Immigration

Fighting Over Immigration at the LA Times

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The L.A. Times' web site is hosting an interesting and spirited multi-part debate on immigration policy questions, with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies for keepin' 'em out, and Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute for lettin' 'em in. They take on the wall, jobs, and amnesty so far, with more to come.

Reason's historic cover feature of immigration facts and analysis from our Aug/Sept 2006 issue here.

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town

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  1. Gotta love this!!

    Immigration Now, Immigration Tomorrow, Immigration Forever

    Yep, lets just bring in 100 million Muslims. Or how bout 100 million poor hispanics. Ohhh wait, the folks at Reason support that. Flip a coin, 100 million Muslims or 100 million poor hispanics.

    The Muslims will start waging Jihad and the Hispanics will bankrupt the country.

    You just can’t take the writers at this magazine seriously.

    Mass immigration with a welfare state makes no sense——Milton Friedman.

    I don’t think you can solve the immigration problem until you deal with the welfare state and the need for labor created by a government that interferes with the market economy. We’re short of labor at the same time lots of people are paid not to work. Take away [illegal immigrants’] incentives. I do believe in a responsibility to protect our borders, rather than worrying about the border between North and South Korea or Iraq and Syria, and I think that’s a reasonable position.—–Ron Paul

  2. Well then, let’s just scrap the welfare state.

  3. John Norris Brown, that’s the standard libertarian line. End the welfare state. But how when we keep importing poor people that vote for more and more government services.

    Coming US challenge: a less literate workforce

    This isn’t the 1890s—–1924 when a great wave of Europeans washed up on our shores. The welfare state didn’t exist. We had an honest currency. Immigrants either fished or cut bait. Those days are long long gone.

  4. Mass immigration with a welfare state makes no sense——Milton Friedman.

    Do you have access to a thought out position of Milton Friedman’s or are you referring to this single tired snippit:

    Q: Instead of a green card [resident alien status], can the USA issue a blue card which does not give welfare?
    A: If you could do that, that would be fine. But I don’t believe you can do that. It’s not only that it is not politically feasible, I don’t think that it is desirable to have two classes of citizens in a society. We want a free society. We want a society in which every individual is treated as an end in themselves. We don’t want a society in which some people are in there under blue conditions, others are in there under red conditions, others are in there under black conditions. We want a free society. So I don’t believe such ….
    I haven’t really ever thought of that system. It’s a new question. I very rarely get a new question, but I must admit that’s a new question for me. And I haven’t really thought about it a great deal, but my initial reaction is that it’s a very undesirable proposal.

    First, it appears that this is not a well considered position of Friedman’s.

    Second, I for one question his premise. I do not think there is a problem with multiple classes of citizenship or residence, so long as the market itself is free. I do not confer special privileges upon the government or upon citizenship that in any way trump an individual’s rights to migrate, reside, and labor where he wishes.

    But third, it is already the case that most government services are not available to immigrants who are on short-term visas or who have not resided in the US for enough years. We are already living in the “blue card” world. I don’t see the disaster Friedman predicts, nor do I see how that circumstance impinges in any way on a free society.

  5. (Insert pet peeve here) with a welfare state makes no sense. I’d hate to hold back any decent proposal because of that old “welfare state”. There are a whole litany of things that should or shouldn’t be implemented because of the welfare state.

    Second, it would help if there were a definitive welfare state we could measure against. Is it France? Utah? Ask a Democrat, a Republican, and a Libertarian what makes a welfare state, and I suspect you’ll get three different opinions.

    Third, in the event that we somehow eliminate the welfare state, would that not lead to increased demand for immigration? Such free market system would seem to create many more opportunities and growth for all sectors. Would we have to reinstate the welfare state in order to protect jobs for citizens?

  6. “You just can’t take the writers at this magazine seriously. “

    Is this close enough to a “For a magazine called Reason…” for me to take a drink?

  7. Mike, we don’t have a truely free market. That’s the point Ron Paul makes.

    Next, we have to factor in cultural aspects. Do we really want to allow millions of Muslims to settle here? I for one question whether Islam is compatible with free liberal societies. Have you been to Europe recently?? I have and every where I went, Muslim immigration is the hot topic. They want them out.

  8. we don’t have a truely free market.

    We must destroy the market in order to save it?

  9. William R, I sometimes wonder myself if Jews are compatible with liberal democratic societies.After all, so many Jews were involved in communist and anarchist movements. I’ve been to Germany recently, they want the Jews out.

    (In case anyone wonders, I’m not actually anti-semitic)

  10. Just how much welfare are the immigrants soaking up, as opposed to old people, home-grown ne’er-do-wells, and big corporations?

    – Josh

  11. I for one question whether Islam is compatible with free liberal societies. Have you been to Europe recently??

    People used to say the same thing about Catholics. Didn’t want a Catholic president, because then the pope would run the country. Le plus ce change…

  12. It seems to me that except for anarchists, libertarians are not compelled to adopt the open-borders position. It depends on one’s beliefs about the long-term consequences for liberty in America.

  13. But how when we keep importing poor people that vote for more and more government services.

    If they’re not citizens, they can’t vote for services.

    There’s a big difference between American Muslims and European Muslims.

    Unlike European Muslims, many of whom are stuck in poor neighborhoods with chronic unemployment, U.S. Muslims are both wealthier and more educated than many Americans, research has shown. They graduate from college at more than twice the average national rate, with half earning an annual household income of at least $50,000, a survey by Georgetown University showed in 2004 – about $3,000 more than the median household income nationwide suggested by the 2004 U.S. Census. They are also more ethnically diverse than Muslims in Europe.

    Curse those diverse, well-educated, wealth creating Muslims. They’re taking jobs Americans want.

  14. I’d also like to add that the Untied States has a tradition of pluralism which is sorely lacking in Europe. Part of the reason 67% of the people in this country live here in the first place.

  15. Citing the Zogby survey, a 2005 Wall Street Journal editorial, by Bret Stephens and Joseph Rago expressed the tendency of American Muslims to report employment in professional fields, with one in three having an income over $75,000 a year. The editorial also characterized American Muslims as “role models both as Americans and as Muslims”.

    When a WSJ editorial calls American Muslims role models, you’re on the losing side of an argument William R.

  16. I think instead of scrapping the welfare state it would be better to some how detatch it from the market economy. I fervently advocate that anyone who is poor consider living a nomadic lifestyle. Do not believe people when they say it is totally impossible. There are people who do it, but they are currently classified as domestic terrorists. Go figure. Actually I think the main issue is that they harbor environmental “eco-terrorists”.

    These people are tolerated because the crimes that they perpetrated are PROPERTY crimes. They are not violent people, so they are more than welcome. I know all of you libertarians probably think it’s heinous to blow up an SUV dealership after they close for the night, but what can I say, these communists just dont care.

    Wait a minute! What if the terrorist was the person who INVENTED the SUV and he was SO pissed off about the Oil War that he had no choice and had to do it to maintain his personal integrity?

    http://welcomehome.org

  17. Only the topic of immigration can turn those who would normally try to score points bashing welfare queens into sudden champions of the welfare state.

    I call myself libertarian now, but I still think of myself as a conservative. …and when I hear people with kids in public schools, whose plan for retirement consists entirely of Social Security and Medicare, complain about illegal aliens using social services, it sounds to me like a tape worm deep in our bowels complaining about the mosquitoes.

    …as if being born on our side of the border somehow entitled our fat, lazy, drop out underclass to a chunk of my paycheck. Maybe illegal immigrants are a drag on our social services, but even if they are, holding our social services up as a virtue is a complete betrayal of everything I understood conservativism to be. …along the lines of feminists giving Clinton a pass on sexual harassment or “conservatives” giving Bush a pass on expanding Medicare–but far, far worse.

  18. Here is the problem with illegal immigration: Aztlan.

  19. Cesar, you are full of BS. Many Jews are fleeing Israel to Germany. It is very safe for them.

  20. No offense Mo, but when you start quoting the WSJ Editorial Page on immigration, that’s as bad if not worse than Reason Magazine. The Nation State is Finished—–Robert Bartley, long time editor of the Wall Street Journal.

    Leftist libertarian immigration extemist are like NeoCon Trotskyites. Hey, it’s the revolution. LOL The Democratic world wide revolution. Immigration Now, Immigration Tomorrow, Immigration Forever.

    Leftism at its worst.

  21. Wow, William. You totally missed the point of my post. The sarcasm completely went over your head, also.

    You don’t know what I was getting at when i said “I’ve been to Germany, and they want the Jews out?”

  22. William, whats your solution? Do you want the United States to become Japan under the [I]Bakufu[/I]

  23. Complaints about illegal immigration are largely regional. Folks living near the Mexican border feel besieged, and act like it.

    Up here on the frozen tundra (Minnesota) talking about our problems with illegal immigration could well earn a backlash reaction criticizing the feds for pulling a strong arm raid on a meat packing plant up north, scaring the immigrant locals by separating families in the name of paperwork.

    Ironic, that working a broken dick low paying job puts an illegal at the top of the list for getting grabbed by lawmen w/ guns and rented buses and ejected from the nation, simply because the criminal and rogue illegals don’t fill out a W-2 form once a year, announcing where they work.

    If the feds adopt some of the hare-brained draconian proposals coming out of the besieged south, look for northern states to balk. North Dakota trawls for immigrants just to keep their population numbers out of free fall. Telling states they can’t feed or educate immigrants’ children, or throw in for rent to keep the immigrants from living in a van down by the river? While that kind of thing may play well to Arizonans, it’s a non-starter up here/

  24. Complaints about illegal immigration are largely regional. Folks living near the Mexican border feel besieged, and act like it.

    If you take a look at the voting pattern for the the brutal House immigration bill, neither New Mexico nor the border districts of Arizona and California’s Imperial Valley voted for the bill.

    I don’t think folks living along the border feel besieged. Rather, I think folks living far from the border who have no first-hand knowledge of illegal immigration drive most of the anti-immigrant sentiment.

  25. WilliamR,

    Next, we have to factor in cultural aspects. Do we really want to allow millions of Muslims to settle here?

    The Pro- crowd is unwilling to factor in the difference between the Muslims who do come here, and what it would mean if we had Muslims coming in at the rate we’ve got Mexicans coming in.

    With the Muslims who come here, we’re getting a much larger fraction of the “better cut” of their people, not the dredges of their societies. Not so with Mexicans.

    I agree, a massive influx of Muslims (like we have with Mexicans) would almost certainly create a great big problem. I think the Mexican tide could hold bigger problems in our future than the Pro-crowd is able to even consider looking at.

    I’m also under no illusions that we’re going to do anything that will significantly stem the flow from Mexico.

    Muslims are Europe’s problem, Mexicans are America’s problem. Europe’s Muslim problem is that Europe cannot assimilate them. Lots of dumb things about the European order contribute to that result.

    But our Pro-crowd refuses to face the fact that even under ideal circumstances, there really is an upper limit on how many immigrants we can assimilate at any given time. Who knows what that limit is or what the consequences of going beyond it will be, but the limit exists.

    We won’t know for sure we’ve crossed it, until after the fact.

  26. I, for one, welcome our brown overlords with their hummus and mole sauce.

  27. MikeP,

    I don’t think folks living along the border feel besieged.

    I live an hour’s drive from the border, and I can tell you for sure and certain that some around here do feel besieged, or at least abused, by the Mexican tide.

    If the border states aren’t voting for some of the more stupid measures, maybe it’s because we understand better than the rest of the country how hard it would be to actually stem the flow over the border. Every summer our newspaper headlines run stories about how many illegal border crossers died in the desert recently. Or got shot up by coyotes. Or similar gruel.

  28. We won’t know for sure we’ve crossed it, until after the fact.

    And then, Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

  29. Or similar gruel.

    Gruel is better with mole.

  30. ohmygod, moles are going the way of the dinosaur!

  31. But around here, I wish gruel went best with prairie dogs, or whatever the hell those gopher-like things are that dig the whole freaking desert full of tunnels every summer.

  32. The “rich” muslim is the problem. Not the poor street urchin. Most of the “radicals” are all either very well off or rich. The 19 of 9/11 were all well educated and came from well to do families. So the canard of the “poor ill educated terrorist” does not work.

    So these supposedly stalwarts of society and making 75 grand or more…they are the ones to watch. And they only “get along” to fit in. They will never assimilate. period.

  33. So the canard of the “poor ill educated terrorist” does not work.

    Who’s talking about terrorists? That’s an entirely different issue.

  34. What are your thoughts on it?

  35. It would be easier to believe that the “control our borders” brigade was not motivated by racism if almost every tirade against immigrants wasn’t served up with steaming, heaping platefuls of bigotry.

  36. At 9:34 am , the bigotry charge was finally thrown out. Took long enough. Saw Michael Scheuer, ran Bin Laden desk at the CIA in the 90s, author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror on TV yesterday and he said the USA is likely to be hit by a NUKE because we refuse to secure our border with Mexico. Went on to say the bigotry charge against those who favor securing the border is disgusting!

  37. Hoo boy, care to instruct us on how to go about this “secur[ing] our border with Mexico.”

    A better and fairer way to have worded the previous comment would’ve been:

    There may be members of the “control our borders” brigade that are not motivated by racism but they are awfully hard to find when almost every tirade against immigrants is served up with steaming, heaping platefuls of bigotry.

  38. William,
    So it’s not bigotry to say that all Muslims are potential terrorists that are not trying to assimilate but acting as a sleeper cell?

    Considering there are between 2 and 6 million Muslims in the US and they’re hardly noticible says a lot for their ability to assimilate.

    Also, the WSJ is for cheap labor immigrants, the kind that keeps costs down in agriculture and unskilled labor. Considering that Muslim immigrants don’t fit that bill, for the most part, means they’re not the type of immigrants the WSJ is all about.

  39. Ah, but Mo, you have to realize that being “hardly noticeable” is the sine qua non of a sleeper cell.

  40. Little did I know that when I sat by Mo, who did fit in just fine at the first Chicago H&R gathering, that he was a dangerous figure who would never assimilate.

    Fuck you, Mo. Next time it’s a shank between the ribs for ye.

    Paraphrasing Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone”:

    “This is my country. I have to defend it.”

  41. Yep, lets just bring in 100 million Muslims. Or how bout 100 million poor hispanics. Ohhh wait, the folks at Reason support that. Flip a coin, 100 million Muslims or 100 million poor hispanics.

    It’s very confusing. I never know whether I’m supposed to take my marching orders from Elcato.org or from Misbahalhurriyya.org.

  42. MikeP and all you other illegal lovers should open you homes and wallets to these hard working law abiding citzens. That way when they rule as your overlords soon you will get to live in the slave quarters and eat from the floor. What a bunch of blind dumbfucks you are.

  43. MikeP and all you other illegal lovers should open you homes and wallets to these hard working law abiding citzens.

    Why should I? There appear to be plenty of people quite happy to lease or sell homes to them and plenty of people quite happy to pay them for their labor. My particular attentions are simply not needed.

    What is also not needed is for people or governments to prohibit that voluntary association and exercise of individual rights.

  44. I have a solution set for the immigration problem that I think would work:

    1) Mandate a $10/hr minimum wage for immigrant laborers in the USA

    2) Cut off the financial head of any outfit paying immigrants less

    the lowballed wages for the mythical “jobs Americans won’t work” is an attractive nuisance that draws illegals here

    because the difference between what the immigrants are paid and what it would cost to woo domestic laborers translates to almost pure profit, we aren’t likely to see a solution set from the quislings in DC that actually stems the tide. Instead, we’ll condition previous generation’s tired, poor, huddled masses, to point fingers at this generation’s tired, poor, huddled masses for the “crime” of being tired, poor, huddled masses.

    And maybe build a wall, as a symbolic gesture of how we feel. All the while Quality Pork Corp. outta Austin, Mn sends employees to south Texas to recruit and bus (mostly Mexican) workers back north to work in the slaughter house for 8 bucks/hr, often on counterfeited or fraudulent papers.

    “Jobs Americans won’t work”

  45. It appears to be all about keeping out the greasers and the sandniggers.

    No, no bigotry showing here. Move along, people, move along.

  46. because the difference between what the immigrants are paid and what it would cost to woo domestic laborers translates to almost pure profit

    It does? What makes it so different from, oh, every single other mechanism of lowering production costs that translate into lower prices for the consumer?

  47. I have a solution set for the immigration problem that I think would work

    And, by the way, the dispute is whether there is a “problem” in the first place, not what protectiono-fascist mechanisms you can develop to “solve” it.

    The only actual “problem” with illegal immigration is that it is not legal.

  48. Tu tienes razon, MikeP. No hay ningun problema.

  49. Ron Paul will be on Lou Dobbs tonight. 5-6 Central time.

  50. We’re all about protecting our borders from armed hordes trying to attack our citizens. And anyone trying to sneak in to find a roofing job under union scale.

  51. MikeP and all you other illegal lovers should open you homes and wallets to these hard working law abiding citzens.

    I probably already do. Usually the immigrants I do business with are polite and hard-working and generally leave me alone when we’re not doing business with each other.

    When I run across a public servant, my wallet get open extremely wide and they seem rude; they also usually threaten me with violence or jail and stick their nose into my business for no good reason.

    If the immigrants become my overlords and treat me like shit, there really wouldn’t be any difference from my current overlords. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  52. MikeP says: If you take a look at the voting pattern for the the brutal House immigration bill, neither New Mexico nor the border districts of Arizona and California’s Imperial Valley voted for the bill.

    Those, especially the Imperial Valley, are largely Mexican-American areas. Perhaps a deeper analysis is in order.

    Follow the links at my link to see what ideology – and what country – Reason is supporting with their open borders stance.

    Here’s a fun question: “If you had to choose and you couldn’t make up your own question or otherwise avoid the question in one way or another, would you prefer one million immigrants from India, or one million immigrants from Pakistan?”

  53. ****And, by the way, the dispute is whether there is a “problem” in the first place, not what protectiono-fascist mechanisms you can develop to “solve” it.****
    (what’s the secret code for italics?)

    I think, in reality, that “the dispute” passed that point a long time ago and we are now on to the “do something” portion of the festivities.

    If our monolithic government is going to “do something” about the over hyped immigration problem, I’d prefer the something they do actually be of a benefit to our citizenry. Slapping up a fence and running a roundup of existing illegals isn’t going to get us anyplace we want to be.

    my humble, and no doubt oversimplified, solution set is in keeping with what I’ve seen of meat packing outfits systematically chipping away at their employees’ quality of life these last few decades.

    PS- I’m against the federal minimum wage. I believe people would do better negotiating wages without an artificially low number in place for employers to play off of.

  54. what’s the secret code for italics?

    <em>This is in italics</em>, but this is not.

  55. “1) Mandate a $10/hr minimum wage for immigrant laborers in the USA”

    That wouldn’t be enforceable, any more than the current laws against hiring illegals (they use fake IDs).

    But you could have a special (higher) minimum wage tied to certain jobs (whether held by immigrants or not) which are associated with high levels of illegal employment. That could work.

  56. thanks for sharing the “em” knowledge.

    Max says- That wouldn’t be enforceable, any more than the current laws against hiring illegals (they use fake IDs).

    bet you could enforce it if you rewarded illegals for snitching

    I remember when our glorious masters, to keep those immigrants hoards at bay, passed the law mandating that our own citizens have to present an ID and social security card to get a job.

    See how well that worked? Now the crooked employers hide behind a “we got their IDs and SSIs (or green cards or whatever bona fides illegals lust after these days), which we accepted in good faith” defense. Not much trouble unless their paperwork presents poorly. And honest employers are saddled with even more bullshit paperwork, supposedly doing the state’s job for it, without renumeration, and with no place near the desired effect.

    Today, it’s still pitched as the aliens’ fault, and citizens need to present two forms of ID to get a job.

    pisses me off still

  57. KoWT, I agree that employer “verification” of work status is a total joke. Ought to get rid of it, if only to put the document forgers out of business.

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