But I Don't Even Speak Armenian!

The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Office is sending Arthur Mkoyan—who graduates soon from high school at the top of his class—and his family back to Armenia, even though neither he nor his younger brother speak Armenian:

"I haven't been in Armenia since I was 2, so I don't really know anything about the place," said Arthur Mkoyan, 17. "All I've seen is just videos my mom has watched on the Internet."

[T]he academic skills he has displayed in Fresno may not easily translate to college in Armenia. Arthur said he understands only a few words of Armenian.

Mkoyan's family fled Armenia after his family's house was set on fire as an act of political retribution. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that that wasn't a good enough reason to keep the family in the U.S.

They arrived in the United States in 1995 on six-month tourist visas, according to Virginia Kice, a public information officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The family settled in Fresno, where [father Ruben] Mkoian [who spells his name differently than his son] worked as a truck driver and his wife worked in a jewelry store. They set about living their lives, which soon included a younger brother for Arthur.

But after the visas expired, the family's application to remain in the United States was denied. In 2002, an immigration judge ruled that they had no legal basis to remain in the country, Kice said.

After their application to the Board of Immigration Appeals was rejected, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year denied their petition for a hearing.

The court was unpersuaded by the father's assertion that he might still be subject to reprisal if he were to return.

For more reason on this phenomenon, click here, especially if you're capable of sniffing out the irony of deporting a 4.0 student with no criminal record while sparing a convicted felon.

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  • ||

    I just don't see the sense in deporting them. Other than that, I'm at a loss for words.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Clearly, we need to build a wall on our Armenian border.

  • Episiarch||

    But does he speak jive?

  • the innominate one||

    I'm guessing Slick Rick had a slicker lawyer than the Armenian family, which explains the discrepancy in the outcomes of the two cases.

  • Colin||

    You can bet this is one immigrant story you won't hear Limbaugh or O'Reilly ranting about.

  • ||

    But does he speak jive?

    For the record, it's called Street Talkin'.

  • Episiarch||

    Art, please tell me you know which movie I was referencing.

  • BakedPenguin||

    No, it's jive.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Too slow, once again.

  • 60 year old boomer||

    I can see sending non taxpayers back to the country they or their ancestors came from, but taxpayers? Who will fund my bloated government benefits in 5 years?

  • ||

    "All I've seen is just videos my mom has watched on the Internet."

    Since they are trying to claim the kid is graduating at the top of his class, it'd probably better not to quote him using poor grammar.

  • ||

    Whoops, Episiarch, I missed the reference! Even if I hadn't my post probably would have been the same! (I wasn't really serious)

  • KenK||

    "if you're capable of sniffing out the irony of deporting a 4.0 student with no criminal record while sparing a convicted felon."

    Anything else would "profiling", or maybe just common sense - not common in government.

  • ||

    especially if you're capable of sniffing out the irony of deporting a 4.0 student with no criminal record while sparing a convicted felon.

    Don't forget Luis Posado Carriles.

  • ||

    Rangel pointed out that it is no wonder that Posada Carriles is requesting asylum in the U.S., "because during all of the acts that he participated in he did so while he was an employee of the CIA."

    Um.

  • ||

    Let's all stand up and cheer for "compassionate conservatism". I'm looking forward to the time when my disgust with GWB doesn't increase daily. I can't wait until January 20, 2009.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Did you hear the one about the Armenian who was deported from America?

    It raised the IQ of both countries.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yes, I know it doesn't make any sense.

  • Rhywun||

    Every once in a while they have to make an example of someone to show who's the boss. It works even better when said example is sympathetic.

  • ||

    I hope Lou Dobbs is proud of himself.

  • robc||

    Isnt the youngest son a US citizen? How can he be deported? Doesnt that allow him to "anchor" his parents or something?

  • ||

    Yes, I know it doesn't make any sense.

    I thought it did. Like if the kid's IQ was 90 and the mean IQ of the US were 100 and the mean IQ of Armenia was 80.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Let's look at the things Mike Riggs doesn't know:

    1. The articles about this case are just some of the latest in a long line of paint-by-the-numbers propaganda. That link compares two highly similar articles of this genre side-by-side, and the similarities are striking. See that category for many other examples, all highly similar.

    2. For every "4.0 student with no criminal record" who's an IllegalAlien, there are thousands of U.S. citizens who would also "4.0 student[s] with no criminal record" and who would like to go to school. Since there are only limited resources, it's better PublicPolicy that they get the resources than IllegalAliens. That's unfortunate for those IllegalAliens, but we Americans have to think of our own fellow citizens first. (Obviously that's not much of an argument if you think of yourself as something other than an American).

    3. He can still go to school, just in AM. And, he'll help the country of which he's a citizen grow.

    4. It's bad PublicPolicy to make people think that they can just bring their kids here thinking they'll get resources.

    So, Reason is (yet again) promoting bad, anti-American PublicPolicy.

    Please do some research and think this through, and I think you'll agree that no one should trust anything Mike Riggs or Reason tells them.

  • Mike Laursen||

    You can bet this is one immigrant story you won't hear Limbaugh or O'Reilly ranting about.

    They should be able to twist it around so that it's the fault of Mexican illegals that there isn't room in the country for this decent Armenian family. I mean Limbaugh and O'Reilly are way more clever than Lonewhacko, and he's trying to spin it.

  • ||

    "Let's all stand up and cheer for "compassionate conservatism". I'm looking forward to the time when my disgust with GWB doesn't increase daily. I can't wait until January 20, 2009."

    Yes J Sub D, because at midnight 21 Jan 09, all of the Title 8 of the US code will magically be released from the spell of the evil George W and change to stop all of this kind of thing.

    This is an interesting case of unintended consequences. We add in lots of due process protections for immigrants. The running joke among immigration lawyers is that nothing is over until the immigrant wins. The downside of course is that the more due process they get the longer they stay in the country and the more crazy and unjust it seems to send some poor guy home who has lived here peacefully for 10 years or more.

    Do we really want the rule that after you are in the country for so long and haven't committed a crime, you get to stay? That seems a little unjust in that someone would get to stay based solely on their ability to drag it out in court long enough rather than merit.

    Now of course there is the old stand by libertarian position that anyone should be able to get who wants to. That would solve the problem. But, do we really want to let anyone in? What about criminals? I think anyone but the most crackpot libertarian would agree that the country should try to keep criminals out. But to do that we would still need immigration courts and there are still going to be immigrants who claim that they are not really criminals and stay in the country, fight it out in court, lose and get sent home with their valedictorian children in tow.

    These people do bear some responsibility for their plight. They never had a green card. There was no guarantee that they would get to stay. They should have taught their kids Armenian and made some kind of back up plan in case they lost in court.

  • Rhywun||

    two highly similar articles of this genre side-by-side



    Do you scornfully dismiss Radley Balko's highly similar articles of the government restricting the freedom of people to defend themselves as a "genre", too?

    Obviously that's not much of an argument if you think of yourself as something other than an American



    Or if you're a taxpayer.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that the mean IQ for Armenia is 100, while the mean IQ for America is also 100.

    Sometimes I ruin jokes.

  • ||

    Right, the Bush administration faithfully upholds all of the laws as written and never allows exceptions. Never!

    You friggin' know better.

  • ||

    Do we really want the rule that after you are in the country for so long and haven't committed a crime, you get to stay?

    Yes. Next question.

  • ||

    But, do we really want to let anyone in? What about criminals?

    That's N/A is this case, isn't it?

  • ||

    Isnt the youngest son a US citizen? How can he be deported? Doesnt that allow him to "anchor" his parents or something?

    No....the "anchor baby" thing isn't really all effective a way to stay in the country.

    Many parents have tried to stay here using the excuse that their child born in the US can stay and needs its parents to raise it. Many times the courts say tough shit, and the kid can stay here with other relatives or friends, or it can come back when its old enough.

    I was a so called "anchor baby" (my parents and siblings all were born outside of the us and overstayed their visas when they came) -- Reagans amnesty is what got my family their green cards and now their citizenship. At the time we were told that I need to be 18 years old to sponsor my mother without the amnesty

  • ||

    Do we really want the rule that after you are in the country for so long and haven't committed a crime, you get to stay?

    That's what happened in the 80s. The amnesty basically allowed anyone who has been here for a while, showed that they were productive (had a job and paid taxes while they were here) and had no criminal record to get their green cards.

    Sounds like a sane rule to me.

  • Rhywun||

    Do we really want the rule that after you are in the country for so long and haven't committed a crime, you get to stay?



    I'd settle for (a) not being a criminal and (b) paying your own way, but even that hasn't been enough for a long time. You still need to (c) know the right person and/or (d) win the lottery.

  • Micas, micas!||

    Why doesn't he just drive down to LA and buy a new driver's license and social security card in Macarthur Park like everybody else does?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Lonewacko,

    Thank the heavens you were here to point out the evils of Reason, and more importantly Mike Riggs. You have really dropped some knowledge on me.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Someone cue the "A-Team" theme music!

  • ||

    "Do we really want the rule that after you are in the country for so long and haven't committed a crime, you get to stay?

    That's what happened in the 80s. The amnesty basically allowed anyone who has been here for a while, showed that they were productive (had a job and paid taxes while they were here) and had no criminal record to get their green cards.

    Sounds like a sane rule to me."

    What about the people who get caught and thrown out? That doesn't sound very fair. If you say let everyone in and effectively eliminate the existence of the United States, then you are right there is no immigration issues anymore. But if you say that criminals can't come in, then you are right back where you started. What is a criminal? Inevitably, someone is going to that they are not an MS 13 member and did not knock off that liquor store in Pakistan and Reason is going to be on here whining about how horrible it is they have to go back after 10 years of courtroom drama.

    It is funny to compare the Iraq threads to the immigration threads. In Iraq threads the Iraqis are a bunch of anti-democratic animals who were better off under Saddam and incapable of having a functioning democracy. In the immigration threads, all immigrants are going to come to the US, dutifully vote for the proper libertarian platform. Letting 10s of millions of them in who may or may not share any common notion of limited government and making them citizens holds no danger of turning the country into a socialist hell hole. No not at all.

  • ||

    Someone cue the "A-Team" theme music!

    I was thinking more like the "G.I. Joe" PSAs. Quick, somebody get video footage of LoneWacko dropping knowledge on a small group of ethnically diverse schoolchildren and then upload it to Youtube.

  • robc||

    ChicagoTom,

    I didnt think the anchor baby thing was all that effective, but considering the whining about it, I needed to ask. Someone here had to know the truth. Thanks much.

    On a only slightly related note, I thought the Elian Gonzalez solution was to make him a US Citizen and then send him home with his father. When he turned 18, with his dual citizenship, he could go to the US embassy (we have one in cuba?) and say "Take me home bitches" (okay, he probably would say something more polite and in spanish).

  • ||

    If you say let everyone in and effectively eliminate the existence of the United States, then you are right there is no immigration issues anymore.

    This doesn't make one ounce of sense. Unless you are a Native America Indian, your family comes from immigrants somewhere down the line.

    How does letting people in effectively end the existence of the US? A nation that is a melting pot of immigrants can not be hurt by allowing more immigrants.

    Did the influx of European immigrants effective eliminate the USA back in the older days? Immigrants are what made this nation as great as it is. Or is there something inherently wrong with immigrants these days?

    I guess then everyone who is a US citizen is part of the problem...they should have all just stayed home.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Ummm . . . Art-P.O.G., Lonewacko isn't exactly . . . flexible when it comes to helping others. Putting him in that situation could result in mass murder. Refer to crazy ass psycho killer from USSR.

  • ||

    For every "4.0 student with no criminal record" who's an IllegalAlien, there are thousands of U.S. citizens who would also "4.0 student[s] with no criminal record" and who would like to go to school.

    So one Armenian kid is preventing thousands of Americans from getting straight As? He must be smarter than advertised. Do we really want to give up kids that are that powerful? Usually a winning strategy is keeping the best and the brightest from other countries to make ourselves better. Do you oppose our post-WWII strategy of taking German rocket scientists because they prevented thousands of American rocket scientists from getting jobs? Should we have told Einstein to hit the road, we have eccentric American geniuses that need jobs?

  • ||

    I read somewhere that the Laotian parents of the salutatorian dimed him out

  • ||

    On a only slightly related note, I thought the Elian Gonzalez solution was to make him a US Citizen and then send him home with his father. When he turned 18, with his dual citizenship, he could go to the US embassy (we have one in cuba?) and say "Take me home bitches" (okay, he probably would say something more polite and in spanish).

    Why should Elian Gonzales have been given citizenship?
    Because he would have been a useful political symbol to use against Castro? What was special about him that he deserved citizenship when compared to other in his same immigration status?

    ( I must say I don't remember all the details of the Elian case -- but I think I recall that his father in Cuba had custody and his relatives in Florida were refusing to send him back to his father -- which is kind of like kidnapping)

  • ||

    I can't wait until January 20, 2009.

    I suspect this case would have come out just the same under Clinton (or Obama). It looks like their 6 month tourist visas expired in, what, 2006. It doesn't say, but I see no reason to doubt that it was the Clinton INS that turned down whatever application they made for political asylum.

    I'm not saying its right, I'm just saying that pretending every bad thing that happens can be laid at the feet of the Bushreich is foolish.

  • ||

    Refer to crazy ass psycho killer from USSR.

    Heh. I think of Lonewacko more as the crazy uncle.

  • ||

    If you say let everyone in and effectively eliminate the existence of the United States, then you are right there is no immigration issues anymore.

    The United States didn't exist before 1924?

  • ||

    I don't remember all the details of the Elian case

    He was with a group of people who wanted out of Cuba so badly they headed for America on a fucking inner tube. That's the partI remember.

  • ||

    I think anyone but the most crackpot libertarian would agree that the country should try to keep criminals out. But to do that we would still need immigration court and there are still going to be immigrants who claim that they are not really criminals and stay in the country, fight it out in court, lose and get sent home with their valedictorian children in tow.

    Given that the only people who the US would haul into immigration courts would now be actually accused criminals, don't you think the volume those courts handle would drop by much more than an order of magnitude? I should think ten years -- especially when the sympathetic nature of the case is lost because the immigrant is, you know, actually thought to be dangerous -- is wildly longer than the process would actually take.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

    Rhywun: this is probably too difficult to understand, but there's a huge difference between someone who basically writes the same article over and over (Radley Balko), and highly similar articles appearing in dozens of different newspapers by dozens of different reporters. Find someone to help explain that difference to you.

    And, needless to say, ChicagoTom fails to recognize the huge differences between now and a century or more ago.

    As for Mo, he/she/it should ask someone to explain what I wrote above to him/her/it, since what I wrote above was clearly too much for him/her/it to understand.

    Hopefully this illustration of the effect I described above will be understandable for some libertarians. If not, ask someone else to explain it to you.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Elian's mother died on the inner tube escaping from Cuba. Mr Reno's Justice Department handed the boy over to the Cubans because of that single fact. Had she lived, the boy would have had asylum.

    Unless you are a Native America Indian, your family comes from immigrants somewhere down the line. And the evidence suggests that Native American Indians also came from somewhere else. Asia and the Pacific Islands.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Balko, you are a depressing guy. This story makes me want to go back to work, which I am supposed to be doing anyway. Can't you save this stuff for Mondays? Like you used to?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Radley? Radley? I am kidding, I think you do a great job. But, Dude, this story is really depressing and it makes me wish I'd just stayed on task, blissfully ignorant, gazing out at the sunny garden from time to time, and enjoying the flowers in bloom.

    But Nooooooooooooooooo! I had to come over here and then, on top of that, Lone Whack Job is throwing his two cents in.

    Jeezzeee Looo-Eze, I need me a drink.

  • robc||

    ChicagoTom,

    This doesn't make one ounce of sense. Unless you are a Native America Indian, your family comes from immigrants somewhere down the line.

    Nope. Other than my Cherokee ancestors, the rest came here as colonists, not immigrants. At least that has been found so far. South Central KY was a pretty isolated place from the late 1700s until just recently.

  • ||

    And, needless to say, ChicagoTom fails to recognize the huge differences between now and a century or more ago

    The color of the immigrants skin?

    Nope. Other than my Cherokee ancestors, the rest came here as colonists, not immigrants. At least that has been found so far. South Central KY was a pretty isolated place from the late 1700s until just recently

    Regardless of the terminology, they weren't native to the place -- they uprooted themselves and came to a strange land. To the indigenous people, you were illegal immigrants. They just didn't have an ability to effectively deport you.

    And even if we were to pretend that the colonists were different, unless you're of a WASP bloodline -- you are of immigrant descent.

  • ||

    To the indigenous people, you were illegal immigrants. They just didn't have an ability to effectively deport you.

    You = Your ancestors.

  • Guy Montag||

    Where is the Congressional delegation for these people? Every member of the Congress can submit, and get passed, bills (forgot the name of these specific bills) for individuals in situations like this and get them citizenship, perminant resident alien status, etc.

    Folks griping about other parts of the government enforcing what the Congress passed and the various Executives signed (or were overridden on) might want to re-aim their accusation finger at the proper target.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Find someone to help explain that difference to you.

    Lonewhacko, I'm afraid you're the only person who can even attempt an explanation of your thought processes.

  • ||

    This doesn't make one ounce of sense. Unless you are a Native America Indian, your family comes from immigrants somewhere down the line.

    The old shibboleth that's as meaningless as it is repeated.

    You might just as well point out our geography was formed by earthquakes, volcanoes and glaciers. That doesn't necessarily mean the introduction of more earthquakes, volcanoes and glaciers would make for further improvement...

  • Mike Laursen||

    Got it. You're logically equating Native Americans and/or immigrants to the Americas with natural cataclysms.

  • Rhywun||

    Rhywun: this is probably too difficult to understand



    You caught me out! I didn't "click 'n' learn". Shame on me. ... OK, I clicked. And learned *nothing* that I didn't already know. The media are biased. Yep. We already knew that. But it says nothing about the topic at hand other than "look how stupid they are for disagreeing with MY opinion".

  • Rhywun||

    That doesn't necessarily mean the introduction of more earthquakes, volcanoes and glaciers would make for further improvement...



    The burden is on closed-border types to prove why increased immigration is a bad thing, not the other way around--because border restrictions are restrictions of freedom.

  • robc||

    ChicagoTom

    Regardless of the terminology, they weren't native to the place -- they uprooted themselves and came to a strange land.

    Im arguing about the terminology, not the point. :)

    I just shoot down that "we are all descendents of immigrants" bullshit whenever I get the chance. Im not.

  • GILMORE||

    this is probably too difficult to understand, but there's a huge difference between someone who basically writes the same article over and over...

    That sounds familiar.

    uhm... pots....kettles.... no, wait thats unfair. pots have some utility. You're like a dried up piece of tar ranting about the horrible black-ness characteristics of a black mercedes.

    no, thats unfair. Dried up tar is useful for roofs. Anyone? Black, dried up dog poop?

    Orange Line Special | June 6, 2008, 1:51pm | #

    Let's look at the things Mike Riggs doesn't know:


    Jesus. Thats got to be the most ignorant fucking line of reasoning you've ever tossed out. And you hardly ever DO try any reasoning.

    So, your argument is that "resources are limited". Knowledge economies are limited? You dont have the first fucking bit of economic sense. try your argument at any point in history, including now, and its demonstrably false. A 4.0 highschool grad IS a valuable resource. Thats WHY we have schools. The more of them we graduate, the more productive our society becomes. You're claiming that schools are limited, and they can't POSSIBLY grow the numbers they serve (?), and somehow that schooling is a zero sum game, and this kids attendance and citizenship is a net negative to someone else. Absolute nonsense! Thats like saying, "there are only so many jobs". By your antilogic, human births in our country should have been steadily depleting the resources such that each person should have less now than they had 50 years ago. LOOK AROUND DOUCHEBAG. How did we suddenly create so much wealth and prosperity while the number of people rose steadily, immigrant and native? Smart people create businesses, create jobs, create wealth, and people who never met them benefit immensely. They contribute to the tax base in myriad ways even if they never submit a 1040. They buy products, they help small business afford to grow (construction? restaurants?) and lower costs at the same time, and the main beneficiaries are regular old americans. And you dare to call people "fake libertarians!" You dont even understand high school economics.

    This armenian guy would certainly be a net positive for the people of this country compared to you at the very least.

    maybe we can trade the useless, America-killing fucktards like you to Armenia for their best and brightest. Maybe then we'd return to being a country that understands that offering freedom and opportunity to the world made us the greatest nation on earth in the first place.

    You on the other hand make us seem like an overweight Myanmar

  • GILMORE||

    robc | June 6, 2008, 6:51pm | #

    I just shoot down that "we are all descendents of immigrants" bullshit whenever I get the chance. Im not.


    Unless you're a talking douglas fir tree, you are full of shit, or simply distorting the term to mean something so vague as to be meaningless.

  • GILMORE||

    the rest came here as colonists, not immigrants.

    Anyone who can't trace their roots (i still think you're a tree) to the 18th century then *isnt really American* then?

    You make no sense.

    Does ellis island count?

    Can we reopen it please, if it does?

  • GILMORE||

    John Sez
    Letting 10s of millions of them in who may or may not share any common notion of limited government and making them citizens holds no danger of turning the country into a socialist hell hole. No not at all.

    See = US, circa turn of the century: arguments made by nativists at the time

    See = future since then

    I mean, we did have our immigrant sweatshops and wobbly protests and Matewan type conflicts between the "real americans" and them "pinkos"...

    But socialist hellhole, no. We seemed to work it out.

    Also, ask a mexican what they want. Most want a job in a growing economy. Not much more.

    It's actually the spoiled, half-educated suburban children of the rich natives that are the ones yearning for a socialist utopia. Ironic, maybe

    You dont find a whole lot of fruit pickers on Democracy Underground

  • ||

    Actually, I think he should be deported for NOT speaking his mother tongue. Knowing foreign language(s) is a personal and and communitarian asset, and assimilation is not something to be proud of. Somone who forgets his or her roots won't be a good citizen for any country. It is not impossible to be Armenian and American at the same time.

    And to all those who are discsussing IQ, they should know that IQ is a western phenomenon with biased western crap that cannot and is not tested in most countries. So talking about "IQ" in Armenia is quite stupid, not only because the idea of "IQ tests" doesn't exist in Armenia, but also because such tests would not be comparable to America's IQ because of ethnocentric and cultural-centric bias in either prospective test.

    Anyway, Arthur Mkoyan should stop saying he shouldn't be deported because he doesn't speak Armenian. If he doesn't, then I really question his 4.0 GPA, his understanding of culture, citizenship and the world. And if he REALLY doesn't speak Armenian, he should be deported.

  • Mike Laursen||

    And if he REALLY doesn't speak Armenian, he should be deported.

    If some guy who grew up in America doesn't know how to speak Armenian, he should be deported to Armenia. You have a very unique point of view on this topic.

  • ||

    Got it. You're logically equating Native Americans and/or immigrants to the Americas with natural cataclysms.

    *wonders how an actual Native American might use the words "immigration" and "cataclysm" in a sentence....*

  • robc||

    GILMORE,

    Your posts made no sense. WTF?

    From some fairly extensive research, so far every branch of my family tree goes back to either an american indian (specifically cherokee) or a colonist. So far, zero immigrants to america have been found.

    No points, just a statement of fact. It aint bullshit, its just what it is. It has surprised me, in fact.

  • GI||

    robc | June 6, 2008, 10:01pm | #

    GILMORE,

    Your posts made no sense. WTF?

    From some fairly extensive research, so far every branch of my family tree goes back to either an american indian (specifically cherokee) or a colonist. So far, zero immigrants to america have been found.

    No points, just a statement of fact. It aint bullshit, its just what it is. It has surprised me, in fact.


    ok, and this makes you *more* of an american citizen how?

    If you didnt get it the first time, it's ok.

    You saying we all need bloodlines back to the roanoke colonies to be legit, or what? It's not me making any statements about how american I am, it's you. My point is your standard is baseless and useless. Let me know how you think that relates to actual policy other than your self-absorption with your own immigrant purity. The remaining 99% of america awaits your judgement on their acceptability

  • GILMORE||

    excuse me, forgot to type the remainder of my name there.

  • GILMORE||

    robc | June 6, 2008, 10:01pm | #

    GILMORE,

    Your posts made no sense. WTF?

    From some fairly extensive research, so far every branch of my family tree goes back to either an american indian (specifically cherokee) or a colonist.



    I can imagine this tree having flavorful "raped by" annotations next to the puritans and cherokees.

    sorry, it was too cute

  • Orange Line Special||

    Look at me, everyone! I'm still a pathetic, singleissue loser and I still don't realize that I'm probably single-handedly ruining my own side. Who cares if supporting things like punishing innocent AnchorBabies for the crimes of their parents and deporting ArthurMyokan are political dead-ends for immigrationreform (when merely enforcing immigrationlaw regarding their parents would be enough)? Idiots like me are so busy being attentionwhores that we just don't notice that, damnit!
    Did I mention I still can't comprehend the irony of being a fan of MichelleMalkin and LittleGreenFootballs while having 9/11Truther sympathies? But hey, as long as they support kicking out all the wetbacks, so what if they'd think I'm a moonbat?

    Waaaaah, pay attention to me, PLEEEEEASE!

  • ||

    I say, send the kid back. Either you are an American citizen or you aren't and in this case he isn't. If he wants to try and go through the immigration process once he gets back to Armenia then more power to him but until he does, I have no sympathy for him. His family came over on a faulty(?) passport by claiming to be tourists when they were really trying to get asylum.
    Also, what if the kid were mentally retarded with absolutely no possible way to help the economy other than to drain it the longer he lived. Would you still be saying he should be allowed to stay? What if the kid were a convicted murderer? In either of these cases the kid was here for 16 years and the father was still trying to get asylum.

  • robc||

    GILMORE,

    ok, and this makes you *more* of an american citizen how?

    It doesnt. Never said it did. What the fuck do you think "Im not making a point" means.

    If you didnt get it the first time, it's ok.

    Right back at you.

    You saying we all need bloodlines back to the roanoke colonies to be legit, or what? It's not me making any statements about how american I am, it's you.

    No, Im not. The fact that you have no fucking reading comprehension is the problem here. Stop projecting. I just hate the stupid "we are all descendents of immigrants" bullshit because it isnt true. A nearly minted citizen is just as much an american as the children of immigrants or as me. If you can find anyplace I have said differently, please point it out.

  • GILMORE||

    What the fuck do you think "Im not making a point" means.

    Not making a point, i guess.

    Why bother then?

  • GILMORE||

    And the difference between an immigrant and colonist is....

    something to do with dates?

  • GILMORE||


    Waaaaah, pay attention to me, PLEEEEEASE!


    Look, thats totally unnecessary.

    He does it on his own. No one needs to rape his handle and state the obvious.

  • GILMORE||

    Tracy | June 7, 2008, 6:52am | #

    I say, send the kid back. Either you are an American citizen or you aren't and in this case he isn't. If he wants to try and go through the immigration process ...


    Meaning, the part where you can't come here.

    Trivia = how many people come through the 'legal' system per year, and how has it increased over time?

    Its so easy, im surprised everyone doesnt do it

  • ||

    @Gilmore
    No. I mean the part where he follows the law to gain entry to this country. Why is it that whenever the immigration question comes up people always start saying that nobody can get in? People can and are but the amount of legal immigrants we allow into this country will always stay low until people cannot get in illegally. Once that happens you might actually see an influx of legal immigrants.

  • yokeltarian||

    Gotta keep out them illegals what are taking our jobs.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Tracy, do you also think that the current quota for legal immigration is just right? Too high? Too low?

  • ||

    @Mike Laursen
    I think it is too low but as I said, it won't be able to be moved up until people can no longer get in illegally.

    BTW: Issuefish is an awesome name.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I accidentally left out a key part of the question. I meant to ask whether you thought the current quota for legal immigration from Mexico is at the right level.

  • ||

    I don't think there should be a quota from any given country. If people want to get in it should be first come first served.

    Also, was it really an accident or were you trying to trip me up or something?

  • GILMORE||

    Tracy | June 7, 2008, 11:57am | #

    @Gilmore
    No. I mean the part where he follows the law to gain entry to this country. Why is it that whenever the immigration question comes up people always start saying that nobody can get in? People can and are but the amount of legal immigrants we allow into this country will always stay low until people cannot get in illegally. Once that happens you might actually see an influx of legal immigrants.


    Trivia point =

    Most people who are "illegals" in the country now came in "legally" and had their visas expire or the laws change to prevent any continued stay = a la the above armenian political refugee

    Many of the people who sneak across the border want to work, make money, and go back to mexico to support their families. Thousands and thousands of seasonal migrant laborers.

    depending on which group you want to 'legalfy', the issue is different.

    You create a false problem by saying we can't do anything about legal status until we "control" the influx of people from outside the country. No wall will change anything. More restrictive visa approval wont change whether the ones who get it overstay or not. The simple question is, how many immigrants do we need, and how do we get them? The idea that we have to have illegal vs. illegal immigration is a semantic punching bag. We need to make the system simpler so that there is no incentive for illegal immigration. Thinking of the drug war = did illegalfying pot do anything other than turn millions of nonviolent citizens into criminals? One might argue that we need to keep heroin or other really dangerous drugs illegal, and I may not squawk (others might). the same could be true of immigrants. Make the vast majority who want to come "legal", and spend the bulk of resources on limiting the *very few* who might present an unwelcome threat. Assuming all who "break the law" are the same when the law is already senselessly stupid ignores the source of the problem - not the lawbreakers, but the useless line we draw between the legals and illegals.

    Do YOU think the armenian should go back simply because of a technicality? Lonewacko thinks so because of his ridiculous "there's a limited supply!" meme. Whats your case?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Also, was it really an accident or were you trying to trip me up or something?

    When I type sentences into a computer, I often edit them in a non-linear fashion. Sometimes I miss a fix-up to the wording before I hit "Submit Comment".

  • ||

    @Mike Laursen
    Ok. I had someone do that to me once on a different board and I didn't like it one bit. I just wanted to check.

  • ||

    >>Most people who are "illegals" in the country now came in "legally" and had their visas expire or the laws change to prevent any continued stay = a la the above armenian political refugee
    ::I know that. When I say illegal I meant people who overstay their visas as well as people that cross the borders.
    >>Many of the people who sneak across the border want to work, make money, and go back to mexico to support their families. Thousands and thousands of seasonal migrant laborers.
    ::Ok. People who live in this country full time would also like the ability to work and support their families but are unable to because illegal immigrants take those jobs from them. Just to make this clear, I don't care why they came here illegally to work. I don't care if they have a paraplegic wife and 3 autistic sons. They are here illegally and I have no sympathy for them.
    >>depending on which group you want to 'legalfy', the issue is different.
    ::That is definitely true but I think that stopping either route to being here illegally would allow for an increase in the amount of legal immigrants that we allow into the US. We can keep closer track of the people that are overstaying their visas and make sure people can't cross the borders.
    >>You create a false problem by saying we can't do anything about legal status until we "control" the influx of people from outside the country. No wall will change anything.
    ::A wall and guards definitely can stop people from crossing the border. It's doing it right now but not very well because the wall is so short and the Border Patrol doesn't have the man power to patrol the whole length of both borders.
    >>More restrictive visa approval wont change whether the ones who get it overstay or not.
    ::Also true but actually enforcing the laws for those that overstay would be enough. As an example, the father of a friend of my brother (this actually is true even thought it is starting out as a fried of a friend tale :) ) came over on a visa from Canada. While he rented an apartment and didn't move from tha location even after his visa expired. All INS would have had to do was go to his house and remove him yet it still took them almost 10 years to realize he wasn't supposed to be ere anymore. All I want are the existing laws to be enforced.
    >>The simple question is, how many immigrants do we need, and how do we get them?
    ::Don't know and couldn't tell you. I never was very good with statistics and most math above trig.
    >>The idea that we have to have illegal vs. illegal immigration is a semantic punching bag.
    ::God I hate semantics. People fight over a word rather than the concept behind the thought. The way I see it is that in both cases, whether a Visa overstay or a border crossing, they are illegal immigrants.
    >>We need to make the system simpler so that there is no incentive for illegal immigration.
    ::But then what is the incentive to be a citizen? Why should a person stay when their country starts falling apart to help rebuild it if all they had to do was knock on the door to get in? I think one of the reasons for the tests and other qualifications that people need to pass to become a citizen is to make sure that they feel they now have some stock in the country they are now moving to.
    >>Thinking of the drug war = did illegalfying pot do anything other than turn millions of nonviolent citizens into criminals? One might argue that we need to keep heroin or other really dangerous drugs illegal, and I may not squawk (others might). the same could be true of immigrants. Make the vast majority who want to come "legal", and spend the bulk of resources on limiting the *very few* who might present an unwelcome threat. Assuming all who "break the law" are the same when the law is already senselessly stupid ignores the source of the problem - not the lawbreakers, but the useless line we draw between the legals and illegals.
    ::Drug war is completely stupid. I agree with you on that. Illegal immigration on the other hand is not a victimless crime. When a noncitizen works, a citizen can't. When a noncitizen receives Government subsidies for anything from school to medical care, that is now money that could have went to help the citizens of this country.
    >>Do YOU think the armenian should go back simply because of a technicality?
    ::It's not a technicality. They are here illegally on an overstayed Visa. A technicality would be if the kids citizenship papers would have come through in a week or someone messed up his name when they were putting it in a computer. Not, "I blatantly broke the law so let me stay here because I was a good boy while I did it."
    >>Lonewacko thinks so because of his ridiculous "there's a limited supply!" meme. Whats your case?
    ::See above.

  • GILMORE||

    People who live in this country full time would also like the ability to work and support their families but are unable to because illegal immigrants take those jobs from them.

    You're falling into the "limited number of jobs" trope that lonewacko throws out, and it's patently false. Since where are there a fixed number of jobs? Have you read anything about the vast shortage of farm labor?

    You have to either bring some data to the table, or give it up. The simple fact is that cheap labor has made a wide variety of US industries boom over the 90s, and restricting immigration hurts "americans" far worse than it provides any net benefit.

    The rest of your non-spacebar'd comments are basically meaningless repetitions of the first factual error, and demanding the " asteful enforcement of a stupid and self destructive law"... the key point i made above you failed to address

  • ||

    The burden is on closed-border types to prove why increased immigration is a bad thing, not the other way around--because border restrictions are restrictions of freedom.

    Maybe you'd like to consider the situation of the last group of nations to let themselves get convinced to open their borders by "tolerant cosmopolitans".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw7XwexR2ec
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JJlI9swbsA

    Enjoy your post-national, multi-culti, free-market future. Something tells me your tolerant cosmopolitan "libertarian" friends will likewise be just as disinterested in your input into how you're governed. If you can name me a single example of a situation where accruing a massive population resulted in greater freedom for said population, or greater control over the actions of their government, I'd like to hear it. Russia? China? India? Even the EU?

    While "open borders" certainly has a political precident, it sure as hell isn't derived from classical liberalism or libertarianism, the claims of Cato and Reason notwithstanding.

    Secondly, every right you claim imposes a corresponding restriction on somebody else's freedom. You're claim to a right to life is a restriction on someone else's freedom to kill you. You're claim to a right of property is restriction of someone else's right to have use of it. And, obviously, a nation's claim to sovereignty is a restriction on another population's right to occupy it's territory.

    So perhaps before stomping your foot and whining, "But it's not freeeee!!!" every time the laws of the land fail to deliver you your Christmas pony, it might be useful to provide a definition of what "freedom" might actually mean in the political sense. In lieu of that, I can just as easily argue you're promoting stripping the freedom of a sovereign population to self-determination. Obviously, you don't think a society should have the freedom to create rules which grant or withhold consent to anyone who cares to join it (aka "Freedom of Association").

    I doubt I'll be seeing my definition any time soon, because there's no coherent definition of freedom comprehensive enough to legitimize the self-contradictory grab-bag of yanked-out-the-ass "rights" I see claimed in the name of "freedom" on this forum. Having to define what's actually meant by freedom would put the lid on that kind of crap, pronto. And something tells me not much of anyone is going to be in a hurry to provide a definition which risks delegitimizing their claim to their particular Christmas pony...

  • GILMORE||

    reforming immigration is not "open borders" - it's a false dichotomy.

    You're suggesting that anyone who thinks the current condition and direction of immigration policy is stupid and wasteful, and that restricting immigration further is a bad idea, is somehow an anarchistic open border endorser. It's bullshit, just as calling a libertarian an 'antigovernment'-type is bullshit. Change is not "Anti-borders". Smart policy that adjusts to market conditions is all anyone is endorsing.

    For a sample:

    Benefits of high skilled immigration liberalization =
    http://www.nfap.com/pdf/080311h1b.pdf
    http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/05/litan-wadhwa-immigration-oped-cx_rel_0709litan.html

    Benefits of low-skilled immigration liberalization =
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1993/08/09/78176/index.htm

    Notice the people who recognize this reality are economists.

    The people who struggle to refute it tend to be from Union labor types, and culture fearmongers.

  • ||

    The people who struggle to refute it tend to be from Union labor types, and culture fearmongers.

    ...and economists who also happen to be libertarians:

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008690
    http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/11_1/11_1_1.pdf
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_3.pdf

    Yes, there are economists who argue the benefits of open immigration.

    But I have yet to encounter a libertarian economist who ever argued such a thing.

    Considering that the argument is that open immigration is the "libertarian position", I think the political credentials of the economist might be germane to the discussion, don't you?

  • GILMORE||

    Considering that the argument is that open immigration is the "libertarian position", I think the political credentials of the economist might be germane to the discussion, don't you?

    No. I dont care whether the ecomonist has any particular political affiliation. just that they be correct. And the vast majority in the field (including myself) concur that we need more immigrants, not fewer.

    It's not a contentious point. Basic demography, birth rates are a simple enough indicator of a coming labor shortage.

  • GILMORE||

    I'll also point out none of the links you posted provide a shred of actual data. They're "political" pieces basically. Or are Milton Friedman's couched, hedged opinions enough to convince you of the truth of something. All he said was he thought "unlimited" immigration was an impossible position. That says absolutely nothing about the condition of today's economy.

  • GILMORE||

    Considering that the argument is that open immigration is the "libertarian position",

    No one makes this argument. The argument is that the current trend towards restricting immigration is wasteful and hurts the US economy, and it should be reformed (aka liberalized) to better meet market demands. Its no different than reforming medicare or Drug laws or gun laws or whatever. We dont need straw men to validate this particular point, unlike the people who call it "open borders"

  • ||

    No. I dont care whether the ecomonist has any particular political affiliation. just that they be correct. And the vast majority in the field (including myself) concur that we need more immigrants, not fewer.

    Ah! You're an economist! Perhaps you can answer a question for me - what happens to the economy when the amount and type of immigration destabilizes or alters the social and political institutions a free market economy relies on?

    This is otherwise known as the "How many cars need to burn in Paris to offset the economic gains of immigration?" question.....

    When you guys can answer that question without dodging it, I'll consider what the economists have to say about the matter the last word. Until then, I'll have to consider a purely economic consideration of the matter woefully incomplete.

  • GILMORE||

    Ah! You're an economist!

    An economic research analyst. I work at a bank. Not academics.

    As to your point, i dont see how burning cars in paris has anything to do with getting the peach crop out in Georgia

    If you suggest that low wage mexican workers have a similar effect on our "institutions" that muslim urbanites in Europe do, please show how rather than make a specious analogy

  • GILMORE||

    as a follow up, i'll also point out that your analogy is exactly a product of France's failure to properly liberalize the openness of labor markets to immigrants - not a product of immigration itself. Meaning, if you worry about this issue, the solution is exactly the opposite of the kind of restrictions on labor that you propose.

  • ||

    As to your point, i dont see how burning cars in paris has anything to do with getting the peach crop out in Georgia

    Ok, I'll happily leave out Paris and burning cars. But that doesn't negate the point, that being that changes in the electorate will obviously produce changes in political preferences.

    Given that overwhelmingly, immigrants skew to the left - something even Reason was forced to acknowledge, what will the effect be on the economy be if immigration results in our political system skewing towards a more centralized economy?

    Another economics question - I understand when things becomes scarce, their price rises. If we're experiencing a shortage of labor such that we need to import it, why have wages been stagnant for the last several years, at least?

    as a follow up, i'll also point out that your analogy is exactly a product of France's failure to properly liberalize the openness of labor markets to immigrants - not a product of immigration itself.

    So the riots are the fault of society? So much for individual responsibility! That's a rather quaint view from a libertarian!

  • ||

    So the riots are the fault of society? So much for individual responsibility! That's a rather quaint view from a libertarian!

    Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?

  • ||

    While "open borders" certainly has a political precident, it sure as hell isn't derived from classical liberalism or libertarianism, the claims of Cato and Reason notwithstanding.

    Convenient of you to ignore the claims of the Libertarian Party as well. Namely,

    We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property.



    Yes, there are economists who argue the benefits of open immigration.

    But I have yet to encounter a iibertarian economist who ever argued such a thing.


    So of the 500-some economists who signed Alex Tabarrok's Open Letter on Immigration, you think the number of libertarians among them is zero?

  • ||

    Secondly, every right you claim imposes a corresponding restriction on somebody else's freedom. You're claim to a right to life is a restriction on someone else's freedom to kill you. You're claim to a right of property is restriction of someone else's right to have use of it.

    This is a hopelessly broken way to derive a rights-based society or political system. If you can't resist using the word "freedom" in the phrase "the freedom to kill you", I recommend you not use it in such an argument.

    It is much more reliable to equate "freedom" and "right". If you do not have the right to kill someone, you do not have the freedom to. Much easier.

    And, obviously, a nation's claim to sovereignty is a restriction on another population's right to occupy it's territory.

    Here, however, you are stretching a "right", which applies to an individual, into a nation's "claim". In so doing you are ignoring the rights of individuals within the nation who do not consent to the nation's chosen immigration restrictions.

    I don't think anyone is arguing that a nation does not have the authority to prevent the entry of people who are, as the LP platform puts it, threats to security, health, or property. But when people argue for general restrictions or quotas, the onus is on them to prove that the mere allowance of new people inside the borders is a grave threat to the society. Vague worries of demographic change don't cut it.

  • ||


    Convenient of you to ignore the claims of the Libertarian Party as well.


    Convenient of you to ignore that party platforms are generally compromises between factions, and are not necessarily the views of most, or even many, of the members or candidates of the party.

    In fact, I already posted the views of John Hospers, who was, in fact, the very first Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1972. Read them yourself:

    http://mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_3.pdf

    So of the 500-some economists who signed Alex Tabarrok's Open Letter on Immigration, you think the number of libertarians among them is zero?

    Zero or close to it. Name them.

    In any event, do I need to remind you communism was also an economic/political system designed by an economist? It seems Karl Marx ignored the same thing most of the economists who think open borders is a great idea ignore: that people don't necessarily want the things that economists think they should want, nor value the things economists think they should value.

    I submit that the flaw lies with economists and economics. Not people.

    This is a hopelessly broken way to derive a rights-based society or political system. If you can't resist using the word "freedom" in the phrase "the freedom to kill you", I recommend you not use it in such an argument.

    "Freedom" implies the freedom to act. To kill someone is an action. I will continue to use the argument.

    It is much more reliable to equate "freedom" and "right". If you do not have the right to kill someone, you do not have the freedom to. Much easier.

    Based on what, do you or do you not have that right?

    Here, however, you are stretching a "right", which applies to an individual, into a nation's "claim". In so doing you are ignoring the rights of individuals within the nation who do not consent to the nation's chosen immigration restrictions.

    You've yet to establish that the non-consent of those who don't agree with a country's immigration policy constitutes a right. There is certainly no such thing as a right pick and choose which laws one feels like obeying.

    But when people argue for general restrictions or quotas, the onus is on them to prove that the mere allowance of new people inside the borders is a grave threat to the society. Vague worries of demographic change don't cut it.

    Given that a nation, like every other society from a bowling team to the United Nations, has the right to choose it's criteria for membership or use of it's facilities, it not only has the rightful authority to exclude based on worries of demographic change, but on economic concerns, cultural concerns, religious concerns, ethnic concerns, or if they don't like your necktie. It has the authority to establish whatever criteria it damn well pleases, for whatever reason it damn well pleases. Period.

  • GILMORE||

    So you're like, a "serious libertarian", and you think Nation-States can control the necktie preferences of the population?

    Thats new.

  • GILMORE||


    So the riots are the fault of society? So much for individual responsibility! That's a rather quaint view from a libertarian!


    No, you misunderstood me. It is the french states huge public payroll employees that prevent their own immigrant natives from getting jobs. Hence the car burning, etc.

  • ||

    So you're like, a "serious libertarian", and you think Nation-States can control the necktie preferences of the population?

    It's a been a long, long time since I referred to myself as a libertarian, mostly because I got fed up with hearing idiocy like this passed off as "liberty". I suppose I might be considered something of a small c conservative in the Kirkian sense that I'm not an ideologue, and I'm suspicious of all ideologies. I really don't worry about it. My views are my views, and I'll leave the labeling to those who are concerned with labels.

    What I said was a nation can define the criteria by which it grants admittance, not that it can control the necktie preferences of it's population.

    However, the proposition that clothing may be regulated is hardly outrageous or radical or unprecedented. Try walking down the street naked and see what it gets you....

  • Mike Laursen||

    I don't care if they have a paraplegic wife and 3 autistic sons. They are here illegally and I have no sympathy for them.

    Tracy, in all seriousness, you would have literally no sympathy for someone in this situation?

    It's doing it right now but not very well because the wall is so short and the Border Patrol doesn't have the man power to patrol the whole length of both borders.

    How much do you estimate it would cost to close the border effectively?

    When a noncitizen receives Government subsidies for anything from school to medical care, that is now money that could have went to help the citizens of this country.

    Are you saying that illegal immigrants do not pay into the system?

  • Mike Laursen||

    When a noncitizen works, a citizen can't.

    If you heard that someone from Alabama was moving to California to take a job there, would you assume that person was taking the job away from a Californian?

    Do you think there are millions of Americans who want jobs doing janitorial work and housecleaning, picking fruit, washing dishes, digging ditches and cleaning up construction sites?

  • ||

    @Gilmore:
    >>You're falling into the "limited number of jobs" trope that lonewacko throws out, and it's patently false. Since where are there a fixed number of jobs? Have you read anything about the vast shortage of farm labor?
    ::Stop trying to set up a straw man. I said nothing about a limit on jobs. I said that a citizen may want a job which a noncitizen has taken and as such, the person with the right to be here can't get it.
    >>You have to either bring some data to the table, or give it up. The simple fact is that cheap labor has made a wide variety of US industries boom over the 90s, and restricting immigration hurts "americans" far worse than it provides any net benefit.
    The rest of your non-spacebar'd comments are basically meaningless repetitions of the first factual error, and demanding the " asteful enforcement of a stupid and self destructive law"... the key point i made above you failed to address
    ::First off something must be wrong with your browser because I'm looking at my post in Firefox and it has spaces.
    Secondly it is not a factual error. I said that a citizen may want a job which a noncitizen has taken and as such, the person with the right to be here can't get it. While there may be an unlimited amount of total jobs available, there are only a finite available that meet the specifications that any given person wants, such as location or pay. I also stated that noncitizens take government subsidies through school and medical aid which a citizen can no longer receive. Do you really want me to find data that shows that when something is given to one person it is no longer available to be given to another?

  • ||

    @Mike Laursen:
    >>Tracy, in all seriousness, you would have literally no sympathy for someone in this situation?
    ::In all seriousness I don't. Too be honest about it I wouldn't have sympathy if they were citizens.
    >>How much do you estimate it would cost to close the border effectively?
    ::A lot of money. I know and understand that. It has to be done though even if you subscribe to the belief that only criminals should be kept out because otherwise you have no effective ability to do that.
    >>Are you saying that illegal immigrants do not pay into the system?
    ::No. I am saying that when a noncitizen receives something from the government, a citizen can't. There is only a finite amount of resources that the government can spread around so when the government gives some of those resources to a noncitizen then a citizen cannot receive any.
    >>If you heard that someone from Alabama was moving to California to take a job there, would you assume that person was taking the job away from a Californian?
    ::And two citizens competing for the same job has what relevance to the question at hand? Competition is a good thing, it allows for the best person to fit a role. The problem is that illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed to compete as they shouldn't be here.
    >>Do you think there are millions of Americans who want jobs doing janitorial work and housecleaning, picking fruit, washing dishes, digging ditches and cleaning up construction sites?
    ::If the pay was right. Before you start in let me say something. People will do things if they feel the pay is equal to the task. When it isn't people don't want to do it. That is why non-labor intensive jobs such as Doctors, nurses, and teachers are in such demand right now. They do not get paid enough to want to do it. It's the same with labor intensive jobs. If you raise the pay people would do it.
    Ok. Now you can start in on how having low paying jobs are better for America.

  • ||

    Convenient of you to ignore that party platforms are generally compromises between factions, and are not necessarily the views of most, or even many, of the members or candidates of the party.

    If the compromise is open borders, exactly what is the even more extreme position that is being compromised? I think you'd find that the truth is that a simple open borders plank with explicit exceptions for for-cause security and health concerns is the majority position among those who write the Libertarian Party platform -- convention after convention after convention.

    In fact, I already posted the views of John Hospers, who was, in fact, the very first Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1972.

    I think he's wrong. Do you have a point? I did not say "all libertarians believe in open borders." It is generally incorrect to say "all libertarians believe X" for pretty much any value of X.

    Zero or close to it. Name them.

    I would call many of those listed "libertarian economists," but I'd rather not label them such without being certain they would call themselves that. I must ask, though: If that list is not rife with libertarians, just who do you think is on it?

    Nonetheless, I'll quote an economist I know who's not on the list and who does call himself a libertarian...

    In my opinion, the restriction on immigration is a mistake: we should abolish it tomorrow and reopen the most successful attack on poverty the world has ever seen.



    -- David Friedman, "Open the Gates", The Machinery of Freedom

    Now you have encountered a libertarian economist who argues for open borders. Does that change anything for you?

  • ||

    You've yet to establish that the non-consent of those who don't agree with a country's immigration policy constitutes a right.

    This is one of the basic principles underlying libertarian thinking. Individuals have rights. Collectives have rights to the extent they express and protect individual rights. Collectives do not have the legitimate authority to abrogate individual rights.

    When a nation violates the individual rights of any of its residents -- unless it is defending a compelling public interest -- it is behaving illegitimately. This is as true for drug laws as it is for immigration quotas.

    There is certainly no such thing as a right pick and choose which laws one feels like obeying.

    One has the obligation to obey just laws and the right, if not the obligation, to disobey unjust laws.

    Given that a nation, like every other society from a bowling team to the United Nations, has the right to choose it's criteria for membership or use of it's facilities, it not only has the rightful authority to exclude based on worries of demographic change, but on economic concerns, cultural concerns, religious concerns, ethnic concerns, or if they don't like your necktie.

    I would concur that a nation has the authority -- in fact the right -- to define the terms by which people may become citizens. But, then, citizenship is not a right. Citizenship is a bundle of entitlements, privileges, and responsibilities: the nation does not violate rights when it restricts to whom and how it hands citizenship out.

    However, the nation does violate rights when it restricts without specific cause who may become a resident or worker within the territory controlled by the nation.

  • ||

    Do you really want me to find data that shows that when something is given to one person it is no longer available to be given to another?

    What would be interesting is finding data that shows that whenever someone willingly is found to do work and someone willingly pays for the work, that somehow the economy is worse off.

    We live in a positive-sum universe. One person's productivity does not in general deprive another person's productivity.

    And two citizens competing for the same job has what relevance to the question at hand? Competition is a good thing, it allows for the best person to fit a role. The problem is that illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed to compete as they shouldn't be here.

    What if the best person to fit a role is an immigrant? What if that immigrant is not allowed in because the immigration laws are too restrictive? Why do you cede to government the authority to determine who should be in the country and who shouldn't?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>What would be interesting is finding data that shows that whenever someone willingly is found to do work and someone willingly pays for the work, that somehow the economy is worse off.
    ::I'm not talking about the economy. I'm talking about someones job or federal aid being taken away and given to someone else. Please stay on track.
    >>We live in a positive-sum universe. One person's productivity does not in general deprive another person's productivity.
    ::Except that it does. As I stated in my previous post, while there in a pretty much infinite amount of jobs available, there is only a finite amount that any given person is willing to work. When those fill up they need to move to jobs that they don't want to work. While it is true that someone can always find work, when an illegal immigrant takes this persons job they deprive them of that job.
    >>What if the best person to fit a role is an immigrant?
    ::Then let an immigrant do the work. I have nothing against immigrants in general, just the ones that either come or stay illegally.
    >>What if that immigrant is not allowed in because the immigration laws are too restrictive?
    ::First off I am going to assume you mean illegal immigrant because otherwise they do have the right to work here and compete for jobs as they are working towards their citizenship. Well, just like I can't get certain jobs because I don't have the required skills, they shouldn't get the job because they don't have the right to be here.
    >>Why do you cede to government the authority to determine who should be in the country and who shouldn't?
    ::Because somebody has to be the final authority.

  • ||

    While it is true that someone can always find work, when an illegal immigrant takes this persons job they deprive them of that job.

    And when a legal immigrant takes this person's job, they deprive them of that job. And when a citizen migrant from another state takes this person's job, they deprive them of that job.

    Well, just like I can't get certain jobs because I don't have the required skills, they shouldn't get the job because they don't have the right to be here.

    Don't you get tired of answering the question "Why should immigration be restricted?" with the answer "Because illegal immigration is illegal"?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>And when a legal immigrant takes this person's job, they deprive them of that job. And when a citizen migrant from another state takes this person's job, they deprive them of that job.
    ::Except that as I stated in earlier posts all of those people have the right to compete for that job because they have the right to be here. Illegal immigrants don't.
    >>Don't you get tired of answering the question "Why should immigration be restricted?" with the answer "Because illegal immigration is illegal"?
    ::I never said that. I have given my answer to that question multiple times in most of my responses and replies to other commenters.

  • ||

    Okay, Tracy,

    Let's say the law said that anyone who arrives at a US embassy, consulate, or entry point and demonstrates that they are not a hazard to the US can receive an unlimited visa. This is roughly the law that existed prior to the 1917-1924 immigration tightening.

    In that case all immigrants are legal and you would find that they all have the right to live and work in the US.

    Then you would have no complaints, right?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Competition is a good thing, it allows for the best person to fit a role. The problem is that illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed to compete as they shouldn't be here.

    What if, as MikeP asks, we made it legal for them to be here?

    Ok. Now you can start in on how having low paying jobs are better for America.

    That's not an argument I would ever make. I would make the argument that we shouldn't interfere in the free association between employer and employee.

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    No. While some of the reasoning behind the Immigrantion Acts of 1917 and 1924 were racist, the other part of it was that the large influx of immigrants was lowering the wages of the citizens. That is why the quotas were put into effect. I wouldn't agree with abolishment of quotas at all and just as you are fighting to open the borders to all, I would fight to close the borders to most. To answer your question more directly, I would have complaints although less of one since they at least followed the law to get in.

  • ||

    @Mike Laursen:
    Ok. Sorry about that. I hate it when people put words in my mouth so I will ask you to forgive me, that I did the same.

  • ||

    - Tracy, in all seriousness, you would have literally no sympathy for someone in this situation?

    - In all seriousness I don't. Too be honest about it I wouldn't have sympathy if they were citizens.


    Tracy, what does it take for you to have sympathy for someone? What if the kid's parents died? What if he developed multiple sclerosis?

    I mean, this kid, through no fault of his own, will have to leave everything he knows and live in an impoverished foreign country for the foreseeable future. Are you a sociopath?

  • ||

    @Dave2:
    >>Tracy, what does it take for you to have sympathy for someone?
    ::Not much.
    >>What if the kid's parents died? What if he developed multiple sclerosis?
    ::Doesn't change a thing.
    >>I mean, this kid, through no fault of his own, will have to leave everything he knows and live in an impoverished foreign country for the foreseeable future.
    ::A lot of parents make bad choices which the kids have to live with. In this kids case he can correct their mistake by getting a student Visa and applying for citizenship.
    >>Are you a sociopath?
    ::Not at all.

  • ||

    While some of the reasoning behind the Immigrantion Acts of 1917 and 1924 were racist, the other part of it was that the large influx of immigrants was lowering the wages of the citizens.

    But they weren't lowering the wages of the citizens. Immigrants modestly lower the wages only of those they directly compete against -- for the most part, more recent immigrants. The vast majority of the native population sees their incomes and standards of living rise as more human capital with more complementary skills finds itself gainfully employed.

    In the meantime, mistaken fears of the effects of immigration on wages lead governments to violate the rights of citizens who wish to employ them or house them and of the immigrants themselves, who differ from citizens solely by a characteristic of birth.

    If it was your understanding that immigration did not lower citizen wages, would you then be for open borders?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>But they weren't lowering the wages of the citizens. Immigrants modestly lower the wages only of those they directly compete against -- for the most part, more recent immigrants.
    ::Ok. So do you think that the immigrants that are already here deserve to have their wages lowered? Also, citizens work low paying jobs just like immigrants do.
    >>The vast majority of the native population sees their incomes and standards of living rise as more human capital with more complementary skills finds itself gainfully employed.
    ::Sorry to say this but "the vast majority" is not all. The unskilled laborers who depend on that money to get by do count as part of the native population.
    >>In the meantime, mistaken fears of the effects of immigration on wages lead governments to violate the rights of citizens who wish to employ them or house them and of the immigrants themselves, who differ from citizens solely by a characteristic of birth.
    ::You just said that wages are lowered for at least one part of the country so it is not a mistaken fear. It is also not a right to be able to hire anyone you want for a job. You can't, for example, hire someone on death row. Well, I guess you could but they would never show up to work. What I mean is that there are always certain segments of the population that are not allowed to be hired for different reasons. In this case, nothing is stopping a company from hiring a non-citizen, non-immigrant workforce. They just have to have a place in another country where they can work. Also, they can correct that different birth thing by becoming legal immigrants and citizens.
    >>If it was your understanding that immigration did not lower citizen wages, would you then be for open borders?
    ::No. Not unless nobodies wages were lowered and unemployment didn't increase. If those two conditions were met then I probably would agree.

  • ||

    So do you think that the immigrants that are already here deserve to have their wages lowered?

    Deserve? It isn't a matter of deserve. No one owes anyone a job or a wage or a guarantee of a job or a wage in the future. Furthermore, I see no justice in using the force of law to protect the prior wave of immigrants who tripled their income from seeing their newly huge wage drop a few percent in the presence of the next wave of immigrants trying to triple their income.

    Also, they can correct that different birth thing by becoming legal immigrants and citizens.

    Well, they could if the quotas weren't so low. So in terms of difficulty of "correcting" a condition of birth, citizenship lies somewhere between race and sex.

    Not unless nobodies wages were lowered and unemployment didn't increase. If those two conditions were met then I probably would agree.

    Given that a citizen child coming of age will similarly cause someone's wages to decrease and increase unemployment, do you favor restrictive quotas on work permits or is this problem better handled by birth permits?

    And given that automation has an order of magnitude worse effect on low skilled labor than immigration does, how would you protect citizen jobs against new technologies?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>Deserve? It isn't a matter of deserve. No one owes anyone a job or a wage or a guarantee of a job or a wage in the future. Furthermore, I see no justice in using the force of law to protect the prior wave of immigrants who tripled their income from seeing their newly huge wage drop a few percent in the presence of the next wave of immigrants trying to triple their income.
    ::Deserve was the wrong word but I can't think of the right one. What I mean is that you talk so much about how immigrants increase the wages of everyone except for the low wage workers that are mostly immigrants. What i take from this is that as long as it is only the unskilled laborers that have their wages lowered. While I know that there is never a guarantee of income or even a job, you keep touting the idea that immigrants are great. I am just pointing out that they may not seem so great if you were one of those unskilled laborers who has their wages lowered so that everyone above them can get rich.
    >>Well, they could if the quotas weren't so low. So in terms of difficulty of "correcting" a condition of birth, citizenship lies somewhere between race and sex.
    ::Like I said before. Quotas are low because so many people either come here illegally or overstay their Visas. If both of those ended, like I said before, by the building of the Mexico-America and Canada-America wall as well as people allowed in with a visa were kept track of then we could raise quotas for legal immigrants.
    >>Given that a citizen child coming of age will similarly cause someone's wages to decrease and increase unemployment, do you favor restrictive quotas on work permits or is this problem better handled by birth permits?
    ::A citizen child coming of age is by definition a citizen which means that they have the right to compete with other citizens for jobs. What do you not understand about citizens getting jobs and shipping people in to get them?
    >>And given that automation has an order of magnitude worse effect on low skilled labor than immigration does, how would you protect citizen jobs against new technologies?
    ::You don't. What I am against is shipping people in to get jobs when it would lower the wages of unskilled laborers. Other reasons for a decrease such as automation or a drastic increase in childbirths are a given for any industry. Bringing people in to lower them even more shouldn't be.

  • ||

    I am just pointing out that they may not seem so great if you were one of those unskilled laborers who has their wages lowered so that everyone above them can get rich.

    Just to clarify the impact on the wages of the unskilled, studies have shown it to be between -4.8% and -0.4% for every 10% of immigrants in the workforce. The impact is not large. It can be overcome by finding any complementary skill that differentiates one from the newly immigrating unskilled.

    What do you not understand about citizens getting jobs and shipping people in to get them?

    I am not a proponent of "shipping people in" to get jobs. I am a proponent of free migration of free people.

    I argue the modest economic good of immigration to correct the mistaken notion that immigration is an economic bad that requires mitigation through protectionist law. But my main reason to support immigration is fundamental individual rights. I do not believe it is legitimate to restrict the travel, residence, or labor of an individual based on his not being a US citizen.

    Since you seem quite happy to prevent a prospective immigrant from tripling his wage in order to save a high school dropout from seeing a slight decrease in his wage, I am curious how much more moral weight you put on a citizen over a noncitizen. Is it ten times more? Twenty?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>Just to clarify the impact on the wages of the unskilled, studies have shown it to be between -4.8% and -0.4% for every 10% of immigrants in the workforce. The impact is not large. It can be overcome by finding any complementary skill that differentiates one from the newly immigrating unskilled.
    ::Before I answer I have a question. Is this 10% of the entire workforce or is this 10% of the whatever the current immigration amount is?
    >>I am not a proponent of "shipping people in" to get jobs. I am a proponent of free migration of free people.
    ::Yet again. Bad choice of words. I guess I meant letting people come in to get them.
    >>I argue the modest economic good of immigration to correct the mistaken notion that immigration is an economic bad that requires mitigation through protectionist law. But my main reason to support immigration is fundamental individual rights. I do not believe it is legitimate to restrict the travel, residence, or labor of an individual based on his not being a US citizen.
    ::People can and do have the ability to go anywhere they choose. They just need a visa or to be a citizen. Even under the rules that some have brought up, criminals wouldn't be allowed in. Understand something. I believe in immigration and I think that the quotas we have right now are too strict. I wish we could lower those quotas but we won't be able ti until we make it pretty much impossible for someone to cross the border illegally or overstay their visa. Once that happens we can lower the quotas, but I do believe quotas are still needed. If, after the illegal immigrants are not able to stay and the quotas are enlarged and we are able to support the growth with no loss of wage or jobs for citizens, I will gladly support an open border policy. The problem is that i don't see any of that happening any time soon so right now the best I can do is try and get the ball rolling by closing the borders and getting rid of the overstays. Once that happens I am all for going onto the next part which would be increasing quotas.
    >>Since you seem quite happy to prevent a prospective immigrant from tripling his wage in order to save a high school dropout from seeing a slight decrease in his wage, I am curious how much more moral weight you put on a citizen over a noncitizen. Is it ten times more? Twenty?
    ::I don't really understand your question as morals don't come into it. If you mean do I feel more bad when something befalls a citizen than a non-citizen I will say I have already answered that question with a resounding I don't care about either of them.

  • ||

    Is this 10% of the entire workforce or is this 10% of the whatever the current immigration amount is?

    10% of the entire preexisting workforce.

    I don't really understand your question as morals don't come into it.

    You clearly prefer citizens over immigrants because you believe in forcefully preventing immigrants from doubling or tripling their well beings in order to protect marginal citizens from a modest wage hit -- even though the average citizen benefits from the immigration.

    What moral calculus leads you to that conclusion?

    If you mean do I feel more bad when something befalls a citizen than a non-citizen I will say I have already answered that question with a resounding I don't care about either of them.

    If that's the case, don't you think it is best to let employer and employee, landlord and renter, transporter and passenger figure it out in free association among themselves regardless of where the people concerned were born rather than have government dictate the conditions of their association?

  • ||

    @MikeP:
    >>10% of the entire preexisting workforce.
    ::Hmmm... didn't realize that so few workers could have such a detrimental impact on the wages of an entire group of workers. In that case the impact can also be overcome by not letting them in in the first place. Also, while a drop in 4.8% of a given wage may not seem like much, when you are what has been termed the working poor it is quite a bit of money. A drop of .4% on the other hand, while less, still has the problem of being a drop in income for the people that need it most.
    >>You clearly prefer citizens over immigrants because you believe in forcefully preventing immigrants from doubling or tripling their well beings in order to protect marginal citizens from a modest wage hit -- even though the average citizen benefits from the immigration.
    ::I don't prefer one over the other. I just understand that some people are luckier than others which in this case means they were born in the US versus somewhere else. Just as someone born in the US in poverty with little or no education has to work to get above a minimum wage labor intensive job, someone outside of the US has to work to get in. The fact that one is harder than the other doesn't matter as both are just trying to improve their lives.
    >>What moral calculus leads you to that conclusion?
    ::None. Morality shouldn't play into this question at all.
    >>If that's the case, don't you think it is best to let employer and employee, landlord and renter, transporter and passenger figure it out in free association among themselves regardless of where the people concerned were born rather than have government dictate the conditions of their association?
    ::No. Just because I don't care doesn't mean that the people who will be affected by what you want, don't.

  • ||

    I don't prefer one over the other. I just understand that some people are luckier than others which in this case means they were born in the US versus somewhere else.

    Being born in the US is indeed luckier than being born elsewhere. But using the law to prevent a person born elsewhere from entering the US to voluntarily associate with residents of the US and thus to raise his standard of living is not luck: it is a bias in the law. It is the use of the power of the state to enforce a preference for the lucky over the unlucky.

    And by favoring such a law you are either exhibiting a preference or you are again answering the normative question "What should immigration law be?" with the positive statement "Illegal immigration is illegal."

    Morality shouldn't play into this question at all.

    I find it utterly immoral that the law abrogates the individual rights of a person to travel, reside, and labor where he wishes solely on the basis of his birthplace -- just as immoral as if it were on the basis of his race.

  • ||

    >>Being born in the US is indeed luckier than being born elsewhere. But using the law to prevent a person born elsewhere from entering the US to voluntarily associate with residents of the US and thus to raise his standard of living is not luck: it is a bias in the law. It is the use of the power of the state to enforce a preference for the lucky over the unlucky.
    ::No. The state is the entity that allows them to come in in the first place. While you may want open borders, the fact that only limited amounts of people are allowed through is not the same as nobobdy can enter.
    >>And by favoring such a law you are either exhibiting a preference or you are again answering the normative question "What should immigration law be?" with the positive statement "Illegal immigration is illegal."
    ::No matter how many times you try and twist my words Im not going to say what you want. My answer to that question has been from the very beginning of the conversation that immigrants should be allowed in and much larger amounts than are allowed in right now but we cannot do that until both overstayed Visas and border crossings are stopped. To be honest I am getting sick of having to explain this to you so many times since you just don't seem to get it.
    >>I find it utterly immoral that the law abrogates the individual rights of a person to travel, reside, and labor where he wishes solely on the basis of his birthplace -- just as immoral as if it were on the basis of his race.
    ::Honestly didn't realize that a person could change his race just by following the proper procedures but I guess you learn something new every day.

    I'm going to move onto another article. I am really getting tired of having to answer your two or three times only to have you ask me again. You can take this as a victory if you want, I don't really care. I'll see you later.

  • ||

    Honestly didn't realize that a person could change his race just by following the proper procedures but I guess you learn something new every day.

    You can't, just as you can't change your birthplace. But you can get yourself a permit from the state that allows you to travel, reside, or work, e.g., work permits issued by Apartheid South Africa or immigrant visas issued by the US.

    You can take this as a victory if you want

    Nope. Not a victory. Just an opportunity for discussion.

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