Immigration

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the GOP's Self-Destructive Restrictionism in Bloomberg View

|

President Obama told the Des Moines Register last week that if he wins a second term it might be because the GOP and Mitt Romney have done such a good job alienating Latino voters on immigration. He is absolutely right, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in Bloomberg View, especially given Obama's own sordid record on the issue. But restrictionists, an increasingly influential wing in the GOP, have come up with one bad argument after another as to why America needs to close the borders. The recent revival of one trope—that immigrants are bad for the country because they use affirmative action—however suggests that the party might have finally hit the bottom of the barrel. Notes Dalmia:

 The affirmative-action argument exposes that restrictionism is an obsession in search of a rationale. It isn't animated by an appeal to fairness or excellence or economic prosperity or any other similar lofty goal that conservatives tout. It is about opposing immigration for its own sake. This pushes Hispanics into the arms of Democrats, a political wave that some Republicans then want to stop by shutting the border, not by abandoning their anti-immigrant tirades.

Read the whole thing here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Billionaire Captures Argentine Ship With Ghanaian Help

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Borders are racist. They’re doing the jobs Americans won’t do. I love Mexican food, and you need to check your privilege. Borders are racist.

    (Have I hit all the right notes?)

  2. May.be republicans are against Mexican immigration because Mexican immigrants reflexively support democrats.

    I haven’t heard too many republicans rail against Cuban, Indian or Vietnamese immigrants

    1. Oh and also republicans see mexican immigration as a wedge issue to split blacks from the democratic party.

      1. You say all these things as if that justifies the behavior. It doesn’t.

        1. Yes, it does.

          1. “Politics means violating freedoms if it gives us more power.” You’ve got some santorum leaking, there. That from Palin’s Buttplug?

            1. Illegal immigrants are breaking the law and should be deported posthaste.

              1. The law must not be questioned.

                1. You have 10 seconds to explain why I would want someone who has demonstrated a willingness to flaunt the law in my country.

                  1. Fugitive slaves.

                    1. Fugitive slaves are totes the same as border hoppers.

                    2. I’m not the one who set up the standard to be “demonstrated a willingness to flaunt the law in my country.”

                  2. What is your stance on northerners who aided escaped slaves?

                    What is your view on Jim Crow?

                    Teh law is teh law?

  3. Since Obama deported more Mexicans than his Republican predecessor, can we admit that at least part of the reason for Democrat support with Hispanics has nothing to do with immigration?

    1. Hispanics are one of those demographics that polls Republican on the issues, and votes Democratic.

      Its tribalism, pure and simple.

      1. It’s also been repeatedly noted that stupid CA voters routinely poll in opposition to the state government’s policies and yet keep re electing the same assholes that enact those policies.

        Well guess who a lot of those stupid voters are.

      2. This is one of the things I can’t figure out. It really does not seem to be based on immigration policy, either on the evidence or (as I point out below) on a priori reasoning. I have to conclude as VGZ above that the causality runs the other way: that because certain ethnicities are against certain political factions, it’s self-preserv’n that leads the politicians to oppose importing more of that kind.

        As to individual liberty, it may also be, as has been argued by some libertarians, that admitting future voters to a free but democratic country may lead to loss of freedom if those immigrants from those places tend to vote against freedom.

    2. He was also responsible for getting a lot of Mexicans shot.

      But everything Obama does wrong is the fault of Republicans.

    3. No he hasn’t. What he did was change the way border invaders were counted. Previously if an invader was caught at the border and returned home, they were not counted as deported. All Obama has done is started counting those criminals as being deported as well.

      1. So he wants to take credit for more deportations without actually deporting more, it seems.

  4. They claim that immigrants mooch off the welfare state when, in reality, the labor participation rate of undocumented men is 20 percentage points higher than that for native men while their welfare consumption is much lower.

    Does Shikha have any figures on “welfare consumption by undocumented men” ?

    1. Well, she has no problem conflating “immigrants” with “undocumented men” so you just might be expecting too high a level of journalism.

    2. “Undocumented men.” Oh, I forgot that Reason was a progressive rag.

      1. Ihre Papieren…jetzt schnell!

    3. Also, some numbers on undocumented women and children would be informative.

    4. That’s sleight-of-hand wording, anyway.

      Having lived near the border for many years, and having known school teachers among other people with some direct experience, I’m certain that the statistic she cites is literally true. What it isn’t, is reflective of the welfare state costs of illegal immigration.

      It probably works to influence people without any understanding of the demographics involved, just like the cite of El Paso as relatively safe (on average, not in every neighborhood) sounds good. Illegal immigrants don’t just hang out right on the border.

      This is from a newspaper in the interior of California, for example: http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/…..30554.html

      WRT crime, it’s going to be difficult to convince someone who has actually lived in a border city and had several vehicles stolen or burglarized many times (like me) that the proximity of the border had nothing to do with it. That doesn’t make illegal immigrants responsible — it bolsters the argument for securing the border so that it’s not such a convenient place to drive a car to be stripped of its parts.

      I support more open borders as policy, and much more open immigration as policy. Neither of those things are necessarily opposed to securing our borders, if that makes sense otherwise.

      We could have rational immigration policies, welcome immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere, legally, so they can live without fear, and still retain our national sovereignty…

  5. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me dude.

    http://www.Anon-Yes.tk

    1. Undocumented anonbot?

  6. Culture matters. Inviting hordes of 3rd world invaders to this nation will destroy the traditional culture and turn America into a 3rd world hellhole.
    Of course Miss Dalmia doesn’t care about traditonal American culture or freedoms. Her family had nothing to do with the founding of this nation.
    We need an immigration moratorium of at least 40 years, so we can work on repairing the damage done by the 1965 Chain Immigration Act and all the amnesties since then. If Miss Dalmia likes open borders so much, she is more than welcome to go back to the 3rd world hellhole of India and open their borders.

    1. Ding, ding, ding.

      1. I really think this might be the real Santorum. And now he’s even agreeing with our resident Stormfront troll

        1. Were you aware that if your family didn’t “have anything to do with founding” this country (as most of us, being decendants of Eurpean immigrants from the 19th century, didn’t), then that ipso facto means you do not care about freedom?

          Who knew that only a tiny, tiny minority of the people in this land with ancestors who fought the revolutionary war were the only ones who are capable of caring about freedom? News to me.

          1. And I love the argument that it’s such a problem since they vote Democrat, as if everything would be fine and dandy if they voted Republican

            1. Yeah I caught that too.

              “We need to close the borders b/c those damned immigrants won’t vote the way I wish they would!”

            2. It would be slightly more respectable. As such, they’re just voting for more welfare.

              1. The fiscal issues the US faces were created by old white people, not poor migrant workers.

              2. Considering the GOP is also concerned about preserving social programs rather than downsizing them, it’s not much more respectable, no. “Welfare, Romney Style!”

              3. Are you suggesting a vote for Republicans isn’t a vote for more welfare?

            3. Don’t forget that they’re “invaders”, immigrants must be knifing people in the streets and taking over towns every day. Texas? Already part of Mexico. Nevada is next.

              1. I live in Texas and can attest to this.

                I get my property tax information every year from Mexico City.

                1. Santa Anna’s Revenge.

              2. The fiscal issues the US faces were created by old white people, not poor migrant workers.

                More specifically, they were created by white liberals.

                Are you suggesting a vote for Republicans isn’t a vote for more welfare?

                A vote for Republicans is a vote for less blatant ethnic pandering involving welfare statism.

                Don’t forget that they’re “invaders”, immigrants must be knifing people in the streets and taking over towns every day. Texas? Already part of Mexico. Nevada is next.

                Obviously hasn’t lived in California.

                1. “More specifically, they were created by white liberals.”

                  Maybe, I wasn’t alive when social security and medicare/medicade were created. That said, their continued existance is a bipartisian effort supported mostly by old white people.

                  In terms of immigrants bringing violence to the US, violent crime is down.

                  1. their continued existance is a bipartisian effort supported mostly by old white people.

                    Old white liberals. Unless you think the GOP is conservative, in which case I strongly encourage you to vote for Romney as a fiscal conservative.

                    In terms of immigrants bringing violence to the US, violent crime is down.

                    So is illegal immigration. Guess there must be a correlation.

                    (That last bit was a joke. But it highlights your retarded statement.)

                    1. “Old white liberals.”

                      Nope, large welfare programs are highly popular amongst the political spectrum amongst the older white demographic.

                      “So is illegal immigration. Guess there must be a correlation.”

                      Not really. Violent crime has been going down steadily since the 80s. Illegal immigratio has only seen a downturn in the last few years.

                      Seriously, have you actually looked at any data, or is your whole worldview based on your shitty instinct?

                  2. “In terms of immigrants bringing violence to the US, violent crime is down.”

                    On which side of the border?

  7. Well, we’ve gone all Godwin very quickly. Yay immigration threads!

    Got an idea here, want to bounce if off you all. I personally think American citizenship is something we shouldn’t cheapen by minting too many new citizens.

    So what say you to allowing anyone who wishes to come work and live here come and do so, with the only requirements being a criminal background check? Is that insufficiently pure?

    Basically I’m proposing that American citizenship be granted to anyone born in the United States, but with no other way to get it. No visas, work permits, etc. Allow the free movement of people for purposes of travel, work, even permanent immigration, but no voting for any immigrant. Their kids would obviously be American citizens with voting rights.

    Or am I being a closet restrictionist blah blah blah?

    1. I think no path to naturalization for anybody is pretty harsh. I’m partial for an 18 to 20-year residency before naturalization.

      I would also note that the government can legitimately enforce requirements on naturalization that it cannot legitimately enforce on migration. The rights to travel, reside, and work where one can find agreeable association are unalienable individual rights. The “right” to vote is a political construct intended to further the goal of securing those unalienable individual rights.

      1. Yeah, I go back and forth on that, but I really do think it’s important. There’s nothing wrong with working here of course, because the free exchange of labor leads to greater prosperity, just like free movement of capital or material goods.

        The main reason I want to remove naturalized citizenship is voting. Call it bigotry if you wish, but I do want the voters in American elections to be Americans. A longer time for naturalization may be the way to go, but obviously that’s predicated on me getting my preferred system in place.

        1. I’m not sure the allowing more citizens the simple act of “voting” is going to make a significant difference (positive or negative) in the ‘grand scheme of things’ It would probably be a wash in terms of ‘freedom’ given the two party system.

    2. I’m about as open boarders as you can get and am married to an immigrant who recently became a citizen.

      I’m not quite sure how I feel about citizenship. I might be able to understand the arguments for greater restrictions on how many new citizens we allow IF it can be shown that creating new citizens from pools of immigrants is a NET negative. Until now I’m not convinced. As I said above, the fiscal issues we face were largely (99%) created by old white people.

      That said, if greater restriction on citizenship while openning up the gates to greater immigration resulted in greater openness, I might be convinced to go along with it.

      1. Yeah basically I don’t wax rhapsodic about Ellis Island and “a nation of immigrants”. That kind of gauzy rhetoric is for the hippies. My immigration policy is informed entirely by self interest. I want American businesses to hire cheap labor so they can save me money. I want foreign doctors and engineers and tradesmen competing with Americans, thus saving me money and giving me choices. I want foreign businesses hiring American workers. I want new food. Most importantly, I want more foreign chicks.

        1. I can agree with this, though I agree with MikeP that the right to free movement and association are fundamental to a free society.

        2. I want American businesses to hire cheap labor so they can save me money.

          While cutting the wages of the working class and enriching the upper echelon of society. I hate everything you represent.

          1. “While cutting the wages of the working class and enriching the upper echelon of society. I hate everything you represent.”

            Spoken like a true liberal.

          2. While cutting the wages of the working class and enriching the upper echelon of society. I hate everything you represent.

            Marxist shithead is Marxist.

            1. Spoken like a true liberal.

              Marxist shithead is Marxist.

              There is no emoticon that can accurately portray how much I’m rolling my eyes. Support extremely limited regulation of business instead of totally deregulated markets? MARXIST. Support strict immigration laws like every sane, well-to-do country in the world? MARXIST. Support the working class in your nation? MARXIST.

              Piss off. I despise Marxists. I’m not going to worship the elite in society, however, especially not when most of them thrive from a parasitic relationship between government and corporate power.

              1. “While cutting the wages of the working class and enriching the upper echelon of society.”

                Idiotic statements such as this one are right out of the marxist playbook.

                Working class? Could you define ‘working class’ without sounding like a collective/marxist douche?

                1. Working class? Could you define ‘working class’ without sounding like a collective/marxist douche?

                  Probably not well enough to satisfy you. But if you hold public office or own a private jet, you’re probably not “working class.”

                  In before the libersperg.

              2. There is no emoticon that can accurately portray how much I’m rolling my eyes.

                Emoticons? OK, whatever floats your boat there Ricky.

                Support extremely limited regulation of business instead of totally deregulated markets? MARXIST.

                But how do you keep it limited Ricky?

                Support strict immigration laws like every sane, well-to-do country in the world? MARXIST.

                They disallow immigration because they’re sane, and they’re sane because they disallow immigration! It’s a wondrous circle of logic!

                Support the working class in your nation? MARXIST.

                Like the UAW? Or the millions who are declared to be “working families” who in reality live off transfer payments.

                Piss off. I despise Marxists. I’m not going to worship the elite in society, however, especially not when most of them thrive from a parasitic relationship between government and corporate power.

                No one’s worshiping anyone dickhead. I’m expressing a preference for lower prices on my produce, for example.

                1. But how do you keep it limited Ricky?

                  Leave it on the state level, as per the Constitution.

                  Like the UAW? Or the millions who are declared to be “working families” who in reality live off transfer payments.

                  No, the UAW is corrupt. Anyone who puts in an (honest) 40 hours a week deserves a decent standard of living. Even if you’re doing something as menial as flipping burgers, you should be making enough to support yourself and your family. This doesn’t mean you’ll have all the luxuries of the upper class, but you should make enough that you’ll be able to pay your bills, buy a car, and have some money left over to put in savings.

                  That’s what America used to be, but libertarians don’t seem to care much. I do.

                  1. Even if you’re doing something as menial as flipping burgers, you should be making enough to support yourself and your family.

                    That’s the most economically ignorant thing I’ve ever read, and is a bullshit line pulled straight-up from the democratic party platform.

                    How do you plan on forcing people to pay enough for those hamburgers to afford those flipping them the level of comfort that you believe they “deserve”?

                    1. How do you plan on forcing people to pay enough for those hamburgers to afford those flipping them the level of comfort that you believe they “deserve”?

                      I don’t believe in “forcing them” to do so. I believe that minimum wage doesn’t accomplish what it tries. I do believe that allowing businesses to prosper in a relatively free environment will naturally cause wages to rise sufficiently to create a high standard of living for all. And, if worse comes to worse, then workers may barter with their labor for higher wages and benefits.

                  2. I’m curious, though: how is someone who supports the Constitution, self-government, largely deregulated capitalism, free association, and property rights a Marxist?

                    Is it because I think that the elite–politicians and corporate leaders and the ultra-wealthy–are decadent and corrupt? Because I don’t think that makes me a Marxist so much as it makes me a populist who has a basic understanding of human nature.

                    1. someone who supports the Constitution

                      Which says not a bit about preventing immigration.

                      self-government

                      Except when it comes to who you can hire and from where. The government needs to be all over that one!

                      free association

                      Unless those associations cross dotted lines on a map, in which case it’s a no go.

                      largely deregulated capitalism

                      Except for the labor market, which must be highly regulated to keep out competitors, aka immigrants.

                      property rights a Marxist

                      You just go back to defending the proletariat from the evil elite menace and their immigrant lackeys.

                  3. Do you think there are a finite amount of jobs?

  8. What I don’t understand is why a candidate’s or party’s immigrationist restrictionism should push immigrants, or 1st gen. natives, or 2nd gen. or whatever, into the other camp. If they’re here already, why wouldn’t you expect them to be just as much “pull up the gangplank behind them” voters as any others, regardless of their ethnicity? Are Hispanics in the USA afraid that some day if they don’t have enough votes, they’ll be expelled from the country regardless of their citizenship status? So they need to pack the country with more of their kind to prevent that?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.