Ayn Rand Was an Illegal Immigrant

According to today's anti-immigration Republicans, the Russian-born novelist should have returned to Soviet tyranny.

Earlier this month was the birthday of Ayn Rand, the controversial philosopher and novelist, who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1926. Regardless of what one thinks of her ideas, there is no denying that she was a great American. When the American intelligentsia was playing footsie with Soviet communism, Rand unabashedly defended liberty and individual rights, America’s core values, famously declaring: “[The] United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

But this proud naturalized American, who arguably did more than any contemporary figure to restore the faith of Americans in America, might have been hounded out of the country if one of our current crop of Republican hopefuls had been president when she arrived. Why? Because Rand lied and bent every rule to gain entry into the United States.

As a vehement anti-Bolshevist, she knew that she would die waiting in line if she applied for permission to permanently relocate to America, although that’s exactly what she intended to do. Temporary tourist visas were easier to land, but only for those who could prove they didn’t plan to settle here. So what did Rand do? She committed perjury. She convinced an American visa officer that she had a fiancé waiting for her in Russia whom she intended to marry after a six-month visit with her relatives in Chicago.

But Rand instead married an American citizen in 1929, gaining a path to citizenship. According to Mimi Gladstein’s biography, Rand timed her wedding before her visa, which she had gotten extended, finally expired.

However, others doubt that Uncle Sam would have handed a three-year extension to a Russian passport holder, raising suspicions that Rand might have been—gasp!—an illegal immigrant when she got married.

Either way, in a morally healthy universe, this would be regarded as pretty minor stuff, the equivalent of someone speeding on a highway to reach an emergency room. But today we live in a world where a small band of immigration restrictionists have acquired an air of legitimacy by loudly repeating their views. They have created a false moral equivalence between serious criminals and petty visa violators. They wield words such as “illegal” and “law breaker” like assault weapons. They deploy an arsenal of tropes (such as “What part of illegal don’t you understand?”) to quash rational immigration reform. And they have turned “amnesty,” which Ronald Reagan proudly embraced, into a four-letter word that conservative presidential contenders shun. (Congratulations, Rush Limbaugh.)

Indeed, the only candidate recommending something like amnesty is not Ron Paul—who, until recently, was touting every restrictionist canard and then some—but the rapidly fading Newt Gingrich. Unlike Mitt Romney, Gingrich is opposed to making life so miserable for illegals that they would “self-deport.” And he doesn’t think it would be practical to forcibly deport 11 million illegals out of the country, as Rick Santorum hints he does.

Gingrich wants to create local citizens’ boards across the country that would review the applications of illegals in their communities and determine if they had sufficient ties to deserve permanent residency—not citizenship, mind you. This is hardly a workable idea (although it is hilarious to imagine how such a board would have reacted to Rand, a godless, childless, chain-smoking woman preaching the gospel of selfishness in a heavy Russian accent). But a party in which Gingrich’s cockamamie plans are the most nuanced and compassionate has to ponder in which of Dante’s circles its soul is stuck.

It’s astonishing that not a single GOP candidate is willing to take on the restrictionists, even though a majority of conservative voters don’t buy their arguments. According to a Fox News poll taken late last year, 57 percent of Republicans supported allowing “illegal immigrants” to stay and eventually qualify for citizenship. A previous Univision/Latino Decisions poll reported similar results.

Nor is this surprising. The restrictionist rhetoric is so out of whack with ordinary common sense that most people instinctively recoil from it. They sense that visa violations are victimless crimes that won’t usher in anarchy if not zealously prosecuted. Murder is always and everywhere wrong; no one needs the government to make it so. That’s not the case with an act like crossing the border, which is legal under one set of policies and illegal under another. Cubans escaping political oppression, for example, become legal the minute they set foot on American soil. But Mexicans fleeing economic oppression should be regarded as criminals forever?

Yes, every nation has the right to control its borders. But both liberal and illiberal immigration policies are consistent with that right. Precisely because there is something inherently arbitrary about where the line is set, lawmakers can’t maintain a posture of absolutist intransigence regardless of the ground-level response. Just as unduly high levels of taxation encourage tax evasion, unduly tight immigration restrictions encourage illegal border crossings—not to mention illegal hiring. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh points out that conservatives would never make tax cutting conditional on first ending tax cheating. Yet they see no contradiction in demanding the erection of a Berlin Wall on the Rio Grande as a condition for immigration reform.

Something is grossly wrong when lawmakers, who are powerless to prevent individuals like 9/11 mastermind Mohammad Atta from entering the country, act like macho men against the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It shouldn’t take a John Galt to knock some sense into their heads.

Shikha Dalmia is a Reason Foundation senior analyst and a columnist at The Daily, where this column originally appeared.

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  • ||

    I understand Ayn Rand alot better after rereading Nietzsche recently.

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  • ||

    props for using the word "canard" ... even better because you used it correctly (unlike me ) :)

    props also for conceding (unlike many here) that RP has been just as, if not more restrictionist on illegal immigration as the average repub.

    one thing i disagree with

    "They have created a false moral equivalence between serious criminals and petty visa violators. "

    almost every opponent of illegal immigration, open borders etc. that i have heard doesn't demonize the illegal immigrant and make a MORAL EQUIVALENCE (it's not a moral issue) between the illegal immigrant and the garden variety criminal, etc. (burglar, thief, etc.)

    most, including RP essentially say it's completely understandable for people in mexico etc. to want a better life, and concede that if they were in the same place, they would illegally immigrate as well

    it's not a moral condemnation OF the illegal immigrant. the concession is that most illegal immigrants are probably great people, and mean no harm

    the issue is with a system that doesn't properly secure borders, respect national sovereignty issues, etc

    i have opposed illlegal immigration (although i think paths to legal immigration should be generally substantially looser), but i would never , nor would RP or most illegal immigration opponents make a MORAL equivalence between somebody illegally crossing our border because they are looking for a better life for themselves and their family, and a criminal who steals etc. from others.

    i would suspect the average illegal immigrant is as morally sound as ANY US citizen. it has nothing to do with the morality of the illegal immigrants.

    it's an argument about systemic issues, NOT a demonization of the immigrant

    other than that, great article

  • wardamnlibertarian||

    nor would RP or most illegal immigration opponents make a MORAL equivalence between somebody "illegally crossing our border because they are looking for a better life for themselves and their family, and a criminal who steals etc. from others"

    I disagree with that last part, i've read and heard plenty of people calling "illegal" immigrants criminals who are stealing their hard earned food (entitlements) that they supposedly haven't paid for (even though they have through taxes). Go to a place like al.com and read the comments, they do call them theives and it doesn't take long until they start calling them other things.
    As for the comment about you opposing illegal immigration i'm sure you have your rationalized reason but I don't get how people say they support the free market and read reason but are against open borders.

  • ||

  • ||

    I am not sure what you think drug warriors are supposed to get out of that? They will read it and conclude that we need to buckle down twice as hard.

  • ||

    lol. sadly, that's not far from the truth

    i guess i am eternally ... an optimist.

  • Brett||

    Everywhere prohibition has tried it has failed, and everywhere legalization was tried it has worked. Therefore we need more prohibition.

  • ||

    has failed...has worked.....You need to go consult with the drug warriors about their definitions of 'working' and 'failed'.

  • ||

    See, this is where the Reupublican racism comes in. They would've let Rand in because she's "valuable". They just want everybody that speaks another Spanish or muslim out. Mainly Spanish speaking.

  • ||

    *another language

  • ||

    right. because spanish is a race.

    (rolls eyes)

    nice to see the race card played so early.

    libs accuse libertarians of being racists because they oppose racial preferences, welfare, etc.

    pro-open borders libertarians accuse repubs of being racists because they oppose illegal immigration

    both just use the race card as an excuse to avoid discussing the real issues, and in an attempt to demonize a person who disagrees with them, based on no legitimate reason

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Actually, if you are like me, I believe that a kind of racism (a somewhat benign, not actively hostile kind) fuels most anti-immigration attitudes. People are actively uncomfortable around a) people with different skin colors than they, in large groups especially b) people who speak a language the hearer cannot understand and c) people are actively uncomfortable when their dominance feels as if it is slipping.

    All of these are indicia of, if not racism, then at least a quasi-imperialist/bigoted attitude, and all them explain practically every objection to immigration there is.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So the Mexicans want to keep out the Guatemalans because of c? And your evidence for that is what, exactly?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Maybe you can come up with an alternative explanation that doesn't somehow boil down to "We Don't Want the Other Here"

    Anyway, how is what Mexico does with Guatemalans relevant? Is this from a new VDare e-mail or something?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's relevant because you didn't limit your baseless criteria to anti-immigration attitudes to America. Further, if there are anti-immigration attitudes which do not conform to your theory, your theory is wrong.

    "We don't want the other here" doesn't have to fit with any of your listed explanations. It could be as simple as they don't want to see their standard of living hurt by people who are willing to work for less because it takes less to support their families in Guatemala.

  • MNG||

    "Maybe you can come up with an alternative explanation that doesn't somehow boil down to "We Don't Want the Other Here""

    Rev, I don't mean this snarkily, but is it necessarily racism to want to live in an environment where one is surrounded with recognizable and/or shared language and customs?

  • MNG||

    I mean, I don't wish any ill will towards any immigrant group. In fact, I think it's my moral duty to do something to help out people in other nation's that are in a bad spot. That hardly strikes me as consistent with nefarious racism as I understand it.

    On the other hand, I could live in Mexico, or Russia for that matter if I want to. But I don't. And not just for policy reasons. I prefer being surrounded by English, but recognizable and shared customs and patterns of living.

    At some point in immigration the United States becomes Mexico (or whatever), and I don't see many people who support open borders moving down there...

  • Brett||

    Perhaps not racism but xenophobia, also its based on faulty economic theories that presume immigrants drive down wages for all.

  • DarrenM.||

    a kind of racism

    Another kind of racism is displayed by those who see immigrants as inferior and of no threat, most worthy only of menial jobs anyway.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    right. because spanish is a race.

    (rolls eyes)

    Hispanic/Latino is, according to the U.S., an ethnicity. What's the difference between a blond-haired, blue-eyed Cuban and a blond-haired, blue-eyed Spaniard? Census-wise one is "Hispanic (White)" and one is just plain "White"

  • ||

    The fact that the U.S. government has long pursued racist policies, such as the example provided, does not make such policies good or correct.

  • ||

    Well...who speaks mostly Spanish in the U.S.?

  • ||

    It was the Republicans at every debate on this issue literally said that they want the lowly people out and make it easier for the "higher performing" people to be kept in. Yet, who are they to judge the lowlies? It's, also, evident that they are biased towards the "higher standard" people, when they want to kick out parents and their "anchor babies". Which some, also, literally said.

  • DarrenM.||

    Yet, who are they to judge the lowlies?

    'They' have as much right to judge this as anything else. Do you forgo your right to judge elected officials and their actions? Judgment is required to create any kind of legislation. The quality of that judgment is a different issue.

  • ||

    Racial integrity is what made North America better than the Spanish speaking countries south of us.

  • ||

    we've always had less racial integrity than the Spanish speaking countries, who generally outlawed slavery. We imported millions of black slaves. Your comment is ignorant and wrong. Austin and San Antonio TX have greater "racial integrity" than Houston and Dallas, which were white run slave cities. Austin and San Antonio banned slavery under Mexican control. This issue of slavery was a major driving force for Texas independence.

  • R||

    I'm not sure where you got the notion that the former Spanish colonies did not participate in the slave trade.

    Also, rather than expelling the indigenous population or establishing equivalents to the North American reservations, they treated them as a serf class.

  • ||

    Republicans of influence like Mexicans, for their labor. It's the poor Republicans that resent the illegals, (for some good reason) but the rich Republicans like illegals, working in their yard, cleaning their houses, and caring for their children.

  • Dekedin||

    Good article, but wasn't this posted already?

  • GroundTruth||

    Even if it was, running it again won't hurt. This is about the clearest phrasing of the call to end the foolish current program, and move to something that is both humane and works.

  • ||

    I have some knowledge about work visas. They are much easier to get than citizenship, though not easy. The standards used to decide who gets a work visa and who doesnt are better metrics for citizenship than the ones for citizenship.

    Dunphy is right, this is a problem with the system. This whole issue, and the system have been politicized, guaranteeing a giant clusterfuck.

  • ||

    one of my very good friends is canadian and works here in the seattle area as a physician.

    man, the fucking paperwork and hassles she goes through amazes me.

    she's helped me understand a lot better how the whole process works for citizens of another country when it comes to work visas, and to a lesser extent - citizenry

  • ||

    Tree planters come from Mexico, and the last few years, many from Guatamala.
    They must have no criminal record or communicable disease. They have to have an employer here in the states, and family in their home country. If they get fired or get so much as a traffic ticket, they are out. Coming from a society like they have in Guatamala, that is no easy set of standards to meet, so the ones we do get are real gems by anyone's standards.

    Tree planting isnt what I would call a hard job. It is what I would call the hardest fucking job there is. Those guys are machines. The few times I have seen gringos try it, they last one day, two tops.

    I once ran into a planter while getting gas in my jeep. I saw his truck and tree bundles in the back, so I went over and asked what kinds of trees, prices etc.. The guy employed only Americans, had his own nursery and only charged 12,000 per 40 acres. He said if the weather was good they could get it done in 2-3 weeks. He got mad at me and wouldnt even give me his inventory list when I told him that a month before I had sat on my mule and watched 12 Mexicans plant 40 ac in 6 hours for 2000 bucks. He kept insisting that I was wrong. finally he got angry and wouldnt speak to me at all, pumped his gas and left.

    The workers that we do get, as I said before, are gems. They dont speak english, but I would be glad to have any of them as a next-door neighbor. Some citizenship seekers, not so much. I have seen several people get citizenship by making what amounts to a booty call here in the states.

  • DJF||

    “””I had sat on my mule and watched 12 Mexicans plant 40 ac in 6 hours for 2000 bucks.”’’

    So what you are saying is that we need to get rid of immigration laws so we can get rid of the lazy mule sitters and replace them with Mexicans.

    Also what happens when one of the Mexican “machines” gets sick or injured, do you pay for it or do you just dump them outside of an emergency room and let others pay for their care?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    More lifeboat ethics.

    Shorter DJF: "IF a Mexican gets sick, then he MIGHT not have insurance, so I will there PRESUME he doesn't and give the appropriate Nativist Umbrage"

  • DJF||

    So you are saying that Mexican workers don’t get sick or that with their intermittent migrant jobs in tree planting they make enough to pay for health insurance or that just asking the question allows you to call the question asker a “Navitist” which you think wins the argument for you?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No - it is your presumption that the "Mexican" automatically does not have health insurance. It is your further implication that the "Mexican's" nationality is somehow relevant. It isn't, because the American without insurance is a) going to get the same treatment and b) is a much more prevalent creature at your average ER.

    So yes, Little Cookie, your Nativist Umbrage is transparent. Try again.

  • ||

    They are not migrants, and the work is not intermittent. They are brought here by the planting contractors when the season starts, housed, clothed, fed, and transported by the company. They are fully employed the entire time they are here. They have medical care. They are taken care of. The good ones come back year after year and are glad to do it.
    They dont blow their money on alcohol or dope. They dont party. They dont get arrested.

    The outfit I told you about that employs natives has jailbirds, alcoholics and dopeheads for workers. Sometimes they show up for work, sometimes not. Sometimes they show up sober, sometimes not. They are slow and sloppy. The trees dont all live. They charge six times as much.

  • ||

    It is hazardous work so they do get hurt. The employer is required to carry insurance for them, and even if they didnt I would pay for the guys expense out of my own pocket.

    I am saying we should refine our laws, not toss them out. Dude, get some coffee in you before you comment on here. Rub the sleep out of your eyes.

    'Lazy mule sitters'. Clearly, you have never managed timberland. I did my share of planting as well when I was younger.

  • DJF||

    'Lazy mule sitters'

    You the one who described yourself sitting on a mule while the Mexicans did the work. Sounds like a need to have open immigration so that the people paying for the tree planting get more work and less mule sitting. As to your planting trees in the past, that is history, your now the mule sitter, and maximizing profit is the only rule so I bet we could cut that $2,000 bill if we cut out the middle man the mule sitter.

    And I notice that you say that the employers are required to have insurance, not if the employers insurance actually pays of the medical care. And you also don’t say that you have paid for the workers medical care. Since what is the truth, do the employers or you pay or do the sick and injured get dumped on the emergency room and let the hospital or taxpayer pay for the care.

    You seem to have lots of expense in this business so who is actually paying

  • ||

    I am paying dipshit, when I pay the planter, he uses some of that to pay for the worker's insurance. The workers are insured.
    I feed them too. I cook over an open fire while they plant. These guys work hard so they are treated well. You dont abuse or neglect good men if you want them to keep working for you.

    Anyone who dumps one of the workers on the ER doorstep would go to federal prison, provided I dont get my hands on them first.

    As for cutting out the middleman, me, the private landowner who is paying property tax, buying the seedlings, paying the planter, and busting my ass every day except planting day, you can stick that idea up your ass, you communist piece of shit.

  • Lurker||

    You almost had me until you launched into you 'Communist piece of shit' finale.

    Now I know why your original discussion at that gas station ended so abruptly.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anyone who says "Lazy Mexican" never worked with one.

  • Y Szasz||

    They say "Mexicano perezoso". ;-)

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The guy employed only Americans, had his own nursery and only charged 12,000 per 40 acres

    So much for "jobs Americans won't do."

  • ||

    "So much for "jobs Americans won't do." "

    Change that to 'jobs Americans wont do well."

    The most important measure of the work is the % of trees that live. The first 40 I had a local outfit plant had maybe 50% survival rate. The Mexicans, close to 100%. You dont just jamb the roots into a hole and cover it up.

  • Lurker||

    Okay, you convinced me:

    We need to change our visa requirements so we don't have drunk American jailbirds improperly planting trees.

    For some reason, I'm sure that YOU'RE the exception to this claim that Americans just can't produce superior work.

  • ||

    You've made a false equivalency. One must have a visa for 5-10 years to be able to apply for citizenship. You act as if there is a choice, rather, one must basically enter one before entering the other. Further, it costs far more to apply for and get citizenship than visas.

  • Dekedin||

    Sort of related to Ayn Rand:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/la.....eve-ditko/

    It's at first a scathing review of the Spider Man play, but then goes on to the creator Steve Ditko's Objectivism. I'm no Objectivist, but I do like the neutral approach to his beliefs in the article. I read his black and white Mr. A comics a while back. Despite their heavy-handedness (what political comics aren't?) they were very enjoyable. It's interesting to me how someone so reclusive could have such bold ideas about the way society should work in his eyes. The comics are certainly worth a read for any libertarian, unfortunately they're pretty rare.

  • DJF||

    Maybe Atlas Shrugged would have been better if written originally in Russian?

  • Tim||

    All the Party members retreat to the mountains where they promptly freeze, starve and pogrom themselves to extinction.

  • ||

  • Tim||

    !

  • ||

    Or if her hero weren't in the most subsidized industry in US history. Ayn, and far too many libertarians don't know or understand the difference between utilities and the free market. Celebrating someone making a fortune off utilities is a statist story. The free market and the utility market are necessarily different and not comparable.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most of the time, when someone says "illegal alien" they are talking about some brown skinned person who speaks Spanish.

    They're not talking about a person from Canada or Lithuania who overstayed their visa.

    More often than not, talk of illegal immigration is thinly veiled racism.

  • DJF||

    So does this mean that Mexico is more racist then the USA since Mexican immigration laws are stricter then the USA?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So does this mean that Mexico is more racist then the USA...?

    Have you spoken to the average Mexican about Blacks? Mexico is very racist in my experience.

  • sarcasmic||

    Very true. (In my experience) Mexicans hate black people.

    Q: Why don't blacks and Mexicans marry?

    A: They're afraid their kids will be too lazy to steal.

    *rim shot*

  • ||

    The vast majority of Mexicans I know work harder in a day than you likely will in your entire life. The rim shot you need is a swift kick in your ass, ignorant moron

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Does Mexico's racism somehow mean we're supposed to sink to their level?

    Fallacy: ad hominem tu quoque. Mexico is racist, therefore it is impliedly permissible for the United States to be racist, just less so.

  • o3||

    yea i luv the idea that the US should set laws to conform to mexico. real winner there yesiree

  • DJF||

    So we should not follow Mexican laws or attitudes but we should allow in millions of Mexicans into the USA so they can support the same laws and attitudes they supported in Mexico

  • o3||

    say again. kinda jumbled-up there

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    So you don't want Mexican "values" unless it involves mimicking their government. Could you pick a worse example to emulate? See, the thing is, I don't equate peope with their governments. You want to follow a. Statist agenda when it suits your needs.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Maybe that's because, most of the time, an illegal alien here is some brown skinned person who speaks Spanish.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    [citation needed]

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

  • sarcasmic||

    That still doesn't mean the person crying about "illegals" isn't racist.

    The dirty little piece of obviousness here is that racism is natural.
    That is how races originate: by people preferring their own race.
    People would rather be around people who look like them and talk like them.
    It's normal.

    However it's a thoughtcrime, so nobody is free to admit it.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, it doesn't mean that the person crying about "illegals" isn't racist, but neither does using the most common example prove he is.

  • sarcasmic||

    Did I say that everyone who cries about "illegals" is racist?

    No. No I did not.

    I said that it is often the case.

    That's not the same as saying everyone.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You said "most of the time" and "more often that not." I never claimed you said "everyone" but even for your "most of the time" standard it seems just as likely that the reason people reference brown-skinned Spanish speakers is because that's the most common demographic, not because most are racist.

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you deny that there are a lot of people out there who simply don't like Mexicans?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who don't like Mexicans. I'm not sure how you get from there to "more often than not" people against illegal immigration are racist.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's based upon observation.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What are you observing that leads you to your conclusion that most people who oppose illegal immigration are racist?

  • sarcasmic||

    The way they talk about Mexicans.

    They would still despise them even if they were legal.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You must be very busy to have listened to most people who oppose illegal immigration.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've seen enough of a sample to draw an inference.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    People would rather be around people who look like them and talk like them.
    It's normal.

    You mean provincial yokels would rather be around people who "look like them."
    I lived in Southeast Asia for four years, when I arrived only knew two words of Thai. I have also spend a fair bit of time in the Middle East. I love learning new languages and experiencing new cultures. In the past, I have shared a bed with women of almost every creed and color.

    Jus' sayin'

  • MWG||

    As someone who has also lived abroad, traveled extensively, and is married to a foreigner I can say without a doubt, as an American you and I are the exceptions to the rule.

  • Observer||

    Its nice to feel special isn't it....

  • MWG||

    Not really. Simply a matter of taste.

  • White Devil||

    Bullshit. I doubt that. I bet you live in the basement stuffing your inbred face with hot pockect.

  • Observer||

    'You mean provincial yokels'

    Nice insult. A way of feeling superior and dismissive of others at the same time...Well done.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Doesn't make it not true.

  • ||

    Observer feels othered.

  • Robert Evans||

    Yet another comparison of a secured border to the Berlin Wall. There is NO moral equivalence between a secure border, which is designed to ensure that undesirables are kept OUT, and the Berlin Wall, which was designed for the same purpose as a prison wall, to keep people IN who only desired to flee oppression. Mexicans and other illegal immigrants aren't fleeing oppression, they're seeking opportunity, and many have no desire to become US citizens, but to make their fortunes and return to Mexico.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    they're seeking opportunity, and many have no desire to become US citizens, but to make their fortunes and return to Mexico.

    What's wrong with seeking opportunity?

  • o3||

    seeking while white = new citizen

    seeking while brown = new criminal

  • Robert Evans||

    Nothing. Good reason to institute a guest worker program.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nothing. Good reason to institute a guest worker program.

    I agree with you Robert.

  • MWG||

    Both the Berlin wall and the wall many Americans would like to build here are designed to keep people on one side from crossing over to the other side. As reason pointed out on one of their videos on immigration, the only 'successfully' guarded borders in modern day history have been those in Berlin, between N. Korea and China, and appearantly the wall in Israel. Hardly examples we should want to emulate.

  • ||

    What's the difference between fleeing oppression and seeking opportunity. A deficit of opportunity is oppressive.

  • sarcasmic||

    From what I have heard, Mexico has soldiers with machine gun nests on their southern border, ready and waiting to massacre anyone from Guatemala who tries to enter the country.

    I am quite certain that many of those in this country who raise a big stink about "illegals" would shove their own mother face first into a snowbank to man such a nest on our border.

  • sarcasmic||

    *this was in reply to DJF

  • Englishman||

    I have been on several stretches of the Mexico-Guatemala border and not seen this. In fact, the thick rainforest and fairly shallow river on much of the border would make sneaking into Mexico very simple. Indeed, I illegally visited some Mayan sites in Guatemala without passport control before returning to where I was staying in Mexico.

    Not doubting that Mexican attitudes to economic migrantion is hypocritical - to put it mildly - but facts over speculation.

  • sarcasmic||

    Read the first five words of the post to which you replied.

    Then read them again.

    When you're done, read them another time.

    Thanks.

  • H. Reardon||

    You call out a guy who responds to your admitted hearsay with an actual first-hand account. Really, why bother.

    From what I have heard, sarcasmic is an idiot.

    Read those last four words.

    Then read them again.

    When you're done, read them another time.

    Thanks.

  • Bill||

    Heh heh.
    +1

  • o3||

    wingnuts dont want facts unless faux news scrubs the brown off first.

  • DarrenM.||

    wingnuts dont want facts unless faux news scrubs the brown off first.

    They certainly wouldn't be getting any from you in any case.

  • Moogle||

    Well, there are machine gun nests, but mainly on the Guatemala side. The Mexico side just has soldiers and deportation centers. Hypocritical? Yeah. Name one country that isn't.

    Why, yes, I *do* read National Geographic. :-)

  • ||

    We have that on our Canadian border. What are you talking about?

  • Michelle Obama||

    who arguably did more than any contemporary figure to restore the faith of Americans in America

    Ahem.

  • Gen Eisenhower||

    At ease

  • Tim||

    How'd that beyotch get over the Berlin Wall?

  • ||

    Racism shmacism. What a bunch of crap.

    I have already expressed a desire to have hard-working, non-criminal, ambitious people come here. That is what we want in this country, it is what we need more of in immigrants and natives. Character is the measure, not skin color or language.

    However, it is foolish to think that flooding our country with people from cultures that have very different values than our own would not be suicide. I say, come here, work hard, assimilate.
    The bottom line is whether or not immigration is an overall positive for us. People who come here and load up the welfare system or school system, or medical system just to make sure democrats have more votes are not 'seeking opportunity' and we are committing national suicide by letting them in.

  • RoboCain||

    I agree it isn't racism.

  • ||

    there's no difference between what you wrote and what any slave master might say. Not accusing you of that, but your words aren't as noble as you might imagine.

  • DarrenM.||

    The bottom line is whether or not immigration is an overall positive for us.

    Yes, but you're not allowed to judge who would be a positive. You are required to accept anyone who wants in the country and turn a blind eye to any potential negative effects of their presence. You're just a citizen here after all. You don't count.

  • ||

    The problem with illegal immigrants is less that they are breaking the law, or even that the law is unfair in some way, than that the law is unenforced. WE have a large illegal immigrant population because we have a law that isn't enforced, that I believe is not enforced intentionally. The bulk of the illegals come from a culture (a failed culture) where a lot of unenforced laws exist purely to put the lower classes consistently in the wrong, so that they can be kept from climbing above their 'station'. They expect it. WE should do better, and that we don't is flat out despicable.

    We should enforce the immigration laws. If they can't be enforced, or if enforcing them would create conditions we don't want, then the only way to motivate people who profit from the status quo is to TRY to enforce therm.

    Allowing things to slide isn't an answer. The laws should be changed, and if no attempt to enforce them is made, and the illegals remain in the grey economy, where they can be exploited, then the Powers That Be have little motivation to alter the law.

  • ||

    fair argument, but also a statist answer. I've written all the conservative radio hosts and encouraged them to ask their listeners to simply ask the contractors they hire if their workers are documented. Not a one got my point. Instead, they wanted Sheriffs running around asking for papers.

    I've been a landscape contractor for 20+ years. I've had only one client ask if my workers were legal. I didn't lie. Make me lie. If you oppose illegal immigration, you have to show the market that there is a market for documented workers. If you don't care, why should your contractor? You idiots come on here, talk about "libertarian" policies, yet, none are willing or none can understand how the market works. You show an interest in something, the market will meet it. You pay lip service to something, the market will find that you care more about low price than legal status. In competitive markets, the market will find out. In limited markets, you don't have as much clarity, or power

  • illini||

    Okay, point taken, but your sub-title is intentionally misleading, isn't it? It should read "According to today's anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant Republicans..." Nice try ASSHOLE!

  • MWG||

    You don't hear very many republicans calling for higher wall wider gates, do you?

  • Observer||

    Yes, because the leaders of any party perfectly reflect the wants, aims and desires of the entire political body.

  • MWG||

    Hey moron, did you RTFA? It's right there in the second paragraph. The article is about "our current crop of Republican hopefuls".

  • Muad Dib||

    Articles such as this tend to polarize the issue. There are many facets to immigration policy that need to be examined using a true cost benefit methodology. In an unfettered democracy (which we are becoming in most respects) simple majority can vote away your rights or vote themselves a share of your possessions, something Ayn Rand abhorred. We cannot have open immigration under these conditions lest we subvert at an accelerated rate all individual rights.

    How does one deal with amnesty? Does everyone deserve it? Americans have no place to turn that is substantially more free, we are forced to affect change or suffer injustice. When citizens of other nations consider coming here illegally they are in some cases shirking their duty of self defense, again this was Ayn Rand's idea.

    Another issue is that of welfare consumption. Illegals pay no income tax, but have opportunity to consume many services which I pay for. I DO NOT like this idea. My solution would be give more freedoms to citizens by tax reform, more freedoms to immigrants by issue of work visas, amongst many other reforms beyond the scope of what I'm trying to convey.

    In short I agree that illegal immigration is a minor offense, but also that national sovereignty should be respected. Loosen legal immigration restrictions, do away with an income tax or at least the graduated income tax, remove voting rights by birth for all (why shouldn't you have to prove that you have an understanding of the way the government is intended to work before being allowed to vote? Legal immigrants do.), and give temporary amnesty only to those in declared war-zones.

  • ||

    For me the most basic issue is that the present system sucks the illegals into our grey economy, and seeks to trap them there. That is, as I have said before, despicable. Until we are either actually enforcing the existing laws OR there appears to be a serious effort to change them and then enforce THOSE laws, I find that I view all other issues surrounding immigration as probable red herrings.

    Which isn't to say I suspect you, sir, of deliberately muddying the waters. But I really believe we need to deal with the issue of non-enforced laws as a trap before anything else.

  • Muad' Dib||

    I completely agree that non-enforced laws should be dealt with, by eliminating them. Law writing should be deliberate, methodical, and slow. Many of the laws surrounding immigration would be moot points, and hence could be stricken from the books, if we could set forth a more straightforward legal path to immigration and remove the so called black/grey market altogether by allowing work visas with taxation. In my previous post I was addressing what IMHO are the underlying motives behind the ridiculous political theater that is immigration reform.

    It is not my intent to 'muddy the waters' but the issue of immigration (and the perceived problem) is built on many other issues. That is to say, if a person from country x came here to work, was issued a work visa and paid taxes in line with everyone else, and could not have children that were automatically citizens transferring legal status to them, then what exactly is the problem?

  • ||

    I agree with you, in outline. However it has been my observation that too many people who say this is what they want apparently believe that simply stopping the enforcement of the current laws is good enough. And I strongly believe that simply stopping the enforcement of the current laws is the worst likely outcome.

    If current laws are enforced, the people who are currently exploiting the grey economy will scream bloody murder, and provided that we do not allow the reinstatement of non-enforcement, there will be strong political incentive to change the laws.

    Yes, a lot of the people who want, or think they want, the current laws enforced seem to be bigots and fools. This doesn't mean that opposing them is the right thing to do.

  • ||

    the progressive income tax and top marginal tax rates encourage investment. You've lived your life believing that net and gross profits are the same. The sophists who make the low/flat tax argument don't understand the difference between net and gross profits--or, they take you for an idiot who doesn't know the difference.

    When taxes are high, the attractiveness of reinvestment, R&D, expansion, domestic expenditures, advertizing and employee benefits are ALL DEDUCTIBLE. The HIGHER the tax rate, the more lucrative these deductions. Now, go and make a fool of yourself no more.

  • Tony||

    So what you're saying is that illegal immigrants will come to our shores and turn many halfway intelligent middle schoolers into insufferable jackasses?

  • Muad Dib||

    Thank goodness your back Tony, I had missed the knee jerk opinion. When I want an opinion of your caliber I will consult The View.

  • ||

    Being against millions of foreign language speaking, unskilled migrants crossing the border while violating our laws is not the same thing as being 'anti-immigtant' and shame on you for pulling that rhetrocial legerdemain out of the leftist playbook.

    If you want to increase legal immigration go ahead and lobby for it.

    No country is obligated to let millions of 'economic migrants' cross its borders unchecked.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Actually, from a libertarian viewpoint, yes, the country is "obligated" to do so. The "country" has no business with whom I contract, and if I want a guy from Mexico City to work for me, it's not your business.

  • hk||

    You are indeed correct. The Libertarian position is to defend the rights of the smallest minority in the world,the individual. Only individuals have rights, not states or countries.

    The real problem is the welfare state and over regulation of drugs.

  • ||

    not near as much as a problem as your overly simple economic analysis presents. There are at least 3 markets, the free market, the professional market and the utility market. Then, there's the professional utility market, (retail banking and major healthcare)

  • ||

    It seems to me that Ayn Rand's story is an argument for cutting INS red tape, not an open borders policy that considers every Mexican undocumented alien as a great defender of liberty. Or what happened to her is proof that people will do immoral things to survive in critical situation. I would consider stealing bread if I was on the verge of starving to death. Doesn't mean theft should be legal.

    The vast amount of immigrants that racially balkanized parts of LA and the OC in California are NOT human stories of refuges fleeing a tyranny. Wealthy Asians come here for the UC system or to avoid army conscription. Many immigrants actually hold onto the old world values that created some unpleasant situations back at home. But not as bad as fascist Russia ran by Czars.... or something.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand was a psychologically damaged thinker. She was selfish, there was little idealism nor fact in her critiques. She regularly conflated un-alike systems. Poor fools, you take a self righteous, self centered bitch as an intellectual fount.

  • Brett||

    I'm not sure how Republicans would have treated Rand. The US implemented a refugee system during World War 2 (after Jews denied residence were returned to Nazi Germany). Cuban who raft to America are political refugees and this immigration was restricted more by Democrats than Republicans (Clinton introduced wet foot dry foot). Meanwhile Haitians, who face just as bad an economic mess are economic refugees who republicans want to restrict further.

  • hk||

    I think Rev Blue Moon is completely right.

    No country has any rights on who I want to hire. Stay the fuck out of my business, and stop worrying over pre-crime.

    Prosecute people that actually commit crimes, and also decriminalize all drugs.

  • ||

    Why then won't conservative radio hosts, who decry illegals, accept the argument I made to them, for them to ask their listeners to ask those they give money to, whether their workers are documented. They pretended to not get it. I suggested, that if they demonstrate they care, then they will create a market for documented workers. However, every single one claimed to not get me. They continued their statist calls for sheriffs to go job site to job site checking papers I guess. Funny, when it comes to believing in and supporting the "market" you guys don't get it. If more of you were entrepreneurs with a brain, perhaps you'd better get it.

  • Observer||

    By being dismissive of the ILLEGAL part of immigration, you are undermining all laws. Just like selective drug enforcement laws are undermining all laws. The idea of a blanket amnesty rubs people the wrong way, because it is punishing the people who tried to do everything within the rules, and rewarding those who didn't.
    Most people I know, a small group to be sure, don't mind immigrants and even prefer working with them. It’s the ILLEGAL aspect that bugs them. If the laws need to be changed, fine, but don't punish those where were doing right by the law, to appease those who didn't.
    But what I say here won’t matter; the ability to dismiss laws we don’t like is ingrained.
    Oh and the comment on the Berlin wall; Shikha, which way are the guns pointed? In my opinion it makes a large difference.
    And before anyone jumps on in it; No, I don’t think that the wall should be built.

  • ||

    By being dismissive of the ILLEGAL part of immigration, you are undermining all laws.

    That is not at all true. I am undermining bad laws -- immigration legislation in particular.

    It is more accurate to say that, by accepting the government's definition of ILLEGAL without question, you are undermining all personal claims to judging morality with respect to legislation.

  • hk||

    The drug war is also Illegal, and rubs people the wrong way. That doesn't matter.

    It doesn't make sense and it is naive. The same reasoning applies here. And yes I do think people are generally xenophobic.

  • hk||

    Sorry I made a typo. My previous post should say:

    "The drug war is technically legal, and illegal drugs rub people the wrong way. That doesn't matter"

  • Observer||

    Ah, but if the law doesn't matter, what is protecting your rights?

  • MWG||

    Ideally the constitution, which limits the powers of the government... and actually says shit about keeping the Mexicans out.

  • Shorter Observer||

    Teh law iz teh law!!!!!!!!!11!1!1!1!!!!!

  • Short of Wits||

    I can't READS!!11!!!

  • ||

    Perjury is no big deal, not even a real crime.

    By the way, Kate, thanks for the tip...

  • ||

    Seems the only people who defend illegal immigrants are those whod ont have to live with them. Why dont you go spend some time lioving in north county San Diego or one of the barrios in LA and experience the drastic reduction in quality of life, the horrid crime and domestic violence brought to use by those "who only want a better life". They make NO effort to assimilate (unlike the immigrants of Rands era) simply bringing their 3rd world culture and mentality with them. Comparing Rand to the current illegals is offenive and simply put WRONG. I see illegals that have been here 20-30 years and refuse to learn english, refuse to use birth control planting countless anchor babies all who qualify for welafre and they know it!

  • ||

    Tony, you ignorant idiot. The vast vast majority of their children will speak perfect English. That has been and is ever true. They aren't trying to make this country like Mexico, they left Mexico--they even might like to return. But, as someone living in captured Mexican territory, it's the height of hypocrisy for you to say anything about them, the native, indigenous people who's children will speak English as well as your own. You're right, the current illegals aren't self serving, and don't skew facts and celebrate the greatest beneficiary of gov't largess (John Galt) as a "libertarian" hero. Ayn was too stupid/lazy/surrounded by sycophants to know that the Railroads were the greatest recipients of land and wealth given by this gov't to any private players.

  • ||

    there went 2 minutes i'll never get back; why is reason posting bullshit articles like this? there's got to be better writers out there than this hack...

  • MWG||

    An excellent argument. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • ||

    paypal your $20 membership fee to me, and i'll put you on the mailing list. Thanks for the support!

  • MWG||

    FTW!

  • The Derider||

    She was also a welfare parasite. And a poor novelist.

  • It makes no difference||

    Ooohhh! PWNAGE!

  • ||

    Santorum ought to be deported to Bible country where he can live happily with his fellow neanderthals who believe that evolution is a myth. Better yet, he can grow a beard, wear Arab headgear and preach at a mosque in Mecca. What he says is not very different to those loonies.

  • Moogle||

    He should grow a beard and go live in the woods, killing bears armed only with a Bowie knife and shoelaces, living off the land and building log cabins from tress he punched over. That would be awesome. And then come back in four years with that Teddy Roosevelt vibe just oozing from every pore.

  • ||

    Muslims don't believe the fantastic fantasies that Christians do. They don't believe 1=3, they don't denounce science, they don't reject frank debate and discussion. Muslims are told to say/pray (in earnest) in interfaith exchange--let our hearts and intentions be pure, and let us both be open to insight and learning from each other. No wonder, Christians are so reluctant to engage Muslims fairly. Also, every Muslim is told to tell Christians (again in earnest) that if you can explain the Trinity to me, I will convert today.

  • R||

    OK, so Muslims reject "1=3". They have plenty of other "fantastic fantasies" to make up for it.

    And Muslim commitment to "interfaith dialog" and religious freedom is spotty at best.

  • Skooma||

    This is why a lot of folks I know can't go libertarian. All they want is an orderly, legal system of immigration, and they get called racist for that.

    When they walk away disgusted by the name calling, that is *not* a win.

    And, sorry, but with the state Mexico is currently in, any open border argument is irrational and indicative of ideology winning out over reality.

    A good friend has family in Mexico City. He says a lot of them down there wish the US would have a tighter border because as it is it acts as a pressure valve so the corrupt Mexican government doesn't have to act on poverty issues.

  • ||

    "with the state Mexico is currently in, any open border argument is irrational "

    I've often wondered if this is why Bush DIDN'T close the borders; that Mexico is a failed State, dependent on money sent to it from the U.S., and Bush didn't want to deal with a real anarchy across the border. It's becoming a less convincing argument, as Mexico becomes even less stable, money coming from the north or not.

    In the best of all possible worlds Mexico would stabilize around a Government that we could live with. Unfortunately the likeliest way for than to happen would be invasion and conquest by the U.S., which is politically and culturally unlikely as things are. So we have a whirlpool of corruption and violence to our immediate south, aggravating our own tendencies toward violence and corruption.

  • ||

    we've invaded, occupied and conquered Mexico at least twice.

  • MWG||

    "This is why a lot of folks I know can't go libertarian."

    Drink?

  • ||

    "According to a Fox News poll taken late last year, 57 percent of Republicans supported allowing “illegal immigrants”

    Why is illegal immigrants in parenthesis? Seems like Ms. Dalmia doesn't think there is any such thing and anybody who wants into this country should be allowed in. Don't think so. Never gonna happen. I'm glad even Ron Paul(constitutionalist, not libertarian, big difference) doesn't agree with the "Reason" folks on this issue. I'll take the constitution over nutty ideas of open borders any day of the week.

  • MWG||

    And what exactly does the constitution say about immigration? Be careful not to confuse immigration with naturalization.

  • BigMouth||

    Illegal immigration unfairly expands the labor pool of unskilled workers. Anyone who thinks it is harmless or beneficial in net is living in a fantasy land. It has a severe depressing effect on wages and deprives some of most economically vulnerable citizens of work opportunities. We don't need that labor force. Up in the Northeast, we fill those jobs that supposedly depend on illegal immigrants with legal workers. In the absence of a substantive illegal labor pool, the employers must offer wages and conditions attractive to legal workers. Positions get filled in reasonable time frames and it hasn't driven prices through the roof as illegal immigration apologists claim it should. Imagine that.

  • ||

    Illegal immigration unfairly expands the labor pool of unskilled workers.

    Immigration legislation unfairly contracts the labor pool of unskilled workers.

  • ||

    As I keep pointing out, immigration laws that we don't enforce lures desperate people to enter our grey economy with no real hope of climbing out. Now, my understanding of the culture of Mexico and many other South and Central American countries (to say nothing of large segments of Asia and Africa) is that this is pretty much what they are used to, but with better pay and social conditions.

    But it is immoral and unethical. It is a glaring case of us not living up to our own standards. It has to stop.

    Given how the immigration debate has see-sawed for the last several decades (say, since the Carter Administration) there appear to be two main camps;

    1) Those who, for whatever reason, are against enforcing immigration laws. These include many people who only mean to welcome the illegals, but it also includes those who want to exploit them.

    2) Those who, for whatever reason, are in favor of enforcing the laws we have. These include those who believe that the illegals are criminals, but also include those who think, as I do, that enforcing the laws we have is the first step toward writing the laws that we should have.

    I don't believe, having followed this debate off and on since the early 1980's, that the laws will be changed until it is made clear that having laws we don't intend to enforce is not a politically survivable option.

  • MWG||

    "I don't believe, having followed this debate off and on since the early 1980's, that the laws will be changed until it is made clear that having laws we don't intend to enforce is not a politically survivable option."

    This is exactly like arguing against ending alcohol prohibition until all the laws against alcohol are being fully enforced. It would also be similar to arguing against legalizing pot until we've eradicated it. Neither of which are convincing arguments on a libertarian blog.

  • ||

    There is an interesting bit of history with Prohibition of Alcohol; many Southern states kept "local option" well into the 1950's, and the most effective way to get a dry county to go wet WAS to actually enforce the dry laws ... until people got sick enough of them to repeal them.

  • BigMouth||

    Please don't neglect those of us who believe in reforming or replacing the current system of immigration and enforcing laws based on what is harmonious with the proposed revamp. For example, I believe in harshly punishing employers who fail due diligence (which is as simple as calling a f***ing phone number), while also believing in amnesty for children raised in the United States. Many of us have considerably more complex views of how to address the issue than the all-or-nothing you present.

  • ||

    "Many of us have considerably more complex views of how to address the issue than the all-or-nothing you present"

    Which makes you a Political Crank ... like me. The apparent fact is, though, that there are two dominant extreme views and little else has much traction. Which is why I want to use one of the two as a crow bar to pry the situation open.

    Doesn't mean I'm right, and you are wrong, though. My ideas of what it politically possible keep running up against the chaotic (thank the gods) system we live under. If you can effect serious change without starting to enforce the laws we have first, go for it! I'll throw in what support I can, especially if it looks like you are getting somewhere.

    I just expect to see enforcement tried first. And I expect the reality to s*ck.

  • BigMouth||

    Enforce the laws and spur action for reform. I can appreciate that point.

  • ||

    I don't believe, having followed this debate off and on since the early 1980's, that the laws will be changed until it is made clear that having laws we don't intend to enforce is not a politically survivable option.

    The laws were not seriously enforced all the way from 1965 to the middle of the George W. Bush Administration, when his attempt to reform immigration law to match reality was met with vigorous political opposition. Since then the federal government under Bush and even more under Obama has been on a tear trying to enforce the awful legislation, with all kinds of backlash.

    So I'd say the evidence is pretty clear that having the laws but not enforcing them except where actually dangerous or harmful people are involved is about the best we can hope for in the present political environment. It certainly worked quite well throughout the boom of the 80's and 90's.

    As for the immigrants' being in a grey economy, that is their choice, and those who put up with it clearly prefer it to their alternatives.

    Would I prefer a simple unlimited residence and work visa with explicitly no targeted welfare and explicitly no path to citizenship unless some other visa is applied for and received? Of course. Will that happen? No. So failing to enforce the US's current bad legislation is the best practical option I can see.

  • ||

    "As for the immigrants' being in a grey economy, that is their choice, and those who put up with it clearly prefer it to their alternatives."

    I believe (though I may be wrong) that this is less a matter of choice than a matter of what the governments they have lived under have caused them to expect. When I say it's unethical and immoral, I'm not attacking the illegals who are part of it, I'm saying that it is immoral to create a situation like that for other people to live with.

    We should be able to do better. Maybe we won't or can't, but I wish to hell I thought we'd try.

  • ||

    It is immoral to prohibit the free movement, residence, and labor of peaceful individuals because they happened to be born on the wrong side of a line on a map.

    Once legislation has created that immoral situation, we can only hope that administrations and agents do their best not to enforce it.

  • BigMouth||

    A sovereign nation has the right to protect its borders and a duty to protect the privileges and general welfare of its citizens. Foreign actors have no moral claim or right to free movement into and within our country.

  • ||

    Interestingly, there is at least one sovereign nation whose founding document specifies a higher purpose for governments: to secure the unalienable rights of all men.

    A government's legitimate authority to protect its borders must be subordinated to individual rights and therefore must be applied specifically against individuals who are provably harmful to the general welfare of the citizens. Actual invasion or foreign conspiracy is different, but that's not what is at issue with regard to illegal immigration today.

  • DarrenM.||

    to secure the unalienable rights of all men.

    Which means we need to invade more contries.

  • BigMouth||

    "Immigration legislation unfairly contracts the labor pool of unskilled workers."

    There is no right of immigration. There is no right to unlimited labor. On the other hand, it is one of the primary purposes of government to protect citizens from invasion and other harms by foreign nations and individuals.

  • MWG||

    Whether or not natural rights exist (ie the right to free movement, free association, etc...) may be debatable, our constitution was written on the basis that all men are endowed with certain rights.

    OTOH, Mexican migrant workers hardly constitute a standing army invading the US. The constitution says absolutely nothing in regards to the governments authority to keep immigrants out (appearantly the framers didn't see it as an issue).

  • BigMouth||

    It might help to know the Constitution before you cite it. Authority over naturalization is an explicit power of Congress. It also is granted explicit authority to enforce its rights and seek punishment for the violation of the law of nations, which includes the sanctity of borders and control over immigration.

  • ||

    Naturalization, of course, is not migration. The Constitution grants the federal government power over the former but not the latter.

    And the Law of Nations specifically mediates behavior between nations, not of private individuals. A nation may not send people across the border without permission. The Law of Nations says nothing about a private individual not sent by his government.

  • MWG||

    "It might help to know the Constitution before you cite it."

    Interesting. I've studied the constitution particularly as it relates to immigration. What's funny is that you make that statement and then offer no proof directly from the constitution (a simple quote would suffice) where it grants the government authority over immigration.

    Plus, what MikeP said.

  • ||

    There is no right of immigration.

    There is certainly no right to have protectionist legislation limit the pool of labor you compete against.

    On the other hand, it is one of the primary purposes of government to protect citizens from invasion and other harms by foreign nations and individuals.

    Indeed. And any individual who can be specifically proven to be a threat to the citizens of the US can rightfully be denied entry. Take note, however: Exceeding the quota of people of your type is not proof that one is a threat.

  • ||

    before 2005 there weren't many legal workers willing to work. After Bush destroyed the economy, the White boys are clamoring for work. It was really hard to find workers. But, drive to one of these laborer congregations and a work truck was like throwing a fish into a kennel of cats.

  • Skip||

    The Soviet Union was a totalitarian hellhole that was about to collaborate with the anti-Jew Nazis. Anyone would be justified in lying to get out of there. Mexico is a democracy and isn't even that poor compared to most other countries.

  • Dr No||

    Except most illegals are not fleeing tyranny, so much as a lack of the US (and the UK's, and Australia's) welfare system.

    But of course that is totally the same as fleeing Soviet Russia...

  • ||

    actually, you're wrong. Illegal immigrants are more reluctant to use gov't welfare than their economic peers. They are leery of gov't and the consequences. They generally seek less formal medical care as a matter of principle. Hate to introduce facts and experience into your lilly white discussion.

  • Dr No||

    Clearly you know sweet fuck all about the UK and even less about Australia

    And given the state of emergency departments along the border you know fuck all about the US and the impacts of its illegals

  • ||

    Wow, I would like to know where these types of illegals are? In my lilly white experience, in a lilly white state, working in a lilly white medical field, I've noticed a vast disproportion of those who cannot speak english but seem to be very familiar with the protocol of receiving free medical care. The same holds true for my lilly white wife, a school teacher, who was pulled off of her english classroom duties to teach ESL for the influx of illegals provided free public education. My lilly white brother has noticed that not one of his hipanic tenants at the development he manages is married (though kids abound) so as not to endanger the qualification to receive a rent subsidy. Yep, my observations, along with my lilly white ability to read DOJ statistics entitles me to facts, and those facts support my observations. If almost 30% of federal inmates are illegals, then it seems that illegals are not wary of much, as you claim. Unfortunately for the rest of us who pick up the tab for their discretions, the least of what they seem wary of seems to be the law.

  • ||

    The GOP and Ayn Rand are not good at intellectual honesty. Rand's John Galt is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of social/gov't largess in all the annals of literature. Ayn, like so many conservatives and libertarians play fast and loose with the facts, and confuse utilities with free enterprise. The subsidies to the Railroads are never explored, the necessary subsidies to utilities are un-explained, un-explored. This has created an environment where we have "deregulation" of utilities which only increases costs and taxes on the economy. Utilities aren't productive firms like others, every dollar in net profit they earn is a tax on society. This is not true of the free market, where choice, alternatives and competition put all the power in the hands of the consumer.

    Ayn Rand, in her elevation of John Galt, is ironically, a statist of the worst order. It's one thing to receive social benefits it's another to make one's self among the richest in the nation at the hands of gov't largess.

    Another way libertarians and conservatives play fast and loose with facts is in their low tax mantra. Low taxes encourage liquidation of capital, whereas high taxes encourage diversion of gross profits into deductible avenues like re-investment, expansion, advertising, R&D, employee benefits--all untaxed. As tax rates rise, these productive deductibles become MORE ATTRACTIVE.

  • John Martinson||

    Hispanics commit crime at a higher rate than whites. They aren't as bad as blacks though.

    Look at London if you want to see the joys of immigration. There are places a white person won't go.

  • ||

    John, you're wrong. Illegals are MORE law abiding than legal citizens. Haven't you noticed that it's the illegals that drive 5 mph below the speed limit. That they're the ones who let too many others go at the stop signs.

  • Grego||

    Scott, what are you smoking? Of course CRIMINALS are going to drive slow, they don't want to get caught.

    If I had 500 pounds of marihuana in my car, I would also be following the speed limit.

  • john rokkit||

    Ties in perfectly with the revelation some months ago that she took welfare or social security in her old age. She died broke, I believe. And a hero to the right. Such a travesty, what end philosophy

  • ||

    I for one, love our Mexican invaders...

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xf4_.....ayek+4.jpg

  • ||

    This is probably the topic that I don't agree with most fellow libertarians on.

    I like the idea of tougher border enforcement. Not with a fence (except near border towns) but with cameras and the National Guard. Entitlements should not be handed to illegimedate illegal aliens, it is just another addition to the welfare machine spending that can't go on. And finally, restrictions on immigration like qoutas and limits, like what we had a few decades ago. Swistzerland and New Zealand are doing pretty well if you ask me, and they have tough immigration standards. We can't house the world, nor should we. And what is a country without a border and a defined populace? This is where I can't possibly agree with many libertarians, those of which are for open borders. This is also the reason I just can't register for the libertarian party.

  • ||

    This is a question that's been bugging me: Isn't there a difference between anti-ILLEGAL immigration and plain anti-immigration?

  • ||

    Only if your desired solution to illegal immigration is to legalize it.

  • ||

    Doubts are not facts and that is what this article is based on. It isjust more open bordersusing the dead to make a point when she can not find a live example and even if she could our prisons are full of illegal aliens.

  • John Martinson||

    Scott,

    Why are there more Hispanics in prison for murder than Whites?

    The black and Hispanic areas where I live have the worst driving.

    JM

  • ||

    Another dishonest article by Shikha Dalmia, with a dishonest lede. In her own article:


    However, others doubt that Uncle Sam would have handed a three-year extension to a Russian passport holder, raising suspicions that Rand might have been—gasp!—an illegal immigrant when she got married.

    So, in other words, there is some speculation and rumor that Ayn Rand overstayed her visa, so Shikha can declare her an illegal immigrant without any actual evidence and claim her for her point of view.

    Wow. Shikha should be working for MSNBC.

  • ||

    Here is the "evidence" that Ayn Rand was an illegal immigrant:


    Alice's - her passport name - was issued October 29, 1925. It expired, together with any visas and visa extensions that were stamped into it, on or before October 29, 1928.) She did not become "legal" again until her marriage to an American citizen the following year. The marriage entitled her to become a legal resident (this is no longer the case today.)

    There are at least two likely falsehoods in this claim:
    1) Visas actually do NOT usually expire when the containing passport expires. I have routinely traveled with a valid visa stamped into an expired passport. I simply carry the old and new passports together. Some countries may require that the passport not expire in the next six months, but expiring the visa when the passport expires is by no means the norm or even common.
    2) Marriage to an American citizen certainly entitled Rand to become a resident, and this is true today. US citizens have the right to make their spouses permanent residents, providing that the spouse pass through the standard medical and background check.

    It looks like this article started with the premise that Rand was an illegal immigrant, sought for evidence of it, and failing to find it, manufactured it.

  • Rick||

    I guess if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, you have to baffle them with... The immigration laws are there for "the masses". There's always room for individual exceptions, and Ayn Rand at least had something to offer. She should have been an exception to the rules. Wow, using that as an excuse to claim everyone should be allowed to stay is as juvenile as the "Occupy" movement.

  • ||

    So I guess the author is ok with Atta killing thousands of people. That's the real libertarian. I'm sorry...liberaltarian. Reason is sinking fast. Reason needs more actual libertarians and less leftist douchebags.

  • Bob||

    Once again, Reason proves it won't be satisfied until every foreigner is on American welfare roles.

  • Bill||

    The issue of putting up a fence on the Mexican border is about more than illegal immigration; it's a wide-open highway for anyone to smuggle anything into this country, it's a (legitimate) issue of national security as well. And no, as long as we have a 2nd Amendment I am not concerned about a border fence being used to keep me from fleeing to the safety and security of Mexico lol.

    How could anyone who calls himself a Libertarian adhere to individual sovereignty while advocating for open borders, the antithesis of national sovereignty? Are you really going to watch this country be devoured and destroyed by the scum of the earth for fear that some liberal might project his institutionalized racism onto you? The appeasement of liberals is destroying this country almost as fast as Keynesian economics and fiat money.

  • ||

    How could anyone who calls himself a Libertarian adhere to individual sovereignty while advocating for open borders, the antithesis of national sovereignty?

    Because individual sovereignty does not accrue to an individual based on where he was born, and national sovereignty is good only to the extent that it secures individual sovereignty.

  • Bill||

    A nation cannot secure individual sovereignty if it is not sovereign itself; we should advocate for explicitly limited government ala minarchism within an explicitly defined nation, the most basic tenet of which is physical borders. The "geographical subjectivism" of both the loony left and that among the random anarchists here on the right (you do know that Libertarians are right-wing, correct?) is completely lost on me.

  • ||

    National sovereignty is nothing but the positive fact that a government can do anything it wants in the territory it controls. The US is no less sovereign now in 2012 than it was in 1912 when it had open borders.

    The question is what the government does with its sovereignty. Does it secure individual rights endowed equally on all men, as Jefferson, et al., believed it should? Or does it pander to nationalistic tendencies and restrict foreign labor from competing with native labor?

  • ||

    Ayn Rand should have been sent back to the USSR. That hateful bitch really belonged in a prison camp. I almost puke everytime I hear people talk about her.

  • Bill||

    You mean like the feminist-bootlicking prison camp that Sweden is? You aren't half the man Ayn Rand was.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand obviously was a very sick and twisted women. I guess you share Rands view of what a "real man" should be like. I couldn´t care less of hers or any of her mindless followers opinion though.

    In Michael Prescotts great article "Romancing the Stone-Cold Killer: Ayn Rand and William Hickman" he sums up who Ayn Rand really was.

    "I have always been puzzled by the psychology of women who write love letters to serial killers in prison. Somehow I suspect Ayn Rand would have understood them better than I do."

    What I can agree on you with is that Ayn Rand looked like a transsexual and was in that respect half-man. She was a women who lacked both heart and looks. A classic witch!

  • ||

    Why look at Rand now. You have Aldo
    Santorum, father of Rick Santorum who also had false papers on entry into the
    United States, claiming he was a citizen of Austria, when in fact he was
    a aubject of the King of Italy. Bottom
    line Rick Santorum could not be a
    natural born citizen, because his father was an illegal alien at Rick Santorum's birth. This is because to
    be a natural born citizen one needs to
    be born in the United States to two
    natural born citizens under the terms
    of the MINOR cass of 1875.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg. Chairman, American Independent Party of California.

  • ||

    It's hard to argue the end result of Rand's immigration ruse. But to assume that no immigration controls can be coupled with active subsidies from government - which encourage law breaking to avail oneself to thy neighbor's labor - isn't logical, or workable. "Self-deportation" is a practicle description of the inevitable calculation illegals will make in their self-interest if inducements are removed. If allowed to work, the "market" of immigration and labor flow will self-correct. As Libertarians, we can't argue for no immigration controls without recognizing the Austrian-like bubble of subsidizing votes that are bought and paid for with the fruit of other's labor. I refuse to be enslaved to pay for someone else's defintion of "freedom."

  • Bradley||

    I refuse to be enslaved to pay for someone else's defintion of "freedom."

    Take that up with the government, then. Not immigrants.

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