Reihan clarifies his position:
My sense is that many voters resent the notion that they are bigots because they are concerned about unauthorized immigration. Many of these voters are, I suspect, more sympathetic to the would-be migrants who take part in the formal immigration system, e.g., by participating in the diversity visa lottery. My sketch of a more humanitarian immigration policy would be modeled on the diversity visa lottery, only it would be restricted to the world’s poorest countries. Residents of all countries would be eligible to apply to work and settle in the U.S. through a points system that emphasizes skills, as we discussed above. Even if the total number of migrants under this system were somewhat lower than the current total when we combine authorized and unauthorized migrants, the impact of remittances and brain circulation would, I suggest, do far more for global welfare than the existing system. Remember that we’re talking about helping societies in which large numbers of people haven’t reached the two-dollar-a-day standard.
The DREAM Act, in my view, entrenches an immigration status quo that privileges a politically appealing and influential group over voiceless would-be workers.