Now Playing at Reason.tv: Jason Riley on Immigrants—Let Them In Already!

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The title of Jason L. Riley's new book helps explain why it has proven so controversial: Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders.

Let Them In is as exhaustively researched as it is eminently readable. Riley, a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, runs through the six biggest anti-immigration arguments at play in today's heated political world—and finds them wanting.

Earlier this summer, Riley sat down with reason.tv's Nick Gillespie to discuss the leading myths about the causes and effects of immigration.

Click below to watch this approximately five-minute interview.

And for a longer, more-detailed discussion of Riley's book and immigration policy, click below (approximately 25 minutes).

For more information, videos, and to embed these videos on your own site, go to reason.tv.

To download MP3s of the short and long versions of these interviews, go here.

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45 responses to “Now Playing at Reason.tv: Jason Riley on Immigrants—Let Them In Already!

  1. HURRRRR illegals illegals HURRRRRRRR

  2. Earlier this summer, Riley sat down earlier this summer

    Might want to change that.

  3. I’m open to being persuaded otherwise, but erasing our border with Mexico is the plank of libertarianism to which I am least agreeable.

  4. On open border is still a border. For example, the laws still change.

  5. It’s absolutely insane to have open immigration and welfare state simultaneously. Adding insult to injury the reconquista folks simply view immigration as a means of setting up a separate polity in the Southwest looking to reestablish a Latin area with autonomy wholly independent of the United States. It’s a standard 5th column subversion ploy. Frankly, we should be shooting each and every individual crossing the border illegally. This would instantly stop all this nonsense of cross-desert treks and the tide of illegal immigration.

    The fact that libertarians can’t see this simple fact of reality is mind-boggling.

  6. Tell us about the North American Union.And the Bilderberger Group! Or whatever its called.

  7. Now Playing at Reason.tv: Jason Riley on Immigrants-Let Them In Already!

    We already do that. Amazingly, a very similar term is used, called immigration.

    Perhaps the guest is advocating unlimited immigration or some variant?

  8. Guy,

    I also advocate unlimited prices for basic goods. I have faith that the free market will find the correct level for prices, as they will for immigration.

  9. Is there a difference between “open” and “secure” borders? i.e., we know who is coming across and for what purpose? Or are we simply talking about eliminating the border crossing guards (etc) altogether?

  10. Let’s get rid of the terrible visa system and start taxing immigration. Bam! Welfare state problem solved!

  11. Adding insult to injury the reconquista folks simply view immigration as a means of setting up a separate polity in the Southwest looking to reestablish a Latin area with autonomy wholly independent of the United States. It’s a standard 5th column subversion ploy.

    There are even fewer Reconquistos than there are libertarians, and look how much power we have! Worrying about the reconquista is like being afraid of an impending government takeover by Breatharians.

    But do tell us more about this “reality” thing you know so much about.

  12. I have faith that the free market will find the correct level for prices, as they will for immigration.

    That’s what Spain thought, too. Didn’t quite work out that way.

  13. Any form of HighlyOpenImmigration – whether no border at all or just letting almost everyone come here – contradicts the other libertarian tenet of providing a national defense. That HighlyOpenImmigration would have this impact. The ideology that says they’d protect the U.S. would lead to the U.S. no longer existing.

    So, there’s more than just a conflict: their ideology is irretrievably flawed.

    Further, Jason Riley is an idiot.

    The way to deal with this is to discredit people like Riley and have an impact on their careers. If Riley would like to debate me on this issue I’d be more than willing to do that.

  14. Is there a difference between “open” and “secure” borders? i.e., we know who is coming across and for what purpose? Or are we simply talking about eliminating the border crossing guards (etc) altogether?

    To me there is.

    I am an advocate of quota-free visas and do not want to be lumped in with the open borders crowd.

    And, no, I do not care one bit of the demographic makeup of the country changes at all.

  15. Nick Gillespie —

    Thanks for finally providing an edited version of these longer interviews. Appreciate having the choice. Strong work!

  16. That’s what Spain thought, too. Didn’t quite work out that way.

    I think the last paragraph in the article you linked pretty much sums up why Spain has such a huge problem in the first place.

  17. Jake Boone engages in a StrawmanArgument: There are even fewer Reconquistos than there are libertarians

    Only about 13% (IIRC) of Hispanics graduating from UCLA in one year took part in MEChA’s racially segregated GraduationCeremony. The problem is that people like that go on to become “CommunityLeaders”, such as former MEChAMembers AntonioVillaraigosa and GilCedillo. The former is mostly an empty suit, but the latter has actually spewed MEChAStyle comments, as have many other MexicanAmerican leaders. And, they have a following.

    No one’s saying that all or most of those crossing the border are deliberately setting out to reclaim lands, but a majority do believe that part of our country shouldn’t belong to us (source: ZogbyPoll). People with those beliefs can be demagogued into supporting something that some of their leaders want. After a certain CriticalMass, those leaders would start hinting at “SelfDetermination”, and with enough people from the same country in one region history shows that something like that has a strong possibility of happening.

  18. “I think the last paragraph in the article you linked pretty much sums up why Spain has such a huge problem in the first place.”

    I didn’t even get to the last paragraph. As soon as I saw talk in the first paragrpah about advanced pay of benefits, I knew why they were there, why Spain wants them gone, and why immigrants might now want to leave.

    Why is it that we keep coming back the welfare issue? If they were here for welfare and that was what kept them here, why don’t we hear about crackdowns at the welfare office? Instead, we talk about raids at work etc and crackdowns on those hiring illegals as a way to drive them home.

  19. Orange Line Special | August 5, 2008, 1:49pm | #

    Further, Jason Riley is an idiot.

    Ahhh, I love the smell of irony in the morning.

    Great interview. Jason Riley rocks.

    Orange Line Special, OTH, has a brain full of rocks.

  20. Good interview, Nick.

  21. If they were here for welfare and that was what kept them here, why don’t we hear about crackdowns at the welfare office?

    Thank you!

  22. Why is it that we keep coming back the welfare issue? If they were here for welfare and that was what kept them here, why don’t we hear about crackdowns at the welfare office? Instead, we talk about raids at work etc and crackdowns on those hiring illegals as a way to drive them home.

    Because more people come to the United States for work than they do welfare, perhaps? I don’t know for sure. The article you linked to was about a situation in Spain, and I would imagine that Spain’s public assistance is at least a bit more generous than the various systems of the U.S.

  23. OLS/LoneRacist,

    When someone points out that you’re a fucking moron, that doesn’t count as a “shout-out.”

    Here’s an example, to help you out:

    You’re a fucking moron.

  24. It wasn’t me who posted the link to the article about Spain. I was only trying to point out that they don’t seem to immigrate here for welfare, evidenced by the fact that we only hear about illegal crackdowns at places they work. I agree that we don’t want to have a system of open immigration that allows people to become citizens right away, with rights to welfare. I just don’t think welfare is the reason immigrants come here. They come to work.

  25. Oops. Sorry.

  26. No one’s saying that all or most of those crossing the border are deliberately setting out to reclaim lands, but … that something like that has a strong possibility of happening.

    All highly speculative, and countered by evidence, presented in our very own reason magazine that Hispanic immigrants assimilate thoroughly within three generations.

    1. Actually that’s not true. With Univision and countless spanish speaking radio networks Mexicans can be in the Southwest for 30 years and get by find without speaking English.

  27. Three words: Black. Leather. Coat.

    Darling, it’s not a look, it’s an affectation.

  28. Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.

    Tony Giardino: So who’s in this Pentavirate?

    Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee beady eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!”

  29. Doc | August 5, 2008, 6:54pm | #

    Three words: Black. Leather. Coat.

    Darling, it’s not a look, it’s an affectation.

    No, it’s a symbiotic alien that infects its host with libertarian suaveness and SideBurnsOfPower

    LoneWacko has never debated anyone, ever. It’s a running joke.

  30. in fact = can OLS/DoucheMasterFlex even address any of the assertions this dude presents in his interview? No. He doesnt even try.

    I actually like the guy on some level. At least he helps make the idiocy of his case obvious to a wide spectrum of people. I bet he even rubs nativist racists wrong. 🙂

  31. hutch: while most might come here “to work”, all receive some form of public benefits of some kind. In fact, offering them those benefits is one of the key ways the Dems obtain votes. And, unless you have some plan to get rid of the DemocraticParty, that’s always going to be an issue. In our universe at least, things are probably differen in the libertarian alternative.

    And, if Mike Laursen followed this issue as closely as I do he’d realize that those “studies” have serious flaws, such as failing to ask pointed questions as did the previously mentioned ZogbyPoll or such as by being from hacks with a demonstrated ProMassiveImmigration agenda.

    More on that topic:
    here
    here
    here
    here
    here

    Learn something, it’ll help you out.

  32. I am an advocate of quota-free visas and do not want to be lumped in with the open borders crowd.

    I am an advocate of quota-free visas and I consider myself one of the open borders crowd. I think an immigrant should be disallowed entry only for a specific cause serving a compelling public interest — such as his being an enemy agent, a terrorist, a serious felon, or a carrier of contagion.

    Does moving the non-special-visa immigration stats from a rate of 99% rejection to a rate of 99% acceptance not qualify as open borders? Is there some more open borders crowd out there that I am unaware of?

  33. Orange Line Special | August 5, 2008, 8:50pm | #

    hutch: while most might come here “to work”, all receive some form of public benefits of some kind.

    “all”, meaning everyone else in the country =

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html


    Immigrants are a critical part of the U.S. workforce and contribute to productivity growth and technological advancement. They make up 15% of all workers and even larger shares of certain occupations such as construction, food services and health care. Approximately 40% of Ph.D. scientists working in the United States were born abroad. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; American Community Survey)

    Many immigrants are entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Foundation’s index of entrepreneurial activity is nearly 40% higher for immigrants than for natives. (Source: Kauffman Foundation)

    Immigrants and their children assimilate into U.S. culture. For example, although 72% of first-generation Latino immigrants use Spanish as their predominant language, only 7% of the second generation are Spanish-dominant. (Source: Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation)

    Immigrants have lower crime rates than natives. Among men aged 18 to 40, immigrants are much less likely to be incarcerated than natives. (Source: Butcher and Piehl)

    Immigrants slightly improve the solvency of pay-as-you-go entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The 2007 OASDI Trustees Report indicates that an additional 100,000 net immigrants per year would increase the long-range actuarial balance by about 0.07% of taxable payroll. (Source: Social Security Administration)

    The long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive. Projections of future taxes and government spending are subject to uncertainty, but a careful study published by the National Research Council estimated that immigrants and their descendants would contribute about $80,000 more in taxes (in 1996 dollars) than they would receive in public services. (Source: Smith and Edmonston)

    1. I think that what underlies your comments is the assumption that they take jobs that Americans don’t want. How untrue. If more Americans were needed to fill the void, wages would have to be raised across the board to draw them in. Wages in America have been flat relative to business profits starting in the 70’s. Evicting the illegals, criminalizing corporations that hire them would definitely aid in bringing wages (for individuals and families) back to the pre-70’s trend.

  34. Riley is proof affirmative action works.

  35. And, if Mike Laursen followed this issue as closely as I do he’d realize that those “studies” have serious flaws, such as …

    Only one of the five click ‘n’ learn links you listed in your comment had any relevance to pointing out flaws in immigration studies: one guy complaining that he felt immigrants should have been asked whether they think they have to obey our laws.

    Which is a loaded question. He’s hoping they will answer, “Yes”, to which he can counter, “Then why did you sneak across the border illegally?”

    1. Yes, it is a loaded question, and is a valid question of logic. We all know that most of them want a better life…duh, so does everyone, but without a nation with economic freedom (relatively speaking)to scramble to that freedom diminishes over time.
      The problem here is political..the Demos want the votes and the Repubs want the cheaper labor…everyone with a functioning mental lobe acknowledges that.

  36. The above links were about the wider issue of assim.

    As for reports themselves, there’s a discussion of one such report here, and a comment from me (“TLB”) here:
    lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2008/05/a-report-fear-a.html?cid=116670654#comments

    And, it’s pretty funny to see Bush admin prop. regurgitated here at a libertarian site.

    Except, of course, this isn’t a real libertarian site and most of the commenters here have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

    It’s a little difficult to try to inform the ignorant in this case since I probably have several hundred entries about how bad Bush is, so just doing a regular find through my archives would probably be the best choice.

    Sheesh.

  37. Well, you could have started by writing a succinct paragraph or two here in the comments about your criticisms of immigration studies. Instead, you link to rambling articles on your website and expect we brain-challenged, pseudo-libertarian reason commenters to pick out the signal, which may not even be there, from the noise.

    It’s like you are (a) just trying to get people to go to your website, and (b) trying to put up a smoke screen hiding your lack of any cogent argument.

  38. As for reports themselves, there’s a discussion of one such report here…

    That’s it? I’ll give you that Massey;s having an agenda raises a yellow flag that his methods should be scrutinized carefully, but it does not constitute a rebuttal of his findings. And “it only reports on what supposedly happened in the past” is a stupid argument — what else can we study but what has happened in the past?

  39. most of the commenters here have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about

    Yes. And if that is in fact true, one can feel comfortable knowing you are something far, far more pathetic and deranged, because of the amount of time you spend desperately trying to get the attention of people you’re convinced are pseudo-libertarian ignoramuses.

    Why you arent perusing the REAL LIBERTARIAN halls of wisdom… well, i guess you’re having trouble finding it…. and you settled with us

    Can you even rebut a single point that the Council of Economic Advisors published? C’mon! try! it will be fun to watch.

  40. I’m a laissez-faire libertarian and I totally disagree with the comments by this gentleman. He said the G.O.P. needs to make the illegals (remember, we are supposed to be a nation of laws as well as liberty) feel welcome. Inotherwords, outbid the Demos. with more welfare schemes! Also, he admits that the illegals “run interference” for truly evil individuals getting in. The subject is “open the borders” yet he mentions words to the effect of changing our immigration laws..which way is it. I would expect more erudite comments from someone with the Wall Street Journal.
    Nationalism, per se, and libertarianism are NOT polar opposites. Citizenship has to “mean” something in terms of this being (or used to be before the Mossad and the CIA)a sovereign nation.

  41. Mass immigration with a welfare state only grows government. It is the VIAGRA of the STATE.

    Not coming here to use welfare. That might be so, but they still get plenty of it once they have a kid. Wonder if this Riley clown knows how much California spends per pupil in their government schools. Food stamps etc etc.

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