Immigration

Bogus Fears About Immigration Reform

The latest immigration reform proposal will not lead to amnesty.

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To hear opponents tell it, you don't want to be standing along the U.S. border when an immigration reform bill becomes law. Millions of foreigners who were previously content in their native lands will hear about it, pack a bag, and storm across the U.S. border, trampling anyone unlucky enough to be in the way.

The reason, we are told, is a change that Republicans have previously rejected but Democrats and Latino groups see as indispensable: a procedure for illegal immigrants to become legal residents and, eventually, citizens. Critics call it "amnesty" and say it will spur illegal immigration as surely as emptying the jails would generate crime.

Warned one prominent opponent, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), "By granting amnesty, the Senate proposal actually compounds the problem by encouraging more illegal immigration." The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) said it is a recipe for "effectively unlimited future illegal immigration."

This is not an entirely idle fantasy. Back in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that eventually allowed three million unauthorized foreigners to become legal—and in the following years, there was a surge of unapproved arrivals.

Today, the number of people living here without legal permission is estimated at 11 million. CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian has said the amnesty option would resemble the experience of Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day—repeating an unwanted experience "over and over again."

The fears, however, are largely groundless. In the first place, the legalization program is not so generous as to lure hordes of Mexicans and other foreigners who have so far resisted the temptation to steal across the border. It would let undocumented migrants stay here on a probationary basis only after they pass a background check and pay a fine as well as back taxes.

So getting legal status won't be cheap or quick. Under the senators' proposal, those migrants yearning for actual U.S. citizenship would have to wait another decade or even two. It's amnesty only for the patient.

Of course, those who came in 1987 or 1993 have already been waiting a very long time for their shot at forgiveness. Is the prospect of another amnesty in 2040 really going to cause a stampede of unauthorized arrivals in 2014 or even 2024?

The alarmists also forget how much the world has changed since 1986. It's a mistake to blame the amnesty for the rise in illegal immigration that followed. It was due far more to a couple of other factors, according to Edward Alden, a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The first was a demographic bulge caused by Mexico's high birth rate: In 1960, the average Mexican woman had seven children. Today, the figure is down to nearly two. Mexico no longer produces enough people to export them in the volume it once did.

Another difference is the difficulty of getting here. "Border security is vastly more robust than before," Alden told me. Over the past two decades, he says, the number of Border Patrol agents has soared from 3,000 to 21,000, while 700 miles of fencing has been erected on our southern border.

Back then, walking in undetected was hard only if you had trouble walking. Today, the chances of arrest are high, and many aspiring entrants pay thousands of dollars to smugglers to improve their odds.

Fewer people take the risk these days. Despite having far more personnel, the Border Patrol apprehended fewer people in 2011 than in any year since 1972.

Not everyone wades the Rio Grande. Lots of the undocumented came here legally as students or tourists and overstayed their visas. But that tunnel has also gotten narrow.

The 9/11 attacks brought stricter checks and new controls on many foreigners coming here legally. In 2011, nearly two million visa applicants were rejected. That's nearly two million foreigners who couldn't become illegal immigrants.

Any comprehensive immigration measure won't ease those requirements. In fact, the senators insist on new steps to assure that those who come from abroad legally actually leave when their time is up. Nor will a reform bill turn the Border Patrol into the Welcome Wagon.

But the critics are right: If illegal immigrants gain a path to legal status and citizenship, the change is likely to evoke Groundhog Day. In the movie, every day begins the same way. What changes is what happens next. In the end, remember, they live happily ever after.

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  1. It would let undocumented migrants stay here on a probationary basis only after they pass a background check and pay a fine as well as back taxes.

    That is a fantasy. They can’t do background checks on legal immigrants now. There is no one big database in the sky to do a “background check”. Running 11 million names through NCIC and NIC (the two closest things to such a database) would overload the system. One of two things would happen, either the background checks would never get done and the bill would never really be implemented or they would be waived and they would just let everyone in, criminal and non criminal alike.

    1. They can do them on legal immigrants. They just don’t do them in a very timely manner.

  2. Incentives are incentives until they conflict with our policy preferences. Then they aren’t.

    1. And the government is completely incompetent right up until it is necessary to believe that DHS can magically run 11 million background checks and ensure only the hard working types get amnesty.

      Fucking DHS? Really? And they say this shit with a straight face.

    2. Incentives matter more than liberty. Got it.

      1. So you’re admitting that incentives do matter, and this article is BS?

    3. Yeah, the dishonesty is annoying.

      It’s much like Republican support for free markets until it’s inconvenient for corporate interests.

  3. If we all agree that the welfare state is not going anywhere anytime soon (and I think we do), then fears about immigration “reform” are far from bogus.

    1. Your fear doesn’t give you the right to restrict other people’s liberty.

      1. But having my money confiscated against my will, by threat of force and/or imprisonment, in order to pay for the services needed, the entitlements granted, the health care and education for their children, absolutely gives me that right;
        12 million+ new Obamacare recipients.
        Millions of new school age-aged children of illegals. And on, and on.
        Fuck you. Until their ‘liberty’ doesn’t require my money or labor, doesn’t add to the debt, doesn’t increase my healthcare costs, and doesn’t add to the debt (Which I, my family, and any future children will be burdened with), it DOES give me that right.

        1. But having my money confiscated against my will, by threat of force and/or imprisonment, in order to pay for the services needed, the entitlements granted, the health care and education for their children, absolutely gives me that right;

          It absolutely doesn’t. You getting coerced doesn’t magically make coercing someone else fine.

          1. You don’t really get it. As long as my money is taken at the point of a gun, to fund the healthcare, welfare, education, processing, and incarceration for illegals, any claim of ‘liberty’ being involved is ludicrous.
            This isn’t a Utopian fantasy.
            Countries exist. Borders exist. Those within those borders have built, worked for, and paid for, the benefits and services provided within those borders.
            Anyone coming here illegally is leaving the only place where they are entitled to any ‘liberty’.
            If you’re concerned with their liberty, tell them to go back where they came from.

            1. Stop calling yourself a libertarian, you statist fuck.

              1. Never called myself a Libertarian.
                And, from the fucking idiotic, idealistic drivel being thrown around by those of you that do, I’d rather not be associated with the term.
                Oh, and go fuck yourself if you think millions of unskilled, illiterate third-world detritus are entitled to my money and/or labor.
                Now, explain how slavery fits into your Libertarian ideals.

        2. Skyhawk, do you want me to list all of the other laws we could pass to reduce welfare spending by restricting rights?

          1. You could give it a shot. But, the underlying infringement on the rights
            of the taxpayers being coerced into funding these programs is far worse than any restrictions resulting from cutting them.
            There can be no ‘rights’ that require the wealth and/or labor of others to be through extortion.

            1. There can be no ‘rights’ that require the wealth and/or labor of others to be through extortion.

              This is absolutely true. However, the mere act of immigration does no such thing. If an immigrant comes here and gets a job and pays his own way, you don’t have the right to do anything about that.

              And let me remind everyone again, that our immigration laws are entirely oriented around who is allowed to WORK. We give illegal aliens more right to collect welfare benefits (which is not much) than we give them to get a job.
              Its a WORK visa, not a GET WELFARE visa. We don’t raid the welfare offices looking for illegals. We raid EMPLOYERS. We don’t have a giant welfare-benefit-eligivilty verification database. We have an EMPLOYMENT verification database.

              1. And half the people involved are US citizen employers, who are being forbidden from hiring certain people because the government wants to force them to hire Americans.

                What about THEIR rights?

                How does my right to hire someone of my choosing impose a cost in labor and wealth upon you?

                1. “How does my right to hire someone of my choosing impose a cost in labor and wealth upon you?”

                  Because along with the tiny fraction of people you would be allowed to hire, were you to get your wish of an open border, comes millions of unskilled, illiterate people that use the services of which I am forced to pay for.
                  From schooling, housing, and feeding their children; the healthcare/medical costs which I am forced to pay for or subsidize; the higher cost of medical care and health insurance; the higher cost of auto insurance; etc, etc.

        3. So because your money is confiscated to pay for smokers healthcare, I guess that makes it fine to ban smoking.

          Since you money is confiscated to pay for ER care for deadbeats, I guess that makes it fine to mandate people buy health insurance.

          Right?

          1. “So because your money is confiscated to pay for smokers healthcare, I guess that makes it fine to ban smoking.”

            Yeah sure. Because I’m in favor of adding more government to solve a problem that was caused by government in the first place.

            “Since you money is confiscated to pay for ER care for deadbeats, I guess that makes it fine to mandate people buy health insurance.”

            See above reply.

      2. It doesn’t give politicians the right to saddle me with millions of more people putting their hands in my pocket and forcing me to work more hours to support them. What about my liberty?

  4. What I really want to read is another 200 comments about how we can’t stop restricting liberty until we get rid of the welfare state.

    1. Or another 200 about how it’s fascist not to want to help pay for people’s freedom to live here.

      1. Or another 200 presenting false dichotomies.

        1. They are not false. Getting rid of the welfare state is not an option. I would love to have open borders and no welfare state. But that is not an option. Whatever we have, will include the welfare state.

          1. Getting rid of the welfare state is not an option.

            Says who?

            1. Says the Congress, President, and the entire political class. It is not happening. But open borders or something approaching it might. I don’t understand why Libertarians feel the need to lie and pretend that incentives somehow don’t exist when it comes to immigration and welfare.

              1. If welfare is all they want, why would they leave the cradle-to-grave populist utopias of Chavezland and Kirchnerville?

                1. Because those places are shitholes.

                  1. And their welfare state is only on paper, since they have no livestock to parasitize. But America still has some unconsumed human and other capital.

          2. You don’t have to get rid of the welfare state. You need only to put a fence around it to protect it from immigrants.

            The 1996 welfare reform was a great first step. Just add the constraint that citizen children are on the welfare schedule of their parents, and the fence is complete.

            1. You don’t have to get rid of the welfare state. You need only to put a fence around it to protect it from immigrants.

              Agreed. But good luck getting Democrats to do that. The problem is that the Dems are not interested in solutions. They want votes.

            2. The 1996 welfare reform was a great first step.

              The restrictions on immigrants receiving welfare are mostly gone.

            3. Libertarianism is all about protecting the welfare state from immigrants. Got it.

              1. Are you suggesting that if we let in millions of poor, uneducated people they will so over burden public schools and hospitals etc that people will abolish them?

                In a Tennessee county where my relatives live, the local hospital no longer delivers babies for anyone. Because too many immigrants were showing up at the ER to give birth. So everyone now has Togo a county away.

                1. The Dallas Morning News reported that 73 percent of babies born at Dallas Parkland had illegal aliens for parents. The primary source of funding for Dallas Parkland comes from the taxpayers in Dallas County. Since Dallas/Dallas County is a sanctuary for illegal aliens, it is appropriate that the voters (primarily Democrats) foot the bill.

    2. So we are to pretend that incentives don’t exist?

      1. What comic book is it you’ve been reading that says people are racing across the border to get on welfare?

        Illegal immigrants can’t get on welfare anyway, they’re illegal. Duh. So you must be referring to all those *legal* immigrants on welfare. Where are they? Show me some credible data that shows a significant number of legal immigrants on welfare.

          1. Wow. I stand in awe, HM.

            Remind me not to challenge you to find anything.

        1. Agreed, but the trajectory for many immigrants under the current system (legal and illegal) has been this:

          They come for a legitimate shot at working, not knowing much about US welfare benefits or whether they qualify. Since many of the jobs they come from are seasonal, high-turnover, or are otherwise more or less temporary, when they find themselves without work they look at their options. One such option — and this option is trumpeted by “community organizers” and the like — is getting on the dole. When this happens, all bets are off as suddenly, the reservation wage of a low-skill immigrant on welfare becomes significantly higher than the value he or she can add to the employer — making that person a long-term burden on the system.

          It’s not much different from the trajectory of citizens in the US with similar skillsets — but I don’t see any reason to set people up for failure that we have to pay for.

          1. One such option — and this option is trumpeted by “community organizers” and the like — is getting on the dole.

            Exactly what is the mechanism for getting on the dole? What dole are they getting on?

            Furthermore, surely you recognize that before the US decided to enforce its idiotic immigration law against economic migrants, the most common option when work dried up was to go back home where they happily left their family because it’s easier and cheaper.

            1. Lots of current state-level programs and almost all federal programs prior to ’96 were open to (or did not check for) immigrants. The mechanism in that case is typically the same for immigrants as it is for citizens.

              Furthermore, surely you recognize that before the US decided to enforce its idiotic immigration law against economic migrants, the most common option when work dried up was to go back home where they happily left their family because it’s easier and cheaper.

              The last time we had a halfway reasonable law when such was the case was in the 60s with the Bracero program. You know what else we didn’t have before then? A series of court decisions and legislation which opened the floodgates of the welfare state to many who were previously excluded (such as immigrants, by and large). Germany and other nations with a guest worker program and welfare available to migrants have not seen similar seasonal migration, despite many programs providing incentives for returning to the home country if guest workers find themselves without jobs.

          2. They come for a legitimate shot at working, not knowing much about US welfare benefits or whether they qualify.

            LOL

            http://dailycaller.com/2012/10…..mmigrants/

            1. Accomplished with the typical efficiency of the American and Mexican government, no doubt.

              Like I said, Latin immigrants are by and large not very informed about those programs.

        2. Illegal immigrants can’t get on welfare anyway…

          You think EITC isn’t welfare? Treatment at public hospitals?

          1. WIC vouchers. SNAP

          2. Illegal immigrants generally don’t file tax returns. That would require having a valid social security number. And you have to WORK to get EITC, which would mean admitting your working illegally.

            1. You have a cite for any of those claims?

            2. If illegal immigrants were legalized and put on a path to citizenship (as is being proposed), then as the laws stand they would certainly be eligible for EITC just as legal immigrants are.

              1. That’s valid. But I don’t see how the fact that immigrants might impose costs on you via the welfare state gives you the right to deny them the right to live and work in the US.

                Let’s remember that the vast majority of the immigration laws deals with who is allowed to WORK, not who is allowed to come here or who is allowed to get welfare. It’s all about competition for domestic labor.
                Every non-immigrant visa comes with a tag saying NOT ALLOWED TO WORK. Not “not allowed to buy stuff” or “not allowed to rent an apartment”. We don’t give a shit about immigration is they are consuming services. We only care when they “steal jobs” from Americans.

                1. Perhaps, but the practical effect of allowing low-skill migrants into the country without limiting access to the welfare state is that many of these low-skill migrants will get on the dole, will put enormous strain on public services, and that this will in turn cause a good deal of public resentment towards said migrants.

                  Coupled with easy access to citizenship (as is being alluded to through “path to citizenship” efforts), and you risk importing people who will have their inability to succeed subsidized and a lifestyle of dependency inculcated in themselves and their children by the time they are eligible to vote. This has nothing to do with some intangible difference in cultures, but with the incentives in place — and maybe it makes me unprincipled, but I’d like to see something done addressing those concerns before opening up the political system and incurring debt for yet another Noble Experiment whose results are eminently predictable.

                  1. We don’t restrict people’s liberty because the “practical effects” of giving them freedom would be disadvantageous.

                    If it causes the welfare state to implode, GOOD.

                    1. We don’t restrict people’s liberty because the “practical effects” of giving them freedom would be disadvantageous.

                      Immaculate Trouser was talking about walling off welfare, not restricting the liberty of immigrants to immigrate. The right to migrate != the right to collect welfare, does it?

            3. Illegal immigrants generally don’t file tax returns.

              Enough of them do: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/…..mmigrants/

        3. Illegal immigrants can’t get on welfare anyway

          TANF is not the only welfare program around. There are, in point of fact, dozens of welfare programs available without regard to legal status. Including in my state an entire set-aside system of health care clinics for migrant agricultural workers. Who, coincidentally, are composed vastly disproportionately of illegal immigrants.

        4. They use hospitals and schools. But more importantly they get to vote. In many jurisdictions if you were ever here on a student visa you can manage to get a taxpayer identification number, a driver’s license and register to vote. Because they register anyone to vote who gets a driver’s license.

    3. So, illegal immigrant’s ‘liberty’ is more important than the US citizens who have their money confiscated by threat of force and/or imprisonment.

      Got it.

      1. So false dichotomies are now legitimate debate?

        Got it.

        1. If US citizens are coerced into paying for the healthcare, education, welfare, increased law enforcement, etc. etc., there’s nothing false about it.

          1. Obamacare and many other “benefits” are available to anyone who files a tax return and has a taxpayer ID number, regardless of whether they are legal immigrants.

  5. In the end, remember, they live happily ever after.

    If I’m gathering the analogy, this happens only after the Americans learn jazz piano and ice sculpture, become nice, and sleep with the immigrants.

    1. What’s wrong with sleeping with immigrants?

      1. Bed bugs? MRSA? They drive on the wrong side?

    2. Americans also have to get run over by a train a couple of times.

  6. THESE FEARS ARE GROUNDLESS *ignores Reagan in the ’80s and how this paved the way for an Obama victory in 2012*

    1. All Mexicans and Latin Americans are freedom loving, government hating Libertarians. Didn’t you get that memo?

      1. No more or less so than any other immigrant group — and to be frank, it’s not as much of a difference from the US citizenry as conservatives would like to think.

        1. Why, it’s as if almost no one here realizes that Costa Rica is the only country in the world where the Libertarian movement has had some measure of political success!

          1. Having lived there the better part of my life, I’m very familiar with Latin America and its various problems. They are not significantly worse than those of Europe and Asia during the 19th and 20th centuries, and in fact in some way are better. Outside of Cuba, there has not been a truly totalitarian government in Latin America, merely authoritarian ones with meagre public support. There have also been no large-scale conflicts or ethnic cleansings along the lines of those found in Europe and Asia.

            Your ignorance is correctable, but I’ll be damned if I waste my time trying to make it happen.

            1. Was that to John or me?

              1. Sorry, I thought you were Rick Santorum and that the comment was sarcastic in nature.

                My bad.

            2. There have also been no large-scale conflicts or ethnic cleansings along the lines of those found in Europe and Asia.

              Guatemala agrees with this. 200,000 dead can’t be wrong.

              So does the Dominican and Paraguay (if we’re counting S. America as “Latin” America.)

              1. 200,000 in a low intensity civil war is nothing compared to the European and Asian batting average, and was not an ethnic cleansing or a conflict with another nation. I am not saying that L America has a perfect or good record; merely a better one than that of the nations immigrants of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

          2. Costa Ricans aren’t immigrating here.

      2. According to John, Libertarians should teach Latin Americans about the virtures of the free market by denying them the right to work, and the virtues of small government by constructing a giant militarized border fence.

      3. They all vote for one party.

    2. Yeah, dude. Like night and day, one lead directly to the other.

      Once Reagan signed that bill, there was no other predictable response.

  7. I reside in Austin, Tx and I can reassure you that illegal immigration is still a problem and it is my experience that this will make it worse. The democrats are looking to expand their voting base. It’s that simple. During the course of my work I’ve been in the homes of illegals and guess who’s picture is on the wall? Obama’s. Word spread all across the Latin nations that it’s time to make the trip up north because Obama will make you a citizen. Never mind that that is no the case. This is what they hear and they act on it. People seem to not realize that 1. The vast majority of these people are not educated. At all. Many are completely illiterate. 2. They come from an entirely different culture than ours and have no respect for our laws, customs or culture. 3. They have no interest in becoming Americans. They want jobs to make money to send back home. Therefore they ate NOT seeking the American way of life and will/are undermining our way of life. You’ll never hear any of this from a politician. Ask someone who’s been the victim of a crime committed by an illegal or those who have to live among them.

    1. 3. They have no interest in becoming Americans. They want jobs to make money to send back home.

      Then set up a guest worker program. How long are we going to let union thugs determine immigration policy?

      1. Then set up a guest worker program. How long are we going to let union thugs determine immigration policy?

        Would love nothing better. But the Democrats will never agree to that because they don’t care about immigration if it doesn’t get them more votes.

        1. So you’re saying we have to deny people their unalienable rights because of Democrats?

          I’m sorry Mr. Slave, we can’t free you because there are Democrats.

          I’m sorry Mrs. Suffragette, we can’t allow you to vote because there are Democrats.

          I’m sorry Mr. Black, we can’t get rid of Jim Crow because there are Democrats.

          1. I’m sorry Mr. Slave, we can’t free you because there are Democrats.

            I’m sorry Mrs. Suffragette, we can’t allow you to vote because there are Democrats.

            I’m sorry Mr. Black, we can’t get rid of Jim Crow because there are Democrats.

            To be fair, that’s pretty much an accurate description of American history.

          2. So you’re saying we have to deny people their unalienable rights because of Democrats?

            I reject your premise that everyone in the world has an inalienable right to live and work in the US.

            1. They have an inalienable right to pursue happiness.

              And they have the right to engage in a voluntary contract with a willing employer.

              And they have a right to engage in the voluntary exchange of goods and services with other willing participants.

              1. They don’t have an inalienable right to live in country other than their birth.

                They can contract with any will party from the country of their birth.

                1. VG, you don’t have the right to live in a country state county city street other than your birth. Because, fuck you that’s why!

                  How on Earth did you get fooled into believing you’re a libertarian? You’re just another statist retard fuck.

              2. Hazel is transnationalist. She believe that countries have no rights to exist and no right to their own sovereignty.

                Sorry, I am not. Mexicans no right to come here and work. Letting them do so may be a good idea. But it is not a civil rights issue.

                1. It really is astonishing that when someone suggests that the US should secure the unalienable rights of people born outside the country, it is taken as an argument “that countries have no rights to exist and no right to their own sovereignty.”

                  Leave aside the fact that countries indeed have no rights — only individuals do. In no way is Hazel saying either that the US must cease to exist or that other nations’ laws should hold sway in the US. As that is the definition of sovereignty, this stance is no threat whatsoever to sovereignty.

                  1. It’s also astonishing that people believe that are such things as ‘unalienable rights’ and ‘natural rights’.
                    Neither exist.
                    The only rights you, or any other human being has, are those which you can assert and/or defend.

              3. Says who?
                Oh, yeah, that’s right, no one.
                You made them up. They do not exist. In any country on the planet.

                1. While we’re at it, let’s extend our Constitutional rights to our enemies on the battle field that are actively trying to kill us? Oh wait, we are. OUR founding fathers created our Constitution and this nation. If anyone from any other nation wants rights as we have them then they need to reform THEIR countries.

                  1. “While we’re at it, let’s extend our Constitutional rights to our enemies on the battle field that are actively trying to kill us? Oh wait, we are. OUR founding fathers created our Constitution and this nation.”

                    1) Immigrants are not analogous to enemy combatants
                    2) If by “battlefield” you mean “anywhere were there are people the government deems terrorists” then yes, they should have constitutional rights. The government can’t (legally) take them away just by declaring you a terrorist.
                    3) Where exactly in the Constitution is there justification for our current immigration laws? Note that “naturalization” does not mean the same thing as “immigration.”

                    “If anyone from any other nation wants rights as we have them then they need to reform THEIR countries.”

                    This country wouldn’t exist if your advice had been followed. Also, I love the implication that your rights should be decided by the dictator or majority of voters in whatever country you happened to be born in.

                2. It’s hilarious how much certain people make Tony-esque arguments when the subject becomes immigration

    2. It is clearly a transparent grab for more obligate team blue voters. What I don’t understand is why the Republicans didn’t follow Bush into the libertarian solution to immigration reform and creating a guest worker program and increasing legal immigration. Woulda stolen their thunder and been a boon to the economy all at the same time.

      1. Good idea. And the legal immigration should involve virtually unrestricted green cards for anyone with capital or a graduate or undergraduate degree in man or science.

    3. I agree that the primary motivation of the current proposal is to increase the voter base for Democrats.

      That’s why it’s all about “paths to citizenship” and not about reforming the actual laws, guest worker programs or labor certifications for unskilled workers.

      However, that’s still not an excuse for deny human beings their rights.

      1. However, that’s still not an excuse for deny human beings their rights.

        But why does their right to live where they want necessarily trump my right not to have to subsidize them if I don’t want to?

        1. Those two things aren’t in conflict, retard. You’re right to no subsidize immigrants requires the government to stop taking your taxes. It doesn’t require taking away the rights of immigrants.

          For fucks sake, is it possible for you retards to say something original rather than idiotic fallacies repeated over and over?

          1. Well then, I’m polite, so after you. Stop taxing me and I will give you what you ask for.

          2. So ‘reality’ is a fallacy now?
            I shall dub thee: ‘argumentum ad animadverto’.

        2. You make it sound like everyone comes here to live off welfare. Actual welfare spending to immigrants is less per capita than the general population. It’s the citizen children that generally get benefits that are cited as proof of immigrant-dependency. Though is important to note that these kids will someday grow up and pay taxes. But why should an individual’s rights be restricted because other people might have kids that get benefits? And why can’t we open the borders contingent on immigrants agreeing that they and their children aren’t eligible for welfare benefits?

          I also feel that people who make this argument are really inconsistent. There are a lot of other laws that could be passed to restrict rights that would reduce welfare spending (which BTW, excluding SS and Medicare, which isn’t what people are talking about in this debate, is less than a third of the federal budget) significantly. Even the subsidized birth control people argue that conservatives and libertarians shouldn’t object because it (according to them. I haven’t seen any studies on whether the money saved would offset paying for the birth control of millions of people who already use it) reduces welfare spending.

        3. Maybe I shoyuld point out that half of the people whose rights are being violated are the employers.

          If I, American Citizen, want to hire a foreigner, what right do you have to stop me?

    4. Your entire post is BS for multiple reasons, but your last sentence is straight up nonsense. White Texan men age are incarcerated at a higher rate than Hispanic Texan men of the same age, and immigrants are incarcerated at a lower rate than native-born. And I’ve lived in California my whole life, so don’t tell me I don’t have any experience living near illegals.

  8. I would like to know how an illegal immigrant is going to be able to prove past income?

    1. Easy. They all have tax ID numbers and pay taxes. I am not kidding.

      1. Well, some do their work entirely under the table, but yes, many pay taxes.

      2. It was only about five years ago that immigration authorities started using tax ID numbers that didn’t look like Social Security numbers for enforcement purposes.

        Prior to that it was SOP to earn wages on an ITIN. Now SSNs are stolen and traded to evade such enforcement, and the earnings records of actual workers have been lost.

        Just in case you need more evidence that there is virtual nothing the government can’t make worse by its actions.

      3. For the most part they pay taxes under other people’s (stolen) SSNs.

        But they don’t file returns. They give up any money that is withheld.

        1. Other than the $4.2 billion they got in refundable credits as of 2010, maybe.

          1. And more under Obamacare no?

  9. Does anyone even understand the problem here?

    The problem is all those hardworking illegals only have value as illegals–as people outside the law. People who can be paid less, treated worse and used in ways no citizen can be–because they have no recourse.

    Even in housing they generally live in places that are substandard–because they can’t complain. And slumlords get rich.

    Make them citizens and their value evaporates. Who wants to pay the guy picking grapes nearly ten dollars an hour? AND get him healthcare, paid vacations, workmen’s compensation–hell, the basic insurance companies have just because they have people working there. How much would your box of wine cost then?

    They don’t really want them legal. They want the cause of making them legal. There will never be a real fix–only little fits and starts to keep that carrot that’s dangling in front of them looking real nice.

    Make them all legal and you suddenly have 11,000,000 people who cost too much for the jobs they do.

    1. Those problems are mostly resolvable through guest worker programs, which tend to waive certain of those regulations.

      1. Those problems are mostly resolvable through guest worker programs, which tend to waive certain of those regulations.

        Or, you know, you could repeal all of those bullshit regulations for everyone, and then the labor market distortion would be eliminated.

    2. It’s cheaper to pay $15 an hour in cash than $10 an hour in “legal” wages. Cash weeds out those who are inclined towards filing for workers comp and unemployment too.There is good reason to hire illegals.

      1. Except that it’s hard to expense cash payrolls and the employer winds up paying more in income tax themselves.

        The real solution is to employ them with fake ssn so that taxes are withheld from their pay.

        1. The problem is all those hardworking illegals only have value as illegals–as people outside the law. People who can be paid less, treated worse and used in ways no citizen can be–because they have no recourse.

          You have no idea what you’re talking about and you sound like one of those “everybody is a victim in need of rescue” liberals.
          Illegals know they’re protected and complain all the time. How do I know? Because I’m one of the tax payer funded public service workers that responds to their complaints. And they also have the gall to get upset because I refuse to speak spanish to them. God forbid they learn the language of the country in which they now squat.

  10. In 2011, nearly two million visa applicants were rejected. That’s nearly two million foreigners who couldn’t become illegal immigrants.

    Er. Thats two million prospective legal immigrants who couldn’t become legal immigrants and may have instead opted to become illegal ones instead.

  11. The problem I have with illegal immigration is the supporters, including libertarians, never seem to be able to square the circle, sorta like liberals yammering endlessly about Keynesianism and free health care and yada.

    Welfare State problem, as even Friedman mentioned.

    The Senate proposals including more of a police state at the border, including drones (!). That really something a libertarian should support?

    The fed gov is constitutionally obliged to uphold US sovereignty and immigration law. When it’s not handing out amnesties to large swathes of Mexico. If this logic is somehow acceptable, surely the Obummercare mandate is.

    Birthright citizenship; why? The proposals avoid birthright citizenship altogether, which is the real culprit behind overstayed visas, which in turn is 40% of the problem.

    High levels of “Krugman Irony”; conveniently, the libertarian elite pushing for amnesty will never wake up one day and find that their jobs have been replaced by Juan and Enrico, taking der jerbs. Friedman loved him some illegals, would he have still loved them after PBS fired him for the “Jose Does It For $3.00 An Hour!!” show?

    Just to add, I personally think those humping for moar fences are idiots, and I’m very much for complete liberalization of legal immigration (more legals, end arbitrary discrimination, guest/seasonal workers, make it faster, better, etc.). I just don’t understand why we don’t start there.

    1. If you’re looking for an opinion, I think the current proposals from the eight senators and the president are terrible.

      The correct fix is to issue a new unlimited residence visa that allows the holder to enter, live, and work in the US without limitation, but offers no path to citizenship and explicitly forbids targeted welfare for the holder and his children.

      Hand these out to illegal immigrants after a background check. Hand them out at the border and consulates of the world after a background check.

      Have whatever other citizen-track visas you want. Holding this unlimited resident visa does not impact the queues, requirements, or processes for those visas at all. This new visa just means you can live and work in the US temporarily or indefinitely.

      1. That’s not a bad plan at all. It’s hard to get to such a proposal though when anyone who doesn’t support a mass amnesty within the current legal and political context with no accompanying reform of the broader immigration system, let alone the market distortions that make illegal immigration attractive in the first place, a nativist xenophobic statist who hates brown people.

  12. Not everyone wades the Rio Grande. Lots of the undocumented came here legally as students or tourists and overstayed their visas. But that tunnel has also gotten narrow.

    In point of fact, nearly half of all illegal immigrants enter in this manner, and to this day there is no real system in place to keep track of if/when they leave or overstay, aside from hoping they violate some petty, retarded local law and get handed over to ICE. A point that some xenophobic cunts tried to exploit like it was some kind of security hole after that stupid little 9/11 thing. Like New York really needed that many buildings anyway…

  13. Here is a thought experiment:

    Suppose you own a Texas ranch of 500 acres (slightly larger than the nation of Monaco). The ranch is surrounded by a high fence and secure gates. Now suppose your ranch becomes an independent nation. If a poor Mexican family shows up at the gate and says they want to exercise their “natural right” to immigrate to your nation, what would you say to them?

    Do you have a right to exclude them on the libertarian principle of private property?

    If the answer is yes, that leads to this question:

    Suppose the property of each of the 300 million citizens of the USA became independent nations. Then they decide to merge their nations into a single nation. Does the act of merging remove the right to exclude outsiders from their private property?

    1. Of course the single owner or unanimous owners of private property can exclude anyone they want.

      Get back to us when you get the 300 million property owners in the US to unanimously agree to exclude outsiders.

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  15. Illegals are renting millions of apartments and only high priced studios for poor and hard working Americans are available. Landlords are becoming rich while Americans are using their food money to pay high rents.

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