Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Why Obama Is Not the Man for Immigration Reform


With the health care battle over, advocates are prodding President Obama to move on immigration reform. But as Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in her latest Forbes column, that would be a great mistake. The president is too weakened after the battle over ObamaCare to be able to resist restrictionist ideas and move reform in a genuinely open direction. As Dalmia writes:

Even under the best of circumstances, immigration reform is a rancorous issue that arouses powerful nativist passions. Countering them requires a leader who can appeal to the better angels of Americans and show them how more-open immigration policies are not only consistent with their interests but also their deepest ideals of individual rights and liberties. But few believe that President Obama shares those ideals after his big government takeover of health care. And it is not clear that he even wants to make that case given that he has already strongly endorsed Graham-Schumer—without expressing any reservation about its national ID provision….

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. My comment is that Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia is full of it. This is disingenuous drivel I won’t read the rest of it here. Frankly, I’d rather read “Warty.”

    1. Well, I would rather you choke on a gallon of gorilla shit, but we can’t always get what we want, can we?

    2. Um, her thesis in this article is that immigration reform is a hard topic to broach to the voting public.

      You might want to pick another subject to claim that she’s full of shit. Also, watch out for Warty, or apparently, you’ll be full of shit.

    3. You’d rather read Warty?!? Really? I’m hurt, Vanneman.

      1. he didn’t say he would rather suck his dick

        1. Well, then I’d be really hurt.

    4. Hey you! Yeah you! I have a place for you after we resolve a little issue we have!

  2. “that would be a great mistake. The president is too weakened after the battle over … and move reform in a genuinely open direction.” Maybe, you could just say pretty please don’t do it.

  3. Supporters of HRC prattled on and on about eliminating free riders (the uninsured who run up big taxpayer tabs when they show up in emergency rooms.)So they should be able to find common ground on the immigration issue with those conservatives (and libertarians) who don’t want to pay for sponging legal and illegal immigrants. Though I would bet many HRC supporters will revert to their natural humanitarian stance of succoring the irresponsible and unfortunate on someone else’s dime.

    1. Only white people can be free riders, silly.

    2. “Supporters of HRC prattled on and on about eliminating free riders”

      Well that was just the usual liberal bullshit obfuscation, wasn’t it?

      After all, instituting legislation that engages in massive wealth redistribution isn’t really what people who actually care about eliminating “free riders” would be doing, now is it?

      Almost half the country is already free riding on the other half who pay virtually all the federal income taxes. The HRC just makes it a lot worse.

  4. You know what’s awesome? Lonewacko won’t be commenting on this.

    1. Whatever happened to LW? Did he fall victim to STEVE SMITH? Or did he pull a joe?

      1. He got the banhammer.

      2. I called him a child molester, he complained to the mods, the thread vanished, and he never posted again. And there’s a post on his site about how he’s considering legal action against at least one commenter here. I AM A GOLDEN GOD

        1. A residual effect of the shower of sugary goodness from the Saccharin Man’s hose no doubt:-)


    2. The awesome part is that he won’t be commenting on it here.I’m sure if you’re dumb enough to go to 24hoursfappinghead, or whatever his website is, he’ll have some inane nonsense about this.

  5. Excellent article.

  6. And here we have another wonderful example of why most people would sooner vote for a Nazi occupation than a libertarian.

  7. Immigration reform is one of those issues that probably requires bipartisan cover. GWB failed at it thanks to a conservative revolt (and moderate and conservative Dems understandably not being willing to offer cover on the issue). McCain was undoubtedly a better choice for anyone who actually wanted an immigration deal.

    Of course, this means that anti-immigration conservatives did have a reason to vote against McCain.

  8. Obama shouldn’t do immigration reform because he and a Dem congress would fuck it up.

    One need only look at the latest comprehensive reform bill to come out of the sausage factory for evidence.

  9. With the health care battle over

    Says you.

  10. Attempting to introduce anything even resembling amnesty will ensure such a Democratic defeat as to make 1994 look normal.

    The only problem with our immigration system is the lack of law enforcement. Further, a large majority of this country opposes amnesty INCLUDING legal and natural-born Hispanics. The left would have you believe this issue splits the country down the center between racists and Hispanics families who want to be reunited, but hispanics are not former illegals granted amnesty in 1986 who now wish the same treatment for their illegal family members. They believe in the rule of law more than the shallow concept of Latino pride. Ethnicity is no defense for breaking the law.

    1. Lonewacko was a lot more fun.

  11. The only problem with our immigration system is the lack of law enforcement.

    Well, that and the fact that migration is limited for reasons other than national security and public health.

    1. Eh, I have no problem with limiting immigration for economic reasons. It’s a violation of rights to prevent people from leaving, but we’re under no obligation to provide entrance to anybody just because the situation back home sucks economically.

      1. But “we” have no right to prohibit someone’s movement and employment merely because of a condition of their birth.

        1. This delves into area of national sovereignty and self determination. If I can move and work anywhere than citizenship is practically irrelevant, and we delve into the whole one world government kinda thing. And we all know how much we love the one world government idea.

          1. Citizenship is not practically irrelevant. Citizenship defines, importantly, who gets to vote for government and serve in government, as well as what nation represents one in international matters.

            By free migration I do not mean free citizenship — I mean only free migration, free residence, and free employment. Citizenship and citizenship-track visas can be handed out with whatever restrictions, requirements, waiting times, and quotas the citizenry believes appropriate.

            In particular, the US could, tomorrow, institute an indefinite residence visa that follows the lines drawn by R C Dean below and leave all other visas intact. The difference between that system and today is that you could wait in line for those other visas in the US rather than outside the US.

      2. Exclude people who are smart and determined enough to ditch the land of their birth in favor of participating in a system where they can have a much better life. Sounds about right. Those greedy brown fucks.

        1. ditch the land of their birth in favor of participating in a system where they can have a much better life

          Or… ditch the home country which doesn’t or no longer provides a sufficient amount of goodies for the new country and their ample supply of said goodies.

    2. Give anyone a green card who

      (a) Doesn’t have a criminal record back home

      (b) Isn’t carrying communicable diseases

      (c) Can support themselves.

      Non-citizens should be ineligible to receive any involuntary wealth transfers (SocSec, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.). Infrastructure (roads, schools, etc.) they can use, since they are supporting themselves as much as (or more than) any citizen.

      That’s about it, for me.

      1. That’s very good. I would add that citizen children of immigrants should be on the involuntary wealth transfer schedule of their parents.


    It is time to make E-Verify, mandated for every large and small business in America. There should be no constraint on its use, and available for not only for identifying illegal immigrants in the workplace. But as its modified, with its further innovation of photo identification and other aggressive purpose. It should be adapted for use in hospitals to detect illegal alien patients and therefore chase them down for payment. We as citizens-residents are hunted down by debt collectors, why shouldn’t illegal immigrants? It should be introduced into each state Department of Motor Vehicles for fraudulent drivers licenses and registration. There are other uses derived that would include IRS investigations, child support and much more. The American taxpayers are being deceived and while they support the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens with their families, these people are accessing taxpayer money through IRS fraud. Illegal immigration is unsolvable until the US government does the right thing, and follow the Rule of Law?

    That means people who have come here illegally must be removed voluntarily or by force. There will not be any MASS AMNESTY, as it is against the principles of every honest American and the fight will be as at the beginning of the Civil War. Obviously the factions who have bought our politicians and the majority of the population will clash in the proceeding months. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who was the major instigator the in near demise of E-Verify, will be the first example of THE PEOPLE’S vote to unseat him in the midterm elections. All others, who know they were involved in pushing for another Amnesty will also follow Sen.Reid.

    Each state should be aware that foreign nationals are cheating the I.R.S and the American taxpayers out of billions of dollars by using a Earned Income Tax Credit fraud with the use of fake or stolen Social Security numbers. CALIFORNIA is a SANCTUARY STATE and my guess this kind of fraud is underway in most homes of illegal immigrants. Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman or whoever becomes the new governor, better watch for this type of heinous fraud. Whitman might have the money? But does she have the guts to fight the Liberal Assembly, that is pandering to the millions of illegal aliens which Poizner promised he’d do? With a California estimated population of 10 million, it’s inevitable that foreign nationals have are well acquainted with this nice, easy scam. Not only can they defraud the US government by filing for non-existent children, they can collect money on their children living in another country. Again, if they exist at all. There is hardly very little follow up on this situation by the limited investigators of the IRS

    In South Carolina an investigation brought this large scale fraud to light. “One of the tax credit improperly claimed on a majority of the false returns was for child care expenses,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Stephens “The credit can result in a refund even if no taxes were paid.”


    This past week, ten illegal aliens pleaded guilty for their involvement in a $13 million fraud against the IRS. Those found guilty were Edgar Carrillo-Borjas, Miguel Angel Carrillo-Borjas, David Hernandez-Juarez, Ariana Canseco-Orozco, Maribel Juan-Orozco, Cristina Sanchez-Perez, Juan Carlos Carrillo-Roy, Carlos Carrillo-Rodriguez, all of Mexico, and Luis Gerardo Mora-Vargas, of Costa Rica.

    “This is the largest tax fraud case that I’m aware of ever occurring in the district of South Carolina,” said the prosecutor “This is an extraordinarily serious case.”

    Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin F. McDonald said, “Between 2006 and November 2009, two tax preparation businesses, Seguros Internacionales, operating in Spartanburg and Forest City, NC, and Poz Servicios Para Hispanos, operating in Boiling Springs, along with affiliated individuals filed more than 10,000 federal income tax returns claiming more than $22 million in refunds.”

    McDonald continued, “The IRS paid approximately $13 million in refunds before criminal investigators discovered most of the returns filed were fraudulent. At least 20 people were involved in operating the scheme in which tax preparers knowingly claimed tax credits or deductions to which filers weren’t entitled.”

    A related tax credit?the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)?pays this person another $1126 if his or her income was less than $16000. For most families in this income bracket, the EITC check is the largest single sum of money. So Illegal alien husbands and wives often file separate returns on which both claim the same kids.” More Evidence of EITC Fraud. Illegal immigrants defrauded the tax credit program. More than one in four immigrant households received the EITC in 2000?nearly twice the 13.2 percent rate of households headed by Native Americans. And because immigrant households are larger via higher fertility, their EITC payments are larger than those received by native households according to Ed Rubenstein, the author of “The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the United States ? and the most illegal-immigrant friendly.”

    The most distressing aspect of EITC stems from unlawful immigrants tapping into the program on a massive scale. For example, in Greeley, Colorado this year, district attorney Buck Young raided a tax filing agency to find over 1,000 fraudulent returns by unlawful workers. While they paid little or nothing in taxes, they received hundreds of thousands in bogus returns. In 2007, more than 23 million households received more than $47 billion in the EITC payments.”

  13. This is the best reason yet to escalate the War on Drugs. What better excuse do we need for invading and wiping out the entire country?

    Seriously, has anything good ever come out of Mexico? The country has been the stinking butt of North America, presenting itself to be kicked over and over again.

    Give if one more kick, good and hard this time, annex it, and you solve this problem, and a multitude of others, once and for all.

  14. Seriously, has anything good ever come out of Mexico?

    Two words.

    Salma. Hayek.

  15. It fits our needs perfectly the advantage of immigration reform on the country: Greater supply of unskilled workers, a younger workforce, and skilled workers in needed sectors. But there is also a disadvantage of immigration reform like Greater poverty, more educational cost, lower unskilled wage levels, and increased danger of terrorism. Thanks to the post!

    1. Let’s look at your stated disadvantages one-by-one…

      Greater poverty: Perhaps there is greater poverty in the US, but the poverty of individuals and humanity as a whole is greatly decreased by free migration. Which should one care more about?

      More educational cost: If one actually believes that publicly funded education is an investment in the productive adults of tomorrow, then the result will be productive adults who are worth the cost of schooling — regardless of whether they are immigrants or not.

      Lower unskilled wage levels: This is actually a plus for everybody except those competing directly with, effectively, 9th-grade educated non-English speakers. And even for them many studies show it to be a wash.

      Increased danger of terrorism: I suspect that it is far easier to detect terrorists among 5,000 illegal entrants than it is among 500,000 illegal entrants. Take ICE away from enforcing prohibitions on economic migrants, and they can focus on people who can actually cause real harm.

  16. He is not the man for anything…except for being a total piece of shit.

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