Iran, So Far Away


A sad story of what American communities can lose by strict enforcement of immigration laws here. An family from Iran—the artist father feared persecution for cartoons critical of the regime there—with deep roots and many contributions to Austin, Texas', artistic community are being booted from the country after their asylum appeal was denied. It may or may not have to do with post-9/11 fears of Middle Easterners. It will definitely hurt the six-member family and the arts community of Austin, with no discernable benefit.

NEXT: Penn vs. State

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  1. Immigration remains one of the fault lines of the Republican party. Actions like this one, where otherwise law-abiding (and tax paying) residents are expelled for no other reason than “the law is on the books so we may as well enforce it” are cheered by talk show hosts and their audiences all over America.

  2. Unfortunately, not many folks out there are willing to back a libertarian position on immigration. And frankly, unless one does, one comes off as a hypocrite for playing up stories like this, when after all, the right to free movement is owed to all, not just valued artists. We need to make “big picture” arguments on this issue! We need to make the philosophical argument for the right of free movement across borders and economic arguments that challenge the bogus mainstream view that immigrants are a “drain” on the economy! We need to show the futility and harm in trying to suppress people’s freedoms! We need to draw as much attention to the plain wrongness of the war on immigrants as there is on the war on drugs!! Oh, uh…well, hmmm, I guess we have a little ways to go there too, huh…….

  3. There was a really sad story about the failure of U.S. immigration laws a year or so ago, too. Anyway, the end result was that a few people actually got killed when the two skyscrapers they were in collapsed. I’ll see if I can dig up a link.

  4. Re Janos: Not only a good example of what we’re up against, but also a good illustration of why sad stories aren’t going to convince anyone and why using them is intellectually suspect anyway.

    Of course, for Janos, the same holds true in reverse. I take it he or she believes in (magically) holding immigration to zero?

  5. Reduce immigration to zero? What a wonderful idea. I bet there are more than a couple of Indian tribes who wished they had thought of that a couple of centuries ago.

    Seriously, I can never understand how so many people can take such a hard line against immigration; without it, virtually all of us would be living somewhere else.

  6. No, if immigration were stopped today I’d continue to live where I am.

  7. I’m opposed to immigration because 90% of the USA population growth is caused by it (both legal and illegal). I feel population increase contributes to a deteriorating overall-quality-of-life. From more traffic, air pollution, resource depletion to species extinction, increased incivility in the society, etc. See for a much more detailed exposition. I don’t think we’ll get a handle on any of our social or environmental problems until human population is controlled, and immigration is a logical and obvious place to start. Therefore I think the borders should be sealed, and a 3 year moratorium on legal immigration be instituted to give us time to formulate a Immigration Policy.

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