Immigration Isn't the Problem

The real issue is border security

The Congress of the United States—an institution that spent a chunk of the past year cajoling passage of the most contentious legislation devised in decades—may not have the "appetite" to take on another "controversial issue," namely immigration reform, this year, according to President Barack Obama. Bummer.

But is immigration, in the broadest sense of the idea, really a contentious matter?

Health care reform, cap and trade—at the heart of these questions resides an irreconcilable conflict of philosophy, be it economic doctrine or the proper role of government, and as we learned, no amount of negotiation will bridge these ideological splits.

Very few Americans, on the other hand, are inherently opposed to immigration. For the most part, the controversy we face isn't about immigration at all. It's about the systematic failure of federal government to enforce the law or offer rational policy. There's a difference.

Gallup polls (and others) taken over the past decade find that about 60 percent of Americans, when asked whether immigration is generally a good thing or a bad thing for the country, believe it to be a positive. Yet when Gallup recently polled Americans about the new Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigrants, of the three-quarters of voters who had heard about the then-pending legislation, 51 percent said they favor it, while only 39 percent said they oppose it.

Americans value immigration. They recoil from lawlessness. And frustration over the impotent border enforcement has manifested itself in a flailing overreach. Arizona's law isn't a referendum on Latinos or even immigration itself. It's an unambiguous rebuke of Washington.

There are, on one noisy periphery, those who yell "Nazi" or "racist" at any sign of enforcement. In truth, many of these folks don't believe any person can be here illegally; to them, the very existence of a border is xenophobic and an affront to human rights.

That's not to say there aren't those on the other fringe—regularly lumping themselves in with mainstream opposition to illegal behavior—who disapprove of any immigration on principle. They agonize over the Third World infiltrators. They are often economic protectionists and occasionally militant environmentalists who view any growth or prosperity as a death sentence for Mother Earth.

But if you, like me, believe it's possible to advocate for a broad-minded immigration policy—one that creates more expansive guest-worker programs, offers amnesty (though not citizenship) to some immigrants already here, and enforces border control—this administration is not making it easy on you, either.

The uplifting tale of the hard-boiled immigrant, dipping his or her sweaty hands into the well of the American dream, is one thing. Today we find ourselves in an unsustainable and rapidly growing welfare state. Can we afford to allow millions more to partake?

When Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Milton Friedman was asked about unlimited immigration in 1999, he stated that "it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both."

Dependency programs incentivize not only those who want to work but also those who don't want to work. That's why we need to allow a generous number of immigrants and visitors to take a shot at the American dream and become part of our economy. I'd just like them to do it on their own and check in first.

Perhaps I'm experiencing an abnormal spasm of quixotic delirium, but I can't imagine that most Americans would find a policy that offers both true security and robust immigration very controversial.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  • ||

    When Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Milton Friedman was asked about unlimited immigration in 1999, he stated that "it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both."

    Maybe not. But where I grew up all mothers taught their children that "Two wrongs don't make a right". This is a reason to crack down on welfare not immigration. I don't feel any better knowing that my pocket is being picked for the benefit of someone born on the right side of the border.

  • ||

    But you gotta understand that welfare is in place for the benefit of the middle and upper classes, not those who actually receive it.

    Welfare gives people with nothing to lose something to lose if you catch my drift...

  • ||

    Welfare gives people with nothing to lose something to lose if you catch my drift...

    I don't get your drift. Please explain, assumig you are not a spoof of yourself again.

    thx,

    GoNavy

  • ||

    He's implying that welfare is a protection racket run by the poor and those who use them politically. Pay or face violent insurrection.

  • Tony||

    Plutocracy has a natural expiration date. Taxes for welfare are the payment the rich make for the service of not having their throats cut in the middle of the night for hoarding all the resources for themselves.

    Alternatively, the elites might find it cheaper just to pay for propaganda that convinces the poor that plutocracy is good for them and is just what Jeebus would want.

  • Lethal Injection||

    What can brown do for you?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Holy shit Tony. I hope someone is pretending to be you because that is a scary dystopic threat you just made. Tell me, after you have cut the throats of all the bankers and oil tycoons, will you come after me because I have a car, a computer, and some food in the fridge? You know who else cut rich people's (Jews) throats in the night for perceived wealth based crimes? Nazis. Yep, I went there.

  • Tony||

    The image that comes to my mind is more France circa 1790. Of course the throats were cut clean through in broad daylight, but the idea's the same.

  • ||

    Are you pro or anti guillotine?

  • Chad||

    If I were king, there would have been a string of guillotines along Wall Street, and about fifty headless bankers.

    Unfortunately, we don't have the death penalty for fraud, so the best we can hope for is that we throw "Fabulous Fab" and all his ilk into a supermax cage with a really horny guy named "Bubba", while throwing their families out onto the street with nothing but burlap sacks. We could make a fortune selling vids of them fighting the other bums for the best shopping carts and spots under the bridge.

  • Zenmaster||

    The really horny guy named "Bubba" encouraged the fraud to begin with.

  • Jorgen||

    Wow. And you probably don't favor the death penalty for murder or child rape.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    You mean the throats of the ruling members of the oppressive government? The government that stole the wealth of the people at the point of a spear with their only justification being the will of the divine? I don't really have a problem with the cutting of their throats. However, it would have been more productive to make them pack-mules in some shit-kicking farm in Normandy. And hilarious. In the modern day U.S., I see this as the equivalent of double-dipping bureaucrats seeking work at Starbucks and McDonalds because their cities went bankrupt trying to pay for such graft.

  • ||

    Yeah, the French Revolution. Such an awesome model of humanity to emulate.

    I already knew that leftists were a bunch of bloodthirsty murderous cunts motivated by revenge, but Tony just insists on confirming it.

  • Tony||

    I much prefer a just wealth distributive system so as to avoid the inevitable messiness when the masses get tired of being fleeced by the elites.

    But I did mention the third way, which conservatives and libertarians have become expert at implementing: convincing the masses they're poor because rich guys aren't rich enough. I suspect that too has an expiration date though, you can only convince the masses of an absurdity for so long.

  • CJ||

    I'm tired of getting fleeced by the elites in Washington. No messiness has resulted, unfortunately.

  • Tony||

    That's the ticket CJ. Plutocrats persist as long as they can deflect popular anger away from themselves. Say, toward government, immigrants, etc.

  • ||

    I much prefer a just wealth distributive system

    So do I. What is "just" about redistributing wealth from people who have earned it to those who have not, exactly?

    Why is it "just" to take other people's money, but "unjust" to keep your own?

    The libertarian wealth distribution system relies on voluntary transactions between consenting adults, with no outside interference. What's "unjust" about that.

    See, what progressives really mean when they talk about "social justice" is "Waaaa! Life's not fair! I want a PONY! I WANT A PONY!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAA!!!"

  • Pony||

    I'm your huckleberry

  • DDavis||

    Hazel: The libertarian wealth distribution system relies on voluntary transactions between consenting adults, with no outside interference.

    Really? Through "voluntary" transactions, some people own the world, the use of many ideas, and the expression of many more. When did those who don't own "voluntarily" agree to this deal? I missed the meeting.

    Conservatives and most Libertarians claim that it is just that some people own the planet, and if you're not one of them, you should shut up and pay your rent.

    Once upon a time, there were Libertarians like Jefferson and Paine, who clearly saw that the system of private property dispossessed people of their equal right to make use the earth.

    I've taken to calling myself a Tom Paine libertarian, to distinguish myself from the libertarian property fetishists.

    Free Minds, Free Markets, and compensation for those dispossessed of their natural rights.

  • Jorgen||

    why does anyone give a fuck about the plutocrats? I mean, sure, there's tons of folks with huge incomes, but for the most part that's earned income from people who have made themselves very valuable, through luck, skill or both. The true plutocrats, like the Rockefellers, are pretty rare and of declining importance; you can live on an inheritance for a long time but you can't continue to inherit a growing and dynamic economy. As long as there's room for me to live the life I want, what do I care if some dude back East wastes his life away buying stupid shit? And if I wanted more, why would I try to go after his riches instead of going for riches yet unclaimed and undiscovered from economic growth and development?

  • Tony||

    Jorgen wealth disparity in this country is obscenely high. And nobody, no matter how clever, worked a million times harder than anyone else. You know perfectly well that most of the money "earned" in this country lately has been through finance and not anything useful.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    He's just saying that welfare is our society's version of panem et circenses. And he's probably not far wrong in that, either.

  • ||

    Taxes for welfare are the payment the rich make for the service of not having their throats cut in the middle of the night for hoarding all the resources for themselves.

    Alternatively, in elder times, people who cut other people's throats were executed.

  • ||

    Truly, you lack the enlightened mindset.

    I don't buy the social-welfare-as-the-modern-day-bread-and-circuses argument. Our poor aren't the same as back then. They aren't starving, they aren't politically disenfranchised, they aren't in desperate need of government-provided entertainment. A stable culture like the one here takes more to destablize it than some people having more than others. That's part of the world we live in, even in socialistic and communistic societies.

    Recall, too, that the French Revolution largely occurred because of the unlimited power of the French monarchy and nobility, not just because of disparities in wealth. In fact, like many revolutions, most of the leaders of the French Revolution were middle class, not poor.

  • ||

    Well, my comment about the French Revolution pertains largely to the Reign of Terror that quickly followed it.

    To point out that the French Revolution isn't really such an admirable model to follow isn't to suggest that the preceding French Monarchy was a wonderful system of government.

    If anything the French Revolution illustrates how quickly the would-be equalizers of wealth can degenerate into murderous thuggery. Which is hardly surprising once you realize that so much of leftist thinking is just disguised envy and rationalization for vengence.

  • ||

    A number of revolutions started as relatively benign, justified, and moderate. The French Revolution to some extent, the Russian Revolution, and so on. But revolutions often get co-opted by more radical types.

  • ||

    One reason why we're not going to have a libertarian revolution. Some sort of extreme christian right junta would take over instead. They'd immediately start reinstituting prayer in schools and banning the teaching of evolution.

    Eliminating entitlements would be down the list somewhere just after implementing punitive tariffs on all manufactured goods to force people to "Buy American".

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    "Eliminating entitlements would be down the list somewhere just after implementing punitive tariffs on all manufactured goods to force people to "Buy American"."

    Hazel, don't forget those wars against the heathen Muslims. If anything, that shit is last on their list because our god is white and their god is brown.

  • khatre||

    Their god is not brown. That would imply that god has skin. Having material form would make god corruptable thus god does not have material form. This is one of the reasons that muslims have a problem with the "jesus is the son of god" part of chirstianinty.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    Yeah Hazel, pore on that hate of Christians. You've got to blame somebody because your utopian world of libertarianism cant get a foothold, so blame the " extreme christian right junta".

    Without them, you would be blaming people for some other reason, like race, or income, or some other form of ignorance.

  • MJ||

    Revolutions can make the moderates, redicals. Robespierre,for instance, started out as strongly anti-capital punishment.

  • ||

    Taxes for welfare are the payment the rich make for the service of not having their throats cut in the middle of the night for hoarding all the resources for themselves.

    It's always refreshing when a collectivist lets you get a good look at their soul.

  • ||

    By the way, who are "the rich"? That's never been explained, really. Because I'm pretty sure there are plenty of non rich people who pay taxes that go into welfare, not to mention the fact that if you have a job you don't get welfare. So it looks like the "masses" constitute less than 10% of the country, and the "rich" are those who pay federal income taxes, which would be about over 50%. I think we're safe from the masses, guys, we can get back to counting our gold.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +3

  • ||

    I agree with Warren. Two wrongs don't make a right. Let's dismantle the entitlement apparatus and see whether the remaining real problems of immigration are reasonable and tractable. Or maybe people are just xenophobes.

  • ||

    "Let's dismantle the entitlement apparatus..."

    That's the whole deal. How, when, where, is this going to happen?

    There is an appropriate order to this- the entitlement programs have to go first. If anyone thinks that it will be easier or even possible doing it the other way is on something I'd like to try.

    *I don't agree with curtailing civil liberties in order to deal with illegal immigration- but that's not the issue here. It's the WOD and entitlements.

  • .||

    Let's dismantle the entitlement apparatus

    That's realistic.

  • ||

    Warren, I agree with your ultimate point, but the fact is gutting the welfare state is not going to get support or even do those rational things immigration policy needs to do. Ending the welfare state is not going to discourage criminals fleeing justice abroad, it will not reduce the risk of a pandemic getting into the US, it will not prevent terrorists infiltrating the country. Ending the welfare state will not legitimize the millions of migrants who cross the US border illegally. Ending the welfare state will not make it easier for Americans to get jobs in our NAFTA and CAFTA partners. The Federal government needs to address these issues in its reform bill or it will be 1986 all over again.

  • ||

    Another 15 years of uninterrupted rising employment and wealth really would suck.

  • ||

    "Border Security" means keeping invading armies out, and maybe stopping the occasional fugitive from justice. But Harsanyi's trying to use that "protect your women and children from invaders" kind of language to support anti-immigrant policies, which is especially dishonest since he's not the kind of rabid xenophobe who actually _is_ scared of all the Mexicans and other brown people. Yes, we can't afford to provide welfare for everybody who wants to move here, which is obviously why we don't let immigrants have jobs, and why La Migra busts immigrants at work and not at welfare offices.

    Americans don't need anybody making sure their papers are in order, and we don't need people pretending that that makes us more secure.

  • qwerty||

    At last, a reasonable piece about immigration!

  • ||

    Drink!

  • Fluffy||

    You know what? If Mexicans were whiter, there wouldn't be an immigration policy "problem". That's the bottom line.

    Boston had an illegal immigration problem all through the 70's and 80's. But since it was Irish illegal immigration, nobody gave a shit. In fact, everybody was secretly pleased at the increase in the number of dateable redhead chicks.

    It was only when the illegal immigrants started speaking Cambodian and Spanish that the Boston Herald started giving a damn. They dress it up in talk about the welfare system, but if Swedish bikini models started sneaking into Boston and going on welfare no one would say shit about it.

  • ||

    What's Swedish for "baby daddy?"

  • .||

    So what?

  • ||

    That is true. It is about assimilation. The Irish assimilated better, so people were less concerned. If every Mexican who came across the border spoke perfect English with a funny accent, and Mexico were culturally more like the US, then people would have much less problems with Mexican immigration. Why? Because the immigration would change the country less. The Irish immigrating to Boston didn't change the culture of the city one iota. Mexicans and Cambodians do. And people don't like that.

  • James C. Bennett||

    It's about language and cultures. The three big boundaries between cultures are geography, race, and language. Geography is dead. Race is dying (in America anyway). But language bariers are insurmountable. If you can't communicate with someone, you can't build trust between you, and they will always be an alien.

    The Irish immigrants of the 70's spoke english and so blended right in to Boston's culture. They could be looked on as new people joining the tribe, so no one minded them, whether they intended to stay or not.

    A large portion of contemporary Mexican immigrants (legal or no) just want to work here for a while and then move home to Mexico. They legitimately have no interest in learning english, especially when there are many Mexican immigrant communities where they can live comfortably among their tribesfolk. So they remain aliens, and their communities appear to be colonies established by a foreign tribe in our tribe's teritory.

    And so they are feared. And so the people call upon their government to do something about these colonies, because preventing foreign cultures from invading and annexing our territory is one of a government's most basic functions. And when the government refuses to perform it's most basic functions, the people rightly get upset.

    Now, you could argue that claiming territory for a culture is irrational, and that one should think of people only as individuals and not as a member of a group. But people in the aggregate are tribal creatures, and don't think like that. And any system that is dependent on people in the aggregate acting contrary to their nature is doomed to fail.

  • kinnath||

    There are plenty of guys here that can provide links to editorial cartoons from the late 1800s showing the Irish as apes.

    It was the influx of Irish that convinced northerners that maybe the southerners were right about blacks.

  • James C. Bennett||

    Thanks to the miracle of mass communications, the Irish immigrants of the 1970's and 1980's, which Fluffy referenced at the beginning of this thread, spoke a language that was recognizable as english to the natives Boston. This was not necessarily true of the Irish immigrants of the 1800's. Also, I imagine the Catholic/Protestant divide was a much bigger cultural barrier in the 1800's than today. I should have listed religion as another big cultural barrier. I'd put it between race and language.

  • ||

    How about the Germans and Italians then.

    Mexicans do assimilate. You just don't notice it because the third generation Hispanics are effectively "white", while there are still more recent immigrants.

    If the country was still getting flooded by German or Italian immigrants no obyd would notice the assimilated Germans and Italians either.

  • James C. Bennett||

    Of course I notice that there are Mexecans who do assimilate; I live and work among them here in Santa Ana, CA. And, I assure you, those that have assimilated speak English, as that is part of the definition. I also notice that there are many who have not assimilated, and among them there are those who rationally choose not to because they don't plan to stay. And I welcome this, because I am a libertarian, and I think people should be able to move around as they please. Also, I like being able to get good carnitas whenever I want.

    However, I know that my not having a problem with highly visible colonies of members of another culture appearing in my culture's territory is just as unusual as my being a libertarian, and I don't begrudge normal people feeling differently. People are tribal, and you can't reasonably expect them to change to fit your political philosophy any more than the marxists/communists/soclialists could reasonably people to suddenly become pure altruists to fit theirs.

    Also, the fact that 4 generations on I am a well assimilated italian-american computer dork would probably be no comfort to the victims of my great-grandfather, who was known as "Charlie Bullets."

  • ||

    No more illegal immigration = no more kick ass carnitas.

  • ||

    I take it you've seen the the M.I.A. video?

    I can't say I care for the music or the hyperbole, but she gets the point across in spades.

    NSFW

  • ||

    Let a few hundred thousand Irish start showing up in Tuscon and overwhelming the local Mexican population and I bet the natives would have plenty of problems with Irish immigration.

  • ||

    Dateable redheads are welcome everywhere.

  • ||

    Hazel is correct. Send the dateable redheads to Tucson

  • ||

    I'll buy your premise if you can demonstrate that color is the only variable between Irish immigrants and Hispanic immigrants.

  • Lethal Injection||

    The Irish, unlike Mexicans, are inherently lazy.

  • ||

    And, unlike the Irish, the Mexicans have imported good food! Their beer, on the other hand...*

    (*For the record, I don't think Irish beer is anything to get excited about either...)

  • kev||

    Good point about Boston, but you contradict the author's assertion that "the real problem is border security." Maybe that's mostly true in the Southwest, but nobody is swimming to Boston from Ireland & Brazil. They fly here with perfectly legitimate visas, and then overstay the visas.

  • ||

    Because the 19th Century Know Nothings loved the Irish?

  • ||

    That's not necessarily true. People in Boston didn't give a shit about Irish illegals in the '70s and '80s nbecause most Bostonians still considered themselves Irish. However, if you look at the first wave of Irish immigration, nobody gave them a pass because they were white. Same with Germand, Italians, etc. Differences in skin color may make it easier to discriminate against those who aren't like us, but even when we look the same humans are pretty good at finding some basis to distinguish themselves from the "others."

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I dunno, Fluffster. Great Britain is all up in arms about immigration themselves, and most of those immigrants are Polish.

  • Patrick||

    i wouldn't say it's racism that makes a difference necessarily. it may be though.

    something i notice is the tendency of the more recent immigrants to form cultural bubbles within our society rather than try to assimilate and contribute to it. that's obviously a generalization, as there are loads of hispanic and asian immigrants who add to and enrich their communities. however, the image of hispanic families moving here three to a house, not learning english, and sending money home rather than planting roots here is hard to avoid, and will definitely give many people a certain negative impression of immigration as a whole.

    i'm not arguing for more border control. just saying it's not always best to act like a whiny liberal douchebag and yell "racism!" every time minorities are involved. and fluffy this isn't directed at you specifically, just people paint the whole immigration debate as a black and white issue of freedom vs. racism.

  • ||

    I have to take issue with your observation regarding "the tendency of the more recent immigrants to form cultural bubbles within our society rather than try to assimilate and contribute to it." This has always happened. I'm German-Lutheran and my church (on the south side of Chicago) opened in the 1870s with all services and schools in German. They didn't get rid of their German-language service until 1983. In the late 19th century the German immigrants used to have parades on Sunday afternoons which ended at the local Biergartens. It was anti-immigrant sentiment that led to the passing of blue laws in Chicago and would eventually fuel the push for prohibition. I grew up in a neighborhood that transitioned from Polish to Mexican (and I'm neither) and have certainly observed this "lack of assimilation" but the more I read about Chicago's past the more I realized European immigrants did the same things.

  • ||

    I'm not familiar with church locations in Chicago, but throughout Wisconsin you'll find multiple Catholic churches just a few blocks from each other - even in fairly small towns. If you trace the history you'll find that one of them was founded as the Italian Catholic church, one was the German Catholic church, and so on. It took a couple generations of intermarriage for those groups to start worshiping together.

  • wayne||

    Good point, Fluffy. A lot like Quebec has blended seamlessly into Canada despite the language difference.

    It is all about color. Always. Cause white folks are racists. Always.

  • Mad Max||

    Fluffy:

    'Boston had an illegal immigration problem all through the 70's and 80's. But since it was Irish illegal immigration, nobody gave a shit.'

    Hazel Meade:

    'If the country was still getting flooded by German or Italian immigrants no obyd would notice the assimilated Germans and Italians either.'

    When these groups came to the USA [legally] the first time around, in the 19th century, there was a lot of strife about it. But the immigrants and their descendants worked their way up the American ladder, and their descendants are in place to welcome people from the Old Country. At least in theory.

    What lesson should we draw from this? The 19th-century immigrants tended to get private-sector jobs and support themselves - although some of them (most stereotypically the Irish) got into politics and government service.

    The Irish and others who ran political machines gave out favors to the poor folks who voted for them - I'm not going to deny *that.* It was not on the level of the modern welfare state, however.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    When these groups came to the USA [legally] the first time around, in the 19th century, there was a lot of strife about it. But the immigrants and their descendants worked their way up the American ladder, and their descendants are in place to welcome people from the Old Country. At least in theory.

    What lesson should we draw from this?

    Well, the only lesson I see is that Europeans can successfully live under a British derived legal system. Anything else is a exercise in wishful thinking.

  • ||

    gingers

  • Becky Chandler||

    This is just factually incorrect. Immigration has been an issue in America since the beginning of the Republic. And from time to time it provides a winning strategy for politicians who practice the mean side of populism--the Know Nothing Party never has totally left the stage.

    It is absurd to argue that the root of the hysteria over immigration is concern about some people that have violated a Class B federal misdemeanor, punishable,like loitering, by up to six months. Those who have just overstayed their visa have not even committed a federal crime—that offense is only a civil infraction which makes them subject to deportation.

    Many Americans, especially in Arizona, have an insane, irrational fear of Mexican immigrants, who they see as disproportionately made up of gangsters who make Tony Soprano look like a pansy . But, of course they have not personally experienced any of this crime, nor do they personally know anyone who has.

    The Assistant Police Chief of Nogales, Arizona finds these fears laughable because crime has gone down in his border town.http://bit.ly/aaWeQ0 Actual DOJ statistics back him up—violent crime is not crossing the border .http://bit.ly/b2FzCd Facts are often such inconvenient things.

    The irrationality on immigration is not due to a deep concern over disrespect of the law.

    Its just racism and its as old as the Republic.

  • ||

    Fuck you Becky. My home town of Dodge City Kansas was transformed from a clean and mind numbingly boring town on the plains into a foul smelling shithole thanks to meat packing plants and the illegal immigration that came with it. The crime rate went up. The place was dirty. It just sucked for the people who lived there. And I personally know lots of people who have been the victims of crime associated with illegal immigration.

    Stop assuming that everyone who disagrees with you has bad motives and no experience to justify their views.

  • ||

    Yeah, the meat-packing plants would have smelled much better if they didn't attract brown workers. White people just smell better when they pack meat; that's what America is all about.

  • The Gobbler||

    I have a friend whose white dad (along with several hundred other white dads) worked at a meat packing plant in Sioux Falls, SD from about 1960-2005. During that time, Sioux Falls prospered.

  • ||

    See? Thanks for the incontrovertible evidence, Gobbler. White meat packers = prosperity.

  • The Gobbler||

    I was pointing out that meat packing plants in and of themselves are culturally neutral.

  • ||

    No, industry that is primarily white really does double in efficiency.

  • ||

    Rhayader,:-)

  • ||

    No. The Meat packing plants should have stayed in Chicago and Kansas City. Those cities had the ability to assimilate large groups of immigrants. Small towns can't.

  • ||

    Those big cities were always big, or is it possible that they did some assimilation as a small town?

  • BakedPenguin||

    KC, maybe. Why would any business want to remain in Chicago?

  • ||

    That is part of the problem. No business would. So they moved to where the cows were.

  • ||

    So your plan to fix this immigration problem would include restrictions on the cities in which owners of meat packing plants would be able to operate?

    "No citizen shall conspire to pack meat in an area with an insufficient ability to assimilate immigrants, as determined by John."

  • ||

    My solution for people to be honest about the problems illegal immigration create rather than running around shouting racist and assuming anyone who notices a problem is doing so in bad faith.

    The pro immigration people do themselves no favors by lying and pretending that there are no problems associated with large scale immigration or that some people really do get screwed over by it.

  • ||

    Hey I've got nothing against addressing reality and identifying that there are problems with our immigration situation. That doesn't mean any response to said reality is justified though.

    This is a shitty non-solution to a real problem, one that seriously jeopardizes the civil rights of US citizens in Arizona. The fact that a problem exists doesn't justify any response under the sun.

  • ||

    True.

  • ||

    ""My solution for people to be honest about the problems illegal immigration create rather than running around shouting racist and assuming anyone who notices a problem is doing so in bad faith.""

    The national debate is far from that. Neither side is interested in being reasonable.

  • wayne||

    John, you are correct. The racist label here is no different than the racist label on tea-partiers.

    The "RAAACCCCIISSSST" charge is the last refuge of those with no cogent argument.

  • JB||

    It's time to start calling the bigots what they are: bigots.

    They may be Leftist bigots, but that doesn't make them any less bigoted.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +55

  • Zenmaster||

    I'm still waiting for the meat packing jokes.

  • ||

    Yeah, if it were just about the existence of a criminal infraction, people arguing in favor of a "crackdown" should be equally receptive to an approach that involves making it dramatically easier to immigrate legally. Only, in my experience at least, they aren't -- they'll usually mumble something about "getting in line" before circling back to the painfully obvious fact that illegal immigrants have violated the law.

    The only part of this whole story I buy is that the AZ law was a reaction to a horribly inadequate federal approach. That rings true to me. Of course, all "reactions" are not created equal, and this reaction is about as wrong-headed and ill-fated as it gets. It's not enough just to react -- the idea is to actually improve the situation.

  • ||

    maybe it's because most people don't realize how hard it is to migrate to the US as a blue collar worker

  • ||

    Yeah, I think you're definitely right about that. We bitch about getting our licenses renewed at DMV, and somehow assume immigrating involves signing up for a Gmail account or something.

  • SIV||

    Bullshit. It is fucking easy to migrate to the US as a blue collar worker. Just get across the border and find a job. What is hard is to come in and get a technical/professional job. Why do we have 20 million "illegals" and only 120k H-1B visa workers?

  • Jason||

  • Jen||

    It's actually hard to migrate ANYWHERE as a blue collar worker. Most countries only want to let in skilled workers, because they've already got more than enough unskilled workers already. It's that pesky little supply and demand thing at work, which clearly must be racist according to a lot of the posts here.

  • wayne||

    Try emigrating to Mexico with your blue-collar skills.

  • ||

    I would say the uprise against illegal immigration is more due to the perception of illegals coming over and using our resources (healthcare, public schools, welfare, etc.) and having anchor babies. The importing of violent criminals is a secondary worry.

  • Jason||

    Very few illegals use welfare... they have to register for it and they're afraid they might get turned in to ICE.

    Besides, if you're going to be poor and live off welfare, why not be poor and live off welfare at home with friends and family rather than in a strange country?

  • Jen||

    Mexico doesn't have welfare. They have to sink or swim on their own.

  • Tony||

    In other words, libertopia.

  • Chad||

    No, because they have universal health care. Clearly, that is why they are fleeing!

  • Tony||

    Well according to some Canadians are fleeing for precisely this reason.

    Where's the militia on that border?

  • Jen||

    Wow, what an asinine comment, Tony. Mexico libertarian because they don't have welfare? Looked at how their economy operates lately? Guess not.

  • Jen||

    Wow, what an asinine comment, Tony. Mexico libertarian because they don't have welfare? Looked at how their economy operates lately? Guess not.

  • SIV||

    Very few illegals use welfare... they have to register for it and they're afraid they might get turned in to ICE.

    Clearly you don't live where there is a significant immigrant population.They advertise in Spanish to sign up for WIC and SNAP.Yes there are plenty of legal hispanic immigrants but they aren't young couples and women from Mexico.

  • chaka||

    shut the fuck up. you have a lot of nerve/stupidity thinking you know what it is like here in arizona. nobody here woke up last month and said 'holy shit there's brown people here! let;s git 'em!'. arizona doesn't hate immigrants, we just don't want to end up like juarez, and we are fast approaching it. also, fuck you, some of us non-educated folks who can't afford to live in scottsdale get to see and experience the violence of the human/drug smugglers up close and personal. i'll admit that arizona is way too much of a police state for my comfort, however, so far the pigs aren't winning. nobody is.

  • ||

    chaka- I think you make a good point in that dismissing differing viewpoints as backwoods racists isn't really helpful (indeed, it's the same thing that many of us bitch about when it's being done to some of the tea party types). I agree that most folks who support hard-line immigration reform aren't overtly racist (though I do think that xenophobia does play a subtle role for some). I WOULD argue, however, that sometimes being in the middle of things actually clouds your perception. Rather than looking at objective facts, you become more focused on your own experiences which are far more anecdotal and not necessarily representative of the big picture. Of course, that doesn't mean your observations are wrong or that you don't have a right to be concerned. I just think the more that we can talk about the actual problems (be they real or perceived) and solutions, and the less we worry about supposed motives, the more likely we are to reach something remotely resembling a common ground.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You can be anti-immigration and not be racist. There were plenty of anti-growth groups in central Florida. (Moreso in the late 90's and earlt 00's). These were mainly white people trying to keep out mainly white people. Race was not a factor.

    That said, the bigger the cultural and ethnic differences, the more likely immigrants will be perceived as a negative influence. The comfort level will be far lower, especially if the influx is large, as it is in the southwest.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    I WOULD argue, however, that sometimes being in the middle of things actually clouds your perception.

    Er, yeah. It's not a secret that most of the people whining about this law are safely far, far away from Arizona.

    Being in the middle of a riot is usually all the convincing anyone needs of the utility of anti-riot laws. Having some wanker pointing out that riots are statistically rare is not particularly convincing.

  • ||

    Yeah, anecdotal experience is always the best basis for public policy.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    The new law enjoys 70% support in Arizona.

    That's a helluva lot of anecdotes.

  • ||

    Votes = anecdotes? Huh??

  • ||

    Being in the middle of a riot is usually all the convincing anyone needs of the utility of anti-riot laws.

    I've been in a riot, and I agree. Without riot cops, who would the rioters have to throw things at?

  • MWG||

    I also live in AZ and see things totally different than you.

  • chaka||

    thanks for clearing that up. i feel so much better now.

  • ||

    Its just racism and its as old as the Republic.

    Thank G-d that there are no Latino racists. I mean, holy shit, they might advocate reconquest of the southwest or something.

  • ||

    I dunno. If bikini models who spoke Cambodian and Spanish started sneaking into Boston and going on welfare, would anyone say shit about it? You want us to think that the criteria for discrimination is "Cambodian and Spanish speaking" but really, it is "bikini models."

  • ||

    Hey, our side doesn't need bikini models when we have babes like this.

  • Rich||

    welfare is a protection racket run by the poor and those who use them politically. Pay or face violent insurrection.

    Could "birthright citizenship" be a protection racket run by the uneducated and those who use them politically?

  • ||

    "Birthright citizenship" is only a problem when white people claim it. When noble brown people claim ownership of the land based on their race, it's a wonderful celebration of authenticity. Viva La Raza!!

  • ||

    Why is it that you guys never celebrate your "international citizenship" in Myanmar or Liberia?

  • HeatherRadish||

    Astute observation.

  • Tman||

    Wider gates, taller fences.

    But then you need the federal government to actually DO something to create said gates and fences. And all of these idiots in Congress are paralyzed in fear of doing something to piss off the "latino vote".

    I would like to see the president come out and propose a sweeping attempt to enforce the border combined with a raising of the immigration quotas, which would do more than anything else to address this problem.

    I would also like a pony.

  • ||

    We did have a president who tried that. It didn't go too well for him.

    He also tried to fix the Social Security ponzi scheme. That also didn't go so well for him.

    Violating our liberties with the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps and "torture" and "rendition", expanding the nanny state with new medical benefits... those all went fine. He got plenty of support on both sides of the aisle for that, any subsequent political bleating notwithstanding.

  • West Texas Boy||

    On immigration, he got killed by the right because his plans included amnesty. That's an important piece of the story.

    The thing with amnesty is that in the end it ultimately gives the line jumpers what they want, even if they have to pay a fine or some other penalty.

    We don't let burglars keep the property they stole after they get out of jail and amnesty is ultmately the exact same concept.

    That's the "lawlessness" part of it that has so many on the right so riled up. Yeah, the gate should be wide, but there should still be a gate and people should still have to go through it.

    I am all for expanded legal immigration - ala Milton Friedman - I am not for legalizing the free-for-all and acting like that's all we can hope for.

  • ||

    That is what we will get. The Left and the Libertarians will never get serious about enforcing the border because they don't believe in borders. It doesn't matter how liberal our immigration laws, nothing short of no enforcement will ever satisfy them.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, because we want terrorists, murderers, and plague carriers to come right in. Quit being a dumb-ass, John.

    Get rid of the War on Drugs, let in pretty much anyone who wants to work, and then enforce the laws as hard as you want.

    As it stands, the scumbags and those looking for a better life both have to sneak in. Let the honest ones in the gate, and only the dirtbags will try to sneak in. It will make it a lot easier to catch them, because the honest people will be using the proper channels. Instead of the flood of people running the gauntlet in the desert, it will be a trickle - and you can know they're probably scumbags, since they didn't take the legal options available.

    It's sad that so many people who fight increased legal immigration do so on the basis of criminality. If the limits for honest workers were increased, a lot of the dirtballs wouldn't get through.

  • ||

    How do we tell the scumbags from the criminals? Unless you know that background check fairy, it is pretty hard.

    Libertarians think (rightly for the most part) that every government program is doomed to be inefficient and incompetent except background checks of immigrants. They think those happen by magic I guess.

  • ||

    You apparently missed Milton Friedman's point: He was for expanded illegal immigration. Legal immigration is a problem because legal immigrants get welfare.

    But as for illegal immigration, Friedman said this...

    Look, for example, at the obvious, immediate, practical example of illegal Mexican immigration. Now, that Mexican immigration, over the border, is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants. It’s a good thing for the United States. It’s a good thing for the citizens of the country. But, it’s only good so long as its illegal.

    That’s an interesting paradox to think about. Make it legal and it’s no good. Why? Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for social security, they don’t qualify for the other myriad of benefits that we pour out from our left pocket to our right pocket. So long as they don’t qualify they migrate to jobs. They take jobs that most residents of this country are unwilling to take. They provide employers with the kind of workers that they cannot get. They’re hard workers, they’re good workers, and they are clearly better off.

    I think the solution is simply to deny targeted welfare to all immigrants, legal or illegal, as well as their citizen children.

  • ||

    I don't buy the "they only do jobs Americans won't do" bullshit. Maybe in really good times, but not now.

    http://www.azfamily.com/news/H.....80224.html

    Further, Latin Americans are racist as hell. Once they take over a field in an area, it is virtually impossible for anyone else to get work in that field. Try getting a job as a white or a black person working on lawn crews or cleaning hotel rooms sometime. Those crews are not all Latin by accident.

  • ||

    I think that's more nepotism than racism. But you may not be entirely wrong on that point.

    Here' the thing though: do you really want hispanics to be forced to hire white people on affirmative action?

    If they are only hiring hispanics, for reasons other than work quality, thne economic factors should eventually kick in a put them at a disadvantage.

    As it is, I suspect that lawn crews are mostly hispanic largely for the reason that hispanics simply do a better job at it, and are willing to work harder for longer hours.

    You know if they were hiring lazy assholes just because they were hispanic than sooner or later some other non-racist law crew would move in on the territory.

  • ||

    IT is a tight job market. There are lots of good people. They just hire their own kind. It is not like it takes a lot to do the work. So the market will not solve.

  • Jen||

    Milton Friedman had a point before illegals did, in fact, find ways to circumvent our laws and obtain welfare. That does happen. They don't get social security, but then again, neither will I. Also, they receive totally free health care in our emergency rooms, driving up the costs of care for all (and making misguided policies like ObamaCare possible).

    Also, I believe I read recently that 87% percent of illegal immigrants in Arizona have criminal records. Clearly, there is a problem there.

    I agree with most of the people here - make it easier to get here legally, but enforce the law when it comes to illegal immigration. Arizona's problem is that it has no power to make it easier to come here legally. That's the federal government's job. If enough states follow Arizona's lead, maybe the federal government actually will open the gates a little more.

  • West Texas Boy||

    That's a fair enough quote from Friedman, and my economics degree definitely concurs about the necessity of freedom of labor. Make the gate as wide as can be and we all benefit.

    It just seems to me that as a matter of national sovereignty, there still needs to be a gate. We as a country must have some kind of control of the process.

  • ||

    Indeed, I believe that even an anarchy would have a gate. It is in too many people's interest not to have truly harmful people running around the territory.

    But the difference between offering legal visas to 5,000 of 500,000 immigrants and offering legal visas to 495,000 of 500,000 immigrants is vast. There is an immense middle ground there and very little principle to stake a position between the two on.

  • MWG||

    "line jumpers"

    I love this term. As if there's some line these people could have gotten in to come to the US legally. You clearly know very little about current US immigration policy.

  • MNG Troll-Bot||

    10) don't read article
    20) don't read preceding comments
    30) adopt contradictory opinion
    40) dismiss commenter as uninformed
    50) goto 10

  • &||

    This "debate" has already been eclipsed by the The Big Oil Spill, The Flood, The Dud Bomb and all the lesser problems conspiring to take immigration policy off the front burner. When the law finally goes into effect and nothing much happens, Americans will yawn and shrug and start bitching about $4 gas which, by August, should be the cable-news Outrage of the Week of the Year.

  • ||

    The problem with immigration from South of the Border is that it threatens to permanently change the political culture of this country. The classical liberalism embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence has until now had enough of a hold on the minds of the electorate to keep America uniquely free, powerful and prosperous among nations. Hitherto this has marginalized the American left. The solution the left has come up with is not so much to change the minds of the American electorate as to change its composition by making millions of illegal immigrants citizens.

    These immigrants are mostly hard working people, so why not make them citizens? The reason is that once that happens the left, and their own demagogic leaders, will convince them that they are "an oppressed minority" in need of government care and protection, which are available only by voting Democratic. Does that scenario remind you of something?

    My experience in doing business with Latino immigrants has been almost entirely positive. The problem I see is not the immigrants themselves but what the left, combined with today’s culture of victimology and anti-white racism, will make of them.

  • Tony||

    See, I think the notion that minorities are lured into supporting Democrats waving handouts in front of them is a racist attitude. Maybe minorities don't jump on the GOP bandwagon because the GOP has made racism and xenophobia part of its rhetoric and political strategy for decades.

    And haven't we had enough of this nonsense where you can in the same sentence whine about a "culture of victimology" and "anti-white racism." I swear, the people most obsessed with race these days are white people--but only the white people who've never lifted a finger or given a thought to endemic racism against non-whites.

  • ||

    ... the GOP has made racism and xenophobia part of its rhetoric and political strategy for decades.

    There's no way minority support for Democrats could be about handouts! It's gotta be GOP racism.

    If only those damned Republicans had not been opposed to Jim Crow and segregation. If only Eisenhower had not sent paratroopers to Little Rock. If only the vast majority of Republicans had not supported Civil Rights, as opposed to the majority of Democrats who did not. If only George Bush had not attended Jeremiah Wright's church. Fuckin' xenophobic, racist assholes.

    Don't worry Tony, I've got a finger I'll lift for you.

  • Tony||

    Once again, for the zillionth time, this is the age of the Internet. Educate yourself on the history of American political parties in the 20th century.

  • ||

    You make it sound as if that is something you've actually done. Why not follow your own advice, put down your thumb-worn copy of Malcom X and actually educate yourself. You'll be surprised what you learn.

    By the way, is zillion actually a number? Hmmm, let me check the internet ...

  • Tony||

    I'm aware that the southern racist Dixiecrats joined the Republicans and that these Republicans have been running on white racial resentment since Nixon. Your apologetics for the GOP amount to an attempted semantic slight-of-hand completely divorced from reality.

  • ||

    I was a member of the ARA for 6 years, worked with Food-not-bombs and HCH in bmore city. I thought all races were victimized by whites...but I know, in reality, it simply isn't true.

    Today I see a noticable antipathy towards white men, even by other white men (michael moore for instance). It is politically correct totalitarianism at it's best. White men have become very reticent to the abuses of "minorities" that seek to harm and exploit them for being white while exaggerating the inequities of non-whites.

    Since Obama's election, there's been a contagion of black against white violence that's been ignored by mainstream liberals, even though it still constitutes racism and violence.

    Liberal guilt prevents rational thinking. There are black militant groups who unashamedly demand the death of white men, and to exterminate the white man entirely. ..right on CNN, and even college professors adopt the rhetoric.

    Being a white man with reason might want to make you become conscious of these realities, unless not wanting to sound like a nazi is worth it.

    It's absurd to me that professional individuals, groups, news outlets, and departments of higher education are luading this insane anti-white philosophy, and people still sit back and say, "it's about time whitey got what's coming to him!"

    How much more ass kissing does the white man have to do? Seriously? Same bullshit from the feminists that will never feel like they're not being oppressed by men.

    I for one am sick of being expected to feel like I owe somebody something... and that I'm just supposed to sit back and smile when someone slanders me for being white and/or having a penis.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's totally racist to just assume that poor minorities wouldn't accept goodies from the entity that was trying to give them.

  • Tony||

    Nobody is trying to give handouts to minorities. It just happens that minorities are disproportionately poor. It IS racist to say that a minority group is being led by Democratic pied pipers because the implication is that they're too stupid to figure out how to be good hardworking entrepreneurs like white people have.

  • ||

    ... good hardworking entrepreneurs?

    I thought "whitey was a xenophobic, racist asshole who wouldn't lift a finger ...

    Oh, never mind.

  • ||

    Oh, I see, "smart" = "hard working." Because all minorities are smart, they will resist the welfare state in favor of backbreaking labor.

  • Tony||

    I dunno if it makes them smart, but resisting the welfare state in favor of backbreaking labor pretty much describes latino immigrants.

  • Jen||

    Does that explain why Mexican immigrants, even illegal ones, use social services and entitlement programs more than citizens? Oops.

  • Tony||

    Jen, cite please?

  • Jen||

    Center for Immigration Studies. Ever heard of it? Here's a synopsis for you: while 5.3% of born citizens use food stamps, 8% of illegal Mexican immigrants do; while 12.1% of born citizens use Medicaid, 22.4% of illegal Mexican immigrants do; while 14.8% of born citizens use any major welfare program, 24.9% of illegal Mexican immigrants do. 4.7% of born citizens get unemployment benefits; 7.2% of illegal Mexican immigrants cash in on these benefits. 5.8% of born citizens get subsidies for school lunches, but 37.4% of illegal Mexican immigrants do. 13.1% of born citizens claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, while 39.4% of illegal Mexican immigrants claim it. A larger percentage of born citizens use SSI, public housing rent subsidy and TANF/General Assistance than do illegals, but some illegals still use them, suggesting, as if anyone needed to be told, that just because someone's "not eligible" or "not allowed" to do something doesn't mean they won't do it.

    I've helped you out this one time, but for next time you're really going to have to learn to do your own research.

  • Coeus||

    I swear, the people most obsessed with race these days are white people
    Jesse Jackson would like a word with you.

  • ||

    This is a very good point, and I agree with your assessment of Latinos. Here in NM, the population is roughly 51% Hispanic so I know whereof I speak.

    Once the left gets a full hold on them, however, their culture will become as toxic as the modern African American culture (71% births out of wedlock, 30% illiteracy, 44% HS dropout rate, 1 in 5 males imprisoned, etc.)

  • jacob||

    *Once* the left gets a hold of them? Sounds like you've got the Mexican population in Missiouri pegged to a 't.'

  • Elliot||

    This is about immigration because unless you are educated or have family ties in the US, it is impossible to immigrate legally. Thus, people will break the law to get in. Make it so that people can immigrate legally and they will do so.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Given that the object of immigration laws is largely to keep people out, get back to us when you've figured out a more efficient way to do that.

  • Josh Fulton||

    This guy's a hack. Again, nothing of substance.

    Why is he a writer for Reason again?

  • ||

    ""This guy's a hack. Again, nothing of substance.""

    Said the guy who posted nothing of substance.

  • jacob||

    +1

  • ||

    Enforcement of existing immigration laws would seem to be the reasonable solution to what is ostensibly an offense which is simple to identify. However, simplicity is not in the parlance of the Washington power structure. Putting this problem in its simplest terms prevents the illegal immigration lobby from engaging in the obfuscation and misdirection which turns law enforcement into racist profiling along with xenophobia and bigotry. Further, when this lobby engages in the circular logic which proceeds to excuse illegal immigration and denigrate obeying laws, people who would be charged with enforcing laws seem to regard these laws askance as if a huge dinner check arrived which they seem resistant to paying.

  • ||

    It boils down to money. We've tied too much of our money to keeping the Iranians out of Iraq, and the Taliban out of Afghanistan.

    I agree, that if AZ is having a problem, the US should increase the money spent on border enforcement in AZ.

    Who here is willing to pay up in more taxes to make it happen?

  • ||

    What, no outrage for the disparity of Cubans vs Mexicans in the immigration process?

  • ||

    Did the republicans stop asking themselves, what would Reagan do?

  • Ronald Reagan||

    I'd fund the contras by trafficking in guns and cocaine.

  • ||

    I'd run a male escort service out of my D.C. condo.

  • Barbara Boxer||

    I would get a pedicure and pay for it with a bad check.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    I would get some botox and then feast on the souls of the innocent.

  • ||

    I'm not sure what I would do.

  • Joe Biden||

    I would... fuck! What would I do?

  • khatre||

    Stop giving the chldren of illegals free education and they will leave them at home in Mexico. Stop giving wellfare to illegals and they will leave their children in the much cheaper to live Mexico instead of bringing them to the US. Stop giving free healthcare to illegals and they will leave their children, parents and grandparents in the much cheeper to pay Mexican system.
    The only people who will stay are the ones who really do want to assimilate and become americans and the ones who just want a job and will go home back to Mexico when the jobs dry up.

  • ||

    Having adopted two foreign-born children, I've dealt with immigration in a way that most US-born citizens haven't. Citizenship is now automatic when adoptions are finalized, but back then we had to go through all kinds of government loops and paperwork.

    Trust me, it's a pain in the #$% to get into this country legally. The Chicago immigration office was incredibly rude. When they realized that they were talking to two citizens, they got a little nicer, but we watched them continue to treat everyone around us rudely. My theory is that immigrants are not yet citizens and, therefore, aren't voters so the INS isn't worried about complaints to elected representatives. I've dealt with both the INS and the IRS. I prefer the IRS.

    I don't like the idea of people coming to the US illegally, but it won't stop until we make the legal process easier.

  • John Rohan||

    But a lot of people want to come here. An awful lot. Make the process easier, and we will be swarmed by the millions. There already is over 300 million people in the US. How many until you think the boat is actually full?

    Here's a better policy. Decide how many immigrants a year we actually want (like say 100K or so) and then raise the standards until we have only that number admitted.

  • ||

    Right on. I've never figured out how libertarians are for private property (to avoid the tragedy of the commons), but are o.k. with the right of anyone to immigrate based on principles of freedom (and thereby ignoring that free immigration IS a tragedy of the commons) Next year the world will hit 7 billion. Net zero migration is the way to go. 1 in 1 out.

  • ||

    More immigrants is a tragedy of the commons only insofar as we force ourselves to create commons that those additional people can occupy. We set our own trap in creating the entitlement state. It was unsustainable and immoral to begin with, and whatever stress both legal and illegal immigration have added to the system has stretched it too far. Fine. Point proven. Let's move on to something else -- something that doesn't provide an excuse to blame the newcomers.

    End the Drug War first.

    Then end birthright citizenship.

    Then end entitlements for non-citizens.

    Then -- and this is the part that we may not have the stomach for, as our xenophobia peters out here -- end entitlements for CITIZENS. Everyone must work for what he gets or give some someone else (parents, relatives, neighbors, charities, scholarship funds, etc.) a convincing reason to provide for him.

    At each step, make visiting, tourism, and long-term immigration easier and more straightforward. Make it as hard or as easy as you want to NATURALIZE new citizens from the immigrant pool.

    I've been advocating the same steps for decades. It doesn't have to be all-at-once, but some of these steps do have to happen in one fell swoop, or they may not happen at all. The latter is what we have been getting for years. Time for a BIG change.

    First step: fire office-holders and do NOT elect candidates who are not pledged to ending the drug war. Some may say this is a litmus test, but it is no more that kind of test than asking a candidate whether he or she believes in liberty and to provide a personal definition of that idea. Which is to say, it is a damned good and broadly applicable litmus test. Use it.

  • jacob||

    +1

  • ||

    End entitlements for immigrants, end war on drugs, open and easy legal immigration. Problem solved.

  • ||

    I don't think this writer gets it. Sure, you could take a poll and people in general would say that immigration is a good thing. But to have anywhere from 12 to 20 million illegals in the USA is not what the average Joe is talking about. Most likely they are talking about a time when immigrants from all over the world came to take a chance and build a new life in a country where if you worked hard enough, you could have a better life than the one you left behind. The key words here are: "if you worked hard enough." I know this to be true since I was one of them. Like Europe, we are seeing such an influx of people with non European values that there is indeed a culture clash. Furthermore, in today's world, we have become so effeminized, that even men are piteously whining for "universal rights" which is code for getting something without working for it. It is hard for me to believe that this country is so immersed in both deception and denial that illegal aliens--felons--are called "undocumented workers," but of course this is nothing new in a country where prostitutes demand to be recognized as: "sex workers" and further demand the right to unionize--even though it is still considered a crime. And that is the real crux of the matter. The American of today is a child brought up by a feminist Mother who believes she has certain rights. She has a right to be a Whore or a Saint--her choice--and you had better be both non judgmental and "sexism,"--even if innocent--gets you a big fat fine and possibly jail time. She cries about the injustice of Rape, but spends 90 per cent of her time trying to entice males--you can not find a women's magazine that does not give advice on "how to be sexier in bed." Porn Star Jenna Jamison was on the New York Times best sellers list for 16 weeks with her book: "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star." And those books weren't bought by men. The call girl that outed former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer got a cushy job as a "sex columnist, speaking engagements and a book deal. The little black ghetto kid stealing a bicycle gets a rap sheet and a life of poverty and most likely an early death at the hands of a gun. Both are crimes, but one is a celebrity and the other a criminal. And given this perverse reality, is it any wonder that Mexicans and Central Americans coming into this country feel that if Americans can demand their fantastical and hypocritial concepts of "constitutional rights," why can't they? So the real problem isn't just the border, but the twisted logic of a coddled, spoiled and unrealistic generation that has really had it too good for too long. The raging obesity plaguing Americans is a physical metaphor reflecting the lazy, indolent and bilbous corn fed brain of the average middle and lower class American. What we really need in this country is a pestilence that wipes out half the country and demonstrates that after all, we are just mammals like other creatures intent on enjoying the few moments in the Sun that the unmoved mover chooses to give us.

  • Jen||

    Am I the only one that recognizes the ramblings of a potential serial killer here? Even the trolls manage to at least comment on the subject of the article.

  • ||

    The real problem, with immigration from Mexico, is the Mexican government's statist economic policies.

  • ||

    Hi David,

    Ok, just for argument, explore that issue of 'border security'. Peggy Noonan put forth the same argument you are, but I am not even vaguely clear about what 'border security' is supposed to consist of. I agree entirely with the Friedman argument about welfare, but I think it's aside from the main argument you appear to be making - that there isn't really much to debate here, we just need to impose law and order. So fine, given as you should know that people will cross the border for (lower paid in the US context) jobs and (I don't buy that an illegal immigrant is sucking up a lot of welfare checks) welfare, what do we do to stop that? It's just a question of building a wall? Still more Border Patrol? What? Unmentioned are the variety of contraband trades which occur along the border and which increase in violence as a function of their illegality. My understanding of 'border security' is troops and wall-oriented.

  • Kim Chen||

    I would suggest that one firm resolve would be to eject those that are caught, something that does not seem to be happening at the moment.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • Athletic Shoes||

    so perfect

  • ||

    Superior article.www.itunes.com/download

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