Minuteman ?s Libertarian Party Candidate

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Jim Gilchrist, chief of the border-blockin' Minutemen, endorses California Libertarian Party gubernatorial (can't type that word enough…) candidate Art Olivier, Harry Browne's 2000 vice presidential running mate and former mayor of Bellflower, California, since he's tougher on illegal immigration than Republican incumbent (and immigrant) Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Olivier has a tough on immigrants stance (some of which is not official LP platform stuff) of no public benefits for illegals, no citizenship for their children, and having cops turn in any undocumented people they might arrest to immigration authorities (a policy that L.A., at least, avoids for reasons of encouraging more successful police relations with largely immigrant communities, and a policy I've defended against Bill O'Reilly, who showed scenes of angry-looking tattooed Hispanics waving hands menacingly in the streets while I talked).

For a wide range of libertarianoid thought and analysis on the immigration issue, see Reason's epoch-making cover story package from our August-September issue.

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  1. Glad you pointed out his Immigration stance before I gave him my vote. Looks like it will be another election where there’ll be no candidates worth voting for, including the Libertarian.

  2. Finally a libertarian that John can support.

  3. So what should a perfectly groomed libertarian candidate preach?

  4. “The 14th Amendment of the Constitution is used to grant citizenship to babies of illegal immigrants. This should be challenged.”

    I’ve always felt that way about it but I’ve never heard anyone else say it.

  5. Of the three immigration positions Olivier shows on his website, I strongly disagree with only the one making state law enforcement an arm of immigration enforcement since that’s the only one that actively violates individual rights.

    Nonetheless, I will vote a straight party line like I always do. He won’t win, and the numbers won’t be correlated to his immigration stance in the short, medium, or long run.

  6. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution is used to grant citizenship to babies of illegal immigrants. This should be challenged.

    “I’ve always felt that way about it but I’ve never heard anyone else say it.”

    Here’s the relevant part of the 14th Amendment:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    Exactly how do you figure the children of illegal immigrants born in the US would not qualify? And please note, if you’re going to seize on the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” that the US government prosecutes illegal immigrants for crimes committed on US soil, so it obviously believes they are subject to American jurisdiction. (No jurisdiction = no criminal prosecution.)

  7. “Olivier has a tough on immigrants stance (some of which is not official LP platform stuff) of no public benefits for illegals, no citizenship for their children, and having cops turn in any undocumented people they might arrest to immigration authorities…”

    I just checked the new, abbreviated platform, and much to my chagrin, “no public benefits for illegals”, seems to conform perfectly with the LP platform’s Transitional Action statement on the issue, which, in part, reads:

    “End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the country illegally.”

    http://www.lp.org/issues/platform_all.shtml#immgr

    I’d feel better about that statement if it simply said, “End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided.”

  8. So what should a perfectly groomed libertarian candidate preach?

    A Libertarian candidate’s stance on illegal immigration should be very similar to his stance on illegal drugs.

    Assuming he is in an arena where he needs to soft pedal the hard party line, he says (1) this really is not a problem for the general populace; (2) it pales in importance next to issues like how much money the government taxes and burns every year; and (3) it is the prohibition, not the act, that causes the majority of the troubles.

    If he is desperately courting the anti-illegal-immigration vote, he can chime in that he recognizes that state provided services to illegal immigrants can be a draw to immigrants and a drain on taxpayers, but that the solution is to reform those services.

  9. I wonder how a constitutional amendment would fare that amended 14th to read: “and who have attained the age of majority and made a positive declaration of intent”? This would, of course,
    include eighth generation American born 18 year olds. Which might not be a bad thing.

  10. SR,
    let’s seize on the jurisdiction part.

    jurisdiction would be the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate. Citizens would fall under this, which would put their children under the same jurisdiction.

    “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

    persons can be prosecuted whether they are citizens or not.

  11. MikeP, (and thanks for your response)

    I imagine listening to candidate and then asking the person the following questions (my vote must be earned):

    (1) this really is not a problem for the general populace
    And when asked: Sir, please explain?

    (2) it pales in importance next to issues like how much money the government taxes and burns every year;
    Yes sir, that is true but given that it is handled in different committees & departments, can’t we work on both simultaneously?

    (3) it is the prohibition, not the act, that causes the majority of the troubles.
    Sir, are you suggesting that we should remove “illegal” from both drugs and immigrants?
    Is so, please explain. If not, also explain?

    Thank you.

  12. Look on the bright side. Adopting a nativist platform would mean people would actually vote for Libertarians this time around. Just imagine how well they’d do if they came out with a comprehensive social security plan?

  13. “SR, let’s seize on the jurisdiction part.

    jurisdiction would be the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate. Citizens would fall under this, which would put their children under the same jurisdiction.”

    “Jurisdiction” is principally defined as being the geographic region or subject matter over which a sovereign exerts its authority.

    As the U.S. Supreme Court stated in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 211 n.10, and 215 (1982):

    Although we have not previously focused on the intended meaning of this phrase, we have had occasion to examine the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States….” Justice Gray, writing for the Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 18 S.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890 (1898), detailed at some length the history of the Citizenship Clause, and the predominantly geographic sense in which the term “jurisdiction” was used. He further noted that it was “impossible to construe the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the opening sentence [of the Fourteenth Amendment], as less comprehensive than the words ‘within its jurisdiction,’ in the concluding sentence of the same section; or to hold that persons ‘within the jurisdiction’ of one of the States of the Union are not ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.'” Id., at 687, 18 S.Ct., at 471.

    Justice Gray concluded that “[e]very citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States.” Id., at 693, 18 S.Ct., at 473. As one early commentator noted, given the historical emphasis on geographic territoriality, bounded only, if at all, by principles of sovereignty and allegiance, no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment “jurisdiction” can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful. See C. Bouv?Exclusion and Expulsion of Aliens in the United States 425-427 (1912).

    * * *

    Use of the phrase “within its jurisdiction” thus does not detract from, but rather confirms, the understanding that the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment extends to anyone, citizen or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a State, and reaches into every corner of a State’s territory. That a person’s initial entry into a State, or into the United States, was unlawful, and that he may for that reason be expelled, cannot negate the simple fact of his presence within the State’s territorial perimeter. Given such presence, he is subject to the full range of obligations imposed by the State’s civil and criminal laws. And until he leaves the jurisdiction–either voluntarily, or involuntarily in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States–he is entitled to the equal protection of the laws that a State may choose to establish.

  14. Don Coyote,

    Continuing the conversation at the sufferance of the others in the auditorium…

    (1) What are illegal immigrants doing that actually and directly harms you? Please don’t try making a defense for the nation or the culture or the English language or for people you saw on cable news programs who were selected for how incensed they could get over illegal immigration. How have they affected you?

    (2) Now compare that effect to the fact that the US takes 12 percent of your paycheck — regardless of how little you make! — and puts it towards a Social Security system that, as of now, promises not to give it all back to you. And that’s just one example of how a hyperactive government impedes your life and livelihood. Don’t you see illegal immigration as a distraction to the real issues, something which induces emotion but not much actual harm?

    (3) Indeed, I would remove “illegal” from both drugs and immigrants. Nothing that comprises a consensual relationship among adults should be illegal, regardless of what the adults consume or where the adults were born. American history is full of cases where government tried to interfere in voluntary associations to correct some perceived public grievance, only to cause far greater harm with the attempted correction.

    We Libertarians believe in a smaller government. We Libertarians believe in a freer you.

  15. Note that a Libertarian candidate should (a) direct the conversation toward the platform points he has chosen specifically to run on and (b) avoid getting into an economics debate on the topic.

    If the voter truly is anti-illegal-immigrant, he won’t vote for the Libertarian unless the rest of the Libertarian’s positions outweigh that one when compared to his opponents. If the candidate never discusses anything besides immigration, he will not win the vote.

    Similarly, if the voter is for nationalized health care, the Libertarian candidate will not win the voter’s support on that issue. There simply is not enough time in a campaign stop to convey the moral, economic, and historical rationale behind the Libertarian position on either immigration or health care.

  16. they should at least let hot latin chicks and drug smugglers across the border.

  17. There is a difference between a person being “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and a person being “within its jurisdiction”. I agree that the first one is stronger. But I disagree that the second statement is referring to the same person.

    and a second to the hot latin chicks

  18. I am imagining the joy a minuteman would feel at watching 9 year olds who speak english and were born her being stripped of their citizenship and sent back to…where ever they came from…possibly to a language zone where they cannot function. Certainly no fault of the minuteman, it’s the fault of those dirty free loading immigrants who brought them into this world.

    Ah yes, I am amazed at how many people would love that. Perhaps we can backdate that provision a bit…increase the fun.

    My first ancestor was born here in the 1700’s…

    Not that anyone has noticed that the birth issue dates back several thousand years in common law, no reason not to have some fun with it.

    This candidate is a true free market libertarian. Or at least what passes for one if you can’t remember the base root of the word liberty.

  19. MikeP;

    (1) Immigrants do not harm “me”. I do not have adequate knowledge/info to determine the impact across the complete spectrum from me>US.

    (2) As stated above, I am unable to determine if illegal immigration is a distraction. I take it you have dismissed the total package as in Vicente Fox saying “tear down that fence Mr. Bush”?

    (3)Maybe? tongue in cheek> Cooking meth freely in an apartment building seems risky? Do we have to pay the health care of those that choose drugs? Is it okay at school lunch break? On the bus? Driving a car? At a ball game? New laws in the sharing and disposal of needles? Age limit? Deformed babies? Can doctors toke before surgery? In the space station? At church? At work? Is there like a coke breathalyzer? Purity standards?

    Smaller government. Yes (Actually much smaller)

    “National Health Care”? Stating that is like buying a book, reading the title and deciding if the book was good or not.

    Seems the filler for all programs a candidate preaches should be available for review by all voters. The campaign could hit the highlights and the specifics left for the voter to review.

  20. Don Coyote,

    Again answering as the hypothetical Libertarian candidate to your presumedly hypothetical voter…

    (1-2) Perhaps those who are trying to peddle fears of immigrant hordes are completely in the wrong and shouldn’t be taken at face value. Perhaps one should think long and hard before one moves the government toward restricting the voluntary association of free people.

    (3) I think Olivier puts it well on his website. Nonetheless, for the litany of your questions, replace “drugs” with “alcohol” and the answers are hardly any different.

    And I didn’t say “national health care,” as in some consistent policy position. I said “nationalized health care,” which has a clear meaning that marginalizes if not outlaws private alternatives.

    As for “all the filler,” yes: I think the Libertarian candidate should make it available. But even the LP website doesn’t have more than a couple thousand words on immigration.

  21. I once, tongue firmly in cheek, proposed that the hospital beds of any foreign visitors about to give birth should be temporarily declared annexes of their home country’s consulate or embassy. Unworkable without the cooperation of said countries, of course, and those seeking to deliver anchor babies would just stop going to the hospital when the labor pains hit.

    Kevin

  22. MikeP, Thanks

    It is rare that someone actually tries to answer questions and not feel baited. Don

  23. Don,

    Thank you.

    It helps that it was a fresh question that required a fresh perspective.

  24. You ask:
    Continuing the conversation at the sufferance of the others in the auditorium…
    (1) What are illegal immigrants doing that actually and directly harms you? Please don’t try making a defense for the nation or the culture or the English language or for people you saw on cable news programs who were selected for how incensed they could get over illegal immigration. How have they affected you?”……
    ANSWER…..driven wages into the ground. Put extreme loads on schools, jails, & e rooms. For starters.

  25. I’m sorry, MUTT. Given how few people are in direct competition with illegal immigrants in unskilled labor, and how few of them would have the interest or the means to be on this forum, I didn’t think anyone who was actually and directly harmed by illegal immigrants in employment would have replied.

    I’m also sorry to hear that you or members of your family were kept out of school, jail, and an emergency room because of illegal immigrants.

    I hope I’m not offending you. But there are very few so unfortunate as to be in your shoes, and I’m thinking of the greater public interest as well as the immigrants themselves who are, believe it or not, even worse off than you are.

  26. JC,

    Are you trying to argue that illegal immigrants don’t qualify as subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?

    ‘”Jurisdiction” is principally defined as being the geographic region or subject matter over which a sovereign exerts its authority.’

    The use of the phrase “subject to” makes it clear that “jurisdiction” is not being defined as a geographic territory, but the authority of law. Being subject to the authority of a government makes logical and syntactical sense. How can you be subject to a geographic territory?

    And besides, if illegal immigrants weren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, how do you explain all the Immigration cops arresting, holding, and deporting them?.

    Could someone claim immunity from federal prosecution by proving himself to be an illegal immigrant?

    Of course they’re subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government.

  27. “End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the country illegally.”

    In a negative definition sort of way, doesn’t saying that illegal aliens shouldn’t get benefits and services necessarily suggest that being born in the United States entitles one to such services?

    If not, why not? The native born who are getting most of these services aren’t the ones paying for them anyway. So maybe illegal immigrants aren’t paying their fair share of taxes–that doesn’t make them unique! Once we decided that the people who get the benefits don’t have to pay for them… Why latch onto something as arbitrary as citizenship to discriminate?

    Yes, I resent those who think that because their children were born in this country, they’re entitled to the fruit of my labor to cover the costs of raising them–regardless of their parent’s citizenship. …but that’s not my point here.

    When we say that illegal immigrants aren’t entitled to benefits, aren’t we suggesting that native born Americans are entitled to benefits? And if that’s the case, how do we reconcile that part of our platform with basic libertarian principles? How do we circle that square?

  28. Would i sell my soul to anti-immigrant forces simply to get a viable libertarian candidate elected?

    I think the range is from probably to most definatly…

    That “No citizenship to those born of forign parents yet on US soil” does rub me raw.

  29. From reading that bit of the Constitution, it sounds like the only babies born here that don’t qualify for citizenship are the children of foreign diplomats, since having diplomatic immunity means you’re not “subject to this jurisdiction.”

  30. Jennifer,

    At the time, the phrase also applied to some Native American babies, who belonged to nations not subject to US jurisdiction.

  31. I don’t know what standing children born to diplomats from other countries have with respect to citizenship in the US. However I suspect that they would have a claim.

    However, some years ago I had a conversation with a Vice-Consul at the US Consulate in Toronto and he told me how many different passports his four (if memory serves) children had between them. They had each been born in different countries where he had served and he had made a point of getting them passports from their dual-national countries.

    His philosophy was that citizenship was not a privilege, it was an obligation forced on you by the country that claimed you as a citizen*. Since it was an obligation it was only right to get all the protections and privileges that came with that citizenship.

    Of course, Consuls are not, strictly speaking, diplomats even though they are State Dept. employees. They do not have diplomatic immunity and consulates are not territory of the US. Except for the ones actually located in embassies they have little more standing than any other business office.

    *Obviously this doesn’t apply to naturalized citizens since they made the decision of their own free wills.

  32. “When we say that illegal immigrants aren’t entitled to benefits, aren’t we suggesting that native born Americans are entitled to benefits? And if that’s the case, how do we reconcile that part of our platform with basic libertarian principles?”

    That’s like being afraid advocacy of a tax exemption will imply support of a tax generally, or that being for allowing plan B to be sold legally OTC will be taken as support for keeping other drugs off the OTC market, or…I could go on forever.

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