The States as Laboratories of Illegal Immigration Enforcement (Veiled Subscription Pitch)

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USA Today has a story about how states are doing it for themselves: Passing and/or considering legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration, especially via employer sanctions. A snippet:

Acting while Congress struggles to set policy regarding the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, states have enacted at least 57 laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and a USA TODAY analysis. Among major themes of the state legislation: fining businesses that hire undocumented workers and denying such companies public contracts if they don't verify the legal status of employees.

"The trends…have leaned toward the punitive side," says Ann Morse, an immigration expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The No. 1 topic has been employment in terms of deterring employers and employees."

Whole thing here.

State-by-state breakdown here.

As subscribers to Reason's print edition already know, our August-September double issue has a special section on immgration that is not only intellectually provocative–so much so that I've already received a fistful of subscription cancellations from readers displeased by the magazine's support for open borders–but beautifully illustrated with early 20th-century posters provided by The Georgetown Book Shop.

august.jpg

Check out the issue–which also features a 40th anniversary appreciation of the original Star Trek that would bring unfaked tears to the eyes of Harry Mudd, an on-the-ground report from Kurdistan, a shout-out to Andy Warhol, and much, much more–on newsstands now.

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  1. Keep running articles like that terrible, statist Rauch piece on oil that just came out, and you’ll be seeing my subscription cancellation as well

  2. not only intellectually provocative
    As long as Reason(koffkoff) keeps conflating “illegal immigrants” with “immigrants” and 3rd-world immigrants with 1st-world immigrants, a better term would be “intellectually dishonest.”

  3. Heh. Mr. F. Le Mur, I’m sure that your immigrant ancestors came over with their doctorates and their millions. As for the rest of us, well, our ancestors came to America with little more than the clothes on their backs and the dream of making a better life for themselves.

    But they were the correct color, right?

  4. So, Le Mur, you believe in the 1st-world immigrants and the untermenschen, eh? Tell me, ignoramus, since the concepts “1st world, 3rd world etc.” are outdated Cold-War terms, how are they at all applicable to immigration? And would you count all the Irish and Italians (uneducated, steerage-class folk) 1st world?

    Your smarmy elitism is telling; glad to know that you were here before the Native Americans.

  5. The cover is literally an illustration of the logical fallacy of Appeal to Tradition. What’s even sadder is that the editors at Reason either probably don’t realize that, or are not intellectually honest enough to consider the differences between then and now.

    But, hey, you’ve converted a few minor airhead celebs, so you must be doing something right.

  6. The link that TheBenefitsOfGlobalWarming leads to contains a logical fallacy.

  7. Please, TBOGW, illuminate us. How are immigrants today different from immigrants in the 1920s? (Other than their skin color, since, of course, there is no hint of racism in today’s nativist movement…)

  8. Please, TBOGW, illuminate us. How are immigrants today different from immigrants in the 1920s? (Other than their skin color, since, of course, there is no hint of racism in today’s nativist movement…)

  9. Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  10. As subscribers to Reason’s print edition already know, our August-September double issue has a special section on immgration [sic] that is not only intellectually provocative–so much so that I’ve already received a fistful of subscription cancellations from readers displeased by the magazine’s support for open borders–but beautifully illustrated with early 20th-century posters provided by The Georgetown Book Shop.

    BULLSHIT NICK. The Aug./Sept. 2006 issue of Reason magazine has a total of 72 pages. The June 2006 issue of Reason magazine has, by comparison, 74 pages. DOUBLE ISSUE MY ASS!! You’re just giving the staff a months summer vacation, on the subscribers’ dime. Calling the Aug./Sept. 2006 issue of Reason magazine a double issue is a blatant FRAUD. One that is repeatedly committed annually I might add. I demand my subscription be extended one month in compensation for the loss of one half of the “double issue” you claim to have sent me.

  11. FWIW, I thought the articles were excellent.

    But I will admit that nothing about the issue screamed “Double” to me. It being a double-issue is news to me.

  12. My God, is that woman wearing a HEADSCARF?!?

  13. Gee Clean Hands, if you stop by every immigration-related thread and brand as racist every person who questions in the slightest way a complete open doors policy, the label will stick eventually. Really.

  14. Sadly, I’m forced to point out that my link is a satire.

    I enumerate some of the differences between then and now here:

    http://immref.com/spin/immigration-of-yesteryear/

  15. B.P.,

    Worrying about
    conflating 3rd-world immigrants with 1st-world immigrants
    does sound racist.

  16. I enumerate some of the differences between then and now

    Here’s my favorite difference between then and now, which I don’t see reflected in your list:

    Back then, many if not most Americans would see nothing wrong with discriminating against people based on any number of characteristics of their birth. Today, discrimination based on most all characteristics of birth is seen as misguided or even evil …except for place of birth, where such discrimination is mandated.

  17. I received my issue a week or so ago. I dig it. I’m still skipping around within, but so far my favorite articles are the appreciation of Star Trek TOS and the visit to Kurdistan.

    The Kurdistan article actually made me feel more optimistic about the future of Iraq (or the states that may succeed it), which is something.

  18. State-by-state breakdown here.

    New Hampshire now requires proof of citizenship to register to vote? Say it ain’t so!

  19. Hey Nick Gillespie,

    Let me just say that I’m about to get a subscription to Reason precisely because you all are fearless and you’re not going to let the intellectual level of the magazine be drawn down to the lowly state of its stupidest (former) subscribers.

    (As the former roommate of a former reason editor, I probably could gotten my hands on a complimentary copy or seven. But no free-riding for me-that’s not how I roll.)

    Nativists are wrong on the issue but what makes them such wussies that they can’t even stand to be confronted with the opposite point of view?

  20. PS – I have to agree with Dan Alban about the Rauch piece. What a piece of shit. Clearly the worst thing I’ve seen in H&R this year.

  21. The Kurdistan article actually made me feel more optimistic about the future of Iraq (or the states that may succeed it), which is something.

    Comment by: Stevo Darkly at July 10, 2006 03:45 PM

    Same here, that article is very good.

  22. Gosh, B.P., I acknowledged a complete lack of racism on the part of those who rail against illegal immigration, and asked for other plausible objections. A little hypersensitive, maybe?

    So, point-by-point, let’s destroy the case the TBOGW’s cute little citation tries to make, shall we?

    1. Many of our current illegal aliens are from a neighboring country, meaning they don’t have to make a clean break, they can go back and forth. There are families with members on both sides of the border.

    2. Related to that, past immigrants came here on ships; current immigrants can walk over.

    So we need to have high barriers to immigration for Canadians, too? Or is it just the Mexicans, for some mysterious reason?

    For that matter, with global telecommunications, point 1 dissolved long ago, for nearly ALL immigrants.

    3. Italy, Poland, Germany, and Ireland never held territory in the U.S. On the other hand, the Southwest U.S. briefly was Mexican territory. And, in a poll conducted in Mexico, 58% said that the U.S. Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.

    So what? It’s part of the US now; no public-opinion poll is going to change that, particularly not one held in Mexico, for crying out loud. How about we ask the Mexican immigrants here? Most of them are striving too hard to earn their piece of the American dream to be interested in this kind of nonsense.

    This is a classic red herring.

    4. There wasn’t a far-left, Gramscian “multiculturalism” movement a century ago. The related issue of political correctness makes it difficult for some to, for instance, use the correct names for things (“illegal aliens”) rather than euphemisms (“undocumented workers”).

    Illegal immigrant. There, I said it. Wasn’t “difficult” at all. Your point?

    5. There were ethnic newspapers, but nothing like today’s ethnic media.

    There wasn’t anything like today’s media in any arena, numbnuts. If you don’t like Mexican soap operas, don’t tune in. If the sound of a mariachi band makes you queasy, change the station. Are you trying to say that we ought to have controls placed on the media based on ethnic content? But there’s no racism here, oh, no.

    6. Immigrants who came through Ellis Island were checked for disease and suitability. And, they were pre-screened by the cruiseship companies, who were charged if someone was rejected. Nowadays, anyone can overstay their visa or just walk across.

    Legalize immigration, and you can have your disease screenings, easy as pie. Keep it illegal, and they’ll keep sneaking across the border. Duh.

    7. There’s been a rapid increase in dual citizenship, leading to U.S. citizens with divided loyalties. 14% of U.S. citizens are eligible to be dual citizens, and Mexico encourages dual citizenship as a way of obtaining political power inside the U.S.

    I’m not even sure what your point is here — other than to insinuate that Mexican immigrants will suddenly turn against us gringoes when der tag comes?

    7. The welfare state hardly existed a century ago.

    Agreed, in spades, trumped and doubled. So let’s dismantle the thing, instead of using it as an excuse to keep out people who want to work here. Your average Mexican illegal immigrant doesn’t come here for the wonderful experience of signing up for public services — he comes here to work his ass off.

    8. Obvious to anyone who’s been to, say, Dallas or Los Angeles, there were many fewer people here a century ago than there are now.

    Right, we’re running out of real estate in this country. Go sell crazy somewhere else, buddy; we’re all full up here.

  23. That was an excellent issue, overall. The Kurdistan article was very informative. The immigration piece was an interesting format, with a large number of short pieces connected by a common theme, and illustrated with very relevant editorial cartoons. And then there was Tim’s article on Star Trek.

    Really, just a fantastic issue. One need not agree with the views expressed in the immigration article to think that it was an interesting format with which to address the topic.

  24. The States as Laboratories of Illegal Immigration Enforcement

    By the way, the states are where illegal immigration enforcement — as well as immigration law in general — should reside according to the Constitution.

    Congress has the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…” Naturalization is not immigration. Naturalization is not residence. Naturalization is the process by which aliens become citizens.

    Not being a power granted to the federal government, control over migration and residence is a state power.

  25. Saying that immigrants from the Ellis Island generation didn’t go “back and forth” and “made a clean break” is rubbish. Ever since the invention of the steam liner, plenty of immigrants (especially Itilians) would work one season in the United States, and go back to Italy the next. Immigrants haven’t been forced to break totally with their home countries since the invention of the steam ship.

    And the welfare state *did* exist somewhat where those immigrants settled–New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Its how the urban political machines stayed in power–through popular social programs and patronage.

  26. So we need to have high barriers to immigration for Canadians, too?

    If we had 10% of Quebec’s population (15% of their workers) settling in Maine, most Americans would consider that a major problem. Most Americans are patriots and would not want to see, for instance, northern Maine become a Quebec settlement. Most libertarians probably wouldn’t care.

    For that matter, with global telecommunications, point 1 dissolved long ago, for nearly ALL immigrants.

    Obvious to most, there’s a difference between the telephone and actually being able to return once in a while an immerse yourself in a culture.

    So what? It’s part of the US now; no public-opinion poll is going to change that, particularly not one held in Mexico, for crying out loud.

    I think I’ll stop there, since you’ve revealed yourself to be an idiot. If a critical mass of Californians are Mexican partisans, then they can be assured of a certain ability to be Mexican partisans. As example after example shows, once a fairly cohesive group has numerical or other control, they are able to do what the group wants to do. If most of California wanted to secede, the rest of the U.S. might be forced to either invade or accept the matter.

    Can you remember two similar cases in American history?

    Once again, this is where patriotic Americans and most libertarians split. Most libertarians wouldn’t care about a state seceding; most patriotic Americans want to prevent things like that from happening.

  27. TheBenefitsOfGlobalWarming,

    You’re a…(melodramatic gasp)…statist! Aren’t you?
    [Cue dramatic music] (DUN DUN DUNNN)

  28. Good issue Nick. And I’d like to add I like the direction you’ve taken the magazine. An interesting libertarian magazine is one that challenges all sorts of icons, including the icons of libertarianism, without abandoning support for free minds and free markets. Congratulations for having the courage to do that. Don’t let the “I’m cancelling my subscription” wails discourage you from continuing to challenge people.

    I especially have enjoyed the book review section. I sent the review of 1491 to all sorts of people – left, right, and center, and everyone found it very interesting. This is one of the best features of the magazine. When you can actually engage people of different political persuasions in a conversation of ideas about history and culture that feels like a greater achievement than just preaching the message to the congregation.

    Any chance of employing other cartoonists (I don’t mean me) besides Bagge? I’m not suggesting becoming another New Yorker, but that is one of the best things about the New Yorker. Maybe just one or two more.

  29. You’re a…(melodramatic gasp)…statist! Aren’t you?

    Oh, no, he’s much worse than that. Wait until Mr Clean gets a hold of this.

    Clearly, TBOGW doesn’t realize that there really are no logical reasons whatsoever for opposing an absolute open door policy today. Screw the existence of the welfare state, screw the fact that infrastructure resources are not infinite, screw every possible counter argument (and especially, flatly refuse to acknowledge the REASON behind any valid opposition). Open the borders. Do it now.

    There’s about 300 million people in the US now. If we got 300 million more immigrants over the next year, or hell even 600 million more, or 900 million more over the next 12 months, it wouldn’t make any difference at all.

    NOTHING WOULD CHANGE except that we’d all be BETTER OFF if we got 600 or 900 million immigrants over the next 12 months (oh, and we wouldn’t have to live with Mr Clean calling us names and racists anymore — phew!!).

    We can take anything, we can take any possible number of immigrants that the globe throws at us. The idiots in this country just don’t get it.

  30. G,
    I see your point. But suppose your own family did not meet the criteria of the gatekeepers at the time. Would you feel any differently?

  31. bombadil,

    I understand your point as well. I personally would prefer that we be able to just open the gates and that’s that.

    My whole point — is that almost nobody around here seems to acknowledge the fact that there could be a problem or two if we did just open the gate.

    I’ve talked with many Mexican immigrants here in Arizona, and understand why they want to come here. I’m very sympathetic to their case.

    I’m not sure what the right answer is. But we’re all better off thinking about it, than just taking on a stock answer because that’s the party line.

    And that goes for everybody’s party.

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