The most curious thing about this transformation is that on paper my position has scarcely changed at all. I remain theoretically opposed to open borders, which I consider a tool of capital. I believe that at present immigration should be curtailed, except in the case of refugees. It seems to me indisputable that importing a vast supply of cheap labor to undercut the wages of American workers and put more money in the coffers of Fortune 500 companies and the bank accounts of upper-middle-class professionals, who cannot be expected to rear their own children or clean their own dwellings, is immoral. There is, I think, altogether too much woke posturing on the subject of immigration that really amounts to a vacuous apologia on behalf of economic spoliation. We cannot allow the entire population of Central America to become American citizens, though this fantasy is the unspoken premise of much popular anti-anti-immigration noise-making. And I insist on observing that Americans who believe they have a constitutional right to murder their children under certain medical conditions seem to me to have roughly zero credibility here.

The difference now, I think, is that I hold all these views without finding myself capable of thinking that, in something like 90 or 99 cases out of 100, it would be anything but wicked to deport people who have entered this country by illegal means, or even to detain them under conditions that would separate them from their families. Certainly I cannot think of any circumstance under which I would think it acceptable to send a child who has been here for any length of time to another place where his or her life will be more miserable than it is likely to be otherwise. What I have become aware of is not a change in my convictions but an appreciation of the infinitely messy human reality of immigration. It has become simultaneously possible for me to denounce an untenable state of affairs — the landscaper-nanny-fast food-ag worker-tech visa industrial complex — and to refuse to hold any particular person responsible for it. And it is people, rather than abstractions, with which immigration policy is concerned.