Reasoners on the Tube: Nick Gillespie Debates AZ's Immigration Law With Its Author on Stossel


No recent piece of legislation is more controversial than Arizona's recent law aimed at combating illegal immigration to the Grand Canyon State.

It's a bad law that usurps a (rare) legitimate role of the federal government, gets in the way of local law enforcement, and fails to address the basic facts of immigration patterns. Absent court challenges, it goes into effect on July 29.

Last week on Fox Business' Stossel, Reason's Nick Gillespie squared off with the law's author, state Sen. Russell Pearce, on the legality and efficacy of a very popular state law that has raised fears of widespread racial profiling and internal controls on free movement.

Approximately 5.30 minutes. Go to for more videos and downloadable versions of all our stuff.

Reason on the Arizona law.

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  1. Well done, Jacket! To tell you the truth, between State Sen Pearce’s accusations (the mayor’s an anarchist!), his malaprops (facts is a stubborn issues?) and his slurring of words, I wondered if he’d been smoking some of what some undocumented workers are accused of bringing in…

    1. Yeah, forget the substance of either man’s arguments. Let’s focus on subject-verb agreement and accuse those we don’t agree with of drug use!

  2. Open Boarder anarchist mayor!!!

    1. I am weeping. Weeping for the fact that a majority of Americans don’t believe in and don’t understand the benefits of free moment of people and labor.

    2. I suppose being a sanctuary city is as good a reason as any to stop giving cities federal tax dollars. How many others can we come up with? Cuz obviously we need reasons other than just “it’s not their money”.

    3. Republic for a reason, populist decisions can lead to some pretty shitty decisions.

      1. Jeebus H THIS^^^

        I am so disheartened by those that think protectionist economic policies and drug prohibition are good things…cause that is what the immigration debate truely boils down to. Just cause the “masses” agree doesn’t necessarily make it right or good.

        1. STFU. I have another election to win.

      2. Republic for a reason, populist decisions can lead to some pretty shitty decisions.

        So can corrupt judges appointed by corrupt politicians.

    4. I’d like to know how you read that video.

    1. Mark “Illuminati” “truther” “Bilderberg” Dice

      1. All I know is he made a funny vid.

        1. He does. He’s a bit of a whack job though.

  3. It’s a bad law that usurps a (rare) legitimate role of the federal government,

    I disagree. Under the Constitution, the feds have exclusive jurisdiction over naturalization, but shared jurisdiction over immigration.

    Further, Arizona isn’t setting any standards for who can immigrate; inconsistent standards would set up a nice conflict between the Supremacy Clause and the Tenth Amendment, but that’s not really what’s going on here. They are merely enforcing the federal standards. I don’t see how that usurps or conflicts in any meaningful way with any federal role.

    If you’re going to say that no state can pass or enforce any law in an area where the feds have acted (which is pretty much what you have to say to say that the Arizona law is unconstitutional as written), then you really have taken a big, big step toward centralized power. Which should be something libertarians are very resistant to.

    1. I remember when the cosmotarian argument was that since the constitution didn’t explicitly grant the federal government control over immigration, it had no authority to enact laws over the same.

      Of course, if the fed didn’t have that authority, it was under the jurisdiction of the states per the 10th Amendment.

      Now that one of the states has called their bluff, suddenly Gillespie has a come to Jesus moment on the scope of the federal government’s authority. Presumably, he carries a copy of “The Convenient Constitution” in the pocket of that jacket.

      If you trust your liberties to self-described libertarians any more than you would any other partisan hack, I have a bridge to sell you.

      There may be an alternative to the political status quo somewhere, but you won’t find it here.

      1. You any relation to Slappy White? I ask ’cause of the name, and ’cause you both have the same mastery of subtlety and nuance.

        1. typical ridicule by someone w/out a persuasive or substantive argument

          1. typical response by someone without a sense of humor.
            or a clue.

            1. my bad, i clicked the wrong ‘reply’ link and there’s no edit or delete for one’s own posts.

  4. The AZ law is common sense. This is an issue on which I totally disagree with libertarians.

    1. If you watched the video you would realize nothing of the bill makes sense. It all comes to back to the drug war, which of course if we just legalized drugs we wouldn’t have cartel problems, and they only problems would be migrants seeking work. Which isnt a problem of itself, there is no problem with someone moving across a unowned plot of land and then seeking work. Its not anarchy, its free markets and free movement.

      1. “”It all comes to back to the drug war””

        It does. An when given a great opprotunity to point out, some would rather shift the problem to a different agenda. It says they want the drug war, just not the illegal immigration.

      2. Un-owned plot of land???!!! WTF! ALL land is owned – either privately or publicly.

        1. So do these proponents of open borders oppose the existence of publicly owned land?

          1. This is a libertarian (or “liberal” as we were called before Woodrow Wilson) web site.

            We cannot speak for non-libertarian proponents of open borders, but I would say that the general libertarian position on publicly owned land is that, without a compelling reason for public ownership, private ownership — whether by individuals, by companies, or by some sort of common ownership by stakeholders is preferable.

            1. Depends. I am a libertarian but oppose private ownership of land. I’ll save that for another day.

            2. Obviously it’s a libertarian website, but not all libertarians hold an ‘open borders’ view. I think, as do many others, that there is a compelling reason and public interest served by a sovereign nation having its borders and protecting them.

              1. Public land such as parks, etc may be better managed and cared for if privately owned, but that is different from securing and protecting our nation’s borders and the federal government is given that duty in the Constitution.

        2. So do these proponents of open borders oppose the existence of publicly owned land?

  5. We have to keep in mind that- statistically- just above half of the US population has an IQ of 100 or lower. 98% has an IQ of under 130. This is one reason why majority rule is a bad, bad, bad thing.


    What if you wanted to move to Mexico, or Australia, or Germany, and they told you that you could, in effect, never live there legally. However, you knew that there were jobs that would pay you better were you to go there anyway. What right does there government have to deny an individual the right to hire you and/or rent an apartment to you?

    1. Since you are using government owned roads, airways and waterways to get their then the government and the public has a right to decide.

      When individuals create their own system of roads, airways and waterways and also create their own system of landownership outside of government and can enforce all these things then you get to decide.

      1. Boy, we’d better clean our rooms too, or else the government will be really mad and not let us go to prom!

        Silly paternalistic metaphors aside, what government decides does not necessarily relate to what the best decision is. Don’t argue from a position of authority, doing so is fallacious.

        1. At least it is an authority, what are you arguing from, nothing but you own wants which you can’t back up with either force nor right.

          So do you control your own system of roads, airways, waterways or not?

          Do you even have sovereignty over any property?

          I am pretty sure the answer is no.

          And its is not what you decide is necessarily related to what the best decision on the use of public property. And since the government has declared sovereignty over the US and has both the guns and will to back it up I am guessing that you will stay in your moms basement hoping that you could import some 10 year old Haitian prostitutes and cursing the “authority” that stops you.

          1. In other words, it is foolish to attempt to give logic (or grammar or spelling) instructions to trolls. My apologies for feeding this public nuisance.

            1. Just as I thought, you have no arguments, just insults.

          2. DJF = Dog Jism Felcher?

      2. No one is going to invoke the DRINK rule here? I’m thirsty.

    2. So, what you’re saying id that you have a 2% chance of having an IQ of 130 and a 50% chance that you don’t even make it to 100, have I got that right?

      And you seem to be saying that we should listen to smart people–something that you, statistically, are unlikely to be.

      So why should we listen to you?

    3. As seductive as “rule by the best and brightest” may be, having average dweebs pick our leaders has worked out mostly okay for over 200 years so far.

      Are you aware that, if you could go back in time and give today’s IQ tests to people who were considered “IQ 100” fifty years ago, they would score as being functionally retarded?

      1. But those same functional retards are now in charge of the wealth and power!

      2. As seductive as “rule by the best and brightest” may be,

        That’s explicitly what the fascists called for.

    4. We have to keep in mind that- statistically- just above half of the US population has an IQ of 100 or lower. 98% has an IQ of under 130. This is one reason why majority rule is a bad, bad, bad thing.

      The mere fact that some percentage of a population is more intelligent than the rest does not indicate that anyone in that population is particularly intelligent

      1. In absolute terms, I mean.

      2. NEWS FLASH: 1/2 of all Americans are below average…film at 11:00

  6. Correction: Pierce introduced the law but didn’t write it. The author is a man from the Midwest with connections to a major eugenics group (yes, they still exist).

  7. Correction: Pierce introduced the law but didn’t write it. The author is a man from the Midwest with connections to a major eugenics group (yes, they still exist).

  8. Libertarians acting like Liberals on this issue. Gillespie doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    1. An English-firster not knowing the definition of “libertarian.” Ironic, ain’t it?

    2. No, libertarians are acting like libertarians on this issue.

  9. The “immigration enforcement is not a role for the states” argument is definitely not a strong one. The better argument is that this is unenforceable without interfering with freedom of speech (or racial profiling) – since “suspecting” someone is an illegal immigrant could only logically come from their race and their accent. There is also no mandate to carry an ID on your person except when one is driving a car. Even in that case, failure to produce a valid license is a civil fine of $200 or so – surely they won’t investigate for deportation every driver caught without a license. The best argument is that police are screwed if they enforce the law or if they don’t enforce the law. I see zero constitutional precedent to where a citizen has the right to claim damages via lawsuit (even if they lack standing) from police exercising discretion on enforcing victimless crimes that do not affect the plaintiff. If they enforce the law, they are setting themselves up for a racial profiling lawsuit, which is also illegal.

    All this law will really be successful at doing is creating a lucrative black market for secondhand paperwork and fake ids and lead to increased prices and decreased business for the state by enforcing minimum wage controls on labor markets.

    I advocate that all legal citizens in Arizona who oppose the law walk up to cops and tell them (in a bad Australian, French or Russian accent) that they lost their ids. Once they’ve deported a few citizens engaging in civil disobedience but who had not done anything illegal, I think it could turn the public against the law.

    1. Ridiculous suggestion. The criteria for determining the likelihood of one’s legal status in the US, and then Arizona for that matter, is easy to ascertain. Not only that, but only those questioned after legal stops are asked for identification which then leads to legal status verification. It’s already done here in California (sans sanctuary cities) and works simply, reasonably, and effectively.

      1. So specifically, how would you determine if Pedro, a man caught jaywalking on the street without ID, is legal or illegal? If he exercises his right to remain silent and not to incriminate himself, he does not need to reveal his name, his address, his Social Security number, his legal status or anything. He is also not required by law to carry an ID by walking down the street. They often let the homeless go after a night for minor offenses because they have no ability to indict.

        So now you can guarantee illegal immigrants who don’t have black market IDs will remain silent when they get pulled over, questioned or arrested so their accents don’t lead the police to initiate deportation proceedings.

        1. The complete profile created by a person’s behavior, appearance, environment and surroundings, and additional conditions may be reasonable cause for suspicion and turning over the individual to ICE if they are unable to identify them.

          Databases already exist for those with any legal documents (SS numbers, drivers license, state ID, etc) which are easily accessed even by street cops.

          1. “behavior” (how does that have anything to do with immigration status?)
            “appearance” (you mean their race?)
            “environment, surroundings” (because the neighborhood they are in has a disproportionate population of a certain race?)

            Thus the only concrete argument you have is based upon race or the racial makeup of their neighborhood. I rest my case.

            1. Behavior, appearance, environment, and situational conditions are used all the time for profiling – you do it everyday when making purchases and decisions as well. For law enforcement to use these components as a whole when profiling is not racial profiling or discrimination simply because one of the elements is race. Racial profiling is doing so solely on the basis of race.

              You won’t win that case. 😉

              1. And you wonder why many people consider the law enforcement system largely racist? Race should NOT be a factor whatsoever in determining enforcement beyond looking for a specific criminal who fits a certain racial profile. Anything beyond that is a violation of 14th Amendment rights to equal protections. And profiling based upon accent or language spoken, which I assume would fall under “situational” conditions is a violation of 1st Amendment rights. Beyond the person saying “yes, officer, I am an illegal immigrant” I don’t see how any other factors would incriminate someone as being an illegal immigrant.

                1. No, that defies logic. When a person robs a store, their physical characteristics, possible race, clothing, and behavior is all part of the profile. That doesn’t violate any rights and your reasoning continues to focus on profiling on the sole basis of one component.

                  1. Sure, but there’s a difference between saying “that criminal is Latino” vs. “that man is Latino, therefore he might be a criminal” or even “that criminal is Latino, therefore I need to treat him differently than I would treat a white or black criminal committing the same crime.”

                    1. “Sure, but there’s a difference between saying “that criminal is Latino” vs. “that man is Latino, therefore he might be a criminal”

                      Mischaracterization and exaggeration make that a weak argument.
                      The situation would go more like this:
                      A person commits a crime or some other reasonable cause for a legal stop. The officer asks the person for identification and they either have none or the ID they do have indicates they aren’t a legal resident of the US. It’s a very short procedure to determine one’s status if they’re cooperative. If they’re not, what do they have to hide about their identification? Once a legal stop has been made, law enforcement have the duty and right to identify the individual. If the person speaks little English AND has no identification AND was doing something common to illegal immigrants’ activities, that begins to create a profile worth looking into to determine legal status.

                2. You’re making the worst unreasonable assumptions for defining ‘situational conditions’. Those quite obviously would be things such as being involved in activities or actions that are common to those who are illegal immigrants (day labor centers, vans with large numbers of people in them, attempting to evade laws enforcement, etc). As with any profile, one component may mean nothing… but when combined with many can create a reasonable cause for suspicion that a crime has been committed – in this case, illegally crossing a border into publicly owned land by a sovereign state w/out permission.

                  1. Ever heard of freedom of assembly? Just because five Mexicans ride in a van together or seek day labor or try to avoid police (who doesn’t?) does not by itself indicate that they are illegal immigrants. Those are all legal activities that should not presume a crime has occured. Unless you think harassment of legal residents is collateral damage for enforcing arbitrary border laws, of course.

                    1. Once again, with the van illustration you’re referencing one component of a profile, rather than the whole. Everything I’ve mentioned about a complete profile entails multiple components and details. Merely one would not only violate rights, but also is a pathetically weak profile.

            2. btw, if you read my post in context.. the behavior, appearance, environment, and situational conditions were in reference to the profile created by law enforcement when after making a legal stop conclude that asking about their immigration status is appropriate.

          2. “”The complete profile created by a person’s behavior, appearance, environment and surroundings, and additional conditions may be reasonable cause for suspicion and turning over the individual to ICE if they are unable to identify them.””

            And if ICE isn’t interested? None of the above helps determine their legal status.

            “”Databases already exist for those with any legal documents (SS numbers, drivers license, state ID, etc) which are easily accessed even by street cops.””

            Don’t some illegals possess one of the above? Besides you asking for them to proof they are legal not illegal. Therefore, the best option would be to create a national ID that only citizens can carry.

    2. As regards “racial profiling” I note that the hyporcritical Left doesn’t seem to have much problem with it when it comes to determining who receives affirmative action and other special goodies.

      1. Of course, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

  10. I don’t understand why Gillespie suddenly wants to defend the rights of the Federal government to intrude on states rights. It seems hypocritical.

    And I strongly disagree that the AZ is either circumventing or changing Federal law, as Gillespie argues. The AZ law is simply addressing enforcement of existing federal law. It doesn’t change anything, and Gillespie is being intentionally disingenuous in saying that it does.

    1. “”The AZ law is simply addressing enforcement of existing federal law.””

      It’s doing a little more than that. It’s made being an illegal alien in the AZ a violation of state trespassing laws.

      If the law doesn’t change anything, why pass it at all? It won’t change anything.

      1. It’s made being an illegal alien in the AZ a violation of state trespassing laws.

        Think about what that sentence says for a second. If you are here illegally, you are by definition already trespassing. What does the law do that changes this at all? Nothing.

        If the law doesn’t change anything, why pass it at all? It won’t change anything.

        It already has changed things, in terms of illegal immigration. There has already been a marked decrease in the population of illegal immigrants in the state, and there is evidence that many of the illegal immigrants are leaving the state altogether.

        Which was kinda the point of the law to begin with.

        1. Which was kinda the point of the law to begin with.

          I thought the point of the law was to reduce the state GDP. Reducing your immigrant population is an effective means to do this.

          1. As someone who lives here in AZ, it will, no doubt, be a huge success.

          2. GDP = Gross Drug Product?

          3. One could argue that dealing with illegal immigration costs more than the benefits of having illegal immigrants in your population.

            1. Yes, and one could argue the opposite…

            2. That economic cost might be the initial condition, but would certainly bend in the curve of enforcement. The societal benefit of curbing illegal immigration, however, would outweigh any such initial economic costs.

              1. [citation needed]

        2. “”Think about what that sentence says for a second. If you are here illegally, you are by definition already trespassing.””

          Maybe in your mind, but I don’t think immigration law sees it that way.

          “”What does the law do that changes this at all? Nothing.”
          “It already has changed things, in terms of illegal immigration. ”

          So did it change things or not.?

          1. “Maybe in your mind, but I don’t think immigration law sees it that way.”

            If you are here illegally, you are breaking the law. This isn’t debatable.

            “So did it change things or not.?”

            It did not change anything about the federal law, but it did change the facts on the ground in Arizona, as many illegals are leaving Arizona for fear of being deported.

    2. For libertarians, our general deference to states rights ends when the states are violating our constitutional rights beyond the already abusive federal policy. It’s impossible to be consistent because states or the federal government could either be worse in that regard depending on the situation.

  11. Nick, you’re mistaken and misguided. Even the judge reviewing the Justice Department’s CASE AGAINST THE AZ LAW BASED ON PREEMPTION is ridiculous. State and local support and enforcement of Federal law is performed in many areas on an ongoing basis.
    Maybe Nick must support his position because it falls in line with libertarian thinking and free movement and labor. As said many times before on this subject on this site, as long as we have entitlements and services provided by tax paying citizens to anyone present in the country, we cannot economically or ethically allow any such open border policy.

    1. Then why did nobody in the state legislature did the right thing and introduced an entitlement repeal?

  12. commonsense247,
    To take your latter point, the welfare state can always be reformed to control who has access. There’s no rule saying that illegal residents have the right to participate welfare programs. Of course, illegal immigrants do pay sales and property taxes and probably wouldn’t pay any income taxes even if they filed the paperwork, so I don’t see why they should be forced to pay for something they can’t access.

    1. Until the welfare state is reformed to declare only those who pay into it have access to it (which on the contrary has already been broadly determined and interpreted by many judicial opinions to be anyone present in the US regardless of status), promoting open border policies is damaging to citizens.
      Do some research – illegal immigrants and residents do participate in welfare programs, do not often pay property taxes as they rent instead of own, and ongoing studies continue to show that due to their lower income status yet draw on these services and programs are a net drain or loss to the tune of billions of dollars per year.

      1. A portion of the rent paid by illegals goes rowards the property owner’s property taxes. Landlords – being non homesteaders – pay significantly highr property taxes in most states.

        1. Agreed, Pip… and yet because of the numbers that live within one dwelling that aren’t enforced by local zoning or ordinance laws, the significant burden to services like public education is very high in areas where many illegal immigrants live while the level of education is impacted by language barriers and insufficient funds.

          1. Wow…so perhaps I’m reading too deeply, but are you advocating that the government bureaucrats should tell people how to live in their own home? If so, from my perspective, the policies that you seem to desire are far more intrusive on my personal liberties than the existence of illegal aliens in my neighborhood. If you were merely making an economic point, there are many, many legal residents and citizens who fall under similar conditions and create bad economic situations for poorly planned welfare systems for society, but THEY are not violating my rights because they partake in that system.

            1. “Wow…so perhaps I’m reading too deeply, but are you advocating that the government bureaucrats should tell people how to live in their own home?”

              No more than you are advocating that cities should determine the numbers of residents they will allow.

              There are already city ordinances that dictate numbers of individuals/families per house, number of cars of the street, etc. For without such, your personal liberties will be infringed upon by others. Unless you are arguing for all such violations that incur damages to be addressed in court – which is preposterous, unmanageable, and leads more to chaos. You’re quite good at ignoring context, because such laws follow the credo of libertarianism – free to live your life the way you choose, as long as your choices are not infringing upon the right of another to do the same.

          2. The problem there is with the public education system, not the immigrants. They just help others see the emperor’s nakedness.

            1. All of these issues are problems. Illegal immigration simply exacerbates them. Deal with illegal immigration to minimize the harm of the other problems, then deal with those problems as well.

      2. “only those who pay into it have access to it”

        So you DO support allowing illegal residents to continue to receive welfare? At least here in Texas our entire state infrastructure is funded with sales and property taxes, both of which illegals pay.

        1. Texas sets a good example for many states, in my opinion, but that’s not the case for California – which, like many other states, receives Federal money in addition to local and state taxes for infrastructure and public services.

      3. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 prohibited most non-citizens from receiving welfare, including TANF, SSI, and Medicaid.

        1. Some people mistakenly think that immigrants are not eligible for welfare. Several years ago, Congress did attempt to render immigrants ineligible for most forms of welfare. However, subsequent backpedaling by Congress and the executive branch has undone most of those reforms. Furthermore, many immigrant families get welfare through the eligibility of their U.S. citizen children. (It is also important to realize that even when immigrants are ineligible for federal welfare programs, the burden of their support is simply shifted over to the state and local welfare agencies.)

  13. Lotta anger in that room. They were even talking over the host.

  14. This is the problem with strict libertarianism – you cannot inject or tack on policies based upon libertarian principles onto statist policies and conditions already present in the US. It’s not reasonable, feasible, economical, sustainable, or prudent. Even if drug policy was reformed, the issue of a nation’s sovereignty and it’s citizens rights to receive common services they pay for as citizens, while requiring foreigners to go through a legal process to become citizens in order to receive those same collective services is valid and reasonable as well as supporting fundamental liberty of that nation’s citizenry.

    1. How does it affect me, a legal citizen, if someone crosses an imaginary line in the sand that was not my rightful property? I’m sorry, but all victimless crimes are an invasion of liberty.

      1. Imaginary line in the sand? You are arguing against a nation having borders and their right to enforce and protect such borders?
        Here’s just a few ways that illegal border crossing affects a legal citizen (it should be patently obvious):
        1. those with intentions to harm US citizens are provided easy means to do so
        2. entitlements and services meant for US citizens and paid for w/our collective taxation are given to those who are not paying for them

        Illegal immigration into the US is not a victimless crime.

        1. Ok – wow. I take issue with the argument that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes. If they filed income taxes, we’d be paying most of them tax credits and 98% wouldn’t pay anything. They live here, they purchase goods, therefore they pay sales taxes. They have to rent property, thus they pay for the property taxes of the owner via inflated rent. Many pay into Social Security and Medicare and will never get a single dime from those programs in return.

          While I do absolutely believe that actual victimizers should be prosecuted and deported, I can not make assumptions on such a vast group of people where I make the policies for all out of fright of the few. You could ban cars because otherwise a few drivers would drive drunk and kill someone. You could ban guns because one could accidentally discharge and kill a child. You could ban alcohol because alcoholics are more likely to beat their wives. Likewise you can ban immigration (which under the current system is what this does de facto for most of the low class, unskilled Latinos jumping the border) because a few of them will be involved with the violent drug mafia. Such an argument is not reflective of a consistent belief in liberty.

          1. It’s a mischaracterization to claim I argued that illegal immigrants pay no taxes. They often pay little or none of certain kinds of taxes, and any amounts they do pay pale in comparison to the economic drain. A smart, sensible approach would be to provide a better temporary work visa program with certain restrictions to various programs and services, and require the Federal government to do its job of enforcing legal employment law.

            1. There may be argument about whether immigrants are good for government coffers (that has yet to be determined), but there is virtually no economist (particularly in the field of econometrics) arguing that illegals are a net drain on the economy. They are generally argued to be on net beneficial for the economy to a moderate extent.

              1. Actually, there are economists that have taken the position on both sides of the equation. According to a 1998 article in The National Academies Press, “many [previous studies] represented not science but advocacy from both sides of the immigration debate…often offered an incomplete accounting of either the full list of taxpayer costs and benefits by ignoring some programs and taxes while including others,” and that “the conceptual foundation of this research was rarely explicitly stated, offering opportunities to tilt the research toward the desired result.”
                If you take the average family of illegal immigrants, total their tax contributions of any type, their lower cost of labor, the public services and expenses they use (welfare, healthcare, education, etc), it’s going to be very difficult to argue a net benefit is a likely scenario.

            2. So you advocate the government telling employers who they can and can’t hire? How is that not a violation of their freedom of contract? It’s not employer’s responsibility to babysit who is and isn’t a legal resident.

              1. But it *is* currently the law for employers to hire based on criteria. I don’t think employers should be allowed to hire 7 year olds.

                I live within the real world where current laws and Supreme Court decisions have been decided, and the best that can be done at this point is to work towards reform to return the liberties that have been infringed upon and lost – mostly I would argue that should be accomplished by working from the macro level to the micro level.

                To pontificate about libertarian theories and philosophy and how specific instances should be addressed based upon that ideology is great in the classroom or lecture hall, but to presume this plays out as productive, beneficial, reasonable, or effective in a society with so many conditions impinged upon non-libertarian and, quite frankly, statist ideologies, does not reflect acknowledgment of the current conditions and/or a plan to legitimately and logistically move towards those reforms necessary for liberty to thrive.

                1. As someone who started working summers at age 11, I do support allowing children to work if they want to and if their parents agree. Most businesses will not want 7 year old workers because they aren’t as good or focused as adults and in many people’s eyes child labor is exploitation, so would hurt the company’s image. But why is it inherently wrong to hire a 7 year old to sew a shirt, but perfectly acceptable to hire a 7 year old child actor? It’s totally subjective and based upon social mores.

                  I don’t understand how infringing upon liberties (which is the case with Arizona laws however you bend it) saves liberties. You seem to advocate for infringing upon the liberties and privacy of employers, for government bureaucrats dictating how many people can live in a home, for police to intrude on the equal protections for by enforcing laws differently even for legal residents with foreign characteristics or cultural traits, wasting a lot of money on pointless imprisonment and deportations, etc. The powers you support granting to the federal government to enforce this could easily be used by your political opponents as well. Once you get the government monitoring every employee’s legal status and cracking down in the event of a violation, you can easily jump to crackdowns on “lack of diversity” or “unfair pay.” Welcome to the world of social engineering, which is in essence what immigration enforcement is another form of…

                  1. I also started working at a very young age, but as an entrepreneur – not an employee. I think the concern of society about the age of workers hired as employees is the danger of exploitation – and thus you also have strict labor laws and child advocates on the sets of studios and theater to ensure those guidelines are followed. If that was also done for other companies, maybe society would change its view of such employment.

                    The fact that I’m stating what current laws are doesn’t mean I’m advocating for them or the positions that made them law. You seem to be more interested in arguing philosophy and ideologies w/out fundamental realistic practicalities according to the actual current conditions and logistical changes and reforms that could address these infringements of liberty.

                    And yes, illegal immigration would also be an infringement upon my personal liberties by way of violating public property rights; particularly when done so in mass quantities in our welfare state.

                  2. You seem to argue for an ideal situation in a vacuum – as though illegal immigration can somehow be dealt with or addressed without any of the realities surrounding it. While interesting discussions and arguments, it does little more than exercise one’s intellectual vanity or produce thoughtful considerations.

                    Your exaggerations and mischaracterizations of my positions and of stated current conditions in your second paragraph actually makes such an idealistic society you seem to grasp onto even more fleeting.

                2. Your last paragraph epitomizes my position.

        2. Regarding borders, they are important only because of the rights protected by the governments for those within those borders. The fact that the government provides additional services to residents does not make the act of stepping across the line in the sand morally wrong. They are not an impenetrable barrier, even in the case of a country like North Korea. In the name of economic protectionism, they are merely an artificial market distortion.

          Think of it this way – the fact that a convicted felon might cross over from Oklahoma to Texas does not mean that criminal has violated my rights as a Texan (at least not until he steps onto my property). And a low income, non-criminal crossing the border from Oklahoma to Texas for a job doesn’t violate my rights either, even if he “takes” my job. If that non-criminal Oklahoman rents an apartment and sends his kids to public school and goes to the emergency room once a decade or so, but doesn’t qualify to pay income taxes, he would still be paying what he owes in Texas state taxes. However this person theoretically puts as much a burden on the welfare state as the average illegal immigrant.

          By your logic, we should ban any out of state person from entering Texas unless they pay in at least as much for state services than they would take out, and should also ban all convicted felons, even if they have served their time for selling marijuana back in the 1970s. If you don’t believe this, please explain what makes it so horribly wrong for a criminal or the welfare-dependent to cross one line in the sand but fine if they cross a different one?

          1. You’re using irrelevant comparisons that are incongruous. A citizen of the United States is free to travel within the states. A non citizen present without permission on United States property is violating property rights.

            1. Way to point out WHY the comparison is irrevelant and incongruous – ignoring the arbitrary status of the lines in the sand, there is zero difference in how my personal rights are affected simply by a person crossing it.

              1. A citizen of the United States is free to travel within the states. A non citizen present without permission on United States property is violating property rights. THAT’S why your comparison is incongruous – you’re comparing someone who is illegally trespassing to someone who is not.

                1. Restating your same exact argument doesn’t answer my question as to how the act violates my individual rights or how either or us is a victim from this action.

                  1. I’ve already answered the ‘victimless crime’ argument, which is not accurate or factual when it comes to illegal immigration. Deterring illegal trespass and enforcing such laws prevent further automatic victimization of legal residents and citizens in our current welfare state condition, as well as security from those that intend to harm our nation.

                    Public property is owned by the people, represented by their government. Therefore trespassing is as much of a violation of property rights as trespassing on an individual’s property is the same.

                    Your original argument ( ) mischaracterized an Oklahoman in comparison to an illegal immigrant. More accurate conditions would be: lives in an apartment with at least 6 other people – several of them children who attend public schools, goes to the emergency room now and then, goes to a public health clinic more often, receives financial or food aid through various local, state, and federal programs, and whose children eventually receive aid of some sort for college. Multiply this times a few million and it’s not comparable to the impact of interstate migration by those legally resident in the nation. The continued onslaught of low skilled, low income earning individuals with low education and a language barrier into a welfare state through illegal immigration in large numbers is the unnatural economic burden.

          2. Your argument is then that anyone should be free to travel and migrate and live wherever they choose without restriction? What is the purpose of citizenship and national identity then?

            1. Pretty much, beyond perhaps attempting to filter out wanted and dangerous criminals.

              National identity, like borders, is only important from the perspective of the rights the government in that country is willing to protect. Citizenship is a way of determining who gets to elect the government of that country.

              1. Ok, I understand that point of view but disagree with it. I think that citizenship plays a much greater role in the national identity as it pertains to civic responsibility, pride in personal and public ownership of property, and potential for government employment. National identity plays an integral role in the personal stake one places in their local and broader residency and involvement. While free to determine the depth of that role, of course, the likelihood is greater when citizenship is respected, valued, and acknowledged for what it is truly worth.

          3. In terms of flippantly stating “in the name of economic protectionism, they are merely an artificial market distortion”: the effects of such a huge market distortion (because of incentive-free entitlements directed towards lower income groups with many times no interest in either becoming a citizen or establishing a personal stake in their place of residence) is a crushing burden.

            1. The existence of the market distortion of the welfare state does not justify the market distortion of restrictions on free movement of labor. Both are huge distortions.

              1. So as I’ve mentioned elsewhere here, rectify the welfare state problem and then we can address illegal immigration (or restrictions on free movement of labor) through various means. To put the cart of allowing free movement of labor (unless by temporary worker visa programs and upholding legal employment laws) ahead of the vast entitlements horse would be disastrous.

                1. That’s a perfectly valid argument and I agree with you on addressing the welfare state problem (and attempting to make it at minimum solvent) 100%. But I still don’t understand how Arizona’s law does anything besides either violating individual rights or creating a black market for fake paperwork. Even at best, it would involve deporting people (at great expense to taxpayers) who would merely jump right back across the border again.

                  1. I think as it’s been written, studied, and applied as to the actual implementation of the law, it only serves to enforce current Federal law at a local level and only after a legal stop due to some other offense. The simultaneous efforts to require e-verify for all employment and other parts of the law would address the magnet for illegal immigration into Arizona. So in these respects, it would deal with: human smuggling, drug smuggling, additional crimes by those who shouldn’t be present anyway, and any additional economic burden.

                    1. – “human smuggling” – relatively open borders is the only way to fix this. Harder enforcement will only make it more dangerous and lucrative for criminals

                      – “drug smuggling” – legalizing drugs would definitely fix this. Escalating the war on drugs only moves smuggling tactics to more extreme and violent levels.

                      – “crimes by those who shouldn’t be present anyway”
                      Statistics have indicated that immigrant populations (even with largely illegal constitutions) breed safer societies. Of course, more people is always more risk, but by that logic cities should likewise set quotas on the number of residents because more residents = more risk. And yet people still live in cities anyway, despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands more people who could potentially violate their rights.

                      – “economic burden” – don’t get me wrong, I agree that they are an economic burden from a welfare state perspective, although I believe they are a net benefit for society as a whole.

                      In terms of pragmatic short-term policy, I support creating a new class of visa for existing illegal residents that blocks a path to citizenship, waives their access to Social Security and Medicare and forfeits any tax credits, but allows them to work and live here pending they do not commit felonies. If they wish to attain the previously listed benefits, they need to go through a legal route. Thus it’s neither full amnesty or strict enforcement, but would satisfy many of the economic concerns and the concerns about moral hazard while recognizing that many of these illegal immigrants have established themselves and built their lives and families here, and ripping them apart is no benefit to society. It’s a compromise that attempts to solve the problem less expensively and invasively than any other option. When we reform and scale back the welfare state, we can gradually open the borders.

                    2. Your last paragraph is essentially my position as well, with the additional note that those convicted of crimes are deported rather than incarcerated at taxpayer expense. I also agree that legalizing drugs would largely deal with the drug trafficking problem, while human smuggling would exist as long as there’s a demand and a supply – and the human element of relatives desiring their loved ones to be near them in a safer and more civilized environment. But cities setting quotas for the numbers of residents.. aren’t you violating your own dogma there?

                      But in terms of the AZ law, I fully understand and support what they did in order to enforce what the Federal government has absolutely failed to do even though it’s a core duty.

                    3. The US incarcerates too many people already, which increases the cost to the taxpayer and makes prisons less safe, both to the inmates and to society itself. Deportation for non-nationals who would otherwise serve jail time in the USA would do something positive with that problem. Maybe even deportation of citizens who agreed to be so deported: I would think some would change a lengthy time behind American bars for something sunnier.

        3. “”Here’s just a few ways that illegal border crossing affects a legal citizen (it should be patently obvious):
          1. those with intentions to harm US citizens are provided easy means to do so
          2. entitlements and services meant for US citizens and paid for w/our collective taxation are given to those who are not paying for them””

          Just because it affects a legal citzen, doesn’t mean it causes harm.

          There is no harm in your number one. The possiblity to harm does not mean people are in fact harmed. You sound like a nanny arguing why obesity makes us all victims.

          1. Even intent to harm doesn’t necessarily produce harm anymore than the intent to do good actually produces good.

          2. The number one pertains to the reason why we put locks on our doors. You don’t wait until someone breaks in and causes harm to create a deterrent.

            You’re intentionally mischaracterizing my position with your “nanny” statement. That’s an issue of personal responsibility and freedom to choose. No one is forcing someone to eat a certain way or diet and they are responsible for their own decisions.

        4. Those with intentions to harm US citizens are indifferent to immigration laws. Whether you allow everyone in or put barbed wire around the border, they are still going to try. Therefore, immigration laws can’t prevent a dedicated enemy from trying to harm US citizens.

      2. You want illegal immigration to be a victimless crime? Cease the entitlements and services taken from citizen and legal resident taxpayers and given to those who don’t pay into them (federal and state taxes, property taxes, etc), and then we can have a reasonable and apt discussion of immigration policy.

        1. Or we could get rid of transfer payments entirely. More freedom for those who have been in the US for generations as well as new arrivals!

        2. So you’re arguing for an end to all entitlements? Congratulations on being a much more “pure” libertarian than many of the regulars here! 🙂

        3. You want (X) to be a victimless crime? Cease (Y) and then we can have a reasonable discussion of (X) policy.

          1. yes to the chromosomes of all of the above 🙂

        4. Simpler solution, which benefits everyone: Create a guest worker (or sojourner) program that allows unskilled laborers to come here and work legally.

          1. A better one than which currently exists would be a great benefit without the political posturing of parties attempting to gain additional numbers.

      3. By taking jobs away from teens. Remember when McDonald’s was staffed by US teens instead of Latinos?

        1. Remember when banks were run by US citizens and not Jews?

          Remember when janatorial companies were staffed by US citizens and not blacks?

    2. Problem: when the legal process to become a citizen takes 2 or more years, $4,000 or more in fees, and is fraught with gotcha mistakes that can prevent immigration for senseless reasons, you’ve all but taken legal immigration off the table as an option.

      If well educated and literate people from first world countries like Germany and Australia are unable to immigrate in an expedient fashion, how the hell are poor, uneducated South American peasants supposed to be able to? Or is that the whole point, to keep poor people from moving in?

      1. You actually have a problem with keeping “poor, uneducated South American peasants” out of the country?

        1. I actually do. I think immigrants perceive the entrepreneurial opportunities available here than many longtime US residents take for granted. I also believe human beings should have a right to move and live wherver they choose.

        2. Do you prefer your food grown in South America by “poor, uneducated South American peasants” or in the US by “poor, uneducated South American peasants”?

  15. It was great to see Pearce challenged on Fox where he’s received such kid glove treatment.

    Also, the guy at the rally in the beginning of the video is a real douche.

    1. That clip of the guy at the beginning of the video was out of context. Making that declaration w/out understanding that he was addressing specifically those that claim this is the land of their Aztec ancestry and therefore they have the right to migrate anywhere they want in North America regardless of a nation’s laws is knee jerk ignorance.

      1. That argument has been made, and continues to be made. It should never be granted air time, and frankly it mirrors the same argument made against by some White supremacists. There is no doubt some in each side of the debate are thinking in racialist terms. The real debate, however, and as should be obvious, goes much beyond whether my Volk or my Raza are what “belong” here (whether or not the law will involve more racial profiling, which is a fair issue, but not to be confounded). Not to mention that most Mexicans have Spanish last names, proving that they are not ethnically pure Native American anyway.

  16. Nick nick nick… you interrupt constantly but then object to being interrupted when you’re speaking.

  17. When the country is flooded with millions of low-wage libertarian magazine editors who displace American libertarian magazine editors and otherwise drives down their wages, I’ll care what the present stock of libertarian magazine editors think.

    1. So until Nick has been addicted to crack cocaine, he shouldn’t argue against the drug war.

      Until Nick is poor enough to have to go on welfare, his opinion about the welfare state is meaningless.

      Nice argument John.

      1. Thanks. I’m proud of it.

    2. I’m a computer programmer. The “displacement” I compete with comes from people in India who don’t have to even bother to sneak in here to work for my company. Why should a California lettuce-picker have any protections that I don’t?

      1. You should have those protections. The United States is a home and not a corporation.

        1. Would the real John please stand up?

          Dude, that handle is already used by a well known H&R poster. Care to pick a different one?

          1. Ok. I’ll not hang around anyways.

            1. Thanks! Less confusing this way.

          2. I was thinking the same thing. The above John is much more ingant than the regular John.

        2. But my corporation is a corporation and not the United States. They should have a right to hire whomever they choose, just as I have the right to work for whomever offers me the best deal.

    3. Libertarianism implies not distorting market forces, even when doing so would directly benefit yourself in the short term.
      You can go back to the Huffington Post now.

  18. Remember the 4th and 5th amendments! (And their Arizona constitution equivalents)

  19. I think most of the opposition to the AZ law is misplaced opposition to federal immigration law.

    The AZ cops will be doing exactly nothing that ICE isn’t empowered to do. If you’ve gor a problem with the AZ law, then what you really have is a problem with the federal law that it mirrors.

    So, if you’re complaining about AZ, but not ICE, and not about the other states that have substantially similar laws, I have to ask why?

    I know why the Dem apparatchiks are opposed to what AZ is doing – self-interested and cynical partisan politics. I have to wonder why I shouldn’t assume the same of anyone else who attacks AZ but not federal immigration law and the other states.

    1. “”I know why the Dem apparatchiks are opposed to what AZ is doing – self-interested and cynical partisan politics.””

      Because we know how much Karl Rove supports the dems.

      “I wished they hadn’t passed it,” Bush strategist Karl Rove told a crowd of 500 at a senior community center in Florida. “I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill?.At the end of the day,” he said, “I think there are better tools.”

      Read more:…..z0v0eIHb8a

      I agree with Karl Rove.

    2. I complain about the ICE all the time. Arizona is just trying to be even more invasive than the ICE.

  20. I thought I believed in Libertarianism. Turns out I’m just a Right-winger with common sense.

    1. Like being totally cool with a gigantic and invasive immigration enforcement bureaucracy but not with a gigantic and invasive health care bureaucracy?

      1. Truth be told, the federal government’s failure to uphold the law since the last amnesty of the 1980’s has resulted in our present conditions. An e-verify system and strict employer fines and/or jail time for illegally hiring would have all but eliminated the magnet for illegal immigration and without the need for a massive enforcement bureaucracy because it’s kept in check.

        The health care bureaucracy is particularly repugnant and invasive on the infringements of freedom scale as it has been designed to further control, manipulate, and determine just about every area of our personal living choices.

        1. You know what would really work? Death camps.

  21. Illegal immigration is not a problem. It’s bad laws that make it a problem. Like the Drug War, Terrorist from a country the US is attacking, The welfare state where money is taken by force and giving it out willy-nilly.

    My biggest pet-peeve is the undocumented immigrants are stealing my money by using public services. They get away with identity theft and tax evasion. And politicians support them and even give them free money in terms of school grants… Politicians are SUPPORTING TAX EVASION.

    However, I am jealous that the government does not steal their money.

  22. “the undocumented immigrants are stealing my money by using public services”

    That money would already be stolen – by politicians, not by illegal immigrants. The determination by politicians to give it to illegal immigrants is certainly not the fault of the illegal immigrants, who have pretty much zero say in which politicians get elected.

    1. “That money would already be stolen – by politicians, not by illegal immigrants.”

      That’s a very large assumption.. were the presence of illegal immigrants not there, politicians wouldn’t have the excuse to argue for more funds and spending for local, state, and federal services and programs.

      1. They already do precisely that, all the time, and everywhere, regardless of how many illegals are there. I am sure if/when they lost that one excuse in AZ, they will find another.

        1. Yes, the government monster innately wants more and grows at an alarming rate unless particular and specific ongoing efforts to restrain and limit it are constantly engaged. What I’m saying above is that it’s a misnomer to automatically assume if monies from one abuse were not being spent, they would simply be spent on another. Likely? Yes. Preventable? Yes.

  23. If the underlying causes of why desperate Mexicans feel forced to flee their homeland at the risk of their live were addressed, there wouldn’t be a flood of folks coming into the States. When the US govt subsidizes corn exports to Mexico undercutting the price of what Mexican farmers can sell their corn at, then Mexican jobs are lost again forcing the flee. Another underlying cause is the corruption of the Mexican federal government against its own citizens. They participate in cruel kidnapping blaming it on the Communists who deny it. These victims, or their families, eventually flee Mexico. And don’t even get me started in the drug war thing. Legalize the drugs to drive down the price, to disincentivize the drug gangsters. But no politician has ever addressed the corruption of the Mexican government, yet everyone knows it.

    1. I have many friends from Mexico and South America, some of them here illegally. They actually want to return to their countries one day. That is the strength and solidarity of national pride and citizenship in a country – even one that is corrupt.
      These issues could be effectively fought for by removing the drug prohibition and the cause of freedom championed to the Mexican government by US politicians, rather than cheering a Mexican president’s denouncing of our federal immigration laws.

      1. ^^This^^

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