Recently at Let Them In! The Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley on Open Borders and Immigration


During Reason Weekend, the annual event held by the nonprofit that publishes this website, The Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley, author of the recent book Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders, gave a spellbinding presentation about the myths surrounding immigration.

Riley walks through the history of German, Irish, and Mexican migrants in rich and compelling detail, deflating nativist hype while also complicating easy narratives about the United States as a mythic destination for all the wretched of the world.

Approximately 30 minutes.

For embed code, audio podcast, and iPod version, go here.

Shot and edited by Roger Richards.

For more with Riley, go here.

Reason on immigration here.

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  1. Let my people flow!

  2. Not on my dime. That is where the rubber must meet the road.

    Of course, in my view, there should be no ICE as the constitution does not authorize the creation of a permanent multi-billion dollar communist bureaucracy staffed by public sector lifers.

    However, the constitution also does not authorize the confiscation of the fruits of my labor in order to give them to Pedro and his family for free health care or to La Raza for May 5 celerations.

    BTW, who the hell would want to celebrate stinko de mayo?

  3. ?Someone’s knockin’ at the door
    somebody’s ringin’ the bell
    Someone’s knockin’ at the door
    somebody’s ringin’ the bell
    Do me a favour
    open the door
    and let’em in.?

    Sorry, it just popped unbidden into my brain. The above is in no way to be considered an endorsement of anything performed by Paul McCartney and Wings.

  4. Jason Riley has a habit of engaging in the immigration tradition fallacy. It would be fairly easy to have an impact on his career if someone would go to one of his events and “cross-examine” him over that fallacy and the many other things he’s wrong about.

    If anyone wants to learn what’s really going on with this issue – and wants to read all the things that hacks like Riley and Reason won’t tell you – subscribe to my feed or search my archives. I’ve got literally thousands of posts about this issue, and – unlike Reason – I’ll tell you the truth about this issue.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  5. ____ the _____ __, LoneWacko.

  6. J sub D,

    Sister Suzie, Brother John,
    Martin Luther, Phil and Don,
    Brother Michael, Auntie Gin,
    Open the door, let ’em in.

    My ears! The earplugs, they do nothing!

  7. PL,
    One apology wasn’t enough.

    I’M SORRY, music lovers.

  8. Can’t we just deport the cosmotarians to Somalia? If any country deserves a case of cancer, that one does.

  9. libertymike, what’s wrong with Cinco De Mayo? It’s a celebration of a day when some statist butt got kicked.

    Immigration is a wonderful thing. It’s a net boon the economy. Everywhere and always. I know you’re still pissed that we let the Irish in, but if you look at history honestly, you have see that they were a benefit. Immigrants aren’t leaching off of the economy, they’re powering it! Even illegal immigration.

    The problem is the “illegal” and not the “immigration”. If it were up to me, I would bring back the guest worker program to take the pressure off.

  10. More from “Keep ‘Em Out? Kick ‘Em Out!”:

    Mr. Lind doth protest much in his attempt to distinguish his anti-immigrationism from those of other known conservatives — and we can understand why. Recon theologian (and false Y2K prophet) Gary North gives his blessing to the faithful “work[ing] politically to cut off [non-Christian] immigration as part of their goal of establishing a Trinitarian confession for the nation.” Will he presently conclude that that goal correspondingly requires the “politically”-effected exodus of the non-Christians here (and the First Amendment along with them)? That possibility should be of no small concern to Judeo-con columnist Don Feder (Boston Herald), who himself has the chutzpah to insist that today’s non-European immigrants will never assimilate into mainstream culture, not like such earlier immigrants as… the Ashkenazic Jews (his forebears). If he would bar those peoples who he arbitarily predicts will never assimilate, would he boot those who have thoroughly demonstrated their inability/unwillingness to ever do so, such as… the ultra-Orthodox Hasidim? Mr. Feder fears something else from immigrants — secession: What if “50 million Mexicans chose to move to California and Texas [and] these new Americans (then constituting a majority in the states where they settle) wanted to secede and unite the territory with Mexico[?]” I don’t know: What if all them good ol’ boys still wavin’ the Stars and Bars ever grew into a majority that then wanted to secede and resurrect the Confederacy? If prevention of secession is grounds for holding Paco South of the Border, is it also grounds for shipping Bubba there?

    Anglo-con writer Peter Brimelow, the immigrant author of the anti-immigrant Alien Nation, warns that the danger posed by “immigrants” is that they “break down white America’s sense of identity.” Oh. Well, if we shouldn’t allow non-whites in for fear of weakening white racial solidarity, should we throw them out in the hopes of strengthening it? But surely the Oscar in this category goes to anarcho-con economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, another anti-immigration immigrant. Now follow the reasoning here. Whenever the government grants immigrants access to compulsary public institutions (e.g., the schools), it violates the freedom of association of natives who don’t want to integrate with foreigners. Therefore, as long as public education (like public assistance) remains an absolute, the freedom-loving anti-statist can, in good conscience, support the State’s restricting of free immigration. The question almost irresistably asks itself: If the government must keep out people you don’t want your children sitting next to in class — say, Zulus or Koreans — must it similarly kick out other people you also don’t want them sitting next to — say, Navajos or Lakotas?



    No thanks.

  12. barry and lonewacko are from the same web 2.0 marketing correspondence class.

    i think they should ask for a refund.

  13. I worry that libertarians are cutting their own throats with open borders advocacy. Surveys and election results seem to agree that the majority of Latino immigrants are both socially conservative and fiscally liberal, or basically the opposite of libertarian. What good does it do for libertarians to be ideologically consistent in supporting open borders, when that process undermines the political support for most libertarian policies?

    (And don’t claim “assimilation” will fix things: does anyone really think that today’s public schools, mass media, etc. are going to convince immigrants of the virtues of limited government?)

  14. What good does it do for libertarians to be ideologically consistent in supporting open borders, when that process undermines the political support for most libertarian policies?

    Sometimes, doing the right thing isn’t politically expedient. Crazy, I know, but still.

  15. Brandybuck-

    Did I say anything is wrong with immigration, in and of itself?

  16. libertymike, what’s wrong with Cinco De Mayo? It’s a celebration of a day when some statist butt got kicked.

    Liberty takes a back seat to bigotry, I think.

  17. Brandybuck-

    Its the WELFARE!

    As for cinqo de mayo, the reality is that one group of statists kicked other statists butts.

  18. What good does it do for libertarians to be ideologically consistent in supporting open borders, when that process undermines the political support for most libertarian policies?

    It does a lot of good, enriching those who want to make money off illegal activity and providing a MassiveSubsidy to crooked businesses. Some of that money then flows back into the libertarian movement, helping spread the joys of hope, growth, and prosperity!

    Further, once the U.S. has turned into W. Europe or – even better – VZ, voters will be clamoring for the libertarian alternative. And, Michael Badnarik will be there to give it to them!

    California, the libertarian utopia!

  19. Les-

    Anti-french bigotry?

  20. Les-

    Like MS-13 and La Raza?

  21. Les: But what if the narrow, specific “right thing” destroys the wider, general “right thing”?

  22. That was an excellent speech and it’s funny how your experience in the US matches ours in Australia. We are periodically suspicious or even hostile towards immigrants, but that hostility diminishes over time. Like you, we’ve had waves of immigrants from particular parts of the world and also like you, they are the ones who built our nation. I regard it as a complete slam-dunk positive as I hope you all do.

    Jason talks about the sojourners to the US. I was one of them. I spent 3.5 years in the US and our kids were even born there, but we went home eventually, like so many did in the past. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

    I hope that both of our countries continue to invite people from other places to come and settle and build a new life. I also believe that if you make it easy for people to do the right thing, they generally do. Both of our countries really need to address how difficult it can be to enter legally.

  23. If you had any intention of writing to convince, you dropped the ball with the phrase ” … deflating nativist hype … “.

    There is no point in reading past that inflammatory word choice.

  24. libertymike:

    It’s funny, but as someone who’s live most of my life in Los Angeles, MS13 and La Raza, have played absolutely no part of my life. From what I can tell, they haven’t even tried.

    What makes you think they are really of any serious consequence? MS13’s negative influence can be largely neutralized by relaxing the war on drugs. And c’mon… La Raza? Do you really think that has any influence on anything?

    You’re going to have to try harder.

  25. Shecky-

    One can’t use the WOD to justify murder, rape, witnes intimidation and just plain stupidity. If one feels compelled to join ANY gang base on ethnicity or “race” or religion, one is a big fat loser.


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