The latest shiny objects among the elites are not so much cars and jewelry, but fanciful beliefs that allow them to show they care. But such beliefs often come at great expense to the disadvantaged.
"Even if one thinks, as I do, that we can set up policies that will do more to welcome and place immigrants, there is no doubt that the current immigration regime is a mess."
My view is that it is the government's determination to set up and implement "policies" that is responsible for the current immigration mess. Taxpayers are funding both efforts to keep immigrants out and, once they're in, to put them up in luxury hotels. Why?? If people who enter America understand that no one is going to help them (other than private charities, perhaps), they won't be so eager to rush in unless they have some definite job prospect(s) in hand.
A fair analysis... may I ask you to consider whether we should continue to use this term 'elite', which the more I think about it may have been propagated by the very people it refers to? There is nothing evidently 'elite' about such people, and I feel like this terminology exists to perpetuate the post-feudal belief in the superiority of the aristocracy. Something to think about, anyway.
As for raising the cost of 'luxury beliefs', I'm not sure this is the way to approach the problem (although I follow your logic)... I suspect other parts of your analysis here may point the way forward more effectively. It is the philosophical grounding of the purpose of government that houses the crisis, anyway.
Have more I'd like to say, but out of time! Stay wonderful.