Today there is a political gridlock in America on the issue of immigration. In this article, you will read a proposal that many U.S. voters could easily support. The solution? Copy Singapore.
If you have never been to this South-East Asian city-state of five million people wedged between Malaysia and Indonesia, make room for a trip on your bucket list. Apart from being a pleasant place for a vacation, it is also a true eye-opener. Singapore is a perfect example of what the free market and a sensible immigration policy can accomplish.
Only five decades ago, Singapore was a poor and backward place at the south tip of Malaysia. The elders still remember the jungle, while the middle-aged experienced the slums. Today it is one of the richest countries in the world.
Their success is not a matter of chance. Along with Hong Kong, Singapore has topped the chart of economic freedom for decades, whereas the U.S. – the former land of the free – has fallen ever further into the swamp of socialism, red tape, and corruption.
An Immigrant Nation
It is hard to overstate what a miracle Singapore is. It was born out of a racial civil war between the Chinese and the Malays in the 1960s; the country’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew pledged never to let multiculturalism destroy the nation. He therefore opted for rapid economic growth in combination with sustainable immigration.
Singaporean society now operates under their own Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others (CMIO) model in which racial equality is a core part of its constitution. Today, 40% of the population is made up of non-citizen immigrants — one of the highest levels in the world — and the people are highly ethnically diverse. Yet, the nation has not experienced any major resistance to immigration in its native population, and there are no problems with crime. In fact, in 2016 the government reported 135 days with no crime, including shoplifting.
Sweden, by contrast, has not followed the lessons of Singapore and is suffering the consequences. Large parts of the traditionally Scandinavian country are turning into a third world hellhole. Immigration policy matters.
Swedish Youtuber “Angmolia” made a video documenting the reasons he chose to move from Stockholm to Singapore:
The Success Formula
So what is the secret of Singapore’s spectacular success?
#1: It’s easy to get a work visa
There are few restrictions on legal immigration to Singapore. In recent years they have set a minimum salary for immigrants in order to avoid too much downward pressure on the low end of the wage level for native Singaporeans, but if you can find a job or arrive as an investor then you’ll be allowed in.
#2: No refugees or illegal immigration
Singapore takes no refugees. None. Zero. If you try to enter Singapore illegally, you are immediately thrown out and you can never enter the country again.
#3: Immigrants must be self-funded
Immigrants must pay for 100% for their own stay. They get no welfare benefits from the government. Not even public schools for their children. Zilch. Nada.
#4: Crime is severely punished
Singapore has zero tolerance for crime. Immigrants who commit crimes are punished harshly and expelled. In a recent case, a Scandinavian citizen was convicted of sexually groping a drunken woman and sentenced to one year in prison, plus a public caning. If Harvey Weinstein had lived in Singapore, he would have gotten his behind whipped – literally.
#5: No voting rights for immigrants
Perhaps the most important rule of all to sustain the goodwill of natives toward immigration is that under no circumstances can any immigrant vote in any election at all, even local ones. Only citizens have this right. Acquiring citizenship is exceptionally difficult and reserved for only those who have a long track record of financial self-sustainment, contribution to Singapore and patriotic behavior.
#6: Give some protection to the native population
Singapore’s merit-based immigration system puts the native population in the lower half of the economic bell curve at a disadvantage. They cannot easily compete with the best talent from abroad, so they could quickly grow resentful and oppose immigration if they felt they did not benefit from it.
To counteract this, the government bars immigrants from some types of employment and businesses, including taxi companies and street restaurants.
What’s the Big Deal?
You may have noticed that Singapore’s immigration policy is at the same time far more open and far stricter than America’s system. It is this combination that makes Singapore work so well and that maintains broad national support from local people of all political persuasions. And even more important: this formula is not some theoretical pie in the sky. It already exists in the real world and has been tested for five decades.
A century ago, America inspired nations across the world to adopt the model of the free market and social liberty. Now that America has lost its way on key issues such as immigration, maybe it is time to look to outposts like Singapore to return the favor?
America can easily solve its most important immigration problems in a short time span, and if done right, large crowds of American voters will heartily support the solution. Whether career swamp creatures will like the plan is an entirely different matter.