Immigration

Legalize It (Immigration Edition)

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Ryan Young and Alex Nowrasteh make an essential point about immigration:

What's the right approach to dismantling the black market? Liberalization. The immigration black market only exists…because the government has made the legal market as cumbersome as it can.

True immigration reform makes legal channels more appealing, not less. That means lightening the paperwork and the regulatory burden, and eliminating quotas. The more unattractive legality becomes, the more attractive illegality looks in comparison.

Black markets are anathema to a free society. Murder, theft, smuggling, and even slavery are part and parcel of immigrant black markets. They are also easily avoidable—just shrink the black market by making legal immigration easier.

Liberalization would solve just about every legitimate complaint about illegal immigration, from the trespassing that takes place on private property near the border (which occurs because it's too risky to enter the country through the front door) to the companies that defraud or otherwise abuse their illicit employees (who can't exactly take their bosses to court, and who may face legal risks just seeking work elsewhere). But as with that other source of black markets, the drug laws, the government has responded to the problems it created by doubling down on enforcement, which merely magnifies the problems and molests our civil liberties in the process.

Elsewhere in Reason: "What part of legal immigration don't you understand?"

Elsewhere not in Reason: Hit it, Herb and Chuck:

NEXT: Time To Hate On Derivatives?

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  1. Sure. This is the “wide gate” part of the “high fence, wide gate” approach to immigration reform.

    Liberalization would solve just about every legitimate complaint about illegal immigration,

    Ah, one of Obama’s favorite tricks – attempt to delegitimize your opposition. Learning from the master, I see. 😉

  2. Wider gates, taller fences.

    The current limit for legal immigration is from the The 1990 Immigration Act (IMMACT), which limits the annual number of immigrants to 700,000. This isn’t anywhere close to enough. Over 1 million people became naturalized citizens in 2008, so the desire for people to become legal citizens is there.

    I don’t see what the big deal is with widening the gates to let in more people legally.

    I also don’t believe that making it unlimited is the correct answer either.

    1. I don’t see what the big deal is with widening the gates to let in more people legally.

      The problem is that the current batch of immigrants would vote for socialism and expanded government.

      We have already seen how President Ronald Reagan’s amnesty in 1986 resulted in the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

      1. Residence is not citizenship, and the obligation of government to secure the rights to the former does not extend to granting the latter.

        1. Residence is not citizenship

          It’s sad how many either don’t get this point, or deliberately obfuscate it for their own ends (STFU, Lonewacko).

        2. Thank you, MikeP. Also, naturalization is not immigration, and neither technically depends upon the other, though, in practice, the former usually follows the latter.

    2. There’s another little problem: you may not have noticed, but there aren’t exactly tons of jobs available at the moment. The “official” unemployment rate is still close to 10%, and we all know that’s a bullshit number.

      We can and probably should expand immigration down the line when the jobs are once again available, but at the present time the welfare rolls are already pretty swollen as it is.

      1. But Mike, the illegals are already here, working, and NOT paying taxes. Increasing the number who are legal wouldn’t be a net decrease in revenue. Welfare rolls would not automatically increase if we increased legal limits to immigration.

        1. saying that illegals don’t pay taxes is not entirely true.

          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18077009/

          But I agree that increasing the number who are legal would not be a tax drain.

          We would save on deportation, border control, as well as have actual recourse on those that don’t pay their taxes. (of course I hate that we are forced to pay, and pay too much, but that’s a different story)

          1. Go die in fire, dipshit!

  3. The robc compromise (IE not pure libertarian) immigration plan:

    1. No quotas
    2. No Amnesty
    3. Anyone wanting to live/work in the US can get a 330 day permit at the border, provided they pass a background check (felons, terrorists, etc).
    4. At any time before the 330 days expires, they can turn in the permit and leave and can renew after 30 days.
    5. The current quotas and etc remain for permanent green cards, but those with the temporary can be on the waiting list.
    6. Anyone caught crossing the border outside the easy to access permit centers will be considered an enemy invader and caught/shot as necessary.
    7. Anyone currently in the US illegally can go check in at the border and get their permit.

    1. #6. I love you robc ?

    2. “6. Anyone caught crossing the border outside the easy to access permit centers will be considered an enemy invader and caught/shot as necessary.”

      This assumption is made necessary by the Constitution’s own wording. The blanket immigration authority currently assumed by Congress and the White House is based on nothing explicit in the Constitution. Try reading it. Even Supreme Courts that have upheld that authority have not done so by pointing to any specific passage that clearly puts the Federal government in the immigration business. Instead, they speak of “inherent powers of sovereignty” and other such extra-constitutional smoke and mirrors. We accept this because most of us are xenophobic to one extent or another, and Federal immigration power is an outcome we WANT to see. But in fact, the point of the Constitution was to strictly limit Federal power, standing between the people and government’s manufacture of powers out of thin air.

      The Constitution allows the Federal government to repel invasions, make new citizens, and, perhaps, tax entry and exit. A general immigration authority is neither explicitly granted, nor reasonably required to carry out other explicit Federal duties. On the other hand, if you classify any “illegal” as an enemy invader, now you’re talking explicit constitutional authority.

    3. “6. Anyone caught crossing the border outside the easy to access permit centers will be considered an enemy invader and caught/shot as necessary.”

      So, you summarily execute Americans sneaking back into the border too?

      1. Caught is listed first. Hopefully you dont flee when the border guards ask you to stop.

        But, yeah, dont sneak across the border, go thru the freakin border crossings.

        I didnt say it was the perfect solution.

    4. I’d take that plan.

  4. For nostalgia’s sake: shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  5. I also don’t believe that making it unlimited is the correct answer either.

    What sorts of limits do you have in mind? If you just mean a criminal background check, an eye open for serious communicable diseases, and a couple other things like that, then that’s understandable.

    1. Indeed. What kind of limits? And Why? One recurring theme is that we’ll be overrun by immigrants if we do away with quotas. Because, obviously, everyone wants to live in the USA. And that would be bad, somehow. It’s as if Manhattan needs to close it’s border, because it offers so many opportunities to so many people, everyone yearns to live there.

      Of course, that’s absurd. Yet, such absurdity is regularly trotted out when it comes time to keep our dusky neighbors from having reasonable access to our markets.

    2. First, good luck running an effective background check on the millions who would want to come. You guys act like there is some criminal background check fairy that comes down and does it. You know how hard it is to run such a check on someone form say El Salvador? And that is the ones who want to come. What about the millions who are already here. It would take decades to do. Meanwhile, Reason would no doubt be shocked that a government program is slow and inefficient and be on here whining about the injustice of it all.

      Second, if you run the background check, you would presumably turn some people down. So, you still would have illegal immigration it would just hopefully be smaller, although even that is debatable since a lot of people wouldn’t wait around for their background check to clear.

      Third, things have gotten so bad in Mexico, we would end up with what amounts to refugees coming here for safety. Good luck with that.

      Maybe if you first legalized drugs and did something about the violence problem in Mexico and did something about the entitlement disparity, you could set up some kind of an EU like system between the US Canada and Mexico. But until you do that, you are just pissing in the wind.

    3. a criminal background check, an eye open for serious communicable diseases, and a couple other things like that

      That’s what I mean. I don’t want to just open the gates and let whoever that wants to come, as Nations around the world will turn the US in to a dumping ground for there undesirables.

      1. Libertarians think (rightfully in most cases) that any government program is doomed to suck except when it comes to running background checks on immigrants. Then libertarians think the government is all powerful and beneficent.

        1. I agree with you John that background checks sourced out of, say, Sierra Leone would prove to be all but useless. But we do currently run checks on people before they become naturalized by cross checking interpol and other international criminal databases. We already are able to do this for over 1 million people. We can easily afford to increase this number from 700,000 to say, 3 million. Yes it will cost more money. We would save money on enforcement if we allowed more people to come in legally. More people coming in legally would mean less illegally, in theory.

          I’m not saying anything about amnesty. Reagan passed that because democrats promised they would increase border enforcement if he signed the bill. Democrats screwed him over on that vote and Reagan has stated on several occasions that he regrets signing it considering the democrats fell through on their promise.

          1. We could let in and do more checks than we are now. No question. But there is no way we could let anyone in and have effective and timely background checks. Can’t be done.

            1. I never proposed “let anyone in”. I said we need to increase the limit on those who want to be here legally.

              Look at the H1B visas for instance. The majority of these immigrants add directly to our productivity in fields such as IT and Medicine, and we have this insane idea that we should limit people like this from wanting to work here legally.

              1. I don’t think you are proposing letting anyone in. But I think that is what Reason would like.

                I am all for more H1B visas as long as you tie them to time rather than employment. The problem with an H1B visa is that it allows employers to treat immigrants like shit. If you an immigrant is fired, he has 10 days to find a new job. That means his employer can treat him like shit. You don’t like never getting promoted and never getting a raise, fuck you and go back to Pakistan if you don’t like it. It is unfair to immigrants and unfair to natives since it gives employers a reason to hire immigrants over natives. Why hire a native that you might have to treat like a human being when you can hire an H1B who has not choice but to stay?

                1. I’m not entirely sure that’s what Reason wants. Jesse stated above that he understands the need for some type of standards. That alludes to a “limit” per se.

                  I agree the H1B visa situation is ridiculous, and completely anti-employee rights. But if the rules for the visa were relaxed (a lot) there would be less chances for employers to treat them like shit. I have several in my office on this visa and they work their ASS off. I’m sure it’s as bad as you state in some places, but these guys are not treated like shit because they are hugely valuable asset to our company.

                  1. I don’t think Reason has thought through what they want. They just think it is cool to have ethnic restaurants near where they live.

                    And yeah, not every H1B visa holder is treated badly. But it doesn’t make any sense to tie it to a job. As long as you not giving them welfare, why not let someone come here on their own dime and look for a job? Or live on savings and get another job if they lose the one they have?

                    1. But it doesn’t make any sense to tie it to a job.

                      Hence my 330 day limit.

                2. John, you are correct about the defects of the H1B program. I know a young man who came here from Albania as a high school exchange student. He lived with a good friend of mine. he finished high school and College here. He is a terrific young man and an asset to the US. Because he is on an H1B he faces all of the obstacles that you call out.

                  1. I know several immigration attorneys. They can tell some serious horror stories about employer treatment of their clients.

        2. THIS libertarian doesn’t, John. I would, in fact, oppose the establishment and/or maintenance or expansion of the vast government databases necessary to make a “background check” for would-be immigrants possible, let alone feasible.

          1. Good for you. But also admit that you plan to have no checks on the boarder and anyone can move here and live and work for any reason. This is what Libertarians want but don’t have the balls to say. Instead they hide behind the ridiculous idea of background checks knowing full well they will not work and the same Libertarians who advocated them will work to subvert them once they are in place.

            1. “… anyone can move here and live and work for any reason.”

              What is wrong with that, if they are otherwise obeying the laws and not sponging off the taxpayer? I’m serious. Someone really needs to say why the above is a bad thing, at least bad enough to warrant all of the hysteria and drastic approaches being proposed to address “the ‘illegals’ problem.”

              I don’t think anyone owes me food, housing, transportation, health-care, etc. I have to pay for it, and I prefer it that way. I don’t think anyone owes me a job. If I can’t outdo the competition, then they should get the job, not me.

              What I can’t stand is when someone contrives to live or prosper at someone else’s expense. A lot of illegals are taking advantage of the welfare-state programs we have here. But so are a lot of citizens — and the programs were originally put in place to benefit citizens, many of whom openly and warmly embraced the encroachment of socialism. The illegals don’t deserve the entitlements, but neither do the citizens. Let charity be charity and get the government out of that business. Let government get back to the “catch and punish people when they do bad things” business. And let’s not extend the list of bad things so much that people become criminals for simply crossing an artificial line of jurisdiction, or any one of thousands of other silly things that are now listed as “crimes.” A crime should be what we intuitively understand it to be: deliberately acting to harm another or damage his or her property. The further we go from this simple idea, the less understandable and the less respectable the law seems to become.

  6. Until we eliminate the provision of benefits on the public dime to immigrants, we need either (a) a cap on how many legal immigrants we allow in or (b) a requirement that all immigrants be self-supporting, either by employment or by a minimum income from other sources.

    1. Exactly. Unless you can absolutely guarantee me that we’re going to dismantle the existing welfare state at the same time or before we allow total and unlimited legal immigration, then as far as I’m concerned the answer is not just no, but hell no.

      1. It is mostly illegal immigrants who receive state benefits. Legal ones tend to have jobs or family who can support them.

    2. They already have this!!!

      People need to, you know, talk to a fucking immigrant, and find out what is actually involved before making these kinds of statements.

      There are three main kinds of immigrant sponsorships.
      1. Refugees – which nobody is going to deny benefits to
      2. Employment – in which an employer certifies that the person has a job waiting for him. (And among other things, that no US citizen could possibly fulfill the duties, as certified by a three-year multi-thousand dollar Department of Labor review).
      3. Family Sponsorship – in which the sponsoring family member must certify that he has sufficient funds to support the immigrating imdividual, without relying on public funds.

      This is not to say that undocumented immigrants don’t manage to obtain food stamps or welfare. but the fact is that the LEGAL immigration system ALREADY contains numerous provision explicitly designed to prevent immigrants from obtaining public support.

      1. Let’s say an immigrant family has three kids (on average). Now, true, they pay some payroll taxes (sometimes), but a conservative estimate of the cost of educating those three kids is around 30K per year.

        Do they pay 30K/year in taxes? I think not.

        Do they add 30K’s worth of savings to our lives every year? No.

        So, on balance, low-skilled immigrant families (who tend to come here to, ya know, feed their many, many children) consume much more in resources than they pay out or generate in revenue (notice I didn’t say “welfare”, since it’s not in fashion to call public education “welfare” these days).

        So, yes, we need to restrict their numbers, lest they balloon the size and scope of the public sector unions whose services they burden unduly.

        On the other hand, charging a per-child user’s fee for public education would eliminate this worry.

  7. “”””Liberalization would solve just about every legitimate complaint about illegal immigration, from the trespassing that takes place on private property””‘

    It does not solve the legitimate complaint about trespassing on public property nor legitimate complaint that a sovereign people have the right to determine who enters their country.

    1. Considering what a cluster-fuck these idiots have made out of every western nation that’s followed their advice on immigration, one might be strongly tempted to suggest dismantling the black market in contract killings by legalizing those, too.

      1. Gad, the stench of irresponsible hyperbole!

        Crossing a border and being in a place is not a natural crime, much less a crime with a victim. A contract killing, on the other hand, is an actual, natural, violent crime. If you have never exceeded the speed limit intentionally, never jaywalked, never burned a duraflame log in the fireplace on a “spare the air” day, you have moral authority to wag your finger at non-violent border-hoppers. Otherwise, you need to admit that some laws are in place simply because somebody says so, and probably shouldn’t be in effect at all. That class of laws seems to be routinely flouted by citizen, non-citizen resident, and visitor alike, and so why punish one group more than the others for the flouting? I happen to think that the heavy-handed laws surrounding immigration belong in that group of unnecessary, counter-productive laws, which simply breed contempt for the rule of law among the people.

        If you want people to respect the law, you need to enact only respectable laws (and repeal the rest). Otherwise, you will always have some level of disrespect among even the most upright citizens. Who benefits from that?

        1. Hear! Hear!

        2. “””Crossing a border and being in a place is not a natural crime””

          Its trespassing on other peoples property

          1. More hyperbole. I never said that trespassing on private property was acceptable. For that matter, neither is trespassing on publicly owned property (parks, reserves, military bases, etc.), even though I think we’d be better off if the government owned much less property. But UNCLAIMED property, property designated for public use, and PUBLIC ROADS are not subject to ordinary trespass. This is supported by centuries — if not millennia — of law and practice.

            But let’s talk about private property for a moment, shall we? Suppose someone travels over the border on a legal, commercial flight, and then parachutes onto private land with the express permission of the land owner. Without visa or citizenship, he is technically an illegal alien. Does the government have the proper authority to override the property owner’s decision, raid the property, and arrest the “illegal” to facilitate the latter’s deportation? Even if we accepted a theory of “public property” that said such property were actually “owned” by the State, which in turn had power to deny access to anyone on any grounds, that wouldn’t cover the case where no actual trespass ever occurred. Yet, in my experience, the people who like to liken illegal border crossings to trespass would support the government in their raid to grab the parachuting illegal. They just want what they want. They’ll appeal to principle only as long as it supports the desired outcome. When it becomes inconvenient, they usually — again, in my experience — abandon pretense and fall back on “we say so.” Indeed “we say so” is at the foundation of present-day immigration law, from all that I have been able to ascertain.

    2. Because “tresspassing on public property” has always been a paramount concern of libertarians.

      And since when is a collectivist notion like the “sovereign people” a libertarian concept?

      I could give a fuck what the “sovereign people” think. The “sovereign people” would probably have me first against the wall if they ever had the chance.

    3. That is a bunch of collectivist horse shit. There is no collective ownership of the whole country. If I want an immigrant to come and work on my property, you have no say in the matter.

      1. You say its your property yet you pay rent to the government, so whose property is it really?

        The only thing that makes something your property is the force to hold it and you don’t have the force to hold property, that is why you pay money to the government. The day you stand up and fight off the government and anyone else it will be your property, until then you are just a renter.

        1. Ah, the colors show through.

          The socialist blog is three doors down on the left.

          1. DJF is right, though, and thus illuminates some important shortcomings of our own system. Will we have the stones to correct those shortcomings, I wonder?

  8. I’m with Tman.

    “Unlimited” immigration seems politically unviable and generally like a bridge too far.

    If the U.S. population is ~300 million, why don’t we just set an arbitrary bright line at 3 million annually (which is still less than 1%).

    A clear rule like that will ward off all of this silly talk about “invasion.”

  9. The entire “immigrants are rarely libertarian” argument is just fucking stupid. Native born Americans are seldom libertarian. furthermore, if immigramts are seldom libertarian, it’s because the libertarian-minded have missed golden opportunities to teach the new comers about libertarian philosophy.

    Since most people come here for the opportunities that freedom provides, they would probably be far more receptive to a freedom based philosophy than natives who have been through 12 years of state indoctrination and propaganda.

    1. That is generally true. But Mexico is different than the US for a reason. I think it is pretty naive to think that everyone who comes here is going to share the common US values or will automatically change the country for the better.

      1. I think it is pretty naive to think that everyone who comes here is going to share the common US values or will automatically change the country for the better.

        Again, you could (sadly) say the same thing about a number of native born Americans.

      2. I don’t know that there really are “common US values”. Native born Americans have vastly different values depending on their family, community, religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Yes, some people are dirtbags. That’s true of every people. Remember, however, the dirtbags would have fewer places to hide if the people who were just trying to earn an honest living weren’t scared shitless of talking to anyone in authority.

        For the most part, those who want to come to the US want to work, and when given the chance, they work hard. Most of the immigrants I know are entreprenuers. I really wish the libertarian party had written (or was writing) some outreach literature in Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog, and Spanish. I think they could have made some real inroads in those communities.

        1. If we didn’t have hoards of community activists running around telling these people they are victims and that they should keep their own cultures, I would feel a lot better about it. I would also feel better if we had a more honest conversation about race and equality. The Koreans, Chinese and other immigrant groups are often racist as hell. And racist in a way that hasn’t been tolerated publicly in this country for 40 years. Yet, no one says anything because liberals have convinced the world that no one but whites can be racist.

          1. John would also like a Pony. A Brown one.

            1. I would like a pony as well, please. A pony of a different color, if you please so as not to stir up the race-baitors.

    2. The entire “immigrants are rarely libertarian” argument is just fucking stupid. Native born Americans are seldom libertarian.

      Let me guess… you’d also suggest hitting yourself over the head with a hammer to cure a headache, on the grounds that since you already have a headache, it can’t make it any worse.

      Since most people come here for the opportunities that freedom provides

      Dude, they come here for our money. Our “opportunities that freedom provides” they could care less about. See Britain, Sharia law. How many fucking examples do you need right in your face to acknowledge your theory is wrong?

      1. My point is that many immigrants would be more likely to embrace libertarianism than native born Americans. But since they are never introduced to it, they go along with the choices they are given.

        As for your second point, the US is not Britain. Too bad you’re unaware of that. We (correctly) don’t provide the kind of welfare goodies the UK does. As for immigrants wanting your money, nearly all the immigrants I know are entrepreneurs, or have spent their lives working hard to provide for their families and loved ones.

        1. As for your second point, the US is not Britain.

          No. And it is not France, Belgium, Spain or the Netherlands either….

          …but this time, it’ll certainly work! Just like California!

          Oy!

          1. Yup, California’s problems were all caused by immigrants. Dumb-ass politicians, government unions, massive regulation, etc. had nothing to do with it. Know what else we need to do? We need to fight drugs harder, ’cause they cause violence!

            1. 30 years ago, California wasn’t inundated with dumb-ass politicians, government unions and massive regulation. What do you suppose might account for the change in California’s political climate?

              I’m sure I have no idea….

              1. This reminds me of people complaining that the Irish can’t be true Americans, because their first allegiance is to their king in Rome wearing his pointy white hat.

              2. US born citizens from out of state moving into California and voting the way native-born Californians wouldn’t.

                The same effect explains the present idiocy in Arizona.

              3. 30 years ago, California wasn’t inundated with dumb-ass politicians, government unions and massive regulation.

                Yes it was. And regards the part I bolded, no location at any point in history has not been inundated with them.

              4. 30 years ago, California wasn’t inundated with dumb-ass politicians, government unions and massive regulation. What do you suppose might account for the change in California’s political climate?

                I know. Mexicans.
                God knows those fucking hippies with their commie philosophy are all brown skinned, spanish-speaking, Latinos.

                Just go to San Franciso, and hang out in Berkeley. Everyone there talk with a spanish accent and waves flags of South America.

              5. Yeah, immigrants from places where they treasure statism DID change California’s politics. Immigrants from New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and any number of other States, to be precise.

                I was born in California and watched the change occur over several decades. It wasn’t due to the brown-skinned “illegals,” whether or not they attempted to vote in our elections.

                1. Yep. California is second to Arizona in proportion of residents who are US-born immigrants.

      2. “money” is the “opportunity that freedom provided”. You agreed with him instead of countering him.

    3. BP,

      What do you do with people who come here and egged on by multicultural liberals say “fuck you, this is my country now and we are going to try and make you live by our rules”? That is what many of the Muslims are doing in Europe right now.

      1. John, I personally would tell them this is a free society, and if they don’t like it, they can fuck off. And if they don’t like that, they can listen to me tell them my story about the prophet, the pig, and Astroglide.

        1. I agree. But see my 1:06 comment above for the problem with that.

          1. John – Yep, they are racist. The first generation, anyway. Then they change.

            1. I am not as confident in that.

              1. Country club republicans and limousine liberals aren’t as confident in BP’s assertion – and have a lot to gain from their own conclusions about it as well……

    4. I’m with BakedPenguin on this.

      I live in Tucson Arizona, and I *don’t* see Hispanic immigrants loafing around on welfare. I see them starting small businesses, doing yard work, maid services, restauraunts, etc. They are more entrepreneurial than the native born Americans.

      The rabid Mexican nationalists are mainly second or third generation American born hispanics who have been given the whole racism/vicitimization training by the public school systems. They’re the ones waving mecian flags, not the recent immigrants.

      All things considered they’re not behaving too differently than the Irish third-generation descendants running around with green harp flags and wearing kilts at the Celtic festival.

      1. I don’t see too many Irish demanding that everything be printed in Gaelic so they don’t have to learn English. Nor do any politicians try to earn “the Irish vote”.

    5. I fucking hate that argument as well. If you care about freedom, you need to care about it for everyone, not just people who agree with you.

  10. As an American citizen, I’m ready to trade StE for any Mexican, straight up.

    1. And I’ll throw in John for a Mexican to be named later.

      1. I’d miss him!

        1. He can post from south of the border.

          1. Are you sure, you are not looking to exercise #6. John , don’t fall for it!

  11. Why not start with removing quota caps, time limits and the onerous “sponsoring employer” requirement on H1B visas?

    1. I would think it would be easier to add a new class of indefinite resident visa with no cap, no time limit, no sponsor, and explicit provision for no welfare and no citizenship.

      The present visa and citizenship system can remain largely untouched. But, yes, in the name of all that is holy, tie the H1B to the employee and not the employer.

      1. That would work but we’d need to abolish the whole non-immigrant work visa , H-1B, H-2B TN-1 etc

  12. Those goddamn Mexican Muslims are ruining this country.

    1. You just gave me an idea for Draw Mohammad Day.

  13. Yeah. That was me. Those who can’t use joke handles properly should probably just avoid them.

    1. Good advice, especially for someone advocating human trafficking. I am shocked, shocked I say!

  14. The only way to make Mexican immigration a net gain for The Glorious Libertarian Future is to trade Mexico our most statist states for all the Mexicans who want to come here (but not to those states).

    So we cede them Asshole America ? California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland (and environs), Illinois, Minnesota, and the random Southern state of your choice (to prove you’re not a paleo) ? along with the assholes who live there, and they send us however many dudes want to live in the U.S. but not in the asshole part (or in the Ghost Confederacy).

    Then we’ll need a wall of fire and alligators and alligators on fire and armed Mexicans to keep the assholes where they belong. But that’s just details.

    1. I’m in. But it has to be Mississippi. And American Alligators (alligator mississippiensis) . We don’t want those fucking Egyptian crocodiles.

  15. Obama like all problems has a plan to solve this one. Once we have permanent 12% unemployment, zero growth and 50% base tax rates, Mexicans will have no need to come here and the problem will be solved.

  16. ha ha ha. it’s easy to say when you’re so far away from the illegal immigrants. i’ll say this. i live in a sanctuary city and about two blocks from a vibrant hispanic community and it sucks. my gf’s cousin was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver and the guy took off back to mexico.

    give it up reason. you’re a bunch of pansy fags sitting behind desks criticizing policy and being so far away from the situation. to me that’s like writing a book about sharks and not actually ever being around sharks.

    last thing, won’t giving them amnesty pretty much out price them out of the job market? especially with the payroll tax and offering benefits. so we’ll have a higher unemployment rate.

    1. Since we’re playing the anecdata game, in my apartment complex, it’s about half white, a third black, and the rest Mexican-ish. The problems don’t come from black or Mexi, but from the drunk and loutish white rednecks whose barefoot, drooling spawn litter streets and defecate in the swimming pool.

    2. The Reason staffers in California, Arizona, and Texas will be interested to hear that they live far away from illegal immigrants. Me, I lived three years in Los Angeles with a bunch of Mexican neighbors before I moved to Baltimore. I go to Texas a lot too, since my parents live there.

      Sorry to hear about your girlfriend’s cousin. I trust you’re upset that Arizona’s new law will discourage illegals from cooperating when police investigate crimes unrelated to immigration.

      1. How does the fact that you once lived near Mexicans somehow make your position any more or less palatable?

        1. margarita exosmosis

        2. He was countering beltways argument that by not living near Mexicans the reason staff doesnt know what they are talking about.

          1. I don’t think living in Texas makes you anymore knowledgeable about the subject than living in Washington. If you live in a good neighborhood and your contact with immigrants consists of saying hello to the guy who mows your lawn, you don’t exactly have a balanced view of the topic.

        3. How does the fact that you once lived near Mexicans somehow make your position any more or less palatable?

          I was replying to “it’s easy to say when you’re so far away from the illegal immigrants” and “you’re a bunch of pansy fags sitting behind desks criticizing policy and being so far away from the situation.”

          1. Of course there are tons of illegals in Washington. And many areas of Arlington and Silver Spring and Manassas and other places that are much tougher neighborhoods than they once were.

            1. There are illegals here in Baltimore, too — indeed, I’ve written about them. But I assume that “beltwaylibertarians,” to the extent that he had a coherent thought to express, was saying that us Reasoners do not live in the border states where the negative spillover effects from migration are the highest.

    3. Whoever this is, great job with the satire. The line, you’re a bunch of pansy fags sitting behind desks criticizing policy and being so far away from the situation. to me that’s like writing a book about sharks and not actually ever being around sharks, honestly had me laughing out loud

    4. I’m pretty sure it would have been easier to bring the drunk driver to justice had he been a documented resident. Or are you trying to say that being an illegal immigrant makes it more likely that a person will drive drunk and kill someone? Can you clarify how the immigration status of this person is relevant to your cousin’s death?

      1. Unless illegal immigrants are more likely to join fraternities than legal immigrants or American citizens, I truly doubt they are more likely to drive drunk and kill someone.

  17. last thing, won’t giving them amnesty pretty much out price them out of the job market? especially with the payroll tax and offering benefits. so we’ll have a higher unemployment rate.
    It would remove their competitive advantage over natural-born workers in obtaining cash-based compensation. I don’t like amnesty as it does nothing to expand immigration across geographic origin/wage/skill classes.

  18. Response to many commenters….

    I’m hearing a lot of people say they want freer immigration, but stricter enforcement. Why?

    I can think of no other issue on which a person claiming to be libertarian would advocate enforcing the law, just because it’s the law. Or stricter enforcement just because “laws are being broken”. Or that someone should “obey the law” and “follow the proper procedures”.

    Do you advocate legalizing marijuana, but then enforcing a boatload of regulations on who can grow it, and where, and criminalizing people who do it without the proper federal permissions?

    If you realize that people coming here illegally are doing so because they CAN’T immigrate legally, then you must realize that if they continue to do so, even after legal immigration quotas are raised, it’s not because they just *feel like* breaking the laws, it’s because they still can’t immigrate legally. And what’s your argument for why they shouldn’t? Because it’s illegal? It’s wrong because it’s illegal? That’s a libertarian position?

    IMO, to be consistent, you need to be either consistently pro-immigration, or anti-immigration. You either believe people have a right (or should have a right) to live and work freely, where they choose, or you don’t. If you think some degree of quotes should be placed on immigration, you’re inherently conceding that people *don’t* have that right, and that *domestic* workers are somehow more entitled to the jobs than “foreigners”. A whole slew of fundamentally unlibertarian ideas. At that point, you’re just quibbling at the numbers. And the anti-immigration side can set those as low as it wants.

    Raise the quotas and enforce the law because it’s the law is not a serious argument, and is not particularly libertarian one. I’m not necessarily saying that open boarders is the only solution, but it is the only consistent position thus far espoused.
    Certainly the advocates have to come up with a better justificant for “higher fences” than “well, the fence was already there, so…”

    1. “Raise the quotas and enforce the law because it’s the law is not a serious argument, and is not particularly libertarian one. I’m not necessarily saying that open boarders is the only solution, but it is the only consistent position thus far espoused.”

      It is a perfectly serious and consistent point. There is nothing un-serious or inconsistent about saying that the US Government has a right to tell people they can’t immigrate but that it ought to also be letting more people do so than they are now.

      What is an un serious point is yours. To claim a false dichotomy of either completely open borders, criminals terrorists and all or completely closed borders is not a serious position.

      1. There is nothing un-serious or inconsistent about saying that the US Government has a right to tell people they can’t immigrate but that it ought to also be letting more people do so than they are now.

        If the US government has a right to tell people they can’t immigrate, then why NOT set the quotas to zero?

        Just a practical matter? You can’t shoot that many people coming over the fence?

        1. You don’t set the quotas at zero because you want some immigrants but not all. If we have the right to set it at zero, we also have the right to set it at a million or any other number we like. It is called national sovereignty.

          You are really out of your tree on this Hazel.

          1. Okay, so you’re arguing for collective rights now?

            “We” = who? The state? “The people”?

            So “the people” are now supposed to have power over who gets permission to engage in a voluntary employment contract with another individual, based on the geographical location of that person’s birth?

            1. Yeah. They are called national borders. You get to live in a nice country, as opposed to some third world shithole, for the sole reason that you were lucky enough to be born here rather than said shithole. If you reject the concept of national sovereignty, good for you that is your right. But morally you probably ought to stop taking the benefits of such sovereignty whose legitimacy you deny.

              1. You sound EXACTLY like Tony.

                1. And you sound like the crazy old lady at the laundromat.

                  1. Someday, when I am an old lady, I will poke people with my cane and harangue them about politics.

                    But until then, you’ll have to come up with a better argument for why the government should control who is allowed to work for whom and live where, than the “sovereign people said so”. At least, if you don’t want to sound like a fucking statist douchebag.

    2. Hazel,

      The point was raised above that wider gates means more legal entrants. But yes, the legal part is still important to prevent the US from becoming (more) of a dumping ground for other nations undesirables. Otherwise there is no point whatsoever in having “legal” immigration.

      If you want to just open the gates then say so. But I don’t think this is a logical nor desirable approach.

      1. a dumping ground for other nations undesirables

        … their tirer, their poor, their hungry?

        We’ve always been a dumping ground for other nation’s undesirables. You think England was sad to see the puritains emmigrate?

      2. We know what you fucking mean. Tman, It never works out .

      3. If you believe that people have the right to work anywhere someone wants to employ them, then it is the moral approach.

    3. You argue well.

      However, until you rid Americans of the 16th Amendment, 14th Amendment, Clause 1, and thus Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps, TANF, you cannot have unlimited, free immigration.

      For what you advocate is anti-Libertarian. You advocate for harming existing rights holders — vested Americans.

      Nearly all Libertarians get the immigration debate wrong because they view it from a childish rationalism.

      1. As you are clearly unaware, immigrants don’t qualify for most of that – unless they are refugees, a relatively small fraction fo the total pool.

        It takes 10 years of paying into social security and medicare to qualify for benefits. You can’t get a green card unless you have a sponsoring family member who is able to support you.

      2. “Nearly all Libertarians get the immigration debate wrong because they view it from a childish rationalism.” That, in a nutshell, is the crux of Libertarian philosophy.

        1. Childish? Believing that people are responsible for themselves is childish how?

      3. People in other countries have rights too. Including the right to work for people willing to employ them.

  19. Reason Magazine execs and Jesse Walker have a decidedly ANTI-libertarian stance on immigration, which stands in clear violation of the “do no harm” principle.

    As long as the systems exist of [1] income taxation and welfare redistribution; and [2] Federal Reserve central banking, you cannot have free, unlimited immigration.

    With unlimited, free immigration, you create an actuarial nightmare. Immigrants immediately qualify for welfare, retirement benefits and now Obama’s Commie Care. Because of the growth of immigrant enrollees to welfare, existing Americans get injured through the force of taxation. Additionally, benefits earmarked for existing Americans get reduced.

    Immigrants cause money debasement and thus injure existing money holders, hence their property.

    Federal Reserve central bankers increase money in circulation based on changes to the average demand for cash as measured by ATM and teller withdrawals from Wednesday through Sunday.

    When this average increases, Fed Res central bankers order the U.S. Treasury to print more notes and mint more coins. While it is true the Fed Res pays for the minting and printing, no accretion of assets arises to match the accretion of notes and coins.

    Since immigrants tend to favor cash over credit, an increase in immigrants leads to an increase in money in circulation.

    This increase lessens the buying power of those who have cash already.

    1. Immigrants immediately qualify for welfare, retirement benefits and now Obama’s Commie Care.

      All three of these statements are false.

      1. It is NOT POSSIBLE for an immigrant to get a green card without having the sponsor certify that they will support that person for five years.

      2. You need to pay into social security for 10 years before being eligible for benefits.

      3. ObamaCare actively prevents immigrants from spending their own money to buy health insurance on the “exchanges”.

      1. None of the statements are false. Simply because you decree such does not make it so.

        Social Security includes SSDI and SSI.

        Besides we’re discussing the effects of instant, unlimited, free immigration as advocated by Jesse Walker and yourself.

        1. You said “retirement benefits”. It’s a FACT that you don’t qualify for SS until you have paid in 10 years. I just went through the immigration system. I know what I’m talking about. You don’t.

          1. You amuse, Hazel.

            When something is “turned out to pasture”, it is retired.

            SSDI and SSI are retirement benefits, instant benefits for those who qualify. Those persons get retired from the so-called workforce.

            Your lame attempt amuses.

        2. MacDougal, take the bitch slap Hazel gave you and say thank you. I think she was rather kind in pointing out your obvious stupidity.

          1. You amuse.

            Enjoy your low IQ living.

            1. You amuse.

              [Boy I feel smarter already. Who knew that was all it took.]

        3. You’re confusing immigration with naturalization. Immigrants don’t qualify for SS. Naturalized citizens do.

          1. We do and must follow the same work credit system.

    2. Wow. Do you really have so little understanding of central banking?

      One can believe that central banking is in and of itself worse than free banking, but one should at least realize that the bank tries to keep as much cash and credit in the system as will keep inflation pegged to a target. If there are more people competing for the cash, they raise the amount of cash to hit the target. Regardless of how many people show up, everyone’s dollars loses the target amount of value.

      Nice try, though. This is an authentically unique argument, albeit authentically wrong.

      1. You amuse MikeP.

        Clearly, you’re clueless about Central Banking.

        It exists. We’re not debating the demerits of the pernicious nature of Central Banking.

        We’re discussing the effects to vested Americans owing to the increase of immigrants.

        Go to Craigslist and hire someone to teach you reading comprehension and analytical skills.

        1. That’s a refutation?

          Please tell me why an inflation rate of 2% when there are 300 million people is different to me from an inflation rate of 2% when there are 310 million people, the extra 10 million of whom like to hold more cash?

          1. You amuse MikeP.

            Yes, you were schooled, already, on Federal Reserve central banking and how money accretion arises.

            That refuted your silly, false beliefs.

            Yet, all of your protestation amounts to a rhetorical head-fake over truth: immigration injures vested Americans by leading to debasement and increased welfare costs under a Regime of Central Banking, Income Tax and Redistribution.

            By your words, we can see that you believe in the bogus concept of a monolithic price level and that you have accepted the false belief that inflation means a rise in prices.

            It does not.

            Inflation is a purpose-driven process undertaken by central bankers who seek to increase the products sold by their members, that is, to increase the number of open contracts of credit. Central bankers inflate when they decrease reserve requirements, reduce the interbank lending rate, reduce the discount rate, stop or reduce paying interest on held, voluntary reserves.

            Price is another way of saying value when the ratio of two things swapped includes money.

            Prices can rise only when money stays constant, the amount of stuff swapped decreases or when the amount of money increases at a faster rate than the amount of stuff swapped.

            Inflation (credit expansion) can lead to rising prices when the rate of the amount of money demanded in need to extinguish open contracts grows faster than the rate of stuff available for purchase.

            Always, accretion leads to higher prices.

            1. Whether you like or dislike central banks, they will do what you describe or not do what you describe regardless or irregardless of whether or not there are more immigrants.

            2. You amuse, Smack.

  20. People really need to get over the preposterous idea that immigrants are consuming public services at excessive rates. Or that the welfare system is what is drawing them here.

    This is demonstrably false. The vast majority of illegal immigrants come here to work, at tough dirty jobs, for below minimum wage. They do NOT collect food stamps or social security benefits.

    1. Those who believe immigrants come for our welfare, ask yourself how many of the 12 million illegal immigrants would move out if a law were passed tomorrow that guaranteed that neither they nor their descendants would ever be eligible for welfare.

      Did you estimate zero? Good estimate.

    2. And spare us your hyperbole, “tough, dirty jobs.”

      With the exception of paper-pushing jobs (government workers, administrative staffs, Wall St.m and the like) most jobs in America are tough and dirty.

      Go tell a guy with mechanic’s knuckles that car repair isn’t tough or dirty.

      Go tell a plumbing mechanic that plumbing isn’t tough or dirty.

      You’re clueless about real day-to-day life in America.

      1. Did I say that only immigrants filled tough dirty jobs?

        Or wait, are you claiming that there are NO illegal immgrant car mechanics or plumbers? If so, you’re the one who needs to experience more real day-to-day life in America.

        1. You amuse, Hazel.

          You ought to see a trained professional who can treat you for hallucination problem.

          No where have I made claims about work illegal aliens refuse to do or at which they do not work.

          Anyone can debate that most illegal aliens come to America “to work, at tough dirty jobs, for below minimum wage”.

          Many come here to be with their husbands or boyfriends who work at any of one hundreds of kinds of jobs. These women do not work.

          You false beliefs about wage rates reveals you lack knowing about economics and markets.

          The laws of economics show, clearly, that as long as an employer can pay a higher wage and thus poach an employee from a competitor while earning a profit, that employer is going to do so.

          Thus, it’s clear, at once, that most illegal aliens who work earn above minimum wage.

          This refutes your false, childish belief that illegal aliens work “for below minimum wage”.

          The State of California provides free medical care, including $20,000 per baby births, to female in the state, regardless of immigration status.

          This refutes your false, childish belief that illegal aliens do not receive state-issued welfare.

          To help you overcome your hallucination problem, here’s a gift for you, 1-800-969-NMHA. The call is free, yet you must make the first move.

          Your parents shall thank you. If you have any friends, they shall thank you as well.

          When you straighten out your mind disorder, hire someone to teach you English.

          We have a word in English for the moronic phrase, “vast majority”. The word is ‘most’.

  21. For fun with conservative media, read the Wall Street Journal editorials on drug legalization and National Review on immigration. Change the topic in each. The articles will be identical. The WSJ is afraid of weed while National Review is afraid of Mexicans.

  22. Until the income tax is repealed, we have no practical choice but to embrace socialism.

    1. You are right Citizen Nothing.

      Income taxation is the source of all problems for individuals and the source of all power for collectivists.

      Repeal of the 16th Amendment must come long before any fix to immigration can happen.

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