Muddled Masses

The immigration detention system treats suspected illegal aliens like criminals, but with fewer rights.

One Saturday morning in May 2010, Francisco Gomez Escobar was walking just yards from his apartment building, chatting with his roommate and friend Edith Santiago. Gomez, a 35-year-old landscaper from Mexico, and Santiago, a 51-year-old janitor born in Camden, New Jersey, were trying to decide when to meet after he went to a flea market and she visited a thrift store. A police car pulled up.

It’s not clear what the police were doing there. Santiago’s lawyer says the two officers told him they were investigating a loud party from the night before, while a police spokesman says Gomez had seen the officers minutes earlier and aroused suspicion by trying to avoid them. Santiago, Gomez, and a neighbor say the cops immediately started asking Gomez about his immigration status, then roughed him up and arrested him. They apparently were suspicious about a blender, a boombox, and CDs that Santiago and Gomez were carrying. Santiago and Gomez say they were taking them to sell at a flea market, and the police spokesman says the officers did not have probable cause to charge them with any crime related to the items. The incident nevertheless landed Gomez in an immigration jail two states away, where he has been confined for nearly a year while he waits to see whether he will have to leave the country where he has lived for at least the past 15 years.

This encounter did not take place in Arizona, where a controversial law enacted last year, on hold as a result of a federal injunction, requires police to question suspected illegal immigrants about their citizenship status. It happened in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Police Chief Harry Dolan has spoken out against the Arizona law. Raleigh police are not even among the 70 or so municipal law enforcement agencies in 26 states that are trained to enforce federal immigration law by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That program, authorized under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, has expanded dramatically since 9/11.

For Gomez, it didn’t matter that Raleigh police don’t participate in 287(g) because the Wake County Sheriff’s Department, which runs the local jail, does. The department was also the first agency in North Carolina to sign onto the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program, which means deputies have ready access to ICE databases and electronically alert the agency when an unauthorized alien has been fingerprinted in the jail. That’s how Gomez ended up behind bars.

Secure Communities and 287(g) are supposed to focus the federal government’s immigration enforcement powers on “criminal aliens”—illegal immigrants who commit crimes and thus come into contact with local cops performing their regular duties. In practice, however, many noncriminal aliens, whose lawbreaking is limited to the civil offense of living in the United States without permission, get swept up in this dragnet. As a result, they are treated like criminals, but without the legal protections that criminal defendants enjoy. They are subject to indefinite detention, and they can be ordered out of the country based on a legal process much less rigorous than a criminal trial.

In the post-9/11 political climate, local cops are tasked with enforcing civil immigration laws, whether they’ve been trained for it or not. Rogue officers can set an immigrant on a path to detention and deportation even if immigration enforcement is not within their authority. While detained, suspected illegal aliens may suffer from medical neglect and physical abuse. Their freedom, health, and safety depend on the whims of police, federal agents, judges, and jailers.

Federal Law, Local Enforcement

The overall number of noncitizens apprehended by federal authorities fell by almost two-thirds between 2001 and 2009, from about 1.6 million to just over 600,000. Yet the number detained in ICE jails during this time rose by 85 percent, from 209,000 to a record 383,500. Some 32,000 are in detention on any given day in about 370 facilities across the nation, most of which are state prisons and local jails in which ICE pays for space.

The assistance of local law enforcement agencies has played a crucial role in the surge of detentions. As of March, more than 1,100 local jails across the country, 36 percent of the total, were participating in Secure Communities. As a result, an undocumented immigrant jailed for any reason anywhere in Florida, the Southwest, or the mid-Atlantic states faces potential deportation. By 2013 ICE aims to have full participation by every local jail in the United States, which will result in an estimated annual identification of 1.4 million undocumented immigrants (out of 11 million or so currently residing in the U.S.). 

Because they lead to incarceration, 287(g) and Secure Communities effectively criminalize immigration violations, which the U.S. had historically handled as civil matters in special administrative courts. Immigration courts, crucially, are not bound by the same rules as criminal courts. Suspected illegal aliens do not have an absolute right to an attorney: The government can’t stop them from hiring a lawyer, but they can’t fall back on a public defender. Nor do they have a right to see exculpatory evidence. Judges can allow hearsay and illegally obtained evidence. To make its case, the government has to provide “clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence,” not the proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” required in criminal cases. Hence an immigrant like Gomez can be deported even with only doubtful evidence that he entered the country illegally, and even if the police never should have approached him in the first place. Nor can he count on the immigration courts to protect what limited rights he has. According to the American Bar Association, immigration judges apply the law inconsistently and the Board of Immigration Appeals “unduly favor[s] the government at the expense of the noncitizen.”

Since ICE detentions have risen dramatically in the last decade, thanks largely to the assistance of local police, the immigration courts are clogged. Karen Grisez, an immigration attorney who chairs the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration, says judges are under pressure to process detainees’ cases within 60 days, meaning nondetained immigrants have to wait at least a year for their cases to be heard. And when they are, judges limit the hearing to two hours, which leaves little time to call witnesses. “You can be precluded from making your best case,” Grisez says. “The problem is not really that the law has changed but the more aggressive enforcement.”

Officially, the enforcement efforts are supposed to focus on spies, terrorists, violent criminals, felons, repeat offenders, gang members, and others who “pose a serious risk to public safety.” In a March 2011 memo, ICE Director John Morton reiterated this policy, which was developed under President George W. Bush and maintained under President Barack Obama.

But the record of ICE’s “fugitive operations teams,” which track and arrest illegal immigrants at their jobs and in their homes, suggests that the agency is not following its official policy of deporting immigrants who commit crimes, as opposed to violating civil immigration rules. Between 2003 and 2008, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a D.C.-based think tank that studies immigration around the world, only 27 percent of the people arrested by the teams had prior criminal records of any kind. Similarly, according to a 2009 report from the Department of Homeland Security (which oversees ICE), two-thirds of all ICE detainees between 2007 and 2009 had no prior criminal record.

Furthermore, some detainees with criminal records committed their offenses long ago, but ICE is moving only now to deport them, even if they have been living in the country legally for many years. In North Carolina, Hector Villanueva, a Baptist pastor with a valid green card, faces deportation because ICE agents learned of a 15-year-old burglary conviction in California. In New York, the Dominican cab driver Eligio Valerio is fighting ICE’s attempt to remove him from the country for possessing an illegal gun in 1982, shortly after he became a permanent resident.

You might think that partnerships with local police, whose mission is to protect public safety, would help ensure that immigration enforcement focuses on dangerous criminals. But officers participating in 287(g) and Secure Communities can choose to round up illegal immigrants, including otherwise law-abiding people who came to the U.S. to work and support their families. Under 287(g), Grisez reports, police have gone to apartment complexes looking for one family, found they had moved, and then questioned the new tenants about their status. “Even though all of the laws on their face say there can’t be racial profiling,” she says, “some of these cooperative agreements lend themselves to officers going a bit overboard.”

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  • David E. Gallaher/Ruthless||

    Statists will always think of those from the wrong side of the border as more dangerous than weapons of mass destruction.

  •  ||

    You don't have to be a statist to be a xenophobe, and all statists are not xenophobes.

  • Almanian||

    local cops have been tasked with enforcing civil immigration laws

    Now, be clear, I'm increasingly an "open borders" guy - I have to agree with David E. Gallaher. But 'local cops enforce immigration law', but Arizona's law is "illegal"? Huh?

    I guess I don't get statist/authoritarian thinking. Which is probably the objective of the statists and authoritarians, as I think about it...

  • TacoJohn||

    I have a very simple solution for all the problems that illegals face, just don't enter the country illegally. There, problem solved, lets move on.

  • The Derider||

    Wow all this guy would have needed was a time machine and enough ectoplasm to go back fifteen years and he could have done just that!

  • ||

    No, he could have turned himself in/left the country voluntarily as well. Stop trying to pretend you're not too stupid to have this discussion.

  • ||

    There is one thing about immigration detention that this article fails to mention, the detainees are basically choosing to be there. If ICE or CBP pick you up, they will always send you home. They only detain you if you fight deporation. And even then you can get out on bond. They only detain people who are viewed as likely not to show up at their court date.

    I am sure these places suck. But they must not suck too bad or the people in them would be saying to hell with fighting deportation and getting on the plane and going home.

  • Federal Dog||

    "They only detain you if you fight deporation. And even then you can get out on bond. They only detain people who are viewed as likely not to show up at their court date."

    As long as you understand that they are regularly "viewed as likely not to show" even though DHS/ICE cannot name one single fact that supports that "view."

    Stay the fuck out of immigration "court." If you do not have permission to be here, and you are caught, there isn't a damned thing anything can do to stop that machine.

  • ||

    But the worst thing that can happen is you go back where you came from.

  • Federal Dog||

    Well, after being held for years.

  • ||

    "Well, after being held for years."

    AGAIN, because you seem to be illiterate, "They only detain you (for your hyperbolic period of years) if you fight deportation. Read it until you get it, so you don't post something else stupid and wrong.

  • ||

    What if they pick you up and you're not actually an illegal immigrant.

    Should you just allow deportation?

    After all, you would never be picked up because the immigration database is out of date or has a mistake in it - cops never make mistakes.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Fuck the federal government up its titanic, tyranntical, Satanically abominable ass.

  • NotSure||

    Don't worry, the American government also treats legal visitors like criminals as well, so at least one can argue they treat all outsiders badly.

  • ||

    I remember my father complaining back in the early 70's that the majority of americans growing up in urban rather than rural areas would change our culture and politics for the worse. I was too young then to fully understand what he meant. Now I see what he meant and that he was right.

    The massive influx of people into our culture that have values, ethics, and social norms very different from our own is going to be even worse. There are too many of them for our culture to absorb and many of them dont wish to assimilate anyway.

    Clearly our current immigration policies would have to greatly improve to rise to the level of a cluster-fuck. Still, I have a very difficult time working up sympathy for illegal aliens of any stripe.

  • The Derider||

    Fucking Irish, EYE-TIES, Pollacks and JOOS.

    Go back to the 19th century.

  • ||

    Stop pretending modern problems in any way relate to historical problems, and that they can be compared meaningfully. You're terrible at it.

  • L4Freedom||

    Suspected illegal aliens? OK.
    #1. You are either a legal alien or you're not a legal alien.
    #2. The legal status of an alien is not a philosophical question, it's a fact.
    #3. If you don't have a greencard, h1B visa, tourist visa, or any kind of PERMISSION to be in the country, YOU ARE AN ILLEGAL ALIEN.

    If that's the case, you should face the punishment established by law, maybe you can appeal and perhaps if you're lucky, you won't be deported.

    In any case, if I need ID to buy a gun and a passport to visit Mexico, YOU need the same if you're coming to MY COUNTRY.

  • Kolohe||

    If you don't have a greencard, h1B visa, tourist visa, or any kind of PERMISSION to be in the country, YOU ARE AN ILLEGAL ALIEN.

    I don't have any of those, do you?

  • L4Freedom||

    I'm an AMERICAN, I don't need one of those.

  • Tony Weiner||

    Greg, Stop paying attention to those icky libertarians and come oil up pecs.

  • Kolohe||

    I'm an AMERICAN

    Ok, prove it.

  • ||

    Ok, here's my birth certificate and passport. OH MY GOD WHAT AN ORDEAL.

  • ||

    You, as an American citizen that is, do not need a passport to visit Mexico, you need one to get back into the United States.

    And this is not because of any action on the part of the Mexican government. It is because of bullshit policies by our own.

  • ||

    "You, as an American citizen that is, do not need a passport to visit Mexico"

    However, they do require that you show some form of ID, such as a driver's license. Your statement is true enough, but let's not hide all the facts by comparing it to the U.S. regs.

  • MWG||

    I've been to Mexico a number of times and have never been required to show ID except on the US side.

  • ||

    Try entering Mexico from the south.

  • MWG||

    As an American, it would probably be relatively easy.

  • ||

    You're lying.

  • Shorter Gregoooo||

    "In any case, if I need ID to buy a gun and a passport to visit Mexico, YOU need the same if you're coming to MY COUNTRY."

    Because bureaucracy exists we should have more of it!

  • L4Freedom||

    Free trade and open borders only works when it applies to everyone. Otherwise what you have is one country taking advantage of another country. It's like "free education," I don't like paying taxes so a bunch of beaners can get bilingual education and pro-Mexican history lessons at my expense at my public schools.

    Yet you people want more beaners in the country so they can continue overcrowding our public schools. This will result in higher property taxes, higher debt, more government expenditures, more overcrowding, etc.

    When will libertarians realize that America is not a charity? We are not the home of the lazy and the land of the freeloader! Our job is not to take care of the needs of every third world parasite.

    We have to enforce our immigration laws! We have to stop the cultural onslaught. This is supposed to be a melting pot, not a taco salad! If you add too many beaners to the plate, they don't change, they change you.

  • Shorter Grego||

    I don't understand basic economics (or libertarianism for that matter) so I'm going to accuse libertarians of being for welfare, promote fear of brown people, and add just a hint of cultural nationalism.

  • ||

    ".......promote fear of brown people, and add just a hint of cultural nationalism."

    Cultural Nationalism - A form of nationalism in which a nation is defined by a shared culture rather than ethnicity.

    Yeah, So? I cant speak for anyone else, but I am a proponent of cultural nationalism. I dont judge people by their color, religion, gender, gender preference etc etc....I judge them by their character.

    I judge cultures the same way. Any given country is a product of the culture/cultures that live there. The vast majority of cultures have produced shit-holes for countries. People who like the country we have produced should come here and be a part of it. I dont want people to come here and try to change our country into the one they came from. We will end up a shit-hole like all the rest.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I suppose

  • Hmmm||

    "Cultural Nationalism - A form of nationalism in which a nation is defined by a shared culture rather than ethnicity."

    I guess I'd have to ask you to define American culture.

  • ||

    As far as I am aware, The United States is the only country founded on ideas and not language, geography, or ethnicity. Perhaps a good way to define the nebulous concept of 'american culture' would be to examine those ideas and the concepts behind them; to recognize the attitudes and norms that produced them/ that they produced.

    Generally speaking,and in no particular order, popular reverence for private property rights, acceptance of personal responsibility, equality of all persons before the law, accountability of government to the governed, limiting the power of government, the right of self defense, freedom of speech and conscience etc etc.......

    I will be the first to admit that we have had a very hard time living up to these ideas, but at least we have them. I have found that outside of this country any or all of those ideas are laughed at or openly despised.

  • ||

    Ooops! I forgot the concept of inalienable rights......
    I am on my second mohito and shooting from the hip.

  • MWG||

    A decent response.

    I would also add that a general openness to foreigners both in terms of ideas and immigration has been important to economic growth.

    When my wife (who is an immigrant) and I talk about why the US has been so successful economically I say all you have to do is look around. We drive foreign cars, love foreign foods, and (despite recent attempts to legislate away illegal immigration) are generally very good at accepting and integrating immigrants (both legal and illegal).

    You mentioned a number of important rights, but the right to free association and (GASP!) free movement are also very important.

  • ||

    Agreed......
    Acceptance and integration are not limited to immigrants in our country. We incorporate everything from others that we find likeable...food, language, dress, etc.
    To see why we do this Bill Bryson's little gem 'The Mother tongue" is a good read as is Benson Bobrick's 'Wide as the Waters'.
    Many other countries legislate language norms,dress style, even food; we do not and find that sort of thing odious.
    On a personal note, I love middle eastern food and have become quite good at cooking it. I have no problem with middle eastern food becoming widely accepted in our country, or for middle easterners to immigrate here if they subscribe to the above mentioned ideas.
    In other words, come to america and be a part of it, contribute something good to it and we will welcome you with open arms, but leave the stone-age barbaric BS behind.

  • hazeeran||

    Falafel FTW!

  • ||

    Free trade and open borders only works when it applies to everyone.

    Please explain Hong Kong.

  • L4Freedom||

    I'm sure Hong Kong enforces their immigration laws. In fact, now that they're under Chinese control you need permission from the Chinese government to get in. After all, it's a tiny group of islands and they're not building 300 story skyscrapers.

  • ||

    Please explain Hong Kong from 1950 to 1997.

    After all, it was a tiny group of islands and they were building 100 story skyscrapers.

  • Frank D||

    I think you don't live up to your good name, sir! Damn social conservatives. The people i'm worried about aren't foreigners from the other side of the border, it's the agencies that claim to act "for my own good" and "protect" me!

  • Guardianstatue||

    Or we could get really sensible and eliminate the minimum wage. Then the competitive playing field for jobs that illegals fill would be equal for "Americans" also.

  • Mean Mrs. Mustard||

    Sucks to be them.

  • ||

    "In practice, however, many noncriminal aliens, whose lawbreaking is limited to the civil offense of living in the United States without permission, get swept up in this dragnet. "

    This logic brought to you be Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

    "As a result, they are treated like criminals, but without the legal protections that criminal defendants enjoy."

    How corrupt to actually treat a law-breaker as a criminal! What is this country coming to!!

  • MWG||

    It's actually NOT a criminal offense to be in the country illegally.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDo-ZVK4dc0

    "How corrupt to actually treat a law-breaker as a criminal!

    Without the legal protections that criminal defendants enjoy, it actually is pretty corrupt.

  • ||

    Hey problem solved then...and here I thought we were a sovereign nation with our own laws. From now on, Illegal entry into the country is considered legal.

    I'm sorry, but I don't see how detaining someone for breaking the rules of entry into the U.S. is somehow corrupt.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    It isn't -- but removing the rigorous standards of prosecution based on the type of transgression is unacceptable.

  • MWG||

    "From now on, Illegal entry into the country is considered legal."

    As long as people submit to a background check and are checked for communicable diseases, what's the problem? That's how it was done for the first 100+ years of our country's history.

    "I'm sorry, but I don't see how detaining someone for breaking the rules of entry into the U.S. is somehow corrupt."

    See RPA's response.

  • ||

    "That's how it was done for the first 100+ years of our country's history."

    You're right, nothing has changed in those last 100 years either. There's plenty of jobs and money for everyone!!!!

    I suppose you wouldn't have a problem with me taking up residence in your home either?

    This just in, illegal entry into the country still illegal.

  • MWG||

    "You're right, nothing has changed in those last 100 years either. There's plenty of jobs and money for everyone!!!!"

    Ah yes, the ol' 'they'll take r jubs' argument. This argument is no different than the left's understanding of economics in terms of a limited pie that must be divided up.

    "I suppose you wouldn't have a problem with me taking up residence in your home either?"

    You're full of shit if you think the country is analogous to a PRIVATE home. This idea is closer to what you might find in N. Korea, or any other country where the collective is more important than individual property rights.

    A more appropriate analogy would be to that of a neighborhood. What you do in your house is none of my business, and who I decide to invite over is certainly none of your damn business.

    "This just in, illegal entry into the country still illegal."

    ...and finally you fall back into the authoritarian argument. The law is the law. Might makes right. Whatever the mob wants, the mob shall have. Tell me, where would you have stood on the Fugitive Slave Act? Should Northerners have sent escaped slaves back to the south. After all, the law is the law, right?

    Before you accuse me comparing enforcement of immigration laws to slavery, be sure not to miss the point that merely crying THE LAW IS THE LAW is not an argument, but an appeal to authority and quite contrary to freedom and liberty.

  • ||

    "You're full of shit if you think the country is analogous to a PRIVATE home. "

    As are you if think this country is free to whomever chooses to enter it for whatever reason. Given the state of our ecomony and the misguided application of welfare I just assume work with what we have for now. thanks.

  • MWG||

    "As are you if think this country is free to whomever chooses to enter it for whatever reason."

    That's actually NOT what I believe. As I stated above. Those wishing to enter should be subject to a simple background check (Something that already takes place for those applying for immigration visas) and medical exams (Again, already taking place).

    "Given the state of our ecomony and the misguided application of welfare I just assume work with what we have for now. thanks."

    Fantastic! Another conservative economic illiterate afraid of the immigrants taking our welfare and our jobs.

    I wonder if you could provide any data regarding whether or not illegal immigrants cost more than the economic benefits they provide?

    The welfare state isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but neither are illegal immigrants for that matter. thanks.

  • ||

    "A more appropriate analogy would be to that of a neighborhood. "

    Fine, is it fair for a neighborhood to have limited access to a neighborhood pool? Or should that be free for everyone within the city and/or county you reside?

  • MWG||

    "Fine, is it fair for a neighborhood to have limited access to a neighborhood pool?"

    Absolutely. A group of private citizens pooling their resources together to purchase land and build a pool can and should be able to decide who can use it.

    Now if you're arguing that PUBLIC property (the roads to get into that neighborhood) is somehow PRIVATE property your analogy would again FAIL.

  • ||

    So the United States, according to you, is considered public property to all peoples? So we are not a sovereign nation in your eyes. Ridiculous.

  • MWG||

    "So the United States, according to you, is considered public property to all peoples?"

    You can attempt to put words in my mouth all you want. The fact of the matter is who I associate with, particularly on my own private property, is none of your damn business.

    "So we are not a sovereign nation in your eyes."

    Those who founded this nation must not have agreed with your idea of 'sovereignty'. Nothing is written in the constitution giving the government power to regulate the free movement of people across the boarders and the first laws didn't exist until well over 100 years after the country's founding and were 100% racist in nature. THEY were, in fact, 'Ridiculous'.

    http://www.umass.edu/complit/aclanet/USMigrat.html

  • L4Freedom||

    Where did you get that? Immigration law says otherwise.

    In fact, it's a CRIME to overstay your visa. I know, that's the easiest way for an alien to come into the country. You come as a tourist and then disappear (until they catch you, that is.).

  • MWG||

    So... IOW you didn't click on the link. Fair enough, as few people here probably ever click on your link.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Does it bother you, Greg, that you're required by law to prove to the federal government of the United States that you're not a criminal before you buy guns, or that you must ask permission from your servants to carry them?

  • Res Publica Americana||

    You know, I can't help wondering how splendorous and extraordinary our major cities and towns could look or feel if we one day embraced free-market capitalism and restored the rule of constitutional liberty by law.

  • MWG||

    Probably something like (GASP!) Hong Kong. Oh the horror!

  • Res Publica Americana||

    I'll throw out a little slice of honestly here and admit that I don't know much about Hong Kong. Rumor has it that it's a crony capitalist/state capitalist mostly-shithole, but I could be wrong in believing that. Got a summary for me? :P

  • MWG||

    If you look at any study regarding 'economic freedom' you'll find Hong Kong ranks #1.

    See page 7 - http://www.freetheworld.com/20.....0_BOOK.pdf

    Milton Friedman was a fan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqh0zXSd4vc

  • MWG||

    Meh. Reason won't let you post more than 2 links (Damn authoritarian!)

    Here's another one.

    GDP Growth - http://www.google.com/publicda.....l=en&dl=en

  • ||

    Economic freedom is not the same thing as social freedom.

    But feel free to conflate and confuse the two.

  • MWG||

    Uh... the question was regarding HK's economic system, but feel free to look dumb all you want.

  • ||

    wikiwikiwiki...

    As one of the world's leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the ninth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong was once described by Milton Friedman as the world’s greatest experiment in laissez-faire capitalism. It maintains a highly developed capitalist economy, ranked the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom for 15 consecutive years. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, and is known as one of the Four Asian Tigers for its high growth rates and rapid development from the 1960s to the 1990s. Between 1961 and 1997 Hong Kong's gross domestic product grew 180 times while per-capita GDP increased 87 times over...

    The Hong Kong Government has traditionally played a mostly passive role in the economy, with little by way of industrial policy and almost no import or export controls. Market forces and the private sector were allowed to determine practical development. Under the official policy of "positive non-interventionism", Hong Kong is often cited as an example of laissez-faire capitalism. Following the Second World War, Hong Kong industrialised rapidly as a manufacturing centre driven by exports, and then underwent a rapid transition to a service-based economy in the 1980s.
  • BigT||

    What is Hong Kong's immigration policy, and the level of welfare? How do they treat unlawful immigrants? My guess is that they havetight border control.

  • ||

    Today, yes.

    Back in the 50's and 60's, however, Hong Kong was a haven for illegal immigration from Communist China. And those tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free fueled the phenomenal growth that saw Hong Kong rise from an impoverished rock to exceed the GDP per capita of their colonial masters.

    There are few places on earth more densely populated. There are few places on earth more wealthy. There is nothing whatsoever contradictory in those two statements.

  • ||

    Like most places, hong Kong is not immune from crony capitalism and/or corruption. And its authoritarian Chinese masters probably tolerate less dissent than its former authoritarian British masters. But absent actual political activism that threatens some functionary's sinecure you'll be left pretty much alone.

    The big deal is that from all reports it is incredibly easy to start a business and there is hardly any interference with where or how you conduct that business and you won't get taxed to death on any profits you manage to make.

  • ||

    I agree that anyone in custody should be treated humanely, and of course police abuse is disgusting. However, I am tired of these illegal (let's face it) MEXICAN immigrants turning our communities into 3 world shit holes like the ones they left. An American child is forced into class rooms with children who speak no English, who's parents are ignorant, uneducated peasants...how is that fair to the American child? How does that help them get a decent education? And of course, we have hospitals closing because they can not afford to keep treating the illegals for free.
    I agree with most of the Libertarian philosophy, but open borders is bullshit.

  • The Derider||

    Well libertarian philosophy abhors public schools and public health care, so what's the problem?

  • ||

    Well, because we don't live in a Libertarian Utopia. Public schools are the reality we live with, as well as public hospitals.
    And even if that were not the case, what about your property values after they turn the neighborhood into a slum? And what about the effect on wages that cheap labor has? I personally don't want to work for ten dollars an hr.

  • MWG||

    "Public schools are the reality we live with, as well as public hospitals."

    ...as well as illegal immigration.

  • jacob||

    I'm with you. Not all libertarians are of the "open borders" variety.

  • ||

    Are you missing the point, he is here illegally! Round them up and ship them out, US rights are for US citizens period.

  • MWG||

    Round up 15-20 million people? Good luck with that.

    Also, what are these 'US rights' you speak of?

  • ||

    round up 15 to 20 mill people? Easy! take the numbers from this column, we are looking at rounding up 10 percent per yr....that's ten years they are all back in mexico. Or should we just give up because its too hard? fucking pussy

  • MWG||

    "round up 15 to 20 mill people? Easy! take the numbers from this column, we are looking at rounding up 10 percent per yr....that's ten years they are all back in mexico."

    That's if no more cross the border in the process.

    "Or should we just give up because its too hard? fucking pussy"

    I think you have about as good a chance of ending the welfare state that you have of 'ending' illegal immigration.

    The ability to forcibly evict up to 20 million people cannot be done w/o seriously stepping on the rights of law abiding American citizens.

  • ||

    sorry for the hostility, but I am sick and tired of living in "Little Mexico"

  • MWG||

    No worries. I've said worse to people who fear teh immigrants.

    I live in AZ.

  • Carl||

    i like the middle to upper class people from mexico who come here. they are educated, have good manners and are respectable.

    That said why and the hell should we allow millions of "i will write your name on a grain of rice" labor in this country? WHY???

    Ever seen the ones who pass out escort cards on the vegas strip? what a waste of money and resources to sneak them in, pay for their free medical, them to litter our land so they can pass hooker cards.

    my goodness people have become lazy in this country to allow this to happen.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Most of those are problems solely because we live under an oppressive welfare state. Remove the nanny, remove the problem.

  • ||

    Is the ACLU now writing for Reason????

  • MWG||

    This is a libertarian web site. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable over at Red State.

    Oh and... barf.

  • air max||

    is good

  • دردشة عراقية||

    thanx

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNk u MaN

  • منتديات العراق||

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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