Barbara Boxer

Immigrant Bashing By Immigrants

The GOP's ethnic candidates won by embracing a restrictionist agenda in the midterm elections.

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If this election proves anything, it is that immigrant bashing is not a white-only sport. Non-whites can play it just as well. Advocates of liberal immigration policies, therefore, can't count on the coming end of white domination to automatically propel this country in their direction. They have to keep making their case to the American public regardless of its hue—brown, black, or Avatar blue.

Despite the Republican sweep, Latino advocacy groups are trying to spin this election as an object demonstration of Hispanic strength. How? High Latino turnout, they maintain, effectively created a firewall in the Southwest ensuring Republican losses in Nevada, California and Colorado and preventing them from gaining majority control of the Senate. But this line of reasoning confuses the sauce for the whole enchilada.

It is true that had it not been for the Latino vote in Nevada, Senate Speaker Harry Reid might well have been toast. He played his cards brilliantly with the community. He proposed the DREAM Act, which would have opened up legal avenues for illegal minors to gain permanent residency in the country. But he ensured that it didn't pass so that he could blame "evil Republicans." And his opponent, Sharon Angle, performed her part beautifully, running vicious ads depicting Mexicans surreptitiously streaming through the border and threatening American wages, jobs and even Social Security. The upshot was that Latinos came out in record numbers with 90 percent of them voting for Reid, contributing to his 5 percentage-point win over Angle who only a few weeks ago seemed solidly ahead.

In California, where Democrats won both the gubernatorial and Senate races, Latinos played an equally significant role. Over 85 percent of them voted Democratic, giving Jerry Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer a convincing edge over the Republicans, both of whom embraced a restrictionist agenda. Meg Whitman, the Republican contender for governor, lost Latinos when she declared that it'd be alright with her if her illegal housekeeper, who had been in her employ for nine years, was deported. Meanwhile, Boxer's opponent Carly Fiornia supported Arizona's draconian law requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times, hugely irritating Hispanic voters.

And the king of immigrant bashers, Tom Tancredo, whose restrictionism is too extreme even for the GOP, got a humiliating walloping in Colorado's gubernatorial race where he was running as an independent. But the real Hispanic clout was felt in the state's Senate race in which the Tea Party candidate Ken Buck lost to Democrat Michael Bennet in a nail-bitter. Buck was by no means half-bad on immigration, but Bennet was better and got a whopping 81 percent of the Latino vote that might well have put him over the top.

All of this is prompting dire warnings by Latino groups (who held a teleconference Wednesday to discuss the election results) that, over the long run, immigrant bashing will prove to be a losing strategy for Republicans. If current trends continue, the Pew Research Center projects, white share of the population will drop from 67 percent in 2005 to 47 percent in 2050. As this happens, Republicans will have to either win an ever-greater share of the white population or peel away minority sub-populations, something that will be hard to do if they don't change course now.

But all of this assumes that today's minorities will be tomorrow's immigration advocates. However, this election casts severe doubts on that assumption. Indeed, one of the hugely under-reported stories of this election is that Republicans fielded far more minority candidates than Democrats—and they won by touting a restrictionist agenda, proof positive that skin color—and even immigration status—are not always correlated with enlightened immigration views.

Consider, Florida's Marco Rubio, the Tea Party-backed Republican for Senate. After initially issuing a statement on immigration that would have warmed the heart of the Statue of Liberty, this Cuban American did a complete flip-flop, positioning himself on the restrictionist-right of both his white opponents. Not only did he eventually endorse the Arizona law after criticizing it for racial profiling, he also backed away from the DREAM Act, noting that it is "gonna feel weird" to deport minor undocumented kids but America needs "an immigration policy that works"—whatever that means!

But Palin-backed Nikki Haley, the daughter of Sikh migrants from India, didn't even bother to pay lip service to the plight of undocumented workers who have no legal way to permanently live and work in the country. She embraced the Arizona law right off the bat, even boasting on the campaign trail about co-sponsoring legislation as state legislator that "entirely matched the state of Arizona."

But the worst of the GOP's ethnic stars from the standpoint of immigration reform are New Mexico's Susana Martinez and Nevada's Brian Sandoval, both Hispanics who won the governorship. Even though New Mexico has a history of welcoming Mexican immigrants, Martinez was so unrelenting in her opposition to them that she even forced her (white) Democratic opponent to harden her stance. She opposed "amnesty" for undocumented aliens, pledged to revoke their driver's licenses and ban them from college scholarships. And she endorsed Arizona's "your papers please" law. Sandoval, a Tea Party darling, wasn't quite as unflinching as Martinez, but he too ultimately praised the Arizona law and adopted a far harsher stance toward Hispanic immigrants.

The lesson for immigration advocates in all this is that hostility to immigration does not stem solely from xenophobia that shifting demographics will someday cure. It is that anti-immigration sentiment is driven by economic and other fears that have to be addressed anew for every generation regardless of its ethnic make-up.

This shouldn't be surprising. As with trade, the benefits of immigration are enormous but not obvious. Without constant reminding, they tend to get lost—including to immigrants themselves. What seems natural to most people is Malthusianism, the view that a country's resources are finite. Therefore, the more people you allow in, the less there is to go around.  The idea that immigrants actually expand the economic pie and therefore increase job opportunities and raise real wages is counter-intuitive to say the least.

Indeed, if immigrants could be automatically counted on to make the case for more open policies then this land of immigrants would not be building billion-dollar border fences right now, it'd be rolling out the red carpet. It'd see an uninterrupted progressive trend toward ever-increasing openness. That, however, is far from the case. America's attitudes toward immigrants have ebbed and flowed over the course of its history. Till the early 20th century, this country allowed virtually unfettered immigration from anywhere. But then it went into a restrictionist phase in 1924, implementing national origin quotas that almost completely slammed the door shut on some countries, only to scrap them in mid-Century.

What all this shows is that immigration advocates can't advance their cause by simply scaring Republicans about the impending Hispanic backlash. They have to convince the broader American public; constantly nurture a pro-immigrant zeitgeist with arguments and evidence. Unless they do that, rather than Republicans moving in their direction, it is entirely possible that Democrats will move in the restrictionist direction—as they have already been doing. Open immigration was, is and will remain a hard slog no matter who lives in America: whites or non-whites.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a Forbes columnist. This column originally appeared at Forbes.

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  1. My favorite line to use on Republican friends who cry about immigrants taking jobs is, “Fuck you, I don’t want to be in your union.”

    For Democrats, it’s “If an illiterate Mexican who can’t speak English can do your job for $1 an hour, your job is only worth $1 per hour.”

    1. …to the extent the replacement is available and willing.

    2. I totally agree with what you say, but we don’t need open borders for that!

      1. What do you define as “open borders”? I prefer a policy of, “If you can pay an administrative fee and are not a criminal, come on in.”

        1. An open border is what we have now. Anyone can and does just walk, drive, fly across the border.

          1. We actually have a poorly sealed border. An open border wouldn’t cost nearly as much.

            It seems that by your standard, we’d need a concrete wall reaching into the stratosphere to consider it not open.

            1. Not really. A few judiciously placed land mines would probably be just as effective.

        2. Perhaps you can give me the reasons you want such a free border?

          1. I’m not sure what country your talking about.

            Anyone trying to enter the United States of America by any mode of transportation is required to stop at a border checkpoint and present documentation approved by the government of the United States. If the documentation they present is not in order they will be turned back.

            Now perhaps you’re speaking of people who at great hardship and personal risk to themselves try to get around the border checkpoints. A great deal of expense and effort is being devoted to apprehending these people and when they are apprehended they are, you guessed it, sent back. I wonder how much more expense, effort and suspension of civil rights you’re prepared to go to to improve the apprehension rate.

            Doesn’t sound very open borderish to me, but then it’s widely recognized that the US has had for many years among the world’s most closed borders.

            So maybe you’re not talking about the USA. Or, just maybe, and more likely, you’re just talking out your ass.

            1. A great deal of expense and minimal amount of effort is being devoted to apprehending these people and when they are apprehended they are, you guessed it, sent back released on their own recognisance. –> FIFY

              US has had for many years among the world’s most closed borders

              North Korea just called and says that trolling is one thing, but your insults to them will not be tolerated.

            2. “Doesn’t sound very open borderish to me, but then it’s widely recognized that the US has had for many years among the world’s most closed borders.” You are so full of shit it is almost unbelievable.

              1. Nothing like a H&R immigration thread to bring out the assholes who have no fucking idea what they’re talking about.

                Have any of you ever tried to leave this country and come back? Do any of you personally know anyone who has ever dealt with the byzantine bureaucracy known as ICE (fka the INS)?

                Do any of you have even a passing knowledge of what is contained in US immigration law?

          2. Perhaps you can give me the reasons you want such a free border?

            Because I like freedom and prosperity. I like when people with oppressive governments get to come here where we have a far less oppressive one, and enable their own prosperity, as well as ours.

            Why do you oppose freedom and prosperity? Or if you pretend not to, explain how my policy does not enhance both.

            1. How about these poor oppresed people stay in their country of origin and change their country for the better so their fellow citizens can live free. But they choose to run and take the easy way out!

              1. So you want to make our country less prosperous because you think that people should only be as free as others born in their general vicinity?

                I’m glad all the people who immigrated to America for freedom and prosperity in the last 500 years did not share your views.

  2. Maybe you can’t guess?

  3. Hispanic groups support of liberal immigration policy is based on cultural and ethnic solidarity, not on philosophical principals. As soon as high immigration favors other groups the Hispanics will turn on immigration.

    It also does not help that the “enlightened” view on immigration appears to more interested in turning a blind eye to illegal immigration than expanding immigration by legal means. Most people tend to resent linejumpers.

    1. It also does not help that the “enlightened” view on immigration appears to more interested in turning a blind eye to illegal immigration than expanding immigration by legal means.

      Care to explain how amnesty for illegal immigrants currently in the US and opening the boarders to anyone with a few exceptions (criminals or carriers of certain diseases), which is what most pro-immigration people want, is not trying to expand immigration by legal means?

      1. Amnesty is telling line jumpers to stay where they are, and then letting other people in behind them. It would be better to let other people in, and force the jumpers to the back of the line.

        1. I think we could do with a mix of both, why does it have to be one or the other?

        2. Eh, maybe. But what’s the cost of enforcing that in terms of $ and liberty? Probably not worth it.

    2. You are exactly correct. I couldn’t care less what race is illegally entering or how much they get paid when they get here. Line jumping those who play by the rules and wait is just wrong. I agree that we need much more liberal immigration quotas but until then, the law is the law and applies to all regardless of race or country of origin.

      1. Ah yes, the ol’ ‘the law is the law’ argument. I wonder which side of the fence you would have been on when the Fugitive Slave Act was being enforced. The law is the law right.

          1. -2
            O snap its on now

            1. +?

              Sorry, trhawk, but ? conquers all.

              1. ka – ? – boom

                Thermonuclear war, for the win.

                1. The only way to win is not to play.

        1. I wonder which side of the fence you would have been on when the Fugitive Slave Act was being enforced.

          And of course, not recognizing illegal immigrants as legal is the same as slavery. I’m sure the NAACP, et. al., would heartily agree with you. (*sheesh*)

        2. Nah, nah. Not hyperbolic enough. You should have gone with “And I bet you would have personally handed Anne Frank over to Hitler himself!!!!1!”

          Hey, can I do those neat symbols, too? Wassit? Unicode?

          Let’s see: Call a ? a ?

          Give ? a chance

          ? Ranger Base Charlie

          Awesome!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      2. Ah yes, the ol’ ‘the law is the law’ argument. I wonder which side of the fence you would have been on when the Fugitive Slave Act was being enforced. The law is the law right.

        1. Damn you Brazilian intertube connection!

        2. Supporting limits on immigration, and the current processes to allow them to become citizens, is the moral equivalent of supporting lifelong human bondage?

          1. Nope. Merely pointing out that “appeal to authority” is not a valid argument. Nice try, though. Hey, there’s a shark!

            1. Stop paying your taxes and tell the IRS you don’t respect their authority if you’re so morally rigid.

              1. Brett L, you forgot to mention that I’m a hypocrite for driving on government ROOOOADS!

            2. Neither is a strawman.

            3. it is a little bit. Not all laws are as wildly immoral as the fugitive slave acts. Surely obeying laws is in itself at least SOMEWHAT of a value, I mean, hey, it’s a large part of HOW WE GET ALONG in society. And the laws in discussion have some validity to them, if not everyone agrees with them exactly.

              1. Civil disobedience is fine and a great way to change the laws. But the problem here is that our current immigration policies (as terrible as they are) aren’t even being enforced well. So we need to either change them now (preferably without general amnesty) or enforce the laws we have better through a border fence or more patrols or something.

              2. No, Edwin. Appeal to authority is still a fallacy. Of course the rule of law has value. That doesn’t necessarily make the law in question good or those who violate the law bad. The Fugitive Slave Act demonstrates this principle. If you can’t see why some would not condemn “line jumpers” for what they consider an unjust law, then you’re not prepared to begin debating the point.

                Your argument wasn’t a strawman, Red Rocks. It was a red herring. We’re supposed to identify with your grievance that you were being compared to a slaver. You weren’t. Have your pity party elsewhere.

                1. “Your argument wasn’t a strawman, Red Rocks.”

                  I never said it was–I said EWG’s argument was. Perhaps I should have been more clear.

                  “We’re supposed to identify with your grievance that you were being compared to a slaver. You weren’t”

                  So why did MWG imply that RonG would have supported the Fugitive Slave Act? That IS a strawman, you know.

                2. A) He’s not really using appeal to authority – appeal to authority usually refers to appealing to someone who’s supposedly an expert in a subject, whereas here we’re talking about the law

                  B) it isn’t an appeal to authority fallacy because what he is NOT saying that the law is moral BECAUSE it is a law, he is saying that breaking the law in and of itself is most of the time immoral.

        3. A government does not have a legitimate authority to enforce a fundamentally unjust institution such as chattel slavery. On the other hand, a sovereign nation’s government has the legitimate authority to police its borders and regulate immigration into the country. What such regulation should entail is a matter for debate.

          Your comparison is inapt and inept.

          1. MJ, does this mean the Indian tribes can send me back to Europe?

            Awww, snap.

            1. I kinda liked it here too. So long, guys!

  4. “Indeed, one of the hugely under-reported stories of this election is that Republicans fielded far more minority candidates than Democrats?and they won by touting a restrictionist agenda, proof positive that skin color?and even immigration status?are not always correlated with enlightened immigration views.”

    Assuming that your views are the ones that are”enlighyened” is a sign of unjustified hubris.

    1. Yeah, I automatically close off when reading something I disagree with that resorts to “we’re enlightened, they’re not”. If you can’t build an argument better than that, then I’ve wasted too much time already.

      1. And I hate it when opposition to illegal immigration is equated with opposition to legal immigration and called “immigrant bashing.” Thanks for helping to muddy the waters, Shikha.

        1. I guess Nancy Pelosi’s blatant call to the hispanic population could be called “citizen bashing” then?

  5. People who are willing to leave behind the life they grew up knowing and try to make a better one in a foreign land are exactly the type we want here. I know that this view is not popular, but I think it probably is true even of illegal immigrants. Of course they “grow the pie”. I am with the conservatives on most economic issues, but on immigration I think they are completely wrong.

    1. “I am with the conservatives on most economic issues, but on immigration I think they are completely wrong.”

      If it weren’t for our welfare state I would agree with you.

      1. I’d rather have immigrants help collapse it than to use it as an excuse to keep them out.

        1. How will large numbers of poor, low-skilled immigrants help to collapse the welfare state?

          1. They would cause it to go bankrupt quicker, so we can move on to a non-welfare state.

            Or someone who is way too optimistic would argue that it would cause people to turn against the welfare state, but they must have no idea of how voters work.

            1. Brilliant!

    2. People who are willing to leave behind the life they grew up knowing and try to make a better one in a foreign land are exactly the type we want here.

      I agree. So change the law.

    1. Thanks for the excellent argument for open borders.

      When people are permitted to come to the gates, get checked out, and get admitted, then border security can presume that those who don’t cross through those open gates are actual threats to the country rather than harmless economic migrants.

      1. That’s an argument for open borders?

        1. Of course. When the only reason that people enter illegally is that they can’t enter legally, open borders means they will enter legally.

          The 5,000 who still enter illegally even with open borders are far easier to pick out of the stream of 5,000 avoiding legal entry than they are to pick out of the current stream of 500,000 avoiding legal entry.

          1. Wow, that would work for robbing banks, rape and all kinds of fun shit!

    2. thank you for spelling borders correctly

      1. Open the boreders!

  6. Actually, Advocates of liberal immigration policies CAN “count on the coming end of white domination to automatically propel this country in their direction.”

    The only reason these ethnic candidates are taking a stance against massive immigration is because it so negatively affects Whites, and Whites are in the majority.

    When Whites are no longer a voting majority, politicians can then safely ignore them. And they will.

    Point of fact, how long before- in a minority White country- Whites enjoy the contradiction of being both a minority in numbers, but a majority in race bashing?

    Whites could be at 10% of the population, and we’d *still* hear about White privilege.

    1. Well, cry me a fucking river.

      1. How else will Tim Wise be able to find work on the White Shame University Circuit? Man’s gotta eat, you know.

    2. Except that the immigrants who are already here also want their wages protected, they would want to restrict the supply of labor with immigration laws

      On the other hand loose immigration does allow them to go back and forth easily, which a lot of them like to do

    3. Actually, Advocates of liberal immigration policies CAN “count on the coming end of white domination to automatically propel this country in their direction.”
      So why did not the liberal immigration policies of the mid 19th century prevent the adoption of immigration restrictions in the 20th century?

      Surely those Irish, Italians, Poles, and others would have been for liberal immigration policies, right ?

    4. How long until I can start qualifying for minority scholarships?

      1. Right after you pay those reparations that you still owe me.

        1. Because some poor white kid who can barely eat owes you a living, or something..poor you.

          1. damn straight, cracker

  7. Related: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/ar…..d=10005267

    (Quasi-Godwin alert)

  8. This is one of the most ludicrous articles I’ve ever seen on Reason. So everyone who wants to actually enforce our immigration laws is “anti-immigrant”!

    1. No. Everyone who does not want to change immigration laws to allow more immigration is anti-immigrant.

      1. MikeP,

        Since the US already takes in more immigrants than any other country (by a wide margin), then how many “more” should we accept?
        Source: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/26/14/45594696.xls

        1. All that the market will bear, of course.

          We have to make sure that neither welfare nor quick citizenship is the goal of the migrants. But other than that, there should be no restrictions other than to protect against threats of crime or disease.

          1. You’ve just given the best argument against illegal immigration because it bypasses all the “making sure” we do.

            1. That makes sense, except that illegal immigrants are already allowed neither welfare (except in stupid states) nor citizenship.

          2. 10% unemployment doesn’t tell you something about the market for labor right now?

            1. It tells me that there will be less immigration now — possibly even a net negative flow.

              Oh, right. There is.

                1. PapayaSF has the ball with 4…3…2… he pulls the trigger – AND THAT’S THE GAME!!!! xD

          3. All that the market will bear? So at almost 10% unemployment (higher where I live), does that imply the market is saturated?

            1. It could imply the market is saturated and people(legal and illegal) will move to a less saturated market, or it could just mean that 10% are satisfied with their unemployment and section 8.

        2. Since the US already takes in more immigrants than any other country (by a wide margin), …

          The US is far more populous than the other countries on that list (by a wide margin).

          From the numbers in that table, just about every country I checked allows significantly more immigration than the US on a per capita basis.

          1. Finally someone else who’s not impressed by that lame argument.

          2. just about every country I checked allows significantly more immigration than the US on a per capita basis

            Not because they are more enlightened vis-a-vis immigration, but because they need to replace their declining populations. The sure sign of a dying civilization is a declining population.

          3. “From the numbers in that table, just about every country I checked allows significantly more immigration than the US on a per capita basis.”

            Wrong, because you are not looking at the whole picture.

            As I explained below, the US’s foreign born population is a whopping 12.5%. How much a bigger percentage would be acceptable to you? The UK, for comparison, is less than 8%. Another thing muddying the waters is that EU nations will count residents from other EU states as “foreign born” even though they all belong to the same super-state.

            You are not going to find many immigration countries that top 12.5%. Oil rich states with a huge loads of foreign workers who will never become citizens don’t count.

            Sources:
            http://www.migrationinformatio…..?ID=747#1a
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared…..erview.stm

            1. Last I heard, Australia and Canada have a larger proportion of foreign-born than the US.

              1. Canada’s immigrant population doesn’t match ours at all. This is a false comparison. Canada has a much higher percentage of educated/skilled immigrants.

      2. Why pass more laws when the current laws are ignored? What is the point other than contributing to the fraud committed by the political class?

      3. No. Everyone who does not want to change immigration laws to allow more immigration is anti-immigrant.

        Being opposed to allowing more immigrants does not make one anti-immigrant, only anti-‘allowing more immigrants’.

  9. I also have to comment on this line: “[Palin] didn’t even bother to pay lip service to the plight of undocumented workers who have no legal way to permanently live and work in the country.”

    That is a outright lie. They DO have a legal way to do it!! They just don’t want to go through the legal process and prefer to jump the line instead. Hell, America takes in more immigrants than any other country, period. We even have an immigration lottery! We couldn’t do more short of just getting rid of the borders altogether.

    Incidentally, I have no immediate legal way to permanently live and work in Paris, London, Tokyo, or Monte Carlo or any other country. But I’m not crying about that – if I really wanted to live there, I would simply go through the legal process. No country has an obligation to take in every single immigrant in the world.

    1. They DO have a legal way to do it!! They just don’t want to go through the legal process and prefer to jump the line instead.

      Having 500,000 people a year wait for 5,000 legal visas a year hardly constitutes a “line”. That’s more like a “wall”.

      We even have an immigration lottery!

      A lottery with a 1.5% acceptance rate. Wooo!!! Oh, but people from countries with high migration rates to the US are ineligible. Less woo.

      We couldn’t do more short of just getting rid of the borders altogether.

      Simply raising the 5,000 to 500,000 and the 50,000 to 500,000 would be “doing more”. We could even issue an unlimited visa that allowed entry, residence, and employment without allowing welfare or naturalization for decades. None of these are anywhere close to “getting rid of the borders”.

      1. MikeP said: “Having 500,000 people a year wait for 5,000 legal visas a year hardly constitutes a “line”. That’s more like a “wall”.

        Now you are being blatantly dishonest. Look at the OECD link I provided above. The US takes in over 1 million people a year.

        Maybe you were only counting the number arriving specifically on a work visa? But those are not all, not by a long shot. You also have asylum requests, refugee settlement, family reunification, marriage, foreign adoption, etc, etc, etc.

        1. I am counting the visas available to the several hundred thousand illegal immigrants every year from countries ineligible for the lottery. They don’t have a legal route for entry except the 5,000 worldwide “other” visas.

          It is disingenuous to enumerate all the immigrants who are legally allowed in as an argument that illegal immigrants can get in legally to. You have to look at their legal options specifically.

          1. It is disingenuous to enumerate all the immigrants who are legally allowed in as an argument that illegal immigrants can get in legally to.

            So unwillingness to wait is equivalent to not being able to do it at all. Gotcha.

            1. An acceptance rate of 1% (for those in high migration nations) or 1.5% (for those in low migration nations) means that most applicants who apply every year of their adult life will be dead before they are allowed entry.

              That is certainly close enough to not being able to do it at all.

              1. The U.S. also let’s more immigrant legally to this country legally than any other country in the world. Maybe we should use the laws in more enlightened countries, like Mexico for instance. Yeah, let’s use their laws…

                1. So unless every single person that wants to come here can, we are being big, bad meanies?

                  Why should Mexico/central america get to benefit just because they can walk here? What about China? There’s probably at least a 100 million chinese that might want to try out America.

                  This topic usually drives me nuts because some people are so stuck on idealism that they ignore reality. We live in a welfare state, not a libertarian utopia, so letting in unlimited amounts of poor,unskilled workers has direct consequences to anyone who pays taxes.

                  You get rid of the welfare state, convince other countries to let ME migrate wherever I want, and THEN I’ll listen to your ‘everyone should be free to migrate wherever they want’ arguement.

    2. “They DO have a legal way to do it!! They just don’t want to go through the legal process and prefer to jump the line instead.”

      I?m wondering if you could describe how the legal process works. After all, if it was just a simple matter of following some legal process, one wonders why anyone would ever risk their life for days in the desert just to ‘jump a line’.

      “Hell, America takes in more immigrants than any other country, period.”

      Is that an absolute number or a relavent fact like, say, immigrants as an actual % of the overall population.

      “We couldn’t do more short of just getting rid of the borders altogether.”

      You clearly have never been through the actual immigration process.

      1. MWG wrote: Is that an absolute number or a relavent fact like, say, immigrants as an actual % of the overall population.

        That’s a little harder to pin down. But right now, the US has a staggering 12.5% foreign born population (http://www.migrationinformation.org/USfocus/display.cfm?ID=747#1a) Compare that to another huge immigration country, the UK, which has less than 8 percent (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/born_abroad/html/overview.stm). In absolute terms, I’ve read that the foreign-born population of certain gulf states such as Dubai runs anywhere around 60-70%, but since these are foreign workers and the host countries have no intention of granting citizenship to them or their children, I don’t think that counts.

        Anyway, I guess the only way the USA would not be “racist” to some, would be for our number to become 99.9% instead? (The sad thing is, I’m only slightly exaggerating)

        You clearly have never been through the actual immigration process.

        In point of fact, I happen to be married to someone who went though the process for 8 years. LEGALLY.

        1. So because you suffered through a stupidly long, inane, and humiliating process, it’s ok to keep that same process which is an obvious failure?

          1. The process was not stupidly long, inane, or humiliating.

            1. 8 years doesn’t strike you as stupidly long?

              1. 8 yrs. is not such a long time.

      2. You clearly have never been through the actual immigration process.

        Well, my wife has been through the process and it sucks. That’s not a terribly good reason to ignore the law and screw the people over who don’t have the benefit of living just across the border or who think breaking those laws is not something to aspire to.

        1. +1 My wife and I went through the legal process as well.

    3. We don’t need more illegals to mow lawns and pick lettuce. Eliminate all welfare. And there will be millions ready to do it!

  10. Bilderberger influenceTO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?
    4. Bilderberger influence,president George W. Bush says he was “blindsided” by the financial crisis that shadowed his final months in office, but adds that the Democratic-controlled Congress shares some of the blame. –

    Now that the agenda for global government and a centralized world economic system is public and out in the open, the importance of the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference rests on grooming political candidates. The lion’s share of Bilderberg’s 2010 agenda has already been announced by its members weeks before ? it will revolve around a potential military strike on Iran as well as the future collapse of the euro.The Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest.

    —– Bilderberg group in United States——-
    George W. Ball (1954, 1993),[13] Under Secretary of State 1961-1968, Ambassador to U.N. 1968
    Sandy Berger (1999),[14] National Security Advisor, 1997?2001
    Timothy Geithner(2009),[15] Treasury Secretary
    Lee H. Hamilton (1997),[1] former US Congressman
    Christian Herter,[16] (1961, 1963, 1964, 1966), 53rd United States Secretary of State
    Charles Douglas Jackson (1957, 1958, 1960),[17] Special Assistant to the President
    Joseph E. Johnson[18] (1954), President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Henry Kissinger[19] (1957, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2008),[20] 56th United States Secretary of State
    Colin Powell (1997),[1] 65th United States Secretary of State
    Lawrence Summers,[15] Director of the National Economic Council
    Paul Volcker,[15] Chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979?1987
    Roger Altman (2009),[15] Deputy Treasury Secretary from 1993?1994, Founder and Chairman of Evercore Partners
    [edit] Presidents
    Bill Clinton (1991),[21][22] President 1993-2001
    Gerald Ford (1964, 1966),[4][23] President 1974-1977
    [edit] Senators
    John Edwards (2004),[24][25] Senator from North Carolina 1999-2005
    Chuck Hagel (1999, 2000),[26] Senator from Nebraska 1997-2009
    Sam Nunn (1996, 1997),[1] Senator from Georgia 1972-1997
    [edit] Governors
    Rick Perry (2007),[27] Governor of Texas 2000-current
    Mark Sanford (2008),[28] Governor of South Carolina , the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware? === The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.== The Bilderberg Group in which he accuses them of manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”

    Repost this if you agree,

    1. You ended on a comma. Was there more? I’m interested. Also, do you have a newsletter?

    2. How did the first incoherent jumble turn into the second half of understandable questions? Such is the way of entropy I suppose.

  11. As mentioned above, people who are wholesale-pro-immigration, are quite rare.

    Most people, including “ethnic” candidates (being European is not ethnicity?), are pro-immigration for their own kin only. Especially in condition of a welfare state, where the pie to split among fresh newcomers is pretty limited.

    A good parallel is socialism vs. protection. Only a few people are outright socialists, but quite a lot will accept government handouts and regulation that protects just them and their clients.

    1. Exactly. There was one video clip where a Latina politician speaking in Spanish criticized the GOP for being “anti-immigrant” … because they were fielding an ethnically Vietnamese candidate.

      Go figure.

  12. I’m all for increasing immigration quotas, but I am opposed to illegal immigration. Does that make me “anti-immigrant?”

    This article is not up to Shikha’s normal high level of work, mostly because it’s imprecise. Do the “anti-immigrant” candidates she name oppose legal immigration? Increased legal immigration?

    If Shikha thinks that a candidate must be pro-open borders and pro amnesty to avoid being “anti-immigrant,” I think she should explain why a little more clearly, rather than just begging the question.

    1. “I’m all for increasing immigration quotas, but I am opposed to illegal immigration. Does that make me “anti-immigrant?””
      Many dumb shits at “Reason” think so!

    2. I’m all for legalizing pot, but I think anyone who smokes it now should be thrown in jail.

      1. Those aren’t analogous because illegals aren’t being thrown in jail.

      2. Did you wait until you were 21 to have your first drink?

        1. Did you wait until you were 18 before you gave your first blow job?

          1. Never given a blow job. I have fucked your mom a bunch. You need to clean her.

    3. You are “anti-immigrant” if you advocate anything short of instant citizenship (with all the benefits therein) for anyone who steps on U.S. soil.

      In fact, Shikha is an anti-immigrant fear-monger because she advocates that there should be some jump-through-the-hoop “path to citizenship” which sounds rather fascist to me. What does Shikha have against Mexicans, and why is she so unenlightened?

    4. Thank you for using begging the question correctly.

  13. I’m all for increasing immigration quotas, but I am opposed to illegal immigration. Does that make me “anti-immigrant?”

    This article is not up to Shikha’s normal high level of work, mostly because it’s imprecise. Do the “anti-immigrant” candidates she name oppose legal immigration? Increased legal immigration?

    If Shikha thinks that a candidate must be pro-open borders and pro amnesty to avoid being “anti-immigrant,” I think she should explain why a little more clearly, rather than just begging the question.

    1. J Mann, You are a rare breed indeed… unless you can name a single republican candidate who ran on the idea of cracking down on illegal immigration while at the same time, drastically raising quotas on the number of legal immigrants let into the US.

      1. My read is that most of the anti-illegal-immigration crowd doesn’t really care about legal immigration one way or the other.

        1. That’s different from my read on it. A significant portion of the ‘anti-illegal-immigration crowd’ is silent on legal immigration, because to open their mouths would show them to be against *any* immigration.

          Voicing support for the current level of legal immigration, miniscule compared to the amount of people who actually want to immigrate, is akin to voicing support against immigration. They just don’t have to look like they’re xenophobic because the law gives them cover.

          1. I’m against completely unrestricted illegal immigration, but I’m all for legal immigration. We should always have immigrants coming in legally.

            How’s that?

            1. What, specifically, should the law say to define legal vs. illegal? That is the question most people don’t bother to answer.

          2. …because to open their mouths would show them to be against *any* immigration.

            But you just happen to know what they *really* want. You should take that mind-reading act to Vegas.

      2. Why “republican”?

        The only candidate, of any party, I can name who ran on that ideo is Badnarik.

        1. Damn you joke handle from yesterday!

      3. Why is J Mann a rare breed? For taking the sane stance? Shikha surely is a stranger to the sane stance on immigration–as are many here at Reason.

        Enforce the border, get rid of as many illegal line-jumpers as we can, then raise the numbers who can get in.

        I’m all for more legal immigration–I’m just really against our porous border and the illegal multitudes.

        I also suspect that those who are for the illegal multitudes are advocates of having a quasi-slave class that doesn’t get benefits, that has no recourse in labor disputes, and that often gets less pay than a citizen would get.

        I don’t know of any candidates who ran with the sane stance in mind, but I do have to say that, right now, with employment in the crapper, the sane stance has a flaw–adding an increase in unemployed immigrants isn’t a great idea right now.

        Though a strict enforcement policy coupled with the promise of hugely expanded quotas after the illegal mess is alleviated seems like something that would go over well.

        1. Before any significant change is made to immigration law, the Federal Government must establish its credibility by enforcing existing law. Americans are paying too much attention to the issue for politicians to get away with playing their usual deceitful games. “Comprehensive” reform and border fences that never get built ain’t goinna cut it.

          1. This.

            Reform definitely needs to take place, but there’s also a lack of enforcement of the current laws. It shouldn’t have to come down to rare INS raids that get overpublicized.

          2. Before any significant change is made to immigration law, the Federal Government must establish its credibility by enforcing existing law.

            That’s the problem. We have laws. How are we supposed to know which ones we *should* follow and which ones are merely window dressing, such as the immigration laws, that ‘enlightened’ people are supposed to just ignore. I know of a few laws I’d love to ignore.

            1. I’m fond of the ones where we declare war against armed incursions into the United States and stop the Mexican government and their cartel agents from controlling our sovereign territory. That might be nice.

  14. Rick Perry, who won in Texas, endorses restrictive immigration policies and won easily because the White vote agreed with him.

    The Latino consistently votes Democrat, no matter what the views on illegal immigration are. The White vote is the swing vote in all those cases.

    1. Rick Perry, who won in Texas, endorses restrictive immigration policies

      Election year conversion. Perry is a Bush protege. His rhetoric wafts with the political winds. In the past, his “tough” stance on border control was to put 5 webcams on the 1800 mile Tx border so that citizens could email the border patrol when they saw someone crossing the border. Since you had to register for a login to use the webcams, the whole thing seemed like a way to compile a database of potential troublemakers.

      America, Perry has presidential ambitions. He may say some things that sound good. He may mention the 10th amendment, but he is a complete phony.

      1. It’s interesting that you say he’s a Bush protege since Perry tried to distance himself from Bush in this past election. In fact, his primary opponent Hutchinson had the support of the Bushs and many other political friends of GW.

        I do agree that Governor Good-hair is an opportunist though, and changes with the wind like Charlie Crist did in Florida. Thank God Crist got his shit handed to him.

        1. Bush and Perry seemed to be awfully buddy-buddy when Bush was governor and Perry was lt. governor. And IIRC Bush treated Perry as his heir apparent when he left Tx.

      2. You are spot-on correct about Perry. And so many conservatives that support him only notice him when he makes election year commercials, pitches, and does his sloganeering which would make anyone think he was a rabid right-wing political version of the ‘Outlaw Josey Wales’.

  15. “Reason” for open borders…an oxymoran!

    1. Should read …. oxymoron.

  16. Look folks, I am generally libertarian, but this open borders claptrap is silly. Regardless of whether you believe we should have more immigration, or less, there is no universal right to immigrate to a country, this one or any other.

    A libertarian society, like any other society, needs some stability. Specifically, it needs immigration flows to be sufficiently moderate so as to allow labor markets and resources to adapt.

    In the US, we don’t have a libertarian society (unfortunately) we have an extensive welfare state. Uncontrolled immigration flows will bankrupt a welfare state, enticing high immigration inflows without matching revenue increases.

    The people who can here illegally are criminals. They are criminals on the basis of breaking the law to come here without regard to how well they behave when they get here. I definately support massive revision of legal immigration, but not until those here illegally are evicted and those that aid them in coming here are jailed.

    To have the libertarian society most of us here want, in a world full of very non-libertarian countries, we have to accept that our island of libertarian freedom needs protection. Until we libertarians can accept and work with that, we are going to destroy what we love in our utopian reaching.

    1. Mark, that was extremely level-headed and reasonable – this means that you are in fact, not a libertarian. Congratulations, you are a reasonable person instead of a libertarian.

      If you do actually want go through the sad process of being a libertarian, you have to be all like “NOOOOO!!!!!1!!! LIBERTY!!!!!! RIGHT TO TRAVEL!!!11!!! PEOPLE HAVE NO RIGHT TO STOP OTHER PEOPLE AT IMAGINARY LINES!!!11!”

    2. I’m not an open-border guy, but I disagree. You’re going to punish them based on the fact that they broke a law that wasn’t enforced at the time that they broke it. People came here, set up families, became part of society, because the laws weren’t enforced. I think it’s a little bit evil to deport those people. Whenever we come up with a reasonable guest worker program that allows immigrants to work, but not receive welfare, we need to allow amnesty to illegal immigrants that apply for it.

      1. Wesley, if someone steals you car–and isn’t stopped while doing it, they are no less guilty of grand theft auto if the have the car for a day or a year–and it is not a mitigating circumstance if they use your car to transport their family or get to and from work.

        Lawbreakers are often caught AFTER they break the law–it is rare to catch them in the act.

        1. Wesley is talking about non-enforcement, not about the realities of enforcement such as not always getting your man or the time it takes to capture them.

          Imagine if laws against sex outside of marriage were suddenly enforced. They haven’t been enforced for a very long time. Arresting someone for these acts now would be a lot like ex post facto laws.

          I don’t agree with Wesley that anything like this has happened with immigration though.

    3. Well, I’m a libertarian but I don’t think we should abolish the fed tomorrow, because that would collapse our economy. Liberals and conservatives are categorically different because they don’t EVER want to see the fed abolished. In fact, they want it’s power expanded or nationalized.

      Your ideals, and what you consider “progress” are what make you a libertarian. You can still be pragmatic about the execution.

      1. no, libertarianism is defined by an insane absolutism and shrillness and a tendency to say extremely fucked up or stupid shit

        if there is any significant number of “small-l” or reasonable libertarians, they’re drowned out by the psychos

        1. For sure!

        2. Quit posting on here and come back and suck on me some more

    4. “I definately support massive revision of legal immigration, but not until those here illegally are evicted and those that aid them in coming here are jailed.”

      You say this like you have an ownership claim on the house they live in. If you do, you can evict them. If you don’t, you can’t.

      Libertarians believe in private property. If someone has a job and a house, I do not get to go to his employer or his landlord and demand he be tossed out.

  17. How is this even a question? Most immigrants just want to be free and have a good life for their families. They should be welcomed here- the nation does not exist as an exclusive club for people fortunate enough to be born here. It is supposed to be a place where people can go to pursue their highest aspirations and live in freedom. So what if some of them had to cross the imaginary line in an unfavored place? The focus should not be on this nativist bullshit, it should be on natural rights, and last I checked, natural rights don’t care where you were born.

    1. America works so well as a society because its residents accept the principle of respecting the natural rights of others. Most people in most societies do not. Like most utopian visions, a world of open borders depends on a world of people who all think the same.

      1. “the nation does not exist as an exclusive club for people fortunate enough to be born here”

        wrong

  18. Metozoan,

    Natural rights are a great basis for utopian discussion, but we don’t live in that world. In this world we have countries, with different economic systems, and different levels of prosperity.

    Do I understand you to believe that everyone who walks across the border to the US should be automatically given all the rights of a citizen? If not, please explain why not based on your natural rights position.

    Further, is it actually necessary to be physically in the US, or should everyone who wants to be a US citizen be made one? Again, based on your ideal, why not?

    The main problem is that the world is not a perfect place, and in many cases not even a good place. From that vantage point the US looks like a life boat. There is a limit, to how many can be dumped in the life boat at once.

    1. You shouldn’t have to be a citizen to have natural rights. For instance, the ability to vote is one reserved for citizenship, and one should demonstrate loyalty to the nation first.

      I am, however, saying that it should be extremely simple to become a permanent resident and enjoy all of the liberties that every other American enjoys (or should be able to- I would say that many reforms should be made to domestic policy to restore liberty, but that’s another topic), like freedom of speech, religion, private property, association (including the right to work if offered employment), etc. What’s wrong with that?

      1. You shouldn’t have to be a citizen to have natural rights. For instance, the ability to vote is one reserved for citizenship, and one should demonstrate loyalty to the nation first.

        Voting is not a natural right.

        An axiom of American political philosophy is that all people have natural rights, so, no, you don’t have to be a citizen to have natural rights. However, non-citizens are not part of the American social compact and so are not automatically owed any kind of legal protection because non-citizens have not explicitly or implicitly signed on to that compact. Most Americans want non-citizens treated reasonably and fairly and that desire is codified in American law. But nothing is owed by American citizens to non-citizens.

        1. “However, non-citizens are not part of the American social compact and so are not automatically owed any kind of legal protection because non-citizens have not explicitly or implicitly signed on to that compact.”

          I would say that they have implicitly signed on to it by choosing to come here, much more so than someone who is a citizen because his parents happened to fuck each other here.

          1. I would say that they have implicitly signed on to it by choosing to come here

            And I would say that you have no way to justify your statement. Illegals start by implicitly declaring their willingness to violate US law. What makes you think that they somehow respect any other laws or any American political principles? If a person snuck across the border, stole a car and drove it across the border to Mexico, would they be accepting the social compact? They did, after all, choose to come here.

        2. Despite using “for instance” I think he was saying that voting is not an example of natural rights, but an example of something obtained by being a citizen.

          1. Granted, I may have misinterpreted his statement.

          2. Yes, sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that voting was a natural right. I don’t think it is. Probably should have read that once more before clicking submit…

        3. Voting is not a natural right.

          He didn’t say it was.

          1. Ok, ok, I surrender.

    2. Do I understand you to believe that everyone who walks across the border to the US should be automatically given all the rights of a citizen? If not, please explain why not based on your natural rights position.

      Travel, residence, and labor are natural rights. They accrue to individuals, existed before governments, and must rightfully be secured by governments. Immigration restrictions abrogate all of them.

      Citizenship is not a natural right: It is a derivative construct of an organization and can be granted or denied based on the rules of that organization.

      So, yes, if the US simply offered an unlimited visa that allows entry, travel, residence, and employment — but explicitly denies welfare and a path to citizenship — it would be abiding by its obligation to secure individual rights.

      1. Travel, residence, and labor are natural rights. They accrue to individuals, existed before governments, and must rightfully be secured by governments.

        I would change must rightfully be to ideally would be. American political ideas are not universally accepted and cannot/should not be forced onto everyone (Yes, GWBush, that last was for you). American ideals should be spread by good example, not force.

        … if the US simply offered an unlimited visa that … explicitly denies welfare and a path to citizenship — it would be abiding by its obligation to secure individual rights.

        I like the idea of generous visas of the sort you mention, but the US does not have an obligation to ensure that non-citizens are given the kind of protections that citizens are given. This is the social compact argument I mentioned above. To use a crystal clear example, if a person indicates that they have no intention of trying to respect the rights of other citizens by, say, declaring that they are justified in killing anyone who does not wear the ceremonial sash that their religion requires everyone to wear, then the US gov’t is under no obligation to let him into the country. In fact, it has an obligation to keep him out in order to safeguard the freedoms of US citizens.

        If you accept that the US gov’t should not issue an unlimited visa to an individual of the sort I have described, then you accept the fact that some sort of border control is ok.

        1. Of course I think that some sort of border control is okay.

          Entry should be denied to people who are demonstrably threats to the public: terrorists, foreign agents, violent felons, or carriers of contagion. Your example prospective immigrant would be denied.

          Entry should absolutely not be denied because someone wants to work in the US, which is far and away the most common reason entry is denied today.

          1. The main issues are illegal immigration and the lack of enforcement. The public will not accept more lax immigration standards until the gov’t establishes its willingness to enforce existing law.

  19. What a load of rubbish, Reason. Illegal immigration is no different than Eminent Domain.

    In both instances, a party with zero legal standing is claiming legal right based solely on need.

    And both are immoral, too. Yep, that’s right. Illegal immigration is theft. Yep, theft against legal immigrants and current residents (citizens and legal immigrants alike).

    So, Reason, put your money where your mouth is an have an Open Blog Week, where any commenter can start blog topics.

    Wait, what? Oh, I see. Reason.com gets to determine how it gets to use its own property, including entry rights. Hmmmm….

    1. You people are insane. I hate the senseless comparison between “letting people in your house” and letting people enter the country. They are completely different- this country is not yours the way your house is. Saying that the US is like your house implies that my property belongs to you! Clearly, the comparison is a nonsensical failure. (and if you seriously mean that the everything belongs to you, then good luck getting people on your side)

      1. OK… but the land within the borders of these United States is the “property” (if you want to call it that) of citizens to SOME extent. It is our property in the sense that we have the right of political control of it, with appropriate constitutional restrictions.

        1. Making it pretty much the exact opposite of property.

          Property: you have the right to do anything you want with it that doesn’t violate someone else’s right.

          Government dominion: the government has the legitimate authority (not the right) to do only those things it is explicitly permitted to do in order to secure the rights of individuals in it.

          Needless to say, preventing entry into the dominion of someone who has peaceful business with someone inside the dominion is abrogating quite a few rights of quite a few people while protecting the rights of nobody.

          1. but doing so is the right of the government

            and I would disagree that it defends the rights of nobody in the long term

            1. Governments don’t have rights.

              1. This! + Infinity

      2. How about a co-op? You own your apartment and share ownership of the building with the other occupants, you select reps for a co-op board, and pay, in common, for the maintenance–you also, in common, profit from sales of apartments in some cases.

        While the ‘house’ analogy is imperfect, there is an aspect to the US that states that the citizenry IS the government and the owner of the nation as a whole. It may not be precisely like the ownership of a house, but that dissimilarity does not extend to the property line issue. Your property extends only to what is yours based on legally defined property lines–likewise, the US extends only to the agreed upon border–Mexico and Canada aren’t letting us extend into their territory any more than we want them extended into our territory.

        1. A co-op whose board can prohibit my inviting peaceful people into my apartment?

          A co-op that presumes this authority over my apartment without my ever assenting and that gives me no recourse to opt my apartment out?

          In other words, a co-op that abrogates my rights everywhere I turn?

          Yeah, I guess that is a fair analogy.

          1. A co-op whose board can prohibit my inviting peaceful people into my apartment?

            A co-op whose board provides security that keeps people from breaking into the building as well as your apartment.

            A co-op that presumes this authority over my apartment without my ever assenting and that gives me no recourse to opt my apartment out?

            A co-op whose rules are posted openly and updated, debated, changed, and voted on by the owners and the board.

            Let’s make the analogy more accurate, yes? Those Mexicans standing outside Home Depot weren’t ‘invited’ by anyone–they ‘broke in’. The fact that you hired the guys who broke in to your building to re-tile your bathroom doesn’t make them ‘peaceful people’ to your neighbors, does it?

            And your ‘rights’ aren’t being abrogated–you have every right to get the current laws changed. You can’t because most people don’t agree with you, but that is not an abrogation of your rights.

            1. The fact that you hired the guys who broke in to your building to re-tile your bathroom doesn’t make them ‘peaceful people’ to your neighbors, does it?

              Only because the security regime makes it illegal for me to go to the front door and escort them to my apartment. Or contract with other tenants to do the transportation and housing of the workers. These rights of mine are utterly denied by your co-op.

              And your ‘rights’ aren’t being abrogated–you have every right to get the current laws changed.

              You are unclear on this whole “rights” thing, aren’t you.

              1. No, I’m not unclear on this ‘rights’ thing. I suspect you might be. What ‘right’ are you claiming is being abrogated?

                Is it perhaps something that you see as a ‘right’ that others see as a matter of law?

                1. The right to travel unmolested. The right to reside where you can find agreeable terms. The right to be employed where you can find a willing employer. The complementary rights of contracting to transport, house, or employ. The right of free association in general.

                  All these rights exist before and outside of government. Government is obligated to secure these rights and not abrogate them.

                  Do you not believe you possess these rights? Why not?

                  1. You do not have a ‘right’ to travel unmolested. You are a prey animal to many species. You can travel, but you may be molested. That is the natural way of things. You can defend yourself, of course. That, too, is the natural way of things.

                    You can only reside in a space unclaimed by another, unless you are willing to fight for and take that space, or pay for that space to the one who claims it. Is this what you mean by ‘the right to reside where you can find agreeable terms’? Because it doesn’t seem to be a ‘right’, y’know?

                    No one has a ‘right’ to be employed. The ‘right’ is more properly phrased, ‘You have a right to employ laborers’. But again, this seems to fall into law and contract more than ‘right’.

                    Natural rights are tricky things to delineate–most of the things we take as ‘natural rights’ today are societal structures. As you amply evidence by referring to ‘contracting’.

                    1. Natural rights are easy things to delineate. They are those things that you can have and do that don’t violate the rights of others.

                      Do they often look like societal structures? Of course they do. A person alone on an island can do anything at all because there are no others whose rights his actions will violate. Once there are others around, the circle of things he can do without violating others’ rights necessarily shrinks.

                      Do a lot of rights look like contract rights? Of course they do. It is by agreement with others that we use each others’ persons and property without violating their rights in order to improve our mutual well beings.

          2. A coop, depending on the terms of agreement, can limit things such as the color you paint your house or whether you can have pets. So yes, a co-op could have such a restriction.

      3. They are completely different- this country is not yours the way your house is.

        Every inch of land belongs to *someone*. If not an individual, then to a government entity who usually is in turn the agent of its citizens. ‘Someone’ has authority over it and ‘someone’ has ownership.

      4. No, really, you’re wrong. The land is mine. I paid for it in blood of my ancestors. In the words of Obama, “We Won”.

  20. Article is chock-full of BS. No, Brown did not win 85% of the Latino vote. Where did they even get this figure? At that point, Whitman would’ve lost the heavily Latino Central Valley which obviously she didn’t.

  21. The thing no one talks about with illegal immigration, that I’ve come to learn working in business and hiring the laborers, is it has nothing to do with country-to-country wage differentials. You think Mexico or the other southern countries are THAT much poorer or underdeveloped than America? No. You think one dude with a shovel’s work is worth more than another’s just because he’s in another country? No. In theory they can get paid more in America because we have more physical capital that makes them more productive, but like I said about their countries not being that underdeveloped, that’s just not true. And to the extent that it is true, there is the issue that running said machines requires more human capital, so it isn’t really the same bare manual labor.

    The issue is our taxes and regulations that make hiring a guy legally WAY more expensive that the money he actually gets. You might be hiring a guy for $30,000/year, but really he costs you $50,000/year. This is especially true if you’re offering health insurance. Add to the unemployment insurance penalties and all the other crap, and what you’ve got is not a bunch of people moving here because it’s a “better country”, but because they can offer something that the natives, who ARE documented, can’t – and that is actually cheap labor. If Joe Smith Jr., born in the 60’s, all-american, loses his job, he goes on unemployment. If he wants to make money on the side as a laborer to help, it’s immediately technically illegal. And moreover he’s always going to be hounded his entire life to pay his taxes by the IRS. A laborer whom the government doesn’t know about, some dude who just walked over the border and came here and waits every morning at the train station, doesn’t have that issue.

    1. Edwin is right. We have labor and tax laws here that legitimate businesses and workers follow. We also have laws for insurance, licensing, bonding, etc. Illegal immigrants and the companies that hire them are not competing fairly in a free market, they are cutting corners illegally to
      gain a competitive advantage. Libertarians may like to pretend these
      laws don’t exist, or that they are somehow illegitimate and rightfully
      ignored, as demonstrated in several of the comments here.

      1. Make all economic migrants legal.

        Problem solved.

        1. then get ready to see all the immigrants leave suddenly and a quick downturn in the economy when we apply the taxes and regulations to all those illegals

          Now who’s xenophobic and wants foreigners to leave?

          1. I’m for free migration. I neither want to subsidize nor inhibit immigrants coming or leaving.

            Exactly like free trade.

            1. yeah, and they’d all then leave because they’d all have to pay taxes and their employers would have to pay even more taxes and costs hiring them, so they wouldn’t have the advantage they have now at getting jobs

              1. This ^^ Illegal immigration is just subsidised cheap labor for employers that hire them. And I don’t blame the immigrants, I blame the employers who use them and the government that ignores the problem because of pressure by business and racial groups.

                SOMEBODY pays for their medical care, childs education – just not the employer, but the taxpayers.

                Get rid of the welfare state, and THEN I’ll listen to talk about ‘natural rights’. There’s nothing natural about the current situation.

                1. you can’t blame us too much, I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do? sub out everytime I need a ditch dug or some dirt shoveled? That’s a few hundred up to a thousand dollars each job, whereas a laborer is just $90 per day here in NJ around where I work

            2. Indeed, I don’t believe in “free trade” or “free migration” in their absolute sense. Frankly, I see such absolutist positions as untenable. For example, I would not favor “free trade” with a nation with industries that use slave labor, or that operate without regard for the environment. The idea that one must either be “pro-immigration [pro-trade]” or “anti-immigration [anti-trade]” is just political rhetoric, and it is sad to see a Reason writer using this technique. Nearly all people lie somewhere along the line between these two extremes.

              1. Re: Steve,

                Indeed, I don’t believe in “free trade” or “free migration” in their absolute sense. Frankly, I see such absolutist positions as untenable.

                Logical discourse by anti-market zealots:

                1) Create a strawman;
                2) Say why strawman is ugly;
                3) Revel in your perceived victory.

                For example, I would not favor “free trade” with a nation with industries that use slave labor

                World, meet another nitwit who thinks that it is nations that trade and that relies on the “slave labor” red herring.

                or that operate without regard for the environment.

                You can trade with whoever you want. Leave the rest of us alone.

      2. I wasn’t really speaking to the morality of the situation…

      3. Re: Steve,

        Libertarians may like to pretend these laws don’t exist, or that they are somehow illegitimate and rightfully ignored, as demonstrated in several of the comments here.

        They ARE illegitimate and rightfully ignored. Rosa Parks was committing an illegal act when she placed herself in the front seat – that didn’t mean her defiant act was immoral.

        Just because something is written in law does not make it moral or ethical or right.

        1. Just because something is written in law does not make it moral or ethical or right.

          And just because someone doesn’t like a particular law doesn’t mean they can ignore it without consequence. Governments do exist for some legitimate reasons.

          1. Re: why,

            And just because someone doesn’t like a particular law doesn’t mean they can ignore it without consequence.

            Nobody said the contrary, you nitwit – even Rosa Parks knew the State would place her in jail for her stance.

            Governments do exist for some legitimate reasons [???].

            You’re begging the question, why.

            And, there are NO legitimate reasons for the existence of government, as governments rely on violence, coercion and force to subsist. If those are “legitimate” reasons, then they should be also for the existence of roving rape gangs and extorsionists.

            1. there are NO legitimate reasons for the existence of government

              It is impossible for people to be in contact with one another for any length of time w/o having a gov’t form. The gov’t may be nothing more than a single badass that gives a beat down to anyone who doesn’t do what he says, but a gov’t will form.

              If nothing else, adopting a formal governmental structure can prevent an abusive gov’t of the strong.

  22. “They are completely different- this country is not yours the way your house is.”

    Um… okay. Well, the country is not yours, either. So why should the US’s current border laws be supplanted in favor of YOUR border laws? So now it’s not that NO ONE owns the lands, but YOU do.

    And yes, the personal property vs. immigration is a valid one. You don’t have any legal or MORAL right to lay a claim someone else’s personal property, be that property a keychain or Arizona.

    1. And yet, apparently, you reserve to yourself or the government the right to tell me who I can and cannot transport, house, and employ with my property.

      Go figure.

      1. I also say you can’t fuck six year olds–on or off your property. Or commit murder. Or set your house on fire. Or a whole damned lot of things.

        I bet there’s a whole lot of things that you reserve to yourself or the government the right to tell me and a lot of other people about. Stuff you don’t mind.

        Well, immigration is like that.

        You want something different? You vote for people who will change it.

        1. Getting a job is like fucking a 6 year old? I’m never working for you.

        2. All the offenses you list are violations of individual rights, presuming that the burning of my house is done for fraud or without safeguarding neighboring property.

          Immigration is completely not like that.

          Transporting, housing, and employing people is not a violation of rights. Indeed, it is the prohibition of those voluntary associations that is the violation of rights.

          You want something different? You vote for people who will change it.

          I.e., might makes right.

          1. You want something different? You vote for people who will change it.

            I.e., might makes right.

            No. Representative government is the best kind of government.

            1. Representative might may be the best kind of might.

              But it should not be the basis for a normative position on right.

              1. Understand, it’s your base position that is wrong. Property rights are hugely important–be they individual or group. Abrogating those rights leads to the ‘might makes right’ situation you seem to want to avoid(even if it’s deliberative, representative and democratic…..?). This open borders nonsense undermines the very idea of property, making the world a commons from which any can draw claiming ‘need’. In a situation like that, everyone will head for the richest commons and take until there is nothing left to take. Who will build when it has been established that success must be shared with those who had no part in creating that success?

                1. In a situation like that, everyone will head for the richest commons and take until there is nothing left to take.

                  And the fact that this belief is not only counter to economics, but has never happened in history, doesn’t sway you in the least?

                  From the article…

                  As with trade, the benefits of immigration are enormous but not obvious. Without constant reminding, they tend to get lost?including to immigrants themselves. What seems natural to most people is Malthusianism, the view that a country’s resources are finite. Therefore, the more people you allow in, the less there is to go around. The idea that immigrants actually expand the economic pie and therefore increase job opportunities and raise real wages is counter-intuitive to say the least./blockquote>

                  1. Immigrants do expand the economic pie–this was never in question.

                    Illegal immgrants, on the other hand are NOT the same thing–no matter how you would like to conflate the two.

                    When you can show how illegals are a net gain for the societies they invade, then I might listen.

                    But, being an American, I am the beneficiary of a population that was unable to maintain and defend it’s borders–that population now lives on reservations. We migrated into their land without their permission and took it from them.

                    1. The difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant is a piece of paper saying they are legal.

                      As you should be able to tell, those advocating free migration here want to give immigrants that piece of paper.

                      Legality is irrelevant when discussing what the law should be.

                    2. The difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant is a piece of paper saying they are legal.

                      Bullshit. The difference is the commission of an illegal act. We could just as easily define away murder too just by declaring murders to not be murderers.

                    3. “The difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant is a piece of paper saying they are legal.”

                      Similarly it can be said that the difference between a high school graduate and dropout is piece of paper saying that they graduated. But few people would foolishly say that becaause it is a grossly dishonest oversimplification of how a high school diploma is earned and obtained.

          2. I.e., might makes right.

            Welcome to the real world. This is ultimately true of anything.

            1. not to mention that little problem that most people have vastly differing ideas about “rights”, and overall few of them agree with the libertarian position

              it’s astounding that libertarians can’t wrap their head around that

              1. It is astounding that people who believe that might makes normative right care to engage in normative arguments.

                1. I never said might makes normative right

                  the important thing when we’re talking about governance, though, is that might makes right when it comes to how things actually play out in the real world. The question is, what manner of might shall we set up? Centralized civilizations arose as an answer to that problem, with written law being a key aspect, and this system thrived until it evolved to the best we’ve had so far which is democracy/republicanism with constitutional restrictions and separated branches of government.

                  Whereas you guys like to imagine that all your shit you believe is written up in the sky somewhere and the rest of us just refuse to look up; that there absolutely is a PERFECTLY objective standard or set of standards that can be divined and administered PERFECTLY*, but the rest of us are just being stubborn

                  *note I said divined and administered – I wasn’t trying to imply that you’re all utopian, but that you think that aspect of governance can be perfectly objectively, with disagreements being an issue of stubborn people as opposed to the inherently vague nature and lack of certainty in moral reasoning

    2. Re: Holy Cow,

      And yes, the personal property vs. immigration is a valid one.

      Not unless you happen or claim to possess the whole Goddamned land.

      You don’t have any legal or MORAL right to lay a claim someone else’s personal property, be that property a keychain or Arizona.

      Migrating somewhere is not laying claim to property, don’t be absurd. You can migrate to Texas from California and that would not mean you’re suddenly laying claim to Texas – you would, instead, rent or buy a house, apartment, room, whatever. You would engage in TRADE.

      What the government does not have a right to do is TELL YOU with whom you may contract, whom you may employ. The government oversteps its Constitutional mandate by deciding this.

      1. Migrating somewhere is not laying claim to property

        Sometimes it is. I recently shared a hospital room with a man who migrated from Az to Tx. He was completely blind, needed dialysis and insulin shots and didn’t speak a word of English (other than the words to some song which included the lyrics “my wife makes the best tacos” which he insisted on singing in the middle of the night – he didn’t usually seem to be aware of the time of day). His family must not have paid enough for the fake SS number he was using because, eventually, the hospital threw him out. As he was being processed to leave, his family was discussing what other State they could take him to in order to get free medical care.

        1. Re: why,

          Sometimes it is [laying claim on property].

          False.

          I recently shared a hospital room with a man who migrated from Az to Tx.

          That’s not laying claim to property – you’re equivocating. If your beef is with “free” healthcare, then your beef is with the welfare state and federal/state mandates on hospital care, but not immigration.

          1. What is property? Property is that which is owned. Owning something means controlling how that something is used. If I own a piece of land, then somebody migrating to or traveling on my land w/o my permission is laying partial claim to my land.

          2. your beef is with the welfare state

            My beef is with both the welfare state and those who break the law, not with the concept of immigration. Legal immigration is fine with me.

      2. The day I have to pay for illegal childrens’ school, housing, food, or medical care is the day you have laid claim to my property illegally. Thief means thief.

        1. Re: reason dead here,

          The day I have to pay for illegal childrens’ school, housing, food, or medical care is the day you have laid claim to my property illegally. Thief means thief.

          Your beef is with the government that taxes (i.e. steals at bayonet point), not with everybody else. Citizens are also participant of the loot, their “claim” is JUST as IMMORAL as if they were not citizens – thievery IS thievery, right?

          1. Actually, no.

            My beef is with people that advocate criminal acts, like you. Citizens vote for these social benefits for citizens. Illegal aliens steal them. Thievery is thievery. I’m glad you agree. Now how about you stop advocating it as a way of life.

          2. P.S. If I really had my way we’d just go to war with the criminal Mexican government that is run by the cartels.

            Funny you talk a lot about how Americans own illegal aliens something but I hear nothing about the ransacking festering puss that is the Mexican government.

  23. But anyway, we should just do away with our military, because as you can see, there’s no need to ever defend property by force.

    Clearly, the entire world is in agreement (both politically and on an individual basis) on who should be allowed to live where and why. So Kumbaya all around….

    Anyway, Metazoan, I just ate 4 cans of spicy chili and I got a natural right to your bathroom. Or perhaps your kitchen sink. Or a spot on your living room floor, because after all, in this crazy old world, who can really lay a claim on land?

  24. I’d be interested to see a survey to determine if people who want open borders and also tend to hold the theory that the only reason people hate Americans is because we’re meanies, and so if we were just nicer then everyone would love us and we would live happily ever after under showers of rainbow kisses and gumdrop clouds.

    I can’t see any other explanation for thinking that nothing bad would arise from letting literally everyone into the country that wanted in.

  25. oops, minus that extraneous “and”

  26. The USA is not some Libertarian fantasy land, free of extensive public services paid for with tax dollars. People who come here with little education and few skills are likely to need relatively higher levels of these services, and are likely to pay relatively lower levels of taxes.

    1. Re: Steve,

      The USA is not some Libertarian fantasy land, free of extensive public services paid for with tax dollars. People who come here with little education and few skills are likely to need relatively higher levels of these services, and are likely to pay relatively lower levels of taxes.

      One thing does not mean the other, Steve – that’s a non sequitur. The fact that people of low skills migrate to the US does not justify the existence of a profligate, murdering and plundering government.

      1. Old Mexican, but that is the reality. We can’t just pretend the welfare state doesn’t exist. When hospitals in CA provide service to migrants in ER’s who do you think pays for it? Do you think they make up the difference by charging more to their paying customers perhaps?

        Migrant workers are basically just used by businesses and paid for by taxpayers.

        1. Re: Fleeing Cali,

          When hospitals in CA provide service to migrants in ER’s who do you think pays for it?

          What you’re pointing out to is an indictment on the welfare system, FC, not immigration.

          Migrant workers are basically just used by businesses and paid for by taxpayers.

          Bullshit, FC. The lower cost of labor actually advantageous to the taxpayer in the form of lower prices.

          1. Again, this fantasy world must be an interesting place. A place where education is free and medical bills are paid for by air.

            There is no lower cost of labor. The taxpayers take the shaft for your ignorance.

          2. Not where property taxes have skyrocketed…have been for say, about the last two decades here in Texas…

  27. Two difficulties I have with this article:

    1. Countering the statistical bias towards Democrats from Latinos with evidence Republicans can field ethnically diverse candidates with restrictive views. This is a weak argument. It’s nothing to find a few right wingers among a sub-population. Republicans have for years fielded African American candidates, but the democrats take the majority of their votes in the general population. You need to make your case statistically that immigrants or their progeny shift to being restrictive over time, which you try to do, but…

    2. You posit that immigrant policy shifts through history demonstrates more immigrants don’t lead to monotonically increasingly liberal policies. But look more at the details. Yes, you have immigrant backlash now, but in comparison to the 30’s and 50’s it is quite tame. Compare Arizona’s laws to “Operation Wetback” or the Mexican Repatriation. Perhaps the difference represents some kind of moral progress caused by something other than the diversification of the population. Maybe the civil rights movement brought some of it about. Or maybe not. I don’t think you make your case.

    There are also the particulars of the migrant shifts, the time scales involved and so on. This should all be looked at closely to draw any conclusions. Granted, it’s just an editorial, not a study, but I’d say it fails to make any point by its superficiality.

  28. If this election proves anything, it is that immigrant bashing is not a white-only sport

    You are either incapable of telling the difference between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ or you are merely dishonest and deliberately conflating the two. What other idiocies do you embrace?

  29. Immigrants’ Immigrant Bashing Bashed by Immigrant

  30. Shikha Dalmia (and most Reason writers) have been either dishonest or dumb when it comes to separating ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigration. Since I can’t believe the whole bunch of them are nitwits (based on their writings on other topics), it has to be dishonesty.

    1. I don’t think she is being dishonest. She is just practicing the tactic of personally smearing your opponent if your own argument cannot stand on its own merit.

    2. No, the problem are hopeless racist idiots like you who are unable to understand a rational political system, and a rational critic of legal positivism. In other words, your political system is “might-makes-right” – you believe, like, say, the nazis did, that whatever the government declares to be right, is right.

      1. Well last time I checked, might does make right you freaking idiot. Good feelings never won a single war in the history of the world.

  31. How’s the old joke go? When you’re trying to get in, you’re pro-immigration. Once you’ve got your citizenship, suddenly it’s “close the borders”.

    I’m the child of two immigrants (legal, one a refugee) so I’d know. Kinda comical, in a bizarre way.

    1. When you’re trying to get in, you’re pro-immigration. Once you’ve got your citizenship, suddenly it’s “close the borders”.

      Sickening, isn’t it?

  32. I imagine that the only ‘libertarians’ who argue against open borders in the name of property rights are scumbags from the mises institute/lew rockwell com, correct?

    1. Re: Name,

      I imagine that the only ‘libertarians’ who argue against open borders in the name of property rights are scumbags from the mises institute/lew rockwell com, correct?

      No, you are not correct. Whereas Hans Herman Hoppe has argued that totally open migration conflicts with the idea of private property as migrants might enjoy infrastructure like roads and hospitals, Walter Block and others argue that such argument is irrelevant.

      Go to mises.org and sign in for their forum, or read Block’s writtings, instead of assuming things.

      1. I said all conservative idiots who babble about the property rights of the state(LMAO) come from LRC. I didn’t say that every single LRC charlatan was against open borders. You are right in that block is not against open borders – though he is in favor of executing trespassers on the spot, for instance.

  33. The biggest recipients of welfare are of course ‘legal’ americans – like the jews who run wall street – or the wasp murderers who own the industrial-military complex.

    1. >_>

    2. Of course, here come the jew comments. Seriously, Internet tough guys are pathetic.

      1. I see. Racism is OK only when dealing with mexican darkies. Racist comments about other tribes, especially god’s chosen monkeys, are not OK…

        When you say internet tough guys you mean all the tough guys who think it’s okay for cops to use violence against ‘illegal’ immigrants no?

        1. No I mean laughable jerks like you that make racist comments because your soul is such a foul dank place. In case you’ve not noticed, we’re all homo sapien. Deal with it, stop making excuses because of melanin contents. Idiot.

  34. Badnarik was right; a wall with an open door. Just check for diseases and a criminal record.

    From a more cynical stand point libertarians shouldn’t be so enthusiastic about immigration from Mexico. Mexican immigrants tend to lean left on economic issues and right on conservative issues. Not many political allies in that group.

  35. You libertarians are funny, and stupid. You ideology is perpetually anarchic, splitting into smaller and smaller factions and moving father into the periphery.

    1. And my typing skills are laughable.
      I meant “farther”.

  36. I’m the son of an immigrant from India (Punjab region, same as Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal’s folks) and I strongly support troops (armed with less lethal weapons for most part) on our southern border, and ending the War on Drugs, plus instituting a guest-worker program for jobs Americans can’t filled.

    I’m pro-skilled immigration (not just doctors and engineers, but also mechnics and construction workers and such).

    I see nothing wrong with my stance.

  37. “constantly nurture a pro-immigrant zeitgeist with arguments and evidence”
    What absolute shit.
    I, like most legal immigrants , absolutely loathe illegals – everyone except deserving amnesty seekers etc should be packed on the next ship/bus or plane back to wherever the fuck they come from.
    Zeigeist my African ass!

  38. immigration is where i break with some of my fellow libertarians, I’m not sure how some libertarians equate freedom with the elimination of national borders, where does that fit into libertarian philosophy?

    libertarianism is not anarchy, few rules does not mean no rules.
    and the Constitution protects the rights of the citizens of this country not outsiders.

    1. I’m not sure how some libertarians equate freedom with the elimination of national borders, where does that fit into libertarian philosophy?

      I’m not sure how some libertarians equate nations’ allowing free migration with the elimination of national borders. Where does that fit into logic?

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