Foreign Kids, Heartless Nativism, and America's Huckleberry Finn Problem

Nativist demands to deport kids appeal neither to America's humanity nor to its commitment to limited government.

Detained Foreign KidsYouTubeHere's a question for the proud Americans demanding that the unaccompanied foreign children showing up at our borders be deported: Suppose that one of these "illegal" minors was your neighbor, living with his aunt and uncle, going to school during the day, kicking ball with friends in the evening, trying hard to put the traumatic journey from his native, violence-ridden country to America behind him. Would you, with a clear conscience, pick up the phone and turn him in?

If the answer is "no," then it is time for you to throw out your "Return to Sender" signs. Why? Because asking your government to do what you aren't heartless enough to do yourself ain't right!

America is blessed with a rich and stable neighbor on the north and oceans on the east and west. Hence, it is naturally insulated from the nasty side effects of civil wars, famines and other catastrophes outside its borders that other countries routinely confront. But unless it relocates to another planet, it can't completely cut itself off from foreign upheavals, especially those it has a hand in causing.

Anti-immigration hardliners are blaming the surge of minors—90,000 alone this year, a five-fold increase from 2011 — on America's lenient deportation policies and the prospect of "amnesty." The reality is more complicated.

The surge comes almost exclusively from three of the most dangerous countries in the hemisphere—Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Why are they so dangerous? In part, because of America's illicit drug war

This trillion-dollar war puts the onus on Latin American countries to stop drugs from flowing into the US—rather than on the US to curb its own appetite. America has conditioned aid and market access on how hard these countries crackdown on drug dealers.

This hasn't dampened the drug trade one whit, but has driven it into the hands of dangerous drug cartels. Five years ago, half of Honduras was outside the government's control. In El Salvador, rival drug gangs shake down schools for recruits and money. Drug dealers even fund political campaigns in Guatemala to elect their candidates. Caught between the authorities and drug cartels are innocent civilians, especially the poor and powerless who are increasingly helpless in protecting their children.

That's why 66 percent of the kids from El Salvador and 44 percent from Honduras cite organized violence as their main reason for fleeing, according to a UN survey.

No doubt some kids are hoping to take advantage of a Bush-era law against human trafficking requiring that unaccompanied minors be given an asylum hearing and be placed in the "least restrictive setting"—such as their families—in the interim.  (If their fathers are with them, they are almost certain to be turned away.)

However, because the burden of proving that they face a physical threat back home is so impossible, many of them simply melt away into the undocumented underclass rather than show up for their hearing.

A compassionate people would demand that these kids be given usable options for applying for asylum in their home countries so that they wouldn't have to undertake a dangerous journey with "coyotes"—human smugglers mixed up in the drug trade.

Instead, America is arguably experiencing its worst spasm of nativism since the early 20th Century. Then, magazines such as Judge ran cartoons depicting a Statue of Liberty with a Chinese face welcoming crime-prone and diseased immigrants. Now, protesters in towns like Murrieta, California, are turning away buses carrying these kids to shelters, accusing them of being scabies-infected law-breakers.

But such nativism will ultimately run into what University of California's John S.W. Park calls America's "Huckleberry Finn Problem." Slavery unraveled because, like Mark Twain's Huck Finn who helped Jim, a slave, escape, Americans couldn't bear to enforce anti-fugitive laws preventing blacks from fleeing to freedom. "Inflicting the law became hard," notes Park, "when there was so much evidence of common humanity." The heroes of that era are not folks like Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott ruling who brilliantly argued to enforce slavery because it was the law of the land, but abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stove who broke that law.

The same is happening now. There is no movement of private citizens turning in illegals because most Americans, even those who don't disagree with America's restrictive border policies, would feel "icky" doing so—just like Huck Finn couldn't bear to turn in Jim even though he accepted slavery as ordained by God. But sanctuary cities are cropping up in America offering safe haven, also what happened during slavery.

Laws requiring the government to do what private citizens can't bring themselves to do are wrong, especially in a country founded on the notion that a government's powers can't exceed those of its people.

Nativism, with its hectoring to enforce a cruel borderline, appeals neither to America's humanity nor its commitment to limited government – which is why it'll ultimately lose. The question is whether it'll claim these foreign kids as casualties in the meantime.

A version of this column originally appeared in the Washington Examiner. Eric Haskell of Columbia University provided valuable research assistance for this piece.

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  • The Blue Falcon||

    Bad analogy. Can I break in to your house today and do the jobs "you won't do," eat your food, but be forgiven for B and E?

  • Christophe||

    Bad analogy. Who owns the house? Certainly not the government.

    A better analogy is an appartment complex. Is it legitimate for a condo association to say certain people can't move in (even if someone is offering to take them in as boarders?). Especially on something as flimsy as where they were born?

  • Free Society||

    Well that would depend. Since condo associations are contractually voluntary, it's morally permissible for a condo association to decide they don't accept certain minorities or whatever. However distasteful it may seem, the condo association should certainly be able to bar entry based on national origin. People either have a right to freely associate or they don't.

    Their 'power' rests with property rights which are universally valid. The government's power is a gun disguised as a 'social contract'.

  • Christophe||

    Yeah, it's still a bad analogy, since membership in the condo association is voluntary, and so the condo owners are agreeing to subordinate themselves.

    I just really dislike the "home analogy", because it treats the american people as some kind of unified household that completely disregard the fact government isn't the property owner.

  • Edwin||

    but remaining in a country's jurisdiction IS voluntary. That nobody gets to choose where they are born and raised until they're age of majority is a condition of reality itself/childhood, and can't be changed, and the fact that travelling costs money also is an unchangeable aspect of reality itself. Ditto the world's different laguages.

    But remaining in a country is certainly voluntary. That moving may be somewhat difficult doesn't make it any less voluntary

    Unless someone is threatening you with violence not to leave, your remainging is voluntary

  • Black&Yellow||

    but remaining in a country's jurisdiction IS voluntary.

    No such thing, fictions do not have jurisdictions

  • Obama's Buttplug||

    Hardline immigration opponents

    Only took three words to her fail. Some sort of record?

  • Obama's Buttplug||

    (remove "her") Took six words for me.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Beat me to it.

    I also like the way she peddles the "refugee" line. Unless there has been some massive uptick in WOD violence in the last few months that has gone unreported, I don't see how you can attribute this massive uptick in illegal immigration to the WOD. Looks to me like it fails correlation, so we don't even get to causation.

  • John||

    They are not refugees. They are being sent here by their parents because word got out that Obamas wasn't going to send any more minors back. To call them refugees is a flat out lie and something any publication with any fact checking and integrity would have edited out of the article.

  • John||

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breit.....er-Crisis/

    The EPIC report indicates that the belief among the illegal immigrants that they would receive permisos and be allowed to stay was the driving factor in their choices to come to the United States and that the crisis will continue until 'misperceptions' about U.S. immigration benefits were no longer prevalent . The report also states that the migrants cited Univision and other other outlets as having shaped their views on U.S. immigration policy. Another implication of the report is that family members already in the U.S. are encouraging the minors to come and organizing the travel with smugglers. EPIC is a widely respected intelligence analysis group and was initially staffed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

    Dalmia is entitled to her opinion. But she is not entitled to her own facts. The word "refugee" is a term of art and means something. This kids are not refugees.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    The report also states that the migrants cited Univision and other other outlets as having shaped their views on U.S. immigration policy.

    That would be the Univision that is cozy with the White House?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-pollowitz

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Does that mean I don't have to live like a refugee?

  • entropy_factor||

    don hafta lev like a re-fujaaayyyyy

  • TO in TX||

    I wonder if these authors ever read this

  • David Wall||

    Also, if Shikha Dalmia wants to use her own money to support these kids and the adults that are with them, she is free to do this. But it is immoral to suggest that other Americans are morally obligated to do so.

    Such altruistic thinking is bankrupting us financially and spiritually.

  • Restoras||

    It's fucking pathetic.

    The correct phrase is:

    Hardline illegal immigrant opponents

    It isn't a difficult concept.

  • Obama's Buttplug||

    My point is that opposing - and even protesting - the bussing of illegal aliens to their cities does not make on "hardline".

  • Obama's Buttplug||

    on=one

    Can we get an edit button? Discus and Facebook have them.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Only if it times out in two minutes so people can't go back and retcon their comments.

  • Free Society||

    The population of Discus and Facebook is at least 50% Tony.

  • John||

    Just like the drive to put the Indians on reservations and the Asians in camps stopped dead in their tracks when we realized how cute the kids where. Jesus Christ this is stupid even for Dalmia.

  • Restoras||

    She's as full of stupid as Tony.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Suppose that one of these "illegal" minors was your neighbor, living with his aunt and uncle, going to school during the day, kicking ball with friends in the evening, trying hard to put the traumatic journey from his native, violence-ridden country to America behind him. Would you, with a clear conscience, pick up the phone and turn him in?


    Here's a better question: are you going to pay for these kids to stay here? If not, then don't tell me that I have to -- and that your moral solution of letting them stay to starve is such a noble one.

    Unlike, your question, mine is not a hypothetical or rhetorical, and it is one that the open borders crowd is curiously uninterested in answering.

  • John||

    And having millions of homeless and uncared and unwanted youth is totally the key to prosperity. It will do wonders for the quality of life in America.

  • Obama's Buttplug||

    I would gladly take in two kids. One to do the yard-work and one to do the housework.

  • Lord Humungus||

    in my neighborhood? Yes.

    There is a big ol' gate - called money - that keeps the undesirables out.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Suppose that one of these "illegal" minors was your neighbor, living with his aunt and uncle tax-funded and state-assigned foster parents, going to skipping school during the day because he speaks no English at all and bilingual education is doing its usual fail job, kicking ball hanging out on street corners with friends in the evening because he speaks no English and his only friends are other disaffected youths who can't get any traction in the English-speaking town that he was secretly shipped to by the government, trying hard to put the traumatic journey from his native, violence-ridden country to America behind him.

    Honestly, which do you think is more realistic? Shikha's rather quaint and romanticized Leave it to Beaver flashback, or my version?

  • briannnnn||

    Does she realize how many kids have died on the way and even after they crossed the border? I guess Dalmia only cares about the kids who actually make it "safely."

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Australia has run this experiment twice.

    "Open borders" policies that allow any and all who reach land to claim refugee status and stay indefinitely = hundreds or thousands killed attempting the journey.

    "Closed borders" policies that turn the boats back before they get to Oz = no boats, no sinkings, no drownings.

    Yet the "humane" policy is the one that leads to death.

  • Free Society||

    Multiculturalism is all that matters and the obliteration of white guilt for all time. No amount of deaths are too many for such a noble goal, as the extermination of Western society and European ethnicity depend on this.

  • Colonel Slanders||

    ^^ This

  • Zunalter||

    The only problem is that there is no final obliteration of white guilt, it is an eternal punishment created ironically by progressives who would discount an actual eternal hell's existence.

  • DarrenM||

    Some call it "original Sin", the progressive version.

  • Christophe||

    Qualifying Australia's "get here by boat only, and don't let us catch you" policy as "Open borders" is a bit disingenuous.

    I certainly can't board a plane to Australia to move there without the government's permission.

  • Free Society||

    He put it in quotations. I got his point clearly; 'liberal immigration that looks humane on it's surface is causing more humanitarian problems than it solves'

  • Christophe||

    Fair enough. It's the "Take a dangerous way in and we'll accept you" that's kind of demented, as it pushes people to take risks to benefit from lenient legal treatment.

    Although I disagree about the "causes more humanitarian problems than it solves". Maybe for the recipient country, but if people are deciding that taking a dinghy and crossing the Indian Ocean is better than staying put, then it means the original situation is already a pretty big disaster.

  • Ron||

    its kind of like abortion that way we only care about the ones that survive the process.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    There is no movement of private citizens turning in illegals

    Jeebus. What do you call this, then?

    With dozens of undocumented immigrant children expected to arrive Tuesday morning at a secluded boys camp in the Arizona mountains, protesters will gather to greet the federal buses in a potential replay of this month's demonstrations in Murrieta, California — with the support of the local sheriff.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyli.....en-n155941

  • Free Society||

    She mistakes federal ineptitude or unwillingness to act as a lack of American "turning in illegals". As if anonymous tips don't abound. Even worse, the difference between this situation and her Huck Finn analogy is that Huck Finn could've stuck a gun in Nigger Jim's ribs and arrested him. If I did this to Pablo Immigranto, and managed not even to shoot the family's dog, I'd be sent to prison for aggravated kidnapping and a myriad of firearms charges.

  • Free Society||

    This trillion-dollar war puts the onus on Latin American countries to stop drugs from flowing into the US—rather than on the US to curb its own appetite.

    There you go, about to place the blame were it should rest; with government policy, then you pull a switcheroo and blame the market. The problem is political, start to finish. Demand for drugs that you find icky aren't the problem in the slightest way.

    Laws requiring the government to do what private citizens can't bring themselves to do are wrong, especially in a country founded on the notion that a government's powers can't exceed those of its people.

    Private people never had the power to tax one another. Your idea that the US was founded without 'public law' is objectively false.

    Nativism, with its hectoring to enforce a cruel borderline, appeals neither to America's humanity nor its commitment to limited government – which is why it'll ultimately lose.

    Multiculturalism, with it's dedication to forced association, externalizes the costs of migration and prohibits "natives" from freely discriminating or not discriminating at their leisure-- which is why it will ultimately lead to conflict and the unraveling of liberty.

  • briannnnn||

    And I will once again point out, as I do with all of her articles, that Dalmia is completely intellectually bankrupt.

  • kuf||

    seriously, why is she a writer for Reason? Can we stop her articles from appearing on the site, and get more reasoned articles in their place?

  • Free Society||

    I wonder the same. I say just bitch about it send them annoying emails pointing out the flawed reasoning. However that hasn't worked on getting rid of Steve Chapman...

  • Acosmist||

    Reductio ad servitum, neat.

    Doing that in an argument is the same as tipping your king over in chess - you got nothing, you resign, we get it.

  • Suellington||

    Am I wrong or does the US allow more legal immigration each year than the rest of the world combined?

    If we accept Shikha's premises here how many more people would we have at our border?

  • briannnnn||

    For me, there's no problem with more open borders and increased immigration in general, but I have a huge problem with rewarding parents for sending their children to their possible death. I certainly wouldn't encourage it...

  • Free Society||

    I have a huge problem with forced integration. Let communities be as xenophobic as their inhabitants want to be and don't force them via taxation to bear the cost of other people's migration. Sure open boarders are well and good, but if the government doesn't allow us to discriminate then it's a case of forced association.

    Multiculturalism leads to an erosion of regional identities and that is precisely the goal; the centralization of political power.

  • Edwin||

    I second that to some extent

    I grew up with immigrant parents, and they never wanted to get off the boat in any real way. What's worse is their home country culture's weak, shallow, wealth-obsessed culture easily meshed with America's current yuppy, sociopathic urbanist culture. From the eschewing of real traditional values while holding on to marriage in name only for no good reason, to the demonization of physical labor and the obsession with college, they fit into what shitty aspects of modern blue state culture there actuall is perfectly

  • Free Society||

    For the record I come at this as a guy with an immigrant wife.

  • DarrenM||

    You have a right to lobby Congress for more open borders. Until that time, the law should be enforced. If the law is inadequate or unfair, etc., it should be changed.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Like the slave fugitive act and Jim Crow, right? Oh, yeah, lets not forget Prohibition.

    Whats right and whats the law are not the same.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    But the government enforces the law, not what's right. Which is fortunate, because the law is written down while what's right is only opinion -- and everyone has an opinion. For what it's worth, I can't find that the Fugitive Slave Act was ever revoked or overturned. The Fourteenth Amendment made it a dead issue.

  • Free Society||

    What's right is not opinion. Often times it's universal, the only problem is that it's not necessarily apparent to casual moral observers. There's lots of universal right and wrongs.

    Everyone can agree that rape is wrong, if they don't then they are undermining their right not to get fucked the smelly fat rapist down the street. Thus it's a universally applicable 'wrong' and there's really no reasonable way of denying it. Murder, theft, kidnapping et cetera all are universally immoral.

  • wfgodbold||

    "Suppose that one of these "illegal" minors was your neighbor, living with his aunt and uncle, going to school during the day, kicking ball with friends in the evening, trying hard to put the traumatic journey from his native, violence-ridden country to America behind him. Would you, with a clear conscience, pick up the phone and turn him in?"

    Nothing says Reason like an immediate appeal to emotion.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    Not to mention who would I turn him in to? The government sent him to his aunt and uncle and could not care less whether or not he shows up for his "hearing."

  • widget||

    America is blessed with a rich and stable neighbor on the north and oceans on the east and west.

    Jason Richwine got in trouble for advocating that the US have an immigration policy like our "rich and stable neighbor on the north". The diversity cult took his jerb.

  • XM||

    If I knew my neighbor was out of work and stealing bread from the store, I might not turn him to the authorities. But that doesn't mean we can ignore laws against theft.

    And these unaccompanied minors aren't "dreamers" who stayed in the country for decades and might have some legitimate argument for amnesty. They were freshly caught on the border, and were unaccompanied by design. Is Shikha arguing that "if you're willing to spare even one illegal immigrant, then you're a hypocrite for supporting deportation"? Even if the illegal aliens in question have almost zip roots or connection to the nation?

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Yet another "sob sister" article condemning those Americans who don't believe in any type of illegal immigration. In this case, all those Hispanic peoples from south of our international border with Mexico who believe it is their God given right to come here any time they damn well please, with or without papers.

    Of course those Americans (of many other races by the way, to include legal Hispanic immigrants) are branded as hate-mongers, and "Nativists" and whatever other bullshit the people who think that illegal immigration is fine, can think up.

    However, since no President of The United States of America has ever done anything for decades to seal the border, these peoples will continue to come to the United States. Perhaps some of the writers of articles such as this one, will explain to us "Nativists" why illegal immigration is OK, and why these particular people are so very special.

  • entropy_factor||

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'm no InfoWars-type guy, but open borders is misguided and will lead to a larger regional (ie EU) or world government.

    I know, that sounds kooky. No, there are not reptilians involved. But seriously, I think Reason et al get immigration a little wrong because they base their argument in emotion of "look at the childrenz!"

    I think quotas should be probably 10x higher, but open borders combined with the existing welfare state (and it's growing) will bankrupt this country and inflict massive brain drain on Latin American countries. Then, violence would be worse there and evern more people would flee. I like brown people, I really do. I don't mind them doing it the right way. But a mass influx into a country (US) that already faces massive budget and debt crises in the next 20 years would be catastrophic and I don't think it's very humane to the people. I know, not 100% libertarian, but I think theory and reality diverge sometimes.

  • Black&Yellow||

    sounds like alot of fear mongering based off no facts at all.

  • Aloysious||

    So who, exactly, is going to be paying for all this?

    Everyone that earns a paycheck via payroll taxes? Everyone that pays income taxes?

    We are going to be paying for this whether we like it or whether we don't like it.

  • Zunalter||

    Oye, listen, whether or not we should be deporting these kids, please don't feed me your BS emotional nonsense. This is exactly like progressives parading poor children in front of the camera anytime dissension is probable to a new welfare giveaway. If you have to tug on my heartstrings to make an argument instead of applying Reason (pun intended), then your argument loses immediately.

    How about this, FIRST, let's reign in the welfare state, THEN we will talk about opening the border.

  • Libertarius||

    I am unusually heartened by the comments to this article; I had long since surrendered any hope that Reason commenters would think beyond the narrative constructed by open borders leftoids. Their goal is the economic destruction of this country, with the hope that it would lead to totalitarian dictatorship, and if you think this flood of helpless wittle children was not planned with that goal in mind, you are stupidly naïve.

    In other news you won't hear about on "Reason", they have been catching people from Syria, Afghanistan, and all over the ME at the Mexican border.

    Open borders are a recipe for national suicide, not an economic panacea, like the transparently rationalistic arguments of Reason writers proclaim. Seal the borders, end the welfare state--then we can loosen up on immigration.

  • Christophe||

    I'd agree with your prescription, except I don't believe closing the borders helps us get rid of the welfare state.

    Quite the opposite. Nothing will kill Americans' willingness to fund welfare than realizing it's paying to subsidize people they have nothing in common with (which is why the "welfare queen" rethoric worked for a while). Pretty much the only program that has majority support to cut is foreign aid.

    It's cynically pitting the nationalists against the socialists, but it's the best I got.

  • Black&Yellow||

    More emotional appeal to imaginary lines. Please spear us your ignorance, you have no clue of economics or how the markets fuction.

  • kuf||

    Let me play a sad song for you on the world's smallest violin.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxauqa7rJgI

    Maybe I'll start listening to you when you stop appealing to emotion.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well, Shikha, I was going to say that if you think appealing to humanity would work with the hardline conservatives when it comes to immigration, you should think again. But alas, it didn't even work here with your fellow Libertarians. Just read all the comments.

  • FYTW||

    Just stop it, alright?

    The idea that leftist asswipes like yourself want immigration reform out of humanitarian sympathies for the immigrants themselves is a sick joke. All you see when you look at these people are potential welfare dependents who you can pander to for votes.

    You're not fooling anybody.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well, let' see.

    I said she appealed to humanity. She did.

    I said it would fall on deaf conservative ears. So far it has.

    I said an appeal to humanity was not accepted here at Reason. There were none here that accepted it. Oh wait, it was accepted by American Socialist.

    One.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    Calling Dalmia's amnesty pitch an appeal to humanity is putting lipstick on a pig. I assure you, we're humane around here. We are also realistic about the size of our resources and the limits of our responsibility for people from corrupt countries who gamble on our mercy as they commit crimes and scream "Racism!" at us.

  • american socialist||

    Great article, shikha. A slam dunk position for those of us out here that want to allow people who want to work and search for a better life the opportunity to do so. The commentariat makes me increasingly wonder if the problem with libertarianism isn't libertarianism but with "libertarians", who seem to want to erect a police state to keep the undesirables out of california. It's pretty cool to witness people who call themselves-- fashionably, I say-- anarcho-capitalists argue that the thing we need to do is strengthen the hands of government thugs in the INS.

    I 'm a socialist so I think its great to have a system in Social Security that guarantees that I 'll have at least some income when I retire. That said, I think that system works better when there's actually people working that pay taxes that go to pay for it.

  • Zunalter||

    So...a soft communist agrees with your points and thinks your article is spot on, I cannot think of a more damning critique than that.

  • XM||

    But aren't these "refugees" caught at the border from socialist leaning countries? Certainly not libertarian.

    What immediate "opportunities" await immigrants of any sort who arrive at this country? Stuck in immigration enclaves, working for some ethnic retail store earning cash?

    You can go to college or open businesses? Sure, but you'll drown yourself in debt and other costs before you earn a dime in profit. I'm surrounded by Asians with fancy degrees and half of them have no meaningful job. Asian owned stores break all sorts of law to stay in business.

    America's immigration fantasy is stupid beyond words. Bottom line - if you didn't come here with cash and family connections, you're guaranteed no more than a low mid class life. And you STAY that way for 10-15 years, EASY. You can cry and scream and pretend otherwise, but that's the typical immigration experience. I lived it, I see it, and it's getting worse.

  • astronomical object||

    Someone didn't read Animal Farm.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    I'm idly curious: do you have a limiting principle for this? I will confidently state that 50 million Chinese would come here tomorrow if they had a visa and plane fare (and if there were enough planes).

  • Black&Yellow||

    "I say-- anarcho-capitalists argue that the thing we need to do is strengthen the hands of government thugs in the INS."

    Maybe because they are not anarcho-capitalists you fool.

    "But aren't these "refugees" caught at the border from socialist leaning countries? Certainly not libertarian."

    It doesn't matter if they are libertarian, they are free people crossing an imaginary line.

  • Ron||

    Drug war or not we all know this is a policy by the government to change Americas voting patterns it has nothing to do with the governments compasion for children from countries that have been war torn since before the Spaniards arrived there.

  • Response||

    I say we send them to New Orleans, Detroit, and Baltimore. Both have murder rates in line with Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. No, wait that would be cruel. Never mind.

  • Brochettaward||

    The argument in the article is intellectually bankrupt and an appeal to emotion, as many have pointed out.

    My main issue with all this mess is never touched upon in the article at all. People are dying and you have completely inhumane anarchy on the border. You have people bringing diseases that will kill Americans (then promptly swept under the rug or blamed on something else, like people who resist vaccinations).

    That's the problem with illegal immigration. And the reason no deal will get made on immigration 'reform' is because there is no intention of stopping the flow of illegal crossings. There is only a goal to incorporate those already here, and keep the flood gates open.

  • Christophe||

    or blamed on something else, like people who resist vaccinations

    Cite please. Not that I'm an advocate for forcing people to get vaccinated, but third world residents often are vaccinated against the same diseases we have (vaccines are really cheap).

    I doubt the overlap between the two contagion threats is large.

  • Brochettaward||

    http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf

    "Yet many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease"

    Guess which states have the highest number of leprosy cases? California. Then Texas.

    Malaria at 40 year highs, also mentioned in the PDF article above:
    http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf

    California has had a whooping cough 'epidemic' that has just barely broken the news cycle lately. The CDC denies a link to immigration, and the best answer is people who refuse to get vaccinated.

    There is also the issue of what happens to poor immigrants living in conditions of squalor once they get here. As in the whooping cough case, they are more prone to infections (Hispanic babies had higher rates, and this was the cause cited by the CDC).

    TB is 11x higher for 'foreign-born persons' than 'US-born-persons.'

    Can't include more than 2 links in this crummy posting system.

  • Christophe||

    I don't disagree about TB, and general illness risk due to poor living conditions.

    But I don't believe there's evidence whooping cough is being brought in by immigrants, then blamed on non-vaccinated people. In fact, it seems the problem is the current vaccine we switched to recently is less effective.

    If there's scapegoating going on, this isn't evidence of it.

  • Brochettaward||

    I'm not even sure what you're point actually is. I didn't say whooping cough was brought in by illegal immigrants, first off. I really didn't think anyone would spend that much time dwelling on the offhand remark on how the media would respond.

    http://americablog.com/2014/03.....thers.html

    The LA times repeated the same thing (though some of their own reporting on whooping cough contradicts the claim). While quick to blame the AVM movement, stories like this are typically short on any hard data to substantiate the claim. Even the CDC has admitted it has little to do with measles/whooping cough.

    I feel like I'm getting into defending AVM, which isn't my goal at all. I was making a flippant comment knocking the media that I will stand by.

  • Black&Yellow||

    ^^but this is not emotional appeal??

  • Brochettaward||

    Are you referring to real illnesses spreading? An emotional appeal is just that. It skips logic or reason. Pointing out an actual issue isn't an emotional appeal, no. If I was fear mongering and talking about cities being whiped out, you may have a point. Or, if I took it a step further and asked people how they'd feel if they had a relative infected with some rare disease likely brought from another country.

  • Brochettaward||

    My issue boils down to the situation being pretty much anarchy at the moment which isn't always in line with libertarianism.

    Ideology doesn't save people from diseases. You sound more like a progressive detached from the real world and obsessed with their intentions than a libertarian.

    If we are going to be letting people in, I want to know they are being screened. For their own health and ours.

  • astronomical object||

    How many sick citizens will rot and die in order to fund this project? Where's the compassion for these individuals? For these families?

  • Douglas Kirk||

    These are strange comments for a libertarian website.

    Is it OK that where a person lives and works be determined by a piece of paper bestowed capriciously and arbitrarily by a government agency? And that enforcement be equally capricious, in addition to being heavy-handed and inhumane?

    Next: Reason readers mobilize for a national ID.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Thats what I am trying to figure out. Where are the real libertarians??

  • MacDaddy81||

    I'm all for open borders. As soon as the welfare state is dismantled.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Why does it matter, the welfare state is doomed regardless.

  • Tina Trent||

    Idiotic. Maybe you don't have a job, but those who do actually have to pay for it. In the real world, ie. outside these pages.

  • BaRbArIaN||

    Never happen. Welfare state is fixed now into the system. What are we supposed to do, allow a billion or so people to "dream" their way to America until we are a third world nation just like they left?

  • ||

    The irony of people who haven't seen a brown person outside of a minority studies lecture hall at an ivy league school since the last time their baby's shitty diaper needed changing calling other people heartless nativists never gets old.

  • BaRbArIaN||

    The socialist seem to think we should allow everyone who wants to improve their lot at our expense to come in unregulated and dismantle it all, passing it out as far as it will go. Where will they go after that?

  • Ron||

    your comment does bring an interesting point since isn't it the left who are always claiming that the size of the pie is fixed and if they truly believed that then why is it that its mostly the left championing illegal immigration and amnesty. If the size of the pie is fixed then there is clearly no room for imigrants at the table.

  • Tina Trent||

    Calling people inhumane is hardly a "reasoned" argument. It's just mindless race card shilling. Al Sharpton and the gaggle of imbeciles from Salon magazine would feel all warm and cozy here.

  • Libertylover00||

    Immigration is really a good litmus test to fish out the statists from the true champions of liberty. Immigration is a fundermental act of mankind that preceded governments and borders. Those who would curtail it for any reason (welfare, jingoism, protectionism etc) are tyrants and act against basic human nature. Let the state, and all its trappings die to preserve the freedom of people to move wherever they wish without government intervention.

  • Brochettaward||

    Immigration is a fundermental act of mankind that preceded governments and borders. Those who would curtail it for any reason (welfare, jingoism, protectionism etc) are tyrants and act against basic human nature

    So, it's your argument that we should ignore reality of the world entirely for ideology. This is a good litmus test as it shows who the utopianists are.

    There are a few basic realities involved here that conflict with the ideological arguments:
    1. America already has a massive welfare state.
    2. America has a set of laws that govern the border and immigration. So, like it or not, America has a very powerful federal government. As do its neighbors, shockingly enough.
    3. America is already waging the War on Drugs.
    4. America has a limited number of resources and land.

    If you believe that laws can routinely be ignored because they inconveniently conflict with your particular ideology, then I hope you are ok when those you disagree with do the same.

    You have no clue who is coming over in this mass of people. This isn't Libertopia.

    Your argument is I should support one flawed policy with negative consequences because of an ideology. This despite the fact that it is in large part caused by another really awful statist policy with disastrous unintended consequences.

    We don't live in a theoretical world. None of these decisions get made in isolation from one another.

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