Amnesty Intranational

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New at Reason: Nick Gillespie supports Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's plan to decriminalize millions of illegal immigrants.

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  1. Here’s a crazy suggestion: get an agreement with European nations for them to accept some of these mostly Catholic immigrants (this would be voluntary for the immigrants) Then Europe could lessen its demographic and cultural forecast of an aging and less-Christian population. We’d get to allow immigrants to register and Europe would get some youth (and offset their current immigrants’ influence).

    Now if only we could convince everyone (Muslims, illegal immigrants, foreign governments, and French unions) to put aside their differences, my plan would succeed.

  2. Ah yes, the devil’s in the details Jon.

    🙂

    PS The anti-immigration (they sould respect our laws, no matter how absurd, rather than change the absurd laws) folk such as Sean Hannity are already elbow deep in gristley red meat on this one.

  3. What’s so crazy about having immigration laws? Efforts like this reward criminals at the expense of law-abiding immigrants who play by the rules and come here legally.

  4. I have a sinking feeling that Il Duce… er Tom Ridge just wants to “afford” these people some legal status so he can find them if need be. I mean total control can’t happen if 8-12 million people aren’t registered, tagged, de-loused, and monitored like the rest of us will be in a few years time.

  5. Well, if Tom Ridge wants it to happen, its a dead cert that it never will. If history is any guide, that is.

    Unfortunately, GoonFood, legalizing the current crop of immigration criminals will only serve as an incentive for a whole ‘nother wave of them to come on over. Tom Ridge is easily stupid enough to not realize this, so I’m not saying you are wrong to impute such an idea to him, of course.

  6. According to Ridge: “So you don’t reward that type of conduct by turning over a citizenship certificate. You determine how you can legalize their presence…”

    In other words, he’s speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    The DREAM Act lets illegal aliens pay tuition at the in-state rate. Out-of-state U.S. citizens will continue to pay the out-of-state rate.

    Let me restate that: some U.S. citizens will pay higher tuition than illegal aliens. Something is deeply wrong with that idea.

    “zaftig xenophobes… rabid restrictionists”

    Cute!

    “As comments by Tancredo and others suggest, they are, at rock bottom, about cultural identity, especially fears of mixing and mongrelization, of becoming tainted by?or attracted to?dusky hordes…”

    Really, why not just cut to the chase and refer to goose-stepping or something?

    It’s correct that the fears are about cultural identity: this is the U.S., not Mexico or some other country. Perhaps you should read and consider the lessons offered by Mexifornia:

    “But Hanson, a man with Mexican-American nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law, and prospective sons-in-law… In contrast to today?s failed immigration and assimilation policies, Mexican immigration to America before 1970 was a great success story. The old assimilationist model worked. Hanson describes civic education in his predominately Mexican-American school in the small town of Selma in the heart of California?s Central Valley in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They learned a “tough Americanism” with “biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, stories about Lou Gehrig, recitations from Longfellow, demonstrations of how to fold the flag, a repertoire of patriot songs to master.” He “can still remember” his fellow students singing “God Bless America” with the “Spanish accented refrains” of “Stand b?sid her…”

    I’ve give you points for being honest about not differentiating between legal and illegal immigration, even if you’re wrong about it.

    Anyone who wants to see why an amnesty would be a bad idea should read this article. Bonus: it’s got actual numbers.

    How about increasing the number of talented legal immigrants, reducing the number of not-as-useful legal immigrants (family reunification), and actually enforcing the immigration laws both on the border and in the interior for a change? Let’s see where that gets us. It might make the European, super-rich, elites of Mexico made at us, but, so what?

  7. I have a younger brother going to a university a couple of states away. It would be seriously nice for him if he didn’t have to pay out of state tution. Maybe if he travelled abroad for a year he could establish residency in another country and then come back and get in state tution. Sweet deal, but it seems a little confused doesn’t it. Even legally visiting foreign exchange students have to pay out of state tution, but if they just “snuck in” they’d get the same great education but on the cheap.

  8. Why give special immigration priority only to those who have demonstrated a willingness to break the law? If we were going to open the borders completely, that would be one thing. But I can’t see why we would open our borders only to proven law breakers and keep out those who don’t like to live within the law.

  9. What’s so crazy about having immigration laws? Efforts like this reward criminals at the expense of law-abiding immigrants who play by the rules and come here legally.

    I agree, the entire notion of having an amnesty for illegal aliens is pure idiocy. Just as the amnesty in the 1980s only encouraged others to break the law, this will do the same. Which means local and State governments in the border States are going to continue to be swamped with greater demand for taxpayer funded education, law enforcement, and health services not to mention the increased national security risk.

    This is a terrible idea.

  10. Here is a line from Nick’s article where he quotes a Peter Brimelow, presumably a nativist of some sort.
    “If, through some miracle of genetic recombination, Virginia Dare is reborn in Ms. Locklear’s beautiful face, [Dare’s grandfather and colonial governor of Roanoke] John White might well have recognized her”

    What does this mean ? Anybody ?

  11. Lonewacko said –

    “How about increasing the number of talented legal immigrants, reducing the number of not-as-useful legal immigrants”

    Care to go out on a limb and produce your definition of “talented legal immigrants” ? Most anti-immigration organisations (FAIR etc) are against things like the H1B program which is ostensibly about “talented legal immigrants”.

  12. I knew this thread would only confirm the suspicion that most of the posters here are nothing more than Republicans in sheep’s clothing…

    So, setting aside the asinine argument that illegal immigration is bad because it is illegal and illegal immigrants are, by definition, breaking the law(this is sort of like the tautology that drugs are bad because they are illegal and that they are illegal because they are bad)-

    Isn’t the libertarian position that people should be able to freely trade their labor in a global market. That is, why would a libertarian believe it is right for the federal government to restrict who may work where and who employers must hire and not hire?

    “It’s correct that the fears are about cultural identity: this is the U.S., not Mexico or some other country.”

    What the fuck does that mean? Most immigrants I know, illegal and legal, came here partly because of what America represents (freedom, opportunity) and ALL of them express the desire to successfully integrate into US society. Unfortunately, it is backwards fuckers like Tom Tancredo and his vile brethren that makes integration all that much more difficult by marginalizing immigrants as “the other” and perpetuating the myth that all immigrants are inferior and here to pick crops.

    -dlc-

  13. >”Most anti-immigration organisations (FAIR etc) are against things like the H1B program which is ostensibly about “talented legal immigrants”.

    Do you know what H1B is? Do you know what a “sponsor” is? Do you understand the vulnerability of an H1B vs. a citizen? That’s not the same as immigration.

    No offense to anyone’s granny, but bringing a granny over is probably a lot less value to society as a whole than bringing over a doctor.

  14. “ALL of them express the desire to successfully integrate into US society”

    Just a few minutes ago, I was speaking with a LILF who’s been here for almost a couple decades, and she referred to Mexico as “her country” and, while she wants to stay in the U.S., it’s obvious where her heart is. I’ve had very many discussions along those lines. What city are you in? How many immigrants do you speak with in an average month?

    “perpetuating the myth that all immigrants are inferior and here to pick crops.”

    But… isn’t it the “liberals” who want to create a new “semi-citizen” category and who constantly and falsely refer to The Jobs That Fat And Lazy Americans Won’t Do?

  15. Mr. Wacko:

    Yes, you are right in the sense that I was wrong to generalize from my own experience to all people and, yes, I have met many people who refer to their “home country” in a similar situation to the person you talked to(As to your questions: Portland and probably 10 – my wife is an immigrant as well). I think if someday I felt I had to leave the US to, say, Canada, I might have similar feelings about being glad where I ended up but with a sadness for leaving my ‘home.’ However, my point was merely that most people (with exceptions – especially the elderly)want to at least fit in and not be singled out for their accent or their skin color.

    It is the “cultural” argument that doesn’t really hold water. Just what is the American culture? One of the great things about our country (and celebrated by Reason) is that it is very fluid and full of choices. How much of current American culture was shaped by the western European Immigrants of the late 19th century? How about the influx of eastern and southern Europeans? How about black influence on popular culture over the last 100 years (okay – not exactly the same thing)? Why can’t the new wave of (latino and otherwise) immigrants contribute to our grand tradition of cultural influence and change? Has the ubiquitous presence of burrito stands, latin hip-hop, and spanish-language television really ruined American culture?

    As to your last point – yes, the idea of a semi-citizen is problematic (e.g. Turkish “guest workers” in Germany). As for the jobs Americans won’t do, did you read the story Gillespie’s article linked to? (https://reason.com/9504/garvin.apr.shtml)

    dlc

  16. “Do you know what H1B is?” Etc.

    Considerably better than you do & for reasons I am not going to go into here. A huge percentage of all kinds of foreign born high tech workers who are now citizens were on H1B’s at one point or another. A list of these folks would amount to a greatest-hits-of in not a few industries.
    It’s amazing how concerned the anti-immigrant crowd is about the vulnerabilities of “H1B vs. a citizen”.
    Meanwhile we are still waiting for your definition of “talented legal immigrants”. I’ve a feeling it’s going to be restrictive enough to shrink the pool down to a few 100 a year.

  17. Oh, by the way – I am not sure this amnesty is such a good idea either but for reasons that are completely different from Lonewacko’s. This kind of thing always impacts legal immigrants negatively in terms of processing times etc no matter what the INS/DHS spokesperson says on national TV.

  18. ” person would have had to lived in the same state for 3 years, and graduated from high school in that state”

    Mexican citizens drive over the border to birth babies; there’s actually a service in Korea that does the same. People have learned how to game our immigration laws. People will learn how to game the DREAM Act as well: simply move to the U.S. when their teen is 14 or so and – hey presto! – they’ll get a better deal than many U.S. citizens.

    Less of the bleeding-heart-of-Sally-Struthers and more of the public policy please.

  19. DLC wrote:

    I knew this thread would only confirm the suspicion that most of the posters here are nothing more than Republicans in sheep’s clothing…

    Would those be the posters who came out in favor of an amnesty plan for illegal aliens ala Ronald Reagan, George W Bush, and Tom Ridge?

    So, setting aside the asinine argument that illegal immigration is bad because it is illegal and illegal immigrants are, by definition, breaking the law(this is sort of like the tautology that drugs are bad because they are illegal and that they are illegal because they are bad)-

    Which is a strawman argument since the several posters who have expressed opposition or at least reservations about the proposed amnesty have usually made specific objections as to why they ? like most people – believe that illegal immigration is a bad thing because of the problems it creates (see below).

    Isn’t the libertarian position that people should be able to freely trade their labor in a global market. That is, why would a libertarian believe it is right for the federal government to restrict who may work where and who employers must hire and not hire?

    Because the only thing that immigration and international trade have in common is that they involve the crossing of borders. Other than that they are completely different as immigration entails a number of additional issues such concerns about terrorism and national security, the disproportionate number of crimes (non-immigration related) committed by illegal aliens, the drain on taxpayer-funded local and State services in border States such as education, health services, and law enforcement; and the problem of infectious diseases being brought into the country (although even trade carries that possibility as well which is probably why the Constitution makes provisions for inspections of goods). And you know what, the whole ?undermining the rule of law? thing which you earlier dismissed is legitimate as well because every time politicians enable behavior which creates a clear problem with an ?amnesty? it serves to encourage more of it while creating a disincentive to lawful immigrants who respect the law and generally make a net contribution.

  20. The DREAM program, and similar laws already enacted in several states don’t give illegal immigrants special stauts over any citizens. A person would have had to lived in the same state for 3 years, and graduated from high school in that state to qualify for instyate tuition rates. that is plenty more restrictive than the policy of citizxens getting instate tuition rates for living in a state for 1 year.
    And, does anyone really think of the kiddos that would qualify for the DREAM program as “known” lawbreakers. Are you really a criminal deserving punishment if your parents choose to take you with them to the US illegaly when you were a small child. Honestly!

  21. Public policy, eh ? OK. So get our hands dirty and hear your definition of “talented legal immigrants” – that mythical race of people who slip in and out of nativist lore. You have not done much in terms of contributing to the “public policy” debate yourself besides denying that nativists are xenophobes at heart.

  22. So let’s get our hands dirty …

  23. Here’s a detailed description of the selection process at Ellis Island. Note this: “Many were deported under the catchall, “likely to become a public charge.”

    Illegal immigration doesn’t give us the chance to prevent those who are going to take more than they give from coming here. Note, for instance, that a good percentage of the convicts in CA prisons are illegal aliens.

    A talented legal immigrant would be someone who had something to contribute, such as an occupation in demand.

    I used to live near a day laborer corner in L.A., and I’d drive by there and a few times I’d wait an hour or two while my car was being worked on at a shop there. As the day progressed, the fit day laborers would be hired and those who weren’t so fit would end up still waiting there after noon. It would seem that there was an oversupply of day laborers in that (and many other L.A.) locations. Therefore, if we had control over immigration, we could say to a prospective day laborer: sorry, we have enough day laborers already.

    Or, should we just let everybody in regardless of whether they’re going to become a public charge or committing crimes? That doesn’t make much sense, now does it?

    On a related note, I’ve just run across yet another wacky quote from Gil Cedillo, author of CA SB60:

    Sen. Gil Cedillo, the Los Angeles Democrat who authored the bill that would have allowed the undocumented to drive legally again, said that before his wife died last year he made a commitment to her to make the licensing of all who share our roads legal again. ?She was committed to ending the humiliation immigrants suffer when they are pulled over randomly, their cars are taken from them, and their families are left on the sidewalk,? he told The Sacramento Bee.

    As with other Cedillo quotes, it sounds good until you think about it for a bit. For instance, his justification for SB60 was because “they were here first.” Thinking about that, one wonders which country Gil thinks he represents.

    Here’s another Gil quote:

    “Latinos have displaced other work communities – clothing, hotel, and restaurant industries that used to be done by blacks and anglos… Since Latinos are now central to union revitalization, through immigration and high birth rates unions can be partisan for full Latino empowerment.”

  24. This amnesty plan for illegal aliens is indeed, as Senator Byrd pointed out, “sheer lunacy.” Fortunately, many libertarians (especially paleo-libertarians) are opposing the official libertarian position on the issue of immigration and borders.

    Above, I see that there is an entry about LAX airport. In case some people here have forgotten, there was a shooting at LAX on the Fourth of July last year. The person who did that shooting was supposed to have been deported, but he was granted amnesty from the Bush/Fox plan.

    Those people who are here illegally need to be deported, and go through the same process that those who do choose to respect and abide by our laws follow. It’s time to get serious about controlling our borders, securing our homeland, and preserving our cultural cohesiveness and national unity.

  25. According to this:

    In March 2000, Congress made public Department of Justice statistics showing that, over the previous five years, the INS had released over 35,000 criminal aliens instead of deporting them. Over 11,000 of those released went on to commit serious crimes, over 1,800 of which were violent ones (including 98 homicides, 142 sexual assaults, and 44 kidnappings). In 2001, thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court, the INS was forced to release into our society over 3,000 criminal aliens (who collectively had been convicted of 125 homicides, 387 sex offenses, and 772 assault charges).

  26. The only point you just brought up, is that we have too many people in our jails for non-violent drug crimes.

  27. So out of 35,000 people relseased, 1,800 went on to commit violent crimes. Doesn’t that just display that only about one out of twenty of those people who were sent into prison were sent bc of violent crimes?

  28. One of the things it illustrates is that those criminal aliens should have been deported (and never allowed reentry under any condition).

    As for percentages, I found a nice chart for you. It’s a snapshot of aliens in Florida prisons in 1/02. Only 1/5 were there for drugs; a like number were there for murder. (There’s a difference between prison and jail. If someone’s in prison, it’s usually for something serious.)

    Anyone have statistics for other states?

  29. “Or, should we just let everybody in regardless of whether they’re going to become a public charge or committing crimes?”

    Driving immigration into the black market reduces, not improves, our ability to screen out genuine undersirables, by 1) wasting the resources of those who would do the screening and 2) reducing the chances that those coming across the border will actually be reviewed by the screeners.

    The “cultural identity” argument would have a lot more merit if we were a country of ethnic Americans, speaking American, eating traditional American food, writing laws empowering the government to defend our traditional American culture from degeneration and corruption, and watching made for teevee movies of modern adaptations of traditional American mythology. But, as a polyglot, polylingual, polycultural mishmash that has always depended on immigration and always had numerous subgroups, the idea that immigrants might bring about cultural change shouldn’t scare us. Have you ever read about the cuisine of the original English settlers? Thank God for the immigrants!

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