The Immigration Question

Why we should let more people in

I'm confused about immigration.

We libertarians believe in free trade. That includes trade in labor, too. New people bring us not just labor, but also good new ideas. Open immigration during America's first hundred years helped make America rich.

Open immigration is dangerous today, however, because some immigrants want to murder us. And now that America is a welfare state, some want to come here just to freeload. That great champion of freedom Milton Friedman said Mexican immigration is a good thing—but only so long as it's illegal. "Why? Because as long as it's illegal for people to come, they don't qualify for welfare and Social Security. So they migrate to jobs."

But closing our eyes to illegal immigration cannot be good policy. So what should American do?

I sat down with Heather MacDonald of the conservative Manhattan Institute, author of The Immigration Solution, and Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, author of Let Them In. I respect them both. But they radically disagree on immigration policy.

"The case for open borders is a case for letting the law of supply and demand, the free market, determine the level of immigration," Riley said. "Right now, that determination is being made by politicians and public policy makers. ... And like all exercises in Soviet-style central planning, it's been a complete disaster. We have thriving markets in document fraud ... and 12 million-plus illegal aliens. ... (W)e would do better to move to a system that allowed the free market to determine the level of immigration. And that's the case for open borders." Riley proposes a guest-worker program. "That is the way to reduce illegal immigration."

Heather MacDonald retorts: "A country is not a firm. And it is absolutely the prerogative of a nation and its people to decide its immigration policy. ... We should have an immigration policy that accentuates our natural economic advantage in the 21st century, which is as a high-tech, high-science economy. ... (T)he overwhelming number of immigrants that are coming in largely illegally are extremely low skilled." MacDonald worries that "we're facing, for the first time in this country's history ... the first decrease in national literacy and numeracy ... . "

She wants to copy Australia's and Canada's policy: "high skills, English language and education. ... We should be looking out for our own economic self-interest." Riley disagreed with MacDonald's claim that Mexican immigrants don't fit America's modern economy.

"(T)oday's immigrants coming here are not different in terms of their behavior patterns, in terms of their assimilation levels. They are simply newer."

"Immigrants increase crime!" is another charge hurled at illegals, but the data don't bear that out. There has been a surge in immigration over recent years, but crime has been dropping. Crime has dropped in the border areas of Arizona and California, too.

MacDonald said crime was high during immigration surges in the 1970s and '80s, and attributed the recent drop to higher incarceration rates. But Riley noted, "Incarceration reports from the Justice Department ... show that the native-born are five times more likely than the immigrant population to be arrested and incarcerated ... ."

But if today's illegals are not eligible for welfare, less likely to commit crimes and eager to work, why are people in the border states so ticked off?

"Why wouldn't they be?" Riley said. "It's chaos down there. There's trespassing. There are people breaking the law. We're a nation of laws. It's out of control. The question is how to fix it. And I don't think sealing off the border is the best way to fix it. I think regulating the flow is the best way to fix it."

It would be easier to "regulate the flow" if America made it easier for people to work here legally. State Department data show that a British Ph.D. in bioengineering must wait about six months to get a green card. A South African computer programmer, six years. An Indian computer programmer, 35 years.

A Mexican with a high school diploma must wait a theoretical 131 years! No wonder people sneak into America.

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  • Spencer Smith||

    Of course. Like everything else, if you remove the illegality from it there will be less criminals. No one gets hurt, the black market disappears, abuses and crimes against these people will be reported (because they will no longer fear deportation).

    There is a major difference between residency and citizenship- MAJOR. I see no problem with opening the border to let them in, then making them pay like everyone else for services. Don't let them vote or take the other advantages of citizenship. It really is that simple.

    Also, I think this should correspond with reciprocating agreements with other nations. For example, if we allow such easy entrance for citizens of Mexico, US citizens should have the same rights in their country.

  • Dumbass||

    Dey took ur jerbs!

  • jtuf||

    After the receprocity agreement with Mexico, it will be:

    Tomaron nuestros puestos de trabajo.

  • Redneck White Thrash||

    Dirka Dur!

  • ||

    Also, I think this should correspond with reciprocating agreements with other nations.

    It was looking so nice until here.

    Do you think the same thing about trade? Most people who believe in free trade believe the US is better off with unilateral free trade than without free trade. What makes migration different?

  • Spencer Smith||

    To clarify, I believe the US should have open borders regardless of these proposed reciprocating agreements. I do think, however, that these agreements should be pursued to benefit the US labor force. So, Mexicans should be able to freely enter the US and work- even if Mexico keeps its unjust and archaic immigration rules. However, the US should negotiate with Mexico to eliminate these rules insofar as US citizens are concerned.

  • ||

    Very sensible.

  • Michael||

    However, the US should negotiate with Mexico to eliminate these rules insofar as US citizens are concerned.

    To what benefit? I don't think US citizens are exactly falling over each other to get into Mexico. So aside from it being an Obama-esque gesture to placate one's desire to see some ambiguous form of "justice" carried out, who really gives a fuck what Mexico's immigration policy is?

  • Spencer Smith||

    There are multiple reasons. The first is that NOT doing it is extremely short sighted- equal to admitting a belief that Mexico will never be more than it is now. The second is that if these restrictions are moved, American companies would move there and would have no problem keeping it's quality workforce that would move with the company. Third, it is another important step in removing obstacles to personal freedom. Fourth, just because you don't want to go to Mexico doesn't mean that we shouldn't care about their policy.

    What are the reasons NOT to do it? Are there any?

  • ||

    Aren't there currently all sorts of obstacles to on-Mexicans opening businesses in Mexico? If true, that certainly helps a handful of rich Mexicans at the expense of the rest of Mexico who might work there for an American opening a business south of the border.

  • jtuf||

    El Paso is in the suburbs of Ciudad Juarez. If they can get the drug violence under control, there is much potential for Americans who want to work there.

  • Law Student||

    +1

  • Geotpf||

    I'm the exact opposite. I want less temporary workers and more immigrants that want to eventually be citizens. You seem to just want cheap labor.

  • Spencer Smith||

    I didn't say restrict them from becoming citizens. I was pointing out that they shouldn't have to want to become citizens to work here. Cheap labor is a benefit- but so is an improved quality of life and a removal of a major restriction on freedom.

  • Geotpf||

    I misread your comments about "don't let them vote or take advantage of citizenship". I read that as "don't let them get citizenship".

  • ||

    All I want is free migration. If people want to stay, let them stay. If they want to sojourn, let them sojourn. If they want to work seasons in the US and spend off-seasons at home, let them.

    Citizenship can and should be handled as an entirely separate matter. Just as all employees and customers of a corporation need not be shareholders, so too the workers and residents of a nation need not be citizens.

  • Spencer Smith||

    Couldn't have said it better- in fact I didn't.

  • ||

    I think more people would support this if there weren't anchor babies, and we didn't have to provide free healthcare and schooling to them.

  • ||

    I'm all for zero targeted government assistance for all nonnaturalized immigrants as well as their citizen children.

    Emergency health care and primary schooling are universally offered -- not targeted, individualized, or means-tested -- and are essentially investments rather than losses, so I would be more hesitant distinguishing citizen from immigrant in those services.

  • ||

    Interesting. I am a legal immigrant who pays more in taxes per year than the average American earns in gross --- yet I should be denied the Social Security that I have paid into for years? And my children, who were born here legally (and, btw, have an American father who served in the military for more than 20 years), should also be denied? If that became the case, I'd take my toys and go home.

  • ||

    Oh, don't get me wrong: I'm all for immigrants who don't qualify for welfare not paying those taxes. The more wrenches that can be thrown into bad redistribution schemes, the better.

    Also, citizen children who reach age 18 after spending a majority of their lives in the US probably should get welfare from that point forward on the schedule of a citizen's child.

  • ||

    ...and, btw, have an American father...

    Oh. Didn't catch this. I'd say they get welfare on the schedule of their citizen father.

  • Goober||

    I think this is a sensible position, but overlooks the fact that it won't happen. Everyone here who wants open immigration needs to be happy with the idea that EVERY ONE of those immigrants will be voting in the next decade. Because as much as the Libertarian ethos happens to intersect with the Dem open borders call, the Dems also want voters who have no problem with very anti-libertarian government intrusion.

  • MWG||

    The idea that hispanics vote consistently with the left is a dubious, yet much used argument against greater immigration. Hispanics tend to be very religious and socially conservative.

    As a libertarian I believe we should argue for greater freedom in all its forms. Arguing for limitations on freedom on the grounds that it could lead to less freedom down the road is no argument at all (See drug prohibition, PATRIOT Act, etc...).

  • High School Dropout||

    They'd be less receptive to dems when their property/state/federal taxes started rising.

    As far as voting is concerned, I remember the hispanic community being a swing vote during the 2000 election. After Bush took office the trend starting swinging back toward democrats.

  • Goober||

    "Hispanics tend to be very religious and socially conservative."

    a) so are catholics, who reliably vote for leftist Government Expanders

    b) Who cares? Social conservatives aren't terribly libertarian either.

    You can't hand-wave this away. By and large the people coming to this country have NO problem with legislating government intrusion- on both economic and social issues.

    Again, it's perfectly noble to want to apply libertarian values to the problem of immigration. But don't fool yourself- or others when you try to sell it to them. You are inviting a vast block of potential votes into the country. If you get them here on guest-worker programs or whatever, there will be politicians trying to get them a vote every single day.

  • EMp||

    That ain't gonna happen....

  • ||

    What do you do after the 75% of mexicans who want to immigrate actually come over the border? What do you do when all of the other potential immmigrants flee third world countries south of our border and expand our wellfare state by 2 hundred million or more?
    All an open border would do is make the US the same shithole that mexico is now.

  • ||

    The decline in literacy didn't begin with illegal immigration. That is a trend which has been gaining strength over the last 40 years as a consequence of decisions in the education establishment to reduce the actual content of formal education, replacing it with propaganda and time-fillers.

  • Brunt||

    The tradition of semi-literacy in America is by now firmly entrenched. Even most upper-middle class kids can read just enough to comprehend a bestseller or a technical manual. It's been that way since the 60's. The parents of these kids don't know any better. Their teachers don't know any better. Mediocrity has been codified because the bulk of this country thinks well executed mediocrity is excellence.

    Inner-city schools are a different story, with a worse ending.

    Blaming the schools misses the whole point. If the culture changes, the schools will change. It won't happen the other way around.

  • ||

    By all means we need more fucking idiots!

  • Subsidize Me!||

    The American university system is on top of that, thankfully.

  • ||

    +5

  • Modern Day Moron||

    +Big Number

    -University System at work people.

  • High School Dropout||

    Those idiots mow your lawn, so your fat lazy ass has time to sit on the couch and sip chardonnay with your Harvard buddies and laugh at the people beneath you.

    The market at work.

  • ||

    High fences.

    Wide gates.

    (Continued?) prohibition of illegals from any means-tested public benefit as well as Medicare and Social Security, with proof of legal residency a positive requirement for such benefits.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Add a guarantee that the federal government will not bail out any bankrupt state welfare program that subsidizes illegals, and I think that's change I can believe in.

  • ||

    You would fall for a guarantee?

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Not saying that a motivated group of idiots couldn't easily circumvent such a law, but it would at least encourage states not to spend profligately with the expectation Uncle will com to the rescue.

    RC's plan would cut the number of illegals down to a negligible amount, anyway.

  • jtuf||

    + 1

  • ||

    The open borders concept is fine and dandy in a country without intrusive, highly regulatory economic policies and entrenched, ruinously expensive social welfare programs. But freedom (open borders) and socialism (punitive taxes and labor regulations and the welfare state, to cite just a few examples) cannot co-exist peacefully. The taxpayers will always resent those in the underground economy, who the taxpayers perceive to be getting a free ride at their expense.

  • jtuf||

    Speed up the processing time for immigration. Open the diversity visa lottery to people from all countries. Increase the number of diversity visas to 1 million per year.

  • Dylan||

    The free market for labor system does not work for illegal immigrants when you have sanctuary cities and states harboring them. They help them get on the welfare and public school system which bankrupts states. The Feds need to crack down on the immigration problem and penalize these cities and states and come up with a guest worker program where all people coming across into the country are accounted for just like every other country. Show me your papers!!

  • Mike M.||

    I'll gladly get 100% behind the idea of open borders and instant citizenship AFTER the welfare state is dismantled, but not one second before.

    By the way, what the heck are new immigrants going to do for a living right now? In case you haven't noticed, there are no basically freaking jobs to be had anywhere outside of government. New jobless claims just rose again last week.

  • Geotpf||

    Immigration rates are way down since the recession started. Mexicans know there are fewer jobs up here, so they aren't coming here as much and many are going home.

  • Ron L||

    Mike M.|7.22.10 @ 12:53PM|#
    "By the way, what the heck are new immigrants going to do for a living right now? In case you haven't noticed, there are no basically freaking jobs to be had anywhere outside of government. New jobless claims just rose again last week."

    Not sure the jobless rate is really reliable when the gov't is offering a sizable amount for sitting on your butt.
    Anecdotal, but I'm familiar with several folks who are waiting for a 'position' rather than looking for work.

  • ||

    "Anecdotal, but I'm familiar with several folks who are waiting for a 'position' rather than looking for work."

    That is absolutely right, RonL. My sister is one of those people. She has been "looking" for a job for a year now, and complains that she can't find one, but she won't take a gig at Taco Bell, which would pay more than she's making right now (she actually doesn't get any unemployment, because she chose to move and leave her previous job)...she wants to work an 8-5 M-F job with $40,000 and benefits, preferably working for the state. I told her that wasn't realistic. She doesn't seem to understand why she doesn't have a job.

  • wisecrackin||

    is 40,000, M-F, 8-5 with benefits the ideal American job?

  • ||

    Apparently for my sister, it is!

  • MWG||

    "I'll gladly get 100% behind the idea of TAX CUTS AFTER the welfare state is dismantled, but not one second before."

  • ||

    I agree to this too. Tax cuts while running a budget deficit is fiscially irresponsible.

    Cut expenses first, THEN cut taxes. Doing it the other way around just leads to bankruptcy.

  • Mike M.||

    With the position that our country has been put in, there is absolutely zero chance now of getting any further tax cuts. This is exactly what Obama and the left wanted to achieve: to "gorge the beast" as it were.

    Next year the average American worker will almost certainly be paying the highest taxes he's ever paid in his entire life.

  • Some Guy||

    Terminology recap:

    Republicans going on wild deficit-fueled spending sprees = "Starve the Beast"

    Democrats going on wild deficit-fueled spending sprees = "Gorge the Beast"

  • High School Dropout||

    I've yet to walk by a McDonalds or a Burger King that wasn't hiring.

  • ||

    Just don't bail out the states. Simple as that.

  • ||

    Australia's and Canada's policy: "high skills, English language and education. ...

    Why don't I hear the same kind of global complaining about that policy as I hear about the policy in the US?

    Why is everyone else allowed to have an immigration policy, but we're required to have a swinging door?

    Is it because...maybe....no one's waiting around to get into those countries? Everyone wants in here?

    What have we got that they haven't got? (hint--it's obviously not open borders)

    What if the thing we've got that makes everyone want to come here can be destroyed by open borders?

    Though, to be truthful, I suspect we are already destroying that thing.

  • Spencer Smith||

    Australia actually had some major complaints. The reason they added the strict rules was the flood of Chinese from Hong Kong in the mid '90s wanting to flee before China took it back. It was very much a racist policy- not to mention they wanted to curb the Greek immigration as well.

  • ||

    Why is everyone else allowed to have an immigration policy, but we're required to have a swinging door?

    Alright, here you go:

    Every country, not just the US, should have effectively open borders, preventing entry only to those who actually mean the country harm.

    Happy?

  • Spencer Smith||

    YES! MikeP has it right.

  • Mike M.||

    Every country, not just the US, should have effectively open borders, preventing entry only to those who actually mean the country harm.

    Happy?

    Not really. While I agree with you in the abstract, there are two big concrete problems.

    The first is that every country in the world opening their borders is a total fantasy with zero chance of ever happening, so that's a rather silly and moot point.

    The second is, in most cases there is really no way to determine ahead of time whether or not someone wants to do the country harm. Usually you only know this after the person has already done the harm, so that caveat seems rather wishy-washy and meaningless as well.

  • ||

    I will grant that a large and robust nation such as the US can be more lax on background checks of prospective entrants than a small and besieged nation such as Israel.

    Nonetheless, the compelling public interest standard -- even though it must be judged and administered by imperfect governments -- promotes far, far more freedoms for more people than immigration policies extant today.

  • ||

    I'm totally ok with a soverign nation being able to decide who gets to come in, and who doesn't.

    Think of it as freedom of assocation at a country level.

  • ||

    I.e., freedom of association enforced at gunpoint.

  • ||

    That is a great analogy Kroneborge!

  • ||

    Except for the part about involuntary collectives' regulating individuals' freedom of association.

  • Spencer Smith||

    And the fact that whenever the consent of the governed is taken under the threat of force, the government becomes illegitimate.

  • Metazoan||

    States don't have freedom, individuals do.

  • ||

    I'll explain fuller. As a nation, WE get to decide who comes in and who doesn't (it's even in the consitution). Thus as a whole we get to decide who we associate with.

    think of it another way, we all share a house, some of the roomates say anyone that wants to come over can, others say, no they have to ask first, and permission can be refused.

    I'm in the second camp.

  • ||

    First, there's nothing in the Constitution about immigration -- only about naturalization.

    Second, there is precious little about a government's powers over its dominion that is analogous to an individual's -- or a voluntary collective's -- rights over their property.

  • Spencer Smith||

    Only naturalization mentioned in the constitution... and do you know what the requirements were? Live here for 2 years without incident. Bam- citizenship.

    On another note, your roomate analogy is a false one. We are not roomates. We did not choose to live together. A much more accurate analogy would be that we live in the same apartment complex. If that's the case, then you have no say at all about who I have over.

  • ||

    I would be happy if we went back to a 2 or five year rule, as long as you came here in a legal fashion.

  • ||

    We did not choose to live with one another?

    If you're an adult, and you choose to stay in the US, then , yes, you did choose to live with other adults who choose to live in the US.

    There's nothing stopping any adult from leaving this country.

  • Spencer Smith||

    That is no choice. Given the fact that there is no free migration, the choice is a false one.

  • ||

    We did not choose to live together.

    Since when do two people have to agree to choose to live together to be roommates? Would you prefer cellmates?

  • EMp||

    B-I-N-G-O!!

  • EMp||

    To Kroneborge @ 5:55pm....

  • MWG||

    Having gone through the immigration process on behalf of my wife, I can tell you the US govt. is quite thorough with background checks.

  • ||

    "But, but, all the cool kids are doing it!"

  • Rudan||

    "Why don't I hear the same kind of global complaining about that policy as I hear about the policy in the US?"

    IDK about Australia, but as far as Canada goes I suspect that the education, skills, etc. screening process is involved in the minority of all immigration most of which is generations of immigrants sponsoring other immigrants, or citizenship by marriage, etc.

  • ||

    Azathoth, I'm just speculating (so take this for what it's worth, and it may be worth nothing at all, fair enough) but I think maybe Americans take more heat over our policies because we assert that we're the greatest country in the world, on a global scale, be it militarily or just our attitudes in general. I wonder if Canadians or Australians plaster their flag all over everything all the time? I think because we present ourselves as this land of freedom and awesomeness (even though we're fast becoming something vastly different) that we have to expect that tons of people will want to come in here--especially if some of them live literally 40 miles down South.

  • ||

    Have you ever been to Canada? You can't walk two steps without seeing their flag in the weirdest places. In the US, McDonalds flies the flag outside their restaurants, in Canada, they do the same thing--but the Maple Leaf is also part of the McDee's logo. Why?

    And I don't think the US 'asserts' that they are the greatest country in the world. I think our daily admission rates(legal and illegal) say that for us.

    I'd like to see some rational way to expand immigration while retaining sovereignty.

    I can go all anarchist and say I want this and that, but I gotta deal with the world I'm given, and if Mexico ain't opening it's arms wide to me, then I've got no problem not opening my arms wide to Mexico. Anarchy means I act in my best interests--and my best interests are not served by turning the US into a suburb of Juarez.

  • Mike M.||

    It's their way of trying to convince themselves that they're Canada and not America Junior, even though deep down inside everyone inherently understands that they're America Junior.

  • ||

    I'd like to see an immigration policy that doesn't punish educated migrants. Why not:

    1) Reduce the paperwork and waiting times for educated or skilled English-speaking migrants to gain green cards or citizenship.

    2) Issue guest worker documents to any unskilled migrant provided they:
    a) do not commit crimes while in the US
    b) can find jobs and can contribute to Social Security, payroll taxes, etc.

  • ||

    I like this approach.

  • ||

    "b) can find jobs and can contribute to Social Security, payroll taxes, etc."

    We don't want them paying payroll taxes, because we don't want them getting SS, or Medicair.

  • ||

    Social Security and Medicare would be for citizens - not guest workers. If our guests don't like helping to pay for programs they're ineligible to use, then they can opt to remain in their home country.

    Of course, all this assumes Social Security and Medicare will remain solvent - which I highly doubt.

  • ||

    "Of course, all this assumes Social Security and Medicare will remain solvent - which I highly doubt."

    It's a mathematical impossibility.So your doubt is well founded.

  • Goober||

    This is a fine position to take, as long as you accept that it is political fantasy.

    It wouldn't be a year before politicians are pointing out the hypocrisy of forcing people to pay into a program they cannot draw from.

    The only way I see open immigration without immediate nationalization by power-seeking Democrats is a Constitutional Amendment.

  • ||

    It wouldn't be a year before politicians are pointing out the hypocrisy of forcing people to pay into a program they cannot draw from.

    So? 1) Politicians are always pointing out 'hypocrisy' whether it exists or now if there is any political gain. 2) Every politician is guilty of hypocrisy and would merely be even more hypocritical throwing that accusation at others, which doesn't prevent them from doing it or prevent people from buying it if it fits their biases.

  • ||

    If they don't want to pay into a program that they can't draw from, then they may stay home.

  • Goober||

    "So?"

    So...perhaps you haven't noticed that politicians are pretty good at expanding the government based on these class-based fairness pleas. Or was there a distinctly large roll-back in government during the last decade that I missed?

    So...unless you think that all the people in this country are libertarians, you need to make peace with the VERY HIGH likelihood that your libertarian goal of open borders will result in a far less libertarian state.

    Those people will get votes and they will vote very anti-libertarian.

  • High School Dropout||

    You need to amend this list.

    Currently unemployment is too high in sectors outside of Healthcare, Education and Government related industries to justify letting outsourcing of educated workers in these fields.

    I'm assuming that you're leaving out the uneducated immigrants for this reason.

  • ||

    I'm not sure why you're talking about outsourcing. I'm talking about letting these educated people into this country and making it far easier for them to become American citizens.

    Why should a person with a medical or engineering degree be put through the wringer because they're trying to follow the rules? Many of them want to be citizens - I know of a few myself.

  • Jeff||

    (Page 2 of 2)

    Black markets make problems worse. America should let more people come here legally.

    Is Harsanyi ghostwriting for Stossel?

  • ||

    What I would like someone who is for closing the border and kicking all of the illegals out to explain to me is how they think we can accomplish this. The only real way this can be done is for the military to check the citizenship status of every individual and place in detention camps any who are not here legally.

    I will be honest and say that I am not sure what the solution is. I do know that the extremes of mass amnesty or mass exodus come with their own bag of worms.

  • ||

    The first thing I think for me, and many others is to be able to stop the flow of NEW illegals. Once we have shown we can do that, then we can look at what to do with the people that are already here.

    If we were actually able to control our borders, you could then make a pretty good case, for allowing people that are already here to apply and get in the back of the line.

  • ||

    Simple, start enforcing the laws we have, start putting up a fence, and announce that they better get out while the gettin' is good because after the fence is done there will be a nationwide sweep to round up the malingerers--who will be imprisoned.

    You won't even have to build a foot of that fence before they're all gone.

    Then you can implement a saner process.

  • ||

    I might have a hard time with a nation wide sweep...

    But I don't mind using the e-verify system for employement.

  • Metazoan||

    Wow, a "nationwide sweep." That won't involve yet another massive use of oppressive government power...

  • ||

    That's what I was trying to get at. I don't think we should give them blanket amnesty, but the idea of the government marching around getting even more up in people's business is even less appealing.

  • ||

    Sigh.

    You don't have to do the sweep. It's a propaganda tactic.

  • ||

    OK, so how does a building a fence affect the multitude of illegal Irish and Polish immigrants here in the Chicago area? Or do they skate because they're a whiter shade of pale?

    Illegal immigrant does not necessarily equal someone of Mexican, Central American or South American origin.

  • ||

    Enforce the laws we have on the books is for ALL illegals--including honkies, okay?

    The fence is for all illegals that use the currently porous Mexican border--not just hispanics.

    The sweep is propaganda.

    Clear?

  • ||

    Or we could change immigration laws to be fair, rational and of benefit to the United States - not the batshit crazy "system" we currently have.

  • ||

    As long as the people who jumped the line don't benefit from it--let's go....otherwise....

  • ||

    What it comes down to in the end is that you CAN NOT STOP THEM!!!!!

    You can throw all the money you want at trying to stop so called Illegals and you will never stop them.

    You could position people 50ft apart all along the border and it will not stop them.

    The only way you could ever hope to stop them is to make America such a horrible place no one wants to come here anymore. Long before that happens I will be hopping the fence into Mexico and so will a lot of other people.

    Like it or not. Those are the facts.

    Some more illumination for all you supposedly "free thinkers". You people are so focused on the border and Mexican illegals that you do not even realize that the vast majority of "illegals" entering this country do it through our many ports.Or on work, travel and student visas.

    Why do your leaders have you so focused on southern border? Why are they only speaking out against those "dirty Mexicans"?

    I have a hypothesis.

    We (and I use the term loosely as i hesitate to lump myself in with this madness) don't actually HAVE an immigration problem.

    This "problem" is just another in long list of crisis that have been fabricated by your leaders to generate fear. Like the climate change hoax, they invent some problem that supposedly only government can fix. In exchange for "just a few more" freedoms and an obscene amount of money they can "fix" it for you.

    So i say again. You do not have an Immigration problem. Lets look at one of the big, so called arguments of the anti-illegal crowd.

    "They clog up our social service programs". Welfare/food stamps, Public Schools, Hospitals etc.

    Sorry, but none of these are an immigration issue.

    Illegals getting welfare is a WELFARE issue. Even if you agree with the concept of welfare, i personally don't, it would be a simple enough matter to just turn off the spigot. Don't like the "illegals" getting the welfare... Stop friggin giving it to them. According to polls you guys have 80% of America with you. Surely your government would listen to you, right? Good luck with that.

    Schools being forced to admit the children of "illegals" is not an "illegal" immigration problem. Mandatory public schooling is the problem. If you people would stop sending your children to them, there would be no public schools. As it should be. Mandatory public schooling is the biggest farce yet perpetrated upon supposedly free people in the history of freedom itself. Public schooling has nothing to do with education and everything to do with indoctrination, obedience and conformity. Oh, and it is funded by theft. Get rid of mandatory public school and you not only solve the "illegal" problem but you solve a great many others as well. With the added benefit of having a nation of well educated, highly responsible, critically thinking adults with TRUE freedom not this illusion of freedom you have now... in a generation.

    The idea of the government telling a private business who they have to serve or not serve. Or how they have to do business. Is so antithetical to the idea of freedom that every freedom loving person should recoil in horror at the thought. Hospitals being forced to care for "illegals" is a government sticking it nose where it don't belong problem, not a "illegal" immigration problem.

    Now lets address the reason i put quotation marks around the word illegal when i use it, and another of the anti "illegal" immigration planks.

    "But they are breaking the LAW"

    Law in this country is a joke. The enforcement of laws in America is so arbitrary it is laughable. Enforcement ultimately comes down to the person doing the enforcing. Since people are fallible, enforcement is also fallible. If a cop hates drugs he is going to enforce drug laws, if he smokes pot, he isn't going to enforce pot laws. The same cop may hate cocaine and would enforce that drug law. See, arbitrary. Immigration laws are just as arbitrary.

    The process to "legally" immigrate to this country is bullshit. It amounts to a bribe. Do you know how much it costs to "legally" immigrate to the U.S.? close to 10 grand. Why do people have to pay this bribe to be eligible to live here? Who do you think get shafted by this policy? Poor people maybe?

    Why do they have to take all those stupid citizenship tests? Tests i might add, that i doubt 75% of high school graduates could pass. Who do you think that policy discriminates against. Uneducated people?

    So who do the immigration laws actually discriminate against? Looks like poor, uneducated people to me. Rich, educated people don't have any problems immigrating here. So when you say "but their illegal". What you should be saying is "I don't want the same freedom for today's poor, uneducated people that was afforded to MY poor, uneducated ancestors." Mighty christian of ya.

    The last so called issue i will address is the "Their taking our jobs/ruining our economy"'

    Complete and total humbug. I'm sorry, but if an uneducated person from another culture, who cant even speak the local language takes your job...you should probably be deported.

    Personal story time... are you not so excited!?

    I work in the oil biz. On the drilling/exploration side. I work as a field geologist mapping oilfields for oil companies. Part of that job is living and working on site while drilling. Looking at the cuttings coming up, monitoring gas and oil shows etc. I have a lot of interaction with the actual drilling crews, called roughnecks. In my experience the Mexican crews are generally superior to non-Mexican crews in every way.

    Generally the crew consisted of 5 people, 4 of which knew no english at all or maybe a few words. 1 person knew enough english to be the interpreter for the rest. These crews are highly sought after, and there is a good reason they get work over say white crews. Nope that reason. They make they same wage as every other roughneck in that area does. Roughly 15-30 bucks an hour depending on the drilling company. When the oilfield slowed way down in 2008-09 all the mexican crews were still working when over 200k oilfield personnel sat around and collected unemployment.

    This was so because of one simple reason. They work harder, bitch less, and are generally more grateful. Between connections a typical mexican crew would be working cleaning the rig, maintaining the rig and other equipment. They were always busy. They would even go so far as to clean the trailers we lived in and wash our vehicles. They were friendly as hell. They all ways cooked enough food for everyone on site. They are real big on family, loyalty, and hard work. Most white crews,(there are very very few black people in the oilfield sadly) during this time would be sleeping,drinking, doing drugs, fighting, running there mouth etc. I know its just anecdotal but it's my experience with "illegals" in my workplace.

    The "they are ruining our economy" argument is a logical fallacy. The idea that "illegals" don't pay taxes is ludicrous. Most have fake papers, fake DL and SS card etc. They still pay all the same taxes you do. The big difference is, that even if they lived and worked here for 20 years and paid into the system the whole time they can never get SSI, social security, non of it. So they pay into the system but place no drain on it. That seems like it adds to "society" to me.

    Even the ones who don't pay into the system through payroll deduction still get taxed when they spend money. Just about everything you buy has some form of tax, tariff or other hidden cost. Such as the hidden cost of paying for retarded government regulations. Again, since they are labeled "illegal" by society they pay into the system for "services"(fuck what a joke government "service" is) they won't/can't use those services for fear of getting deported. So they are in fact paying "there fair share" whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean.

    There, laid it out for ya neat and simple.

    Holy crap that turned into a chapter in some unwritten book. =)

  • CPM||

    "So who do the immigration laws actually discriminate against? Looks like poor, uneducated people to me"

    I'm ok with that. It makes sense to give first dibs to those will likely be able to pay for their children's school, food and housing on their own (less subsidized expenses). Is it immoral that I have a tolerance on how much I subsidize for less educated people?

    I work 830-530. From 230-530, I don't get the money I earn. A lot of it covers uneducated people who don't produce.

  • ||

    Well I am not ok with it. But your current system forces me to do a lot of things I am morally opposed to.

  • High School Dropout||

    You don't pay for schooling on your own. My undeducated ass pays for that, by paying for state universities that I don't use the services of and federal/state college loans to private universities that go unpaid.

    I pay for your housing, by subsidizing mortgages to families, tax write-offs for first time homebuyers, rent controls.

    I subsidize your family health care. Belong to an Employer Group insurance policy? Employers that offer group insurance to employees subsidize the premiums in order to take advantage of the tax benefits by doing so. Who picks up the cost for that?

    You ONLY work from 830-530? You're fuckin' lazy. Get another job.

  • ||

    What I would like someone who is for closing the border and kicking all of the illegals out to explain to me is how they think we can accomplish this.

    There will alwasy be some who actually believe this can be done. However, I think most who urge this really do understand most of the practical problems associated with it.

  • ▲ ▲||

    high skills, English language and education. ... We should be looking out for our own economic self-interest.

    That kind of policy is what causes them to TOOK OUR JERBS. We should be letting the low-skilled, low-educated people and let them clean up shit, harvest crops, and do the menial jobs that Americans don't want to do so the Americans can focus on the high-skilled, high paying jobs. DERP.

  • Amakudari||

    MacDonald worries that "we're facing, for the first time in this country's history ... the first decrease in national literacy and numeracy ... ."

    And who really cares? A person with the same circumstances in the US is no less literate because of immigrants, and by the second generation substantially all immigrants are literate.

  • ||

    Yes, because a drop in the average of some government statistics is exactly equal to catastrophy.

    Big. Fucking. Deal. So we temporarily have some undereducated immigrants, who will then seek education for themselves or their children.

  • Huston||

    "by the second generation substantially all immigrants are literate"

    I've been teaching English in Las Vegas for the past ten years and, believe me, this isn't even close to being true. You'd be surprised at how many Hispanic immigrants--and their children--and their grandchildren--are illiterate in English AND Spanish!

  • Spazmo||

    Then they should get along just fine with the natural-born.

  • .||

    Yeah. BTW, who typed that for you?

  • ||

    Here again is I think the problem of too much immigration. If the numbers are smaller it forces assimliation quicker. When the numbers are huge you get huge barrios where Spanish is now the norm.

    This doesn't help out anyone, it traps the immmigrans in lower wage jobs, and increases the costs to society.

  • Amakudari||

    It's undeniably true. Around 20% of those in US schools are children of immigrants, yet we have 99% literacy. Even if the literacy rate were to decline to 98% due to English problems from linguistically isolated communities (which are not the norm for immigrants), that doesn't challenge what I'm saying.

    If we had a more sane policy where we allowed and documented foreign workers but required that they achieve demonstrable English proficiency for long-term stays, non-English-speaking communities would probably diminish, and in any case contain a manageable illegal population. "Manageable" as in law enforcement could handle it, versus the status quo of not even wanting to start.

  • wise_up_people||

    America was founded entirely by ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. None of you would be here today if your ancestors hadn't decided to come over here from Europe and rape and kill the rightful owners of this land in order to take it over. No one except the Native people of this country should have a right to say who should be allowed to be here and who wouldn't. But god knows that will never happen because the decendents of the real owners of this country have been forced onto tiny, barren, pieces of land for over 100 years and had their languages and heritages made illegal up until the 1970s. Now talk about unfair. Get over yourselves.

  • Van||

    I am descended from Native American women and Frenchmen dipstick.

    You should follow you own advice instead of hypocritically remaining behind.

  • Huston||

    The Native Americans stole this land from the Maya, who stole it from the Anasazi, who stole it from the chipmunks, birds, and worms who were here first. They've been abusing the resources of the REAL natives for years, people! It's time everybody but the animals went back across that land bridge they came over, and left this continent in peace. Except for the chipmunks who stole this land from the wooly mammoths and tree sloths. Those chipmunks owe the mammoths some serious reparations!

  • ||

    Alright. I've decided I don't want you here. GTFO, plz.

  • ||

    Even Native Americans will tell you that you cant own the land, only have dominion over it.

  • ||

    Depends which "Native Americans" you're talking about. They weren't all funky proto-communist earth-spirit lovers.

  • Van||

    The idea of using free market principles to organize and run government bureaucracies has already been tried in England during the nineties. It failed utterly, because of the impossibility of defining and collecting valid measures of performance. The government managers also faked their performance numbers in order to keep their jobs.

    Bureaucracy needs to be minimized, not made more efficient.

    Citizenship is not a free market concept. Should we allow people to purchase their citizenship?

    The problem with immigration now is that immigrants are seeking money, not freedom, and these immigrants, because of propaganda in their own countries, believe in voting Democrat and have no problem with Socialism.

    Immigration is not a universal eternal good.

    Naturalization has outlived its usefulness. It will only lead to bigger, more intrusive government.

  • ||

    "Get over yourselves."
    Because everyone only has a right to govern the mud holes in which their "original ancestors" evolved from. Go back to your mud holes!

  • normcash||

    People should be free to speak any language they want.

  • .||

    Aren't they?

  • ||

    One of the problems in the EU with the Euro currency is that while the currency was shared, the workforce was unable to easily cross borders to balance supply with demand. By comparison in the US, the states all share the same currency but differ in tax structures, services, etc. Recent migration rates show clear winners (TX) and losers (CA, MI) in the regard.

    The problems with illegal immigration from Mexico or India or whatever are: 1) as others have stated, we have a social welfare state here. and 2) being piss poor without a job here is still 1000x better than being piss poor without a job in India.

    How many of the worlds poor do you think we can absorb in the US? How many do you think would come if they could get a cheap ride and knew they wouldn't get deported?

    Low skill jobs are disappearing while unemployment keeps going up. How is flooding the country with unskilled labor doing anyone in the US a favor?

  • ||

    +1

  • MWG||

    "The problems with illegal immigration from Mexico or India or whatever are: 1) as others have stated, we have a social welfare state here."

    I take it your also against free trade in goods and services, because, after all, we don't have a 100% free market here in the US.

    "2) being piss poor without a job here is still 1000x better than being piss poor without a job in India."

    How many "piss poor" Indians do you think can afford to travel to the US?

    "How many of the worlds poor do you think we can absorb in the US?"

    I don't know. Do you?

    "Low skill jobs are disappearing while unemployment keeps going up. How is flooding the country with unskilled labor doing anyone in the US a favor?"

    We've already lost millions of jobs. How is letting GM and Chrysler fail doing anyone in the US a favor?

  • Danno||

    "I take it your also against free trade in goods and services, because, after all, we don't have a 100% free market here in the US."

    I'm all for free trade and deregulation. When we form imbalanced trade agreements with other nations that play dirty tricks with their currency valuation or other considerations, that is where we need to evaluate.

    "How many "piss poor" Indians do you think can afford to travel to the US?"

    Probably a lot more if enough get here to start sending money back. It works for the Mexican nationals. ...yeah yeah, I know, I'm a racist, right??

    "I don't know. Do you?"

    Not all just about all of them, which is what we'll get if we open the floodgates, unless we hit 3rd world status first.

    "We've already lost millions of jobs. How is letting GM and Chrysler fail doing anyone in the US a favor?"

    Well it did the unions a BIG favor, and saved some suppliers and dealers some pain in the short term, I suppose. But other than that, many like me believe we'd have been better served by letting them fail and creating an opportunity for something useful to come out of the remnants.

  • MWG||

    "I'm all for free trade and deregulation. When we form imbalanced trade agreements with other nations that play dirty tricks with their currency valuation or other considerations, that is where we need to evaluate."

    Well, you're ideologically consistent there, I'll give you that.

    "Probably a lot more if enough get here to start sending money back. It works for the Mexican nationals."

    Piss poor Indians are those who make little more than $1/day. They could hardly afford to immigrate to the US. Also, it'll be pretty hard to send money back to the US if, as you claimed, they'd be unemployed.

    "Not all just about all of them, which is what we'll get if we open the floodgates, unless we hit 3rd world status first."

    So you claim.

    "many like me believe we'd have been better served by letting them fail and creating an opportunity for something useful to come out of the remnants."

    So you claim that allowing poor immigrants into the US is a problem because it further exacerbates unemployment, yet allowing companies to fail isn't a problem even though it further exacerbates unemployment.

    I'll chalk this inconsistency up to a lack a economic understanding.

  • Danno||

    "So you claim that allowing poor immigrants into the US is a problem because it further exacerbates unemployment, yet allowing companies to fail isn't a problem even though it further exacerbates unemployment.

    I'll chalk this inconsistency up to a lack a economic understanding."

    Cutting your foot off because it is gangrenous makes sense, even though you would obviously walk better with two feet. I'll chalk up this inability of yours to comprehend this analogy to leftist idealism, or a lack of common sense... pretty much the same thing.

    You have to allow companies to fail, otherwise they will continue to act irresponsibly, continue to make bad products nobody wants, or remain uncompetitive for whatever reason. Why should a business make hard choices to succeed when the gov't will bail them out?

  • MWG||

    I'm no leftist hippie. I believe in freedom pure and simple and I'm absolutely consistent in that belief. Immigration makes sense not only in terms of freedom (freedom of movement, association, etc, etc.) but also as it relates to economics.

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2.....em-in.html

  • ||

    I believe in freedom pure and simple and I'm absolutely consistent in that belief.

    Except the freedom to fail, apparently.

  • MWG||

    Actually I do. I was merely pointing out his lack of logic. He believes increasing immigration in a time of high unemployment will make things worse so I suggested he must be for the bailouts of the auto companies as allowing them to fail would make unemployment worse.

  • Danno||

    "Piss poor Indians are those who make little more than $1/day. They could hardly afford to immigrate to the US. Also, it'll be pretty hard to send money back to the US if, as you claimed, they'd be unemployed."

    So they save enough to send a few here. They live 14 deep in a one bedroom apt. They hang out at home depot and work for cash, $5/hour, undercutting Americans, doing jobs Americans "refuse" to do for $5 off the books. They are millionaires by Indian standards... and send money back to India, doing nothing for the US economy and bringing more of their extended family.

    ...look, I don't hate foreigners or anything like that, but an open gate policy would be a disaster unless you first dismantle the welfare state here and put stiff penalties on anyone that employs people off the books and breaks all the rules we are subject to.

  • MWG||

    You've still failed to explain how people who make little more than $1/day can afford to immigrate to the US.

    "...doing nothing for the US economy..."

    Why would anyone pay them if they provide no economic benefit?

    You probably don't hate foreigners, but it's absolutely clear that you fear them.

  • Danno||

    "You've still failed to explain how people who make little more than $1/day can afford to immigrate to the US."

    For f's sake I said India arbitrarily, sorry if you're an Indian. Change it to Paraguay where they make $2/day and can walk up here if it completes the argument for you. If you open the floodgates I bet the gov't of Mexico would build high speed rail straight into Phoenix. How do people with virutally no money in central America get here? If people in dire circumstances abroad have no fear of deportation, they will find a way to get here. Look at the cubans... tying sticks together and getting eaten alive by sharks. How did they afford to get here with no money?

    "Why would anyone pay them if they provide no economic benefit"

    ...because they are willing to evade taxes and undercut wages/labor laws. I feel like we're going in circles here. If anyone here legally wants to compete with them, they have to break the law. If an employer operates above-board, I doubt there many jobs a legal worker here wouldnl't do.

    I fear our culture is eroding, maybe you love that idea, but I don't. Look at the tension in France now. I believe a huge unflux of impoverished people will vote in a socialist entitlement gov't, given the opportunity. the word "Fear" makes it sound like I'm uninformed or ignorant, but these are outcomes I'd rather avoid. If you think it'll end in Utopia, we should just agree to disagree.

  • EMp||

    Thats, unfortunately, the way people who live in old nieghborhoods and used to work in blue-collar jobs that have seen those nieghborhoods transform, and not for the better(just ask them - they will agree, and not because they are racists, because it is a reality they live in....), and those jobs evaporate or drop dramatically in wage potential.....

  • ||

    The other point I wanted make is... treating immigration as a simple supply and demand issue is a based on a false premise that all countries are on a level playing field. We do not share a currency, regulatory climate, gov't, or (directly) an economy with other countries. Mexico is happy to export all its poor, illiterate, unskilled people. They don't have to provide any services, and there's a good chance they'll send money back to Mexico. No matter how high unemployment gets here, people will ALWAYS want to come in because there will ALWAYS be someplace worse, with even less opportunity or worse conditions. The whole supply/demand argument only kicks in when we are brought down to their standard of living... THEN the field will be level.

  • ||

    ...there's a good chance they'll send money back to Mexico.

    Scratch someone who's against free migration, find a mercantilist.

  • ||

    Guess what country has the highest per capita population of millionaires in the world. Hmm Mexico...

    They don't want to take care of there poor so they send em here because they know you will.

  • EMp||

    Your last sentence here, Danno, is what is intended....

  • ||

    By whom, pray tell?

  • MWG||

    Major [citation needed]

  • EMp||

    By the political class and the corporate class. By this I mean that businesses benefit by not paying higher wages to employees and the political class will be there to accept those people who feel they will/can not get fair market value by being forced into competing against imported, disposable worker drones - those jobs for blue collar, middle-class workers become less lucrative, so the recourse for them comes in the form of government intervention by means of foodstamps, medicaid, and other government (tax-payer) assistance.

    Again - the business world benefits by having hordes of cheap labor that they can pay substandard wages(and little to no benies), and the politicians benefit by having more government dependent citizens that can no longer find gainful employment at their former wages, thus having to run to the government for aid/subsistance. The standard of living would invariably decrease. Or am I wrong on this point? :-/

  • ||

    I have to disagree with Stossel on two points:

    "Open immigration is dangerous... because some immigrants want to murder us."

    This is just plain fear mongering. I'm all for border security, north and south, but limiting the annual quotas will not prevent terrorism. Remember that the Millenium Bomber was caught driving across the Canadian border, probably with a tourist visa.

    "...some want to come here just to freeload."

    Most come looking for economic opportunities, not a free ride. And if a flood of legal documented immigrants bankrupts the CA social welfare state, isn't that a good thing?

    Let the Left try to have its cake and eat it too.

    Unfortunately the Federal Gov't would step in to bailout the State... again.

  • ||

    Mexicans did not come here for a free ride but they are perfectly happy to take anything that the wellfare state will give them.
    free education
    free healthcare
    free food
    free money ...

  • ||

    Just got #500 on the Palin/mooxloum thread, who wants a piece.

  • ||

    Is that the president from Battlestar Gallactica?

  • ||

    Freedom of association...sing it

  • ||

    No, she looks nothing like pres from bg...my bad, hallucinations are hard!

  • ||

    I call Canada a racist nation daily, dangit!

  • ||

    Awesome break-down libertarian black dude, and yet her response blatant scare tactics...

  • ||

    The higher pitch of his voice, the more right he is, nifty.

  • ||

    Nice dig at Fox, John. Be your own man.

  • ||

    what he had in the 90's was...rational effective policing

    Just did a spit take...of beer onto my laptop.

  • ||

    ANCHOR BABIES!!!1!QFT!HATE'em

  • ||

    ABORT'em whoops, I'm against that, kill them brown fuckers after they are born...Abortion is soooo wrong!

  • ||

    Let me just state it now:

    If you are so afraid of Mexicans, that you want to end the American system of automatic citizenship, then. as Fluffy so eloquently put it earlier; Please, die in a fire. At least a painful death will help alleviate the stain of cowardice that engulfed your living state.

  • ||

    You people? John, what the hell do you mean by that?

    You people? Indicist!

  • ||

    Wow, an entire field of xenophobes.

  • ||

    JAcket! booyah

  • ||

    Yeehaw! Where the fuck is your bolo tie?

    Whoa, Phoenix has an anarchist mayor sweet.

  • ||

    Dang bring it back to the WOD, Jacket, Beat his ass.

  • ||

    Let 'em go, 'Stache...them doggies need to tangle.

  • ||

    Ignore the damage, Jacket...why do you like child molesters?

    Just answer the question.

  • ||

    < pantsshitter >The Libertarian solution is so simple that it doesn't apply to our complex society.

    Why don't you think of the children, just once? C'mon guys.

    < /bedwetter >

    A note to our long time liveblog fans, if you read this entry on mute while watching the Wizard of Oz...THEY MATCH UP, creepy! Have fun psychonauts.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You're a bad-ass capitol-l. All alone and still tore the place up. I'll be on time one of these days.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Goddammit.

  • DAdvocate||

    If only there was some worldwide database of criminal offenders and some system of tracking everyone so we could let just the good people cross the borders.

  • ||

    Legalizing millions of immigrants from Mexico and South America will bring about a Socialist majority in government. These people don't check their ideologies at the border. They will vote for more benefits for themselves and the Democrats will be glad to pander to that. Have we learned nothing?

    The Libertarian dream ends forever should that take place. We do not have a shortage of uneducated poor people, we have a surplus. They consume more in government services than they pay in taxes. We don't have the money to educate them, cover their health care expenses or incarcerate them. Stossel, who I really respect, is talking in hypothetical terms and broad generalities while ignoring the true facts that are inconvenient to the Libertarian position.

    We are *not* going to dissolve the Welfare state overnight, if ever. Allowing millions of poor people to come here with massive social programs in place is a road to fiscal disaster. A road we are already headed down now BTW. To think the American economy is dependent on illegal labor from a failed state on our Southern border is absurd.

  • Amakudari||

    I must point out this.

    You are right to worry about immigrant empathy toward socialism (honestly, my only worry about unilateral open immigration), but your statement implies that we should be worried about it from one party.

  • ||

    Yes the Republican party has Graham, McCain, Bush. BUT, the only reason we don't have amnesty RIGHT NOW is because of a Conservative uprising during the Bush administration which scared the Republicans off, many of whom were against it anyway.

    The Democrats want it because they KNOW they will get most of the votes. This Libertarian fetish of claiming there is no difference between the parties defies all evidence. I am not saying Republicans are all good, but they are far more likely to be for enforcing border security than Democrats and Libertarians.

  • EMp||

    That is true. Middle class conservatives, blue-dog democrats, and paleo-tarians want the border secured. Meaning a majority of the first, about half of the second(plenty of working class and/or union-type democrats still around), and about 30%-40% of the third group.....

  • EMp||

    ...third group if you take libertarians as a whole....

  • MWG||

    "These people don't check their ideologies at the border."

    The voting records of the hispanic population are mixed at best. Remember, Ayn Rand came from the Soviet Union.

    "They consume more in government services than they pay in taxes."

    [citation needed]

    That may very well be true, but you'll be hard pressed to find any definitive cost/benefit analysis on illegal immigrants.

  • ||

    Are you really comparing Rand to the millions of illegals that are here? Do you ACTUALLY BELIEVE there are millions of Libertarians in their ranks who just can't wait to reduce the size of government? What evidence DO YOU have to support that assertion? I will save you the time, there isn't any.

    Hispanics went for Obama by a margin of 57 to 23. And that was against a moderate big spending Republican who SUPPORTED AMNESTY. What do you think they would do if Ron Paul were the nominee and was promising to end all social welfare programs? GET. A. CLUE.

  • Goober||

    Galt is totally right here. Libertarians start with a noble ideal (maximized freedom) and then veer right off into la-la-land.

    The only way a guest-worker program works is if you get a Constitutional Amendment that lets people come here and start a measured path to citizenship, without immediate voting.

  • Goober||

    Oh and by the way, not only are these guest workers a potential voting block, but they make up a statistical bludgeon that can be used to blindside us with new federal programs.

    Let's say the first year of open borders, we get millions of fresh migrant workers all earning $5 a day. Even if they aren't voting, think about the ammo that gives to Socialists. The US gini coefficient (of income disparity) gets worse. The Income distribution in the country gets worse. Our literacy rates go down. Our measurements of school performance and education go down.

    Basically, all the shitty statistics used by socialists to justify BIGGER GOVERNMENT get even more stark and persuasive to the average voter.

    For crying out loud people, think about the consequences here.

  • Goober||

    NOTE: I am not endorsing these statistics. The gini is bs precisely because it makes a country look bad if people with no skills or education start out bad but have a chance to become rich.

  • ||

    Indeed, after immigration the GDP per person of the immigrant cohort goes up substantially and the GDP per person of the native cohort goes up marginally. But both cohorts improve.

    Yet the GDP per person of the nation as a whole declines.

    While that decline may worry those who are trying to impress Luxembourg with their great national statistics, it is scant reason to deny everyone the real gains from free migration.

  • Goober||

    Come on MikeP, think!

    It isn't just people in Luxembourg that look at these statistics. Every single day new federal and state programs are based on these statistics.

    Because you like playing in this little echo chamber, you may not realize that vast swaths of American population WILL vote in new federal programs as they see GDP per capita trending down. This isn't just liberals. Bill O'Reilly and his populist copycats on the right will be doing the same.

    Please understand that I agree in principle with open borders. But unless you can figure out how to counteract the subsequent action, you are in trouble.

  • EMp||

    Gotta agree with Goober and John Galt on this. I've seen it with my own eyes, not as some idealized, beltway think-tank, 'Wall-streeter' does, salivating at only the bottom line without regards to consequences to our republic......

  • MWG||

    George Bush got around 40% of the hispanic vote in both elections. They're hardly incapable of voting republican (though that will no doubt change if the republicans stay on message).

    Restricting people's right to freedom of movement and a citizen's right to freedom of association is decidedly un-libertarian.

  • Goober||

    So even when he was promising amnesty, GW Bush only got 40% of the vote. How much did McCain get?

    40% isn't a majority and the indication is that even Big Government conservatives like Bush cannot get a majority vote, even when they campaign heavily to hispanics.

    So the statistic you give basically proves the point. Bringing these people in and giving them the vote will immediately result in liberals getting 3/5 of a vote margin for each person to come in. And if they don't immediately get a vote, you can bet that Democrats won't stop until they get one.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Okay it's high time that you people get your lessons straight, once and for all.

    _Lesson 1_

    All good anarchists (who are NOT the sum total of libertarian ideology but we'll ignore that for now) know that you're supposed to be in favor of wide open borders, everywhere and at all times. Because governments as we know them should not exist.

    _Lesson 2_

    All good anarchists, and even many other libertarian flavors, have been taught to believe that this country can absorb any possible number of immigrant works at all, should they choose to come here. The sky's the limit, so open the flood gates and let 'em in.

    This is the gospel. No matter how many of them there are, our economy will be better and strong for it. The economic gains we'll reap from massive waves of immigrants is incalculable.

    [assuming it doesn't kill us]

    _Lesson 3_

    All good anarchists know that state "sponsored" war cannot be justified.

    Now, having learned these lessons, there is only one rational conclusion: all US carrier strike groups should immediately be converted to immigrant transports, and should be operated non-stop, to bring as many immigrants as possible to US shores, asap, from all over the globe.

    We should not charge these immigrants to bring them here, since they are doing us such a huge favor by coming to America, and in so doing they will boost its economy to stratospheric heights.

    We haven't been able to justify the cost of those new ships the Navy has been wanting, but this just might be a good enough reason to finally give in and buy them their ships.

    -- The Gospel According To Anarchists

    The other (much larger) group who wants open borders to poor uneducated immigrants is, as some said above, the Democrats. Because you know these immigrants and going to vote for socialist and Democrat policies.

    Oh and btw, there's no need to worry about dismantling the welfare state before you open the immigrant flood gates. In fact you're a real jerk if the idea even goes through your head. Because as all good anarchists know, the welfare state will kill The State and that's good.

    There now. If you've finally learned your lessons, you will at last realize how vastly better off we're all going to be, once we open the flood gates and give everybody on the planet who wants to, a free trip to the US.

  • ||

    Just to fix this a bit...

    _Lesson 1_

    There is nothing about being born on one side or another of a border that grants one person more rights than another. In particular, both have the right to travel, reside, and work where they can find mutually agreeable terms. This is true whether or not there are governments.

    _Lesson 2_

    Free migration provides marginal improvements to those in the economy being immigrated to and massive improvements to those who are freely migrating. It is certainly no panacea for the economy, but neither does it harm the economy. In other words, there is no reasonable economic argument against allowing migrants to exercise their individual rights.

    _Lesson 3_

    Government should neither prohibit nor subsidize immigration. Open borders between nations are good for exactly the same reasons as open borders between states are good and the same reasons as free trade among nations and states is good: larger markets and greater opportunities for specialization and comparative advantage. Any restriction or subsidy that obscures those reasons risks eliminating them.

  • MWG||

    "Because you know these immigrants and going to vote for socialist and Democrat policies."

    They will?

    "Oh and btw, there's no need to worry about dismantling the welfare state before you open the immigrant flood gates. In fact you're a real jerk if the idea even goes through your head. Because as all good anarchists know, the welfare state will kill The State and that's good."

    I'll assume you're also for raising taxes on everyone as lowering taxes would be bad while we have a welfare state.

    "There now. If you've finally learned your lessons, you will at last realize how vastly better off we're all going to be, once we open the flood gates and give everybody on the planet who wants to, a free trip to the US."

    People will get a free trip?

  • ||

    "They will?"

    Yes, they will, because impoverished people generally see the gov't redistribution of wealth as the most expedient means of upward mobility. What will it cost them, in the short term, to vote in a few socialists with big promises of fuel assistance, food assistance, and maybe a new community center with a pool?

    "I'll assume you're also for raising taxes on everyone as lowering taxes would be bad while we have a welfare state."

    Pretty sure the guy you're commenting on was using sarcasm.

    "People will get a free trip?"

    You seem be clinging to idea that people with little monetary means will not find a way to get here. Again, they will find a way. If the place they are coming from is bad enough, they will risk their lives to do it, especially if given the certainty of amnesty here.

  • MWG||

    "Pretty sure the guy you're commenting on was using sarcasm."

    Go back and read what he wrote.

    "You seem be clinging to idea that people with little monetary means will not find a way to get here. Again, they will find a way. If the place they are coming from is bad enough, they will risk their lives to do it, especially if given the certainty of amnesty here.'

    No, I was challenging the idea that they will get here for free.

  • ||

    See JG's post below this one... some well-intentioned do-gooder probably would give them a free ride. After all, they would all be safer and enjoy a better life here. Wouldn't bringing them all here be the charitable thing to do??

  • MWG||

    JG's post below is a sorry attempt at satire laced with numerous strawmen. Who here said anything about charity?

  • ||

    I did, when you said nobody could wash up here for free. It WOULD happen. We can disagree to what degree it would happen, but I think even you would have to admit that churches and charitable organizations would attempt to "save" people from the 3rd world if they could do it without breaking immigration laws.

  • ||

    Thank the gods that I'm a bad anarchist then!

    Lesson 1

    All bad anarchists will do what they want with their stuff(and yes, that stuff can include land), and if you mess with their stuff when they don't want you to they will rectify the situation in the manner that they choose--which can include loss of life.

    Lesson 2

    All bad anarchists extend tolerance, inclusion, and help to others at their own discretion. Those who try to take or demand any of these things against the wishes of a bad anarchist do so at their own peril

    Lesson 3

    All bad anarchists know that sometimes, people fight. When this happens it is best to have superior force of some type on one's side. Being able to convince numerous and/or better armed people to take up for one is a way to insure that one wins the fight.

    Lesson 4

    All bad anarchists know that there are a helluvalot of people out there who call themselves 'anarchists' or claim to express 'anarchist beliefs' without having a clue. There is only one anarchist belief.

  • dtmack||

    Thank you for providing me with so much entertainment.

    I love the doctrinaire Libertarians (like John P) who adhere strictly to their idealogical theories without any regard to the likely consequences. That's something we have a real need of in this Country: more people who will follow their idealogical light to the bitter end, without compromise of any sort, or any thought of the likely results.

    Plus this board is home to some exquisite snark. The best comments board on the internet. I just laugh and laugh when I'm here.

  • ||

    "(T)oday's immigrants coming here are not different in terms of their behavior patterns, in terms of their assimilation levels.

    There is ample evidence that this is not true. Mexicans of mestizo or Indian ancestry do not achieve in the US even after 3 or 4 generations. Moreover, even a cursory look at "Jersey Shore" should convince you that Italian immigration was, on balance, detrimental to the US. Let's drop the charade that all groups are created equal.

  • ||

    I think we have the solution for the Genocide in Darfur and starvation in Ethiopa. Load up boats with millions of these victims and bring them to the US. After all, they are in far worse shape than any Mexican or South American. We have already taken millions of them, time to give some more deserving folks their chance at the brass ring. I am sure once they are settled and have their citizenship papers they will go to work for Ron Paul.

    In return I know the folks like Stossel, Welch, and Gillespie will be happy to live among them to help them adapt to their new life. And even though we have massive unemployment and deficits, these folks won't be a burden at all. We know that because places like LA County are like paradise, with the bustling masses of immigrants who are creating a boom economy, safe streets, and no burden on the state or local government.

    It is easy for the local schools to take on thousands of additional students who don't speak English so that won't be a problem either. Of course they will all need free health care for awhile but that ain't no big deal, ObamaCare is going to reduce costs so the providers can eat the losses for treating these people. And there are always plenty of food stamps to go around.

  • ||

    Excellent comment. They would do well to read it.

  • ||

    First dismantle the welfare state so those who want to come to America know they have the ability and freedom to succeed if they are willing to work for it. Then, and only then, relax immigration policy toward more open borders. I believe it needs to be done in that order.

  • ||

    As a libertarian I can not support an open-border policy to immigration whether it be legal or illegal immigration being debated. Stossel (who I thoroughly enjoy) is wrong on this. To his credit he does mention the fact that the U.S. is a welfare state.
    If the national policy is to allow any and all people to enter freely, then we will get any and all people entering freely, this would not be good. The majority of the worlds population does not share our values, our culture, our history, our language, etc. This is true for Mexican nationals as well, being that most whom entering the country illegally are unskilled, uneducated, illiterate in English, and are in poverty. What happens when millions of poor, uneducated, unskilled Mexican nationals are allowed to enter freely and then given citizenship for their crimes? What happens? A massive Democrat voting block gets created out of thin air. The very usurpers that libertarians often must fight against, would soon add millions to their base of voters. So besides the hundreds of billions that would be taken from productive members of society to pay for the short commings of the various people of Mexico and the world, we libertarians would lose out not only financially, culturally, but also politically. IT IS NOT IN YOUR SELF INTEREST TO ALLOW OPEN BORDERS...Self interest, dictates NO on open borders.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    It is in my self interest to be allowed to decide what is in my self iterest. Including whether I should hire someone or not.

  • EMp||

    Fiscal - your 'self-interest' will be brushed aside if the country in which you currently live in and are able to 'pursue your happiness' is changed politically and culturally to benefit the collective. And allowing in people who do not share the same economic and cultural values that you have will only expedite the type of totalitarian state you seem to detest....

  • EMp||

    Andy - your post is way too much of a blinding light of factually evident logic to the 'open borders' crowd here that it will only earn you contempt and rebuttals of a think-tankish, statistical and anecdotal nature on this board....

  • ||

    Quite the quagmire, ...does a libertarian support open-borders as is the ideological doctrine, or should they be pragmatic in their ideals as circumstance dictates? I choose the latter. Culturally, financially, and especially politically, it is not in my self interest as a libertarian to support open-border federal immigration policy. I want a to live in a more libertarian society. Some would argue that allowing open-borders -would be a more libertarian society. Yes it would , but only to that end. Because uneducated, unskilled, poor people generally are not on the ups with libertarianism, they tend to like sound bites and slogans such as "those greedy businesses", "equality", "fairness", "we need more regulations", "you have a "right" to that such and such government entitlement program", "a right to health care" etc. Libertarians on this forum would welcome the Trojan-Horse with open arms because they don't believe in gates. Even with full knowledge that the Trojan-Horse is filled with millions of likely welfare receiving- democrats. Its a ludicrous argument to have open borders. Enter the real world please.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Yeah...there's something about capitalists selling you the rope you'll use to hang them with. This is one of those times.

  • EMp||

    HUGE b-i-n-g-o here, Hate Potion....

  • ||

    Yes, we definately should open our borders to more immigrants and we should let the free market determine the level.

    BUT, we all know that would never get through the political process because those that are so opposed to "illegals" are simply bigots and will oppose it regardless of reason. If the law changed tomorrow and allow open borders, the current opponents would still hate "meskins" just as much as they hate "illegals" today. Just a matter of what phony mask they're wearing at the moment.

  • Marcus Marcellus||

    John Stossel and the open borders crowd is out to lunch on this. Contrary to Stossel's claim, this country never - ever - had open immigration, not until Clinton and Bush decided to stop enforcing immigration laws. As McDonald says, a country is not a company.

    Libertarians take for for granted the political preconditions, culture and social infrastructure that predates their dogmatic obsession with free movement of labor. If 100 million Chinese moved to Germany, would it still be Germany? People create distinct nations, and nations therefore have distinct states. Importing illiterate peasants who become radicalized once grievence groups convince them the SW was "stolen" by gringos has nothing whatsoever with the pre-1965 immigration America had, which included periods of no immigration at all.

    But what can one expect from Stossel who said - literally - that New York City was not overcrowded and was a fine blueprint for how people should live, ergo, there is no overpopulation problem! Insanity. Stossel is alright when making negative critiques, but his positive vision for society is entirely impoverished and so apolitical as to be sophomoric. A little more Plato and Aristotle; a little less Friedman.

  • ||

    Contrary to Stossel's claim, this country never - ever - had open immigration, not until Clinton and Bush decided to stop enforcing immigration laws.

    Not only has this country been around more than 45 years: It's been around more than 90 years, which is when serious immigration restrictions began.

  • John Rohan||

    We should let more people in? The United States has over 300 million already. At what point do you consider the boat "full"? Because whether you consider it full now or later (I think it started to be too "full" back in the 1930s), we can all agree it will become full at some time. This is a real issue that libertarians simply don't want to even discuss in specific terms.

  • DesigNate||

    I'm not sure where I stand on Immigration yet but your stance that the boat is "full" is completely ridiculous.

    The land area of the US is 103,671,742,065,706 square feet. There are roughly 6 Billion people on the planet. That means that every man woman and child alive today could be given 17,279 sqft (about 0.4 acres) leaving the rest of the world to be used as farmland.

    We haven't even begun to fill up.

  • John Rohan||

    We should let more people in? The United States has over 300 million already. At what point do you consider the boat "full"? Because whether you consider it full now or later (I think it started to be too "full" back in the 1930s), we can all agree it will become full at some time. This is a real issue that libertarians simply don't want to even discuss in specific terms.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    You see, this country is full of pesky poor people who value their safety and want to work for more than two cents a day. The corporate gods whom the libertarians worship and obey are not pleased with this.

    They see Mexicans and Chinese as their solution. These are cultures that traditionally de-value the lives and well-being of individuals.

    Quite frankly, I don't see a reason for them to come here anyway. If a Mexican wanted a job with an American company, he'd be better off trying to get to China or India - or just staying where he is.

  • ||

    Practicality must prevail. In a perfect world without murder, fraud, etc, open borders would be ideal but in reality we supply services to illegals that are burden on us all. We are also subjected to undesirables.
    The solution is obvious. Make it easier for decent people to come here legally. How hard could it be for companies to recruit in Mexico to work here if the jobs exist for them? Why make it so difficult to come here legally?

  • ||

    "Open immigration is dangerous today, however, because some immigrants want to murder us"

    If I were a FUCKING RETARD like this guy stossel would I be able to get a job at 'reason'?

  • p90x dvd||

    is a long time!

  • ||

    John,
    You mention or allude to terrorism as a key factor in the immigration debate, yet in both the article and the show the other night, you never really mentioned it again. I believe that is the key issue. Literacy and the loss of American jobs are a distant second to this issue. I assume I'm not the only one who finds it difficult to stomach the idea of open borders with a narco-insurgency going on down there and the constant threat of Islamic terrorists seeking any easy passage into the country. This debate isn't about Mexican immigration anymore. It's about Al Qaeda. I would love to hear the debate on how to open the borders for the sake of trading ideas and labor, BUT not at the expense of creating a jihadi Ho Chi Min trail.

  • surpa shoes||

    Very good post. Made me realize I was totally wrong about this issue. I figure that one learns something new everyday. Mrs Right learned her lesson! Nice, informative website by the way.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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