Hillary's National I.D. Card

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God–and his self-anointed messiah on Earth–love the Washington Times, the cheapest ($10/year!) and bestest read in DC-area daily newspapering.

Here's a piece about New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's, er, evolving stance against immigrants ("Hillary goes conservative on immigration"), in which she implicitly spanks the Bush administration and even draws kind words from the office of Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the leading congressional spokesman against people with last names that end in vowels (if you know what I mean). Sez Hillary:

"I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants."

"Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of them," she said…."People have to stop employing illegal immigrants," she said. "I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You're going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work."

Yeah, that's really fucking heartbreaking to see people lined up to work in the morning. God, this used to be a beautiful country, before all these people–many of whom look different than Hillary–started getting up early in the morning and working really hard at shit jobs for a living.

Check out Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin's magisterial explanation of precisely why immigrant labor–whether legal, illegal, or undocumented–is so goddamn important to our economy and standard of living here.

More from the former First Lady and possible First Lady Prez:

Moving to the right of even some Republicans, the former first lady told WABC she favors "at least a visa ID, some kind of entry-and-exit ID. And … perhaps, although I'm not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens."

She's not a big fan of it, but like the sensitive camp commandant who tears up a bit in the evenings while sipping his brandy and listening to Beethoven, difficult times call for difficult solutions…

While I'm calling up old Garvin pieces, check out his senses-shattering brief against national I.D. cards (which are both useless and dangerous for a thousand reasons) here.

And check out this story about the great job the old Immigration and Naturalization Service did in screwing over the people who pluck our chickens in Hillary's old adopted home state of Arkansas–ironically dubbed "Land of Opportunity" on its license plates.

NEXT: Uncle Sam Wants You...Sister!

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  1. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the leading congressional spokesman against people with last names that end in vowels (if you know what I mean)

    Or zees.

  2. people whose last name end in vowels like “Tancredo”?

  3. Damn, our next appointed president really is a femi nazi, so to speak.

  4. It’s called “irony,” Adam.

  5. I’ve been thinking if the democrats ever want to win back the presidency again they might have to do some distasteful stuff. Running to the right of republicans on immigrants might work. There’s a huge wellspring of nativism out there which the republicans have pretty much ignored because they like the cheap labor.

    They could even tie it in with isolationism, which is still very viable in the heartland, where true american values are strong. If the republicans can run on homos, why not? It could be the “we hate foreigners” versus the “we hate gay guys” parties.

  6. If I can interrupt this two minute hate, I think this post would benefit from some reading-between-the-lines.

    ‘”I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”‘

    I, too, am against illegal immigrants. The same way I’m against illegal drugs, illegal beer, and illegal cigarettes. You all know my preferred solution – legalize them. So what does hateful, bigotted, ethnic cleansing, feminazi Hillary propose?

    ‘”Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them,”‘

    Looks a lot like taking people who are currently defined as illegal, and making them legal.

    ‘”People have to stop employing illegal immigrants,” she said.’

    Yep, and start employing legal ones.

    ‘”I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You’re going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work.”‘

    Again, what does she propose to do about this? Throw them all in camps? Mass deportation? Quadrupling the number of Immigratin Enforcement agents. Er, no, she wants to make it legal for them to work here.

    Hillary’s comments remind me of a story I heard about the Old South. A black man goes in to his State Rep and says that they need a hospital for black people, they’re not able to get good medical care. So the state rep says, OK. Leave it to me. He then stands up on the floor of the House and delivers a speech, “I saw the most disgusting thing last week – a young white nurse forced to give a sponge bath to an old black man…” Bam, the state provides funding for a new hospital for the area’s black population.

    A little less with the accusing people who don’t use your rhetoric of being racists, a little more with the intelligent, substantive analysis.

  7. You know what, joe, I thought it really funny the other day when Phil was calling you Kreskin, but now I realize that there’s nothing funny to the sad truth.

    joe’s liberal dogmatism has him psychically finding meaning no one else did in “Her Coattails” comments. I mean, damn joe, you’re so over-intelligent that you smoked the leading editor of a popular magazine and a U.S. Congressman, all with the amazing ability to see what NO ONE else saw.

    Maybe the “Citizen IDs” comment from Hillary should be clue that she’s taking this in a new low direction. Wasn’t it Southern Democrats who..oh, never mind, I’d just say it and you’d derive some kind of non-existent liberal fantasy from it anyway.

  8. Of course, joe will be goose-stepping all the way to register for his new citizens ID card.

  9. So what you’re saying is, there really ISN’T any call in Hillary’s comments to legalize illegal immigrants? Then what are we to make of “one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them?”

    I know, I’m never going to get to sit at the Kool Kids table if I don’t hate the right people.

  10. Todd, find me that part where I said I thought the ID card was a good idea. Or suggested such a thing. Or made any reference to it at all.

    “Goose-stepping” hah, that’s funny, and so original. And to think, I unfairly assumed you people have an obsession with cheap rhetoric. Remember, libertoids are allowed to notice that immigration policy has caused serious problems in the labor market, but when a Certified Liberal Demon makes the same observations, they are to be read as nativist bigotry.

  11. joe,

    Amazingly, I got your back here. One of my problems with Libs in general is their faith-based “open borders” concept. The idea assumes no differences in intrinsic value among cultures, nations and governments, assumes that “citizenship” means nothing, and that a lawless society can possibly work. All of these are flawed concepts, with absolutely no objective evidence to back them up.

    I am deadset against any form of national I.D. card, am even thinking twice about renewing my Iowa driver’s license and ordering an international one over the Internet. BUT, legalizing under-the-wire immigration would only benefit three parties – the Democrats, ultra low-wage employers, and spoiled, lazy Californians who can finally pay their domestic help over the table and deduct the expense.

    In the past, I have helped LEGAL immigrants obtain and maintain H1-B visa status and move toward permanent residency. It is a tough get, but it isn’t impossible, and it is the honorable thing to do.

    I wonder what Guatemala would do if hundreds of thousands of out of work Americans would suddenly show up at their border, demand political status and government benefits, and undercut local peones’ already embarrassingly low wages? Would they welcome them with open arms? Hell no, they’d SHOOT them.

  12. Amen, Joe, for your reasoned and insightful breakdown.

    Almost as bad as mindless liberal policies that threaten liberty and frustrate solutions…is mindless liberal-hating that automatically paints anything that comes out of a liberal’s mouth as patently evil and/or stupid.

    As for the Washington Times, I confess I am equally guilty of a similar offense.

    I’ve said more than once that I am suspicious of ANYTHING published by Moonies and anything printed by them MAY very well be “patently evil and/or stupid.”

    And since the Washington Times is, undoubtedly, a conservative rag (I mean that in the most derrogatory(sp?) fashion, BTW) It begs this question:

    Where does a conservative publication REALLY stand when they attack a liberal democrat for articulating a position many conservatives have already taken?

    The Republican-backed National Security bill originally contained language to create a national driver’s license AND a federal computerized worker registry.

    Putting the wisdom for or against I.D. cards aside, the issue of illegal immigrants as a post 9-11 security issue has been a more or less constant one for 3 years now.

    As a practical matter, I don’t know how much importance I would give it.

    But as a political position, it would stand to reason that advocating SOME method of legalizing (or at least tracking) illegals makes SOME sort of sense.

    In context, Hillary’s position doesn’t seem particularly extreme or commandant-ish.

    Certainly not compared to OTHER anti-immigration folks like…oh, I don’t know…Pat Buchanon, maybe?

    But Nick’s reaction to it DOES seem a little extreme – and more about hating Hillary that about the issue itself.

  13. Hillary hating is the opposite of damning with faint praise, it is elevating the woman with excessive invective. I don’t get the cult of Hillary at all? What, precisely, has she accomplished other than surviving Bill, and wangling a senatorial seat in other than her native state?

  14. WASP Bach,

    Hillary-hating has reached that point where it’s pretty ridiculous and should be practiced only by people with foil hats and Batman capes.

    The only reaction I can give is a dramatic “here we go again” eye-roll.

    In the end, she’s a senator for a state that was…attacked…on…9…11.

    I dare any republican in the same position to endorse anything less.

    If people want to hate a liberal for endorsing I.D. cards, let them check out Barbara Boxer’s own position on the previously mentioned National Security bill, where she wanted fingerprints and every other peice of information possible included on them.

  15. Madpad,
    “But Nick’s reaction to it DOES seem a little extreme – and more about hating Hillary that about the issue itself.”

    Did you miss this line?

    “Moving to the right of even some Republicans, the former first lady told WABC she favors “at least a visa ID, some kind of entry-and-exit ID. And … perhaps, although I’m not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.”

  16. I don’t know whether joe is right about Hillary’s stance. I’d have to read the full speech in context to be sure. But the snippets posted by Julian certainly seem to be more compatible with joe’s interpretation.

    (Pause for rotten tomatoes)

    Still, if Tancredo praised her speech, I have to draw one of three conclusions:

    1) Elsewhere in Hillary’s speech she says something decisively anti-immigration.
    2) Tancredo is dumb enough to applaud her based solely on the statement “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants” without first checking the context.
    3) Tancredo is more moderate than I thought.

  17. madpad – Points well taken, but Charles Schumer also falls into that category, and ?whether or not you agree with his politics, I mostly do not?the man is an actual legistlator with, I assume, his state’s own best interests at heart. Why Hillary isn’t regarded as nothing more than a carpetbagger is beyond me.

  18. And madpad,

    No one said the republicans were any better? But t least from them you don’t expect any better.

  19. CORRECTION:

    For some reason I attributed this thread to Julian rather than Nick. My apologies.

  20. No one said the republicans were any better. But at least from them you don’t expect any better.

    Preview’s there for a reason, andy…

  21. Shouldn’t someone have invoked Godwin’s Law by now? Like at the very beginning of this discussion?

    And I also read the piece the same way Joe did (then again I’m a liberal, so there you go).

  22. WASPB, I don’t got your back, here. And neither does Hillary Clinton. I attribute all of the negative impacts of immigratino – all of them – to the creation of an immigration black market. People who are fully-equal members of society assimilate better, culturally and structurally, those those who are compelled to live in twilight ghettoes. People who are free to take whatever job they please don’t work for ultra-low wages. People who aren’t compelled to live as fugitives don’t fall in with criminals as easily. And the agency tasked with keeping bad guys out of our country can do a much better job if it isn’t required by law to disperse its efforts among a couple million peaceful migrants.

    What I like about Hillary’s comments is that they implicity recognize this dynamic, without coming across as loopy lefty “open borders” crap. I do not agree with your position on immigration, Hillary Clinton does not agree with your position on immigration, and I’m thrilled to see that her gambit – getting to the right of Bush rhetorically, while substantively taking a pro-immigrant position – has the ability to come acros as tough, law and order, pro-security, and pro-American.

  23. “. Er, no, she wants to make it legal for them to work here.”

    joe, where does she state this? She wants to track & catalog them, of course, but employ? No, that’s for the ‘Mercans.

    Putting words into her mouth, are we?

  24. Let’s think about this from the terrorism angle:

    Right now there are 3 major groups of people seeking the services of forgers (for fake papers to cross the border) or smugglers (to avoid the checkpoints): Terrorists, drug smugglers, and people who want to work at peaceful jobs but couldn’t get permission from the state.

    What if the only requirement for crossing the border was passing a background check to verify that you aren’t a violent criminal? The market for fake ID and smugglers would suddenly shrink to just 2 major groups.

    Now, what if we also legalized drugs? Suddenly the market for fake ID and smugglers would become even smaller. And suddenly we’d have a very manageable problem on our hands.

    Just a thought.

  25. Nick Gillespie –
    “Yeah, that’s really fucking heartbreaking to see people lined up to work in the morning. God, this used to be a beautiful country, before all these people–many of whom look different than Hillary–started getting up early in the morning and working really hard at shit jobs for a living.”

    If that were the universal case, Nick, there would be no problem. I live in a city of about 25 thousand in the heart of Iowa. There are three major employers in town? two manufacturers and a meat packing plant. The immigrant labor that has found its way here has done so largely by being enticed and trucked here by the major employers for three purposes:

    A. To forcibly reduce the local free market for labor,
    B. To break the unions, and
    C. To create a labor force over which it has an incredbile amount of control.

    You may consider these assembly line jobs “shit jobs,” but they formerly paid good wages on which a family could be reasonably expected to live. If this were a case of open competition in a free market, nobody would have cause to complain. By enticing flat-out illegal immigrants as well as those with shady or even falsified documentation, hiring them, encouraging them to bring their extended families along, and NOT encouraging them to seek legal entry or status, or trying for full citizenship, these companies are gaming the system. They are not engaging in free trade in an open market.

    Since our city has acquired nearly a 30% Latin American population, there have been ethnic businesses opening? restaurants, tiendas and carnicerias, real estate and tax businesses catering to the immigrant community? that have indeed enriched the area for all of us. Nobody disputes that. But for all of that added value, we are paying a high price in social services, law enforcement, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, etc., all of which would be mitigated with a more orderly and LEGAL immigration process.

    Lawlessness, unfortunately, breeds more lawlessness.

  26. Andy,

    I laughed out loud at the “But at least from them you don’t expect any better” line.

    As for the line “Moving to the right of even some Republicans…” I did not miss it.

    I should have been clearer…part of my point in referring to the recent legislation was to disagree with Nick’s assertion that she was, in fact “moving to the right” of anyone.

    As far as I know, it is the Republicans that wanted to tie a federal worker registry to the national I.D. card.

    That would have required employers to get permision for the government before hiring anyone.

    From where I’m sitting, the most she’s guilty of is pandering to republicans…or at least not trying to look weak as THEY push for this kind of nonsense.

    As for being a carpetbagger, maybe she is…but “Carpetbager” speaks to the character of Hillary.

    But what does that say about the folks who chose her? Now that she’s elected, that term starts to fall a little flat.

  27. WASP Bachelor-

    How much control would companies have over these immigrants if there were no laws against them being here? The immigrants would no longer need the protection of their employers. Wages would almost certainly rise. Not to pre-immigrant levels, but almost certainly to a level higher than what they are right now.

    And if immigrants weren’t afraid of the police, isn’t there a chance that they might be more willing to work with law enforcement to keep the crime down? Isn’t there a chance that more crimes would be reported and more witnesses would come forward?

  28. WASP B, you are correct that having a body of exploitable labor allows Big Business to drive down wages. We need to do away with the body of exploitable labor, I agree.

    But it seems to me that making those workers less exploitable, rather than waging a War on Immigration, is the shortest route from Point A to Point B. You complain that the market for these immigrants’ labor is not free. Well, whose fault is that?

    Plus, you get to keep the burrito stands.

  29. Before y’all lable me racist, whatever anybody says, this particular immigration wave is unlike others Iowa has experienced. Since the Vietnam era, our state has welcomed refugees from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, communist China, Serbia, Bosnia and other politically and economically challenged nations. In many cases we have gone to bat against the federal government’s immigration laws and regulations in order to do so. The difference is that these folks knocked on the door and ASKED. They did not simply show up and demand that the locals make room, give them a job, add their languages to official documents and school curricula and provide social service support. They did not refuse to submit themselves to public health screenings, they did not flout local laws and law enforcement, or have activists stand on their high-horse and wail that anybody who complained was a racist.

    Hell, I am a great-grandchild of immigrants, I married a (legal) Guatemalan emigre’ and jumped through the immigration hoops along with her. At some point, legal means legal and illegal means illegal.

    A very popular t-shirt is getting local kids beat up a lot at the local high school. It reads:

    ?Qu? parte de “illegal” usted no entiende?

  30. thoreau,

    As idealistics and libertarian as your position may be, I think it’s more likely that work and labor conditions would decend into the worst industrial revolutionary hells of 100 years ago.

    Currently, the only incentive for factory owners in OTHER countries to pay or treat their employees better is the insistance on the part of our own companies or government that they do so.

    The only incentive for factory owners in OUR country to pay or treat their employees better is the LAW.

    When the LAW cuts into the bottom line, they ship the jobs overseas…or – when they can’t – to hire illegal immigrants. For reference, check out who’s picking your tomatoes and lettuce.

  31. “The difference is that these folks knocked on the door and ASKED. They did not simply show up and demand that the locals make room, give them a job, add their languages to official documents and school curricula and provide social service support. They did not refuse to submit themselves to public health screenings, they did not flout local laws and law enforcement, or have activists stand on their high-horse and wail that anybody who complained was a racist.”

    Does the fact that this group, unlike the others you mentioned, risks arrest, imprisonment, and deportation for doing those things suggest to you a reason why they might behave differently?

  32. thoreau – “And if immigrants weren’t afraid of the police, isn’t there a chance that they might be more willing to work with law enforcement to keep the crime down?”

    Of course, and that happens. BUT, there is a certain element who maintains that knife and gun fighting is simply an expression of their “culture.” AND THEY”RE RIGHT. There is a strong strain of “machismo” in Latin culture that tends to go to the mat for the least little insult. We tend to romanticize other cultures and denigrate our own, but I’ve married into a Mexican-Guatemalan family, and I can tell you that their cultural norms in many cases clash violently with our own. I am not talking Tex-Mex here. Those who have lived along the border for decades have largely already assimilated or at least can live within the cultural norms of most U.S. communities, but that is not the demographic we are seeing crossing the border now.

  33. joe – “Does the fact that this group, unlike the others you mentioned, risks arrest, imprisonment, and deportation for doing those things suggest to you a reason why they might behave differently?”

    Man, I’m afraid you’re trying to make the tail wag the dog here. There would be no risk of any legal entanglements at all if the folks simply did the right thing, or if we as a nation insisted that they do.

  34. They aren’t allowed to “do the right thing.”

    Do you actually believe these people would refuse to accept citizenship if it was offered to them?

    BTW, I was about to defend you against charges of racism, until you decided to explain to us how much more thuggish those people are than real Americans.

  35. WASP Bachelor-

    I don’t think you’re racist. But I do disagree with some of your critiques. Let’s look at them one-by-one:

    They did not simply show up and demand that the locals make room,

    What do you mean here?

    give them a job

    I’m confused. A little while ago you said that the companies were bringing them in. How are immigrants rudely demanding jobs if jobs are being handed to them by companies that prefer captive labor?

    add their languages to official documents and school curricula

    That is one area where I do entertain the possibility that things are worse than in “the good old days.” Certainly nobody accomodated my great-grandparents, it was just expected that they learn English. However, my observation here in California is that it’s usually only a vocal minority that doesn’t want to learn English. Indeed, frequently it’s a bunch of second or third generation Americans who have bought into some politically correct notions (ironically, proof that they’re more Americanized than they’d like to believe). The newcomers (for the most part) are pragmatic. After all, they left behind everything they know to make more money, how much more pragmatic can you get?

    and provide social service support.

    Well, if you’re just talking about public schools, that’s something that EVERY immigrant group has availed itself of (just like the people born here). But if you’re talking about welfare, first keep in mind that I am NOT defending welfare. (And if somebody wants to point out that public schools are a form of welfare, fine. I think we all know what I’m talking about, however: AFDC, or whatever it’s called nowadays.) Second, it is generally believed by economists and libertarians that free markets are the best solution to poverty. Third, although most Hispanic immigrants do not seek welfare, keep in mind that the ones who do are hardly the only immigrants to do so. You suggested that previous waves of immigration from southeast Asia were somehow different. I don’t know the situation in Iowa, but in Wisconsin (where I lived for 17 years) many southeast Asian immigrants are dependent on welfare. It’s a problem, but it’s hardly unique to the current wave of immigrants that you hint are somehow different.

    They did not refuse to submit themselves to public health screenings, they did not flout local laws and law enforcement

    They’d probably be more cooperative with the law if there weren’t a law against getting a job.

  36. I love it, WASPB…those people need to “knock on the door and ask”…what, do you think that to move here to good ol’ Ohio you should have to ask also? I mean, we’re a different culture, with different laws and borders, and those are to be respected, dammit! How dare some “libertoid” (joe’s convulted and deragotory term for those who want to eliminate his cushy central planning) say that people should be able to live where they want peacefully?

    joe, you can’t even begin to call any idea “loony lefty”. You still haven’t answered my question from MONTHS ago as to why the free market can’t be applied to housing and development, but no matter, I know the answer: you’d be out of a job.

    Incredible, though, that when Hilary Clinton says it, we’re supposed to read between the lines, when Tancredo applauds it, he’s just dumb, and Gillespie’s a partisan hack now, right?

    If I shook my head anymore it might fall off my damn shoulders.

  37. And now I read your comment on knife fighting, and I have to wonder if you are a racist.

    In general, I distrust anybody who draws too many broad generalizations about a group based solely on his in-laws.

    I have no idea what customs are like in Guatemala. Maybe things are violent down there. The question is whether or not they can integrate successfully once they get here, and from living in California I’d say yes.

    Ironically, it tends to be the second and third generation Americans who think that immigrants shouldn’t have to assimilate. They buy into some politically correct notions and think it’s unfair to expect that newcomers learn English.

  38. Actually Ayn, I answered that question on the last last thread that turned to the question of land use controls – the historic preservation thread. I’m sure it’s still in the archives, though I doubt you’d bother to inform youself. You just seem so cushy in your carefully-crafted selective ignorance, and knowing I have an answer wold be such a strain.

    BTW, failing to answer a small minded college sophmore’s demands for clarification is not the accepted definition of “looney left.”

  39. thoreau –

    “They did not simply show up and demand that the locals make room,

    What do you mean here?”

    I mean, and pay attention, joe, because this answers at least one of your questions too, that when those accepting jobs from, say, the Swift meat plant here in answer to an offer for an instant green card (How do they do that exactly? I have no idea.) posted on a billboard in Nogales, they don’t come by themselves, and they don’t stay put. The biggest segment of the underground economy here are those who, if they were white, would be called “coyotes” ? basically latinos who cross the border again and again under the protection of a big employer and a green card? to bring over sometimes wives and children, but other times just girlfriends, friends, even strangers who’ll pay for help crossing over. It isn’t hard as long as somebody in the car or bus has a legal work authorization.

    Think a minute, those of you arguing well, if legality is the only problem, let’s just make it all legal, what is the ultimate outcome of your train of logic. What you get is a virtually lawless society such as, well, Mexico. Fastest way to turn the U.S. into a third world economy is to tear down the structure that prevents that from happening.

  40. Hillary’s a day late and a dollar short. Californicates Senior Senator, Di-Fi, has been calling for National ID Cards with retina scans since long before 09-11.

    Five bucks sez the SQUAW from New York and Ms. Feinstein get together on this in a, well, New York Minute.

  41. WASPB, what is so “lawless” about people from one town moving to another town to get a better job? I’ve done it.

    If it became illegal to cross the Massachusetts/New York border on I-90, there would no doubt develop a black market in driving people across that border. Right now, there is not such lawlessness.

    Look at prohibition – things became a lot more lawless when there were laws against the activity.

  42. I’ll take joe’s optimistic reading of Hillary one step further: joe has been hanging around H&R so long he’s beginning to see libertarian ideas in democratic speeches. Legalizing and regulating is the first (acceptable) step for a statist when confronted with the continuing absurdity of making criminals of non-harming actors. If he can convince the police unions and prison corporations that they can still get work as administrators, not enforcers, a whole raft of decriminalization might become acceptable.

  43. If it became illegal to cross the Massachusetts/New York border on I-90, there would no doubt develop a black market in driving people across that border. Right now, there is not such lawlessness.

    What about the scourge of illicit interstate wine sales? Won’t somebody think about the children?

    ;->

  44. thoreau –

    “And now I read your comment on knife fighting, and I have to wonder if you are a racist. In general, I distrust anybody who draws too many broad generalizations about a group based solely on his in-laws.I have no idea what customs are like in Guatemala. Maybe things are violent down there. The question is whether or not they can integrate successfully once they get here, and from living in California I’d say yes.”

    And in general, I agree. Again, I have no quarrel with those submitting themselves to the laws and customs of the land to which they wish to migrate. To the extent that a significant portion of this wave of immigration are, by definition and by virtue of their presence here without proper documentation and at least notifying proper authority of their presence, lawbreakers, they must expect to be dealt with as such.

    My ancestors in western Iowa had the temerity to speak low German during World War I until they realized there might be a problem doing that. They didn’t band together to hire lobbyists to petition the Iowa Legislature to print ballots, deeds and other documents in low Deutsch to accomodate them. They also didn’t demand bilingual teachers in the public ? at that time one room ? school. They got busy and learned English before they showed up at the schoolroom door. Many latin immigrants are playing fair this way, too. Too many are not.

    Incidentally, I am not saying illegality is the overwhelming norm, here. I am saying that a high enough percentage of this current wave of immigration is taking advantage of our moral ambivalence, and ambivalence as to the value of U.S. legal and cultural norms, to be both a problem, and a threat.

  45. Here’s another thought:

    If it is illegal to come here and get a job without government permission, we shouldn’t be shocked if the ones most likely to cross the border are the ones with the least respect for the law. That doesn’t mean that eliminating immigration barriers would bring in more of the smae. It might bring in people who actually have quite a bit of respect for law and order.

  46. joe –

    “WASPB, what is so “lawless” about people from one town moving to another town to get a better job? I’ve done it.” An apples and oranges non sequitur. I think you know better.

    But if I have to answer that, I would say that moving from Ixhuatl, Chuhuahua to Iowa City, Iowa is a much different proposition than moving from Boston to NYC, wouldn’t you?

  47. WASPB: You confuse chaos with lawlessness. People actually tend to get along in the absence of a state. US economic and social forces would, I believe, act to maintain sufficient order and without laws to enforce, there’s less opportunity for the Mexican-style corruption to develop.

    As to the Iowans: Any of them who owns land can rent to the immigrants and take their wages. The meatpacker’s money might have to pass through a few more swarthy hands, but it always ends up in the landlord’s pocket.

  48. Just in case anyone isn’t aware there already is an ID card for legal immigrants. It’s called a “Green Card” and they have to carry it. Of course it’s unlikely it’ll ever be checked unless you don’t look “like us”. With all the attention being paid to our southern border hardly anyone ever looks north.

    I would assume that a “Guest Worker” program would have a different colored one. Isn’t that pretty much what Sen. Clinton is proposing? If so it’s pretty benign compared to other proposals that are around.

    I have dismissed Bush’s “Guest Worker” program as so much political posturing. I’m pretty much doing the same thing with Hill’s. We’ll eventually get one and if we’re lucky it’ll work fairly well; but most likely it’ll stink.

    “…And … perhaps, although I’m not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.” The wicked witch is not alone in this. I’m sure we’ll end up with one and it will be because of BIPARTISANSHIT (that’s what you get when you mix republicrap and democrap).

    Of course a few old fashioned crackpots on both sides of the aisle will oppose it but everyone will know they’re just out of step, and maybe even traitors.

  49. Dynamist –

    “The meatpacker’s money might have to pass through a few more swarthy hands, but it always ends up in the landlord’s pocket.”

    I am tempted to resent the implication that it is a brown/white issue, except that I understand why you would jump to that conclusion. With me, it is a citizen/non-citizen issue. Citizenship has its priviledges, or should. That citizenship, or some form of legal status that would lead to it, should be sought and earned. Nobody values that which is merely given.

    Is the U.S. immigration system draconian? Yes, I’ve been through it personally, and I know. Should that fact alone default to an “open borders” policy? Absolutely not.

    The Netherlands and even France ? as xenophobic as many French are culturally, they have a much more liberal immigration policy, I’m given to understand, then we do? are only now beginning to pay for their much more licentious immigration policies, and are having to crack down. Are their fears real or imagined? I am in no position to judge. I do know that going through “the system” takes away much of the stigma that goes with immigration, and demonstrates a commitment to abide by the standards of the community an immigrant wishes to join.

  50. The thing I resent about Hillary is that I am convinced she doesn’t give a rat’s rump in Nogales about this issue. She’s playing to her upstate constituents, I would assume, since cosmopolitan NYCers wouldn’t logically see immigration as a problem. Or am I wrong?

  51. Godwin’s Law is a charming relic of a simpler time.

  52. Yet another Open Borders post from Reason, complete with the usual cheap smears. On a broader note, is Reason’s continued pro-Open Borders stance solely the result of flawed ideology, or is there something else involved? It’s pretty easy to see why, say, the AILA or grower coops or Wal*Mart support illegal workers. Is Reason the same way?

  53. Isaac B. – The “Green Card,” or work authorization certificate, is an important document, and, where the system is working right, takes jumping through a few hoops to get. Trouble is, there are mechanisms by which employers can circumvent those hoops for a prospective employee. This would be fine if economics were, or could be, divorced from law and culture, but it isn’t, and it can’t be. There are consequences to illegal, chaotic immigration that these employers do not bear, but local individuals and the community at large do. The Green Card, when administered by law, as opposed to corporate fiat, is one mechanism by which we prevent subsidizing these large employers by paying the consequences for their avarice.

  54. “My ancestors in western Iowa had the temerity to speak low German during World War I until they realized there might be a problem doing that.”

    The “problem” was that they got thrown in jail for it.

  55. I was not trying to make any point about the “Green Card” other than that it exists.

    While I’m as ready to demonize Hillary as anybody her proposal isn’t that radical until she gets to “an ID system even for citizens.”

  56. Isaac B. – “The “problem” was that they got thrown in jail for it.”

    Actually, no, they didn’t, at least not to my knowledge. What they did was acknowledge that they were asking for a punch in the nose and cut it the hell out. Now that area embraces its German heritage and trades off it. But during both world wars there were reasons for German speakers to be suspect, reasons that were perceived to be quite legitimate at the time. I think that the current immigration “crisis,” too, will pass, but just as my ancestors had to bow to the realpolitik of the time, current waves of immigrants would be well advised to do the same.

  57. Dynamist, when you grow up, you’ll realize that you don’t have to be corrupt and self-serving to disagree with you. Until you do, you’ll keep imagining silly scenarios under which opposition to immigrations is primarily the result of INS employees wanting more jobs.

    There’s a warm, fuzzy feeling associated with believing that your position is the only one anyone can hold because of genuine principles, but it’s a hindrance to efforts to understand how the world works.

    WASPB, the difference between Boston and White Plains is probably just as great as that between Matamoros and Brownsville. The difference between Cambridge and Boar Poop, Louisiana is probably greater. So what?

    Isaac, I think Sen. Clinton is proposing that the cards actually be given to people who want them, rather than making them live like fugitives with no rights or opportunity to become legal.

    Finally, WASPB, when you write, “That citizenship, or some form of legal status that would lead to it, should be sought and earned. Nobody values that which is merely given,” it makes me wonder; what did YOU do to earn YOUR citizenship?

  58. joe –

    Non sequitur again. Citizenship, by definition, accrues to those born in a community unless that communities laws and customs dictate otherwise.

  59. Apparently it takes a village to keep foreigners out.

  60. Lonewacko:

    Perhaps Reason supports “open borders” because, as their tagline says, they are for “free minds and free markets” (free market being the key here). Immigration restrictions are a restriction on the free market for labor, as well as an anti-libertarian use of force against peaceful people.

  61. joe –

    “WASPB, the difference between Boston and White Plains is probably just as great as that between Matamoros and Brownsville. The difference between Cambridge and Boar Poop, Louisiana is probably greater. So what?”

    You really think so? Are you sure? How do you know?

    I could be wrong, but my impression is you haven’t travelled much. Americans are about the only people I have met that think “Folks are folks no matter where they come from.” We’re lampooned for such naivete.

  62. Lonewacko – as matt says “Perhaps Reason supports “open borders” because, as their tagline says, they are for “free minds and free markets” (free market being the key here). Immigration restrictions are a restriction on the free market for labor, as well as an anti-libertarian use of force against peaceful people.”

    In other words, lawlessness and chaos. Funny, Libertarianism would destroy the very framework that makes them free to foment it.

  63. Gillespie:

    Was that a Hart’s War or Schindler’s List reference re: Commandant+brandy+beethoven?

  64. Lonewacko,
    What is so wrong about open borders?

  65. I can see how you could misinterpret my comment about the vast dinstiction in different parts of the country as meaning that there aren’t vast distinctions in different places.

    Oh wait, no I can’t.

    Perhaps if I had travelled even more than I already have, I’d be smart like you, and able to understand how people in different parts of America are, and simulutaeously are not, significantly different.

  66. Lonewacko,
    What is so wrong about open borders? I can think of a few things like lower wages and stuff, but really you get paid what you are worth. And any attempt of the government to change that is detrimental.

  67. kwais – “What is wrong with open borders?”

    Nothing, as long as the countries on either side of that border share equivalent governmental, legal, economic and cultural frameworks such that chaos and disruption don’t erupt at the interface.

    Might as well ask why they make submarines watertight? Because the environments within and without are different, mutually exclusive and deadly to those on at least one side of the interface.

  68. Wasp
    What are you talking about lawlessnes and chaos? Will the knife fights get that out of hand?

    One of my force recon team leaders was a Mexican immigrant. He spoke poor English, and his op orders were hard to understand, but he was an excellent Marine. As were many of the Marines that I met that were borne in Mexico.

    A man is a man, no matter where he was borne. As long as they respect our laws (more so than our congress seems to) and they believe in our constitution. Their coming here to work hard is a positive.

  69. kwias – “A man is a man, no matter where he was borne. As long as they respect our laws (more so than our congress seems to) and they believe in our constitution. Their coming here to work hard is a positive.” Biologically, I agree with you, and I agree witht he caviat “and they believe in our Constitution.”

    But therein lies the rub. The “open borders” theory strikes me as naive to think that everyone coming here does so out of respect and love for “free minds and free markets.”

    911 should have disabused us of such romantic notions.

  70. “A man is a man, no matter where he was born.”

    Good on ya, kwais.

  71. “Open Borders” proponents – are you saying that it is wrong to keep out any potential immigrants or visitors? It’s an acceptable use of government power to exclude Hamas members or Cali cartel hitmen, right?

    Assuming you agree, how do we do that, without some kind of system to identify this individual as a threat, and this individual as acceptable?

  72. TWASPB,

    Those “romantic notions” are what is best about our country. They are what make us better than our enemies.

    If an immigrant commits crimes before becoming a citizen he should be deported or punished depending on the severity of the crime.

    I would rather risk attack than become a garrison state. Live free or die.

    QFMC cos. V

  73. “She’s playing to her upstate constituents…”

    yeah, i have to agree on this one. i’ve got some in-law relations upstate. a few are funny, funny ha-ha, funny creepy ha-ha stop it motherfuckers kind of way.

    not that i see it reducing antipathy towards her, because HRC is like, a huge frickin’ target. there’s a degree of animosity towards her that at the very least, needs to be shared towards chuck schumer and our attorney general, who is probably right now preparing to sue the sun for skin damage.

  74. Oh, joe, why so mad? Are you arguing with the libertarian in your head again? I’m delighted to see that you’re beginning to understand how the world works, that even the high-minded democrats may not always say what they mean (tell the truth).

    WASPB: It’s not about racism, but land ownership. Perhaps if we want to grant further privilege and separation to citizens, prohibit non-citizens from holding title to US land.

  75. Read WASPB’s posts, Dynamists. Listen to some suburban hausfrau rail about evil druggies. Go to a zoning board hearing sometime, when the neighbors don’t want to see a certain development get built. There are genuine, deeply held principles behind these prohibitionist positions, and your insistence that it’s all about self-serving public officials, foisting this regulation on the public fails to account for the most important facets of the debates.

  76. kwais – “One of my force recon team leaders was a Mexican immigrant. He spoke poor English, and his op orders were hard to understand, but he was an excellent Marine. As were many of the Marines that I met that were borne in Mexico.”

    I’ll buy all that, but if there weren’t others out there with serious political, ideological and cultural differences from you and your Marines, you wouldn’t have an enemy to fight. Until that is the case, open borders and lax immigration policies are suicide.

  77. Fabius – “Those “romantic notions” are what is best about our country. They are what make us better than our enemies.”

    Exactly! Well said, I agree with that wholeheartedly. Asserting that does, however, support my point that there ARE differences between U.S. culture, and that of other nations that must be taken into account when setting immigration policy.

  78. Dynamist – “WASPB: It’s not about racism, but land ownership. Perhaps if we want to grant further privilege and separation to citizens, prohibit non-citizens from holding title to US land.”

    We’re not really seeing that here in Iowa, where land is our chief natural resource. Latin immigrants aren’t after farmland. By and large, they’ll never be able to afford it. What they are after, as many here have pointed out, is simply a good job at a decent wage, and nobody blames them for that AS LONG AS the process by which they seek those things is legal and legitimate, and as long as they show the same respect for others in the community as they righteously demand from that community.

  79. I wouldn’t mind open borders. Everybody ought to be free, etcetera etcetera…

    but NOT UNTIL the government isn’t taking away a third of my salary to pay for other people’s health care, and the education of their children, and a nice retirement, and all the other social benefits the federal and state governments provide.

    Until we’re living in that libertarian utopia, I don’t see what’s so wrong about wanting to restrict those benefits to those who actually pay some taxes.

    Oh, and the whole “they do the crap jobs that Americans won’t” is such bullshit. Americans would do the job if decent wages were offered. Yes, this means that you’ll have to pay 5 cents more for an apple, and your beef burrito may be 4.99 instead of 3.49. I’m trying real hard to work up some sympathy here.

    You’d think a magazine that is so in favor of the free market would see the way the market is being perverted here. Allowing massive amounts of illegal immigration is purely and obviously a subsidy to big businesses. Nobody else truly gains – not taxpayers, not the immigrants themselves, who are ruthlessly exploited.

    No doubt this means I’m “against people whose last names end in vowels.” Such brilliant rhetoric, Mr. Gillespie. Truly, the depth and logic of your arguments in calling those opposed to illegal immigration racists has convinced me of the error of my ways.

  80. Isaac, I think Sen. Clinton is proposing that the cards actually be given to people who want them, rather than making them live like fugitives with no rights or opportunity to become legal.

    joe, I don’t recall writing anything for which that could be considered a reply.

  81. joe –

    I wouldn’t characterize my position as “prohibitionist.” I’m simply saying there are legitimate and logical reasons not to let every Tom, Dick and Harry? or Tomas, Ricardo and Jaime, if you prefer? walk across the border at any point and assert civil rights and privilidges that accrue to citizens and/or to those who go through legitimate channels, such as mi esposa de Guatemala.

    Let’s look at it from the other end of the scope. Say a nation that holds assets in common among its citizens – a huge pot of oil, for example, dividends from which are paid out periodically to those who hold citizenship and/or nationality in that country ? were infiltrated by me and my huge extended Anglo family. We took “menial” jobs, perhaps paid local taxes, perhaps not, pretty much kept to ourselves or lived underground because we either had to or simply preferred it that way. Let’s say me and my huge Lutheran family had a problem with the local predominant religion, Islam, let’s say for the sake of argument. We not only didn’t participate in it, we vocally denigrated it. All the street signs, public documents, business forms, newspapers, etc. are, of course, in Arabic. Rather than learn Arabic, we scrape up a pool of cash among ourselves and hire a local lawyer to sue to have American English taught in the local madrasses, put on local ballots, such as there might be, and other public documentation. When we fail in these attempts, and somehow manage not to have limbs amputated, we loudly cry “racism!’

    And, as the final coup de grace, we show up at the Royal Palace and demand our cut of the oil revenues.

    By what principles are we acting, and by what principle are the locals required to grant any of our requests, or even tolerate our presence?

  82. Heather MacDonald and Hillary Rodham Clinton–together at last! http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_09_16_04hm.html

  83. “nobody blames them for that AS LONG AS the process by which they seek those things is legal and legitimate”

    The problem is that the majority of immigrants do not have a legal and legitimate way to come to this country. So they utilize illegal, illegitimate ways. The type of immigration reform Hillary is talking about here is about giving those people, and the couple million who are already here, a legal and legitimate way to live their lives, because right now they have none. Talking in theory about whether having people move here is all well and good, but there are some realities we have to consider. There are millions of people living here as second-class citizens. These people are easily exploitable by criminals and sleazy employers, and as with squatters in Peru, their inability to access legal, legitimate means of transacting business causes them to turn to criminals.

    Eric, I too find it odd that so little attention is being paid by Reason to the market-distorting (read: wage reducing) impacts of prohibitionist immigration policy. They oppose efforts to stop immigrants from coming in, but don’t make any effort to make sure those immigrants’ transactions in the labor market are free of state coercion. It’s funny which regulatory schemes don’t get criticized.

  84. joe: The officials are foisting schemes to appease the housfraus and isolationists. The self-servingness is a byproduct that becomes a catalyst for further foisting. My beef is with anyone foisting anything on anyone else.

    WASPB: Today I’m coming from a Georgist economic perspective. You seem to be looking at the picture through a sociological lens, where order and civility are provided by, or at least bolstered by, government. Similar to kwais, I think, I find civility in the individual, and order best maintained by empowering individuals to check “evil” elements.

  85. joe –

    “The problem is that the majority of immigrants do not have a legal and legitimate way to come to this country. So they utilize illegal, illegitimate ways. ”

    joe – I’m sorry, but you have no way of knowing whether that is the problem or not. The fact that many DO come in through legal channels tends to belie that statement. What I think you mean to say is that many do not have a cheap and easy way to come to this country, so they do it illegally. Should we value U.S. citizenship so poorly that we make it cheap and easy? Many of us who were born here already treat our citizenship as if it meant nothing, including Libertarians who think there should be no such thing, so why not make U.S. citizenship a commodity. Vending machines at the border, maybe.

    If so, we’ll be the only major country in the world that values citizenship so, and certainly the only one in the Western world. Try getting Swiss citizenship sometime.

  86. Dynamist – “Similar to kwais, I think, I find civility in the individual, and order best maintained by empowering individuals to check “evil” elements.”

    Exactly, and how do they do that? By banding together against common enemies, and voila! you have a civilization, and a government. You can’t escape it, my friend. That’s why there is such a conundrum as a Libertarian political party. Man is a social creature, and wherever two or more are gathered, you get politics and government.

    Kwais is a Marine, for crying out loud, he knows that better than anyone else here, unless the Corps. has suddenly turned into a hotbed of individualtiy.

  87. The immigrants coming here and trying to get a job is not what is wrong. What is wrong is the that the state forces you to pay for someone elses welfare, and social security and medicaid and public school.

    As long as there are good jobs here, immigrants will come. As long as immigrants work hard companies will hire them. Niether of those two things are wrong. Any laws you make to stop those two things will just be circumvented.

    What is wrong is that the govt is charging companys taxes for hiring you (making illegals more of a choice). That the govt is stealing your money to pay for their schools and welfare, (making the companys not have to pay the immigrants so much)

    Hillary can make the fanciest cards she wants. They can have hollograms and chips and all kinds of crap. She can even (and she might) make a national ID system mandatory for all of us. But she cant and wont change simple economic truths. Nor will you.

    If you want immigrants to learn English. They will learn it if they need to.

  88. “I wouldn’t mind open borders. Everybody ought to be free, etcetera etcetera…

    but NOT UNTIL the government isn’t taking away a third of my salary to pay for other people’s health care, and the education of their children, and a nice retirement, and all the other social benefits the federal and state governments provide.”

    So Eric, should we deport current citizens who benefit from the government’s redistributionist schemes? Or just those dirty immigrants? Just because the government infringes on our rights does not mean it is correct for it to infringe the rights of others in the process.

  89. kwais – I am tempted to agree in total with your last post, but I have to ask – If you did not believe there was something intrinsically valuable in U.S. citizenship, our way of life and culture, something worth protecting by force of law and arms if need be, why did you become a Marine?

  90. I have to say as an aside ? This has been one of the more rational and civil discussions I’ve engaged in on H&R. Thanks to all for challenging my assumptions. Truly, it’s valuable to me to be forced to define and defend positions like this. I hope you all find it similarly helpful.

  91. WASPB writes, “What I think you mean to say is that many do not have a cheap and easy way to come to this country, so they do it illegally.”

    This is completely backwards. It is the snakeheads and coyotes who charge thousands of dollars to smuggle you in. Compare this to the price of a bus ticket. I was referring to the fact that most immigrants are forbidden by federal law from achieving citizenry. There are immigration levels set by Congressional statute, which are exceeded by hundreds of thousands of people each and every year. It is these people who have no legal, legitimate methods of becoming citizens.

  92. joe – Okay, I’ll bite, so what you actually mean is that there are those who have no immediate means to come here legitimately at the precise moment they want to, so they do it illegally, just because they can. Now you have both their legal AND ethical status in question.

    This may be factually correct, but by what principle are we bound to do anything to mitigate it? We are in this state precisely because we have not stood on principle in the past. Now we are in a state where we, apparently, have to step away from our principles as codified in law yet again in the name of pragmatism just because so many people managed to dodge the legal system? All due respect, joe, but that logic scares the hell out of me.

  93. kwais – No, that was well spoken, and by the way, I respect your service. The problem with that scenario is that the military is not the only branch of government necessary to defend freedom.

    I don’t believe you are a Libertarian either, because you clearly respect freedom, not just as an end to itself, but as the means to a prosperous human life. Libs talk about freedom, but within no context that makes sense. They have no ethics, no morals, no values apart from “leave me the hell alone,” even while realizing the ultimate logic of that is anarchy, which is to say, tyranny without organization.

    Read my posts carefully, in no way did I advocate stopping the flow of legal immigration. In fact, I think the quotas should be hugely expanded, and the process made simpler and easier. But there MUST be a process with teeth enough to be respected, lest we give away the store and we lose everything that people like you have given their lives so gallantly to defend.

  94. WASPB, the restrictions placed on immigration go way beyond being allowed to come “at the precise moment they want to.” In most cases, they are all but certain barriers for most of a person’s life. By presenting the issue as if it’s a case of cutting in line at the Tilt A Whirl, you are attempting to steal bases.

    I do not feel that it makes one unethical to break a pointless law in order to do right by your family. If it encompasses risk to one’s self, I consider it a brave, noble act.

    The “principles codified in our laws” that you speak so highly of amount to the racist belief that we need to protect ourselves from the blighting touch of the lower-born. Screw that. I have no problem walking away from those, any more than I would have a problem letting a pot smoker out of jail. Oops, my bad. Sorry ’bout that.

  95. Ok, how many times does the question need to be asked, WASP? Why would it only be the knife-fights and the lawless that would tend to immigrate here if it were easier to do so? As someone else pointed out, it may actually shift the percentage of good, law-abiding immigrants favourably.

    And I personally would not advocate letting “anyone” in – there should still be some sort of screening to make sure, as joe says, we’re not asking Hamas members to come and set up terrorist cells.

    But you do seem to be overly concerned with this immigrant issue, although you’ve generally seemed to be a fairly open-minded individual.

  96. Well said, kwais, and thanks for serving.

    Lots of us hang out in the Rep-Lib limbo.

  97. joe – “I do not feel that it makes one unethical to break a pointless law in order to do right by your family. If it encompasses risk to one’s self, I consider it a brave, noble act.”

    So you, joe, are empowered to decide, not only for yourself, but anyone else IN THE WORLD, which of our laws is pointless and which aren’t? By what principle do you decide?

    A man with ethics wouldn’t stoop to breaking laws? stupid or otherwise? to feed his family. He’d be too stinking proud, and he wouldn’t want to set that example for his children. He would do anything else but.

  98. FWIW, I don’t support a completely open border. I support a background check for non-citizens who come here, to verify that they aren’t on any list of violent criminals. Such a system would drastically shrink the black market for smugglers and fake ID, making it all the harder for the bad guys to sneak in.

    And for those who think that a free market for labor will degrade the standard of living in the US if the trading partner (in the current discussion it’s Mexico) is (at least allegedly) drastically different from us, what do you think of the notion of California putting an embargo on migrants from Mississippi? I’d say there’s a large difference in income between the 2 states, as well as significant cultural differences. Or at least the people of Mississippi would probably say that they’re culturally different from Californians.

    Now, you might think it’s a ridiculous question because Mississippi and California are in the same country so clearly people have the legal right to go back and forth between those states. I’m quite aware of the law, and I’m not asking whether such a ban would be lawful. I’m asking whether it would benefit California.

  99. lowdog – I never answered the question because I never asserted that premise. You put words in my mouth.

  100. kwais-

    I’ll gladly share my secret decoder ring with you and call you a fellow libertarian. I’ll teach you the secret handshakes so you can hang out with me at the cool kids’ table! ;->

  101. thoreau – As to your notion vis a vis Ole’ Miss. and California, there’s a little thing called the Interstate Commerce Clause that renders that non sequitur. In the hypothetical, it may benefit California economically to pose such a ban, but both states’ residents are citizens of the U.S., and so the Sunshine State is legally and ethically bound to accept fugitives from Mississippi who want to brave the traffic and the higher cost of living.

  102. I’m asking whether it would benefit California.

    I think California’s dental industry would benefit greatly.

  103. Sorry WASP, you just seemed to be saying that us libertarians advocating (relatively) open borders are inviting “lawlessness and chaos”. (Your words.)

    I think that’s a surprising attitude.

  104. Bachelor WASP-

    Well, has the open movement of people, products, ideas, and information between the 50 states (which vary considerably in prosperity, cost of living, culture, dominant industries, etc.) resulted in chaos?

    And lest somebody else accuse me of being an elitist snob by suggesting that Mississippi is so different from California or New York (in regard to culture), I suspect that many people in Mississippi would proudly boast that there are differences.

  105. thoreau – Sorry, I just can’t grant your apples-and-oranges comparison. The U.S. was essentially set up as free trade bloc at the Continental Congress, and codified that way by means of the Constitutuion. At that point, although the former colonies, now states of the union, considered themselves separate political entities, they were essentially a monoculture, sharing many of the same basic assumptions as to world view, society, etc. Transplanted Brits, for the most part. The only way the federal system would work is if the citizens of each state were also treated as citizens of a single nation, and, incidentally, that DID cause quite a bit of chaos at the time, as the states did not want to give up their individual currencies, and banks of issue continued even after they were supposedly outlawed, and there were enormous trade wars between the states culminating in the war we call “Civil,” and they refer to down south as “The Late Unpleasantness.”

    Nobody waved a magic wand and instantly created idyllic free trade relationships then, and it can’t happen that way now. Considering what it took to establish free trade within a single nation, expecting it to work between countries which do not share an intrinsic culture and worldview is a stretch at best. Canada, maybe, even though they are still horribly European collectivist in many respects. Mexico is coming, but it will take time. The Latin culture is hugely aristocratic and paternalistic, and their legal system is set up to reflect that. Quite the opposite from our supposedly egalitarian ideals. Those things matter, and are the source from which chaos comes.

  106. Incidentally, that same Constitution empowered the Federal government to regulate international trade, to levy duties, tariffs, etc., so “protectionism” as it is known, is not unheard of in U.S. culture or law. It is the flawed concept of “free trade” which is the newer, untested, idea.

  107. “So Eric, should we deport current citizens who benefit from the government’s redistributionist schemes? Or just those dirty immigrants? ”

    You probably missed the part where I said illegal immigrants. It’s an important distinction to make, as I have no problem with those who immigrate here legally. You seem to, though. “Dirty immigrants” indeed. But good job on catching me out, you’re right, I *do* want to deport everyone who gets government benefits. That’s exactly what I meant, clever of you to notice!

    “Just because the government infringes on our rights does not mean it is correct for it to infringe the rights of others in the process.”

    This sounds like it’s supposed to mean something, but I don’t think it actually does. Are you trying to say that by breaking the law, illegal immigrants have a right to my money, because the government is already infringing my rights…or… something? Who are the “others” whose rights are being infringed, and how does the government taking away my tax money accomplish that? You need to be a lot more clear about what you mean, and get back to me.

  108. I’m surprised nobody has brought out the old “but trade goes on between individuals, not governments” ploy. True enough, but contracts made between peoples of different govenments have to have some mechanism by which those contracts can be enforced, which is the reason free trade can easily exist within, say, the states of the U.S., but not necessarily between the U.S. and, say, Surinam. There will necessarily be interface between those governments, or, if those governments default on that responsiblilty or hand it over by treaty, between the parties and wacky-ass organizations like the WTO. Trade never occurs in a vacuum. The very definition of a contract includes the idea of a “meeting of the minds,” which cannot take place unless the basic assumptions are equivalent and understood to be so by both parties.

  109. As long as I’m waxing historic, here, for those of you who think economics and culture are separate entities, consider the historic persecution of Jews in Europe and the British Isles in Shakespearian times. The character of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice would not have been a villain if the Christian church of the time hadn’t considered all interest on loans to be usury, and Jewish culture had no such restriction.

  110. “At first I was a bit skeptical about not being for the drug war”

    Um, how could you NOT be?

    I do respect what you’re doing, but it seems that military folk put a LITTLE too much faith in our government.

  111. sorry, kwais,

    how COULD you be for the drug war?

  112. OK, to those who say “I have no problem with immigrants, as long as they come here legally”, I get your point. You want the newcomers to show some respect as they walk through the door. Fair enough.

    So, how difficult should it be to get in? How much should they have to go through to make that gesture of respect, and how many visas/green cards/whatever-other-term-they-might-use should be issued each year?

    Would you be OK with letting in anybody who is willing to go through the process, or should there be limits? If we set limits, then we’re arbitrarily keeping out people who respect our laws. Meanwhile, the people who don’t respect our laws (or at least don’t respect one of them, namely “Thou shalt not work for a company here without consent of the feds”) will come in regardless. We could always try harder to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, but we’ve all seen how tough it is to keep cocaine out of the country.

    On the other hand, if we don’t set limits (be they explicit limits via quotas, or implicit limits such as a difficult and lengthy process that makes it practically impossible for more than a certain number to get in each year), then the gesture of respect loses all meaning, and even those who don’t respect our laws may decide to go through the process anyway out of pragmatism rather than respect.

    So, what do you want?

    Me, I want a system where the border is carefully guarded but anybody who passes a background check is let in. You may be asking “How will your border protection scheme be any more effective than the current system?” My answer is that if we limit the pool of people interested in crossing to those who are known (or at least reasonably suspected) to engage in theft, violence, and fraud, then we’ll bankrupt the blackmarket smugglers and ID forgers who currently get people in, and limit the number of aspiring illegals to a manageable number.

  113. CORRECTION:

    My last sentence should be:

    “…if we limit the pool of people interested in crossing illegally to those who are known…”

    I really need to learn the “preview” function…

  114. By banding together against common enemies, and voila! you have a civilization, and a government. You can’t escape it, my friend.

    I may not be able to escape it, but such does not prove that government is necessary for civilization. Order arises outside of the state. Look into whaling or ranching, where if there was governement at all, it was remote and ineffective. Yet, the people involved managed to settle disputes and keep order without the mayhem so often predicted.

    Interesting to my Georgist bent your using the Framers in your discussion of immigration. Recall that they greatly valued Citizenship of their respective States, and there was much gravity behind the notion of allowing franchise only to landholders. Who has, or how is it derived, fair title to a piece of the earth? The whole idea of excluding a person from a patch of land (immigration) rests upon one’s philosophical justification for land titles.

    Separate, but related, seem questions of association in community (citizenship as it has been discussed today). I may be a US citizen, and a citizen of my State, and this grants me the privilege of standing upon US or State ground even if I own none myself. Conversely, one may hold title to ground in the US but be prevented from occupying it if the citizens decide to limit (value) admission to their social club. I’ll have to read more of the justifications for this seemingly unfair conundrum…

  115. Lonewacko – as matt says “Perhaps Reason supports “open borders” because, as their tagline says, they are for “free minds and free markets” (free market being the key here). Immigration restrictions are a restriction on the free market for labor, as well as an anti-libertarian use of force against peaceful people.

    There’s little “free” about the market for illegal labor. It’s a boondoggle for corrupt employers and corrupt politicians, with the true cost for that “cheap” labor passed on to the rest of us.

    As for the “peaceful” people, I realize critical thinking and a knowledge of history aren’t exactly prized possessions in libertariandom, but really. Try to do some thinking, OK? If 10 million Americans moved into Canada, would they be “peaceful?” No, they’d be an invading force. And, they’d represent an American way of life, and they’d be controlled by the American government to a certain extent.

    Some times I think libertarians were just the “liberals” who other “liberals” realized were too dumb for their movement.

  116. {light bulb goes on}

    Hey, WASPB, forget the whaling history–
    The entire system that supports illegal immigration (smugglers, forgers, et al.) is testament to the ability of people to organize complexity without government!

  117. Some times I think libertarians were just the “liberals” who other “liberals” realized were too dumb for their movement.

    That would explain why they all snickered and waved good-bye with smiles on their faces when I changed my voter registration to LP. And why the DNC sent me a copy of “Voting For Dummies” when I left.

    Me vote liburtaren real good!

  118. So, how difficult should it be to get in? How much should they have to go through to make that gesture of respect, and how many visas/green cards/whatever-other-term-they-might-use should be issued each year?

    I would personally be willing to let anyone in (after a background check) who is willing to pay a fee. I’m not sure how high the fee would need to be.

  119. … sorry I should explain that more.

    If being an American citizen is so valuable, then people should be willing to pay for it. Therefore, we need to start charging.

  120. The suggestion that the economy would be better off if we restricted access to inexpensive foreign substiutes is a ridiculous one.

    Having said that, I p

  121. Don?t arrest the poor Mexican workers trying to improve their lot, arrest the dishonest employers who hire them. And keep on track, this discussion is not about Hillary Fn Clinton, or racism, it is about cheap labor and driving down wages, all wages, your wages, in this country. I do not blame anyone who is willing to work hard to provide a better life for themselves and their family. I do blame business owners who hire these people knowing they ?jumped the line? to bypass those who obey the law, who play by the rules. Illegal immigrants only come here because they know they will be hired by other law breakers. In other words: rewarded by DISHONEST LAW BREAKING EMPLOYEERS. I know most of you do not work construction, but my Nephew does. He is a general contractor who only employees legal workers. He pays them a fair wage for construction workers in north Alabama: $10 to $17 an hour, plus the option to buy group rate health insurance; and he has to compete with DISHONEST contractors who pay their illegal workers $5 to $7 an hour and offer no health insurance. My Nephew provides jobs for many families besides his own, and when he has to compete with greedy dishonest businessmen who employ illegal workers it means he can not hire as many legal workers as he could. Someday, when wages for your factory, computer, and science jobs falls to $15 an hour you will be singing a different tune. Again, don?t harass the poor Mexican workers trying to improve their lot, arrest the dishonest employers who hire them, it?s a lot cheaper than securing the borders and Wackenhut will prosper.

  122. …This happens when I post from the phone sometimes. Let’s try that again…

  123. The suggestion that the economy would be better off if we restricted access to inexpensive foreign substiutes is a ridiculous one.

    Having said that, I find it curious that many of those who complain the loudest about illegal immigrants are also among the most vocal opponents of free trade. If the “true” cost of illegal immigration is so important, why aren’t such critics downright enthusiastic about free trade?

  124. Dan-

    How many of those immigrants would settle for such low wages if they had more options? And how many more options would they have if the government didn’t make it illegal to hire them?

    However bad a free market might be, a black market is worse. And while it’s nice to think that we can somehow banish the black market and just have a nicely regulated market, the black market is more resilient and innovative than any government. The only way to eliminate it is to free up the legal market.

  125. The only way to eliminate it is to free up the legal market.

    There’s free as in speech, and then there’s free as in beer.

    Why can’t we have the first, without having to have the second?

  126. Do you always resort to name-calling to win an argument Lonewacko, or am I just special? Yes of course, I’m just a closet liberal too stupid for their “movement.” Christ. You, like all modern conservatives and liberals, want to use the power of the state to meet your own desired end. I don’t.

    How about instead of taxing me to fund your aggression against immigrants, you and your “closed border” buddies use your own funds to personally patrol the border and keep out those pesky immigrants? Are you willing to go shoot a peaceful immigrant to keep him from crossing the border? Or would you rather tax other people and have the government do your dirty work for you?

  127. Man, this thread is a hell of a reminder of why I rarely read the comments section around here.

    I did appreciate Kwais’ posts though. I have the same story, just with a different branch of service. 😀

    One other thing…
    “Libs talk about freedom, but within no context that makes sense. They have no ethics, no morals, no values apart from “leave me the hell alone,” even while realizing the ultimate logic of that is anarchy, which is to say, tyranny without organization.

    I just had to repost that as one of the most ignorant things I have ever seen on this site. Staggering in the level of ignorance it achieves.

    Grats on being a retard, I guess. You win!

  128. Andy,

    Perhaps I didn’t express myself correctly. Right now I am very opposed to the drug war. Incase I wasn’t clear about that.

    If you are asking how I could have been in favor of the drug war in the past; “Drugs are baaad mmKay”. I grew up on ‘Miami Vice’. And other shows and, the whole public school propaganda about what evil drugs were, and that evil people who sell drugs are the ones responsible for the addictions of others. I never took drugs myself. I guess I could have been a believer in the drug war, the same way as many other people are.

    Everybody else; thanks for the kind comments.

  129. I don’t like her.

  130. How about instead of taxing me to fund your aggression against immigrants, you and your “closed border” buddies use your own funds to personally patrol the border and keep out those pesky immigrants? Are you willing to go shoot a peaceful immigrant to keep him from crossing the border?

    I’m really curious about Lone Wolf’s response to that question. There was an anti-immigration organization, out of Fallbrook, CA as I recall, that once took it upon itself to patrol for illegal aliens. If I remember correctly, that little experiment didn’t go according to plan.

    http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/Metzger.asp?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=2&item=7

  131. herryoyo –

    “One other thing…
    “Libs talk about freedom, but within no context that makes sense. They have no ethics, no morals, no values apart from “leave me the hell alone,” even while realizing the ultimate logic of that is anarchy, which is to say, tyranny without organization.
    I just had to repost that as one of the most ignorant things I have ever seen on this site. Staggering in the level of ignorance it achieves.Grats on being a retard, I guess. You win!”

    I can’t fail to notice you complained about, but did not say anything to refute my premise.

    Having said that, though, I do want to modify that statement of mine somewhat. I did not mean to imply that individuals who self-identify as Libertarians have no ethics, morals, values, etc. What I meant to say is Libertarianism, from all that I have read and heard, sees “liberty” as a free-floating abstraction. It doesn’t bother to derive the concept from anything concrete, treats it as an end in itself rather than a means to an end, does not define its parameters, describes its paradise as nothing more than “liberty for all,” as if that, in itself, were the answer to all life’s problems. Sure, it’s a biggie, but it ain’t the whole enchilada.

    Further, Libertarianism tends to separate economics from the human forces which generate and contain it. The odd idea that markets function outside of culture, of nationality and tribe, of government, and that all “uncoerced” markets would therefore operate under the same general principles is one I find both false to observable fact, and counter to human nature.

    Thing about Adam Smith is that he didn’t deal much outside of Western European, and by extension, American culture. Right now, the global economy is rapidly being dominated by nations like China who are behaving like capitalists? hugely corrupt capitalists, but capitalists nonetheless? but who do not hold capitalist ideals, who do not embrace the concept of private property except as an expedient, and really only escaped the feudal system within the past 80 years. We are dealing with them as if they were and equivalent economic culture, to the benefit of some but the HUGE detriment of others, and the Libertarians call it “free trade.” I find this both laughable and unethical.

    So, to sum up. While I respect many Libertarian ideals (They have ideals, certainly.) I haven’t drunk that particular flavor of Kool-Aid, and while I respect many people who refer to themselves as Libertarians, the Libertarian philosophy, to the extent it can be called a philosophy, strikes me much like atheism? a hole in a nonexistent doughnut? and nothing on which a political system, much less economics and culture, can build upon.

  132. Incidentally, I just saw a gentleman by the name of Eduardo Aguirro on Washington Journal on CSPAN. He’s from Immigration, and among other things mentioned that Green Card holders can serve in the U.S. military, and were draftable when there was a draft. That was a bit I was unaware of, and it clears up a question I was going to ask Kwais about his Mexican compadres in the Marines.

    Just thought I’d mention it.

  133. “There’s little “free” about the market for illegal labor. It’s a boondoggle for corrupt employers and corrupt politicians, with the true cost for that “cheap” labor passed on to the rest of us.”

    Yes, it is. That’s why it’s so important to make that labor legal. Scrapping unrealistic immigration quotas – the ones that don’t bear any resemblance to the number of people actually coming here – is necessary exactly because of the downward pressure on labor created by illegal immigrants who are willing to work for next to nothing. If they have more choices, there won’t be as many of them willing to take sub-minimum, under the table, no benefits wages.

    WASPB, the disgusting thing about immigrants in uniform is that they are not guaranteed citizenship, even if they complete their service honorably.

  134. I think the concept of “open borders” is misunderstood, certainly here on this thread. No Libertarian I know asserts that governments shouldn’t have borders or enforce them, especially against criminals and invaders. If you’re not a citizen of this country, for example, and you commit a crime, then the government can certainly expel you, fine you, or incarcerate you, at its option. If you and your buddies are a criminal gang, and you cross into US territory to set up operations in a town, to the point of “taking it over” through aggression, that’s an invasion, which the government may certainly repel, as it does more large scale, military invasions.

    On the other hand, if you come here to engage in peaceful, gainful pursuits, hurting or agressing against nobody, then Libertarians say the government exceeds its proper authority to prevent your comings and goings, or to penalize you for simply existing within our borders and trying to make an honest living. Simply crossing the border and being here in this country is not an aggression.

    I have yet to see anyone make the case that allowing peaceful people to come and go freely is a bad thing. What they always seem to argue is that, if we let “too many” newcomers in, they will steal jobs or freeload off welfare programs. I’ll leave an examination of the “stealing jobs” argument to others, or for myself when I have more time. As for the “freeloading” argument, Libertarians would say that the fault is not in the immigrants, but in the welfare programs, which should be scrapped, along with legal barriers to entry which keep people from bootstrapping their own small businesses to rise from poverty. At its heart, America ought to be about creating as much opportunity as possible, and promoting as much personal liberty as possible. The present crop — or should I say crap — of immigration laws run counter to this ideal, and even inconvenience native born citizens. I thoroughly resent having to show my papers — an approved ID, a passport, or the like — to assert a “right to work” in my own country, or to travel by air (provided my name is not inadvertently on a “no fly” list).

  135. “Further, Libertarianism tends to separate economics from the human forces which generate and contain it.”

    Got any examples?

    …All the libertarians I know constantly have to remind the heathen that when they talk about market forces they’re talking about individuals making choices.

  136. Lonewacko observed that libertarians are just liberals who got kicked out of the movement for being too stupid. He’s more right than you realize!

    Most of you know that I came to libertarianism from the left in 2000, when I voted for Harry Browne. What you may not know is that I worked on the Gore campaign. The campaign motorcade included several buses. I was on the short bus near the end of the motorcade. I had a lot of busywork to do. The bus had a copy machine with extra large, colorful buttons that were easier for me to handle. My job title was “Extra Special Assistant.” It was a lot of fun, and I like to help!

    Around the time of the debates they were extra busy, so somebody brought me in to help with some of the planning. I was glad to have something more interesting than making copies, because I like to help!

    Well, I came up with the idea of the “lock box.” After that idea fell flat, Gore personally took me aside and said that there was a special campaign for people like me, and they sent me and my friends on the short bus over to Harry Browne’s campaign. Browne took over the short bus for his campaign, but he wound up selling it because even when he put his entire campaign staff on it there was still lots of room left.

  137. “What you may not know is that I worked on the Gore campaign.”

    So that’s why he lost! 🙂

  138. “I’m really curious about Lone Wolf’s response to that question.”

    Me too Ken. Me too.

  139. Ken Shultz –

    “…All the libertarians I know constantly have to remind the heathen that when they talk about market forces they’re talking about individuals making choices.”

    Exactly! But that’s not ALL market forces are about. There are individuals, and then there is the aggregate, influenced as it is by tribe, religion, nationality, etc. People are social beasts as well as individuals. Liberarian theory acts as if microeconomics is all there is, and as if macroeconomics is merely an extension of it. An analogy: Most of the people, as individuals, involved in the Watts riots were probably, on the average and for the most part, peaceable, rational folks just trying to get by. Mob psychology manifests itself in very different ways than individual psychology, else we would not have such things as tribe, religion, nationality, culture, etc.

  140. Eric:

    Didn’t see your response ’til just now or else I would have responded. And since it’s tuesday night, and I’m bored, I’ll respond just on the off chance you check this thread again.

    In your original post you made it clear you wanted to keep immigrants out because they might benefit from government loot stolen from the populace via taxation. But you ignore that fact that many current citizens benefit just as much, and probably more in some cases, from said loot. So, to be consistent then, you would advocate the forceful removal of these citizens too? Right?

    Illegal immigrants are only illegal because they refuse to obey the government’s demand that they jump through various bureaucratic hoops in order to attain their seal of approval. If your family is starving and you haven’t got time to waste fooling with the government, then you immigrate “illegaly.” So, to be clear, I make no distiction between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants. (Sorta like “legal” vs “illegal drugs. The latter are only illegal because the government says so. Same for immigrants.)

    I’ll ask you the same set of questions I put to Lonewacko:

    How about instead of taxing me to fund your aggression against immigrants, you and your “closed border” buddies use your own funds to personally patrol the border and keep out those pesky immigrants? Are you willing to go shoot a peaceful immigrant to keep him from crossing the border? Or would you rather tax other people and have the government do your dirty work for you?

  141. The predictions of chaos and calamity that would result from open borders reminded me of a point made in an old Virginia Postrel article in Reason.

    https://reason.com/9511/VIPedit.shtml

    “Even in the nativist 1920s, however, the United States did not close its Southern border. Until 1965, there was no numerical limit on immigration from the Western Hemisphere. ”

    Did we have chaos before 1965?

    Also, during its history the United States has assimilated large quantities of immigrants from all different cultures. The influences have contributed greatly in shaping our current culture (or cultures really, since the U.S. is not homogenous from a cultural standpoint). Why should our culture at this point in time be protected from future influences when it has benefited greatly from various influences in the past?

  142. Allen Phelps,

    The difference is mass transportation, the interstate system, our much huger population ? all culminating in increased human entropy regarding which we have two choices, relinquish control over our borders, and by definition, then cease to be a nation, or exert as much control as is practical, possible and necessary. Those who don’t believe the US has anything more to offer than your average third world country tend to go for the former. Those who believe the US has something worth protecting, and granting particularly to those willing to try to measure up and do things the right way, choose the latter.

  143. I do hope that Hillary runs for President in 2008. She will be so badly slammed and embarassed that her grandchildren will deny their heritage. Hillary is the most self-solicitous opportunist in Washington today. Those who voted her into the Senate were distainfully ignorant. How sad for this great country that ignorance is still so widespread.

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