How Much of a Jerk Do You Have to Be to Oppose Immigration?

The YouNotSneaky blog does the math. From the lead-in:

Let's put on our annoying-economist hat and consider the question; if you consider a foreign national to be only 1/2 a human being (alright, alright, only 1/2 as "important") as a native citizen, are you justified in opposing immigration? After all, it takes a real jerk to argue that foreign people's welfare should not count at all. Suppose the foreigners are only 1/10th as important? Surely, if natives' welfare counts for ten times as much as that of foreigners, we would be justified in banning immigration since it may adversely affect the wages of the unskilled in US? Well, let's see...

It goes on from there, with some relatively heavy-lifting math for those of us out of academia for a while.

[Link via Marginal Revolution.]

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  • ||

    I thought they counted 3/5?

  • don\'t be silly||

    You could use the same methodology and conclude that people in America value people in East Timor (say) as being some vanishgly small fraction human, because they don't follow Peter Singer's advice of tithing to people in poor countries.

    There's a system of government entitlements in this nation.

    Eliminate it and then let's open the borders. Not before.

  • Mike Laursen||

    OK, say we allow Mexicans to cross the border freely as long as they are provide no free health care or social services whatsoever. Can they bring their own medicine, opt out of Medicare, Social Security, and workers compensation payments, and go to unlicensed health care professionals, all without being hassled about it?

  • ||

    They're not going to eliminate the entitlements that easily--open the borders first and that'll put pressure on them to eliminate the entitlements.

  • TLB||

    What is this, RomperRoom? Doesn't the SPLC have some posts you could laudingly link to?

    1. Even those calling for AMoratorium ("temporary pause") on immigration don't want to block immigration in general.

    2. It's a smear to even joke about "1/2 a human being".

    3. If you aren't willing to abide by the U.S. Constitution which creates the concept of citizenship and sovereignty and which sets up a distinction between citizens and everyone else, allow me to suggest that you leave.

    4. If you want to "help" people in other countries, put on your pith helmet and go there.

    5. There are "externalities" that libs usually forget to mention. For instance, if you want to be serious about this issue, you're forced to recognize that the MexicanGovernment has a great deal of PoliticalPower inside the U.S. (starting point: tinyurl.com/8u2jm) Doesn't that endanger our political system? What exactly is the lib plan to counteract such PoliticalPower?

    Note: unlike Doherty and the rest, I actually follow this issue quite closely and I'm quite familiar with all the ways that the MexicanGovernment has PoliticalPower inside the U.S., via MexicanPartisans such as FabianNunez, maintaining constant contact with those behind the SenateAmnesty (Mexico said that a few days ago), having links to FarLeft organizations, having links to those who helped organize the IllegalImmigrationMarches, and on and on.

  • Cesar||

    Jesus Christ Chris, your StrangeTyping is GettmingMore AndMore ApparentAnd ExtremelyAnnoying. CanYouTellUs WhyYouDoit?

  • ||

    Doesn't that endanger our political system?

    No.

  • scandalrag||

    TLB - the short version See I'm right, I just can't handle the math. OR grammar.

    Thanks for trolling. Vanna show him his lovely parting gift.

    Now on to final trolling where you take on the defending champ- everybody give a big round of applause for DanT!!

  • ||

    After all, it takes a real jerk to argue that non-family member's welfare should not count at all. Suppose the non-family members are only 1/10th as important? Surely, if family members' welfare counts for ten times as much as that of non-family members, we would be justified in banning non-family members from squatting in your family's house since it may adversely affect your family? Well, let's see...

  • Phanatic||

    As Candid points out:

    The argument, which is devastating in its simplicity, rests on these three inarguable assumptions:

    (1) The wisdom of certain immigration policies should be judged solely on the basis of a utilitarian social welfare function (that is, we should compute people's utilities, weight them, and add them up)
    (2) The weight each person gets in this function should depends solely on whether he is a legal resident of this country or not
    (3) Each person's individual utility depends solely (and in a particular, technical way) on his wages



    I'm such a jerk.

  • ||

    Surely, if family members' welfare counts for ten times as much as that of non-family members, we would be justified in banning non-family members from squatting in your family's house since it may adversely affect your family?

    That should be up to each individual family, now, shouldn't it.

    The problem with immigration law is that 536 people in Washington make the decision and then force it upon every family in the US.

    If my family wants to house or employ a person who happens to have been born somewhere else, it is my family's right to do so.

  • ||

    Superman must really oppose immigration, seeing how much of a dick he is.

  • thoreau||

    I'm just going to say that when it comes to immigration threads I basically agree with MikeP. If he takes a lot of heat I may show up to again post that I agree with MikeP.

    I don't see any need to go into these matters at length, because MikeP generally says all that needs to be said.

  • ||

    If my family wants to house or employ a person who happens to have been born somewhere else, it is my family's right to do so.

    And if my family wants to import a Bengal tiger from India for a house pet, they have a right to do so.

    By the way, my family is going to be busy, so we're only going to keep the Bengal tiger at home Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The rest of the time, we're going to let it loose in the streets, where the rest of the community will be able to enjoy it, too.

    Sorry guy, I'll buy the proposition you're property rights allow you to bring anything or anyone into the country you like, as long you assume responsibility for them and keep them on your property.

    But as soon as you introduce something to the country that will have an impact to the public at large, then the public bloody well has the right to tell you, "Over My Dead Body!".

  • NoKnow||

    But as soon as you introduce something to the country that will have an impact to the public at large, then the public bloody well has the right to tell you, "Over My Dead Body!".

    What if that "impact to the public at large" is beneficial? Would you say "over my dead body" then? unless of course, you are saying mexicans are of no benefit.

  • Rick H.||

    What if that "impact to the public at large" is beneficial? Would you say "over my dead body" then? unless of course, you are saying mexicans are of no benefit.

    C'mon, surely you can see that Mexicans are like Bengal tigers. They do nothing but sleep, shit and prowl America's streets looking for babies to devour.

  • ||

    Good point Pix Mannix.

    Also:
    "That should be up to each individual family, now, shouldn't it."
    Geez Mike, follow the metaphor! It should be up to each individual country too. If they wanta keep people out then their are not jerks, just like the family that values its family members welfare above non-family members are not being jerks.

  • ||

    What if that "impact to the public at large" is beneficial? Would you say "over my dead body" then? unless of course, you are saying mexicans are of no benefit.

    I'd like to know who gets to determine whether they're beneficial or not. Are you saying your right to your property allows you to preemptively make that judgement on the public's behalf, without it's input or consent?

  • Guy Montag||

    "Anti-Immigration" I expect from Nick, Radley and David, but certainly not you.

    Is there something 'wrong' with being anti-illegal immigration, or is everybody against dissolving the visa program supposed to be some sort of 'racist'?

    A great many of us are all for issuing visas to anybody who is not a serious criminal. Yes, under the Bush administration that would approach 12 million. As long as there are anough visa drones to PROPERLY issue the visas.

    This "anti-immigration" terminology sounds like one of those Rosie arguments that I should not have bothered commenting on.

  • Guy Montag||

    I'd like to know who gets to determine whether they're beneficial or not. Are you saying your right to your property allows you to preemptively make that judgement on the public's behalf, without it's input or consent?

    How about setting the standard at not being a felon? No, I don't mean by whatever the standard is from the country they are fleeing, just the State that they are entering.

  • Articles like this||

    Don't advance the debate. It's nice to make simplifying assumptions, but it is possible to simplify your argument to the point of idiocy.

  • ||

    From an international law perspective, the US is a sovern country and the right to regulate immigration. We would use that power only to keep out felons for a few reasons. First, I think letting any peaceful immigrant in is the most humane and moral thing to do (just because a sovern country has the right to be a jerk doesn't mean it should). Second, countries are built by people, not land. Accepting more people makes the pie bigger, rather than dividing a finite pie into smaller peices. Third, eliminating visas and letting all nonviolent immigrants in drys up the market for human trafficing and makes it easier to catch the handful who plan on violence.

  • ||

    How about setting the standard at not being a felon? No, I don't mean by whatever the standard is from the country they are fleeing, just the State that they are entering.

    I don't really give a rat's ass what standard is set. I was objecting to the proposition that a right to private property includes the right to use it in such a manner that has a very distinct public impact, excluding any input from the public at large.

    Sorry, but while I'm perfectly willing to let people use their property in anyway that suits them as long as that use affects no one but themselves, when it's usage affects others, then the public has a right limit it's usage.

    In other words, I don't equate the right to own a baseball bat with the right to whack other people over the head with it.

  • Guy Montag||

    From an international law perspective, the US is a sovern country and the right to regulate immigration.

    Apparently, from the Elders of Reason, this is a right that we must eliminate. I am still a bit puzzled as to why.

  • ||

    Is there something 'wrong' with being anti-illegal immigration...

    Well, yes, kind of.

    When you consider how capricious, arbitrary and just plain mean-spirited the current immigration laws are there is.

    When the quotas for unskilled workers (for which there is a huge demand) are set at ridiculously low levels and the waiting times for even the most preferred class of immigrant (ie family members) go into months and even years I'd say that anyone who thinks our current laws are reasonable needs to do some serious rethinking.

    To be as charitable as I can I suppose I would say that those who think that the current system is just are simply ignorant of its shortcomings. But anyone who has had to deal with INS or its successor ICE knows the Byzantine nature of its bureaucracy's inner workings.

  • ||

    The debate in Congress boils down to these two factors: Those few Republicans who believe in free enterprise want illegal immigrants because the competition with citizens lowers wages, but they don't want to allow those immigrants to become legal -- to become citizens -- because they fear those citizens will mostly vote Democratic and give the Democrats the ability to ramp up the welfare state.

    This poses a potential dilemma for libertarians, who want to extend freedom to as many people as possible, but who vehemently oppose expansion of the welfare state. So do we advocate an immediate expansion of freedom if the long-term consequence could be less freedom?

  • miche||

    Thanks for trolling. Vanna show him his lovely parting gift.



    Please don't call on Vanna to do anymore work. "National Examiner" says she is pain and is wasting away.

    (Ok, I'm totally jacking around and don't really read that rag, but I did buy it- and several others- today. My best friend is having an abortion tomorrow (due to a genetic defect of the fetus) and because her husband is on call, I am going with her. We are going to try to laugh tomorrow if it kills us.)

  • Red||

    To take the argument to the logical extreme, if 160 million Chinese immigrants wanted to enter the country, would you have any problem with that? If so, then it's just a question of where you set the bar, not some matter of moral justice. If not, well, there's not much I've got for you.

  • thoreau||

    To take the argument to the logical extreme, if 160 million Chinese immigrants wanted to enter the country, would you have any problem with that? If so, then it's just a question of where you set the bar, not some matter of moral justice. If not, well, there's not much I've got for you.

    More likely, 30 million of them would think of coming here and sending remittances home to the other 130 million in that bunch. And they wouldn't show up all at once. Some of them would go ahead and try to find jobs while the rest weigh their options. If the job market was tough, fewer would come. If they started their own businesses, or if their work enabled existing businesses to expand, then they'd send back word that more employees are needed.

    You scoff at my prediction, but in real life people are often reluctant to pack up and leave behind everyone and everything that they've ever known. We Americans are a special breed, descended from the ones who left their homes and came here and stayed. We aren't descended from the ones who never left, nor even from the ones who worked for a while and went back home. We're descended from the ones who came and stayed. We're a special breed, not everyone is like our ancestors, and if we drastically opened up a lot of people would still be reluctant to come here. Those who only want money would be more likely to send one relative to work, which is what a lot of immigrants do, because the money they earn goes farther in a poor country with cheap living expenses. It takes a special mindset to want to come here and stay.

    Markets might not be very good at handling the "But what if some HUGE change happened TOMORROW with ZERO WARNING?" question, but that question doesn't come up in real life.

  • thoreau||

    Didn't finish my post. In real life, change takes time, and during that time there's a flow of information.

    That information is important. There's a reason why you can find Latino immigrant communities in the Midwest. They don't just randomly wander to Wisconsin on the off chance that there might be a job. If they're going to find jobs by knocking on doors they'll do it in border states. No, they go to Wisconsin because they had information on jobs.

    Bottom line: Immigrants have information, they respond to it, the flow of information will prevent all of them from showing up at once, and the stampede will be slowed even more by the fact that it takes a special kind to leave everything behind and start a new life.

    Honestly, I think we should embrace those who have the guts to leave it all behind and start over. They're no different from our ancestors, and our ancestors built the richest, most innovative, and most powerful country on earth.

  • ||

    Markets might not be very good at handling the "But what if some HUGE change happened TOMORROW with ZERO WARNING?" question, but that question doesn't come up in real life.

    It's a lot like answering the question of whether you believe in torturing prisoners with "what if you KNEW there was an imminent attack somewhere in the United States and you had a prisoner you KNEW had information about this attack, wouldn't you torture him?" An interesting thought exercise, but it never happens in real life. It's a smokescreen that has no relevance to the real question.

  • TLB||

    If you allowed anyone to come here who didn't have a felony conviction, and Osama's radical brother didn't have any such convictions and wanted to come here, would Nick Gillespie et al let him in?

    What if we said no, and he came in anyway and didn't commit any crimes? What would Nick et al do in that case? Just let him stay here? If not, how would find out he was here, find him, and make him leave?

  • Grotius||

    Well, a significant enough natural disaster could send millions across our border* and on an occassion like that it might be appropriate to regulate that sort of influx. So dramatic change isn't completely out of the question.

    *This sort of thing happens from time to time in other areas of the world.

  • Grotius||

    thoreau,

    "But what if some HUGE change happened TOMORROW with ZERO WARNING?" question, but that question doesn't come up in real life.

    In other words, that question does come up in real life from time to time, as those familiar with the famines and wars of the 20th century realize.

  • Grotius||

    ...the US is a sovern country and the right to regulate immigration.

    Governments have powers, not rights. Individuals have rights. I find it to be a useful distinction.

  • ||

    If you allowed anyone to come here who didn't have a felony conviction, and Osama's radical brother didn't have any such convictions and wanted to come here, would Nick Gillespie et al let him in?

    That would obviously be an exceptional circumstance, not a usual and expected circumstance. The debate should center on whether immigration in the aggregate is a good thing or not, not on exceptional circumstances, which may or may not ever occur. Good laws are made to accommodate normal and expected situations; there's no way to make laws that will accommodate every possible outlier circumstance.

    Hard cases make bad law.

  • Grotius||

    Oh, and I'm basically for open borders, though I would be wary of our ability to absorb a large influx over a short period of time due to a war or natural disaster. Indeed, because the travel might kill a lot of them (people tend to drop like flies when leaving the scenes of disasters, etc.) it might be more apropriate to aid them in their home countries. Of course now I've brought up the bugbear of foreign aid.

  • Grotius||

    The debate should center on whether immigration in the aggregate is a good thing or not...

    I say that is the best comment I've seen written on this issue in a while.

  • ||

    I'm all for increased legal immigration, but the "no felony" standard is ridiculously low. This is, as it has been, our chance to screen out people who have sworn allegiance to evil ideologies. There should be approximately the same number of "communists" or "wahabists" becoming U.S. citizens as there are "neo-Nazis". (Ditto for "Scientologists", except we're the country breeding the buggers, ain't we?)

  • ||

    israel is an artifact from wwii that has bankrupted american ideals and money - it is time to think about maybe moving beyond wwii.

  • ||

    israel is an artifact from wwii that has bankrupted american ideals and money - it is time to think about maybe moving beyond wwii.

    I believe wes has hit the nail on the crooked-nose head. The Jews must have something to do with this!

  • ||

    TLB:
    4. If you want to \"help\" people in other countries, put on your pith helmet and go there.

    Now that was funny.

  • ||

    and good riddens!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    If so, then it's just a question of where you set the bar, not some matter of moral justice

    ...just hagglin' over price, ma'am.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    It should be up to each individual country too. If they wanta keep people out then their are not jerks, just like the family that values its family members welfare above non-family members are not being jerks.

    Except that, countries aren't families and that's why the popular email analogy equating crossing a border with breaking into your house doesn't fly.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Well, Groat, it doesn't have to be foreign aid, maybe it comes from the private sector.

  • ||

    Pig Mannix,

    By the way, my family is going to be busy, so we're only going to keep the Bengal tiger at home Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The rest of the time, we're going to let it loose in the streets, where the rest of the community will be able to enjoy it, too.

    Just so I understand what you are saying with your example... Are you implying that if I kept an American born tiger on my property and let it roam the streets, that would be fine?

    Sorry, but while I'm perfectly willing to let people use their property in anyway that suits them as long as that use affects no one but themselves, when it's usage affects others, then the public has a right limit it's usage.

    Okay. Let's say that rather than employing or housing an immigrant, I ran a Chinese import business, taking away good American factory jobs. Or say I administered an Indian outsourcing company, shipping good American jobs overseas. Does the public have a "right" to limit my property's usage on these bases too?

    Just how much say do you think the public should have over private property?

  • ||

    Except that, countries aren't families and that's why the popular email analogy equating crossing a border with breaking into your house doesn't fly.

    It does work. Both countries and families are communities that demand obligations from their members. Specifically, the obligation not to damage the interests of other members. While your obligations to your family may have a higher moral priority than your obligations to your country, or your employer, or your religion, that doesn't make those obligations nonexistent. Your obligations to other members of those communities are still greater than your obligations to non-members. If not, why should those communities be obliged to accept you as a member?

  • ||

    If not, why should those communities be obliged to accept you as a member?

    I fear your notion of government.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Now I must defer to you. I have argued the natural limitations of immigration by discussing the marginal immigrant.

    But your approach here is much the better and much more accessible.

  • ||

    Just so I understand what you are saying with your example... Are you implying that if I kept an American born tiger on my property and let it roam the streets, that would be fine?

    The origin of the tiger is irrelevant. The point is, you're introducing an element with impacts to the community on the grounds that you have a right to do what you like with your property, while abdicating responsibility for the public impacts.

    Okay. Let's say that rather than employing or housing an immigrant, I ran a Chinese import business, taking away good American factory jobs. Or say I administered an Indian outsourcing company, shipping good American jobs overseas. Does the public have a "right" to limit my property's usage on these bases too?

    Yes. Arguably doing so would be bad economics, but every country has a right to decide what will and will not be imported inside of it's borders. And to some extent, every country on earth does exactly that.

    Just how much say do you think the public should have over private property?

    That would depend on how much of an impact your use of that property had on the public at large.

    Would you agree with the proposition that you're entitled to construct an apparatus on your property that would emit deadly radiation for a 100 mile radius? If not, why not? Your entitled to use your property as you see fit, aren't you?

  • ||

    OK, so there seems to be a desire not to deal with the hypothetical. Has anyone been to an emergency room in the southwest US? Has anyone gone to a second grade classroom in the southwest? Has anyone visited a jail recently in the southwest? I'm sure you'd leave each of these with a smile on your face as you realized you were being extorted.

  • ||

    From an international law perspective, the US is a sovern country and the right to regulate immigration.



    Apparently, from the Elders of Reason, this is a right that we must eliminate. I am still a bit puzzled as to why.

    Guy Montag,

    I am a bit puzzled as to your impression that those at Reason don't believe in reasonable "for cause" restrictions on immigration. I haven't seen an attitude that immigrants should get no more than a smile and a wave at the border.

    I don't know anyone who would say that "open borders" means "absolutely no restrictions". It simply means no restrictions based on quota, duration, or irrelevant characteristics of birth -- no restrictions that play into worries about economics, population, culture, language, or the like.

    Certainly the government has the legitimate authority to restrict felons, terrorists, foreign subversives, carriers of contagion, or other threat to the public. But everyone else who shows up at the border should be allowed in.

    If you really believe that the only reason to reject an immigrant is that he is a felon, I think you're in the open immigration club.

  • ||

    The point is, you're introducing an element with impacts to the community on the grounds that you have a right to do what you like with your property, while abdicating responsibility for the public impacts.

    You know, it's hard to argue with this mentality. There is nothing that the government can't do to those individuals subject to its sway that can't be justified with this argument.

    Would you agree with the proposition that you're entitled to construct an apparatus on your property that would emit deadly radiation for a 100 mile radius?

    Of course not. That would constitute an assault on persons and property within the radius.

    But free association is not assault, no matter how much you dislike your neighbor or your neighbor's guest.

  • ||

    I've always found the utilitarian argument persuasive and I'm curious how those who oppose more open borders argue against it. Even if you feel the logic is taken a little far in the linked article, the basic points seem valid. If you're talking about the moral validity of a policy it's not enough to only consider one set of the people involved.

    Can someone opposed to more open borders explain? Using the US and Mexico example, presumably you feel that border controls have a net benefit for the US. What do you feel is the net effect for Mexico, negative or positive? If negative what do you believe is the total effect for total group, negative or positive?

    Also can I turn the question round on the personal level? Do those who would restrict the rights of others to work where they want also feel it fair that the same right be denied to them? Or do they, as I do, feel that they themselves should be allowed to live and work where they please?

  • ||

    You know, it's hard to argue with this mentality. There is nothing that the government can't do to those individuals subject to its sway that can't be justified with this argument.

    Indeed. In fact, the government can even kill people who impact the public interest in a sufficiently negative way. Ask Tim McVeigh.

    The potential for abuse does not negate the use.

    But free association is not assault, no matter how much you dislike your neighbor or your neighbor's guest.

    If you are in a country that has expressed it's disinterest in associating with you by prohibiting your entry through it's representative government, that is not free association, that's usurping the lawful citizen's right of free association.

  • ||

    Honestly, I think we should embrace those who have the guts to leave it all behind and start over. They're no different from our ancestors, and our ancestors built the richest, most innovative, and most powerful country on earth.

    It's a myth that our ancestors were particularly courageous. Quite a few of us have ancestors who were forced to come here, whether as black slaves or white indentured servants. Many of our ancestors, particularly if they were Irish or Jewish, were forced by desperation to leave Europe, not by some go-git'em entrepreneurial spirit. Others were criminals. Many more were tricked into coming through false promises. And if you think Mexico is sending us the cream of its population, think again. People need to stop viewing immigration through the sepia tinted haze of a Ken Burns documentary.

  • ||

    If you are in a country that has expressed it's disinterest in associating with you by prohibiting your entry through it's representative government, that is not free association, that's usurping the lawful citizen's right of free association.

    And if a country through its representative government decided to put various sorts of "undesirables" in camps without cause, then refusing to report to the camp is not liberty and free association; it's usurping the lawful citizen's right to liberty and free association?

  • ||

    The immigration debate is a slippery slope. Or, more to the point, it is two slippery slopes.

    On one side is freedom and liberty. The person on this side believes that people should not have different rights due merely to an accident of birth such as race, religion, or birthplace. It is awful hard once you have that attitude -- using the lingo of the anchor article, you value foreigners' utilities roughly equally to citizens' -- not to slide down to the bottom. Immigration should be utterly free, restricted only for reasonable cause in specific cases of public threat. The fact that economic theory, empiricism, and history argue that this attitude builds the wealth of society only confirms the thinking.

    On the other side is raw statism. When you start on the side that says the government has the right to take away freedoms to protect a pretended public interest, you pretty much give government the power to do anything to anyone at anytime. The bottom of that slope is reached with probability 1 on a long enough discussion thread.

    Or you can balance on the tippy top if you like, feeling that there are good pragmatic reasons to restrict immigration. If only these pragmatic reasons didn't exist, you would be all for open borders; but, sorry, you can't be for them today. Very well. But you must recognize that your pragmatic concerns are abrogating the rights of people -- people whose only material characteristic under your pragmatic regime is being born on the other side of a line on a map.

  • ||

    Your home should be open to your neighbors and other residents in your town, county, state, etc. Your neighbors, after all, are human and worthy of humane treatment, however fractional you consider them. What food you have in your refrigerator and cupboards should be available to those neighbors who are hungry; they are human and in need after all. When your cupboards are bare, you should restock them because you have an obligation to feed these fractionalized humans. Your neighbor children should be clothed, and schooled, and medicated. Your doors should (actually, must) remain unlocked so that your hungry neighbors can access your largesse at their convenience.

    Perhaps you believe that you and your family will have to tighten your belts a bit, and perhaps your kids will have to forego some amenities like music lessons, or summer camp, but those are just the price you have to pay to meet your OBLIGATION to care for your neighbors.

    Your perceived well-being is secondary to the needs of your neighbors. Whether you agree is irrelevant because we libertarians have decided that the free flow of neighbors through your home is their right, and besides it will enrich you; you just have to believe.

  • ||

    "It simply means no restrictions based on quota, duration, or irrelevant characteristics of birth -- no restrictions that play into worries about economics, population, culture, language, or the like."

    Why not allow restrictions that play into "worries" about "economics, population, culture, language, or the like"? Your statement begs the question, are these somehow illegitimate concerns?

  • ||

    "OK, so there seems to be a desire not to deal with the hypothetical. Has anyone been to an emergency room in the southwest US? Has anyone gone to a second grade classroom in the southwest? Has anyone visited a jail recently in the southwest? I'm sure you'd leave each of these with a smile on your face as you realized you were being extorted."

    Yes on all questions except jail, and yes, American taxpayers are being extorted.

  • ||

    "But you must recognize that your pragmatic concerns are abrogating the rights of people -- people whose only material characteristic under your pragmatic regime is being born on the other side of a line on a map."

    I am puzzled. What "right" is being abrogated?

  • Grotius||

    The Wine Commonsewer,

    Sure. Sure.


    MikeP,

    But you must recognize that your pragmatic concerns are abrogating the rights of people...

    Whatever the merits of your arguments one need not recognize this if one doesn't recognize the particular set of rights you appear to claim exists.

  • Grotius||

    MikeP,

    Immigration should be utterly free, restricted only for reasonable cause in specific cases of public threat.

    I generally agree with this statement. However...

    The fact that ...* and history argue that this attitude builds the wealth of society only confirms the thinking.

    History (on a global scale) is a mixed-bag when it comes to immigration. Sometimes it is harmful and sometimes it isn't. It depends on the context. In other words, there is no universal, historical stamp of approval for immigration.

    *I would suspect that some economic theory likely argues that in at least some instances immigration can be harmful.

  • ||

    wayne,

    The right to private property is an extention of the right to decide on your actions, since private property is created by those actions. So, if I build a house, my labor is in the house and I have the right to exclude people from it. If I sell that house, the new owner also buys the right to exclude people from it. That's libertarian 101.

    The way I see it, the authority to regulate imigration is connected to the federal government's authority to repel armies. In terms of international law, each country should be able to decide for itself who is a threat. However, the US has a moral obligation to only keep out people who actually are threats. Restricting immigration based on economic arguments is an abuse of the power to regulate immigration. We should let all peaceful immigrants in.

  • ||

    Whatever the merits of your arguments one need not recognize this if one doesn't recognize the particular set of rights you appear to claim exists.

    Fair enough. That I find it difficult to see grays here does not translate to an existential truth. We can take wayne as a case in point.

    It is also the case that collective action in the present-day US -- e.g., "comprehensive immigration reform" -- is likely to rest on the tippy top in any event simply due to pragmatic compromise.

  • ||

    Why not allow restrictions that play into "worries" about "economics, population, culture, language, or the like"? Your statement begs the question, are these somehow illegitimate concerns?

    wayne,

    I was simply offering a definition of open immmigration, not a proof that open immigration is preferable. Yes, it does beg the question. jtuf addresses the question nicely.

  • One more try...||

    By the logic of this article, immigrants from poorer nations should receive precedence over immigrants from richer nations, because apparently the only rubric for determining who makes a good immigrant is wage-increase. So maybe we should design our immigrant policy such that it excludes the rich. Moreso.

  • ||

    "Is there something 'wrong' with being anti-illegal immigration"

    Is there something wrong with being anti-illegal drugs?

    In other words, you are equating the legal with the good or moral. It's good that whiskey is legal because the politicians declared it so. It's good that marijuana is illegal for the same reason. Ditto for immigration law.

    "The debate should center on whether immigration in the aggregate is a good thing or not..."

    'I say that is the best comment I've seen written on this issue in a while.'

    Sure, if you're part of the aggregate that got in first and/or benefitted from the arbitrariness of how immigration law is applied.

  • ed, average American||

    I just want cheap produce. But I want Americans to pick it. But they won't do it. So I'll settle for Mexicans. But I don't want them here. This is all very confusing. Thank God for Bill O'Reilly. He'll show me the way.

  • ||

    Count me a "real jerk", but isn't it the job of the foreign national's foreign nation to promote the general welfare of its own nationals?

  • thoreau||

    Arguably doing so would be bad economics, but every country has a right to decide what will and will not be imported inside of it's borders. And to some extent, every country on earth does exactly that.

    We all agree that legally the US government has the _right_ to restrict immigration. What we're arguing about is whether it makes any sense to exercise that right for any case other than criminal backgrounds, terrorist ties, communicable diseases, and perhaps a few other categories where harm to others can be shown.

    Likewise, I think we'd all agree that I have the _right_ to stand on the street corner and read aloud from anti-Semitic tracts as well as various accounts of UFO abduction. But I think we'd all agree that it would be a really bad idea to exercise my free speech rights in that manner.

  • ||

    So when did it become jerkish to oppose illegal immigration?

    I really would like to fix things here before we have to deal with waves of people who aren't exactly libertarian leaning.

  • ||

    "We all agree that legally the US government has the _right_ to restrict immigration. What we're arguing about is whether it makes any sense to exercise that right for any case other than criminal backgrounds, terrorist ties, communicable diseases, and perhaps a few other categories where harm to others can be shown."

    How about protecting the standard of living of blue collar type citizens, tradesmen whose wages spiral down to those paid in Nicaraugua, for example? How about the incompatibiity of large social costs with open borders? How about reciprocity with the "donor" countries; try emigrating to Mexico, for example.

  • ||

    How about protecting the standard of living of blue collar type citizens, tradesmen whose wages spiral down to those paid in Nicaraugua, for example?

    The government has no _right_ to intervene to protect the standard of living of any demographic group. Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves.

    How about the incompatibiity of large social costs with open borders?

    How about the large social costs of legalizing recreational drugs? Ooh, Ooh, I know. Maybe the aggregate costs to society will go down when we stop criminalizing things that shouldn't be crimes.

    More seriously though, the welfare state needs to be rolled back for many reasons. Open immigration is just one.

    How about reciprocity with the "donor" countries; try emigrating to Mexico, for example.

    Irrelevant.

  • ||

    " Restricting immigration based on economic arguments is an abuse of the power to regulate immigration."

    How so?

  • ||

    Guy Montag | May 24, 2007, 10:00pm | #

    ...Is there something 'wrong' with being anti-illegal immigration, or is everybody against dissolving the visa program supposed to be some sort of 'racist'?


    No, but it certainly won't help you get laid. Stick with "global warming..."

  • ||

    "The government has no _right_ to intervene to protect the standard of living of any demographic group. Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves."

    Maybe so, but the government should not actively participate in driving a segment of its own population into poverty. A substantial portion of America's population make their living in blue-collar type occupations. They are the ones impacted first by large numbers of illegals who work cheap. Displacing large numbers of citizens and driving them into poverty is a tragedy, and it is a recipe for social chaos. In my mind, this issue promises to be the most difficult. Civil wars and revolutions happen because of issues like this.

    You say that reciprocity is irrelevant, but the government of Mexico has made it relevant with their own meddling in US politics, and with their arrogant pronouncements of US immigration as racist, etc. It is largely Mexican poor who are dashing across the border, so the Mexican government is exporting their problem to us, and intentionally. It is relevant and fair to ask them to pay their own way.

  • ||

    "How about the large social costs of legalizing recreational drugs?"

    Any social costs associated with legalized drugs (frankly, I doubt there would be any) would be paid for 100 times over with savings from avoided WoD costs. There are no comparable savings to be had from throwing open the borders.

  • ||

    Maybe so, but the government should not actively participate in driving a segment of its own population into poverty.

    Opening up immigration is not equivalent to activitely driving a segment of the US population into poverty anymore than dropping tarrifs against imported sugar would be actively driving a segment of the US population into poverty.

    You say that reciprocity is irrelevant, but the government of Mexico Great Britain has made it relevant with their own meddling in US politics, and with their arrogant pronouncements of US immigration as racist, etc. It is largely Mexican Irish poor who are dashing across the border coming across the ocean, so the Mexican British government is exporting their problem to us, and intentionally. It is relevant and fair to ask them to pay their own way.

  • ||

    There are no comparable savings to be had from throwing open the borders.

    Prove it.

  • Grotius||

    thoreau,

    Likewise, I think we'd all agree that I have the _right_ to stand on the street corner and read aloud from anti-Semitic tracts as well as various accounts of UFO abduction.

    Don't you think that you could have come up with a better analogy than this?

  • thoreau||

    jimmydageek wins the thread.

  • ||

    You are making claims of large savings by changing immigration law. it is up to you to "prove" your claims.

    Here is a hypothetical example that stikes me as very conservative. Let's say that a family immigrates to the US (California) from Nicaragua. A mother, father, and two adorable daughters. The two adorable daughters will each cost about $7,000 for public education. The family will have one medical crisis per year for which they will use the local emergency room. Total cost for that family will be about $18,000 per year. The parents will each get jobs paying $10 per hour from which they will pay about $2,000 total in federal taxes, and $500 in CA state taxes. Net cost in this scenario: $15,500 per year.

  • ||

    "The government has no _right_ to intervene to protect the standard of living of any demographic group. Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves."

    How would you suggest these blue collar Americans protect themselves?

  • ||

    There are no comparable savings to be had from throwing open the borders

    This is a very simple declarative statement. You should be able to back it up . . or not make it.

    Hypothesis: Tighter border controls drive up the demand on the social welfare system.

    Background: Before tighter border controls, the typical "illegal" immigrant was a mexican male looking for work. He would send part of his pay home to support his family and would return home when he had met some finanicial goals from his excursion into the US. He would repeat this process many times before returning to mexico and settling down.

    Since the tightening of the border, it has become far too risky to make many border crossings. So now, the mexican male worker comes to the US, then has his family brought over when he has some nest-egg established.

    So instead of having migratory workers moving back and forth across the border, we now have a one-way flow of families. Families that cannot be supported by the illegal worker who has no chance of ever growing into a decent job with benefits.

    Therefore, tighter border controls produces a permanent new underclass that requires continuous support from the welfare state.

    Proposal: Open the border to workers, restrict immigration on families to those workers that can show financial independence.

    Time for peer review -- discuss.

  • ||

    How would you suggest these blue collar Americans protect themselves?

    Perhaps education.

    25 years ago I was a printer with a young family. Realizing this was a declining industry with no future, both my wife and I worked our way through college. We lived in near poverty with two children for more than three years. It then took more than a decade to pay off all the student loans.

    I am now an engineer who pays more in federal taxes every year than I borrowed to get my degree.

    I don't have much sympathy for anyone that expects the government to protect their job.

  • ||

    If you had truly open borders with the world, people are going to immigrate into the United States until wages and living conditions are equal between the United States and the immigrants' home country. Now, there is little or no chance that places like Mexico and El Salvador are ever going to reach the U.S. present standard of living. That means that the U.S. standard of living and wages are going to fall while, Mexico and El Salvador's standard of living and wages will rise some because of the resulting labor shortage until the two equal out. Now that may be great if you are an El Salvadoran or if you an economist measuring the total wealth of the world, but it sucks if you are an American.

    Essentially, the elitist assholes of America want to stick to the average person so that they can get slave labor to raise their kids, mow their lawns. When I am at my most cynical, I think that the reason why our political elites want so much immigration, especially from Latin America, is because they envy the elites of Latin America. America is a really messy place for the rich. New rich are constantly coming up. Average people are constantly doing things like voting and flying first class and staying in nice hotels. In Latin America none of that happens. If you are an elite, you live completely separate from the average rabble. The elite have complete control over society and is accountable to no one. I really think sometimes that is why so many of our politicians and captains of industry love immigration so much. They want a Latin American type of society here so they could be on top. As for libertarians, Lenin I believe said something about selling ropes?

  • ||

    "Perhaps education."

    Do you realize how elitist that is. Some people are not as smart as others. Some people are not cut out to be engineers. Rather than try to provide a decent life for them, you attitude is too fucking bad man, I need my lawn mowed and there are millions of Mexicans willing to do it on the cheap. I guess that means you are just screwed. But, hey I have the money to buy into that gated community they are building outside of town. Hope you have fun living in the bario.

  • ||

    Some people are not as smart as others.

    And you prove that on a nearly daily basis John.

  • ||

    Carrick,

    You can't possibly be as much of an ass in person as you are online, and live.

  • thoreau||

    There are lots of ways to learn a skill besides attending a 4 year college for a bachelor's degree.

    A commissioned salesman with a good personality and drive but no college degree can make a good living.

    I know people making decent money in IT who didn't get computer science degrees.

    In the domain of manual labor, a lot of manual labor requires skill. The guy who remodels your bathroom or does the new cabinets in your kitchen is almost certainly making a pretty good living.

    Bottom line: There are lots of ways to improve your standard of living.

  • ||

    Yeah Carrick don't respond to the argument just throw out an insult. That is the ticket.

  • Guy Montag||

    I am a bit puzzled as to your impression that those at Reason don't believe in reasonable "for cause" restrictions on immigration.

    Your explaination certainly did not ring true with what Nick said on that PBS show a week or so ago.

    It does sound similar to what I have been saying here and anywhere else where this comes up. Secure borders and the only limit on imigration is processing capacity of the federal government.

    How this is in the "open borders" camp puzzles, because eliminating quotas soes not equal an open border. How about you guys come up with a better name for your position, that is actually descriptive, if this is what you truly mean.

  • ||

    From the WSJ today.

    American men in their 30s today are worse off than their fathers' generation, a reversal from just a decade ago, when sons generally were better off than their fathers, a new study finds.

    The study, the first in a series on economic mobility undertaken by several prominent think tanks, also says the typical American family's income has lagged far behind productivity growth since 2000, a departure from most of the post-World War II period.


    The findings suggest "the up escalator that has historically ensured that each generation would do better than the last may not be working very well," says the study, which is scheduled for release today. The study was written principally by John Morton of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which is leading the series, called the Economic Mobility Project, and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. Other participating think tanks are the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and the Urban Institute. (See the study.)

    In 2004, the median income for a man in his 30s, a good predictor of his lifetime earnings, was $35,010, the study says, 12% less than for men in their 30s in 1974 -- their fathers' generation -- adjusted for inflation. A decade ago, median income for men in their 30s was $32,901, 5% higher than 30 years earlier. Ms. Sawhill said she isn't sure why men's wages have stagnated. "It seems there's been some slowdown in economic growth, it's possible that the movement of women into the labor force has affected male earnings, and it's possible that men are not working as hard as they used to."

    The study suggests that absolute mobility -- the rate at which an entire generation's lot improves relative to previous generations -- has declined. But within a particular generation, individuals can still get ahead if relative mobility, the rate at which the rich and poor trade places, remains high. Poor fathers may have rich sons, and vice versa.

    MORE


    • Full text of the mobility report (PDF)

    • Juggle Blog: Better off than your parents?

    The report also found that between 1947 and 1974, productivity, or output per hour, and median family income, adjusted for inflation, both roughly doubled. Between 1974 and 2000, productivity rose 56% while income rose 29%. Between 2000 and 2005, productivity rose 16% while median income fell 2%, challenging "the notion that a rising tide will lift all boats," the report says.

    Ms. Sawhill said several factors could explain the divergence: a growing share of income going to the highest-paid workers, or to profits; an increased share of labor compensation going toward benefits such as health care; or a decline in the number of wage earners in the typical family.

    Write to Greg Ip at greg.ip@wsj.com


    Why are people worse off today than they were 30 years ago, despite nearly doubling productivity during that time? The answer is that the influx of labor from overseas has worked to keep wages behind productivity. Immigration is fabulous for the rich. It is terrible for the average person.

  • Guy Montag||

    Do you realize how elitist that is. Some people are not as smart as others. Some people are not cut out to be engineers.

    Don't forget the academics and the chattering classes. Those are the jobs that Americans will do and, to them, most of the jobs serving them for low wages are the ones 'Americans won't do'.

  • ||

    "Bottom line: There are lots of ways to improve your standard of living."

    Nothing is ever hopeless, I agree, but importing many millions of people who will work cheap is going to drive wages down. That is undeniable.

  • ||

    It is not the entire story, but the decline of real wages among high school educated people is in part due to immigration. I think that we owe our own people something. From a personal level immigration is great for me. What do I care? I get cheap labor and cheap products thanks to it. But there something deeply disturbing going on in our economy. I don't think we can have a society where large numbers of people go absolutely nowhere and have no hope of going anywhere and small numbers of people are fabulously wealthy. That is not a good recipe.

  • ||

    Yeah Carrick don't respond to the argument just throw out an insult. That is the ticket.

    Yesterday, you said I hated Americans and was a bigot. Today, I am an elitist.

    So go fuck yourself.

  • ||

    I was being sarcastic Carrick. In a post above, someone had said I hated Mexicans becuase I was concerned about the effect of imigration on the welfare of Americans. I am not sure if you said that or not. But I did not mean to imply you hated Americans. I was simply being sarcastic to point out that just because I am concerned about American welfare doesn't mean I hate Mexicans.

  • thoreau||

    I don't think we can have a society where large numbers of people go absolutely nowhere and have no hope of going anywhere and small numbers of people are fabulously wealthy. That is not a good recipe.

    I agree. The only way to forestall such a scenario is a dynamic free market economy.

    Are you guys aware that immigrants who are able to work legally have a high propensity for starting their own businesses? People who have already left everything behind to take a risk in an unknown place are less intimidated by the risks involved in starting a business.

  • ||

    but importing many millions of people who will work cheap is going to drive wages down. That is undeniable

    You assume that a 25 year old mexican that dig ditches today will always dig ditches.

    If he is illegal, then he probably has no other future.

    But if he is legal, some percentage will work up to the middle class and some of them will start businesses and become highly successful.

  • ||

    I was being sarcastic Carrick.

    Then you need to work on your delivery or you'll never make it to Broadway ;-)

  • ||

    Ditto to John's 11:11 post.

  • ||

    It is not the entire story, but the decline of real wages among high school educated people is in part due to immigration.

    I would say the decline is caused more by globalization -- work flowing to the lowest wage that can be found at an equivalent skill level.

    In some cases, that work goes overseas. In other cases, the labor comes here. Opening or closing the border is not going to stop this dynamic.

    The only protection that a worker has in this environment is to constantly increase the quality or quantity of his/her skills.

    Not everyone can or should become an engineer. But no one can or should expect to stay static and survive.

  • ||

    So no one wants to discuss whether or not the huge increase in demand on the welfare system was caused, at least in part, by the tighter immigration policies.

    I'm not totally convinced myself, but I thought it was worth discussing.

  • ||

    Carrick,

    You can't possibly be as much of an ass in person as you are online . . .


    I've told a lot of software engineers that they have no right to bitch about their jobs going offshore.

    If that makes me an ass, then so be it.

    I mean, I'm the kind of guy to tell that out-of-work construction guy to be grateful he didn't blow $40K on a software degree only to wind up unemployed because of Indian engineers.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    "The only protection that a worker has in this environment is to constantly increase the quality or quantity of his/her skills."

    Don't forget the protections of a policy restricting the immigration of more educated, skilled labor.As well as credentialism, professional licensure, unionism, public employment, rent seeking etc.

  • ||

    How about reciprocity with the "donor" countries; try emigrating to Mexico, for example.

    In every immigration thread someone makes some kind of statement about how tough some other country's immigration laws are. None ever actually furnishes any evidence for this assertion.

    You know, like some country's immigration website. Or maybe a quotation from the laws.

  • thoreau||

    How about reciprocity with the "donor" countries; try emigrating to Mexico, for example.

    Wayne, if you're that eager to leave the country I'm sure we could take up a collection to help pay for the voluminous immigration paperwork in a country of your choice.

    Same goes for Guy Montag. Not because of this thread, just on general principles.

  • Grotius||

    Isaac Bertram,

    Well, if I recall correctly it takes five years to get "Idefinite Leave To Remain" status in the U.K. Before that one is on some sort of visa status.

  • Guy Montag||

    Same goes for Guy Montag. Not because of this thread, just on general principles.

    Great policy: agree with thoreau or leave.

  • Grotius||

    Guy Montag,

    This isn't the first time that thoreau has used something a kin to agree with me or leave the country remark.

  • Loundry||

    How much of a jerk do you have to be to oppose demographic conquest?

    What's that, you say? Most liberals are only aware of demographic conquest through the term "settlements", and that was when it was used to describe what Israelis were doing in Gaza prior to Israel's pullout. (How's Gaza doing nowadays?)

    To answer my own question, I completely oppose demographic conquest when the USA is the victim. When the USA is the perpetrator, then I'm more ambivalent.

  • GILMORE||

    TLB | May 24, 2007, 8:06pm | #

    ...Note: unlike Doherty and the rest, I actually follow this issue quite closely ...


    Now - traveling all the way backwards in time to: 4 hours earlier...

    TLB | May 24, 2007, 4:31pm | #

    Note: unlike Weigel, MikeP, and the rest, I actually follow this issue quite closely and I'm quite familiar with all the ways...


    Some other echo chamber effects =

    TLB | May 24, 2007, 8:06pm | #
    For instance, if you want to be serious about this issue, you're forced to recognize that the MexicanGovernment has a great deal of PoliticalPower inside the U.S


    and
    TLB | May 24, 2007, 4:31pm | #
    that gives the MexicanGovernment even more PoliticalPower inside the U.S. - so much power that they have effective co-dominion over parts of our territory ...


    Buddy, the "RealTruth" here is that you are INDEED a LoneWacko, totally obsessed about a single issue, and can only think about it in silly, absolutist terms, so much so that you invent whole linguistic structures to make your fantasy world seem credible to people.

    Have you asked yourself at any point why no one gives you the time of day? Is it that the MexicanGovernment has pulled the wool over our eyes?

    Go to Sailer's blog. You will feel happier, really.

  • ||

    "...Immigrants have information, they respond to it, the flow of information will prevent all of them from showing up at once, and the stampede will be slowed even more by the fact that it takes a special kind to leave everything behind and start a new life."

    I think it important to state how quickly the information flows. Since the argument has been made that we are not going to be swamped by immigrants in a short period of time it follows that once the economy goes into a serious down turn that the immigrants won't leave immediately either. Would they even have the resources to leave if there were no jobs?

  • Aybe Sea||

    Pitching immigration as a national issue is errant. It is a regional thing. Texas, Arizona, or California have almost nothing in common on the issue with Minnesota, North Dakota, or Montana. This regional disparity makes it nigh on impossible to craft a federal policy that has a prayer of being acceptable, much less successful.

  • thoreau||

    Since the argument has been made that we are not going to be swamped by immigrants in a short period of time it follows that once the economy goes into a serious down turn that the immigrants won't leave immediately either. Would they even have the resources to leave if there were no jobs?

    The Canadians will hire them to build a wall to keep out unemployed Americans seeking health care.

  • ||

    carrick,

    Your theory has merit. Legalizing immigration would make it easier for immigrants to start their own businesses or climb the career ladder.

    For that matter, maybe we shouldn't expect nanny statists to lift quotas any time soon. People who can pull themselves up tend not to vote for a nanny state. An even more cinical fear, constant low quotas combined with giving amnestry once every few years turns citizenship into another prize to dole out. Under that system, there's a large pool of soon to be voters need a politician's help to become legal. If we lift the quotas, citizenship can't be used as political patronage.

  • ||

    Irony #1, US citizens cross the border to get cheap medical care, because the cost of health care is exploding in the US. Illegal immigrants can risk crossing the border, so they clog up emergency rooms in the US.

    Irony #2, a major factor in the exploding cost of healt care in the use is indigents clogging up emergency rooms with non-life threatening illnesses.

  • ||

    Oops.

    Illegal immigrants can't risk crossing the border, so they clog up emergency rooms in the US.

  • ||

    Most liberals are only aware of
    Joe hasn't jumped into this thread. Who else gives a shit as to what Blues know on the subject?

  • ||

    Oops number two. Even preview doesn't help somedays.

    Irony #2, a major factor in the exploding cost of healt care in the US is indigents clogging up emergency rooms with non-life threatening illnesses.

  • ||

    I already have "left the country". I am writing from the mid-east.

    "In every immigration thread someone makes some kind of statement about how tough some other country's immigration laws are. None ever actually furnishes any evidence for this assertion."

    About 15 years ago, I looked into medical school in Mexico. I was married with two kids at the time.

    Here was the deal. I could study medicine there on student visa. Neither I nor my wife could work while in Mexico. My kids were not allowed to attend Mexican public schools. None of us were eligible for treatment in the Mexican public health system. It sounds like Mexico realized that they should not foot the social bills for non-citizens.

    Is that enough evidence for you?

  • ||

    wayne | May 25, 2007, 10:39am | #

    You are making claims of large savings by changing immigration law. it is up to you to "prove" your claims.

    Here is a hypothetical example that stikes me as very conservative. Let's say that a family immigrates to the US (California) from Nicaragua. A mother, father, and two adorable daughters. The two adorable daughters will each cost about $7,000 for public education. The family will have one medical crisis per year for which they will use the local emergency room. Total cost for that family will be about $18,000 per year. The parents will each get jobs paying $10 per hour from which they will pay about $2,000 total in federal taxes, and $500 in CA state taxes. Net cost in this scenario: $15,500 per year.



    If you want to be utilitarian about it. Assuming for the sake of argument that your numbers are reliable, that comes to $3,875 per person. So bringing the entire population of Iraq, (27.5 million via https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iz.html) would cost 106.5 Billion. So far the war costs 428 Billion. Accepting people who want to live in a US style democracy is a lot cheaper than exporting a US style democracy. Adding the incalcable cost of lost life, and letting people who want American freedoms makes more sense than imposing it on other countries. With open boarders, governments compete for citizens, which would make them treat citizens better.

  • Guy Montag||

    wayne,

    It is enough evidence for me, but here at reason eye-witness reports are hear-say, rumors or just generally unacceptable.

    Some statistic from some organization that agrees with the trolls (and some of the staff) must be used :)

  • GILMORE||

    Aybe - good point on the regionalism of the topic

    Re: demographic conquest...

    I sort of want to call this the "Dishwashers at the Gate" canard

    The country has at times in its past been 25% non-naturalized... "They" conquered "us" then, and now They Is Us. What makes you so afraid of the dishwasher's grandchildren?

  • ||

    "If you want to be utilitarian about it. Assuming for the sake of argument that your numbers are reliable, that comes to $3,875 per person. So bringing the entire population of Iraq, (27.5 million via https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iz.html) would cost 106.5 Billion. So far the war costs 428 Billion. Accepting people who want to live in a US style democracy is a lot cheaper than exporting a US style democracy. Adding the incalcable cost of lost life, and letting people who want American freedoms makes more sense than imposing it on other countries. With open boarders, governments compete for citizens, which would make them treat citizens better."

    Irrelevant. :-)

    Seriously, I know you and thoreau both have a big fat hardon for George Bush, and you just won't give war a chance, but what the f$ does Iraq have to do with this thread?

  • ||

    "The Canadians will hire them to build a wall to keep out unemployed Americans seeking health care."

    I know that's a fun response.

    The question stands.

    As do others like- what happens to a large low skilled population when automation happens on a massive scale- I know people will get more education, except vocational schools will be hit too, so they'll need degree's in IT, engineering, the soft sciences etc. which are expensive.

    OK I don't have the links(at work :)) but everything I've read about large scale automation/robots says that it will cause huge disruptions without even taking something like 3d printers into account

  • ||

    irony #3 "Illegal immigrants can (sic) risk crossing the border, so they clog up emergency rooms in the US."... illegal aliens don't have their ass booted out of the country when they appear in a US hospital emergency room.

  • ||

    irony #3 . . . illegal aliens don't have their ass booted out of the country when they appear in a US hospital emergency room.

    So wayne are you going to address my hypothesis? Or are you just going to continue to whine about not being able to go to med school in Mexico?

  • ||

    Guy Montag,

    Your explaination certainly did not ring true with what Nick said on that PBS show a week or so ago.

    Did we watch the same show? Nick pretty much said, "Anyone who shows up at the border is let in," but he didn't say, "There are no exceptions." Taking the 2% exclusion rate at Ellis Island as a metric of the restrictions you might find under open borders, it's hard not to focus on the 98% for whom immigration was wide open.

    It does sound similar to what I have been saying here and anywhere else where this comes up. Secure borders and the only limit on imigration is processing capacity of the federal government.

    It is interesting that -- at least prior to 9/11 -- the federal government could process tourist or business visitor visas pretty quickly. It is only those visas that permit indefinite stay that take months or years. I wonder why? Oh, right. They are working to stay within quotas.

    How this is in the "open borders" camp puzzles, because eliminating quotas soes not equal an open border.

    Half a million illegal immigrants enter the US annually. The quota of legal visas available to them is 5,000. Excluding 10,000 while allowing 490,000 as opposed to excluding 495,000 while allowing 5,000 really deserves to be called "open borders".

    When we get to a no quotas system, then maybe we need to distinguish between for cause restriction and no restriction.

    How about you guys come up with a better name for your position, that is actually descriptive, if this is what you truly mean.

    Do you have a suggestion?

  • ||

    Who's whining? What hypothesis?

  • ||

    If you had truly open borders with the world, people are going to immigrate into the United States until wages and living conditions are equal between the United States and the immigrants' home country.

    John,

    You keep saying this as though it were true. It's not.

    The wages in the US do not equal the wages in Puerto Rico even though over half of Puerto Ricans live in the US proper. The wages in Connecticut do not equal the wages in Mississippi even though there is absolutely nothing stopping Mississippians from moving to Connecticut.

    Free trade and free migration are not zero-sum. People trade or people migrate because it makes them and those they trade or work with better off. In the aggregate, the making of these free choices increases the wealth of the society.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    let me know how much money you have collected for my Libertarian inspired exile. I would like to go to Cambodia.

  • ||

    What hypothesis?

    I'm torn between "read the whole thread again" and "nevermind"

  • Guy Montag||

    Did we watch the same show? Nick pretty much said, "Anyone who shows up at the border is let in," but he didn't say, "There are no exceptions."

    Saying that anybody who shows up gets in does eliminate exceptions.

    Not sure who you are arduing with in the rest of that post. Saying again that I am against quotas and for everybody being checked seems to be a waste of electrons at this point.

    And please stop imagening that my statement means something other than what I said. It certainly does not mean that I want the visa approval army reduced so that nobody gets in, it means just the opposite.

  • Guy Montag||

    Do you have a suggestion?

    No, it is your deceptive phrase, not mine.

  • ||

    So it looks like we agree entirely, save for the vocabulary.

    How about "quota-free immigration"?

  • ||

    Do you have a suggestion?

    No, it is your deceptive phrase, not mine.

    Well, in another thread I said I didn't like open borders, because so many people seem to think that means that border control will be abolished.

    I think in terms of "open immigration" where the restrictions on getting "permission" to cross the border have been dramatically reduced. But I am not sure that phrase is any more meaningful to the casual observer.

  • ||

    "In the aggregate, the making of these free choices increases the wealth of the society."

    Hahahahaha. That is almost exactly what John said.

    "Now that may be great if you are an El Salvadoran or if you an economist measuring the total wealth of the world, but it sucks if you are an American."

  • ||

    Free migration unilaterally increases the wealth of the society receiving the migration.

    So John is wrong. An economist measuring the wealth of the world sees an improvement. And an economist measuring the wealth of America sees an improvement.

  • ||

    "And an economist measuring the wealth of America sees an improvement."

    And the working class American sees?

  • ||

    "wayne | May 25, 2007, 10:39am | #

    You are making claims of large savings by changing immigration law. it is up to you to "prove" your claims.

    Here is a hypothetical example that stikes me as very conservative. Let's say that a family immigrates to the US (California) from Nicaragua. A mother, father, and two adorable daughters. The two adorable daughters will each cost about $7,000 for public education. The family will have one medical crisis per year for which they will use the local emergency room. Total cost for that family will be about $18,000 per year. The parents will each get jobs paying $10 per hour from which they will pay about $2,000 total in federal taxes, and $500 in CA state taxes. Net cost in this scenario: $15,500 per year."

    Eliminate public schooling, and eliminate mandatory treatment of indigent emergency room patients -- both libertarian ideals. Oh, and eliminate the IRS. Net cost in this scenario?

  • ||

    And the working class American sees?

    Study after study shows that the only class of American who sees a decline in his standard of living due to immigration is the unskilled high school dropout, whose wages decline somewhere between 0% and 8%. (The anchor article uses Borjas's 5%.)

    Everyone else sees an improvement. And the aggregate sees an improvement.

  • ||

    Some statistic from some organization that agrees with the trolls (and some of the staff) must be used

    No, Guy, a quotation from the actual laws of the country in question would be fine with some source (like an immigration department website) would do just fine.

    wayne's explanation was fine. Pretty much that admission to Mexico is about as easy as admission to the USA. Interesting point on Mexican welfare and education policy too.

    Oh, and just in case you've missed it most libertarians (me included) would be just fine with the abolition of the welfare system and the public school system.

  • ||

    A mother, father, and two adorable daughters. The two adorable daughters will each cost about $7,000 for public education. The family will have one medical crisis per year for which they will use the local emergency room. Total cost for that family will be about $18,000 per year. The parents will each get jobs paying $10 per hour from which they will pay about $2,000 total in federal taxes, and $500 in CA state taxes. Net cost in this scenario: $15,500 per year."

    According to you analysis Wayne, a very large percentage of the US population (both legal and illegal) represent a serious drain on society.

    To good news is you analysis is wrong because you totally ignore the total enconomic activity generated by someone that earns 10 bucks an hour and then SPENDS THE DAMN MONEY BUYING STUFF.

  • ||

    To good news is you analysis is wrong because you totally ignore the total enconomic activity generated by someone that earns 10 bucks an hour and then SPENDS THE DAMN MONEY BUYING STUFF.

    Even worse, his analysis ignores the fact that someone with higher skills can now work a higher skilled job with higher wages and higher producer surplus because he doesn't have to the job the low skilled immigrant is doing.

  • ||

    I am no fan of welfare, but I think the public school system in the US has done a remarkably good job of educating kids. Personally, I am not ready to abandon it.

    It's a moot point anyway. Libertarians can have all of the masterbatory fantasies they like about abolition of public education, welfare, socialized medicine, or whatever. It ain't gonna happen. If we open the borders, or if we put this latest immigration policy of lunacy into practice it will be with all of these social programs in place. La Rasa will demand bi-lingual education so that any assimilation can be delayed for as long as possible and so they can inculcate their intolerant and racist philosophy into the minds of a whole underclass of resentful immigrants.

  • ||

    It's a moot point anyway.

    Pretty much, yeah.

  • ||

    wayne, if you really believe that a family of four living on $40k a year is a drag on society, then you are beyond hope.

  • ||

    La Rasa will demand bi-lingual education so that any assimilation can be delayed for as long as possible and so they can inculcate their intolerant and racist philosophy into the minds of a whole underclass of resentful immigrants.

    That explains so much about you wayne.

  • ||

    It's been fun, but I am heading out now.

  • ||

    Carrick,

    Can you cypher? You know, just the basics, add and subtract?

  • ||

    It is enough evidence for me, but here at reason eye-witness reports are hear-say, rumors or just generally unacceptable.

    No, Guy, eye-witness reports would be fine.

    I'm talking about people talking out their asses.

  • thoreau||

    let me know how much money you have collected for my Libertarian inspired exile. I would like to go to Cambodia.

    Great, now I've got "Holiday in Cambodia" stuck in my head.

    :)

  • ||

    Carrick,

    Can you cypher? You know, just the basics, add and subtract?


    You are trying to solve the wrong problem. You need to compute wealth produced (which is a function of every transaction that results downstream from the job they do as well as every transaction that results downstream from every purchase they make) versus the wealth consumed.

    By your simplistic analysis, every family of four that doesn't may more than $20K or so in state and federal taxes is a drain on society. Given current tax rates, that means everyone not pulling in six figures or so is useless.

    Your math may be simple, but your analsyis is completely useless.

  • Grotius||

    MikeP,

    Let me edit your statement a bit:

    Free migration unilaterally increases the wealth of the society receiving the migration sometimes.

  • ||

    "wayne | May 25, 2007, 3:12pm | #

    I am no fan of welfare, but I think the public school system in the US has done a remarkably good job of educating kids. Personally, I am not ready to abandon it.

    It's a moot point anyway. Libertarians can have all of the masterbatory fantasies they like about abolition of public education, welfare, socialized medicine, or whatever. It ain't gonna happen. If we open the borders, or if we put this latest immigration policy of lunacy into practice it will be with all of these social programs in place. La Rasa will demand bi-lingual education so that any assimilation can be delayed for as long as possible and so they can inculcate their intolerant and racist philosophy into the minds of a whole underclass of resentful immigrants."

    Where to start? Ever been anywhere near an inner-city public school before you made that remarkably ignorant "remarkably good job of educating kids" comment? How statist do you have to be to think that a non-free-market, coerced-tax financed, governmental quasi-monopoly on education controlled by teacher's labor unions that put the interests of teachers above those of parents and children is the best way of educating children?

    And, last I checked, President Clinton's administration chopped back the welfare system, and scrapped his wife's plan to complete the transition to socialized medicine; the military draft has ended; airlines were deregulated; etc. So, no, it's just flat wrong to say that progress toward a more libertarian society is impossible. If it were, you wouldn't bother posting your anti-immigration comments on this thread, because you wouldn't worry about such a libertarian thing as open borders ever happening.

  • ||

    Grotius,

    If I may return the edit...

    Free migration unilaterally increases the wealth of the society receiving the migration almost all the time.

  • Grotius||

    MikeP,

    Well, since you acknowledge it seems fair and appropriate to ask whether such is appropriate in particular contexts. For the U.S. at this time it does seem appropriate.

  • GILMORE||

    John =

    Why are people worse off today than they were 30 years ago, despite nearly doubling productivity during that time? The answer is that the influx of labor from overseas has worked to keep wages behind productivity.

    John, I dont think thats a fair summation at all. You are ignoring dozens of other factors in our economy that have far more impact on the quality of life than immigration. You're reducing a complex system to a single correlation, and its misleading. Many economists believe that immigration has helped *slow* the growing gaps in earnings opportunity, not increase it. Long term changes in our economy from manufacturing to service industry, and the growing disparity in corporate pay scales (CEOs make 1000 times more than in 1975 in real terms)... there are a million details one could bring to bear. It's not a 1-1 analysis by any means. All the work i've done on the consumer (CPG) economy has shown that immigrants (legal or otherwise) have been the main source of growth in that sector, and they help keep prices down for 'ordinary americans'.

  • GILMORE||

    This is worth a read

    http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=4770

    One snippet (he takes on many of the hackneyed claims made by people aiming to limit immigration):

    Immigration and Welfare

    Another argument used in favor of immigration controls concerns the American welfare system and its potential abuse by immigrants who migrate into America merely to feed at the public trough of social services. The claim is made that the welfare system, not potential economic freedom, is the lure which draws immigrants into the American economy. Immigrants-unproductive, slothful, and indigent-constitute a dead-weight loss on the American economy, and further increase the tax burden on productive Americans. Therefore, we must police our borders and keep out the undesirables.

    This argument is statistically and theoretically flawed. Contrary to prevailing public opinion, current immigrants do not "abuse" the public welfare system, even in the areas where immigration (legal or illegal) is most concentrated. In fact, immigrants have little effect on the current system of taxation and wealth redistribution. As Julian Simon relates:

    Study after study shows that small proportions of illegals use government services: free medical, 5 percent; unemployment insurance 4; food stamps, 1; welfare payments, 1; child schooling, 4. Illegals are afraid of being caught if they apply for welfare. Practically none receive social security, the costliest service of all, but 77 percent pay social security taxes, and 73 percent have federal taxes withheld. . . . During the first five years in the United States, the average immigrant family receives $1404 (in 1975 dollars) in welfare compared to $2279 received by a native family.[3]


    Some may disagree with these statistics. Others would no doubt argue that if immigration controls were eliminated and borders completely unpoliced, a massive number of immigrants would enter the United States and overload the welfare system, causing taxes and the national debt to skyrocket. Certainly this is a possibility. But, even if we grant this argument the benefit of the doubt and concede that unrestricted immigrants would indeed flood the welfare system, the answer to the problem lies not in closing off the borders or "beefing up" border security. The answer lies in eliminating the American welfare state, and prohibiting anyone, native or immigrant, from living at the coerced expense of another.


    I think most here would agree with his analysis

  • ||

    Who is advocating banning immigration? Did I miss a memo? Damn, I hate it when email goes down...

  • Guy Montag||

    IB,

    Oh, and just in case you've missed it most libertarians (me included) would be just fine with the abolition of the welfare system and the public school system.

    You write that as if my view differs.

  • Guy Montag||

    Who is advocating banning immigration? Did I miss a memo? Damn, I hate it when email goes down...

    Nobody that I know of. It is just a sophomoric argument technique from the "open borders" types, who say they are for "open borders" but they really are not for "open borders".

    Quite distinct from us secure borders/no quotas types, of course.

  • ||

    Guy, your straw man is en fuego!

    Really, now, how did you like "quota-free immigration"?

  • Guy Montag||

    Grotius,

    Guy Montag,

    This isn't the first time that thoreau has used something a kin to agree with me or leave the country remark.


    The hurdles that some must leap for self validation are amazing.

  • Guy Montag||

    Really, now, how did you like "quota-free immigration"?

    I have nt experienced it with a secure border, so let me know when it happens.

  • ||

    I have nt experienced it with a secure border, so let me know when it happens.

    Okay, now I don't get your position. Are you saying that, once there is an impenetrable barrier along the border, then you will allow for quota-free immigration? And not before?

    Why hold liberalized legal immigration hostage to secure borders when liberalized legal immigration will only make border security easier?

  • ||

    Brian Doherty-

    How Much of a Jerk Do You Have to Be to Oppose Immigration?

    Ooh! Scary!

    I also oppose "Social(ist) (In)Security", "Medi(s)care", "income taxes, "public education", and the "public accomodation" provisions of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

    I've been called much worse than a "jerk" many times about every one of these issues.

    Hasn't bothered me yet...

  • ||

    Can I just not pay my taxes for the next three years, then pay $5k for a "Z" visa?

    I am willing to give up my citizenship "today"... (What are they going to do until I'm "legal" again... Deport me?)

  • ||

    You write that as if my view differs.

    No, just pointing out that you seem to be unaware of that fact.

    But, I forgot, it's all about you, isn't it?

  • ||

    "Where to start? Ever been anywhere near an inner-city public school before you made that remarkably ignorant "remarkably good job of educating kids" comment? How statist do you have to be to think that a non-free-market, coerced-tax financed, governmental quasi-monopoly on education controlled by teacher's labor unions that put the interests of teachers above those of parents and children is the best way of educating children?"

    The biggest problems with inner-city schools are inner-city parents, and inner-city poverty. Public schools have a long history (by American standards) of churning out well educated and well assimilated graduates. The destruction of public funded education is one of the sillier Libertarian goals, just behind privatization of roads in my opinion. I would bet there are a fair number of readers of this blog who are PS alumni. There is at least one reader/poster here who is a graduate of an inner-city public school. To answer your question, I attended inner-city public schools all the way through college. I wonder if you have ever spent any time in an inner-city school, JH?

  • ||

    "That explains so much about you wayne."

    And that, my dear Carrick, explains a great deal about you.

  • Guy Montag||

    IB,

    Where in the world did I ever say that you were for welfare and "gun schools" (another term for public schools, I have never seen you use it but I have before)?

    How on earth is any of this all about me?

    MikeP,

    You are just being juvenile now.

  • GILMORE||

    MikeP

    "[Guy]- Why hold liberalized legal immigration hostage to secure borders when liberalized legal immigration will only make border security easier?"

    Guy

    MikeP,

    You are just being juvenile now.


    Actually I thought it was a legitimate question. How do you rationalize your non-quota thing with a system that would necessarily require massive (and expensive, corruptible) barriers?

    Is that so juvenile to wonder?

  • libertreee||

    From an international law perspective, the US is a sovern country and the right to regulate immigration.

    Memo to this author, Ron Paul (Mr strict constructionist) etc.

    Where in the Constitution is this supposed right to regulate immigration?

    The Constitution only gives the FEDS the right to regulate the naturalization process. There is no explicit authorization there to regulate immigration.

    The first federal law on immigration did not happen until 1884 or so (the so called Chinese Exclusion Act.)

    Given all the vitriol about the waves of Papist Irish coming over for decades before that, why was there no federal law re quotas on the Irish?

    Of course the Supremes pulled the authorization out of the very large "necessary and proper" and "interstate commerce" hats, but I am surprised that a strict constructionist such as Ron Paul does not see this as more legislating from the bench...

    And, we were supposed to be different from the other countries re immigration...that's why the French gave us the statue of Liberty. So, just claiming that every nation has the "right" to regulate immigration does not cut it constitutionally.

  • ||

    Where in the Constitution is this supposed right to regulate immigration?

    The Constitution only gives the FEDS the right to regulate the naturalization process. There is no explicit authorization there to regulate immigration.


    Article I, Section 9

    "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."

    Now, why would the Founders feel the need to restrict a power of Congress, for a specific period of time, that they didn't believe it had in the first place? Obviously, they had no issue with Congress regulating the migration of persons after 1808.

    The authority to control borders is an implied power of sovereignty. Apparently the Founders understood it exists a priori, else they wouldn't have needed to explicitly restrict it.

  • ||

    @MikeP

    I fear your notion of government.

    Where did I even use the word "government" there? All societies, whether you're talking about your local bridge club, or a fraternity of nations such as the UN, have the right to define who may, and under what conditions, become a member. And also under what conditions members may be expelled. In fact, the US is one of the few countries that doesn't allow, or define a process for, stripping a citizen of his citizenship should that citizen's activities be considered damaging to the interests of that country.

    And if a country through its representative government decided to put various sorts of "undesirables" in camps without cause, then refusing to report to the camp is not liberty and free association; it's usurping the lawful citizen's right to liberty and free association?

    You're equating being confined to a camp with being denied entry to a country? Being denied entry to the US would confine you to where - about the other 19/20ths of the planet?

    Now that's sure a plausible proposition! Why didn't I think of that!

    @thoreau

    We all agree that legally the US government has the _right_ to restrict immigration.

    How do you figure we all agree to that when the post you responded to was a rebuttal to an assertion that the US government does not have the right to restrict immigration?

    Likewise, I think we'd all agree that I have the _right_ to stand on the street corner and read aloud from anti-Semitic tracts as well as various accounts of UFO abduction. But I think we'd all agree that it would be a really bad idea to exercise my free speech rights in that manner.

    I see you've taken a page from the George W. Bush book of PR. Lacking evidence Saddam Hussien bore any responsibility for 9/11 he simply settled for mentioning them in close proximity until the association was created in the public's mind, allowing him to plausibly deny ever claiming one was responsible for the other.

    9/11. Saddam Hussien. 9/11. Saddam Hussien.9/11...

    Now for your next lesson:

    Border control. anti-Semitic. Border control. UFO abduction. Border control...

    I suppose it's a useful enough tactic when the facts aren't on your side....

  • ||

    Now, why would the Founders feel the need to restrict a power of Congress, for a specific period of time, that they didn't believe it had in the first place?

    I don't know. Let's ask James Madison, shall we?

    Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions, not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government.

  • ||

    "Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions, not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government."

    That explains so much about James Madison.

  • ||

    RE:
    John | May 25, 2007, 11:07am | #

    From the WSJ today.

    American men in their 30s today are worse off than their fathers' generation, a reversal from just a decade ago, when sons generally were better off than their fathers, a new study finds. ...


    The original release is here: http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP%20American%20Dream%20Report.pdf

    It says the median income for men age 30-39 was:
    1964 $31,097
    1974 $40,210
    1994 $32,801
    2004 $35,010

    The study got its data from the census bureau. The historical data I could find breaks age groups into 25-34 and 35-44, but it's still worth looking at (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/p08ar.html). It shows a steady rise in male income for both age groups from 1947 to 1973. Then a decline followed by fluctuations ever since. During Nixon's presidency we got off the gold standard, imposed price and wage controls, and faced an oil embargo. Mechanization/computerization can also eliminate jobs. I'm not sure which factors caused wages to stop rising, but there are many possible culprits besides immigration.

  • ||

    I don't know. Let's ask James Madison, shall we?

    Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions, not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government.



    I could have quite a bit of fun with this one!

    First, I could point out that while Madison stated the intent of this clause wasn't "calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America", he didn't deny that Congress had that power, either.

    Second, I could point out that nowhere in the Constitution is Congress explicitly given the power to prevent states from importing slaves, either. So why would a clause be needed to prevent it from doing so? Could it be that the architects of the Constitution assumed Congress had powers a priori that weren't explicitly stated?

    But I'm in a sadistic mood this morning, so I'm going to do something even meaner.

    As you've stated yourself, Congress would be justified in excluding felons and bearers of contagious diseases. Given your position that Congress has no authority to limit immigration at all, where would it obtain Constitutional authority to exclude immigrants even under those circumstances?

  • ||

    As you've stated yourself, Congress would be justified in excluding felons and bearers of contagious diseases. Given your position that Congress has no authority to limit immigration at all, where would it obtain Constitutional authority to exclude immigrants even under those circumstances?

    By amending the Constitution. Duh.

    Given people's attitudes on immigration, it would be a trivial amendment to pass. It also would have been trivial in 1882, 1924, or 1965.

    Which is why I find the argument that immigration restriction is unconstitutional to be somewhat specious. If the government behaved constitutionally, it would still have the power because it would have put the power into the Constitution.

  • ||

    Second, I could point out that nowhere in the Constitution is Congress explicitly given the power to prevent states from importing slaves, either. So why would a clause be needed to prevent it from doing so?

    Because the slave states were very afraid that the new government would outlaw the slave trade, and they wanted this clause.

    Could it be that the architects of the Constitution assumed Congress had powers a priori that weren't explicitly stated?

    Traditional and common law powers of government were to be held by those sovereign entities known as States. That includes regulation of immigration as well.

    Can the Tenth Amendment be any clearer?

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

  • ||


    caricksiftsdingleberriethrough@histeeth.com


    wow, I have a real fan now.

  • Jevon Greenwell||

    We have to make sure we don't confuse illegal immigration and immigration. While I sympathize with the stories I have heard about the hardships illegal immigrates endure-I cannot justify breaking the law. If a person is an undocumented worker, they he/she is here illegally.

    I really think we should change the debate to include:
    1. How to pressure the undocumented workers former government to deal with its poverty?
    2. How to enable more immigrants to come to the United States legally?
    3. Develop a process to identify illegal aliens and come up with some sort of solution that upholds the law but provides a path to citizenship w/out Amnesty.

  • ||

    Where does this guy live? I'm thinking of "emmigrating" into his house as I apparently have just as much right to be there as he does. I'll even do any chore that he just doesn't feel like doing. He should celebrate my presence! The money I save on rent and utilities alone would be enough to send to my brother so he can come live with us, too.

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