Mr. Bush, Put Up That Wall!

That's what the House of Representatives said yesterday, with a 260-159 vote on a 700-mile fence to separate Mexico from the United States. The measure was part of a controversial immigration package, the House version of which will likely be passed or defeated today, including such already-approved gems as requiring Border Patrol uniforms to be made in America, goddammit! Other approved bits include an end to the catch-and-release treatment of illegal immigrants, and a requirement that every employer in the country check on the immigration status of their employees. Language giving unbinding support for a guest worker programs (which will be hammered out in the Senate, not the House) could end up being the deal-breaker.

Of the Laredo Wall, anti-illegal crusader Tom Tancredo said:

What would be the best Christmas present to the American people is pictures of concrete being poured.

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  • Bruce Moldovan||

    It'll take a whole bunch of illegal mexicans to build that fence.

  • ||

    Is Tancredo for real? That's must be some kind of performance art - some East Village artiste riffing on the theme of a fascist Republican.

    The best Christmas present is the government pouring concrete? You've got to be kidding me.

  • ||

    joe,
    If it is, Tancredo is the new Picasso.

    Perhaps he could use it as an exit strategy when it all falls to pieces for him, not unlike aging porn actresses switching to the born again crowd.

  • ||

    The article says that the justification for the American made uniforms is that Mexican made uniforms could pose a security risk?
    Could someone please enlighten me because it sounds like one of the most stupid things I have heard.
    Thanks in advance.

  • ||

    Troy, presumably, it would be easier for an enemy to secure real US uniforms from a foreign factory where every worker would be a non-US citizen and no-one would have a security clearance. It actually makes sense, as these things go.

  • ozymandiaz||

    Merry Christmas Minutemen. Or should i say Happy Holidays...

  • ||

    Well, I'm sure that if we just put up a wall we'll never again have to worry about brown people and drugs entering this country.

  • ||

    I wish he'd given his present recommendations earlier, I've already gone and bought "support our troops" ribbons for the american people (they seem to like 'em). I could have saved so much money if I knew they only wanted pictures of concrete being poured.

  • gaius marius||

    What would be the best Christmas present to the American people is pictures of concrete being poured.

    is it clear yet that these people are mad?

  • Warren||

    Oh for the love of... You know, immigration is just about the only issue Bush was right on. Well I guess he'll have to fix that.

  • gaius marius||

    am i the only one here who remembers the berlin wall and what that said about the mentality of the russian empire? does anyone else here see that the building of such a wall only highlights a deeper change in mentality by which we have followed our russian bretheren into authoritarian madness?

  • ||

    Well, sure, it seems crazy, but a really big wall will keep out terrorists while holding in freedom, or something like that

  • ||

    To be fair, gaius, my understanding is that illegal immigration causes some real problems in areas with popular smuggling routes. The desire to do whatever it takes to stop the smuggling is understandable. So I can totally see why some Congressmen in the Southwest are arguing in favor of draconian measures.

    The problem is that there aren't enough cooler heads coming forward and arguing in favor of ending the smuggling via a more liberal policy that channels immigrants into the regular, lawful marketplace.

    So, basically, the rational people are no longer able to and/or interested in keeping the angry guys in check.

  • Warren||

    gaius,
    As much as I hate this stupid stupid idea, this wall is easily distinguished from the Berlin Wall by the "gate test" (keeping people out vs. locking them in).

  • ||

    SY:

    Thanks for the explination and forgive my ignorance, but so what? If a foreigner, who doesn't have a security clearance (and I don't understand why you'd need a security clearance..... to make shirts) gets hold of a uniform, what is the security risk? To whom?

  • ||

    The desire to do whatever it takes to stop the smuggling is understandable.

    Huh? The smuggling is mainly drugs which is just another form of Prohibition which is an utter failure time annd time again. Can't say I can understand that mind-set even though I know it's common.

  • ||

    Warren,

    While Bush is clearly miles ahead of Tancredo, his proposal to give immigrants the legal status of vassals to their employers, forbid them from finding new jobs, and sending them back after six years was never "right on immigration."

  • Rich Ard||

    The smuggling is mainly drugs which is just another form of Prohibition which is an utter failure time annd time again.

    I thought this referred to human smuggling, not drug smuggling.

  • Warren||

    Troy,
    If you're in the uniform, all you got to do is grunt and nod your head, and any guard will open the gate for you. Sheesh, haven't you ever watched a movie?

  • Warren||

    joe,
    OK it's a fair cop.
    Politicians never get it "right" so anytime I hear someone in office propose something that would make things better than they are, I do a little dance.

  • ||

    I was referring to the smuggling of people.

  • gaius marius||

    my understanding is that illegal immigration causes some real problems in areas with popular smuggling routes

    of course, mr thoreau. but there are a thousand possible solutions to that. we build a wall? why?

    this wall is easily distinguished from the Berlin Wall by the "gate test"

    they are different in this respect of course -- but to be honest, mr warren, on some levels i don't think it matters which way the flow goes across the limes. hadrian's wall and the rhine/danube limes were erected only after rome had begun to experience the potential destructiveness -- military and cultural -- of its massive imperial conquest. such walls were a misguided reaction to the development of a deeply pervasive roman sense of insecurity -- similar to the one the beset the postwar russian empire -- and obviously now our own empire of anglophone globalization.

    it is the nature of empire to drive society mad with angst, insecurity and aimlessness, punctuated by bouts of genuine attack from within and without. this wall is a manifestation of america's descent into that imperial madness.

  • ||

    Anyway, if any of them filthy illegals show up here, I'm prepared to defend my sovereignty: I have a super soaker loaded with corn syrup!

  • ||

    This law is stupid on so many levels, but no one else has mentioned that the Mexican border is about 1,200 miles long. The fence covers 700, leaving about 500 miles left open. Bad policy dreadfully executed, the motto of the current Congressional leadership.

  • ||

    Pouring concrete to keep out the enemy always works! Just like when the French built the Maginot Line -- oh, wait a minute.

  • ||

    I personally think this is a very good idea..I don't understand why some of the people here seem to be "pro" ILLEGAL immigration?

    And yes gaius, as someone living in a state with one of the fastest growing illegal immigration communities (NC) - like many here I have been extremely frustrated by the lack of enforcement of our open borders.

    On a personal note I work for a local hospital and our indigent care budget has tripled in the past few years. In my community, when an illegal alien gets sick or an accident happens (usually while at work by the way) - their employers tell them to go to the local emergency room because they will be treated for free - you know who ends up picking the costs for that don't you? Do you have any idea how expensive an emergency room visit is for a minor injury or illness that would usually be treated in a walk in clinic were it not for the lack of worker's comp or insurance?..this is but one of the many costs of illegal immigration but one that I see quite often in my profession.

  • Timothy||

    As Karen mentioned:

    Border: 1200 Miles
    Fence: 700 Miles
    500 Miles of River-swimming goodness: Priceless

    That said, at least builing a border wall is a legitimate purpose of Congress. I mean, unlike baseball hearings and BCS hearings, and Terri Schiavo, at least this is within their purview.

  • ||

    A clarification here - No, I am not suggesting that this wall by itself will stop illegal immigration but I do think it is a start and perhaps it will send a message that this is a serious problem.

    Of course, the best solution in my personal opinion is to simply enforce existing laws, increase the fines for employers failing to gather proper documentation and allow local municipalities to keep a portion of these fines incentive for them to enforce immigration law locally.

  • ||

    So I can totally see why some Congressmen in the Southwest are arguing in favor of draconian measures.

    Except, thoreau, the chest-pounders here seem to be Tom Tancredo, not in a border state, and James Sensenbrenner, in a border state...that borders on Canada.

    From the article:

    Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who is from Laredo, voted against the measure. "I'm strong on security, but this overdoes it," he said.

    Oh, and there's this gem from Kolbe of Arizona:

    The GOP bill "does nothing to solve the real problems of illegal immigration," Kolbe said. "In fact, it's worse than nothing."

  • ||

    Celtlion:

    There are indeed costs to ILLEGAL immigration, just as there are costs to ILLEGAL drug use. But most if not all of those problems can be eliminated by dropping the "IL".

  • ||

    "What would be the best Christmas present to the American people is pictures of concrete being poured."

    If there's a sanctimonious asshole award, Tancredo just ran away with it.

  • ||

    I was referring to the smuggling of people.

    Okay, but your sentence:

    my understanding is that illegal immigration causes some real problems in areas with popular smuggling routes

    made it sound like it was two different things. As if people were being smuggled along with other, more common, illegal items.

  • ||

    James Sensenbrenner, in a border state...that borders on Canada

    Last time I looked Wisconsin did not share a border with Canada. It borders on the sublime.

  • ||

    If you're in the uniform, all you got to do is grunt and nod your head, and any guard will open the gate for you. Sheesh, haven't you ever watched a movie?

    I had a law professor whose East German husband did exactly that. No lie.

    Also, a serious question: where will the 500 miles of unfenced/unwalled border be?

  • ||

    Swill,

    If Michigan's Upper Penninsula doesn't count as Canada, I don't know what does!

  • ||

    Adam-

    Good point on how the strongest advocates aren't from border areas.

    And Wisconsin doesn't border Canada. The state borders Lake Superior, which borders Canada.

  • ||

    I'm kinda with Gaius on this one.

    "but there are a thousand possible solutions to that. we build a wall? why?"

    Exactly.

  • ||

    And Wisconsin doesn't border Canada. The state borders Lake Superior, which borders Canada.

    And do you know how many of them damn "Boat Canadians" are streaming into Ashland??

  • ||

    This "Build a Wall" idea is nuts. If Congress really wants to take care of the illegal immigration issue, they should build neumatic tubes running from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Then, they could post signs saying "Tu Amerikun Jobz" on the Mexican border. Problem solved!

  • ||

    Aiight, enough!
    I stand corrected. Now back to my point, which remains intact.

  • ||

    Tancredo....is that cherokee?

  • ||

    Sounds suspiciously like a levee system.

    Anyway, I didn't know most of our illegal immigrants from Mexico were actually an armed, invading force bent on taking over the country and slaughtering Americans.

  • ||

    there are a thousand possible solutions to that. we build a wall? why?

    Easy! It's take sixty years, trillions of dollars, and cements votes by fomenting hatred. It's win-win-win... for congressmen.

  • VM||

    "Well, I'm sure that if we just put up a wall we'll never again have to worry about brown people ... entering this country."

    But Throeau! you just doomed all graduate assistance programs!!!!!

    Adam - dude! get a map! Sensenbrenner borders on the unreal! :)

    I'd like to object to the "godwin's" extension to the berlin wall. it was in part used by the ddr as a symbol of itself. it was a tool of a wicked, evil regime that drove people to incredible lengths.

    having traveled through it several times when it was fully operational (yet another difference between the berlin wall and the death star - and you all thought i had run out of differences), as it was in the process of coming down/opening (hammered out tons of pieces. was great.), and of course since, 11/9/1989 is a special day.

    but comparing these two walls suggests to me a misunderstanding of the berlin wall. and no, videos of david hasselhoff standing on top of the wall with his ringed-with-lights leather tie, singing, is not the memory of it either. it is the hyperbole that compares stuff with the holocaust or to concentration camps or even the real goodwin's law.

    Peter Schneider's book "the wall jumper" (Mauerspringer) is a good one.

    cheers!
    VM

  • Warren||

    If Michigan's Upper Penninsula doesn't count as Canada, I don't know what does!

    As a former troll, I'd say you are right, except for one thing. Michigan Tech, one of the finest engineering schools anywhere, is in the U.P. And there's no way I'm ceding that to the Canooks.

  • ||

    The main thing I can see such ridiculous border controls resulting in is that Mexico will become the premier country in the world for the fabrication of phony travel documents.

  • ||

    Last sentence in the article:

    The main dispute is over whether the estimated 6 million illegal workers should have to leave the country before applying for a temporary worker program.

    What happens if they don't leave? Gitmo 2?

  • ||

    Is the wall to keep THEM OUT or US IN?????

    Ponder that....

  • ||

    i'm predicting a pole vault gold for mexico at the beijing games.

    anyone want to set the odds?

  • ||

    in all seriousness, i think that for all the tough on immigration and security talk - building a wall makes us look like total pussies.

  • ||

    Well, hey, the sooner we can isolate America from these "furriners", the sooner we can kill the American economy--then they won't have much reason to want to come to America...

  • ||

    "i'm predicting a pole vault gold for mexico at the beijing games."

    Downstater, you have it completely backwards. This will devestate Mexico's chances for pole vault gold. You're forgetting the old schoolyard joke: all the Mexicans who can run, swim or jump are already in the U.S. This wall will sap Mexico of it's pole vaulters and tunnel diggers as well.

    (Is there a tunneling event in the olympics? If not, there should be!)

  • ||

    Tancredo....is that cherokee?

    I wondered same. It looks either Spanish or Italian to me. Wouldn't it be funny if this guy was actually 3rd generation Mexican?

  • ||

    smappy,

    of course, you're right! we will deport those illegal immigrants who offer us no means of further entrenching our summer games dominance.

    however, i may be right after all if the us gets so messed up that mexico fields a bunch of anglo pole vaulters at the games.

  • ||

    Does this mean we can now finally remove that silly poem from the Statue of Liberty?

  • ||

    It's inhumane to force Mexicans to stay in Mexico.

  • ||

    Wouldn't it be funny if this guy was actually 3rd generation Mexican?

    if he was, i'm sure he'd claim that his great-great-great-grandmother was raped by an illegal mexican immigrant - just like every pasty white guy i know who claims some native american descent.

    is this story commonly heard by anyone else?

  • ||

    Rhywum, I think the poem on the statue of Liberty refers to legal immigration.

  • Lincoln||

    This "Build a Wall" idea is nuts. If Congress really wants to take care of the illegal immigration issue, they should build neumatic tubes running from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Then, they could post signs saying "Tu Amerikun Jobz" on the Mexican border. Problem solved!

    No,No, No! The NinjaPult is the answer to all immigration problems! For every Mexican that crosses the border - THWAP!- a ninja gets pulted back into Mexico. Think about it - Mexicans come to a land so brave and free it would erect 700 miles worth of concrete wall - all to clean slaughterhouse machinery and mow my lawn. Why? Because I'm too lazy to mow my own lawn? Well that too, but mostly to send back money to their poor villages. And what good does it do to send money back to villages being overrun by ninjas! None that's what. I cannot believe a government that once proposed sending battleships to Colombia to destroy the only lively-hood of poor farmers didn't consider the NinjaPult. Sad times indeed.

  • ||

    "is this story commonly heard by anyone else? "

    Downstater,

    The one I usually hear is "My great-great-grandfather was a fur trapper, and he saved the chief's life, so he got to marry an indian princess." I swear, if all the self-proclaimed half-blooded "royalty" tries to make its way back to the Indian tribes, it's going to be the reservations putting up walls.

  • dhex||

    "Rhywum, I think the poem on the statue of Liberty refers to legal immigration."

    the poem doesn't refer to any type of immigration, oddly enough, only the offer of refuge for those who would seek liberty.

    which means we should change the inscription to "don't let the sun set on you here, wetback" i suppose.

    i know this is the house and all, but this is fucking madness. pure fucking madness.

  • ||

    You know, on one level I actually understand the arguments in favor of regulated immigration: Even if you don't subscribe to concerns about jobs or even fear of cultural mixing, there's something to be said for asking that newcomers do us the courtesy of asking nicely and respecting law. I really do get that point. Not to mention the possibility that, among those people whose criminal activity is limited to border crossing (i.e. once they've committed that crime they don't do any other crimes, like theft, fraud, violence, etc.), there may be some more dangerous criminals (i.e. people who plan to follow up their illegal crossing with some theft fraud, violence, etc.).

    I get the point. Law, order, crime, respect. Fair enough.

    So, I will repeat something that I and others have proposed before:

    -Vigorous enforcement of the border, of course.
    -BUT....anybody who goes to a designated checkpoint and pays a nominal fee for a background check can enter and work if he passes the background check. The background check will look for evidence of violence, theft, fraud, etc., or ties to groups engaged in those activities.

    If we do this, there's still the possibility that the bad guys could get by with a fake ID, but it's just as possible that the bad guys, after waiting in a long line, will get in with a fake ID right now after going through the paper work. Not to mention that right now there's a huge demand for smuggling services, so enterprising smugglers have come forth to satisfy that demand. But if the demand shrinks, the market for smuggling services will be limited to the comparative handful of bad guys. Sure, they have money, and somebody will want to take it. But:

    1) With fewer smugglers out there, law enforcement will also have an easier job, and find it easier to focus resources.
    2) With fewer people to smuggle, the smugglers will have less accumulated expertise.

    I don't claim that this plan would end the black market, but it would sure do some serious damage.

  • ||

    Won't this wall actually increase the number of permanent illegal immigrants? As the wall is being bulit the 6 million illegal workers (using the figure from the article) will be forced to choose a permanent home. I'd bet many would choose America.

  • ||

    celtlion,

    I have to ask. Why do you think they choose to not be legal?

  • ||

    Rhywum, I think the poem on the statue of Liberty refers to legal immigration.

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" ... as long as you have a college education, promise not to bring the rest of your family, and have a Christ-like tolerance for kafkaesque bureaucracy.

  • ||

    scape-

    Yeah, but we'll need some low-cost construction labor to build this giant wall anyway.

  • ||

    Rhywum, I think the poem on the statue of Liberty refers to legal immigration.

    no. it speaks to our nation's willingness to take on and accept new people who are without great means and want to be free as opposed to instituting policies which make it harder and harder for them to get here and pretty much tell them: stay out.

    but the spirit of that poem and the symbol of the statue of liberty shouldn't really be adhered to anyway, i mean, it's from the french right?

  • Madogvelkor||

    That big wall in china worked at keeping the Mongols out, right?

    Oh, wait....

  • ||

    I get post #69!

  • Rob||

    they should build neumatic tubes running from the Mexican border to the Canadian border

    Those pneumatic tubes must be how they plan to end the 'catch and release' program. :)

  • ||

    "Rhywum, I think the poem on the statue of Liberty refers to legal immigration."

    At the time, only China had restrictions on immigration, and up to for years before the statue went up there were *no* immigration restrictions (although Asians couldn't become citizens).

    In light of this, I have a better plan than Thoreau's.

    1. Return the immigration policy to universal, unlimited immigration unsupervised by the Federal Government.

    2. Eliminate the drug war.

    3. Privatize roads, eliminating public enforcement of speed zones.

    4. Using the resources saved from steps 2 and 3, the Feds and the States can better enforce legitimate criminal law, thus locking up any immigrants who do happen to be criminals.

    Any takers?

  • Rob||

    It'll take a whole bunch of illegal mexicans to build that fence.

    lol, I say we make the rabid anti-immigrant nuts build the fence. Sure be nice to see Tancredo, Malkin, et al, with a shovel and a minimum wage paycheck, proving their fervency with actions and not just words.
    sigh, if only we had a system based on poetic justice...

  • ||

    Clarification: By saying "Only China had restrictions on immigration" I mean the U.S. only restricted the Chinese from immigrating, not that China was the only country that had a restrictive immigration policy.

  • ||

    I'm all for this, as long as they get Christo to build it.

  • ||

    When it comes to issues related mostly to certain regions of the country I think all posters should have to include their location. At least this way those who are in the middle of the actual situation will be able to overlook the stupid comments made by those who know exactly how to fix a problem they don't even have.. Reminds me of limo liberals.

  • ||

    Dar,

    since i live in the midwest, do i get to opt out of paying for it as i'm not the one in the shit?

    or do i have to pay for your fence and just keep my mouth shut?

  • ||

    Stormfront, vdare, american renaissance and all those racist organizations that support Tancredo must be having a celebration, at least they'll get a fence to stop the "brown hordes" from "invading" our country with their evil cheap labor.

  • ||

    "of course, mr thoreau. but there are a thousand possible solutions to that. we build a wall? why?"

    As a monument to the stupidity of man.

    Given the prevailing mode of thinking in this nation, I can't think of a better such monument.

  • ||

    anybody who goes to a designated checkpoint and pays a nominal fee for a background check can enter and work if he passes the background check. The background check will look for evidence of violence, theft, fraud, etc., or ties to groups engaged in those activities.

    Great idea thoreau.

    But today that fee isn't nominal, the background check takes months if not years, and as Rhywun said that "background" check has a lot more than just checking on whether one is a criminal or not.

    Legal immigration costs an arm and a kidney. A wall is only going to slightly raise the price of illegal immigration, but it still will be so low in comparison to legal immigration that it won't make a damn bit of difference.

    It'll take a whole bunch of illegal mexicans to build that fence.

    Nah, it would be inexpensive that way. We'll have KBR build it. Cost overruns are good for America. Freedom isn't free, ya know.

  • ||

    Here on H&R, at least, it seems the wall we really need is betwixt the US and Canada, eh?

  • ||

    When it comes to issues related mostly to certain regions of the country I think all posters should have to include their location.

    I think it's safe to say that immigration affects the entire country to some degree and in places you wouldn't even think of.

  • ||

    As part of some recent performance "art" here in San Diego/Tijuana, a guy had himself catapulted across the border. I forsee much more of this...

  • Against Illegal Immigration||

    I still say you're pushing areas like greater Los Angeles over the edge by (1) continuing to defend unrestricted immigration, (2) ignoring the manifest injustice to those who abide by the law and enter and live legally, and (3) failing to effectively attack the magnetic welfare elements that attract and sustain illegal immigrants once arrived.

    If illegal immigrants do not -- and as it seems many of you feel -- need not pay taxes or abide by other laws, the least you can do is advocate just as forcefully for removing such strictures on legal residents and citizens already living in America. Unless and until you do so, you're a bunch of hypocrites.

    The Fourteenth Amendment used to mean equal protection under the law.

    I restate my position again: remove all welfare and eliminate all taxes on the rest of us before throwing open the border.

    I still say, if you don't know the mess you've created in LA with the destructive policies you are supporting, you still haven't taken a drive through Pico Union.

  • ||

    Smappy earlier mentioned tunneling, which brings to the front something I've been wondering: Just how deep into the ground is this wall going to go? Or will that information be classified so the terrorists won't know how far to dig down?

  • ||

    "the least you can do is advocate just as forcefully for removing such strictures on legal residents and citizens already living in America. Unless and until you do so, you're a bunch of hypocrites."

    First, many illegals do pay taxes, but do not file tax returns (that is, if they get overtaxed, they stay overtaxed, unlike we citizens who get to ask for some of our money back).

    Second, I'm sure most people on this blog would agree that the welfare state should be shredded and taxes drastically reduced or eliminated (income taxes, anyway). But just because both exist in their current form is no justification for immigration barriers.

    I'm against the minimum wage. I'm sure that if we removed the minimum wage laws, more people's incomes would fall to the welfare level. That may make removing the minimum wage more costly, but it doesn't make it wrong to do so.

    If anything, the minimum wage (and immigration barriers, etc.) *hides* much of the costs of the welfare state (and thereby perpetuate it) by shifting them to less obvious venues.

  • ||

    Do you have any idea how expensive an emergency room visit is for a minor injury or illness that would usually be treated in a walk in clinic were it not for the lack of worker's comp or insurance?

    Is there a reason why there are no cheap walk in clinics for the uninsured? Emergency rooms should be for emergencies, so the staff should direct the nonemergencies to a walk in clinic. It seems like it would take some pressure off the hospitals. Why don't the hospitals set up cheap walk ins?

    Many complaints about the expenses associated with illegal immigration could be addressed without building a wall.

    I still say, if you don't know the mess you've created in LA with the destructive policies you are supporting, you still haven't taken a drive through Pico Union.

    Oh, I have driven through there. Big deal. It doesn't change my mind about the stupidity of building a wall. Thanks for channelling the John and Ken show.

  • ||

    I ride my bike through Pico Union. What's so bad about it?

    Any attempt to actually eliminate illegal immigration will result in a) a HUGE increase in govt, and b) higher prices for just about everything in the country. Frankly, doing nothing at all or even following the same course as we've done in the past 40 years seems like the most practical and least invasive option.

  • ||

    I was going to say I have a plan for ending illegal immigration and illegal drug use but, damn it, Smappy beat me to it.

    This fixation some have with "I'm not against immigration, just illegal immigration" is begging the question and entirely circular. Hey, I'm against illegal immigration too, I just don't think it should be illegal unless you're coming here with the intent to blow something up or otherwise kill people. Until you're willing to explain your rationale for saying Pedro should not be allowed to enter the country while Pascale should with something less tautological than "well, Pedro is an illegal immigrant and we need to stop illegal immigration" your argument is meaningless.

    By the way, a real win-win would be to get all those damn TSA out of the airport and put them along the borders to scan incoming people for bombs, guns and nail clippers but otherwise leave everyone alone.

  • ||

    Against Illegal Immigration,

    The Fourteenth Amendment used to mean equal protection under the law.

    are you honestly arguing that illegal immigrants receive more protections than u.s. citizens?

  • ||

    sorry, i meant asserting. there was no real argument.

  • R C Dean||

    Is there a reason why there are no cheap walk in clinics for the uninsured?

    The medical practice laws, which prohibit the practice of medicine without a license, combined with restrictions on the actual licensing of doctors, mean that the supply of doctors is falls short of demand.

    When demand exceeds supply, there is no such thing as "cheap."

  • ||

    Brian-

    Good points. Also, the same people who want the process to be lawful resist anything like what I proposed: Let in anybody who passes a simple background check, thus undermining the black market that indiscriminately brings in workers as well as criminals.

    Again, if the only concern is that the process be lawful and screen out criminals, why not simplify it? This would encourage more people to participate in the lawful process and undercut the black market.

    Also, somebody above suggested that the background check already takes forever and has a huge backlog. I'm not suggesting interviews with family or anything like that. I'd say bring two forms of ID and $100, and submit a signature and fingerprints. The ID is checked by agents trained to spot phony ID (bartenders are trained to do it, surely we can do the same for checkpoint workers), the info is run through a computer, and only the cases raising red flags need to be investigated further. Most people would pass through this system fairly quickly.

    The requirements proposed shouldn't be too burdensome. Although not every villager has ID, Mexican Consulates have been issuing ID to Mexican citizens in the US, and banks were accepting this ID (at least pre-Patriot). $100 is a hell of a lot less than smugglers charge.

    But I have a hunch that most of the people who say "We just want it done legally" would balk at my proposal. Which means that their objection isn't really about the legal aspect. In some cases it may be simple economic ignorance, but I suspect in some other cases it goes to something darker...

  • ||

    shecky;

    "Frankly, doing nothing at all or even following the same course as we've done in the past 40 years seems like the most practical and least invasive option."

    That is no good because the federal government won't get to hand out any sweet contract deals to contributors and they won't get to be more invasive in our lives.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Your last paragraph is spot on.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    It seems like you have a very reasonable proposal. But you're right; I doubt many of those decrying the illegality of the current situation will be swayed because that isn't their real concern. But at least forcing them to quit hiding behind that illusory argument would be a positive step. Then we can determine if it is indeed economic ignorance or something darker and either make the economic arguments or ignore then, respectively.

  • ||

    "their objection isn't really about the legal aspect. In some cases it may be simple economic ignorance, but I suspect in some other cases it goes to something darker..."

    Yeah, there's usually a lot of concern about foreigners forgetting to wipe their feet and tracking their dirty culture all over the floor. About five years back I heard someone complaining that she went into a *private* business, and the person at the front didn't speak English. The woman's assessment: "Don't they know this is *our* country?"

    Personally, I don't understand the whole "failure to assimilate" argument. If it doesn't bother me that a group of people in Mexico that have a certain culture are producing goods and services for me, then why should I care if the same group is doing it in downtown San Antonio?

    Besides; if immigrants didn't bring their culture with them, how boring would food be in this country? We'd be eating like a bunch of filthy limeys.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, also people don't want to have to learn a second language. That's why the same people who demand tighter immigration control want English as the official language of the U.S.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, also people don't want to have to learn a second language.

    I still haven't mastered English.

  • ||

    I say we make the rabid anti-immigrant nuts build the fence. Sure be nice to see Tancredo, Malkin, et al, with a shovel and a minimum wage paycheck...

    It would be the first honest, productive work either of them has ever done...

  • grylliade||

    I still say you're pushing areas like greater Los Angeles over the edge by (1) continuing to defend unrestricted immigration, (2) ignoring the manifest injustice to those who abide by the law and enter and live legally, and (3) failing to effectively attack the magnetic welfare elements that attract and sustain illegal immigrants once arrived.

    Well, cold as it may seem, if LA is harmed by unrestricted immigration but the rest of the country benefits (which it undoubtedly does), then LA will just have to suffer. Of course, like thoreau, I think that this problem is more one of illegal immigration than unrestricted immigration. And the claim that immigrants come here for welfare is BULLSHIT. The welfare rates for immigrants are about half those of native-born citizens. Let's see . . . I come to America to make money so I can send some back home, or so I can make a better life for myself. Do I work a crappy job many hours a week, or do I go on welfare? Let me think . . . Wait, working sucks! I can't make any money that way! Welfare, on the other hand, will let me make all kinds of money. Yeah, that's the ticket . . .

    When it comes to issues related mostly to certain regions of the country I think all posters should have to include their location. At least this way those who are in the middle of the actual situation will be able to overlook the stupid comments made by those who know exactly how to fix a problem they don't even have.

    I'm from Knoxville, TN. So your proposal is that to save you the difficulties of having to deal with illegal immigration, the rest of the country should pay to build a wall, and then just deal with the lowered standard of living brought on by not having immigrants to do the shit work? Why, thank you! I was wondering what I was going to do with these huge piles of money surrounding me!

    Maybe we should come up with a solution that solves both the problem of illegal immigration and "no one wants to do grut work for no money." Thoreau's sounds like a good start. Too bad it's sane so it'll never go anywhere. What fun is an actual solution when we can whip the hoi polloi into a frenzy about darkies?

  • ||

    Tom Tancredo's grandfather came from Italy, actually. Now his grandson is leading the charge of the idiot brigade in Congress. There is a negative consequence of immigration everyone can agree on. If only his grandfather hadn't been let in, Tom could be the up and coming star of a new fascist party in Italy.

  • not convinced||

    For the record, I consider taxpayer-funded education, Women-Infants-Children (WIC) benefits and subsidized mass transit to be -->welfare

  • ||

    You guys suck.

    In the future would you be so kind as to put comments like this at the top of your post instead of the bottom so I don't waste time reading it. Thanks in advance.

  • ||

    I agree with a couple of previous posters who suggest a reasonably cheap, fast way to immigrate legally. The big reason here (beyond the humanitarian motives of wanting to stop human smuggling/slavery rings and people dying in the desert trying to get here) is to reduce crime. Illegals are natural prey and clients for criminal gangs, because they can't count on the law to protect their interests and don't typically want to draw the law's attention to themselves. They maintain a huge market in under-the-table cash payments for work, fake IDs, and similar things--which mean that people trying to catch terrorists and dangerous criminals have a much harder time finding the real bad guys in a sea of people who are here to maintain lawns and send money home, rather than to blow things up or steal things.

    This is basically a victimless crime issue, just like the war on drugs. Because just as with drugs, if I hire Consuelo to clean my house, and you don't like it, you're stuck trying to pass a law to make me stop.

  • ||

    I think this wall is a terrific idea. Why don't we just anex the parts of Mexico with the oil wells, and inadvertantly put those behind the wall, while we're at it.

    Also, I think barbed wire and gun torrets would be nice touch to show off our democracy and freedom.
    ----
    I swear to god, if we start giving our female olympic swimmers steroids, I'm so out of here.

  • ||

    And by the way, I am Mexican myself, third generation

    So that lends some sort of credibility to your stupidity and inability to reason??

  • to Brian Courts||

    No, my good sir -- I would not be so kind as to impart to you my contention that you immersed in suckitude within the preface of my missive, preferring instead to delay the revelation of such otherwise manifestly opaque sentiments to the conclusion of my posts.

    Dude, I see that you go to Oregon State, but your plea for politeness reminded me of this Onion article -- were you in a fight recently?

    Yalie Strikes Harvard Lad Sharply About The Face And Neck
    December 12, 2001 | Issue 37�45

    NEW HAVEN, CT� A heated dispute over the relative merits of Harvard and Yale erupted into fisticuffs Monday, when Yalie William Vanderploeg, 20, struck Randolph Stephenson, a strapping Harvard lad of 19, about the face and neck in a most brutish manner. "The vainglorious braggart dared suggest that his Crimson squad could out-row us nine times of ten," said Vanderploeg, captain of the Yale crew team. "I knew they raised them as barbarians over Harvard way, but the very gall." Stephenson, his hair mussed from the attack, vowed that the dispute is far from settled.

  • grylliade||

    I'd say that until the government lets me work off the books -- do you know how much money I could save from not paying income tax, SSI, FICA, etc?! -- that illegal aliens enjoy better protections under the 14th Amendment than I do.

    Instead of letting you work off the books, why don't we let them work on the books?

    And what sort of quality level do you think you will achieve in running background checks on total strangers from Mexico -- what sort of databases are you going to tap into? Do you really think the Mexican government will just throw open its internal computer systems for the American government to peruse?! I'm sure all their databases are kept in perfect order.

    Yeah, I'm certain that background checks aren't a perfect solution. But it's better than nothing. Either we allow immigration with background checks, or we allow completely unrestricted illegal immigration, or we let our economy be ruined. None of those choices are particularly good; background checks, imperfect as they may be, are the least of the evils.

    For the record, I consider taxpayer-funded education, Women-Infants-Children (WIC) benefits and subsidized mass transit to be -->welfare

    Of those, I would only consider WIC to be welfare. The others are freely available to everyone, without income restrictions. You're complaining because illegal immigrants don't pay taxes to subsidize education and mass transit? Then let them work legally, and subsidize it through their taxes. You haven't responded to the position of legalizing immigration; you've just stated that allowing continued illegal immigration isn't a solution. Well, duh. It's a better solution than closing the borders, in my opinion, but it's still a pretty bad situation. What problems do you have with legal immigration?

    And by the way, I am Mexican myself, third generation, originally from Tucson, AZ, so don't even try to tell me that my anti-illegal immigration stance stems from some sort of bias.

    So now that you're here, and you're benefitting from coming to the US, all the rest of 'em should stay in Mexico? If your family still lived in Mexico, would you continue to live there just because you couldn't emigrate legally? Would you live in poverty, and stay in a place where your children don't have much of a future, to avoid inconveniencing those rich Americans? I probably wouldn't. So why don't we find a way to spread the wealth, and allow immigrants to come from Mexico to make a better life for them and their families? They're not stealing jobs, as anyone with half a brain can see. They're producing wealth, and increasing our human capital. What's the downside to this, seriously?

  • ||

    And what sort of quality level do you think you will achieve in running background checks on total strangers from Mexico

    And by the way, I am Mexican myself, third generation


    OK, I'm convinced. If we would have had tougher immigration restrictions 80 years ago, YOU wouldn't be here today!!

  • ||

    Mr Kelsey - exactly. You force something underground, it attracts all sorts of cockroaches and rats, thus making the entire thing less safe for everyone, whether they're involved or not, thus increasing the costs to everyone, whether they're involved or not.

    I live in Phoenix, AZ, so the "problem" of immigration is not unknown to me, either. I just see that the problem is difficulty of becoming a citizen, or at the very least legally working here.

    And of course a big problem is illegals taking advantage of our school and medical system...but again, that's because it's difficult to actually become a recognised member of the working class, thusly not contributing to said systems.

    And yes, I disagree with public schools and the way medical needs are paid for in their present incarnation and I do ask for changes, but you can't cut off your nose to spite your face. Both are problems, and I don't think it's right to say you must fix both at the same time or you shouldn't fix either.

  • ||

    i don't see how illegal immigrants put any more of a strain on public education than a typical resident in a school district who does not own property, make enough money to pay income taxes, and only contributes to the tax base through sales taxes on their economic activity.

    i would also be greatly surprised if the number of illegal immigrants using emergency rooms for medical care because they cannot pay for other forms of care is greater than the number of poor americans doing the same.

    hell, city ambulance services are being used as taxis in this city!

  • ||

    Eliminate government hand-outs and wealth redistribution programs, change the tax system to a simple consumption tax, jail lawbreakers instead of deporting them. With these changes I would approve unrestricted immigration. The immigrants would not be a drain on society. They would contribute to tax revenue eveytime they spent money. They would not return via the revolving door after they committed a crime in the US.

  • still not convinced||

    OK, I'm convinced. If we would have had tougher immigration restrictions 80 years ago, YOU wouldn't be here today!!

    So now that you're here, and you're benefitting from coming to the US, all the rest of 'em should stay in Mexico? If your family still lived in Mexico, would you continue to live there just because you couldn't emigrate legally? Would you live in poverty, and stay in a place where your children don't have much of a future, to avoid inconveniencing those rich Americans?

    Personally, I would stay in my own country and improve it. I'd also show respect to my neighbors and not break their laws, thereby gaining their support and influence as I go about changing my own country.

  • ||

    OK, I'm convinced. If we would have had tougher immigration restrictions 80 years ago, YOU wouldn't be here today!!

    I dunno, maybe he would be here as an illegal immigrant himself...

  • ||

    I live in Tucson Az. There are already so many tunnels under the border that i'm surprised Nogales Az hasn't sank. Any efforts to place a large concrete wall will just end up as a moat.

  • ||

    I'd also show respect to my neighbors and not break their laws,

    Ugh, more circular "reasoning" from the anti-immigration camp. We are debating what the law should be so assuming they are illegal, a priori, begs the question.

    Personally, I would stay in my own country and improve it.

    Good for you, if that's your choice, but telling people to "stay in your own country" as a matter of policy is something else. It was an accident that any of us were so fortunate as to be born here. That accident hardly gives us any moral right to deny others the same good fortune merely because they had the misfortune to be born on the other side of some arbitrary line.

    your plea for politeness

    Actually it wasn't a plea for politeness as much as a plea to make a point. Generally when someone gratuitously throws in a line like that it is a good indication that I won't think they have done so. In other words, I don't care if someone is rude if they make a good argument, but if their argument... well, sucks, then I'd rather not have to read the whole thing to figure that out. So putting insults up front is just a nice way of signaling us that what follows is probably not going to hold up, which, as others here have clearly demonstrated, it did not.

  • Courtsing Disaster||

    So putting insults up front is just a nice way of signaling us that what follows is probably not going to hold up, which, as others here have clearly demonstrated, it did not.

    So shouldn't you have insulted me at the top of your post?

  • ||

    Courtsing - um, no, because Mr Courts actually had something to say.

    And Mr Anti-immigration still hasn't answered the question that has been posed by me and pretty much everyone else...why is legal immigration somehow worse than what we now have or closing the boarders?

    Also, I would ask, if it's Canadians coming here to work, how do you feel about that? Should it be easier for a Canadian to come here to live or work? If so, why? Should the Canadian boarder also have a wall? If not, why?

  • nofollow breaks blogs||

    I seem to have come late to this party, so let's just consider this from the post: requiring Border Patrol uniforms to be made in America, goddammit!

    What a cute sneer! However, I'm sure those who are actually serious and able to think through policy can see the danger in allowing things like uniforms, badges, and the like to be made in insecure or foreign facilities.

    Since most libertarians cannot think even that deeply, is there any reason for the reader to trust any of their opinions?

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    am i the only one here who remembers the berlin wall and what that said about the mentality of the russian empire? does anyone else here see that the building of such a wall only highlights a deeper change in mentality by which we have followed our russian bretheren into authoritarian madness?

    Yes, but you're also the only one here obsessively insane about empires and trying to predict the downfall of the west.

    Other than that you're normal. Here's your bronze foil hat. Watch out for black sundials.

  • The Lowdown||

    Correction: My legal name is Mr. Anti-Illegal Immigration.

    Why is legal immigration somehow worse than what we now have or closing the boarders [sic]?

    You mean, borders?

    I never said I had any problem with the legal immigration that is underway these days.

    I've always favored employment eligibility checks over a wall, but if those won't be carried out, then I favor a wall.

    I'm also opposed to illegal immigration from Canada, not least in part as a check on their own hypocrisy -- do you know what a bitch it is to try to work in Canada as an American, even legally?

    That said, as with many of the neighbor nations within the EU, Canada's economic successes and level of prosperity more closely mirror our own. There are far fewer people incentivized to cross the border illegally from Canada and therefore a wall is not warranted.

  • ||

    Correction to my first post: the Mexican border is more than 1,500 miles. The fence won't cover half of it.

    My husband got home just now and asked me to post this one: the 250,000 Mexicans who build the wall will be very careful to stay on our side after it's finished.

    Seriously, I wonder if Rep. Tancredo mows his own lawn, cleans his own office, or ever buys fresh produce from somewhere other than an organic farmer's market. Heck, even the organic farmers I know use illegal seasonal help. If he really wants to stop illegal immigration, he should pass another really stupid law penalizing employers. Of course that would quickly piss off all his constituents who suddenly have no lawn or maid service, and who have to pay $10/ head for iceberg lettuce, and $35 for radiccio. I grant there are serious problems with what we've got, but somehow building a fence for less than half the border seems to be a singularly stupid way of addressing the problem.

  • nofollow breaks blogs||

    the 250,000 Mexicans who build the wall will be very careful to stay on our side after it's finished.

    That's similar to the number of Americans who've been left unemployed by Katrina.

    Seriously, I wonder if Rep. Tancredo mows his own lawn

    Yes, those in states where there are few illegal aliens just let their lawns grow and sit around waiting for the wonders of massive - and massively subsidized - illegal immigration.

    pay $10/ head for iceberg lettuce, and $35 for radiccio

    See this

    And, here's a quote: "One thing people d0n't think about is the cost of c0nsumer goods if these immigrants weren't w0rking in certain sectors... For the sake of discussion, if you have an iceberg lettuce on the shelf right now for 95 cents, what w0uld the price be" if cheap labor were unavailable?

    Of course, that's a quote from a Mexican consul who was trying to fool an L.A. Times reporter, but that doesn't mean that everyone who uses similar lines represents a country that profits off sending us people.

    I note also that the Mexican government is trying to get Fifth C0lumnists in the U.S. to oppose 4437:

    signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/20051212-1606-mexico-usimmigration.html

  • ||

    "I'd also show respect to my neighbors and not break their laws, thereby gaining their support and influence as I go about changing my own country."

    So I suppose that you walk your talk and report individuals you suspect/know are illegally in the US to the proper authorities? I assume that you do not partake of any service/business which employs illegals? I mean, as lawbreakers, reporting them would make the US "better", right?
    Or, are you of the "do as I say, not as I do" variety?

  • ||

    Here in Socal, the crowds that hang out near the Home Depots and various freeway ramps looking for a day, or a few hours, of unskilled labor to sell have grown noticably larger in the last couple of years. By my observation only about half or so will get picked up for a day of work. The market for unskilled labor here is saturated with prospective workers.

  • ||

    Anti-Illegal-Immigration/Lowdown, etc.

    You don't like illegal immigration. Great. Neither do I. Can you tell me why building a wall is a better solution than either 1) having no quotas on legal immigration and making visas easier to acquire then crack at a high school or 2) repealing all immigration laws and just letting people who want to come to the US do so?

  • ||

    Most people these days have figured out that it's bad to discriminate against people for things like their race, gender or ethnicity, i.e., things over which they have no control; why is it all right to discriminate based on where they were born? Nobody can help that, either.

  • nofollow breaks blogs||

    Yeah, Jennifer, let's just open the borders. Millions upon millions of people will come here to get their own piece of the common pie.

    Of course, those millions of people might decide to elect someone like, say, Hugo Chavez. That's when the "land reform" will begin.

    What's that, Jennifer? We just won't give them the vote? Well, Jennifer, there's a billion who want the vote, and a couple hundred million who don't want to give them the vote. Who do you think will win? Take your time, Jennifer.

    Is libertarianism just a big practical joke?

  • ||

    Most people these days have figured out that it's bad to discriminate against people for things like their race, gender or ethnicity, i.e., things over which they have no control; why is it all right to discriminate based on where they were born?

    If you were born in the US and have your own business you have to fill out about 60 tax forms each year. If you enter the country illegally and sell your services on a street corner you have to fill out exactly zero tax forms. That is discrimation.

    I just want everyone who does any business in California, legal resident or not, to fill out the incomprehensible Board of Equalization Form 401, like I do.

  • Rich Ard||

    I live in Holland, MI, which is largely underwritten by the efforts of the migrant workers who stop by to do harvesting every year - just a heads up that not just people close to the border are affected by immigration.

    But what great effect! There is a huge labor pool that shows up when there's work to be done, and is known to be harder-working than their anglo counterparts - if they were all working legally, and could get jobs that didn't have to be paid under the table, wouldn't that be a great example of the market forcing us lazy-ass palefaces to get off our duffs? :)

  • ||

    And yes, I disagree with public schools and the way medical needs are paid for in their present incarnation and I do ask for changes, but you can't cut off your nose to spite your face. Both are problems, and I don't think it's right to say you must fix both at the same time or you shouldn't fix either.

    Exactly.

    The fact is, the vast majority of them want to come here to work.

  • ||

    Nofollow:

    I have my doubts that as many people would immigrate as you seem to suspect, or that even if they did they would have the diabolical impact that you predict.

    First of all, as the number of low-skill immigrants rises, wages for such people here would shrink relative to wages abroad. That would discourage further immigration.

    Second, even with our ridiculously porrous borders the number of illegals in the country is, what, 10 million tops? (I'm sure it's even less.) Assuming a (conservative) 280 million total population for the U.S., that would make illegal immigrants a whopping 3.6% of warm bodies in the land of the free. I just don't think Hugo Chavez's vote margin is that close to even the most unelectable D.C. politician.

    Third, a large number of immigrant workers are seasonal, or intend to work in the U.S. for 5 - 10 years and then return home. As much as we love the States, there really are things in their home countries that most immigrants miss and many want to go back for, when they have the werewithal to do it in style. They aren't all staying to change the country. A lot are staying just long enough to change their lifestyles in their home countries.

    Fourth, the Hugo Chavez's of the world would be largely shackled by our constitution, which takes a lot more of a fight to change than 10 (or even 50) million newcommers could hope to put up. This is particularly the case when you note that something like 70% of all illegals go to a handful of states, and it takes a two thirds majority of states to ratify an amendment. I know, I know, as a libertarian I see the Constitution crumbling around my ears. But even with that said I'd say it's still enough of a bullwark to stand up to the kind of unhampered thuggery we see in some parts of the world.

    Fifth, a lot of immigrants come to the U.S. because they're more American than a lot of our sorry homegrown sons and daughters. Many like the U.S. just the way it is, and that's why they want to come here in the first place.

    I hope that even if none of these lines of argumentation are enough to persuade you, you will at least grant me that they are not the equivalent of a big practical joke.

  • 3rd and Vermont is a Sucky Int||

    So I suppose that you walk your talk and report individuals you suspect/know are illegally in the US to the proper authorities?

    Naturally. I am at this moment gathering information on a woman who freely admitted to me she pulled off a sham marriage to stay in the country. All I need is the proper spelling of her last name (she is from Eastern Europe and the spelling may vary) and I will be calling ICE.

    I assume that you do not partake of any service/business which employs illegals?

    Indeed, I do not patronize Home Depot and the like. However, the onus is already on the employer -- not me, the consumer -- to see that workers are not employed without proper documentation.

    I mean, as lawbreakers, reporting them would make the US "better", right?

    Of course.

    You don't like illegal immigration. Great. Neither do I. Can you tell me why building a wall is a better solution than either 1) having no quotas on legal immigration and making visas easier to acquire then crack at a high school or 2) repealing all immigration laws and just letting people who want to come to the US do so?

    Why is it easier to have doors on your house and locks on them? Why not just let everyone in to your home?

    I just want everyone who does any business in California, legal resident or not, to fill out the incomprehensible Board of Equalization Form 401, like I do.

    You hit the nail right on the head.

    Lastly, if allowing in all these illegal immigrants from Mexico is such a bright idea, why are Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Pico Union, and most of Mid-City LA such slums?

    You guys keep arguing that the flow of illegal aliens is making things better -- all I see is litter, filthy sidewalk vending and laundry hanging out of windows. I've lived in LA for decades and you can't tell me it hasn't become an utter shithole thanks to these "residents."

    It's funny -- people think my last name is Italian -- but they are shocked to learn that I am of Mexican descent and that I so oppose the trashing of a once-great city by hordes of lawbreakers. I refuse to speak Spanish and the sight of a Mexican flag bumper sticker makes me cringe.

    Yes, it's true -- there's much to be said for assimilation, which is something that's hardly happening, unless you consider thousands of Hispanic schoolchildren in the overwhelmed LAUSD having their brains shrunken into similar, useless lumps of lard.

    We were doing fine as a country for a great while without bowing to such human invasions as the past two decades have seen.

    Do animal populations on islands in the middle of the ocean need to import fresh stocks of animal life for the original communities to sustain themselves and perpetuate their existence? Nope. Then why do we?

    I say it again: I have no problem with throwing open the borders if you first get rid of the freebies this country hands out so widely and generously -- education, health care, food stamps. But think about it, folks, when was the last time that stuff was reined in? Face it -- an open border combined with an open-ended public goodies giveaway is a very unwise combination.

    I don't think you open border Libertarians can handle all this coming from a fellow Libertarian.

    Get used to it.

  • bloggers getting ripped||

    The fact is, the vast majority of them want to come here to work.

    They also bring a lot of people with them - either in their family or separately - who do not work. Many of our prisoners are illegal aliens, and even small Iowa towns now have a gang problem. I'm sure those residents would like to thank libertarians personally.

    I have my doubts that as many people would immigrate as you seem to suspect

    Good for you! However, according to a poll around 40% of Mexico's population would come here if they could, half of that illegally. And, that's just one country. What a wonderful it would be if we could build a bridge to the Indian subcontinent, or perhaps China. Massive immigration from there would make us wish for the good old days when it was just 20 million uninvited guests.

    First of all, as the number of low-skill immigrants rises, wages for such people here would shrink relative to wages abroad. That would discourage further immigration.

    "So, if I trash my own house and throw my possessions out on the street, that will prevent me from being burglarized!"

    othe number of illegals in the country is, what, 10 million tops? (I'm sure it's even less.)

    Bear Stearns says it's 20 million.

    Fourth, the Hugo Chavez's of the world would be largely shackled by our constitution, which takes a lot more of a fight to change than 10 (or even 50) million newcommers could hope to put up.

    I don't know about that. Political correctness and intellectual and political corruption tend to be force multipliers for our enemies. For a small example, a Long Island community tried to evict illegal aliens from flop houses. The government of Mexico race baited the issue and started working with Fifth Columnists to try to fight the closing of the flop houses. They were able to do that because of PC and those who, like libertarians, don't put the U.S. first.

    Fifth, a lot of immigrants come to the U.S. because they're more American than a lot of our sorry homegrown sons and daughters.

    Those people are still Americans, and they're closer to us than foreigners. And, a lot of immigrants just come here to make money and have no conception of the U.S. other than a pot of gold.

  • ||

    First of all, as the number of low-skill immigrants rises, wages for such people here would shrink relative to wages abroad. That would discourage further immigration.

    "So, if I trash my own house and throw my possessions out on the street, that will prevent me from being burglarized!"


    Well, there's this concept called supply and demand...

    Those people are still Americans, and they're closer to us than foreigners. And, a lot of immigrants just come here to make money and have no conception of the U.S. other than a pot of gold.

    This is a bad thing, why? Why did anybody ever come to the USA? Dreams of that big pot 'o gold?

    They also bring a lot of people with them - either in their family or separately - who do not work. Many of our prisoners are illegal aliens, and even small Iowa towns now have a gang problem. I'm sure those residents would like to thank libertarians personally.

    Gangs follow the money, too. Remember supply and demand?

  • ||

    Naturally. I am at this moment gathering information on a woman who freely admitted to me she pulled off a sham marriage to stay in the country. All I need is the proper spelling of her last name (she is from Eastern Europe and the spelling may vary) and I will be calling ICE.

    Heh... that would make you kind of an asshole...

    Indeed, I do not patronize Home Depot and the like. However, the onus is already on the employer -- not me, the consumer -- to see that workers are not employed without proper documentation.

    Nonsense. If you buy anything in CA, you benefit from low wage illegal immigrant labor.

    Why is it easier to have doors on your house and locks on them? Why not just let everyone in to your home?

    You let people into your home when you want them there, correct? In the same way, you ask for illegal immigration every time you buy that $.59 head of lettuce, $35 restauraunt meal, affordable house addition, etc. People don't come here and take jobs. We give them jobs.

    Lastly, if allowing in all these illegal immigrants from Mexico is such a bright idea, why are Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Pico Union, and most of Mid-City LA such slums?

    Those places are slums? They seem fairly vibrant, if not terribly white, areas.

    I say it again: I have no problem with throwing open the borders if you first get rid of the freebies this country hands out so widely and generously -- education, health care, food stamps. But think about it, folks, when was the last time that stuff was reined in? Face it -- an open border combined with an open-ended public goodies giveaway is a very unwise combination.

    Let's see... Unemployment has been in the mid single digits for years, economy is growing, is there really a problem here? Ironically, if the economy grows further, it may demand more cheap labor, probably illegal.

    What is the alternative? To guarantee illegal immigration is eliminated means a HUGE increase in the size of government, making incursions into business and private matters, just to make sure we're all who we say we are. Corresponding tax burdens. And higher prices for nearly everything, since all labor will have to pay the overhead of above board jobs, with less flexibility and more burdens for employers.

    Sounds like plenty of reason to want the govt to just stay the hell out of the way.

  • ||

    in all seriousness, i think that for all the tough on immigration and security talk - building a wall makes us look like total pussies.

    Oh, you're right.

    'k, so we just build 1200 miles of machine gun nests. It creates jobs because somebody has to shoot the guns. And it proves we're real men again.

  • ||

    Who says the Great Wall of China didn't work? What do you think everybody wants to see when they go to China today?

    As long as we spend the money to make it aesthetically pleasing, it'll make a great tourist attraction thousands of years from now.

  • grylliade||

    Since most libertarians cannot think even that deeply, is there any reason for the reader to trust any of their opinions?

    I dunno. Could you tell me? I can't think that deeply, being libertarian and all.

    That's similar to the number of Americans who've been left unemployed by Katrina.

    So what, we should just round 'em all up and make 'em build a wall on the Mexican border? I'm willing to bet that the vast majority won't want to go out in the middle of the desert and work on a construction project for several years.

    Yeah, Jennifer, let's just open the borders. Millions upon millions of people will come here to get their own piece of the common pie.

    Oh noes! Not more prosperity for more people!

    Naturally. I am at this moment gathering information on a woman who freely admitted to me she pulled off a sham marriage to stay in the country. All I need is the proper spelling of her last name (she is from Eastern Europe and the spelling may vary) and I will be calling ICE.

    What a prince of a guy. I wish more people had a stick up their ass like you do. Oh wait, no I don't.

    Lastly, if allowing in all these illegal immigrants from Mexico is such a bright idea, why are Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Pico Union, and most of Mid-City LA such slums?

    Why were such vast areas of Boston, New York, and other Eastern cities slums in the 19th century? After all, that's where those Irish bums lived. If only we could have kept them out of the country, we'd have a pure Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation now, and we'd be better off for it.

    Do animal populations on islands in the middle of the ocean need to import fresh stocks of animal life for the original communities to sustain themselves and perpetuate their existence? Nope. Then why do we?

    Well, among other things, we will be losing population shortly without immigration. Most animal populations that I know of don't have birth control, so they generally reproduce more than humans do. Rich people in developed nations have fewer kids, so they need immigrants to keep the population up. Not to mention the whole "human capital" thing. But don't let things like facts get in the way of a good argument.

    Good for you! However, according to a poll around 40% of Mexico's population would come here if they could, half of that illegally. And, that's just one country. What a wonderful it would be if we could build a bridge to the Indian subcontinent, or perhaps China. Massive immigration from there would make us wish for the good old days when it was just 20 million uninvited guests.

    Hmmm. So 40 % of Mexico could afford to come here? And even more so for China or India. Y'know, it's expensive to move to another country, and most of these people are poor; that's why they want to come here to begin with. And I'm also certain that the vast majority of that 40 % would, if the chance presented itself, not leave their homes. People get comfortable, and even when they have the chance to improve their lives, often don't want to leave what they have behind. So those poll numbers are essentially meaningless as far as the number of immigrants under an open border go.

    Those people are still Americans, and they're closer to us than foreigners.

    And there's the crux of the argument. It's all about parochialism, isn't it? All this talk about "Fifth Columnists," too. People who are from my group are better than people outside it. Whatever.

  • ||

    grylliade, that is an excellent ass kicking that you're administering!

  • ||

    This would all be so much easier if we just annexed the northern half of Mexico and made a few more states out of it.

    In all seriousness, if it reaches the point where the bigger half of Mexicans want to live here, would doing that be so wrong?

    If we weren't a damned welfare state it would make lots of sense. But if we weren't, I wonder how many of those Mexicans would still want to come here so bad. I suspect it would still be quite a few.

    The problem with Mexico has been since 1811 or so, that they lack simple rule of law and order. You don't appreciate it until you don't have it.


    What's so sacred about "national boundaries"? I'm thinking I like the idea of countries competing for populations. You can vote to be part of which ever contiguous nearby country you like.

    This would likely have ended totalitarian regimes much much sooner in the 20th century.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I hate to break it to you guys but a federally built wall at the border is a prevailing wage project. There will be no illegals or other moderately paid people working there. It'll be top-heavy with $35.00 an hour employees leaning on shovels watching other $35.00 and hour employees lean on shovels.

  • ||

    By some reports, a very large fence around the research institute where I work cost $100 million, to cover a campus less than 1 mile square.

    The proposed wall along the border could make the Medicare prescription drug bill look cheap by comparison.

  • ||

    To be clear, $100 million is the number that went through the grape vine. Maybe that includes other security features, and not just fencing. Then again, I assume that the proposed wall will involve more than just bricks: Cameras, motion sensors, etc. And even if the grape vine was wrong, and our fence "only" cost $10 million, that's still a hell of a lot of money when you scale it up to a wall for hundreds of miles.

    Bottom line? Cost estimates for this wall are meaningless, because it will undoubtedly cost far more than they're promising, and will deliver far less than they hope.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    You have to factor in the tourist revenues a thousand years from now. This could be a great boon for our distant decendants.

    Building a wall is stupid. It's the kind of solution only a politician could think of. We should make them read Machiavelli, who was opposed to building walls and forts. There are better ways to control people, if that's what you're intent on doing.

  • ||

    Final thought: The Welfare State

    I realize that everybody on this forum joins me in opposing Medicare and Social Security. However, I venture that many of the wall proponents actually hope to collect on those programs some day. My advice to them is that they can either have a wall, or they can have young workers come in and keep those programs solvent. They can't have both.

    I'm not saying we should avoid the wall in order to keep those programs. I'm just saying that some people need to re-examine the contradictions in their stances.

  • ||

    Ah, yes, between this and the New Orleans levees I'm sure glad I picked civil engineering as a career. :)

    Now how are the rest of you going to cash in on this. You might as well you know, 'coz this shit ain't gonna stop. :)

  • ||

    Does this mean we can now finally remove that silly poem from the Statue of Liberty?

    Yeah, well, Emma Lazarus was a commie atheist anyway. And probably a lesbian...

  • ||

    "There are indeed costs to ILLEGAL immigration, just as there are costs to ILLEGAL drug use. But most if not all of those problems can be eliminated by dropping the "IL"."

    We can also eliminate murder, rape, and theft crimes by making them legal.

  • ||

    "1) having no quotas on legal immigration and making visas easier to acquire then crack at a high school or 2) repealing all immigration laws and just letting people who want to come to the US do so?"

    HOW ABOUT A MORATORIUM ON ALL IMMIGRATION?

    Are any of the wise guys posting here aware of a thing called "square mileage" and that the United States is finite geographically?

    Are you also oblivious to the huge number of Asians that are pouring into our country in addition to the Mexicans and South Americans? India and China each have a population of 1.3 billion people. I live in the West Valley in Los Angeles. It's turning into New Bombay. Would you please tell me how this would benefit the Cherokees?

    Extending an open invitation to the world would be national suicide. If you really think open borders is a great idea, take the lock off your front door first!

  • ||

    If you really think open borders is a great idea, take the lock off your front door first!

    I'm not going to let strangers onto my private property. But I suspect that there are some private property owners who might be willing to sell land to immigrants.

    I'm not going to let them go through my stuff, but I wouldn't mind buying some stuff from immigrants, or maybe selling them some stuff.

    If you don't want to buy or sell from illegal immigrants, that's fine. Just be careful about what kinds of fruits and vegetables you buy. Most of them were picked by illegals.

  • ||

    Are any of the wise guys posting here aware of a thing called "square mileage" and that the United States is finite geographically?

    Are you aware of how empty most of the country is? Load up your car and take a cross country drive.

  • ||

    me: in all seriousness, i think that for all the tough on immigration and security talk - building a wall makes us look like total pussies.

    kahn: Oh, you're right.

    'k, so we just build 1200 miles of machine gun nests. It creates jobs because somebody has to shoot the guns. And it proves we're real men again.


    i know this thread is long dead, but just to clear the record, i don't think the wall makes us look this way because it's not tough enough with machine guns and stuff. i think it makes us look this way because it gives the image that we are so afraid that we will put up a wall in the first place.

    okay, just wanted to clear that up.

  • ||

    and even small Iowa towns now have a gang problem. I'm sure those residents would like to thank libertarians personally.

    If they want to thank libertarians personally, tell them to visit every federal, state, or local government office so they can personally thank both libertarians working in government today.

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