00: How a $50K entry fee for 2 million immigrants a year would raise $100 billion towards the deficit.

30:30: Brown’s conversations with people on the left lead him to believe that the left is open to such a fee.

31:30: The case for letting people sell their kidneys.

33:00: Immigration reduces the rate of violent and property crime.

37:30: Reductio ad absurdum: Should we kick military veterans out of the country?

40:00: Why I would have been happy to give up the right to vote in order to immigrate.

40:45: Coyotes.